Bee Kind With A Pollinator-Friendly Garden!

bee on a pink crape myrtle flower

National Honey Bee Awareness Day is August 18th. Celebrate by doing your part to help stop the global decline of bees.

Bees are responsible for pollinating a huge percentage of the food we eat. They also help control many pests that destroy crops. Unfortunately, global bee populations are declining at an alarming rate. A major factor to this decline is mass lost of habit. Thankfully, there are a lot of things you can do to help make your yard and garden bee-friendly!

Plant Pollinator-Friendly Plants

One of the most important ways to help bees is by adding flowering plants to your yard. There are lots of beautiful pollinator-friendly flowering plants that can give bees back a little of their lost habit:

  • Crape Myrtle – This beautiful non-native ornamental is attractive to both bees and people!
  • Coral Honeysuckle – This lovely ground cover is perfect for adding a bit of color to your space and bees love it.
  • Cethra – This a shrub with gold foliage. It’s known to attract butterflies and hummingbirds in addition to bees.
  • Flowering Quince – This plant grows 4 to 6 feet tall and boasts a beautiful red flower.

Other Ways to Help

Of course, there are other things you can do to help. Buying local raw honey and organic produce helps. So does leaving out water for your bees. Incorporating a birdbath or small water feature into your yard can give bees a much-needed spot to rest and re-hydrate.

Ready to make your yard or garden more bee-friendly? Then contact us today at 770-893-1254 to let Whispering Springs Nursery help you select the pollinator-friendly plants that are right for your home. Our plant nursery, landscape design, hardscaping and softscaping, and landscape maintenance services can help you realize the potential of your outdoor spaces. 

3 Must-Do’s to Add to Your Summer Gardening Checklist

gardening tipsSpring has sprung, and the first official day of summer is weeks away. You’ve likely been busy in your garden since March, but the work isn’t done yet. For many, it’s just beginning. But don’t worry – your hard work to keep your garden healthy will be extremely rewarding.

Consider the following summer gardening tips to keep your garden bright and healthy:

Pull Weeds

You may see an influx of weeds in your yard during June because weeds LOVE the warm weather that summer brings. But, if you spot them early when they’re still small sprouts, they’re easy to pull. Make sure you pull them at their root, so they can’t grow back.

Mulch Your Garden

If you have a garden, spreading mulch over your soil is one of the best ways to keep your soil healthy. The mulch provides a much-needed barrier from intense weather conditions and pesky animals. A two-inch layer of mulch is the perfect amount to spread over your soil.

Watch for Pests

Throughout the summer, many critters will want to make a home in your garden. (Can you blame them? Your garden is beautiful due to the jaw-dropping plants you bought from our nursery.) So, make sure you keep an eye out for pests that may harm your plants. Take the appropriate measures to ward them off or eliminate them if they invade.

At Whispering Springs Nursery, we are dedicated to helping our customers make the garden of their dreams. Let us know if you have any questions. One of our team members will gladly assist you!

3 Ways We Can Help Beautify Your Outdoor Space

backyard careThe random bouts of cold weather have officially subsided, and the warm weather has finally arrived. Spring and summer are two of the best seasons of the year because it’s backyard season! All of your TLC during fall and winter will show as flowers start to bloom and trees stretch their branches.

If you are looking to add an extra touch of beauty to your yard, we can help. Here are a few of many ways we can help beautify your outdoor space:

Landscape Design

Do you want to transform your yard into a backyard oasis? Through our landscape design and installation, our team can do just that. You can choose from a variety of options – lighting systems, hardscapes, and softscapes are just a few of many. We can even plant more trees and shrubs, if needed, to add more dimension and color to your future oasis.

Yard Maintenance

Yards, just like our homes and vehicles, need regular maintenance to keep them in prime condition. Our professional team members can prune your shrubs and small trees to ensure optimal growth. If you have planting beds, we will remove leaves and weeds that threaten to choke the seasonal plants. Additionally, if you have ponds or water features, we will maintain and clean those areas.

Water Features

To add extra oomph to your oasis, allow us to install a water feature to enhance the look of your property. Our expert team members work with your current lawn to ensure the new feature blends well with what is currently there. Beautiful hardscape options you can choose from include waterfalls, ponds, rock gardens, dry creek beds, and drainage creeks.

At Whispering Springs Nursery, we take pride in beautifying the beautiful mountain land in which we live. If you’d like to beautify your landscape, contact us today.

DIY Fertilizer for Your Garden

Good gardeners do everything for their gardens. You select and position your plants with care, water them, maybe even talk to them, and of course, take plenty of pictures of them. You also feed and nourish them with the right kind of fertilizer, but that can become expensive! Fertilizer can also be a pain to purchase in stores. Check out these DIY fertilizer ideas from Whispering Springs Nursery.

  • Compost tea. Once your compost is fully finished, you can turn it into a tea-like mixture that your plants will love as much as you love real tea. Fill a five-gallon bucket about a third of the way with compost, and the rest of the way with water. After about three or four days of stirring as often as you can, strain it through cheesecloth or another fine strainer. Dilute the mixture until it looks like weak tea (about a 10:1 ratio of water to tea) and then use it on the soil.
  • Grass clippings are rich in nitrogen, oxygen, and phosphorus. Make sure that your grass hasn’t been treated with herbicides before you use it! The process of making grass fertilizer is similar to compost tea, except that you’ll fill the bucket about two-thirds of the way with grass, and you’ll dilute the tea with equal parts water before you use it.
  • Do you have a freshwater fish tank? Fertilizing is as easy as pouring the old water over your plants next time you clean the tank!

Whispering Springs Nursery in Jasper, GA is so much more than a nursery. We’re in the business of education and growth as much as selling plants, and we love to hear from you. Contact us or come down to visit us and let’s talk about your garden!

Don’t Give Deer a Free Lunch

Are you tired of deer tearing through your garden? Deer are like locust, emerging from nowhere to chew leafy crops down to the root. And summer is high season for these furry fiends. They need extra nutrition in the warmer months since many does are be pregnant or nursing and young bucks need energy to grow their magnificent antlers. So how can you protect your landscape from hungry deer? Plant their least favorite foods!

6 Deer Resistant Plants for Georgia Gardens

  1. deer in landscapeBear’s breeches. Towering like elegant centerpieces, this plant boasts light, attractive blooms and broad, glossy leaves. Bear’s breeches adds texture and height to the garden, it’s drought-tolerant, and deer find it unappealing to boot!
  2. Butterfly weed. Butterflies may flock to this vibrant orange perennial, but deer prefer to keep their distance.
  3. Caryopteris. Do you love unusual flowers with eye-catching texture? This cool-toned shrub will continue blooming long after other bushes have spent their blooms.
  4. Chrysanthemum. A fall-blooming beauty that comes in a variety of dark, rich, and warm-hues, chrysanthemums put off a strong floral bouquet . . . and deer wrinkle their noses at their natural perfume.
  5. Crocosmia. If you love tropical beauties, plant crocosmia. With its long, elegant arrays of tropical orange blooms, it’s a perennial eye-catcher that will remind you of the beach (and drive off deer).
  6. Goldenrod. Do you need to fill bare places in the garden? Goldenrod is a good choice for adding depth to flowerbeds, filling vases, and encouraging deer to find a meal elsewhere.

At Whispering Springs Nursery, we specialize in deer resistant plants. For more tips on keeping deer out of the landscape, visit our gardening center in Jasper, GA.

How to Create a Flourishing Spring Garden

Spring has finally arrived! We know we’re not the only ones excited to dig into a fresh year of gardening. Make sure you don’t miss anything on your spring landscaping checklist.

Early Spring Checklist

  • shovel digging in dirtBefore you dig into spring planting, check your bulb beds to make sure things look good for bright, beautiful spring blooms.
  • Check the pH of your soil and supplement flowerbeds with fertilizer, lime, or compost to ensure plants stay happy all summer.
  • Prune fruit trees before buds appear on the branches. Remember: wait too long and you’ll stress the trees, leading to a low yield.
  • Divide and replant perennials, making sure each new plant has at least three stems.
  • Plant early spring vegetables like carrots, lettuce, onions, cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes.
  • Clean up the landscape. Remove winter debris, repair damaged beds, and take your lawn mower to be serviced before the first mow of the season.

Mid-Spring Checklist

  • Plant fresh flowerbeds full of vibrant colors and eye-catching shapes.
  • Put your planters away until fall. Leave the birdbaths out and full of water.
  • Transplant seedlings for annuals.
  • Take stock of your spring landscape. Write down any notes about how to improve the view next year. Trust us, you’ll forget what you wanted to fix by next spring!
  • Apply mulch around flowerbeds to suppress summer weeds and help retain moisture.

Late Spring Checklist

  • Deadhead spring-blossoming bulbs.
  • Prune spring-blooming shrubs after they’ve spent their blossoms for the year.
  • Take a break and plant a fairy garden inside the house.

Do you need fresh spring flowers and shrubs, new tools and garden ornaments, tips on seasonal landscape care, or professional insight on your landscape design? Visit Whispering Springs Nursery for landscaping solutions in Jasper.

Sprinkle Fairy Dust Over Your Garden

Fairy gardens add a dash of whimsy to the landscape. They’re fun, simple to make, and brighten the yard even in the dead of winter. Ready to plant fresh enchantment? Make your own fairy garden with a little help from your friends at Whispering Springs Nursery.

How to Plant a Fairy Garden

We’re addicted to making these magical mini-landscapes. They’re a lovely addition to garden paths, porches, indoor spaces, or nestled into flowerbeds. Don’t worry if you’ve never planted a fairy garden before. This DIY garden project is as simple as it is stunning!

  • fairy garden at whispering springsGather your supplies. There are plenty of fairy garden items available in Jasper. Whether you’re looking for ceramic pots, fairy houses, tiny furniture, fanciful accessories, or lush plants for your fairy garden, you’ll find what you need at Whispering Springs Nursery.
  • Choose your spot. If you want a mobile fairy garden, look for ceramic and terra cotta pots, unique planters like wicker baskets or wheelbarrows, or empty spaces in your flower beds. If you’re planting your fairy garden directly in the ground, make sure the spot you choose has adequate sunlight and good drainage.
  • Arrange your design. Before you get started, it’s a good idea to plan your layout to ensure everything fits together. That way you don’t have to rip up succulents because you ran out of room for the cottage.
  • Plant your magic. Choose a potting soil that has adequate drainage. Plant large-root plants first, then arrange your hardscape items and fairy accessories. Voila! Your garden has been transported to a storybook world.

Time to spread some fairy dust! Visit Whispering Springs Nursery for fairy garden supplies and tips.

How to Make a Summer Garden Look Like Spring

Choosing the right plant for your landscape is only the first step in cultivating a garden that’s worth another look. Garden maintenance may be less fun than landscape design, but it does just as much for the beauty as planting bright annuals and richly textured trees. Are your plants wilting under the hot summer sun? Keep your yard bold and beautiful with our top summer garden care tips.

Summer Garden Maintenance

  • Do your homework. Can’t wait to plant new summer flowers or a fresh veggie garden? Before you dig in, do your research. Choose plants that don’t just look great together, but also have similar growing conditions. Test the soil before you plant and supplement it as necessary.
  • Dig in. Nobody wants weeds in the garden, but nobody wants to pull them up either. Weeding is unavoidable if you want a thriving landscape. Go ahead and dig in (or pay the neighbor kids to do it for you). Trust us, it’ll be a lot harder to uproot them later if you let them grow.
  • Deadhead. Maybe you went on vacation and your house sitter neglected the yard. Maybe you forgot to water for a week. But if your summer flowers look droopy, there’s a simple solution: deadhead. Remove spent blooms on your annuals and perennials and, with a little TLC, they may blossom again before summer ends.
  • summer plants with soaker hoseWater. We live in Georgia after all. If you can’t survive 10 minutes outdoors without running inside for some sweet tea, you should seriously consider how much water you give your plants. Invest in a soaker hose, which allows water to penetrate the roots more deeply. Check how much water your plants need during the summer to survive. Most garden plants need about 1 inch per week.

Need a burst of inspiration? Whispering Springs Nursery has a wide variety of summer plants that thrive in the mountainous region of Jasper. Stroll our nursery and talk to our staff about planting and maintaining summer gardens.

Soaker Hose

The Buzz on Pollinator Gardens

Pollinators are an integral part of our ecosystem. They’re not just colorful birds flitting around our kitchen windows or butterflies dancing along the hedges. They’re the bees, bats, birds, and other creatures that are responsible for pollinating 75% of the plants we need for food, drinks, medicine, fabric, and spices. Unfortunately, pollinator populations are in decline. If you’re not ready to say goodbye to your morning coffee (coffee plants are pollinated by wild bees), it’s time to do your part in planting a pollinator garden.

Protecting Pollinators

bee pollinating flowerPollinators are in decline. Habitat loss, pesticides, grazing practices, and introduced species have drastically affected the bee population in the last few decades. Since 2006, the US has lost 40% of its commercial honeybee population. The World Conservation Union predicts that the reduction in pollinator populations, along with a variety of other factors, may lead to the extinction of roughly 20,000 flowering plant species in the next few decades. So what can gardeners in Jasper do?

Planting for Pollinators

  • Before planting your first flower, take a look at your gardening practices. Are they eco-friendly? Reducing or eliminating chemical pesticides can go a long way toward helping pollinator populations.
  • Plant a variety of native plants that flower at various points in the year. This provides nectar throughout the entire growing season.
  • Don’t plant solitary flowers, trees, and shrubs. Clump native plants together in an artful arrangement. Not only will it look better, it has a better chance of attracting pollinators to the garden.
  • Avoid planting invasive species. If you’re new to the area, ask the folks at Whispering Springs Nursery which native plants will attract pollinators, and which invasive species will only cause more damage.

Time to get to work! Visit Whispering Springs Nursery for native plants, landscape design tips, and information on how to protect pollinators.

Bee

Holiday in the Sun

Keeping plants healthy when they’re fully exposed to sunlight can be a challenge, but knowing which plants are suited for full sun is the key. Try sticking with native plants, as well as plants that are tolerant to heat and drought. Then, simply plan an arrangement and put that green thumb to work!

Full Sun Annuals

sunflowerBecause of their tendency to be tough and drought resistant, many annuals make popular and fitting choices for planting in full sun. Kansas’ state flower, the sunflower, isn’t picky about soil condition, making it a great choice for easy-going gardening in direct sunlight. Marigolds are similarly low-maintenance and come in different styles such as French, African and Triploid.

Full Sun Perennials

Plenty of perennials also fare well in hot, sunny conditions. Lavender loves hot, dry conditions, and smells wonderful anywhere you plant it. Any area that is nutrient-challenged is a great place for hens and chicks, or sempervivum, a unique style of succulent. The mother plant of this species always stays attached to its babies, helping them grow, so planting these with your children is a fun way to teach them about gardening.

Sunny Border Plants

The smaller, shorter plants used for edging and borders in your garden can often be susceptible to direct sunlight, but not with our help. It’s very important to keep soil type and moisture in mind when choosing your border plants. Yarrow, while technically an herb, is great for garden borders and is nearly care-free once planted. The beautiful daylily, which now has over 35,000 different hybrids, is another gardener’s favorite that needs little attention after you plant it.

For more help with your lawn and garden, contact the friendly gardening pros at Whispering Spring Nursery, or check out our services online any time.

Sunflower