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GARDEN TIME with DOUG – Hellebores: A Cure for the Winter Blues

NEEDING COLOR IN THE LANDSCAPE THIS TIME OF YEAR? Here we are in mid-January. Compared to last year, this January has been more typical for us when it comes to temperatures and snow. Yes, we had snow this past weekend. But, it was nothing compared to the snow we had in December. And, snow helps…

GARDEN TIME with DOUG – Pruning Is All About Timing

TO PRUNE OR NOT TO PRUNE? – THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION. Here we are in early January and we are having some nice weather and temperatures that allow us to get outside into our gardens and enjoy ourselves with our beloved plants. If there is one question that I get asked more than any other…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – What’s A Gardener To Do In January?

PLENTY First, Happy New Year to all you gardeners. Whatever the weather and regardless of where we live, January marks the start of another garden year. We made it to 2019. Somehow, all the gardening disappointments of last year with the excessive rainfall seem to be vanishing as we look forward to another great gardening…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – A Gardening Year in Review

IF WE COULD SUMMARIZE THE 2018 GARDENING YEAR IN ONLY ONE WORD, THAT WORD WOULD BE RAIN. The time right before New Year’s is often a time for reflection on the past year and the year ahead. It’s only fitting that my last blog of 2018 would be just that! We’re reflecting on the gardening…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – Winter Bird Feeding

BIRDING IS THE COUNTRY’S SECOND-MOST POPULAR OUTDOOR PASTIME (AFTER GARDENING) Winter will be here, officially, in just a few days. But, we have already experienced some cold weather and snow already here in Central Virginia. How about all that snow last week? Just imagine what it must be like for our feathered friends. How do…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts For Gardeners

SHOPPING FOR GARDENERS MADE EASY BY COMING TO THE GREAT BIG GREENHOUSE & MEADOWS FARMS NURSERIES T’is the season.  All of us here at The Great Big Greenhouse invite you to come and shop for unique gardening gifts. The sky is the limit when it comes to finding new and unique gifts for that gardener…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – December Gardening Thoughts and Chores

LAST MONTH OF THE YEAR – CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!! Here we are in December. Mother Nature has been very kind to us when it comes to all the rain this year. We NEVER want our plants to be dry going into any cold snap. I have a soil thermometer that I check regularly. As…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – Christmas Tree Fun Facts and Folklore

IT’S OFFICIAL…CHRISTMAS SEASON IS HERE.  LET’S KEEP IT REAL!! Thanksgiving has passed and December is fast approaching.  We are officially entering the holiday season.  Buying a Christmas tree is on everyone’s mind.  It is fun to learn some background facts when it comes to our fresh trees and greenery that we use for holiday decorating….

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – ‘Tis the Pruning Season

STROLL OUTDOORS TO FIND MATERIALS FOR YOUR HOLIDAY DECORATIONS Thanksgiving is here so now is the time to concentrate on decorating your home for the upcoming Christmas season.  Finding the right materials to decorate for the holidays is as easy as taking a stroll through your gardens.  Personally, I find it so rewarding to use…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – Buying a Christmas Tree to Plant

THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS FAST APPROACHING A living Christmas tree not only provides holiday cheer but can provide a valued landscape plant with proper care.  Using a living tree is a “growing” – pardon the pun – trend amongst homeowners these past few years.  I realize the idea of using a living tree for Christmas…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – Gardening Tips for November

THE FACT THAT IT IS NOW NOVEMBER DOES NOT MEAN TO PUT AWAY YOUR GARDENING TOOLS AND HIBERNATE JUST YET! Here we are in early November with the holidays just around the corner and we are still having great weather to be outside and doing needed gardening tasks.  Yes, it feels like fall with our…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – A Positive Spin On All This Rainfall

We all know that water is a precious natural resource and an essential component of our lives and landscapes. Without it, nothing on Earth would survive. Did you know that less than 1% of all the water in the world is available as fresh, clean water? With all the rain that we have had this year,…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – Pumpkins Are Not Just For Pies

DECORATING WITH PUMPKINS AND OTHER EXOTIC GOURDS FOR THE FALL Fall officially arrived last month but it sure hasn’t felt like fall until now.  Since September, we have been experiencing above average temperatures.  Here we are in late October and finally starting to experience average, cool temperatures.  It’s pumpkin season time!!!  Everyone is decorating with…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – Lichen

WHAT TO DO ABOUT LICHEN ON MY SHRUBS AND TREES First, in doing some research for this blog, I found writing this blog more educational for me than I originally thought it would be. Over the years I have talked to many customers who wanted to know what was this grey looking barnacles growing on…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – Outdoor Plant Highlight for the Month

GOLD MOP CYPRESS Chamaecyparis pisifera filifera ‘Golden Mop’ is better known by its’ common name – Gold Mop Cypress.  Gold Mop Cypress is a needled, thread-leaf evergreen with bright yellow needles.  Gold Mop Cypress is a beautiful plant that will add interest to any landscape because of its bright yellow color, and it is colorful…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – October Gardening Tasks

THESE TASKS WILL HELP PREPARE YOUR GARDEN FOR WINTER AND FOR A SUCCESSFUL SPRING. What a difference a year makes –  besides being a year older.  Last year we were experiencing a dry period.  From mid-August through the entire month of September we only received 1-½ inches of rain.  Obviously, this is not the case…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – Houseplant Care

BRINGING HOUSEPLANTS IN FOR THE WINTER We are less than a week away from October. October is when we begin the dialogue with customers about prepping their houseplants for coming inside. Most tropical plants do not like temperatures below 50 degrees. And, this is certainly possible in October. Matter of fact, around October 20 is…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – The Benefits of Edible Landscaping

ARE YOU READY TO ADD SOME EDIBLE PLANTS TO YOUR LANDSCAPE?  WHY NOT!! WHAT IS EDIBLE LANDSCAPING? Simply put, edible landscaping is adding food producing plants to your landscape. For some of you, the idea of adding plants that produce food is a no-brainer. For others, there is some uncertainty as to how to approach…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – September Outdoor Plant of the Month

SEPTEMBER OUTDOOR PLANT OF THE MONTH: HEUCHERA Some of you may know this plant by its common name: “CORAL BELLS.” Heuchera gets its’ common name because of the small reddish “bell-shaped” flowers that they have in late summer and early fall. I chose this plant to highlight because of all the varieties that we have…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – September Gardening Chores

SEPTEMBER, OFFICIALLY KICKS OFF THE “FALL IS FOR PLANTING” SEASON. September is the beginning of a very important time for gardening and planting. Like meteorology (weather), the first of September starts the fall planting season even though fall is not officially here until Saturday, the 22nd. We have had rain throughout the summer. Depending on…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – How to Care for Your Beautiful Orchid Plants

I KNOW, YOU ARE THINKING “WHAT IS DOUG DOING BLOGGING ABOUT ORCHIDS”?! First, I have to somewhat agree with your thinking.  I am out of my comfort zone, just a little, with this article.  I grew up with house plants.  Both of my grandmothers loved plants.  So, it comes naturally.  I plan to do a…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – Late Summer Color

LATE SUMMER CAN BE A TRICKY TIME FOR COLOR IN THE GARDEN Here we are in the last couple of weeks in August. Summer is slipping away quickly. Before we know it, fall will be here and the time to plant mums and pansies for color. But, until then you may be wanting to add more…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – Lawn Care Chores To Be Done Now

AUGUST IS SLIPPING BY AND SUMMER IS WANING, FALL WILL BE HERE BEFORE WE KNOW IT!! Are you thinking about your lawn renovation and what needs to be done? Lawn renovation season starts in August with a couple important tasks to complete. SOIL TESTING Do yourself, and your wallet, a service and get a soil test…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – August Plant Highlight of the Month

LITTLE BLUESTEM “STANDING OVATION” ORNAMENTAL GRASS Ornamental grasses are putting on quite a show here in August. Personally, there is one ornamental grass that is a standout above all other grasses. It is SCHIZACHYRIUM ‘STANDING OVATION’ or commonly called “Little Bluestem.” The name is very fitting for this grass because it does stand out amongst…

TALKING GARDENING with DOUG – August Gardening Chores

THE MONTH OF AUGUST CAN BE VIEWED AS THE “GATEWAY TO FALL” AND TO THE FALL PLANTING SEASON. So, let’s recap July.  The only complaint I am hearing from homeowners and landscapers is with all the rainy days.  I can agree.  All this rain is leading to an increase in plants dying from root rot…

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