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A Poinsettia Story

Poinsettias. They’re such pretty plants, and very much a sign that the holidays are here. Here is some interesting information about Poinsettias that you might not know…

Joel Roberts Poinsett is the person who introduced Poinsettias (see the resemblance between his last name and the plant’s name??) to the United States in 1828. He was the US’s first Ambassador to Mexico and a botanist and physician. He fell in love with the plants he discovered in Southern Mexico and sent cuttings to his home in Charleston, South Carolina.

The colorful parts of the plants aren’t the flowers. Nope, those are actually colored bracts and are considered modified leaves. The flowers are yellow and are in the center of the colored bracts. The bracts get their color changes through a process called “photoperiodism.” That means they need 12 hours of total darkness for at least five days in a row to change color. Not just a little darkness, but total darkness. Light of any kind, real or synthetic, will throw off their color changing abilities. That’s why the Poinsettias you planted in the garden might not be as colorful as the ones you buy every holiday season.

I’m sure you’ve heard that old wives tale that Poinsettias are poisonous. Well, the National Poison Center in Atlanta and the American Medical Association have repeatedly tested the Poinsettia’s reportedly poisonous abilities and have found, repeatedly, that they are not poisonous. One study done at Ohio State University showed that 500 to 600 leaves would have to be eaten by a 50-pound child before any side effects would even start to show up. And those side effects would be upset stomach and vomiting…which makes sense if one eats 500 to 600 leaves of anything.

Poinsettias do ooze a milky sap when the stems are broken. That sap can cause allergic reactions to people who are allergic to latex.

Here’s an interesting tidbit: Florida has a native Poinsettia! How cool is that?? Euphorbia cyathophora (or Euphorbia heterophylla) is its botanical name. Common names are wild poinsettia, Fire on the mountain, fireplant, painted euphorbia, desert poinsettia, paint leaf and kaliko plant.

And that is my history lesson on Poinsettias.

Happy digging in the dirt…

Jeanni and Gibbs

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R&G’s December Schedule

Well, we’re in the countdown stage of closing up shop in Lake Helen. These next few weeks are going to be busy, so R&G’s schedule is going to be a bit wacky.

This week: Closed today (Wednesday). Open 12:00 – 6:00 tomorrow (Thursday), then 9:00 – 6:00 Friday through Sunday.

Week of 12/09: Closed Monday through Wednesday. Open 9:00 – 6:00 Thursday through Saturday. Sunday the 15th I’m closing at 1:00.

Week of 12/16: Closed Monday through Wednesday. Open 9:00 – 6:00 Thursday through Sunday.

After that is Christmas week, so basically I’m closed as of Sunday, December 22. I’ll be moving everything during the week of 12/22 – 12/31, but feel free to stop by if I’m at the shop.

Happy digging in the dirt…

Jeanni and Gibbs

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Butterfly Gardening Article…

I gave an interview a few weeks ago to a reporter from the Hometown News…this is the link to the article that was published: “Popular butterfly gardens integrate beauty and necessity.”

I thought it turned out pretty good.  That was my first time for doing a newspaper interview, so I’m pretty excited about it!!

Happy digging in the dirt…

Jeanni and Gibbs

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It’s a great day to visit R&G…

I know it’s still hot out there, but in the evenings, and sometimes in the mornings, can you feel just a hint of fall in the air? I can.

Have you started planning your fall veggie/herb garden? Well, we have plenty of veggie and herb plants and organic seeds for you to choose from. Lots of ornamental plants are blooming in the nursery…they’re just waiting for you to give them a good home!

Gibbs is feeling much better and is back at the shop with me now. I think today would be a great day for you to stop by to say hi to him and to pick up some plants for your garden. See you soon!

Jeanni and Gibbs

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Lake Helen’s “Prettiest Garden” Contest

So what do you think of when you hear the words “prettiest garden”? Is it a porch with matching hanging baskets and comfy chairs that’s just perfect for sitting for awhile with drink in hand? Maybe a perfectly landscaped and maintained garden with nothing out of place? Or what about an informal and touchable cottage garden with butterflies and bees flitting about? Or how about a small container garden filled to the brim with veges and herbs?

Well, to me all of the above can be considered a pretty garden. And we have so many beautiful, unique, perfect, cute, and, yes, pretty gardens in Lake Helen that I thought we should do something to show off those gardens. So I’m starting a quarterly “Prettiest Garden” contest. Winners will be announced for their prettiest Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter gardens on the following dates:

  • Spring, Saturday, April 6
  • Summer, Saturday, July 6
  • Fall, Saturday, October 5
  • Winter, Saturday, January 4, 2014

What will I be looking for? Well, all of the above garden types, plus many more. Does it need to be a perfect garden? Absolutely not. I’m more interested in creativity, good use of the right plants in the right place, structure, whimsy, color, use of natives, and just plain old pretty, than perfection. In other words…anything goes.

I do need your help, though. Lake Helen is small enough that I can look for pretty gardens while Gibbs and I are out for our walks and I can drive around looking for them, but that only works for ones I can see from the street. So if you know of a secret pretty garden, brag on that thing! Call me, 386-218-6932, email me, jeanni@rosesandgargoyles.com, or stop by Roses and Gargoyles and tell me about it in person.

Now for the good part…what each winner gets for all his or her hard work:

  • A $20 Roses and Gargoyles gift card
  • A “Prettiest Garden” yard sign
  • Recognition at that quarter’s Commission Meeting, in The City Observer, and on Roses and Gargoyles’ website and Facebook page
  • And, best of all, good old bragging rights

So… Does your garden have what it takes to be our Prettiest Garden??

Happy digging in the dirt!

Jeanni and Gibbs

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“Most Beautiful Garden” Contest

Hello there!  How’s everyone doing on this Tuesday morning??

I want to start a quarterly (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter) “Most Beautiful Garden” contest for Lake Helen. More info will be posted after I get all the details worked out.  Let me know if you have any ideas or thoughts on the subject.

Does your garden have what it takes to be a contender?

Happy digging in the dirt!

Jeanni and Gibbs

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Butterfly Garden

I am so extremely excited!  Why, you ask?  Well, the City of Lake Helen has asked me to design a Butterfly Garden to be installed on the grounds of our historic and beautiful City Hall.  How cool is that!  The Garden is in honor of Mr. Don Findell who was our City Administrator for twelve years before retiring this year.  Mr. Findell is a huge fan of nature, so the City feels the Garden is a very appropriate way to recognize his service and also be a relaxing, enjoyable place for the people of Lake Helen to enjoy.

Look for future posts on the design and installation process.

Happy digging in the dirt!

Jeanni and Gibbs

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Opening Day…

Awesome news: I got approval on my fence permit today! That means R&G is on schedule for opening Saturday, September 1. How cool is that?! Guess who’s doing the Happy, Happy, Happy Dance!
 
Grand Opening Celebration Day is now scheduled for Saturday, October 6. Lots more info on that coming soon.
 
Happy digging in the dirt!
 
Jeanni and Gibbs
 
 
 
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R&G Has a Home!

I’ve found an absolutely perfect location for R&G’s new home in Lake Helen’s downtown/historic district!  It has a storefront area for the indoor plants, windchimes, bird food, organic fertilizers, garden tools, etc., a vacant lot adjacent to it for the container plants, pinestraw and bagged goods such as mulch, potting soil, etc.  Can’t wait to get everything stocked and ready for business.

And speaking of that…I would like to have the Grand Opening either the last week in June or first week in July.  The fence still needs to be installed, and the arbors and display tables still need to be built, so let’s hope everything stays on schedule.  Shoot me an email at Jeanni@rosesandgargoyles.com if you want to be added to the email list for Grand Opening information.

I’m going to publish a monthly newsletter that will have articles such as what to plant, fertilize, prune; bug, weed, watering info; etc.  Shoot me an email if you want to be added to that list also.

Keep in mind that this is your neighborhood Garden Center.  So what I need you to do is let me know if you want me to stock something in particular and what type of workshops you’d like to see.  I know I want to have workshops such as “container planting,” “using organics for better soil,” “how to grow roses,” “how to cook with herbs,” “how to prune,” just to name a few.  Please chime in and let me know what you are interested in learning about and I’ll do my best to make it happen.

So that’s about it for now.  I’ll keep adding more to the website, so check back soon!

Jeanni and Gibbs

“Bringing Beauty to Your Life Through Your Garden”