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Pleasing Plant Combos

Pleasing Plant Combos
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Brunnera variegata

For Shade

Here is a great combination for the shady garden with the added bonus of deer resistance.

The early Spring blooming Brunnera variegata offers delicious sky blue flowers in May and white flecked, heart shaped leaves for interest the rest of the Summer. Combine this with the textural foliage of the pink flowered Astilbe Rythm 'n Blues which has plumey pink flowers from June to August. For another unique textural element add Rodgersai Fireworks with its large, leathery, copper edged leaves and glowing pink flowers in June and July. Fill in with Lady ferns (Athyrium Lady In Red) for a picture perfect garden grouping.

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Our Tarragon Is the Real Deal

We had an interesting question from a member last week about our French Tarragon. The member asked whether the Tarragon that we will have for sale will be really French Tarragon or Russian Tarragon. I want to assure you all, that our Tarragon is the real deal...

French Tarragon does not produce seeds and can be propagated only by cuttings. Grown by cuttings (and organic cuttings at that) our Tarragon can be counted on to add its distinctive licorice taste to your cooking.

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Yes You Canna!

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Canna 'Lucifer'

Yes, you can add pizazz to your garden with Canna, Caladium and Colacasia.

The strong focus on spring flowering bulbs in our gardens can overshadow the many wonderful choices of summer flowering bulbs that will perform quite well here in an increasingly hot New Jersey.

Cannas bring tropical splendor and architectural interest to summer borders and they also flourish along the damp margins of a pond. These bold plants feature clustered, flaglike blooms in a brilliant array of colors. They are deer resistant, easy to grow and attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

Flowering Plants for All Seasons

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Viburnum carlesii

You can have flowering plants in all seasons! Yes, it is hard to imagine a garden with flowers almost all year long, but, really, it isn’t so hard. Soon, I hope, it will be spring, with a myriad of choices for blooming plants. One of my favorites is Viburnum carlesii, the koreanspice viburnum. The shrub, growing to about 8 ft high and 8 ft wide, is deer resistant and thrives in average soil conditions. Not only will it grow in partial to full shade, but it has the added attraction of fall color in reds and burgundy. The flowers appear in mid-spring—beautiful balls of creamy white with a wonderful fragrance. Not only that, but the plants are purported to grow under black walnuts. What an all-around winner!

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Lavender Munstead

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Munstead Lavender is a great choice for New Jersey gardeners. Deer and rabbit resistant, butterflies love it and so do bees. This compact cultivar was introduced in 1916 and grows 12-18" high and wide. Find a dry to medium, well drained site in full sun and you'll make a friend for life (or for a long time at least).

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Go Bold With Coleus

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C. Henna

A dazzling assortment of coleus plants awaits you inside the big tent this year. Their colors are bold, vibrant and look like an artist splashed them with color. Their leaves are eye-catching with serrated edges (C. Henna), or ruffles (C. Lime Ruffles) and even scalloped (C. Dipt in Wine), adding much needed texture to your planters and mixed borders.

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The 2014 Plant Sale Is Coming!

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A Happy Buyer

It's been a long cold winter with a good snow cover to protect our plants but in these dark cold days we need to put a little PIZZAZZ into our lives. The 19th Annual Friends Plant Sale is focusing on creating gardens with pizzazz by adding a little zing to your already fabulous landscape. Gardens are never static. They grow, they change, they become sunnier or shadier and they are always created for the pleasure of the gardener who makes them. No garden is ever finished and there are no gardeners without dreams.

Ask our plant experts how to add a little sparkle to that long ignored spot in the garden. They can help you infuse your containers with vitality, flair and dazzling color. Our plant experts know their stuff and you can recognize them by their red baseball caps. They all share a passion for plants, extensive plant knowledge and a desire to send you home with the perfect plants to add a little bit of flair to your landscape.

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A Little Sneak Peak

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Featured at the Sneak Peek

Come join me on Thursday, April 10th at 6:30 pm at the Arboretum for an advance look at this year's fabulous plants being offered at the Plant Sale. After this cold winter we have some hot plants for you to choose from.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but I will also have plenty to say about these bold new choices for your garden. I'll be showing you the best new trees, shrubs, perennials, herbs and annuals, a limited selection of which will be offered for pre-sale that night. You may use cash, check or credit card to pre-order these plants for pick-up at the sale.

I can't wait to tell you which one is my favorite -- or is that favorites?

This program is free but registration is required. You can register on-line by clicking here or by calling 973-326-7603.

See you there,

==Sue Acheson

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Herbs (Plus a Recipe)

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We have an excellent selection of culinary herbs at this year’s Plant Sale, including 5 kinds of basil and 3 kinds of thyme!

In addition to clipping fresh herbs for cooking, why not use herbs in these ways:

  • Make an herb and oil infusion to spread on bruschetta (think: italian oregano and tuscan blue rosemary)
  • Make an herbal tea (think: chamomile)
  • Make a compound butter to spread on vegetables after you’ve grilled them (think: berggarten sage and english thyme)
  • Make a Mohito or other cocktail with herbs (think: mojito mint)
  • Make herb filled ice cubes and plunk them into a cold summer soup (think: italian leaf parsley and sweet basil)
  • Make an herbal vinegar to liven up a green salad or marinated vegetables (think: cilantro or tarragon)
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A is for Anigozanthos and ...

Anigozanthos is an Australian plant, commonly called Kangaroo Paws. It will bloom in a container or in the garden from Spring into Fall. The flowers are brightly colored in shades of red, orange and yellow, tubular in shape with strap-like foliage. Cutting back the flowers regularly increases the flower display. This is a plant for sunshine and if planted in a container needs well-draining soil. They can be grown indoors as house plants and require bright light, well-draining soil and weekly fertilization. This is a pretty new plant on the gardening scene but it is charming in a container attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. If you like plants that say "touch me" you will like their velvety texture,too.

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