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June 23, 2016

Art Form Nurseries 2016

September 03, 2015

Herbs

Herbs are a great addition to any household. Requiring just sunshine and well-drained soil, herbs are easy to grow in the garden, a pot on the patio or on your windowsill in the kitchen. Herbs can be annuals, perennials and even biennials, and they are grown for many uses: culinary, medicinal, or ornamental. With such diversity everyone can find a place for one or many.

Culinary herbs may be the most popular. Every dish tastes better with fresh herbs. They can be added to salads, salsa, sauces, soups, meats, vegetables, fruits and even cocktails. Simple foods can take on whole new flavors when fresh herbs are added. Some of the more popular culinary herbs are basil, rosemary, thyme, mints, oregano, sage, parsley, lavender, dill, cilantro, chives and catnip. Some herbs, like Chamomile, play a role in traditional medicine and it is used in teas to help with indigestion, anxiety and host of other things.

Depending on the variety, potted herbs can start to be planted outside as early as March. Many people may want to buy herbs in early spring and keep them on their windowsill to harvest even before they are able to plant them in the garden.

The best way to keep your herbs healthy and lush is to continuously harvest them. Once you harvest your herbs it is best to use them as soon as possible. If you are unable to use them immediately, store them in the refrigerator in a plastic perforated bag. Freezing is another alternative and an easy way to store them for long periods of time. Once they are cleaned, dried and removed from their stalks they can be frozen chopped or whole.

Ornamental herbs are excellent in all types of gardens. Many of them are not edible, while others have been developed to be the “showy” version of the herb.  Santolina is an annual ornamental herb that is a great border in an herb garden, while ornamental thymes are perfect perennials to go in between stones on a path.

Herbs are so diverse and easy to care for they are an excellent fit for any gardener. From the novice kitchen gardener who is just learning, to the long time experienced gardener who wants to try all the different varieties out there!

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to contact us. And, recommendations for new plant varieties are always welcome.

April 06, 2015

Herbs

Herbs are a great addition to any household. Requiring just sunshine and well-drained soil, herbs are easy to grow in the garden, a pot on the patio or on your windowsill in the kitchen. Herbs can be annuals, perennials and even biennials, and they are grown for many uses: culinary, medicinal, or ornamental. With such diversity everyone can find a place for one or many.

Culinary herbs may be the most popular. Every dish tastes better with fresh herbs. They can be added to salads, salsa, sauces, soups, meats, vegetables, fruits and even cocktails. Simple foods can take on whole new flavors when fresh herbs are added. Some of the more popular culinary herbs are basil, rosemary, thyme, mints, oregano, sage, parsley, lavender, dill, cilantro, chives and catnip. Some herbs, like Chamomile, play a role in traditional medicine and it is used in teas to help with indigestion, anxiety and host of other things.

Depending on the variety, potted herbs can start to be planted outside as early as March. Many people may want to buy herbs in early spring and keep them on their windowsill to harvest even before they are able to plant them in the garden.

The best way to keep your herbs healthy and lush is to continuously harvest them. Once you harvest your herbs it is best to use them as soon as possible. If you are unable to use them immediately, store them in the refrigerator in a plastic perforated bag. Freezing is another alternative and an easy way to store them for long periods of time. Once they are cleaned, dried and removed from their stalks they can be frozen chopped or whole.

Ornamental herbs are excellent in all types of gardens. Many of them are not edible, while others have been developed to be the “showy” version of the herb.  Santolina is an annual ornamental herb that is a great border in an herb garden, while ornamental thymes are perfect perennials to go in between stones on a path.

Herbs are so diverse and easy to care for they are an excellent fit for any gardener. From the novice kitchen gardener who is just learning, to the long time experienced gardener who wants to try all the different varieties out there!

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to contact us. And, recommendations for new plant varieties are always welcome.

May 22, 2014

A Look Back at Past PPAOY Winners

Let’s take a look back over the past 10 years of the winners of the perennial plant of the year. These plants all still hold a valuable place in our landscape and garden centers.

Athyrium n. pictum

2004- Athyrium niponicum ‘Pictum’ (Japanese Painted Fern)-This excellent addition to the shade garden provides lovely color and texture.

Helleborus 'Ballard Strain'

2005- Helleborus- One of the first perennials to bloom in the garden, that alone makes it a winner. It has the added bonus of great evergreen foliage.

Dianthus 'Fire Witch'

2006- Dianthus ‘Fire Witch’- Hot pink flowers in the spring add so much color to the garden. When the flowers are gone the silvery-blue foliage make a nice groundcover.

Nepeta 'Walker's Low'

2007- Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’- Long, long bloom time, starts in the late spring and goes into fall. Deer resistant to boot!

Geranium 'Rozanne'

2008- Geranium ‘Rozanne’- This geranium cannot be beat, nonstop color from late spring into the late fall. Very versatile, it can be used in mass plantings, specimen plant, containers the list is endless.

Hakonechloa 'Aureola'

2009- Hakonechloa ‘Aureola’- The stunning bright yellow leaves with thin green lines brighten up shady areas so well these are a must! Looks great with blue hostas.

2010- Baptisia australis- An excellent native with very showy flowers in the late spring and long black seed pods that add fall and winter interest.

2011-Amsonia hubrichtii- A southern native that has awesome fall color. The narrow needle-like foliage makes a beautiful display all summer.

Brunnera 'Jack Frost'

2012-Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’- The large silver-frosted leaves with green veins and blue forget-me-not like flowers in the spring are breathtaking. A favorite for the shade.

Polygonatum 'Variegatum'

2013- Polygonatum ‘Variegatum’- A classic shade perennial that has been described to have an architectural feel in the shade garden with its striking, upright, arching foliage. Just beautiful.

Panicum 'Northwind'

2014- Panicum ‘Northwind’- This year’s pick has so many excellent qualities. It is the most upright of all the panicums, with striking blue-green foliage. Northwind is also very drought tolerant once established! Lovely plumes arrive in the fall. Panicums are native plants. This is one of the best grasses out there!

December 17, 2013

Winter

After the holidays are over and the long cold days of winter have settled in, we are all in need of a little pick me up. One of the best cures for the winter blues is to start planning for spring. Think about the birds chirping, being able to open your windows and the bounty of beautiful flowers just a few months away.

Our spring availability offers lots of color. For late winter, don’t miss out on our long list of hellebores. Our expanded quart list has more options than ever and covers a wide range of perennials. For 2014, we have an impressive list of clematis in every color under the rainbow, tons of awesome coreopsis and plenty of hot new echinacea varieties. And there is a great listing of salvia in different heights and colors, nonstop flowering nepetas and crowd pleasing phlox.

For foliage plants, there are ferns, grasses, heucheras and hosta just to get started. For shade, we have epimedium, lamium, poylgonatum and galium. For sun, we carry fallopia, thyme, hypericum and lavender. And we have a large inventory of vinca which does well in both sun and shade.

We also have many unusual perennials that are hard to find, tried and true varieties, and our beautiful and well known herbs. It all comes to you with our excellent customer service. So just remember when the snow keeps piling up, spring is right around the corner!

Stop by and see us at CENTS in January and check out our 2014 catalog.

August 31, 2013

Planting for Sustainability

Recently there has a lot of buzz about sustainability; which is great news for the green industry as we have been utilizing sustainable practices for quite some time. Planting into the landscape can help control soil erosion and provide other benefits for the landscape. Planting the right plant in the right spot and for the right reasons is one way that we can effectively practice sustainability.

Helleborus 'Ballard Strain'Heuchera 'Caramel'Tiarella 'Candy Striper'

By understanding the site to be planted and the desired effects of the installment we can reduce loss and minimize long term maintenance. Ohio is a diverse state, with numerous micro climates ranging from prairie grasslands, to rich woodlands and wetlands. Our native plants have adapted in ways that allow them to thrive in their natural habitats. Tiarellas are an outstanding plant for a moist, well drained woodland garden. Heucheras are great for well drained shade, but can rot if the soil is too moist. While not native, Helleborus is a wonderful plant for the shade, which is deer resistant, evergreen, and features delightful early blooms that say “spring is coming!”

Echinacea 'Hot Papaya'Echinacea 'Pow Wow White'Echinacea 'Pow Wow Wildberry'

Echinacea purpurea, or purple coneflower, is a familiar plant that is native to prairies. It can take strong sun and is drought tolerant once established. Plant breeders have worked extensively with Echinaceas to produce showy, hardy and disease resistant varieties. Hardy cultivars bred for reduced plant loss are economically sustainable for the landscape owner and benefit the environment by requiring less spraying. We offer a wide variety of these cultivars, but an especially showy one, “Hot Papaya” features multi colored flowers: opening as a single orange and maturing to a fragrant double red.

Caltha palustris

Caltha palustris is another example of the many wonderful and site specific natives available at Art Form. Caltha will thrive in a continuously moist shady site. It has glossy green foliage throughout the season and bright yellow flowers in early spring.

There is a plant for every site, and sustainability can be achieved by planting for the site, not by changing the site for the plant. This is not only ecologically sustainable but economically sustainable and sound by lowering costs and long term maintenance. We offer a wide variety of perennials at Art Form, and we are available to assist you with plant selection and any questions you may have.

July 20, 2013

Drought Tolerant Perennials

Want to save time and money with less watering? Drought tolerant plants are the way to go. Less watering does not mean less beauty, and many drought tolerant plants can handle poor-to-average soil and require little care.

These plants, like all plants, require more water until they are well established. When planting, group drought tolerant plants together, don’t mix them with other plants that may require more watering.

Here are some great examples of drought tolerant plants:

Arabis Spring CharmArmeria Victor ReiterDianthus Everlast White

  • Arabis, Armeria and Dianthus are all great spring bloomers that are compact, have evergreen foliage and do great in rock gardens or at the front of the border.
Coreopsis MoonbeamCoreopsis Zagreb
  • Coreopsis ‘Moonbeam’ and ‘Zagreb’ are great summer flowering plants, with long bloom times and they do well in naturalized settings and are very drought tolerant once established.
Asclepias tuberosa
  • Asclepias tuberosa is an awesome native plant that loves a sunny dry place and can handle infertile soils. They are butterfly magnets and add a lot of color with their bright orange flowers.
Eryngium Big Blue
Salvia May NightSalvia New Dimension Rose
  • Salvias are a must for every garden; they have aromatic foliage, big bright flowers and combine great with other drought tolerant plants like Coreopsis and Sedum.
Lavender Hidcote Blue
  • Lavender is another excellent choice for a drought tolerant plant. It is a favorite of many people for its aromatic foliage and lovely blue flowers.

Gaillardia Arizona SunHelictotrichon sempervirensFestuca Elijah Blue

For late season color, there are a lot of drought tolerant choices. Perovskia is an upright plant with lovely aromatic, purple-blue flowers and is deer resistant. Gaillardia comes in an array of colors and they bloom and bloom and bloom! Try putting ‘Arizona Sun’ in a container with plumbago and Imperata — wow does it make an excellent fall planter! There are also grasses that are drought tolerant like Helictotrichon, Panicum and Fescue. Both Fescue and Helictotrichon have lovely blue foliage that adds a lot of interest to the landscape.

For areas in the yard that are not irrigated, or to be a little more environmentally conscious and cut down on water bills, there are a lot of great perennials that are drought tolerant and add great variety to the landscape.

June 20, 2013

Summer Bloomers

Asclepias tuberosaCoreopsis 'Creme Brulee'Leucanthemum 'Snow Cap'

The world of perennials really shines in the summer! With so many to choose from, no matter the site requirements you should be able to find a perennial that fits the bill.

Callirhoe involucrataCrocosmia 'Lucifer'Geranium 'Cambridge'Lily Looks 'Tiny Toes'

For areas receiving full sun, there are a lot of options. Callirhoe, with its bright pink flowers, is a short variety that is awesome to hang over walls or creep along paths. Thyme is an excellent ground cover with fragrant flowers in the summer. In terms of varieties with a little more height, Platycodon features cute balloon-shaped flowers and we also carry several types of Geraniums with an array of different colored blooms. In terms of increasingly tall perennials, we carry Salvia and Coreopsis (both with several new types being offered this year) and lavender. Asclepias tuberosa features orange flowers which are great butterfly magnets, and Gaillardia has nonstop flowers all summer and fall. There are Echinaceas that come in so many colors and heights that there is bound to be some variety which fits any spot. Then, there is Leucanthemum or Lilium and the bright bold colors of Gaura, Phlox paniculata, Kniphofia, or Crocosmia.

AstilbeLobelia Fan BlueMonarda 'Petite Delight'

Part shade summer bloomers are another large group of plants. Astilbes come in so many colors, sizes, shapes and bloom times that they can fill a garden all summer long. Monarda is deer resistant and a butterfly attracter. Nepeta provides endless color and deer resistance. Lobelia is a great native that can handle more moisture and has many colors from red to blue to salmon. And, both Ligularia and Rodgersia are great specimen plants that can handle more moisture.

Hosta 'Blue Angel'Hosta 'Royal Standards'Lamium 'Red Nancy'

For full shade plants, think Hosta. Most people buy hostas for the foliage, but they do have some pretty flowers and some are very fragrant, like Hosta ‘Guacamole’ and ‘Royal Standard’. Lamium is an excellent ground cover that likes dry shade and comes in white, pink or purple flowers.

This is just a quick overview of summer blooming perennials. There are so many choices that you should not miss out on this great opportunity to teach people about the wonderful world of perennials and how easy it is to continue to add color to their yard all summer long!

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to contact us. And, recommendations for new plant varieties are always welcome.

May 18, 2013

New Varieties

With botanists, breeders, and labs constantly introducing so many new varieties of perennials, it is hard to know which ones to choose. We work hard to pick out the best out there, with proven hardiness, true bloom color and time, disease resistance and overall landscape appeal.

Here is a selection of some of the exciting new varieties on offer in 2013.

The Coreopsis Big Bang series come in a variety of colors and heights, but all of them possess excellent hardiness, long bloom time and reliability in the garden.

The Dianthus Everlast series is one of the longest blooming varieties of Dianthus. Flowers start in early spring and remain until the heat of the summer, but return when the nighttime temperatures begin to fall. They are super hardy, one of the toughest Dianthus out there. The following varieties are available this spring in quarts – get them before inventories run out!

Salvia nemorosa Lyrical series is a group of strong, robust plants with great branching and tons of flowers that rebloom. These plants perform very well in the heat, and are drought tolerant once established. We offer three colors of the series.

Salvia nemorosa New Dimension series is a very compact variety, only 10” tall, that is available this spring in quarts. This Dutch strain is long blooming, drought tolerant once established, deer resistant, heat tolerant, and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Deadhead to extend bloom time and once bloom is finished cut back to encourage new foliage growth and repeat bloom in fall. The flowers are very bright and showy in the landscape!

Sedum ‘Pure Joy’ (coming soon!) is a Proven Winner selection that has the most spectacular flower display in the fall – you will not want to miss it! In spring, the plant emerges with small, blue-green serrated leaves and as it matures the clump gets more upright and the leaves turn a light green. By late summer, the show begins as the whole plant is covered in a massive dome of bubblegum pink flowers that look like cotton candy!

Viola ‘Blue Moon’ has great heat tolerance and a long extended bloom time. It remains compact and the foliage stays nice throughout the summer. Blooming now, the flowers will continue sporadically until fall.

This is just a small sampling of the new items we are carrying this season. Please check out our catalog, current availability or feel free to call for more information and additional exciting selections.

We continue to trial and add new items throughout the season and always appreciate your input.

April 27, 2013

Vegetables

Ready to start your vegetable garden, but looking for something different? At Art Form, we strive to carry varieties you cannot find elsewhere. Here are a few highlights:

Purple Filet Bean – Grown like bush beans, they are very slender and stringless. Their gourmet appearance makes them a favorite among chefs. They are delicious raw or cooked but will lose their purple color when cooked.

Orient Express Eggplant – This is a heavy and fast producer of attractive, slender, 8-10 inch long by 1.5-2.5 inch diameter eggplants with the ability to produce fruit in cool weather as well as under heat stress. It is tender and flavorful without the harsh acid reaction of traditional eggplant.

Italian Heirloom Kale – The Toscana variety of kale is not only the favorite of chefs for its flavor; it also has the distinction of being one of the most unique ornamental plants for a landscape. Toscana kale can be grown in the vegetable garden or in a flowerbed or planter.

Peppers – Our pepper selection is awesome, with a lot of diversity to match lots of flavor profiles.

  • Chinese 5 Color – Liven up any dish, salad or jar of pickled vegetables with color and spice. These cute little peppers have the spice of a jalapeno and come in a rainbow of colors from purple, cream, yellow, orange or red. Their small size makes them excellent for containers. This is also great as an ornamental plant.
  • Frying Pepper of Naples (Friariello Di Napoli) – This is a sweet, popular pepper from Naples, Italy, that is great fried, pickled or eaten raw. The plant is easy to grow and is a heavy producer. The plants produce small, long cone shaped peppers.
  • Lemon Drop – This is an heirloom pepper from Peru. The peppers ripen to a clear lemon yellow, and they have a clean, slightly citrus flavor with the heat of a jalapeno. The plant grows to about 2 feet in height and is covered with 2-3 inch long peppers.
  • Red Buccs Horn Type (Corno di Toro Rosso) – An heirloom Italian sweet frying pepper with a name meaning “bull’s horn”. This heavy producing plant carries peppers 8 inches long by 2-3 inches wide with thin skin and thick walls, which are brilliant red when ripe. Ideal to stuff, grill or fry.
  • Shishito – A Japanese favorite that produces lots of 3 inch long emerald green peppers. Their mild flavor makes them a standard for chefs. The peppers are great on their own or fried or roasted in dishes.
  • Thai Yellow Chile – This is the golden yellow version of the Thai Pepper; a hot and flavorful heirloom pepper from Thailand. The plants are loaded with fruit, and the masses of yellow add an ornamental value to the garden.

Bright Lights Swiss Chard – Lightly savoyed green or bronze leaves with stems of many colors including gold, pink, orange, purple, red and white with bright and pastel variations. It puts on a great show, but this variety is somewhat less frost hardy than other types of Swiss Chard.

Tomatoes – Anyone can grow a simple tomato, our offerings are a little more off the beaten path.

  • Black Cherry – This variety is known to be superior in flavor to the red cherry tomato. These unique and delicious tomatoes are very prolific, and they grow in nice clusters that are easy to pick.
  • Japanese Black Trifele – This unusual tomato is about the shape and size of a Bartlett pear. They are burgundy in color, and are very heavy producers of 4-6 oz. fruit with smooth skin. Harvest when shoulders are still green for best flavor.
  • Moskvich – This heirloom variety is semi-determinate, and is one of the most appealing extra-early tomatoes that produce 4-6 oz. fruits, which are uniform and deep red. The tomatoes are great used fresh, in cooking or canning.
  • Yellow Pear – This is a super prolific tomato, with tall vigorous vines bearing large quantities of small, lemon yellow pear-shaped fruit.

Costata Romanesco Zucchini- This is the traditional heirloom zucchini form Italy. It is far superior in taste to other zucchini. It is ribbed and should be picked when small. The flower can be left on because it is also flavorful.

This is just a small sampling of the cool varieties of vegetables that we carry. Give some of them a try; your customers will love them! Check out the full list of what we grow in our catalog.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to contact us. And, recommendations for new plant varieties are always welcome.