Enjoying Hardy Asters

aster flower floral garden perennial plaza flowersHardy Asters are a very popular flower for late summer and autumn. When they bloom, they look similar to daisies, and people often like to use them as flowers in bouquets. However, these flowers are not ideal for cutting gardens. Asters come in many different colors, but are typically found in shades of blue or lavender. Hardy Asters, like its fellow autumn perennial the Hardy Mum, can find difficulty surviving winters to regrow in spring, but with proper care, this can be achieved. In this article, we will be looking at the proper way to care for Hardy Asters, as well as what makes these autumn flowers so special!

Asters are such a cherished autumn flower, that many hybrids have been created that give the plant a wide range of colors, heights and other characteristics. They are classified as perennials, and in the right conditions can survive winters depending on how harsh the climate is. Typically, Asters can survive in USDA Growing Zones 3-9. Asters should be planted in the spring, like Hardy Mums, to promote root growth throughout the growing season. Plants should be lightly fertilized, avoiding excess nitrogen in the formula as this will cause the growth of excessive foliage.perennial aster blue garden floral plaza flowers Asters like well-drained soil that is slightly alkaline to acidic. They should be situated in full sun if available, but can also do well in partial shade. Asters should be watered daily in the mornings, but DO NOT water the leaves, as Hardy Asters are very vulnerable to leaf fungus.

Additionally, these flowers should be planted around 3-4 feet apart in order to receive proper air circulation. Asters are prone to mildew, and air circulation can help decrease the chances of your plants getting this mildew. This is also why Asters are not ideal in a cutting garden setting. When you plant a cutting garden, everything should be densely packed to allow many different types of flowers to grow in a small space. For more information on cutting gardens, please see our blog post!

Asters can grow anywhere between six inches to six feet, depending on the cultivar and the growing conditions/climate. They will begin to bloom in late summer/early autumn, but some are known to bloom earlier. Asters are also known for attracting bees and butterflies, often hosting butterfly larvae. They are also deer resistant, but may attract pests like aphids and rabbits. Asters are also self-seeding flowers, meaning that at the end of their growing season, they will drop seeds to help promote growth of more flowers in the spring. If you wish to inhibit this growth, simply cut off the blooms at the end of the blooming season. You may also wish to divide the plants in half every few years to spread them out to promote better air circulation.

Overall, Asters are a very popular plant to have in your Autumn garden. Their bright, colorful daisy-like appearance is very popular in bouquets and their affinity with bees and butterflies makes them great to liven up the garden. They are capable of surviving winters, making them a popular perennial that you can enjoy year after year. And with their ability to self-seed, you can be sure that you can have a booming population of these plants within a few years.

For more information on the care of Hardy Asters or other flowers, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have!aster perennial floral garden plaza flowers

August is Here! – Time to Start Taking from Your Cutting Garden or Planning for Next Year

With August upon us, it’s time for local gardeners to take to their gardens and begin excessive cutting from their cutting gardens. If you are unfamiliar with what a cutting garden is, or attempted one this past season and were unsuccessful, this post should give you an idea of what a cutting garden is and how to have one that prospers for when next season rolls around!

A cutting garden is a garden consisting of annuals, perennials, shrubs, herbs and other plants that are grown quickly to be used in bouquets to decorate homes with. These gardens are different from your typical flower beds in the way that flowers are planted densely enough that someone should always be growing that you can take and turn into a bouquet. They are often much messier as well, and might not be ideal for someone who wants to keep the flower beds around their homes nice and tidy. But for someone who wants to pull flowers often, cutting gardens are the perfect choice!

If you would like to start a cutting garden, though, there are some things you should keep in mind:

-You should select a location that gets plenty of sun and has good soil that drains well

-Due to its haphazard style, you may wish to put your cutting garden next to a vegetable garden that has

a similar “crop style” arrangement.

-Your garden can be as big or as small as you would like. Even if you only have a 3 foot by 6 foot space, that area should be able to hold roughly 20 plants.

-You should put a lot of planning into what plants will go where in your cutting garden as you will want plants of varying heights and shapes to continuously blossom throughout the growing season (spring to autumn). Don’t be afraid to pack them in!

-You should use the same soil that you use for your other garden beds

– Although you should pack things in dense, make sure you have access to everything you plant to ease the processes of weeding, fertilizing, etc.

If you keep these things in mind, then by planting everything in April and May, you should be well on your way to a beautiful cutting garden throughout the growing season!

Unsure of what to plant? Here are some ideas of what kinds of annuals and perennials not only look great, but work well in any cutting garden!

Annuals

Lupines

These plants typically grow anywhere between one to five feet tall. They grow in formations similar to stalks and the flowers resemble what has inspired names such as “Blue Bonnets”. Typically shades of reds, blues, and purples, these flowers perfectly compliment many different bouquets.

Gladiolus

This popular plant from the iris family is also known as the “sword lily”. The stems are unbranched, and the flower spikes that come off of it contain flowers that range from very small to 40 mm across. They come in many different colors, so there’s a cultivar for everyone!Glorious Gladioli Flower Garden Plaza Flowers

Gerbera Daisies

A popular cutting garden choice, gerbera daisies come in a wide range of colors. Thousands of cultivars exist and they greatly vary in size and shape, so it’s easy to find something that works for you!Gerbera Daisy Daisies Flower Garden Plaza Flowers

Zinnia

Not only are zinnias a great cutting flower for their variety of colors, but they also are a favorite butterflies, and many gardeners use them to attract butterflies to their gardens!Hot Pink With Limes Zinnia Flower Garden Plaza Flowers

Perennials

Gomphrena

This popular perennial works as an annual in temperate climates. For this reason, it is a great pick for almost any climate and will bloom nonstop from summer into autumn.Camera Ready Boutonniere Gomphrena Flower Garden Plaza Flowers

Allium

A member of the onion genus consisting of garlic, scallions and other plants, this globe-like flower is truly something to behold, especially the one-of-a-kind allium giganteum. Summer Arrangement Allium Garden Plaza Flowers

Red Hot Poker

Known to attract hummingbirds and orioles, these red, orange and yellow flowers produce bright, upright spikes of flowers that are sure to impress.Red Hot Poker Flower Garden Plaza Flowers

Shasta Daisies

This classic looking daisy with white petals and a yellow center is iconic, however it’s a bit larger. Perfect for adding to a bouquet for its popularized daisy look.Shasta Daisy Flower Garden Plaza Flowers

Butterfly Bush

As the name suggests, this purple flowering plant is popular with many different kinds of butterflies, and can be used to attract them to your garden. And as an added bonus, it also looks great in bouquets!

These are just a few of our suggestions! There is truly a near limitless amount of great cutting flowers out there for you to try! Mixing and matching plants of different styles and heights is the best way to create the most individual cutting garden you can, and will help you create stunning bouquets to impress your family and friends! For any questions, please feel free to contact us!

Planting and Caring for Roses – By Plaza Flowers

rose garden roses flowers butterfly

Photo courtesy of rose-gardening-made-easy.com

Although June has passed and National Rose Month is behind us, many of our customers arrive home from the nursery with a wide variety of potted roses. Others may have ordered bare root roses online or through mail order. But whatever the case may be, a question we always receive is “What steps can I take to ensure that my plant will bloom the most beautifully?”

The prospect of growing roses may seem intimidating, and many of you have heard the horror stories of roses having problems with insects, diseases, and other issues. However, Clair G. Martin, author of the book “100 English Roses for the American Garden” states that “While problems do exist, they are, for the most part, cosmetic and easily overcome with basic horticultural practices”.

Below we’ll give you step by step instructions to planting your roses in order to fortify your knowledge of growing these truly one-of-a-kind plants, and hopefully answer any questions you may have.

  1. Soak the roots and stems. Dry root roses should be submerged for 24 hours to hydrate the tissue of the roots and stems. Potted roses (pot and woody trunk) should be submerged for two hours. Remember, roses love water and plenty of it at the time of planting will greatly strengthen the plant.
  2. Prune dead wood and damaged stems. Cut out any damaged or dead portion of each plant with sharp pruning shears. Always cut on an angle. This is not the time to perform selective pruning to force blooms. That will be done next spring.
  3. Prepare the hole for planting. For potted roses, cut the entire bottom from the biodegradable container and dig a hole that is three inches wider and deeper than the pot. Prepare a mixture of rose garden soil of either 50% soil & 50% bone meal, or one part potting soil, one part compost, one part bagged manure. Place three inches of the mixture in the bottom of the hole. Place the pot in the hole. Backfill with soil mixture you created. For dry root roses, dig a hole that is twice the distance across the roots. The depth of the hole should be three inches greater than the distance from the bud union to bottom of roots. Place three inches of the soil mixture in the bottom of the hole. Hold the plant in the hole and backfill with the remainder of the mixture. Whether you roots were dry or potted, your soil line should be one inch higher the bud union.
  4. The Philadelphia Rose Society states that “The most important thing roses need is water”. Create a shallow moatblooming garden basket roses plaza flowers near the perimeter of your hole and fill it with water. Allow the water to seep, then repeat three times. At this point, you cannot overwater your rose.
  5. You will notice that much of your soil mixture has settled and likely exposed your bud union. Replenish with the soil mixture if settlement was two inches or more. Cover the soil with three to four inches of mulch, mounding at the perimeter of the plant to create a moat so less water runs away from the plant.
  6. Fill your moat with water daily. After the roots are established (about three weeks) you can move your watering schedule to three times a week. Water daily during hot days or periods of drought in the growing season.
  7. Fertilize your roses with any commercially available rose food. Follow the dosage instructions carefully.

 

Living rose plants work well in mixed plant baskets, and many other beautiful arrangements you could create at home by planting your own rose bushes. For more information on planting and caring for roses, feel free to reach out to us online! You may also wish to visit the American Rose Society for an in-depth look at things like winter care, common pests for roses, and much more to give you the best growing experience possible! These beautiful flowers are as iconic as they are beautiful, and growing them is truly a joy. Dozen Roses Beautiful Plaza Flowers

Norristown’s Oldest Florist Merges with Plaza Flowers

Undated photo of Anna in front of her store

Undated photo of Anna in front of her store

Norristown, PA – May 28, 2015 – Today marks the beginning of an exciting merge of two local florists in Norristown; Plaza Flowers on Egypt Road and Anna Catanese Flower Shop on DeKalb Street. Both shops have endured for generations, giving customers high-quality products for decades, but only Anna Catanese Flower Shop enters their hundredth year as the oldest florist in Norristown, Montgomery County. Both shops plan to bring their valuable wisdom and loyal clientele together to forge a bond that will propel them forward for generations to come.

Eagleville Florist Gift Basket Flowers

Chris Drummond & Heather Tuckey, Owners of Plaza Flowers

In order to understand how a business becomes ingrained so deeply into the heritage of a community, we must first investigate the origin of this proud business and the individuals who began it.

 

First florist at 321 DeKalb, only 9 feet wide!

First florist at 321 DeKalb, only 9 feet wide!

Domenic Catanese immigrated to the U.S. in 1888. Shortly thereafter, he began growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers on his eleven-acre farm on Tremont Street in Norristown. Around 1900, he opened 20th Century Florist and Seed at 321 DeKalb Street to sell his produce and seeds. Flower sales were slow at first but grew quickly, leading to the addition floral design and delivery services around 1910. In 1915, Domenic’s daughter-in-law & floral designer, Anna, purchased the store with a $3500 loan from neighboring businesswomen. She then employed three of her family to help make the Flower Shop a success. Read more