I like to visit other independent garden centers along with the big box stores to make sure my prices are competitive. Well, today I was in Lowe’s so I popped over to the garden center to check out the prices and plants. Now, I know we’re all brainwashed into thinking the big box stores prices are always better than independent, local store prices. But I’m here to tell you, that brainwashing is more a bunch of hogwash than anything. I’m very happy to say that my plant prices are in line with Lowe’s prices. Some of my prices are even lower! And I also carry hard to find plants that you’ll never find at a big box store.
So please, please, tell your gardening friends that even though R&G is an independent garden center, my prices aren’t going to break the bank any more than shopping at the impersonal big box stores.
Besides…you’ll never find a Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs as the Garden Center Mascot at a big box store!
Are you looking for something to do on this rainy Saturday? Well, I have the perfect idea for you…come to Roses and Gargoyles’ “Attracting Butterflies and Hummingbirds to Your Garden” seminar! It’s 1:00 – 3:00, and it’s free. Just remember to bring a chair.
I have lots of info to share with you about how to get butterflies, hummingbirds, and moths into our gardens. Who doesn’t want all those cool little guys hanging around??
First off, this vine is not in the wisteria family. “Evergreen Wisteria” is its common name cause someone saw that its flowers and leaves look like wisteria so that person took the lazy way out and decided to call it “Evergreen Wisteria.” I could think of so many more suitable names for this plant. But. I digress.
Its botanical name is Millettia reticulata. Its a twining vine that grows 15 – 20′. The gorgeous reddish-purple flowers are fragrant and bloom in clusters summer through fall. It’s non-invasive, considered a Florida Friendly plant, a fast grower, likes full to part sun, semi-evergreen, and is low maintenance. It’s hardy in zones 8 – 11, so it does just fine here even during our colder winters. What more could you possibly want in a vine?
Melissa Mong and her adorable daughter Miya are the summer quarter winners of R&G’s “Lake Helen’s Prettiest Garden” contest. Come take a tour of their adorable cottage garden with me. The side gate is open so let’s start there.
The first thing you notice is the beautiful pair of mature Sweet Almond Bushes that form a canopy over the side gate. Walking through those when they’re in bloom is heavenly.
As you step onto the curvy pathway you feel and hear the gravel crunch under foot as you walk past informal garden beds packed full of color. Yarrow. Pentas. Angelonia.
Miya’s swingset adds to the relaxing feel because it’s easy to imagine her laughter as she plays. You know Melissa’s close by watching…maybe while working in the garden or while taking a break in the nearby sitting area.
As you follow the path on, you see that the adorable garden shed is a miniature version of the house. It’s also set amongst garden beds full of color. Firebush. Bulbine. White Mexican Heather. Oakleaf Hydranges. The smaller Sweet Almond Bushes to the left of the shed will one day become large and form a canopy that will give shade and add more sweet fragrance to the air.
Turning the corner to the right, the pathway takes you past a gorgeous Angel Trumpet, Crape Myrtle, square vegetable and herb raised beds, a raised bed filled with beautiful salmon-colored Drift roses, and another sitting area. Look at that huge Pineapple Sage!
You step off the gravel path onto an expanse of lawn. Showcased in the middle of the lawn are two mature Camellias and a large Sago Palm.
Their formalness echo the formalness of what you see next as you turn right…a straight concrete pathway leading from the front gate to the front porch. The pathway is flanked by an allee of towering palm trees set in manicured beds of Asiatic Jasmine.
The formalness stops though as soon as you step onto the beautiful front porch. Want to sit a spell and enjoy the view? Well, this is the epitome of a Southern porch…complete with plenty of comfortable chairs to choose from. No formal stuffiness here.
Or you could wander around the front of the house to the side yard to the hammock that’s hidden in the corner, perfectly tucked between two large trees. Complete with a nearby windchime that sings softly in the southern breezes.
Not quite ready to sit a spell? Well, let’s continue the tour. Walk through the lawn around the porch and you’ll see curvy beds jutting out into the lawn. Lime green and black Sweet Potato Vine crawl on the ground. There’s a birdbath for the happy birds to play in. Pink Marginata sends its pink and green spiky leaves above the vines. And look…there’s Spiderwort….a native plant all too often wrongly considered a weed. But Melissa welcomes it into her garden with open arms.
Two red Adirondack chairs facing opposite ways. They remind me of the old-time Victorian courting chairs.
Next to the house is a stand of beautiful Crepe Myrtles in a bed of African Iris and Walking Iris. The Crepes are just starting to put on their summer blooming show. Look closely and you’ll see a statue tucked under the leaves of the Iris.
Past the courting chairs the Chaste Trees are showing their glory of violet blooms. Tucked in that bed are Sage, Pentas, ornamental grasses, Coleus, Yarrow, Iris, and a bird feeder.
Miya says fairies use the strap-like leaves of the Iris to slide down into the Yarrow. The Yarrow is soft, which helps the fairies land safely.
One last garden bed to enjoy before the tour is over. This one has bright colored Gaillardia, Pentas, Sage, and red Knock-Out roses in it. And look…there’s a container of Bromeliads too.
And we’re back at the charming little side gate. I hope you enjoyed the tour as much as I did.
It’s amazing what Melissa’s done with this garden. In the 3-1/2 years they’ve lived here she’s transformed it into a peaceful, relaxing oasis of color and fragrance using native and Florida friendly plants. I like that the outside perimeter of the garden is surrounded by shrubs and vines like Anise, Viburnum, Pinwheel Jasmine, Texas Sage, Azaleas, blueberries, and blackberries. Only being able to see glimpses of this secret garden from the outside adds to the charm and mystique of it. And both entrances being so very different from each other, the front so formal and the side so casual, adds to the garden’s charm of having something surprising around every corner.
The summer quarter winner of Lake Helen’s Prettiest Garden contest is Melissa Mong and her adorable daughter Miya! Their pretty little garden is at 194 W. Craig Ave. The perimeter of the garden is surrounded by shrubs, so the true garden can’t be seen until you step inside the garden gates. Which makes this little gem a true hidden garden.
If you see Melissa working in the garden, ask for a tour…you’ll be glad you did.
Want to have more butterflies and hummers in your garden but aren’t sure how to make that happen? Then this is the seminar for you. We’ll talk about the nectar and host plants they need, along with how to make them feel welcome in your garden.
The seminar is Saturday, July 20, 1:00 – 3:00. It’s free. Just bring a chair. If the weather’s nice we’ll sit under the oaks so we can watch the butterflies and hummers in the nursery as we talk.
This is one of my favorite topics to talk about, and I am really looking forward to this seminar. See you there!
Can you even believe that tomorrow is the 4th of July?? Where has this year gone to?
R&G will be closed the morning of the 4th because Gibbs and I are going to be in Lake Helen’s 4th of July parade! The truck will be all decorated and he and I will be riding in the back. I’ll be showing off my best Princess wave… lol Be sure to look for us and wave back with your best Princess wave.
We’ll open after the parade’s over, so probably around noonish. Friday through Sunday we’ll open our regular hours of 9:00 – 6:00.
Happy digging in the dirt…
Jeanni and Gibbs
Delivery area of online orders is only within 50 miles of downtown Orlando. Deliveries are scheduled twice a week, and the delivery fee is $5.
Customer pick up of ordered plants can be arranged. The $5 delivery fee will be refunded when plants are picked up.
Shipping outside that area will be available in the coming months.
Hours for Gardenscaping Work:
– Monday through Sunday by appointment only