Collier's Garden Scoop
August 2018
We're enjoying the milder temps & have benefited from frequent rain in our locality. Hopefully your plants have also received plenty of rain this summer.  
If you'd like to tackle a garden project this weekend, we have a good selection of shrubs & groundcovers, and perennials are on sale today and tomorrow!    
August Hours
Monday - Saturday 9 to 5
Closed Sunday

Perennial Sale

This Friday & Saturday only
25% off most* perennials!

Includes perennials for sun & shade
in 4 inch, quart and 1 gallon pots
regularly priced $4.99 - $14.99.
Does not include shrubs, vines, groundcovers or herbs.
Sale runs Friday & Saturday, August 3rd & 4th, from 9 to 5.

Dorotheanthus bellidiformis
Summer Survivor
Livingstone Daisy
A tenacious annual that won't languish in the heat of late summer, the ornamental qualities of livingstone daisy make it even more appealing: attractive variegated foliage on stems that spill over the edge of containers, and deep red flowers that emerge steadily until frost. They are tolerant of hot, dry conditions and grow best in partial or full sun. 

Houseplant Highlight

This tropical gem is a worthy addition to any houseplant collection.
Peperomia are members of the pepper family, native to the rain forests of Central and South America. Because of this they flourish in a humid environment. Indoors, where cooling and heating systems dry the air, you can create humidity by misting frequently, placing the pot on a tray full of pebbles and water, or growing in a terrarium. You can also move your peperomia outside for the warm months (place in a shady spot) where it can enjoy ample humidity due to the often steamy conditions of Alabama summers.
Peperomias grow best in bright to moderate light (shield from direct sunlight, especially in the afternoon). An eastern or southern exposure is usually ideal.  
Fleshy, succulent-like leaves that store moisture contribute to this plant's requirement for well-drained soil (containers must have holes). Allow the soil to dry to the touch between waterings.  
Peperomias have a compact growth habit, reaching 12 inches tall and wide at the most. They also have a small, delicate root system and prefer to be slightly potbound. Stemming from its tropical origin is peperomia's inability to survive temperatures below 55 degrees, so move them indoors to a brightly lit room before winter.  
We have four types of peperomia in store currently:  
Peperomia argyreia
Watermelon Peperomia
Peperomia axillaris

Peperomia caperata
Ripple Leaf Peperomia
Peperomia obtusifolia
Baby Rubber Plant

Essential Southern Perennial
Pink Muhly Grass

Muhlenbergia capillaris, more commonly known as Pink Muhly Grass, is native to the eastern United States and is hardy in USDA Zones 6 to 9. It is one of the most reliable perennials for central Alabama, and a show-stopper in the late summer and fall gardens. Spectacular, cloud-like drifts of 12 inch plumes emerge in August and persist into November. Railroad Park, in downtown Birmingham, has a massive planting of pink muhly grass that many of you may have seen. 

We currently have two hybrids in stock. 'Pink Cloud' sports the vibrant pinkish-purple plumes this plant is famous for. 'White Cloud' offers an interesting alternative with soft and fluffy, cream-colored plumes.

Muhly grass thrives in partial to full sun (4 hours of direct sun, or more, each day). Well-drained soil is required. Muhly grass is very tolerant of heat and drought, but will grow faster if given regular water. Forms a clump 2 to 3 feet tall and wide when mature. Cut foliage to the ground in late winter to maintain a neat appearance. Divide every few years in early spring if needed or desired.

This native grass has few if any insect or disease problems, making it a low-maintenance addition to the landscape. For fullest effect, muhly grass should be planted in groups. It is rarely grazed by deer, and the seeds are enjoyed by birds in winter.

Mature drifts of muhly grass in full fall glory, pictured below. 
Photos courtesy of the  U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington DC.

Fun Find
Plant Nanny
This is a simple but very clever way to water a container garden or potted plant gradually by recycling a wine bottle (see pic below). Water from the bottle slowly seeps through the unglazed terra cotta and into the surrounding soil, directly to the plant's roots.  
Plant Nanny can be a lifeline for plants when you're on vacation, and is an easy way to keep thirsty plants happy when you're busy. Paired with a bottle of wine, a watering stake would be a delightful gift for green-thumbed friends. Plus, they're refreshingly inexpensive at $6.99 each or $24.99 for 4! 

August Lawn Care

Apply  fertilome 15-0-15 to 
Centipede lawns in early August.
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Collier's Nursery 
2904 Old Rocky Ridge Road
Birmingham, AL 35243