Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fall sale

our front yard

swan song

This is a brief but spectacular moment in the garden. The low evening sun captures the long shadows of flowers only now emerging. Sweet September when the temperatures drop enough to make gardening a joy once again.

cleome turtlehead

  The garden center is still thriving despite two power outages . Thanks to our new generator the water was delivered on time.  Mums are having their hayday.

Time for our Big Fall Sale!

All fruit and Flowering trees
All flowering shrubs
All evergreens
Perennials buy one get one free
Starting September 28th
Open weekends Friday through Sunday 10 to 5

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Our 13th anniversary sale begins July 4th

We hope you'll find time during next week's Fourth of July celebrations to stop by Groundworks and help us celebrate our 13th anniversary at our riverside location. The sale begins July 4 and runs through July 8, and we'll be open regular hours – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. – each day of the sale.

Our anniversary sales are legendary. If you still have some bare spots in your garden or on your patio, now's the time to fill them in. You'll find bargains on every bench and in the pavilion.

All our decorative pots, tools and gift items will be 25 percent off.

ALL ANNUALS are 50% off.
Still plenty of perennials to choose from.
The limelight hydrangeas are ready to bloom!
Daylilies galore!
Ecinachea Harvest Moon will add beauty year after year.
New Guinea impatiens will bloom for the next four months.
Leylandi Cypress: Can you see your neighbor behind this?
More daylilies – you really can't have too many.

Beginning July 9 we'll be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and July 30 through October we'll be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Should you need anything during non-retail hours, feel free to call 304-466-5181.

We're looking forward to helping you beautify your landscape and save some money during our Sale Days. See you next week!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Eye candy at the garden center

For your viewing pleasure … and we hope you'll stop by in person to soak up more of the beautiful sights and sounds at Groundworks! We're open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Spring Sale!

More than a few benches at the garden center are bursting at the seams.
Come in this weekend for
special pricing on annuals.

Fancy dinner-plate dahlias will perk up your landscape.
Large pots of geraniums for five bucks.  
Get your Wave (petunias) on – buy one, get one free!

Also, it's NOT too late to put veggies in the garden.
All seedlings are now buy one, get one free.

And we know you've been wanting to add some roses
to your landscape, so we're taking five bucks off until June 10!

Whack it back!

This has been an outrageous growing season, with lots of rain and warm temperatures. Some plants just get carried away! So I say whack it back! Late-blooming plants need a shearing or they will topple over before they get their mojo going (full bloom).

I recommend cutting back at least a third of the vegetative growth for the following specimens:
  • garden phlox
  • Russian sage
  • sedum Autumn Joy
  • perennial sunflowers
  • asters
  • spireas- which promotes new red growth tips on Magic Carpet, Double Play or Gold Flame
  • flowering shrubs that have already bloomed

Monday, April 23, 2012

Celebrating Earth Day

Ruben, Chris, Debbi and Hudson.
Earth Day 2012 wasn't much of a day for selling plants here at the garden center, but what the heck – Groundworks always considers it a good day for picking up trash. Four of us plucked 15 bags of litter from the byway and enjoyed doing it.

Christ found the toy gun, making for
the perfect still-life-with weapon
photo opportunity.
Hudson Knights was proud of the Federal Bureau of Prisons staff shirt that he pulled, wet and filthy, from the ditch. His brother, Ruben, scored some golf balls the Willowood Country Club aces so ably stroke across the Greenbrier River.

Debbi McNeer was taken with the vast quantity of beverage containers that populate the roadside. And Chris Chanlett led a chorus of acclaim that McDonald's won the sweepstakes for the most massive contribution to highway litter.

Does this corporation make any effort to offset the labor donated by volunteers to clean up after its way of doing business? In eight hours this morning along two miles of highway we picked up hundreds of pieces of junk with McD emblazoned on them. Thanks, Mickey, for the exercise!

Two hours later, the crew poses with their pick-up-stick weapons and bags of bounty.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ephemeral – Lasting for just a short time

We seem to want it all, all the time, but there is something to be said for the
ephemeral, reminding us of the moment – the beauty of now and the promise
it will all be coming back to us next spring.
Spring is full of the ephemeral, as nature rushes to get itself established in the growing season. All kinds of early-blooming plants, trees, shrubs and perennials are forming their seeds and restoring their carbohydrates for the upcoming dormant season. That’s why there are so few long-blooming plants at this time of year. And that’s why there is no such thing as a plant that blooms all season and comes up the next year.

Some plants, like the old-fashioned bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis) have another strategy: They bloom while the weather is relatively cool and then go completely dormant in the summer, hiding from the heat. You will never see a full-blooming bleeding heart in August. But isn’t it grand to have plants that scream April!

Bleeding heart
Another old-fashioned plant, the snowball bush (Viburnum macrocephelum), is all about April and May.  It has an abundance of bloom and so easy to take care of.

Snowball bush

Monday, April 9, 2012

So far, so good

The inevitability of frost in April caught up this week with the delusions of a record-hot March. Most flowering plants have been blooming two to three weeks earlier than usual. This gives rise to a vernal headiness, excitement shot through with anxiety. Everyone wonders: Will we lose all the fruit?  

The short answer from our observation around here is so far, so good. A great deal of stone fruit like cherries is already beading up. A lot of apples were just passing pollination, when the insects cease working the trees and the seed forms. Every day it makes a little more sugar and gains a bit more frost resistance.

A real freeze in the 20s could still wreak havoc, but frost is a surface condition rather than a thermal fact. We don’t understand how, but frost seems to develop at dawn or in the wee hour,s even when the temperature is above 32 degrees. Can somebody explain this brush with loss we often see in the late spring?

Two apple trees in Hinton show their endurance after two nights of frost. 
On the right a ‘Wolf River’ already has tiny pinheads of green seed. If it 
turns brown, the fruit has been lost. The left tree is still being actively worked 
by thousands of insects, proving its pollination is proceeding.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Busting out!

March scooped us up from behind with a blast of warm weather that has kept us scurrying around for the last few weeks. All kinds of plants are blooming early – we figure at least three weeks sooner than normal. Everything needs water every day.

Early bird customers expect we have kept pace with the weather. With our excellent staff we’ve done the best we could and the good news is that we are farther ahead this year then we've ever been. 

The river has behaved itself, even though rainfall totals were above average in March. The warm winter didn’t provide a snow melt from Greenbrier and Pocohantas counties that often create floods this time of year.

P.S. We're officially open today! We look forward to helping you redecorate your gardens this year.

Creeping phlox!
This photo of blooming lilacs was taken last week.
How is your garden growing?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tennessee Spirea

With this new blog, we intend to highlight tried-and-true plants that keep growing on past the hype-and- shine of all the new branded plants. A few of the new and exciting plants will find their praises sung here, but we're on the lookout for the backbone plants that keep giving back long after your initial efforts.

We call this Tennessee Spirea. It hitched a ride with us when we moved from central Tennessee in the mid '70s. A simple sucker dug from a friend’s front yard, the tiny rooted sprig survived the trip and flourished. Many such suckers have come from the base and give us the first burst of flowering shrubs of the season. I have not been able to identify the species but that doesn’t seem to bother the exuberance of this shrub's presence.

It’s a great plant for bringing in dormant branches in late winter to force, and it seems always to find its way into Easter flower arrangements.

Easily 6 to 7’ tall, the biggest problem is keeping it within bounds. A good shearing in early summer gives it plenty of time to bud up for the following spring. It likes full sun and average soil with no need to fertilize after the original planting. Tennessee Spirea is what’s growing on.

~ Torula

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Mighty Oak Falls

A mighty oak has fallen on our farm, one of the Twin Oaks
that crowded the road and scared drivers of big dump trucks.
It dropped perfectly into the pasture and erected a massive rootball
hard on the edge of the road. The blue drum shows the scale of the 40" trunk.

The highway department came to clear the debris. The massive root system now rests just to the side. They delivered 8 tons of gravel to fill the cavity. Three of us have spent many hours and 9 chainsaw tank loads cutting it up and we still haven't gotten into the biggest part of the trunk.

A bonus on the windfall of firewood is 60 shitake logs. The great white oak died of lopsidedness. The road side was rootless and tightly ringed while the pasture side was heavily fertilized for 90 years by the cattle who will miss its generous shade. Neighbors will miss its arboreal enclosure of our road.