Entries by Ryan Brower

Euonymous: The Worst Shrub to Plant in Asheville

Euonymous: The Worst Shrub to Plant in Asheville I want to be nasty about this one, I really do. Euonymous suckered me in, enticing me with the bright yellow and green mix of the foliage, a unique option to add some color for a foundation-type evergreen.  All was well, for a few years. It takes […]

Gaura: A Butterfly Magnet in Western North Carolina

Gaura: A Butterfly Magnet in Western North Carolina Gaura, also known as wandflower, is a genus of North American native flowering plants that are a true delight for both gardeners and pollinators. These elegant perennials boast airy, graceful blooms that flutter in the breeze, making an easy landing pad for butterflies all summer long. At […]

5 Tips for Growing Rhododendron in Asheville

No plant is more Asheville and Western North Carolina than rhododendron. They grow like weeds up in the mountains all over the area, sprouting up and thriving even perched over rocks on cliff faces. Despite that, it’s crazy how fussy they can be when we add them to our landscape. Here are a few tips […]

3 Tips for Pruning Newly Planted Trees

“The best time to prune is when you remember to do it.” That saying is basically true, particularly for large woody plants that have been in the ground for a few years. That’s because most of us forget to prune until branches are slapping us in the face when we mow. The best time for […]

The Thuja Green Giant Screening Tree in Western North Carolina

Ah, the Thuja Green Giant. Those towering giants of the evergreen world, promising privacy and peace of mind to homeowners with a penchant for seclusion. But before you rush out and plant a line of these emerald behemoths, there are a few things you should know. Thuja Green Giant screening trees First, let’s talk size. […]

Fire Chief Arborvitae: A Winter Wonder

Fire Chief arborvitae is one of our favorite evergreens, particularly for the winter landscape.  It’s a sport of ‘Rheingold’ but with more vibrant color in the spring, more compact habit, and less prone to splitting over time. A cultivar of the Eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis), it is a beautiful evergreen shrub that adds a […]

Pruning Old Multi Stemmed Shrubs

Old crochety multi-stemmed shrubs are perhaps the most intimidating plant to prune.  Here is a video where I go over the process.  There are two basic steps: Cut out 25-30% of the oldest and largest stems at the base of the plant each year until they are replaced by new growth (a 2-3yr. process) Finish […]

7 of Our Favorite Deciduous Shrubs of 2023

Shrubs are the backbone of the garden, with evergreens providing the base and deciduous flowers the pizazz.  Here are some of our favorite deciduous shrubs we’ve grown this year.  These are in no particular order and were chosen based on three criteria:  Beauty, usefulness in the landscape, and ease of growth for zones 6-7 in […]

10 Fertilizer Myths

One of the most confusing things about gardening is how to fertilize. There is A LOT of misinformation online about it and just as much marketing hype. When we were starting we fell for most of it. We bought fish fertilizer, got our soil tested, and bought bags of bone meal.  Lots of money poured […]

6 of Our Favorite Perennials for 2023

It’s December and we thought it would be a good time to reflect on some of our favorite plants this year.  For this list, we are only including herbaceous perennials, more to come for shrubs and other plants.  Plants are in no particular order and are chosen both for beauty and ease of growth for […]