Collier's Garden Scoop
October 2019
 Cooler temps are a tremendous relief after enduring the long summer, for gardeners and gardens alike. This chance to get back outside- and enjoy it- is what makes autumn so enjoyable. The fall planting season has officially begun!
October Hours
Monday - Saturday 9 to 5
Now Open
Sundays 1 to 5 

Welcome the new season with a Fall display
Combine this trio of autumn favorites for a nearly effortless yet elegant arrangement, ripe with colors and texture.  
Large leaves in bold, fiery hues create a vivid backdrop for mums and peppers. Can be grown as a houseplant in bright light. Overwinter indoors.
Great selection in stock now in a variety of sizes- instant color for containers! Perennial if planted in the ground where they will bloom in spring and fall.
Ornamental Pepper 
Grow outdoors in full, partial or filtered sun or indoors in bright light or a sunny window. Tiny peppers in fun colors add interest to arrangements!

Small Lemon Cypress are in stock now and 6" pots are expected next week. This chartreuse conifer thrives during cold weather, adding unbeatable color to the garden. While temps are mild they can be grown in full or partial sun. During summer they prefer afternoon shade. Provide well-drained soil and water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Slow growth rate makes them great container plants. Underplant with pansies or violas for a cheery winter pairing.

It's Time to plant Pansies & Violas 
The first large shipments of pansies & violas arrived this week and we're excited to see their happy blooms fill the nursery once again. Now that the 10 day forecast shows highs in the low 80s and 70s it's the ideal time to plant!  
Five Tips for Success
Plant soon to allow time for growth before daytime temps drop below 50 and growth rate slows dramatically. Buy before Thanksgiving for the best selection of colors and varieties.   

Apply a granular, slow-release fertilizer when planting.  
Provide loose, well-drained soil.
Cold air slows evaporation and pansies and violas do not enjoy "wet feet." Make sure containers drain and add soil conditioner to beds to break up clay soil. 

Pinch spent blooms. Pansies and violas bloom whether "deadheaded" or not but removing faded flowers has a notable effect. Blooms that aren't removed form seeds, which sap energy that the plant could use to produce more flowers.  
For pansies with medium blooms choose from the 'Delta' or 'Matrix' series. For pansies with large blooms choose from the 'Colossus' or 'Majestic Giants' series.
Why We Love Violas
They are the "original" pansy, first hybridized for gardens in the early 1800's by crossing different species of wild violas (by 1833 they had created 400 different pansies). 
Like pansies, violas come in an amazing array of colors, so you can create interesting and beautiful combinations. We also like mixing violas with pansies for the contrast of the different sized blooms. 
Got Shade? Give violas a try. They are proven to bloom and perform better than pansies in shadier spots. Both thrive in partial to full sun (3 or more hours each day). However, if you have an area that receives only 1 to 3 hours of sun each day then opt for violas. 
Violas bloom profusely. What the blooms lack in size they make up for in quantity!
Violas are more cold and heat tolerant than pansies, which means better performance through winter and into late spring.
Trailing pansies are the best option for cascading flowers in containers and hanging baskets during fall and winter. 'Cool Wave' and 'Freefall' pansies spill over the edge of containers and trail 8 to 12 inches. Like other pansies, trailing types do best with 3 or more hours of sun each day. Pinch or trim back as needed. Can be paired with trailing foliage such as ivy or creeping jenny.

Evergreen Companion Plants  
Compliment pansy & viola blooms with colorful foliage and interesting textures that will survive winter. Add wispy blades with sweet flag or coarse texture with the deep green fronds of autumn fern. Coral bells can be used for winter color in deep shade. Perhaps the most dramatic foliage accents for the cool season garden are ornamental cabbage and kale: their showy leaves develop bright white, deep pink, purple or red tones as temperatures drop. 
 Autumn Ferns are perennial, so use them in containers in full sun in winter, then transplant them to shaded areas in your garden next spring.
Coral Bells can be also be used in sunny spots during winter and moved to the shade garden in spring. Try monotone plantings with similar shades of pansies.
We love the dramatic leaves of Ornamental Mustard and have been surprised by its cold tolerance. Great height accent in pots or flowerbeds.
Ornamental Cabbage & Kale have ruffled leaves in shades of green, white, pink & deep purple. They look great grouped together or 
under-planted with pansies or violas.  
 Rosemary adds fragrance to winter plantings with aromatic foliage that doesn't mind the cold. Lavender blooms come along late winter. Pungent herbs are deer resistant!
Sweet Flag can be used in containers and flowerbeds to add height and soft texture. Pair with pansies or violas and ornamental cabbage or kale for a showy winter combo.

Plant Now for Spring Blooms  
A little extra digging now will reward you next spring:  
Dianthus, Foxglove and Snapdragons 
perform best when planted in October or November. Give them all winter to establish strong root systems and you'll receive a floral dividend in a few months. All but foxglove will bloom late into fall and again next spring; all will go dormant but remain green in winter. 
Dianthus are sometimes called 'pinks' because the flower petals look as though they've been trimmed with pinking shears.
 Snapdragons are called such because when pinched correctly the flowers "snap" open and closed like tiny dragon jaws.

October through December is the best time to tackle landscaping projects. Planting (or transplanting)
trees, shrubs &
in fall lets them grow strong root systems through the winter and spring and take advantage of more frequent rain- which means they will be well-established and more likely to survive.

October Lawn Care
Apply  Hi-Yield Pre-emergent with Dimension to Zoysia & Bermuda lawns in late October.

View our lawn care schedules here
Connect with us
Collier's Nursery 
2904 Old Rocky Ridge Road
Birmingham, AL 35243