Archive | February 2016

AAS Summer Summit – Save the Date

Posted with permission of the National Garden Bureau:


Dates Announced for
2016 All-America Selections Summer Summit
in Madison, Wisconsin
“Land of Locally Grown” 

February 25, 2016 –

All-America Selections and National Garden Bureau are teaming up for the 2016 AAS Summer Summit, this time taking attendees to beautiful Madison, Wisconsin.

The state of Wisconsin is ranked 6th out of 51 states and provinces as most committed to the locavore movement. ranked Wisconsin 8th in states where it’s easy to eat locally based on the number of farmers markets, CSAs and food hubs.

As AAS and NGB support this locally grown movement, we will tour not only AAS Trials and Display Gardens but also local businesses as we see and hear from the leaders of Wisconsin’s locally grown movement. 

Above: Seed storage room at A.P. Whaley Seed Co. and one of many beautiful views at Rotary Botanical Gardens.

Our host hotel, the Holiday Inn and Suites, is a comfortable and quiet spot on the west side of Madison. Bring the family and stay the weekend as Wisconsin is beautiful in August and our hotel includes the Crawdaddy Cove Waterpark.

Mark you calendars for August 24-26, 2016 and see you in August!  
(Registration will open in May)

For more information, contact Diane Blazek

Get a jump on planting…start your seeds indoors

Posted with permission of the National Garden Bureau:

Start the Growing Season Early…
A Seed Starting Experiement
Starting Seeds Indoor
Just couldn’t wait….

Here in the northern climate, Spring (garden) fever hits early and we are eager to plant even if the ground is frozen.

So to satisfy our need to garden, we decided to try an experiment of seeing how seeds started under a Compact Tabletop SunLite® Garden system from Gardener’s Supply Company fared compared to seedlings grown in our west-facing office window with just the natural light that comes through during this low-light time of year.

We started our seeds early for our experiment.  We recommend that you start your seeds at the best dates for your location and seed variety. Use Johnny’s Selected Seeds Seed-Starting Date Calculator to help you decide the right date for your location.  It really helps!

Why start your own seeds indoors?

  • More and different varieties to chose from then can be found as plants or seedlings at local retailers
  • Potential to save money and have more plants
  • Earlier harvests and greater yields
  • It’s easy
  • It’s a fun leaning activity with the kids!

Thank you to our NGB member Gardener’s Supply Company who graciously donated the Compact Tabletop SunLite® Garden and Organic GrowEase Seed Starting Success Kit for our use in this experiment.

AAS Winners Flower Seeds
For our test, we planted the following All-America Selections Winners:



Want to join our experiment?  Plant some AAS Winners this year indoors as well.  AAS Winners can be purchased from these suppliers.

Follow us on social media to see how our experiment is doing and be sure to share your photos of indoor planting as well. Please use #StartSeedsIndoor.

Indoor Seed Collage
Putting together the Tabletop SunLite Garden and planting the seeds were easy to do.  Gardener’s Supply Company really makes it simple!
Ready to start your seed indoors?

Our NGB members can start you off with some helpful information on growing seeds indoor and more…

Find all the supplies needed to start your seeds indoors with product from our NGB members.

2016 is the Year of the Delphinium!

Posted with permission of the National Garden Bureau:


2016 is the Year of the Delphinium!
Year of the Delphinium
Delphinium is a perennial favorite as the tall spikes of blue flowers in the background of a stately English or cottage garden.  The modern delphinium flower may be a single or double rosette in popular blue or red, pink, white, violet and yellow.  Many of the flowers have white or black centers known as “bees.”

Delphinium, a native throughout the Northern Hemisphere includes about 300 species in the Ranunculaceae (Buttercup) Family.  The name “delphinium” originated with the ancient Greeks who thought the shape of the new flower bud with spur resembled that of a dolphin’s nose.  Delphinium is often called by the common name “larkspur” which is shared between the perennial Delphinium and the annual Consolida species.
Most delphinium hybrids and cultivars are derived from Delphinium elatum. Hybridisation was developed in the 19th-century led by Victor Lemoine in France. Other hybrid crosses have included D. bruninianum, D. cardinale, D. cheilanthum, and D. formosum.
The Pacific Giant hybrids are a popular variety today that typically grows four to six feet tall on long stems developed by Frank Reinelt, renowned breeder in the United States. Millennium delphinium hybrids, bred by Dowdeswell’s Delphinium Ltd. in New Zealand, are reportedly better in warmer, more humid climates than the Pacific hybrids. Flower colors in shades of red, orange, and pink can be found hybridized from D. cardinale by Reinelt and Samuelson.

Click Here for the Delphinium cultivars in production today
Delphiniums in the garden
Homeowners can begin their delphiniums from seed or as a plant from a garden retailer. They are very easy to grow in the northern climates with very little maintenance. As a perennial, they tolerate cool northern climates and overwinter with ease as a hardy perennial in Zone 4. Some misunderstanding about non-hardiness actually comes from hot and humid climates, which the plants cannot tolerate for long periods of time. Delphiniums act more like annuals in the southern climates.
After the first flush of flowers, plants can be cut back and a second set of flowers will appear on shorter stems. Mulching is not recommended, because it can cause stem rot. After heavy frost, late-fall early-winter plants need to be cut back and cleaned up. Winter protection is not necessary, but plants can be covered with hay or leaves to protect the crowns. This protection needs to be removed very early in spring to maintain a healthy Delphinium in the garden. In natural snow-covered areas, no extra protection is needed.
Homeowners can begin their Delphiniums from seed or as a plant through your garden retailer.
Learn How to Successfully Germination Delphinium Seed Here
Pests and Disease
Delphiniums are generally very easy to grow plants, but a few issues can be encountered during growing and propagation.
  •  Powdery Mildew : High humidity and poor air circulation can cause powdery mildew. The best way to get rid of this problem is by keeping the foliage as dry as possible.
  •  Snails and Slugs: To alleviate this problem, try setting up some simple beer traps.
The National Garden Bureau recognizes and thanks Zoltan Kovacs from Dümmen Orange as author and contributor to this fact sheet.
This fact sheet is provided as an educational service of the National Garden Bureau. There are no limitations on the use. Please credit the National Garden Bureau.
Please consider our NGB member companies as authoritative sources for information. Click on direct links to their websites by selecting Member Info from the menu on the left side of our home page. Gardeners looking for seed and plant sources, select “Shop Our Members” at the top of our home page.
Pacific Giant Bluebird
Pacific Giant Bluebird
Dasante Blue
Dasante Blue
Candle Violet Shade
Candle Violet Shade
Guardian White Bloom
Guardian White Bloom
Larkspur Bunny Bloom
Larkspur Bunny Bloom
Lilac Ladies
Lilac Ladies
Aurora Lavender
Aurora Lavender
Delfix Delphinium
Summer Blues