Spruce Up Your Yard For Fall

One of the best parts of living in Michigan is the changing of seasons, especially when the Summer temps begin to give way to the cool mornings of Fall. The pops of vibrant colors signal its time for football games and sparkling campfires with a cup of hot cider in hand. As the trees begin to change their hues from emerald greens to blazing reds, orange and crisp yellow, we feel an urge to bring the vibrant hues of Autumn to our homes as well. The best way to celebrate Fall’s arrival is an array of Mums. They can replace the spent annuals in your outdoor containers and flower boxes, or add a pop of color to your patio. Hardy Mums like the ones we grow here at Simpson’s greenhouse can be planted directly into the ground. We also have a large assortment of Fall favorites like purple fountain grass, asters, and Rudbeckia to keep your home looking Fall forward, year after year. Chrysanthemums (aka Mums) are easy to care for and will last until early November with the below tips.

PLANTING & CARE

Water: Chrysanthemums require more frequent watering due to their shallow roots, especially in high heat or little rainfall.

Pruning: Pinch spent blooms approximately 1 inch from the branch tips two to three times during the week to encourage consistent blossoms of color throughout the season

When to plant: For use as a perennial, plant Mums in early spring or at least 6 weeks before a killing frost in fall. If you are using them as an annual pop of fall color, plant them when blooming in late summer or early fall.

Fertilizer: Mums are not big feeders, so it is best to apply a dilute fertilizer several times before bud set. A 5-10-5 fertilizer formulation will have the greatest effect on flower production and overall growth.

Propagation: When Mums are grown as perennials, they can be divided every two to three years in the spring. Dig up the plant when new growth begins to appear, discard the dying center and re-plant the new shoots on the outside of the plant. Mums can also be grown from cuttings taken in the spring. Cut just below a leaf node and root in sterile potting soil. The new plants should be watered daily and kept in a sunny windowsill until established.

Be sure to stop in to see our large selection of grown in house Mum’s today. We also have all of the necessities needed to get your home Fall ready, from pumpkins to gourds, scarecrows to hanging baskets and more!

Curb Appeal

Watch enough HGTV and there’s one phrase you’re bound to hear over and over again: curb appeal. It’s a term the real estate world uses to describe how attractive a appears from the street. The stronger the curb appeal, the stronger your bargaining position with potential buyers. And one way to increase curb appeal is through landscaping.

Does landscaping add value to homes? We definitely say YES!  A $50 or $100 investment in a tree will net you an additional $500 in the course of 5 years. Mature trees certainly add aesthetic appeal as well as value that grows by the year.

Here are a few ways you can take your residential landscaping to the next level and increase your home’s curb appeal in the process.

1. The basics

We’d be willing to wager you’ve made some small cosmetic changes to the inside of your home in the years you’ve lived there, whether that meant painting the kitchen or adding new carpeting in the living room. Make sure you do the same kind of basic upkeep outdoors as well, things like adding fresh, quality mulch or putting in a new stone walkway.

2. Softscaping

Softscaping is another form of real estate landscaping. Add value to your home – as much as 15 percent – through this method, which involves the strategic addition of plants, trees, shrubs and flowers to add color and texture to your property.

3. Good lawn care

Mowing, raking, fertilizing and aerating – is one of the best things you can do if you know you’ll be putting your home on the market. It’s simple and provides a potentially substantial return on your investment.

4. Add pops of color

Adding beautiful flower boxes to windows that match containers filled with annuals every Spring will give a streamlined and pleasing appeal to your home. Match these to perennials such as hostas or azaleas and hydrangeas and you’ll have a coordinated lawn that will be the talk of the neighborhood.

5. Landscaping doesn’t end when summer does

Even though spring and summer are big homebuying seasons, people are still looking for properties year round. Make sure there’s something to catch a potential homebuyer’s eye no matter the season: bright leaves in the fall, evergreens in winter, and flowers in spring and summer. No matter when they’re seeing your house, your landscaping will help them imagine living there.

Are you looking for ways to make sure your landscaping adds value to your home? At Simpson’s Greenhouse, we can help. Stop in today to browse our selection of trees, shrubs and flowers that are sure to add punch to that curb appeal!

Planting Trees and Shrubs in the Summer

For as long as people have planted things into the Earth, there have been different views and opinions on the best ways and the best times to plant. One such example is the long-held belief that planting in the summer is a bad idea. The rule of thumb has always been to plant in spring and fall when the weather is cooler. While spring and fall are great times of the year to plant, many would be surprised to learn that you can successfully plant new perennials, trees, and shrubs in the heat of summer. Any shock to a plant from planting a container shrub is essentially eliminated since you didn’t actually dig up the plant or hopefully didn’t even disturb the roots when carefully removing it from the pot. Summer conditions may still cause new plantings some stress, but with a little bit of extra care on your part, it will help the plant develop a healthy root system and virtually guarantee successfully surviving its first winter due to extra root growth.

Planting in the summer only requires a slight bit more work on your part but will reward you with a hardy plant with a good root system.

How to Plant Trees & Shrubs in the Summer

1. Dig the hole as you would any time of year, and always remember wider but not deeper. A general rule of thumb is one and a half times the size of the root ball.

2. Amend the soil you remove from the hole with a good compost or topsoil. A mix of half existing soil and half good compost is perfect. This will help the soil surrounding the new plant to retain more moisture which means fewer trips with the hose.

3. Create a ring just outside the back-filled hole using the extra soil. Two or three inches are all that’s needed. This will help the water you put on the plant to stay in the planting area and not runoff.

4. Mulch, Mulch, Mulch!  Mulch will help keep the moisture that you add to stay in the ground longer since the air and the sun will not be working against you by drying the ground out.

5. Water, Water, Water! Plants need water and the Summer temps make it nearly impossible to overwater. Plants have a way of letting you know when it’s time for a good soaking when they begin to have droopy, wilted leaves or begin to look a little yellow or sunbaked.

The bottom line is, don’t be afraid to plant in the Summer. Get out there and plant in the summer, and remember you can always call or stop into Simpson’s with any questions!

It’s not too late to get your garden in!

The temps are rising and the sun is shining brightly! The season we love best has officially begun; Summer has arrived in Mid-Michigan! And with it, comes the bounty of vegetables from cheery cherry tomatoes to bushels of green beans. If your itching to get your garden started, and think it may be too late to plant from seed, think again! June can actually be a prime time to get those seeds in for a plentiful Fall harvest.

Don’t get us wrong, growing a successful vegetable garden involves timing things just right. Sowing the right seeds at the right time makes the best use of space and allows you to stagger your harvest. But before choosing your seed packets and eagerly planting your rows, remember that soil temperature is critical to seed germination. So for a June plant, anytime until Fathers Day. If seeds are planted in that is too cool, you’ll lose both money and precious growing time. Many plants need to be re-sown through the season anyway, and many will produce fruits well into the fall even if you don’t get the seeds in the ground until summer. In fact, some vegetable plants do even better and grow more quickly when you wait until the ground is very warm and crawling with worms.

Here are just a few plants you can still grow from seed in June:

Beans. Beans love warm, sunny days! If you’ve already planted beans, consider putting in another crop because just one crop can only yeild so many beans before they get tough. Planting a new crop every 2 weeks will ensure you always have a harvest of fresh, tender beans.

Cucumbers. These guys grow fast, especially in the warm summer months. You might be amazed at how quickly they explode in these hot June days.

Squash. Many squashes don’t produce until fall anyway, making them a good choice for summer planting.

Carrots. Carrot seeds can be sown any time from spring through early autumn, as long as you get them in the ground by 10–12 weeks before the first fall frost.  A sidenote–all root vegetables, like carrots, beets, and parsnips, will do well sown in June too.

Herbs: Basil, marjoram, chives and sage do well when planted in the summer, and can even thrive indoors throughout the winter.

Now that your seeds are in, make sure to weed the garden. Weeds compete with vegetable plants for nutrients and moisture, so keeping them at bay is crucial to a bountiful harvest..

If you’re starting your garden late, and worried that it will take too long by seed, stop in to Simpson’s today.  We have plenty of trays of vegetables from tomatoes to beans that will be ready to thrive as soon as you get them into the warm June soil!

Spring Fever

The days are getting longer, temps are beginning to rise, and green is beginning to appear across lawns and gardens alike. Spring has sprung, and at Simpson’s, this is the time of year we become alive as well. We have been anxiously starting seedlings and preparing for the upcoming Spring season. Over an acre of our greenhouse is almost completely full right now, and we continue to add more everyday.

We know we are not alone… everybody has a touch of Spring Fever going now in a big way! The weather has been absolutely beautiful, maybe just a little too beautiful.  The plentiful sunshine and higher temps make our plants come to life quickly, and they are not sure what to do when the temps dip back down. So we’ll watch what happens closely and take it one step at a time.  All of us get a little like that too don’t we?

A big plus to the warmer weather is that we are able to bring our perennials out of the greenhouse and set them in cold frames.  This is their opportunity to get acclimated to our mid-Michigan climate so that they will experience less transplant shock when plant them into your perennial garden beds in April and May.  This also frees up extra greenhouse space for us to continue planting annuals that need a warmer environment.

Our team is really in full swing now at Simpson’s.  All the greenhouses are filling up with the big, beautiful plants you expect from us.  Over the last several weeks the first round of patio pots and hanging baskets have been planted in an assortment of sizes.  Plus the early season bedding plants.  Seed sowing for early cool-season vegetables has also begun in the greenhouse so the nice, fresh transplants for your garden will be ready right on time.

For those of us that just can’t wait for the bright blooms of Spring, at Simpson’s, we have plenty of flowering indoor plants to satisfy your need for blooms, from ranunculus to amaryllis. We are also adding new and exciting wind chimes, lawn decor, and more to our Home Décor and Gift Shop, which is open and ready for visitors! Plus, there are always wonderful treats from jams to pickled green beans and more.

We look forward to greeting you soon with our rows of famous hanging baskets and potted containers that we are known and loved for. In the meantime though, you can stop in for early season garden supplies like seeds for flowers, herbs, and veggies, seed sowing soil, fertilizer, pots, and trays are in stock and ready for purchase. Stop by for garden clean-up tools and gloves to help you get the dirty work done!

The Bereavement

The loss of a family member or friend is a very difficult time. If you or someone close to you suffered the loss of a loved one, sending a sympathy gift s one of the best ways to show your condolences. But for some, selecting and sending a sympathy gifts is more difficult than they may think. While sympathy flowers are an important part of the funeral services, many families have remarked that the daily reminder of sympathy gifts sent to the home provides much-needed comfort during the months after the services have ended and extended families and friends have returned to their normal routines.

Today, we will be reviewing some of the most popular sympathy gifts given in times of loss:

Flowers:

Flowers are a treasured gift. Flower arrangements also symbolize many feelings and beliefs. Certain flowers help someone feel loved and represent family and friendship. Flowers promote a state of well-being and a positive mindset.

But flowers offer even more than feelings of love and wellness. Certain flowers symbolize mourning and the continuation of life.

Funeral Plants:

There are many reasons that a plant may be given as an expression of sympathy rather than cut flowers. In addition to lasting longer than flowers, a plant can represent a living tribute to a departed loved one adding beauty to one’s home for years to come. Some traditional sympathy plants include:

Peace Lily Plant

A peace lily plant is one of the most popular delivered sympathy plants. It is considered to be a healing plant, conveying calm, peace and hope.

Azalea Sympathy Plant

Azaleas are a symbol of health, self-care and love for family. Azaleas come in an array of bright colors and can be displayed in a container or planted outside after the services.

Palm Plant

Representing strength and protection, the palm plant is sent to represent support to a loved one during their time of grief. Most palms are very low maintenance as well as long lasting so they make excellent gifts.

Long-Lasting Gifts

Longer-lasting sympathy gifts sent to the home are a thoughtful way to show your care to the grieving family. Food baskets bring joy and hope into the home and send a beautiful message of remembrance that will be a comforting reminder of lasting love. At Simpson’s Greenhouse, we have a beautiful assortment of unique gift items from wind chimes and stepping stones to statues and yard stakes. We also can create gift baskets with an assortment of delicious jams, jellies, sauces and more.  

Ordering sympathy are such a small gesture that can have a powerful impact.  Contact us today for more ideas or to place an order!

How To Keep Your Valentine Flowers Looking Great

Valentine’s Day is one of our favorite holidays of the year because it is all about love and happiness! It is a chance to show loved ones (or those we secretly admire) how special they are to us. Flowers are a perennial favorite when it comes to Valentine gift giving, but often people worry about getting them because those beautiful buds die so quickly. With these quick tips, you can keep your Valentines flowers looking fresh for days longer.

First thing is first!

Your Valentine has just given you beautiful flowers… now what? If you received a bouquet, first of all you’ll need to find yourself a vase. Is it clean? A quick rinse out with some hot soapy water should do the trick. Was a packet of flower food included? If so, read the instructions to see if you’ll need to add your flower food to half, or a full liter of water.

You’ll need to re-cut your flower stems – you can do this with a sturdy pair of kitchen scissors. Cut the ends at a slant – so your flowers look like they’re standing up on tiptoe in your vase.

Depending on the height of your vase and the length of the flowers in your bouquet you may need to chop quite a bit off the end of your flowers – you’re aiming to get your flowers nestling neatly into the opening of your vase.

Keep those flowers looking fresh!

The key is to re-cut your stems and as the days pass, make sure your vase is kept topped up with fresh water.  Bacteria begins to grow at the end of the wilting stem, and cutting that back by a quarter inch will keep your flowers looking great for days longer. Be sure to add water, without ample water your flowers won’t last!

Where you place your Valentine arrangement matters as well. Be sure to place your flowers where they will be seen and enjoyed. Most likely, they will find their home in your living room, however, this is probably also the warmest room in your house –which can dry out your flowers and reduce their vase life. Try not to display your flowers in direct sunlight, next to a hot radiator or a drafty window.

Remove your flowers every two or three days, clean out the vase and add fresh water. While you’re at it, take this opportunity to look through your bouquet and pinch off and leaves and flowers that look like they’re starting to die and trim the stems.

With the proper care, your Valentine flowers can continue to bring you happiness and love long after Februrary 14th. If you are on the search for a unique gift, floral arrangements or even a flowering houseplant for your Valentine, be sure to stop in and see our large selection at Simpron’s Greenhouse today.

Winter Houseplants

Houseplants are a great way to bring warmth and life into the home at any time of the year. Right now, while it is cold outside and the garden is not yet ready for Spring, it’s an especially good time to focus your energies on warming up your house with beautiful houseplants. We all know how much visual appeal they can add to the look of a room, but many people don’t realize that houseplants provide many other benefits.

Here are 5 reasons to add a houseplant to your home this Winter season:

1. They clean the air in your home

House plants inside the home help to neutralize the chemicals that are found in furniture, household cleaning products, and paint. Of course, all plants also increase oxygen levels in your house making the environment cleaner and healthier.

2. They improve health and speed recovery

Researchers have found that patients staying in hospital rooms with plants have a higher speed of recovery.  Caring for plants has also been shown to improve our mental health. There is such a great feeling that comes with tending to a plant’s needs and watching it grow that is very good for us, in the same way that caring for pets has been shown to lift our spirits.

3. They make beautiful decorative accents

Houseplants are an interior designer’s best friend. Unsure of what to put on that kitchen windowsill? Or use it on the shelf in the hall? Houseplants are an easy and relatively low-cost decorative feature that keeps on giving. For a statement piece, consider a Ponytail Palm. Despite its name, it’s not a true palm but it grows up to 3 feet tall so is a great addition to a blank space.

4. They can be very easy to care for

You may be surprised to know that houseplants require minimal care and are easier to look after than those in the garden. Spider plants, succulents, and ferns for example are fast-growing plants and look great. Keep them in a well-lit position and water them weekly, and they will thrive.

5. They can add gorgeous color and fragrance to your home

Houseplants are a great way to add a pop of color to the home in the dreary Winter season and can also add wonderful fragrances that can be incredibly relaxing and uplifting. Forget plug-in air fresheners and reed diffuses; for some beautifully scented and showy flowers try a Gardenia or Jasmine. The benefits are enormous, and it’s our goal at Simpson’s Greenhouse to inspire as many people as possible to engage with plants, whether it is outside or inside the home. Stop in today to view our large selection of houseplants, contains, and fertilizer to keep your plant looking great all Winter long!

Holiday Wreaths and Decor

As the last of the bright Autumn leaves drop from the trees and the temperatures begin to fall, we all begin to feel the warmth of the holiday season upon us. Time to pack away the decorative pumpkins with the rest of the fall decor, and swap them out for the jolly hues of the Christmas season. Nothing decks the halls better than beautiful wreaths and garlands that adorn your front door and stairway. At Simpson’s Greenhouse, we create beautiful wreaths guaranteed to bring joy to your home this season. Our wreaths are made from only the finest, freshest pine branches, ensuring they will last the entire holiday season, and won’t leave a pile of needles on your doorstep! Each wreath is expertly crafted and decorated to fit your style, from traditional to whimsy or modern. We also create beautiful fresh floral centerpieces and arrangements to make your holiday table memorable, or to send a little cheer to those you love. We also stock an array of the highest quality, perennial favorite Poinsettias which always give a festive pop of color to the home or office.

While we enjoy the holidays with loved ones, not all the ones we would like to celebrate with are there. In fact, we may have lost loved ones, making the holidays a more emotional time. There are beautiful ways to ensure that those lost loved ones are never too far away during the holidays. One way is to create a grave blanket or buy one from Simpson’s Greenhouse. Grave Blankets can be made in many different sizes, styles, and colors and offer a beautiful way to remember your loved one during the holidays. These are believed to provide an uplifting experience while visiting a grave site, providing comfort for everyone. While originally just made of evergreen, the grave blanket is also now made from other types of plant materials, ornaments and silk flowers. These may also include special objects added for sentimental reasons to the family. The grave blankets cover the ground at the base of a grave, providing a physical way to express the emotion of missing a loved one. The blankets are made by attaching evergreen branches and any other materials to a floral foam or a wire base. This can be attached to the ground to keep the blanket in place all season.

The holidays are a wonderful time to show those we love them with beautiful, fresh arrangements and pieces made by the experts at Simpson’s Greenhouse. Stop in today and view our beautiful selection or to discuss a custom creation that is sure to make this holiday season sparkle!