Entries by Ryan Brower

DIY Potting Table Out of a Metro Shelf

DIY Potting Table Out of a Metro Shelf Here is a pretty neat project to do before the growing season starts. Using 2×4’s, you can frame out a metro shelf and use it to pot up trays of seeds or other pots without the mess. We used a 2×5, 5 rack shelf that I found […]

Native Perennial Spotlight: Monarda (Bee Balm)

Native Perennial Spotlight: Monarda (Bee Balm) Monarda, commonly known as bee balm, is a genus of North American flowering plants that’s a delight for both gardeners and pollinators. These vibrant blooms boast a long list of charms, making them a must-have for any sunny garden. The number one seller at the nursery is Jacob Cline, […]

Fizzy Mizzy: Making Sweetspire Cool Again

Fizzy Mizzy: Making Sweetspire Cool Again Itea virginica(sweetspire) is a versatile shrub native to the southeast United States. Almost impossible to kill; it’s happy from understory shade to sun, in wet areas, and in heavy clay. It makes a nice filler type of plant for native woodland borders. Most people only notice it in the […]

The Littlest Sun Hydrangea

The Littlest Sun Hydrangea Hydrangea paniculata are the easiest species of hydrangea to grow in Western North Carolina, and the least fussy hydrangea in general. They take heavy clay fairly well, grow fast on new wood in the summer (after our notorious spring frosts,) and are reasonably drought-tolerant. They are also cold hardy up to […]

5 Well Loved Plants in Asheville…That Deer Love Too

Oh, deer. Maybe the top garden pest in Western North Carolina. They get our vegetable gardens, they get our fruit trees. They knock things over at the nursery. The list of DIY deer deterrents is almost as long as the plants they eat. Shaving Irish spring around the plants, dangling plastic grocery bags in the […]

9 Tips for Designing Your Western North Carolina Landscape

January is a great time to do a little landscape planning for the spring. February can be very up and down temperature-wise in Western North Carolina, so it’s great to be ready to take advantage of warm spells when they come to get a head start on prepping. Here are 9 tips for designing new […]

Mulch: The Key to a Green Thumb in WNC

A good mulch is simply the best thing you can do for your outdoor plants as well as improve the look of your property for the season. Some mulch is better than others, but any mulch is better than none. A good rule of thumb is no bare dirt, ever. Bare dirt, particularly for us […]

4 of Our Least Favorite Perennials in Asheville (2023)

4 of Our Least Favorite Perennials in Asheville (2023)   1. Stachys byzantina (Lambs Ear.) Admittedly, Lambs ear has some appeal. It’s easy to grow, spreads fast, and takes any soil or full sun slope you throw at it. If only it looked as good in the landscape as it does in a pot at […]

What to do with Fall Leaves in the Garden

Many people put off raking leaves until well into the winter months, or even spring when the motivation for yard work strikes again. It’s generally a bad idea to put this off for that long, particularly for us in Western North Carolina with our wet winters and heavy clay soil. The winter rains often mat […]

7 of Our Favorite Evergreen Conifers of 2023

Here is the 3rd installment of a series we are doing in December as the year wraps up to look at some of our favorite plants in 2023. This list is in no particular order and highlights the evergreen conifers we love both for their beauty and thriving growth in the mountains of Western North […]