FAQ's and Favorite Shopping Places
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Do you really plant and maintain the garden yourself?
Yes for the most part, one hole at a time when I am not selling real estate or working at my church music job or sleeping. My friend, horticulturist Fred Drafts offers critical advice. My mom has helped occasionally since moving here in return for the design and creation of her garden and this summer I have benefited from the help of a high school student.
What type fertilizer do you use?
It depends on the plant, what it needs, and what I want it to do. I use a lot of organic compost when planting and preparing beds, but also use slow-release chemical formulations (particularly on the lawn and large woody plant material) and water-soluble fertilizers like Peters (20-20-20) with a siphonex when I need a growth or floral boost. Osmocote (14-14-14) is excellent for containers. Appropriate use of lime is also very important both for correct soil PH and also to provide calcium and magnesium for my plants.
Where do you shop for plants?
Actually wherever and whenever I see plants for sale. Some favorite places follow. They are not listed in any order of preference.
Appletree Landscaping and Garden Center (803-772-2773). Improved in recent renovation. Lots of concrete.
Seven Oaks Plant Shop (803-772-3330) Annuals/perennials. Good quality.
Brabham’s Nursery (803-781-1946). Mostly home grown. Good quality.
Cooper’s Nursery (803-788-5562) One of the best for woody material. A must visit!
Woodley’s Garden Center (803-788-1487). Now with a Irmo location also. Probably the best full garden center in area.
Woodcreek Farms. They have big plants, reasonable prices. Mostly “normal” woody material.
Nurseries Caroliniana (803-279-2707). A must find place. Owner Ted Stephens is at the cutting edge of plant material in SC. http://www.nurcar.com/home.html
Woodlanders, Aiken (803-648-7522). Great spring open house. Otherwise mail order or by appointment http://www.woodlanders.net/
Park Seed Garden Shop/Wayside Gardens, Greenwood (864-223-8555). Good fall bulb and perennial sales! Seeds.
Martins Nursery and Garden Center, Mauldin (864-277-1818).
Chuck Plemmons Perennials. 275 South Blackstock Road, Spartanburg,SC 29301 (864) 576-1374 www.hostaman.com. Very easy on and off of the interstate. Excellent selection of hosta and other plant material. A classic mom-and-pop type place with great prices and lots of knowledge. Chuck knows his hosta!
Abide-A-While, Mt. Pleasant (843-884-9738).
Hyams Landscaping and Garden Center, Charleston (843-795-4570).
Shady Characters, between Columbia and Augusta. 803-269-3309. Tons of hostas at great prices.
Waccamaw Farms. 1067 Petigru Drive, Pawleys Island. (843-237-9555). You'll love their "pick-up truck" at the entrance.
True Blue Nursery. 9556 Highway 17 South, Pawleys Island. (843-237-7012). Very good selection of plants. Charming design under huge live oak trees incorporating two old homes.
Athens, Georgia area
Thyme after Thyme, (706-742-7149). Annuals, perennials, herbs, garden ornaments. Nice display garden.
Piccadilly Farm, (706-769-6516). Hellebores, unusual shrubs and dwarf conifers.
Goodness Grows, (706-743-5055). Perennials.
Plant Delights Nursery, Raleigh (919-772-4794). www.plantdel.com. You have got to read the catalog--funny, witty and charming!! Might seem a bit pricey, but may be the only local source and you'll get a great plant. Great open houses in spring, summer and fall. Worth the trip.
Big Bloomers Flower Farm, Sanford (919-776-6597). So big it is arranged in alpha order! Lots of good buys.
Niche Gardens, http://www.nichegdn.com/, Chapel Hill.
Pine Knot Farms, Clarksville, VA (just above Raleigh), http://www.pineknotfarms.com. Hellebores everywhere.
Farm House Gardeners, Statesville (704-873-2057). Just off I-77 and worth the look.
Jesse Israel & Sons Garden Center, Farmers Market, Asheville. (828-254-2671). Just off I-26, easy in and out…good rest stop.
Reems Creek Valley Nursery, Weaverville (828-645-3937). Some unusual finds. Good variety.
Brent and Becky’s Bulbs. www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com. Excellent quality and service. Good internet sales if you get on the email list.
Siskiyou Rare Plant Nursery. www.srpn.net. Received great plants.
Asiatica Nursery. www.asiaticanursery.com. They shipped me excellent plant material. If is is weird or variegated, they just might have it.
How do you prepare the soil?
Depends on the soil type and what I am planting. If I don’t know the plant, I always research its needs first.
I use a lot of compost, both homemade and purchased. Finely ground pine bark is great to help loosen up clay soil and I use a lot of it in problem areas. It also promotes better drainage, needed in the heavy soil areas. I also incorporate a generous dose of lime to provide calcium and magnesium and to improve the structure of clay soil. I also at times add gravel or Perma-till for permanent drainage material and vole deterrence. I use a small Mantis tiller to prepare new areas.
How do you decide on what to buy and plant?
I have a collection of plant books, resources, textbooks, etc. I carry them with me when I shop. I read and study and try to make reasoned, informed buying decisions based on that research. Not to say I don’t ever make an impulse purchase, but my experience tells me that I am most successful (i.e. the plant actually lives a while) when I heed the advice of the “experts.”
A word about “experts” is in order. Be sure to listen to “experts” and authors who live, garden and work in the Southeastern United States. The expert advice of an Oregon gardener is of very little value to you when struggling with the hot, dry and humid summers of South Carolina.
I learn a lot by visiting other gardens. Be sure to checkout the Botanical Gardens throughout the Southeast when traveling.
How do I support my obsession?
Actually by selling a lot of houses each year. In the past sixteen years, I have sold real estate valued at over $88 million. If you need a realtor who will take care of your real estate needs with the detail you need and deserve, please give me a call at 803-730-6498 and let’s discuss your situation.
Click here to contact me now about my garden or any real estate need.
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