Dig Into a New Hobby for 2015

WheelbarrowIf you’ve resolved to try out your green-thumb this year, let our experts at Whispering Springs Nursery in Jasper, Ga. get you prepared this winter. Here are some excellent tips to help weed out common mistakes by novice gardeners before spring arrives.

  • Plant Lust – Shopping for plants can easily slide out of control, just like grocery shopping without a list. Try to avoid taking plants ‘just because’ and be sure you have the required growing environment. This can save time and money in the long run.

  • Overwatering – Nothing kills plants faster than the dreaded overwatering gardener. It is easy to get caught up in watering plants, but be sure to check each plant’s watering needs before drowning them without cause. After all, watering is part of the art of gardening!

  • Know Your Zone – Peak planting seasons are different per state according to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map. For example, Georgia is incredibly in seven zones! These are zone 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, and 9a. Don’t worry if this seems confusing, local nurseries like ours are always happy to help you understand this information.

  • Death to the Insects – Whether or not you can appreciate the job of garden bugs, trying to repel or kill them off entirely is a HUGE mistake! These little insects actually thrive in healthy gardens, and help you by pollinating the plants and eating the bad bugs. Consider carefully before using pesticides and consult a garden professional if you are unsure.

Are you anxious to get started before spring? Get your hands dirty this winter with some of our indoor-friendly container plants. We’d love to help you decide which plant combos will work for you!


6 New Years Resolutions for 2015

Are you looking to make positive changes for yourself and your life in 2015? It can be daunting, and you want to be sure that the goals you make are realistic as well as decisions you can be proud of. To help you get started, here is a list of 6 easy to keep New Years Resolutions for 2015.

  1. Take the stairs more often. This little lifestyle goal can help you lose weight and feel good help stay on track with healthier choices.
  2. Turn off your cell phone. “Me time” is important, turning off your mobile devices will help make your alone-time more valuable and help you dedicate that time to actually relaxing.happy new year fireworks
  3. Spend less time on the computer. Your social networks will always have updates, get out and do something! Don’t worry too much about others and what they share on social media.
  4. Volunteering can be a great way to meet new people and help out in your community. Set a goal to volunteer once a month or whenever it is reasonable for you to do so.
  5. Making your bed each day. It’s a simple, easy chore that can greatly contribute to your overall happiness.
  6. Exercising one more day each week. Push yourself a little bit farther so you and your body don’t plateau. Pushing yourself just a little bit may help you step up and take your fitness and health to the next level.

At Whispering Springs Nursery in Jasper, we’re wishing you and your family a happy and healthy New Year in 2015.

How to Build the Perfect Fire

So, the stockings have been hung by the chimney, presents have been bought and all that’s left to do is enjoy a hot cup of cider, your family and friends and maybe wrap a present or two. Well, when it’s chilly outside we can’t think of a better way to spend time making new memories than by cozying up next to a roaring fire. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your fireplace this holiday season.

  • When you clean out your fireplace from the last fire, leave about one inch of ash. This will help the fire get hotter faster.
  • Create a U- shape in your fireplace with your logs. Next, stack your smaller dry sticks, pinecones and even dried orange peels. These materials will be the first to catch. You should only use about 10 of these pieces depending on the size of your fireplace.

    stone fireplace

    photo via pixabay

  • When about 2/3 of the fire is glowing red (not roaring) go ahead and add another large log or two. This should be about an hour into your fire.
  • Remember to snuff your fire before bed. Never the home or go to bed with a fire still burning.
  • TIP: Remember to you have your chimney checked out before starting any fires to make sure that it is working properly!

You’re ready! Get cozy by your fire place and enjoy some time relaxing with your loved ones. Everyone at Whispering Springs is wishing you and your family the happiest of holidays and a healthy new year. We can’t wait to see everyone next year in 2015!

Christmas Gift Ideas for Gardeners

Buying useful, meaningful gifts can be challenging if you have a long-as-day list of family and friends. If you’re looking for the perfect gift to suit the gardener in your life, look no further! We’ve collaborated the perfect list of gift ideas they are sure to love!

  • Hand rakes are a great, affordable gift idea. They’re ideal for cleaning up leaves around your smaller plants without damaging them. Brightly colored rakes are best so the gardener can see what they’re doing and ensure to not damage the plants.

    gardening tools

    photo via pixabay

  • Hand pruners make lovely gifts for your gardener. They’re great for removing shallow weeds and reaching far back in a garden bed.
  • Digging forks are a great gift!  They’re used for cultivating unbroken soil, breaking up soil and can be used to lift your delicate bulbs to be transferred to another garden or pot.
  • Gloves are a versatile gifts that can be tailored to the gardener’s preference. They come in many different materials such as leather, and coated cotton. The latex gloves are ideal for a gardener that often handles thorns and require a wide range of control and durability. Leather gloves are great for a gardener that is digging holes and handling brush and firewood. In our opinion, any gardener could use both pairs!
  • Hats are also a great gift idea for someone who spends many hours gardening. Long hours in the sun require protection, why not be stylish about it!

We hope you find the perfect gift for your gardener. Bring your ideas and shopping list to Whispering Springs! We’d love to help you choose the perfect, personalized gift!


All About Mistletoe!

The holiday season is full of tradition that we follow year after year and pass down from generation to generation. But where do they come from? What is the purpose of hanging mistletoe and kissing under it? Why do we use mistletoe in the first place?

Mistletoe has been long revered throughout European history. In early folklore, it was considered to promote fertility and life. It also protected against poison. In ancient, pre Christian eras, it was collected during the summer and winter solstices. It was hung from ceilings by the bushel to ward off what were believed to be evil spirits. In Scandinavia, it was believed that mistletoe could provide fertility. It is believed that this idea is directly linked to its place in Christmas tradition.mistletoe

Today, Mistletoe is hung form the ceiling during the wintertime as a holiday tradition. In 18th century, if a lady stood under the mistletoe, she could not refuse a kiss. If no one chose to kiss her, she was not expected to get married within the next year. If someone was kissed under the mistletoe, it could be a sign of romance or friendship. If the girl remained un-kissed, she cannot expect not to marry the following year. In England, many people burn the mistletoe on the 12th night of Christmas in following of old traditions. Today, kissing under the mistletoe is a fun tradition for families all over the world!

We hope you share this festive tradition with your friends and family this year!


Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

At Whispering Springs, we love the holidays! The lights, the music, the time with family and friends, making memories that will last a lifetime! However, before we all start to deck our halls, it’s important to remember a few safety tips to ensure that your holiday season is not just jolly– but safe too! Here are a few safety tips for decorating your home for the holidays:

Oh, Christmas Tree: Your Christmas tree should not be anywhere near your fireplace, a radiator or heating ducts. It is also never a good idea to place a tree near a door or hallway as someone may trip and it could pose a potential fire hazard. Remember, fire retardant does not mean it isn’t at all flammable. It is also critical to be sure that your tree is secure in its stand! Make sure you follow all directions for artificial trees and stands for real ones.

christmas ornament

photo via pixabay

Check your lights: If you’ve purchased Christmas lights to be used indoors or outdoors make sure they have a holographic “UL” label. This label indicates that the lights have been tested for safety. Red tags on your lights indicate indoor and outdoor usage while a green tag means the lights are just for indoors. It is also important to make sure that you are mindful of the wattage levels your lights can handle, especially if multiple extension cords and power strips are being used.

Feeling swamped trying to get your home ready and buy gifts? No problem! Check out Whispering Springs for all of your holiday gift needs!

Plant Safety During the Holidays

The holidays are sweet, memorable times for you and your family. The smell of home cooking, the fireplace burning and the smell of your spruce Christmas tree fill your home. While this a time to make sweet memories, the best way to ensure that you can make the most of your time off from school and work to be together is to make make sure your home is safe for the holidays. That said, here are some plant safety tips for your home.

Poinsettia: Poinsettia are lovely holiday plants that make amazing gifts! Though they are not necessarily lethal if ingested, they may make people feel sick, however, they can be lethal for pets. If accidentally ingested by a small child, the sap from a poinsettia flower may cause unwarranted skin reactions such as rashes or itching. mistletoe

Mistletoe: If you happen to find yourself under a Mistletoe, you know you might owe someone a kiss. However, this sweet holiday plant can be extremely dangerous if ingested. Be sure to keep it away from small children and pets as all parts of the plant can cause serious reactions.

Christmas Trees: Oh, Christmas Tree! While these are one of the namesakes of the holiday, it’s important to take care as the trees and lights can be dangerous. When you bring your tree home, be sure to keep it away from your fireplace and heaters as a safety precaution and also to prevent your tree from drying out! Make sure your stand fits your tree to ensure that it doesn’t fall!

Ready for the holiday season? Great! For all of your holiday plant needs, come see us at Whispering Springs. Happy Holidays!

Cold Weather Gardening Tips

If the weather over the past few weeks are to serve as any indication, this Winter may be a cold one! Here are some tips to help keep your plants safe when temperatures nosedive and the weather turns:

  • If an extreme dip is expected, give your garden a good watering a day before if the soil is good and dry. Moist soils will retain heat better than dry ones! Whatever you do, do not overwater. Overwatering can cause root disease and rot.
  • If temperatures are to drop below 20 degrees, be sure to cover your cold-sensitive plants. May sure your covers go all the way to the ground and are secured down with bricks or rocks. This will help to retain heat and moisture during the cold winter nights. Your plants will be fine if left covered for a few days at a time. Check on them periodically and be ready to cover them again if needed.Dead Shrub
  • If you have itty-bitty plants, you can cover them with mulch or pine straw to help them keep nice and warm.
  • Gardeners be aware of the temperature and weather conditions each day! The weather can be unpredictable as it is, so its best to be prepared for any and all conditions that could be brought on by Mother Nature!
  • Tip: Vegetable gardens can be damaged more than other plants during extreme cold. Be prepared and take as many precautions as possible so your crops are not ruined.

Need more cold-weather gardening tips? No problem! Stop by and see us at the nursery or contact us with any questions you might have about your garden or landscaping!



House-Plants Make Great Christmas Gifts!

The holidays are right around the corner and we know you’re starting think about your list of people to buy for. It’s tough! How do you know if they’ll like it? If you’re not sure what to buy them, a house-plant might be the perfect option! It’s a great statement to any home-decor and can make a home feel that much more like a sanctuary. Here are some great plants that make awesome holiday gifts:

Orchids: Orchids are a gorgeous plant to give as a gift. Given the right light and care, they can last for over 5 weeks and will continue to bloom for years to come. Each variety of Orchid is going to require different amounts of light and humidity. Generally, Moth Orchids are the easiest to grow and require the least amount of maintenance. pinecones and christmas lights

Christmas Cactus: Christmas Cactus is a great option for someone who can care for the plant. It is less expensive than many other plants or floral arrangements. Christmas cactus needs a lot of indirect sunlight as well as regular watering. These plants are very resilient and could be the start of a great tradition, many are passed down from generation to generation as long as they are well cared for!

Succulents: Succulents are a wonderful gift as they don’t need very much attention. Aloe Vera is a gorgeous option that can grown to be nearly three feet tall. This plant does best in bright light.

Tis’ the season! Ready to start checking names off of your holiday gift list? Come and see what’s in store for the holidays at Whispering Springs Nursery in Jasper, GA.


The Best Mulch Options for Your Garden

As the cooler weather and shorter days roll in, it’s important that your lawn and garden are ready with nutrient-rich mulch. Mulch is not only good for your garden’s overall health, it’s also good for its looks. Mulch can create a lovely, neutral backdrop to your gardening efforts. Here are a few of the options you can use for your lawn and garden:

Leaves: The leaves are falling and are probably covering your entire lawn. Perfect! Fallen leaves are a great mulch. Shredded leaves will help prevent weeds from germinating as well as help your soil retain moisture. Avoid using too much, though, as compacted leaves can actually rob nutrients from your landscape.

Grass clippings: Untreated grass clippings are a great mulch. Grass is nitrogen-rich which is exactly what your soil needs. Grass, when applied correctly, will also help to preserve the natural moisture in your soil .Tip: If the clippings aren’t totally dry before they’re applied it can begin to rot. Make sure your grass is totally dry before you apply!

Compost: Compost is made from the natural food waste from your home.  For example, coffee grounds and eggshells are great options to use in your composting regiment. Because composting means you’ll be creating less waste, you’re also doing a great deed for the environment!

These options will not only keep your garden looking its best, but they’re also right in your yard!

For more information on what the best mulch options are for your garden or landscaping in Jasper please contact us here.