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Friday, October 6, 2017
Posted By: Sheri Piccione in Grasses

If you’re looking for low maintenance plants that provide lovely texture and movement in your garden, ornamental grasses are your answer! They look fantastic when massed in the border or as a single accent when planted in a container. Leaves often change colour as the seasons progress, and their delicate plumes and tassels (called inflorescences) add graceful structure, and even sound, as they rustle in the breeze.

Plant ornamental grasses with perennials such as rudbeckia, echinacea, and asters, to name a few. Smaller varieties are great for edging and as groundcovers. Taller grasses provide a soft backdrop when planted at the back of your border. They provide a textural contrast when planted with evergreens.

Types of Grasses

There are hundreds of varieties of ornamental grasses available - some are shade tolerant while others prefer full sun. Grasses and grass-like plants are divided into cool season and warm season varieties. Many grasses are perennials, but some are tender and they’re treated as annuals.

Cool season grasses actively grow during the cool parts of the year, and may remain semi-evergreen during the winter, making them ideal for fall planters and early spring gardens. For semi-evergreen grasses, simply cut any brown or winter injured foliage in the spring.

Warm season grasses thrive during the warm summer months, and go dormant and turn brown when the weather cools down. Their dried, tanned foliage and seed heads provide interest in the winter, and food for the birds! Simply cut them back in late winter to spring, and they will grow back when the weather warms up.

Add a touch of colour, movement, and texture to your fall garden with these ornamental grasses that we’ve hand picked for you. Give them a try this season!

A Few of Our Favourites

Ornamental Grasses 1
Dwarf Fountain Grass
Pennisetum alopercuroides ‘Hameln’

This compact warm season perennial grass is ideal for smaller areas. A fountaining clump of dark green foliage turns a lovely amber in fall. Its silvery to pinkish-white flowers are soft and delicate, bringing a fine texture to the garden. Plant in full sun

Maiden Grass
Miscanthus gracillimus

A beautiful clump forming grass with fine-textured, silver-green blades, turning golden-bronze in winter. This spectacular grass has purple-flushed plumes in late summer, changing to a delicate silver, providing beautiful winter interest in your garden. Plant in full sun; grows to approx.. 6-8 feet tall and 3-5 feet wide.

Ornamental Grasses 2

Blood Brothers Red Switch Grass
Panicum virgatum ‘Blood Brothers’

This outstanding warm season perennial grass forms an upright, vase-shaped clump of blue-green leaves that turn a deep blood-red by midsummer that gets getter through the autumn. Fine, airy reddish flowers mature to tan seed heads in the fall, and remains sturdy and attractive well into the winter. Plant in full sun; grows to approx. 47-59in tall and 31-35in wide.

Ice Dance Japanese Sedge
Carex morrowii ‘Ice Dance’

A lovely sedge with attractive mounds of evergreen foliage with arching leaves margined with creamy white. It is a moderately spreading grass, ideally suited to the woodland garden, and useful for brightening dark garden areas. Plant in part shade to shade; grows to approx. 1’ tall and slowly spreads by rhizomes to form a carpet.
Ornamental Grasses 3

Little Red Gem Switch Grass
Panicum virgatum ‘Little Red Gem’

This warm season perennial grass forms a compact clump upright blue-green foliage, turning a striking wine-red by late summer. Tiny wine-red flowers rise just above the foliage, providing a wonderful winter interest. Plant in full; grows to approx. 30” tall and 18” wide.

Prairie Fire Sedge
Carex testacea ‘Indian Summer’

This striking cool season evergreen perennial is a clump-forming grass that provides year-round interest. Its gracefully arching, fine-textured leaves have bright undertones of bronzy-orange and green with subtle flowers the same colour as the foliage, turning into dark brown seedheads. Plant in full sun to part shade; grows to approx. 18-24” tall and wide.

Ornamental Grasses 4

Mexican Feather Grass
Stipa (syn Nasella tenuissima)

This lovely fine-textured cool season grass has delicate, graceful silvery-green leaves and airy flower heads that sway gently even in light breezes. Adds a beautiful soft texture to your garden, and looks stunning in mass plantings. Plant in full sun; grows to approx.. 20-24” tall and wide.

Graziella Japanese Silver Grass
Miscanthus sinensis ‘Graziella’

This refined warm season perennial grass forms a graceful, upright mound of narrow, arching, green leaves that turn a spectacular copper-red in fall. Its soft, silvery-white plumes appear in late summer and dry to a fluffy white rise on reed-like stems above the foliage, offering great winter interest. Plant in full sun; grows to 70-82” tall and 31-35” wide.

These are just a few of the many great ornamental grasses available at Art's Nursery. Visit us today to check them out! Our selection is always changing so call ahead, 604.882.1201, if you are looking for a specific variety.


Thursday, September 21, 2017
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Fall Gardening

While anytime is a good time to plant, Fall is particularly rewarding because of the immediate results. It’s a time when what you see is what you get. Leaves are changing colour, berries are beaming, summer flowers are still hanging around and an entirely new plant palette gets the spotlight.

Fall Planter Collage

Fall plantings have a couple of benefits.

Benefits of Fall Planting

First, it’s a great time to get Trees, Shrubs and Perennials planted so that they get an extra couple of months of rooting before they go dormant for the winter. Then in Spring, their roots are established and they are ready to give you a beautiful Spring show. If you wait to plant in Spring, you reduce the risk of winter damage, but your plant will sit there for a couple of weeks or months while it establishes its roots. Planting now gives you a head start.

Second, you get instant gratification because you are planting for right now, not the future. This is particularly true for container plantings, front door décor and your Thanksgiving and Halloween decorating.

Third, it gives you motivation to clean-up the summer stuff that just seems to accumulate in the yard, or on the deck, and gives everything an attractive seasonal refresh. We all need that clean-up kick start... don't we :)

Stuff Them In

In a lot of ways, Fall Planters are easier and more gratifying because we don’t have the guilt and the angst about a plants long term care and health. Simply stuff as many as you can into a planter to make it yell… LOOK AT ME – I’M BEAUTIFUL!

By the time the plants wonder what hit them and why they don't have any room to grow, it will be nearly November and you can redo your planters with attractive stems, berries and colourful winter greens for the Holiday season. For perennials and shrubs you choose, plant them in the garden now or wait until Spring. When the frosts hit, have no mercy and just toss out the seasonal annuals and colour.
Mono Planter Using Mostly Pansies

Mono-Plantings

There are a couple of ways to create Fall planters. The easy way is to mono-plant. Fill your planter with the same plant. Mass for effect. Pack them in tight. The grouping will create interest because of its mass and similar colour palette. Odd numbers work. Try planting 1, 3 or 5 of the same plant in a pot. This style particularly attractive with grasses, mums and perennials like Heuchera.

Thriller, Filler, Spiller

The other way is to follow the traditional thriller, filler, spiller model.

Thrillers

To start, put something big in the middle that is the attention grabbing, dominant thriller. Ideal fall plants include: grasses, conifers, upright sedums, and Japanese maples just to name a few. Mums make good thrillers, but expect to haul them out when they are finished blooming or get opened up by the weather. Scale of planting is important. Try to establish a ratio of 1/3 planter height and 2/3 plant height. In other words, the thriller should be taller than the planter. This is not a rule, it just tends to look good.
Great Plants for Fall Planters - Thrillers

Fillers

Next, add the fillers. These are small to medium sized plants that accent the thriller. Usually fillers are planted around the thriller in odd numbers, for example 3,5 or more depending on the size of your planter. Excellent fillers include Pansies, Violas, Dusty Miller, Ornamental Cabbage or Kale, Decorative Peppers, Heucheras, Berry Plants Like Wintergreen, Bud Blooming Heathers and even mid-sized grasses. Two grasses that are always extremely popular are Carex 'Evergold' and Black Mondo grass. A few other fall favourites include windflowers (Anemone) and Dark Leaved Euphorbias like 'Blackbird'. Virtually anything can work as long as it doesn’t take too much dominance from the Thriller.
Don't forget to add non-living things to your planters as well. Gourds and Pumpkins make excellent additions to nearly every fall container.
Great Plants for Fall Planters - Fillers

Spillers

The spillers are smaller, pendulous or trailing plants that cascade over the edges of your planter. Ivy is an easy answer, as are trailing sedums or a classic favourite, Golden Creeping Jenny, also known as Lysimachia. These look good when asymmetrically. For example, only on one side of the planter.
Great Plants for Fall Planters - Spillers

If you find the height of your planter lacking, add something tall. For example a tall grass, corn stalks, or curly twiggy branches. It's a look that just seems to fit the season.
Some of my favourite plants for fall planters include:
 

Thrillers Fillers Spillers
Japanese Maples Mid-Sized Grasses Ivy
Trailing Grasses
Yews / Boxwoods Pansies / Violas Creeping Jenny
Lemon Cypress Ornamental Cabbage / Kale Trailing Sedums
Tall Upright Grasses Ornamental Peppers  
Upright Sedums Bud Blooming Heathers  
Mums Heucheras  
Sunflowers
Blueberry Plants (Colourful Foliage & Stems)
Winter Green (Gaultheria)  
Twigs, Sticks & Stems Dusty Miller  
  Euphorbias
Pumpkins & Gourds
 

Bulb Bonus Points

For bonus points, drop some spring blooming bulbs in your planters so you have an extra season on interest in the early spring! Maybe some Winter Aconites, Crocus, Snowdrops or even a few early blooming Daffodils!

So what are you waiting for? The temperatures are cooler and the rains have returned. Now is the time to plant up your fall planters! If you’re strapped for time, give one of our folks a call and we can have something gorgeous planted up for you.

Cheers... Rebecca


Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Winter Gardens

November can be a tough month for gardens. In our case, we've just been pummelled by nearly 30 days of continuous rain, but extremely mild temperatures. Plants are still growing and not everything has gone dormant, but they are taking swimming lessons in order to survive! Normally, this is a month where not too many things are left flowering, so most garden colour comes from foliage, stems, berries and bark. That's what this collection of a few of my favourite November plants has to offer.

Skimmia japonica Rubella

Rubella Japanese Skimmia

Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’

Skimmias are workhorse evergreen shrubs ideal for part sun to part shade. Rubella offers red winter buds that open into white flowers in early Spring. It’s fragrant too! This male form is an excellent pollinator for female skimmia in order to produce red attractive berries on those plants. Rubella Skimmia can be used both in the garden or in containers when given a little winter protection. Hardy to zone 6

Wintergreen | Gaultheria procumbens

Wintergreen

Gaultheria procumbens

Wintergreen is a cool season favourite in the Pacific Northwest. It is a North American native with glossy deep green leaves that acquire red tints in the winter. Pink bell-shaped summer flowers blooming are followed by bright red, edible berries in fall and winter. Berries and foliage have a strong wintergreen scent. Grows to 6 inches tall and 8-12 inches wide. A great companion for Rhododendrons, Azaleas or in woodland or wildflower gardens. Best grown in part shade to part sun in right, acidic, moist, but well drained soil. Water regularly in summer. Hardy in zones 3-7

Camellia Yuletide

Yuletide Camellia

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ is an extremely popular red flowering camellia shrub that typically blooms in November or December in our climate. Large red flowers with a golden stamens make an elegant statement in the winter garden. Great as a foundation shrub or espalier. Glossy, dark green, evergreen foliage can also be used to create a handsome natural hedge. Provide some protection from rain, snow and ice to maximize the flower show. Yuletide Camellia is a moderate grower reaching 8-10ft in height and width. Best in part sun to part shade, but will tolerate full sun in cooler climates like ours.

Holly Scallywag

Scallywag Holly

Ilex x meservae ‘MonNieves’

Scallywag Holly is an exciting discovery. It’s a sport of Little Rascal Holly, but is more upright growing while still keeping a dense rounded form. Shiny dark green foliage takes on an attractive purple-burgundy tone in fall and winter. It’s a wonderful foundation shrub with improved disease resistance too! While it is a male form, and will not produce berries, plant it near female varieties for use as a pollinator. Evergreen. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9. Prefers to be grown in full sun with moderate water. Slow growing, but will ultimately reach 4ft tall and up to 3ft wide.

Red Beauty Holly

Red Beauty Holly

Our second Holly this time around, Red Beauty provides abundant bright red berries combined with dense dark green, evergreen foliage. It’s a a wonderful shrub to frame an entrance or driveway. Excellent when clipped or made into an informal hedge. Dense conical form requires little pruning to maintain. For best berry display, plant a male Holly variety nearby as a pollinator. Hollies are lovely when combined with Pieris, Kalmia and Rhododendrons.

Arctic Fire Red Twig Dogwood

Arctic Fire Red Twig Dogwood

Cornus stolonifera ‘Farrow' Arctic Fire Dogwood is a Proven Winners variety of red twig dogwood with dark red winter stems that are great for cutting. Green leaves provide seasonal interest too! It’s cousins are native to many parts of B.C. and it does particularly well in well drained to even boggy soil. A great selection for mass plantings, cutting gardens and is generally considered to be deer resistant. For best stems, prune a third of the branches to the ground in late winter or early spring. Grows 3-5ft tall and equally as wide.

Wilmas Goldcrest Cypress

Wilma Goldcrest Cypress

Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Wilma Goldcrest’

This fantastic bright golden-lime yellow cypress is always a winter favourite for gardens and pots. While it is not terribly hardy, what it lacks in longevity is made up for with good looks. It also delivers a nice lemony fragrance when brushed or bruised. For best results, plant it in a sheltered location and as long as we don’t get too cold you should have reasonable success with it. Prefers full sun. Hardy in zones 7-10

Carstens Winter Gold Mugo Pine

Carsten’s Wintergold Mugo Pine

Grown by Monrovia, ‘Carstens Winter Gold’ Mugo Pine, is one of the finest of the gold-hued dwarf pines. Short densely arranged needles are an attractive deep green in spring and summer, turning a rich gold tone as cold weather arrives. Colour is most intense in colder climates. It’s an outstanding specimen in smaller gardens, or plant in groupings to make a bold statement in larger landscapes. Great in combination with Japanese Maples, Holly and Switch Grass (Panicum).

Silberlock Korean Fir

Silberlocke Korean Fir

Abies koreana 'Silberlocke'

One of my personal favourites! Silberlocke Korean Fir, or Abies koreana 'Silberlocke' is a smallish conifer with shiny dark green needles that twist to show the silvery white underside. Stately brown conifers grow upwards amongst the foliage for added interest. Very unique looking specimen for the garden. Like most conifers, it prefers full sun and moist, but well drained soil. Fairly slow growing, but can ultimately reach 30ft tall and 20ft wide. Hardy to zones 5-6

Silberschmelze Winter Heather

Silberschmelze Winter Heather

Erica x darlyensis 'Silberschmelze'

Yup, another 'Silber', this time its one of the most popular white heathers. Erica x darleyensis 'Silberschmelze' is an attractive plant with dark green, almost conifer like foliage and creamy young growths in spring. White bell-shaped flowers are produced in abundance fromearly winter until late spring. Like most heathers, this one like full sun and moist, but well drained acidic soils. Most of our soils are naturally acidic, but if in doubt, mix in some peat moss into your soil or use an acidifying fertilizer like our Garden Pro Azalea / Rhododendron food. Silverschmelze Heather grows to 20 inches in height and up to 28 inches wide. Prune it lightly in spring after the flowers have finished to keep it looking neat and tidy. Hardy in zones 6-8.

As always, call ahead 604.882.1201 to confirm availability of these or any other plants as our selection is always changing.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Winter Gardens

Well this is turning out to be an interesting month and that’s even without mentioning politics! Fasten your seatbelts ladies and gentleman…November has arrived! It’s the month I take stock of the harvest and look back on the past year…not just in the garden either.

I make notes about what worked and what didn’t and start a wish list. If I leave it to the New Year I find I forget stuff. There are so many interesting things to do still, indoors and outdoors and after the 20 degree temperature we’ve had I think I better fish out my flip flops from the Summer bin just in case. It’s easy to get a bit overwhelmed this month. Take your time, be selective with it and what you choose to spend energy on, there is no shame in just going for a walk or staying in and doing some thinking for a spell.

Given these interesting times we live in, I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes to ponder and a timely one I think: “When given a choice between being right and being kind, always choose kind.” Dr. Wayne Dyer.

Right then, here is your list:

Lawns

You likely have only one last mowing…if that. Raise your mower height and leave it a bit high. Rake the leaves off the lawn, don’t let them sit or you will have bare patches. Avoid traffic on waterlogged areas. Take note of any soggy areas and if we do get a dry few days you might want to correct the drainage. November rains are the dress rehearsal for the winter. We often have extremes in temperature as well. I would leave seeding for the spring at this point…you are likely pushing your luck. Still a bit of time for adding the odd piece of turf but you are past the point where I would lay sod. Once you’ve finished that last mow, drain the gas and take in the blade to get sharpened to avoid the spring rush.

winter Pruning

Trees and Shrubs

Remove any dead, damaged or diseased branches at any time. You can tell if a branch is dead by carefully scraping a tiny section of bark. If it's green underneath and still flexible, it's still alive. If its dry, brown and brittle, that branch is probably done-for. 

I do my main pruning in February but you can so some tidying of shrubs if they are flopping over. Raking is a daily chore. Put the Apple, Pear, Plum and Rose leaves in the green bin, the rest you can add to your garden beds or use as mulch around your other trees.

Now is a great time to plant new trees and hardy shrubs or start planning a new garden bed. If you can get one or two anchor trees or shrubs in now you can begin the infill layer of smaller perennials and grasses in the spring…so hubby if you are reading this…clear that new garden bed!

Veggie Gardens

Finish harvesting, check drainage and remove any rotting veggies. If you have a winter crop started you can get the cover in place if one is needed otherwise just continue to monitor and cull as needed.

Winter Planters

Planters

You have had a taste of the rain to come, check the drainage and correct. Time to pull out any blown Mums or other fall flowers and start thinking of your winter planter design. I like to add lanterns or other hard features as place holders for the winter greens you will be adding mid month. If you are like me and haven’t pulled out your begonias you might want to think about doing that soon.

Truly, I am like the cautionary tale of front door planters. “Don’t be like that lady down the street who still has flowering begonias a week before Christmas.” The greens are in at the nursery. If you start a little at a time it’s not that big of a job. Lol, who am I kidding I am going to leave it till the night before I have people coming over for a Christmas party. Adrenalin makes for excellent designs.

Ponds

Continue cleaning out the leaves and removing any rotting vegetation.

Planting Bulbs

Planting Bulbs

Yes, you can still keep planting bulbs as long the bulbs themselves are still in good shape! (Which they are - there havent been any harsh frosts yet!). Bulbs like Tulips, Daffodils and others are on sale too - yay!!!!!! – Plant them for a great selection of spring and late winter colour. Remember to plant in groups or drifts!

Cut Back Cannas

Overwintering Bulbs

Dahlias, Cannas and other tubers – We are just going to enjoy the last of the blooms until Mother Nature gives us a knock down hard frost to melt off the top growth, we’ve had a few light frosts but I still have green. Once that happens, dig them up, let them dry out on newspaper or cardboard in the garage, brush them off and store in a paper bag with pine shavings or sawdust.

Flower Beds

If you can avoid cutting back or raking your garden and the pollinators with thank you. The only things you will likely want to cut back if you have them are Peonies. The only raking and removal you should do are roses. Everything else can be a great mulch.

Birdfeeder and Birdhouses

Bird Feeders

Keep them clean and filled. We do have local Hummingbirds that stay all winter! Bird Feeders – After the wind and rain assess the placement of your feeder to make sure the seed is still dry. Clean often. Great time also to look up some fun pinecone feeder projects!!

That should do for now, enjoy your blustery month, take some time to ponder and plan and take care of yourselves!!

Cheers, Laurelle


Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

I think someone flipped the instant Fall switch!! There are some trees that have begun to colour up and I have driven through the first bits of ghostly morning fog. I am pretty excited to hit the farmers markets this season as the tree fruit harvests are absolutely fantastic!

Actually, I am also pretty stoked about pumpkin pie and sweet potatoe pie too! I know I can eat them any time but they just taste better in fall…seriously they do! Well, if you are super busy like me you are probably thinking just get on with the list already…you asked for it:

Turf For Sale at Arts Nursery

Lawns

You can aerate and apply a fall fertilizer to your lawn. Don’t apply fall fertilizer if you lawn is dormant (beige), that will not help, water will and I believe Mother Nature is about to supply it. If you have completely dead patches, you can lay turf, if you really need to redo the lawn, you can also renovate and over seed. You will also have to mow, but you can start the mowing countdown before you can take your winter mowing holiday.

Trees and Shrubs

In the Pacific Northwest, Fall is my favorite window for planting! The air is cooler, the ground is still warm and Mother Nature usually helps a bit with the watering.

Pruning Advice

You can do a small bit of pruning and deadheading of trees and shrubs. Do this by removing the dead, damaged and diseased branches, but leave the main pruning till the winter when your trees and shrubs are fully dormant. For garden renovations and tree and shrub moving, wait a bit until the ground is holding a bit more moisture and your plants are fully dormant.

Garden Beds

Weed, deadhead, clip back and generally tidy…but not too much. I know I sound like a broken record but native pollinators nest in the hollowed out stems of perennials, on sandy type soils and on South facing slopes so if you see them or their tiny holes try to leave them be. It is a great time to add new plants to the garden but wait a bit towards the end of the month for perennial divisions. Now is a great time to take a wander through the garden centre to give you some ideas for fall colour if your garden is lacking.

Planters & Hanging Baskets

Planters and hanging baskets - Continue to water and fertilize your annuals and hanging baskets. You‘ll get a few more weeks out of them yet! Once your summer hanging baskets have started to look a bit worse for wear cut off the stems and compost the top part and stick the pots with the root mass and soil in the back yard till you are ready to fill them full of evergreen boughs for Christmas. The root mass acts as a kind of oasis and is great to keep the branches in place! If you have some gaps in your all season planters, you can fill with pansies, grasses, wintergreen and other fall and winter colour.

Fall Planters

Hanging Baskets aren't just for Spring anymore! A new trend has emerged for Fall - introducing: the Fall Hanging Basket! Our designers and local growers have created fabulous combinations that will keep your home looking good until the harsher frosts arrive!

Ponds & Water Features

It's busy time for you coming up with the leaf drop! Good idea to put a bit of a net if you have a smaller pond to catch the leaves. Scoop out the spent annual floaters like water hyacinth and water lettuce. Do some general tidying each week to save you a big weekend job come October.

Veggie Gardens

Harvest, harvest and harvest…weed a little too. There are a few things you can still get in the ground for a fall/winter crop like some lettuces & kales. You can plant Garlic towards the end of the month. Try to stay on top of the powdery mildew. At this point I am just removing it as I see it.

Powdery Mildew

Flower Bulbs!!!

Be on the lookout for some new combinations. I usually pick some up as soon as they come out now and plant mid-October. There are some beautiful red and white combo’s to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary along with a veritable rainbow of your favorites. If squirrels and a challenge you can soak the bulbs in the bitter tasting Bobbex, Plantskydd or similar product or plant your groupings with the skunky smelling (the bulb not the flower) Frittilaria.

Tool Display

Tools

Now is a great time to inspect and fix the fixable and toss or repurpose the tools that are not (hint…they make great stakes or gate attachments). Need some inspiration…think Pinterest!

That ought to keep you busy for now. There are a ton of farm gate veggie sales and farmer’s markets to take advantage of right now. There are also some wonderful Fall Fairs coming up…our Scarecrow Festival is one of them on Sept.24 is one of them with over 60 scarecrows to wow you placed throughout our nursery!

Our Scarecrow festival kicks off our build your own scarecrow event that lasts until Halloween. Bring your imagination, some clothes for your scarecrow and we supply the hay, frames, burlap heads, pompoms, pipe cleaners, googly eyes etc. to help you build your own for a ten dollar donation!

Hope to see you there!


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Art's Nursery is a 10+ acre retail and wholesale garden centre located in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We've been in business at this same location since 1973 and we're proud to serve you today!

We carry an incredible selection of plants, shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials, vines, groundcovers, roses and much more. Soils, bulk materials, pottery and a variety of garden accents are also available.

Our plant selection is so large that you can actually drive a golf cart while you shop!

We pride ourselves on providing high quality plant, expert advice and an exceptional gardening experience.

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