Friday, December 14, 2012

Poinsettias 101

"So just how often does my poinsettia need watered?"  That's probably the most common question (and very valid, too!) posed to us this time of year.   There's two answers to that question, the long and the short.

Of course, the long answer is a little more fun!  You get the bonus of a little context and history, like knowing that the poinsettia plant is a euphorbia native to Central America.  Another common euphorbia is one of our spring staples, Diamond Frost.  Historically, the Aztecs extracted dyes from the poinsettia and used its white milk for treating fevers.  It wasn't until the early 19th century that the poinsettia was "discovered" and brought  to the United States by Joel Roberts Poinsett.  (In addition to propagating and becoming the namesake for the poinsettia, Mr. Poinsett also served as a U.S. minister to Mexico, a member of the House of Representatives, and was a co-founder of the predecessor of the Smithsonian Institution.  And yes, his list of notable accomplishments continues!)

So even though we associate the poinsettia with Christmas and cold weather, it's actually a relatively drought-tolerant plant from Central America.  Of course, it does need water!  Maybe it's time for the short answer...

The short answer?  Not too often.  Water the soil well and then let the soil dry out before watering again.

Best of luck with your poinsettias!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Seeing Stars

There are oodles of gorgeous poinsettias to be found in December! Two of our current favorites are "Cinnamon Star" and "Marble Star". A far cry from the traditional red poinsettia, they're too fun to not share with you!  

They're each certainly a conversation piece- and a pretty one, too! Tradition tells us that "Nothing says Christmas like a red poinsettia!". But the fun and funky colors have something to say, too... perhaps "Happy New Year!"?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Open House Day

To all who came out today for our annual Open House- thank you!  It's always so nice to see so many old and new friendly faces in the greenhouse.  We had a wonderful morning and hope that you enjoyed it too!

If you entered your name into the door prize drawing, you could be a winner!  Cross your fingers, the winners will receive a phone call from us early next week.  Good luck!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Open House

Our Christmas Open House is only a few short days away and you're invited, of course!  

Hope to see you on Saturday!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tucked Away

Always a fun surprise:  praying mantis chrysalis in our yellow twig! (Actually called the "ootheca"- and yes, I did look it up just for this post!)  This season there seems to be a surplus of these little guys tucked away in our red and yellow twig.  So look twice when you're choosing your twigs and berries... there just might be a little bonus!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Deck the Halls!

We're now in full wreath-making mode!  If you stopped by this past week you may have noticed our assembly line in the back of the greenhouse.  We were kept busy cutting up greens, bunching them and then clamping them into wreath frames- a time consuming process.  The best part?  Choosing the perfect embellishments, of course!  

Friday, November 23, 2012

Petite Paperwhites

Poinsettias are a Christmas staple- no doubt about that!  However, the last few years we've been learning to love bulbs just as much.  It's so enjoyable to watch a Paperwhite or Amaryllis sprout, grow and finally bloom!

These little guys are amazing!  Depending on the variety, their fragrance can be mild or strong and their height  can reach up to one and a half feet.  A common concern we hear about Paperwhites is their height and if there is any way to control it.  We recently stumbled across an article published by Cornell University's Horticulture Department called "Pickling Your Paperwhites" that suggests using a mixture of hard liquor and water to keep your Paperwhites on the petite side.  Here's their "recipe":

Pickling Your Paperwhites

1.  Plant your Paperwhite as you normally would and add water (we usually use just enough so it barely reaches  the bottom of the bulb).

2.  Wait for the roots to grow and the bulb to begin to shoot up some leaves.  This should take about one week.

3.  Once the roots are established and your Paperwhite is growing, drain the water.  Replace the water with a mixture of roughly seven parts water and one part hard liquor.  Continue to "water"  the Paperwhite with this mixture as you would normally.

The full article is available here: Pickling Your Paperwhites  Scroll to the bottom for a great illustration of the final product.

Easy enough, right?  Best of luck with your bulbs this winter!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Getting Ready

Beginning tomorrow morning, we'll be open for retail!  We've been busy bees this week- cutting, planting, arranging... Christmas must be on the way!

2012 Christmas Open Days
November 17- December 22

Monday- Friday 9:00- 5:00
Saturday 8:00-12:00

Hope to see you soon!

Monday, November 12, 2012


As promised, a few more of our favorites from Patty last Christmas:

So much can change in a year!  This picture was taken last December when we had barely begun construction on our latest greenhouse. (You can check out this blog post to see how the landscape has evolved:  A Transformation!)

All of the beautiful pictures in this post were taken by Patty O'Brien. Thanks so much for sharing these with us, Patty! 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Double Take

So Christmas-y!  Our growing greenhouse is just stuffed full of red poinsettias... or is it?

Can you see them?  Take a closer look on the right:

There they are!  These red begonias are being grown for a contract customer so we only have them for a short while.  So many begonias are an unusual sight for us in November (well, anything other than poinsettias, really!) but we can't complain.  Such a pretty sight in a sea of poinsettias- we just had to share it with you!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Check Your Mailbox...

It's time again for postcards!  

We're so excited about our postcard photo for this season!  Credit for the photo goes to Patty O'Brien.  She captured this image (and many more) inside our greenhouse last December.  There were so many great pictures to choose from- we may have to post some of our other favorites in the next few weeks!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Beautiful Berries!

Winter must be on its way- our berry bushes are becoming impossible to ignore!  The thick, red berries on our Winterberry are especially gorgeous against our autumn leaves.  

Not enough color for you?  Check out the Beautyberry cascading in front of our kitchen windows:

Too pretty for words... and what an appropriate name!  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2012 Christmas Retail

Well, our hours are set and the postcards are being printed!  Here's a sneak peek at our 2012 Christmas hours:

2012 Christmas Retail

November 17- December 22
(Excluding Thanksgiving Day)

Monday thru Friday 9-5:00
& Saturday mornings 8-12:00

~ ~ ~

Annual Poinsettia Open House

Saturday, December 1
Join us for coffee, cookies and surprises!  
(And poinsettias, of course!)

Christmas is Coming...

We're only halfway through October and the poinsettias are happily growing in the greenhouses (and have been since mid-September). They've just begun to show color, but it's coming... after all, December is only six short weeks away!  

The Ice Punch poinsettias are starting to flush out, but you don't have to wait for them to color up to tell the differences between varieties:

The contrast between the rich, dark green foliage of the Red Glitter poinsettias makes the Snowcap White look almost chartreuse! Another fun little reminder from Mother Nature for us to "stop and smell the roses"... 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sun Lovers

We're reeeally enjoying our vines this summer!  Marty planted a few thunbergia plants into the hot, barren landscape beneath the windmill and they could not be happier.  Take a look:

They're going crazy- who would have thought thunbergia would make such a fun groundcover?  And tucked into the sea of yellow flowers are some gorgeous passion vine.  These flowers are so unique and absolutely worth their wait:

What an incredible flower!  This particular vine is a passiflora caerulea, if you're curious.  Hope your flowers have been treating you well this summer!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It's a Porch Sale!

Yup, you read that right- we're having a porch sale!  The greenhouse wedding has come and gone and we'd like to share some of it with you:  beautiful planters, stunning hanging cones, plus our signature odds, ends and antiques.  Anna Mary is even planning on putting out her mis-matched collection of vintage dishes!

We'd love to see you at the Porch Sale, so here's the scoop:

The Porch Sale at Henry's Greenhouses
1258 Oregon Hollow Rd, Holtwood
Saturday, June 30 from 7:00am until we're done!
"Rain or Shine"

See you on the porch!

Monday, June 4, 2012

It's Been Swell...

Wow- June already?  Our retail season absolutely flew by us this spring.  Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by to enjoy the flowers with us, hope to see you in December!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Stepping Out!

Over the past few weeks Marty has been enjoying collecting and planting up shoes.  Her most recent pair is really a showstopper! Gotta love the colors- you really can't beat the bold combo of chartreuse and plum purple.  (Actually, chartreuse and anything...) Another fun reminder that nothing should be off-limits in the garden!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Red, White & Blue

It's amazing that May is nearly over!  It feels like only yesterday we had begun this whole process, transplanting  tiny plugs and waiting patiently for them to mature.  

And we're now arriving at Memorial Day.  The holiday has evolved through the years-  the name Decoration Day became Memorial Day.   Soon after, the date was changed from May 30 to the last Monday in May.  One Memorial Day tradition that has not changed is the practice of placing flowers in cemeteries and homes as a symbol of remembrance of our fallen soldiers.    In recognition of the holiday, we'd like to share some red, white, and blue from the greenhouses:

The flowers of Calliope Dark Red geraniums are such a deep, stunning red.  It is an "interspecific" geranium, which means it has been crossed with an ivy geranium and its habit is more filling than upright.  We are very much looking forward to next spring when Calliopes are expected to be available in all colors as well as the original dark red.

Torenia comes in a rainbow of colors, including Catalina White Linen. Their trailing habit makes them a beautiful addition to a shady planter.  Another example of why we should always take a second, closer look: the wishbone in the center of the flower gives away the meaning of its nickname "wishbone flower"!

Another fun flower!  Laurentia, or Star Flower, is just irresistable.  As many "blue" flowers, its coloring is not quite a true blue.  (It is unusual, but not unheard of to find a true blue flower- Black and Blue salvia and Evolvulus Blue Daze come to mind.)  No matter, Laurentia is an adorable option for a sunnier spot.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pretty in Pink

So sweet!  The new Twister Pink verbena has caught our eye down in the growing houses.  It's the perfect combo- sturdy, sun-loving verbena with a simple but unique flower.  What's not to love?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Hot Pot!

Cindy and Bren have spent the last few days putting together bunches of beautiful planters.  They've almost got it down to a science!   This was one of their favorites, but "you need sunglasses to look at it!"

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Transformation

If you've been down to see us lately, you've probably already seen it- our newest greenhouse, now camouflaged by its even newer facade. And we are beyond excited about our new "shed" porch and greenhouse!  Almost a year ago a shed stood in place of this greenhouse:

And it was much more than a year ago that Tom began tearing down a used greenhouse to transport home and reconstruct on the site still occupied by our old shed.  Like everyone else we were disappointed by the lack of snow this past winter, but it was ideal for greenhouse construction!  Fast forward, and here we are today:

A finished greenhouse and completed front porch!  If you look closely, you may notice that the "new" porch has been built with the wood from the demolished shed and covered by its old tin roof.  Another sentimental detail are the three doors that used to hang in the now gone Sunday School building of Chestnut Level Presbyterian Church.  

If you peek through the windows you can see that this newest addition is already filled to the brim with flowers!  And, of course, we could not be more thrilled with the results!

Don't Miss Out!

How can it be Open House time of year again?  Hope you've marked your calendar for this Saturday.  Here's the lowdown:

Spring Open House at Henry's Greenhouses
Saturday, May 5 from 8:00- 12:00
Just like every other Saturday morning you're welcome to drop in, browse and shop.  Unlike every other Saturday morning you're also welcome to enjoy a cup of coffee and some of Aunt Cin's homemade breads (on us, of course) and see what fun surprises we have in store for you!

Hope to see you on Saturday!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


What a fun surprise this morning!  Perhaps you can have it both ways after all...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Colorful Caladiums

Due to this year's early warm weather, it seems that everything in the greenhouses (and around us outside, too!) is ahead of schedule.  Even the portulaca is blooming- wow!  Among all of this earlier-than-usual color there are a few plants that have really caught our eye, namely all of the colorful caladiums.  This particular variety, Miss Muffet, is one of Marty's favorites for its bright and unique foliage:

So fun!  But of course there's more- in fact, there's over 1,000 different kinds originating from South America.  You'll find red, pink, white and green caladiums, often with a unique varigation or a textured edging.  Their foliage is a wonderful addition to a shady bed or container either alone or grouped with ferns, grasses and begonias.

So why not consider a caladium or two?  You can't beat the non-stop color and beside that they have Marty's stamp of approval!

Peepin' at the Peeps!

Can you see them?  
They're trying to play it cool with their statuesque friends...

We'd like to take a moment to introduce you to our newest greenhouse addition- 14 tiny peeps!  If you're familiar with chickens, you will recognize that there are three fun kinds:  black Jersey Giants, some black and white Polish and a few Araucana ("Easter egg") chicks too.  They've been keeping us company by the checkout counter for the past week.  If you haven't met them yet, make it a point to check them out the next time we see you!  But hurry, hurry- they're growing up quickly!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Beguiling Begonias

Beguile:  To distract the attention of; to amuse or charm, to delight

How true of begonias!  At 'Another Garden Gathering' this past Saturday, Miriam chose to highlight a few of our very beguiling begonias that are sometimes overlooked.  
Here are a few of her favorites:

Richmondensis begonias are so, so great!  Their shiny, jagged leaves are the perfect backdrop for their proliferous pink flowers. The Richmondensis' bushy habit makes them a good choice for containers and hanging baskets. 

You can almost guess the name of this begonia without checking the tag... Escargot!  Can you see the snail?  The spiraling foliage on the Escargot begonia is a fun conversation piece for gown-ups and kids, too.

The Art Hodes begonia is a perfect example of why we just need to 
s l o w  d o w n and take a closer look.  Its foliage is just beautifully textured (next time you see an Art Hodes, touch it too!) and the individual leaves can grow to the size of pancakes.

Another aptly- named begonia: Looking Glass.  Gorgeous silver foliage with an almost metallic sheen.  It's pretty enough to stand alone!

And last (but absolutely not least!) are the fabulous Rex begonias.  This is only one of the many Rex begonias available.  The foliage is stunning- dotted in this case, sometimes striped, multicolored and even chartreuse!  Rex begonias are always a great statement plant.

Of course, there's so many more begonias available at through our greenhouse as well as others.  So go check 'em out- they're just too beguiling to turn down!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ahead of Schedule

The recent spell of warm weather did wonders for everything in the greenhouses, especially our hanging baskets.  They're certainly not ready to be outside, but Miriam's hanging cones are coming along quickly.  We've been enjoying their color- such pretty blooms already!  
There's nothing like flowers to put you in the mood for spring!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

High-Tech Tags

Plant tags can be super helpful... or not.  Most of the time, you can depend on the information printed on that little piece of plastic to tell you how tall to expect it to grow, if it prefers sun or shade and, most importantly, its name.  Of course, if you've ever spent time shopping for flowers you probably know that tags aren't always as informative as you wished.

Now take a close look at these tags:

See anything new?  Several plant brands are now incorporating QR codes into their tags.  These little black and white pixelated barcodes have been popping up everywhere from magazine ads to business cards to television commercials... and now plant tags!  They can be a wealth of information for anyone who chooses to use them (but the catch is that you need a smart phone with a QR code scanning app).  It's a simple process- scan the code and check out the website that pops up.

So the next time you're scratching your head and wishing for some more details on that cool new plant, check if there's a QR code.  Or, just ask one of the girls here... remember, people can be pretty helpful too!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

Who knew mirrors could be so much fun?  

Over the last few days we've had some tiny visitors in the greenhouses.  It's not unusual for our avian friends to fly in through the roof vents but we've never had a bird so intent on staying inside the greenhouse to inspect our mirrors!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

It's Postcard Time!

Check your mailbox- we can't wait to see you!

Sittin' on the Sedums

With all the beautiful weather this week, Anna Mary & Miriam had the perfect Thursday afternoon to plant up our green roof above the retail greenhouse entrance.  Green roofs are such a great trend right now!  What could be better than beautifying underused space while enjoying so many other benefits- increased insulation, creating habitats for animals, and absorbing rainwater, among others.  

Admittedly, this particular green roof is more for aesthetics than practicality.  We plan to enjoy these sedums (and other perennials!)  for years to come!

Miriam enjoying the end result and "sittin' on the sedums".

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

3:00 Break

There are many perks of greenhouse work- the excitement of new plants arriving in the spring, exercising our creative muscles by putting together different planter combos, getting a "farmer's tan" by the end of March, and many, many more! However, one of our daily perks is the unofficial "3:00 Break" where we almost stop working long enough to enjoy a drink of water and a snack, compliments to Aunt Cin.  Today's popsicle was especially gratifying for Tom & Lloyd, who spent the afternoon installing the hanging basket watering lines in the newest greenhouse.

Thanks, Aunt Cin!