Thursday, April 28, 2011

Springtime At Ashcombe!

Check out what's happening this spring at Ashcombe!
Our greenhouses are filled with fresh, beautiful blooming annuals, perennials, nursery stock, herbs and vegetable plants. Let us help make your yard and garden a beautiful retreat!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Weeping Plants

Weeping trees and shrubs are great assets in the landscape and can perform different functions.

  • Weeping trees can highlight a particular area of your landscape.
  • Weeping plants add a graceful, soothing tone to your landscape.
  • Weeping forms can complement water features and other boulder landscapes.
  • It's always good to add something fun and different to your home landscape.

The following is a list of beautiful weeping plant specimens:

  • Molten Lava Crabapple - Weeping Crabapple with red buds opening to single white flowers. 12-15' high.
  • Weeping Mulberry - Graceful, small weeping tree with glossy green foliage. 10'h x 15's
  • Weeping Pussy Willow - Beautiful weeping form with traditional pussy willow flowers. 5-6' x 5-6'.
  • Weeping Arctic Blue Willow - Excellent small specimen for patios or water features. 12-15' x 10-12'.
  • Weeping Nishiki Willow - Elegant and different looking features tri-colored leaves. Requires winter protection!
  • Weeping White Spruce - Narrow cone shaped weeper excellent specimen and a good plant for a narrow space. 20'h x 4'w.
  • Pendula Bruns Spruce - A type of serbian spruce with a weeping habit, beautiful foliage, and cones. 35'h x 15'w.
  • Weeping Hemlock 'Gracilis' - A premier evergreen for shade gardens, rockeries, and water features.
  • Weeping Larch - Luminous lime green needles on a weeping form. Yellow fall color. 10-12'h.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Azaleas & Rhododendrons

Rhododendrons are usually evergreen, meaning they retain their leaves throughout the winter, where azaleas are in the genus rhododendron but they are deciduous. They both bloom in early spring and are a vibrant display for that time of year.


Bloom in spring in a variety of colors. The University of Minnesota developed the lights series for our climate. They are dependable bloomers and have a good fall color. The Weston Hybrid azaleas bloom in June and July and have a great fall color. They are a thicker plant, but needs winter protection. All of these azaleas come in colors of yellow, pink, white, red, orange, and purple.


Azaleas enjoy full sun or partial sun. They do not have the winter sun issues that the rhododendrons do. They also enjoy an acidic environment and peat moss should be added at planting.


Fertilizer in spring like the rhododendrons with an acidic fertilizer.

Insects and Disease:

They have the same possible problems as rhododendrons.


Prune the same as rhododendrons.


Rhododendrons come in small leafed varieties and large leafed varieties. The small leafed varieties have a greater tolerance to the winter sun and are more winter hardy than large leafed varieties. They flower in pastels of pinks and purples for the small-leafed varieties, whereas the large-leafed varieties come in white, red, and pink. They keep their leaves all winter which turn a deep purple in the fall. (PJM Rhododendron pictured above).


Rhododendrons are sensitive to extreme heat therefore they would not do well on the south side up against a building. They are sensitive to winter sun as well as winter winds therefore it is best to place them on an east side. They do enjoy a well-drained soil and need consistent water as their roots are so close to the surface and can dry out faster.


At planting it is best to add organic matter such as compost and peat moss, which will raise the soil pH slightly. They enjoy an acidic soil so, fertilize with an acidic fertilizer, such as ammonium sulfate, in spring or early summer. A pH of 4.0-5.5 is optimum for growth.

Insects and Disease:

They can get a root rot fungus if the soil is not well drained. They can also get a powdery mildew if the summer is hot and humid, any general fungicide can be used. If leaves are turning chlorotic, the soil may be too alkaline and further acidification is needed. They do not have many insects. Rabbits and other rodents tend to feed on these plants. It is best to protect them with a deterrent.


Prune in the spring immediately after they are done flowering. Do not prune any more than 1/3 of the plant’s height.