11 January 2015

Plant allionii primroses for early spring color!

We all know that spring can’t possibly get here soon enough… which is why you should always keep your garden well-stocked with EARLY bloomers so that real spring, with flowers in the garden, comes as soon as possible. Of course snowdrops and crocus are great for this… but you may not know (or may not grow) the allionii primroses. 
'Bill Martin'
Allioniis have a reputation for being fussy… but in our experience, they don’t deserve it. They grow great for us in the nursery, and are easy in ground or containers, give the right conditions. 
'Warfdale Village'
They just need decent drainage in the winter and maybe a little shade in the summer to keep the cool. And when they are happy you get low spreading mounds that can completely cover themselves with gorgeous flowers early, early in the spring.
'Mrs. Peggy Wilson'
Check out our whole selection on the website or consider trying an Allionii collection – we’ll pick you out a range of great, vigorous varieties for you to get started with.
'Lismore Yellow'
And… if you order before the 18th, you can still use our two early-bird coupons to save a little cash! When you check out, either enter the code “polar” and get 20% off your entire order (except collections, grafted conifers, and bulk wildflowers) OR you can enter the code “vortex” to get free shipping. Minimum order to use these codes is $150.
Primula x belluensis

03 December 2014

Winter is back. Here are some coupons for horticultural retail therapy

Winter is back. After LONG overstaying its welcome this past “spring” it has decided to make an early appearance again this year.

Oh joy.
So, if the garden is frozen and snow covered, what better to do with your time than settle in for some good old plant shopping? Place your orders now for significant savings, and we'll ship them to you when (if...) the world thaws out again in the spring. To get you started, we're offering you your choice of two different coupons that are good now through January 12th. You can't use both, but when you check out you can decide which you prefer. Either you can enter the code “polar” and get 20% off your entire order (except collections, grafted conifers, and bulk wildflowers) OR you can enter the code “vortex”to get free shipping. Minimum order to use these codes is $150... don't want to spend that much? Consider combining your order with a friend and neighbor to get the savings. It saves money, and sitting with a cup of hot tea or cocoa with a plant friend pouring over a catalog together is perhaps the best way to spend a cold winters day.
So consider placing an order... you'll save money, and we'll thank you. If we're in for another winter like last one, the heating bills are going to be brutal.
Here's to hoping winter decides to take it easy for the rest of the season (Hey, we can dream, right?)

-Brigitta and the rest of the crew at Arrowhead

21 November 2013

Growing (real) mandrakes!

If you are a Harry Potter fan, or just interested in folklore, you may know the mythical mandrake, a plant with roots that are supposed to scream when you pull them up, a scream that will kill anyone who hears it. Another myth has it that mandrakes only grow where the semen of a hanged man hits the ground.


Luckily for us, cultivation of the actual factual mandrake is a great deal less difficult and dangerous. In fact it is fairly easy to grow, and they are looking lush and lovely at the nursery right now.
 It is only hardy to zone 6, so needs a sheltered spot to survive here in mid-Michigan, but otherwise the only trick is understanding how it grows. Mandrake is a winter grower -- plants are just putting up lush and beautiful leaves now, leaves which will stay up all winter, followed by rather pretty flowers and fruit in the spring, and then it goes totally dormant in the summer. This makes it pretty much impossible to sell at a regular nursery, because any time people are shopping, it looks like it is dead. But come fall, up it pops again, without fail.

Frustrating as this backwards growth cycle is for us a nursery, it makes it a terrific garden plant. Because it grows in the winter, it does beautifully under deciduous trees, soaking up the sun while the leaves are down, and it is terrific interplanted with normal perennials like hostas, because right when the hostas are going down for the fall, leaving the garden barren, up pops the mandrake to look beautiful all winter. Pretty magical.
And, of course, you can show it to all your Harry Potter obsessed friends and make them horribly jealous, which is pretty magical as well.
We've got a few for sale: http://www.arrowheadalpines.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=65_182&products_id=7026