THE OLD SIGN PHILOSOPHER, THOUGHT FOR THE DAY!

Spring unlocks the flowers.... to paint the laughing soil.

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THE WEBSITE IS WARMING UP, JUST LIKE THE SPRING WEATHER FINALLY. THE NUMBERS ARE GROWING AS QUICK AS THE GRASS NOW. 33,XXX WEBSITE VIEWS TO DATE WITH OVER 118,XXX WEB PAGES. SOME MAJOR CHANGES AND UPDATES SHOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED IN THE NEAR FUTURE. KEEP WATCHING FOR ADDITIONAL GARDENING INFORMATION.

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The trucks keep pouring in at the garden center. Greenscape Gardens has the finest selection of Japanese maples in St. Louis. We have over 1300 Knockout roses which we have grown with more on order from outstate growers. The largest selection of "Northern Grown" azaleas can only be found at Greenscape Gardens. The list seems endless with over 20,000 "Greenscape Grown" perennials.

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APRIL SALUTES LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

American Society of Landscape Architects declared April as National Landscape Architecture Month. The theme will be Design for Active Living, highlighting ways community design affects residents' daily activity levels and, in turn, their overall health. April was selected as National Landscape Architecture Month because it encompasses Earth Day (April 22) and the birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted (April 26), founder of the American landscape architecture profession.

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OLD FASHIONED HYDRANGEAS

Old-fashioned hydrangeas are easy to grow if you follow a few simple guidelines. Most varieties are cold hardy to zone 5, which means they will tolerate minimum winter temperatures between -10 and -20 degrees F.

Hydrangeas are traditionally known as shade garden plants, but too much shade can result in reduced bloom production. Ideally they should be situated in areas of light shade to partial sun. Hydrangeas are woodland plants so they prefer to be in consistently moist, well-drained, humus rich soil. A generous application of mulch will help keep the roots cool and retain moisture.

Little pruning is required with old-fashioned hydrangeas. In fact, improperly pruned bushes can result in bushes not producing any blooms. Old-fashioned hydrangeas set their flowers on previous year's growth, or what is referred to as old wood. So, in late summer and early fall, your shrub is preparing blooms for next year.

In early spring you can tidy up the plant by removing any dead wood and old flowerheads. Any severe cutting back should be done immediately after the flowers fade in the summer. Other causes for lack of bloom include harsh winter temperatures, warm spells followed by cold weather, and late freezes. All can damage or kill tender flower buds. If you site your plants in a north or east facing area of your garden, you can reduce the chances of the buds opening during warm winter weather. These areas of the garden warm up slower than south or western exposures. Northern gardeners who know that they are in it for a long cold spell can wrap their hydrangeas in burlap for winter protection. Planting the shrubs near house foundations also offers some refuge from cold temperatures.

Fertilize your hydrangeas twice during the summer with a slow release fertilizer, usually in June and then again in August. Follow the directions indicated on the fertilizer package. Just remember that too much nitrogen will result in an abundance of lovely leaves at the expense of blooms.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT HYDRANGEAS.