Monday, December 22, 2008

Hester & Zipperer Hours

Wilmington Island Store Hours 912-897-5581
418 Johnny Mercer Blvd.

December 24th 9-12 P.M.
Christmas - CLOSED
December 26th - CLOSED
Saturday, December 27th - OPEN
December 28th - January 1rst -CLOSED
January 2nd OPEN to normal business hours: Monday - Sat./ 9-5:30P.M.
Sunday 11-4:00P.M.

Skidaway Store Hours 912-355-1950 Still trying to pin them down!

6719 Skidaway Rd.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This Christmas

We have some Dawgs that need a good home for Christmas! These lil' pups could be the star of their own flower bed. Surround them with black violas or pansies for a real UGA feel.

Have you tried Stock? These cool season beauties smell so good. Put them by a sunny entrance or near a mail box !!!!
Oh, and don't let my creative photography scare you. They are not really 10 feet tall. They peak at about 15 or 18 inches.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Those of you that are true Hester & Zipperer enthusiasts know that our building was once the home of a Kentucky Fried Chicken. Who knew that the Colonel had his own Christmas album?

It made me wonder, what might a Hester & Zipperer album have on it? Post your song suggestions in the comment box. Here are a few to get you started:

Six Sheets To The Wind - Cigar Store Indians
I Don't Care If You Love Me -The Mavericks
Stand - R.E.M.
Cool For Cats - Squeeze
Girls Just Want To Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hester & Zipperer Grieves The Passing Of Feline Friend

We are sad to report that our dear Mr. B has passed away. He was found Tuesday, amongst the Encore Azaleas, looking as if he'd just decided to take a nap. Although deeply upset over our loss, we were thankful that he appeared not to have suffered any trauma.

He was around thirteen-years-old, and had spent the greater part of his life with Hester & Zipperer employees and customers. Always the gentleman, Mister B made friends with all, even those who might not offer affection to a cat. He was a little shy around children, but , if scooped up unexpectedly, would never put up a fight.

We are thankful that he was a part of our nursery and lives for such a long time, and hope that he has found acres of catnip thriving through an eternal Spring.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wilmington Island Holiday Action

The Wilmington Island Garden Club is sponsoring the
Island Homes For the Holidays tour.

Saturday, December 13, 2008
10:00 AM to 3:00 P.M.

Begin at the Wilmington Island United Methodist Church
195 Wilmington Island Road (Entrance on Cromwell)
Refreshments will be served and decorations sold!

Advance Tickets $10.00 (Sold at Hester & Zipperer)
$12.00 at the door

Map is provided on the back of tickets.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tybee Holiday Action

Tybee's Christmas tree will be let December 12th at 6:30 P.M.
Location: South End roundabout
Elves and Holiday Music
Shop and Enjoy Holiday Refreshments

December 13th at 3:00 P.M.
Tybee Christmas Parade
Starting Point: 14th Street Parking Lot
It will head down Tybrisa to Butler and end at the YMCA gymnasium!

Christmas has come early! Free parking on Tybee during December!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Keeping Christmas Tidy

Any woman who gets a vacuum cleaner this Christmas will probably not be as receptive as this gal. She's petting her new Hoover like a puppy, or maybe she's whispering, "Please suck me away from this loveless marriage." After all, the guy bought her a vacuum!

Don't throw your marriage under the bus by gifting an appliance this year. Instead, go for our "Christmas Tree Removal Bag". It is neatly hidden under the tree for the throughout the holiday season. When you are ready to give your tree its walking papers, simply pull the bag up around it. No more needles everywhere.

With all of that money you saved, why not buy her a fantastic citrus tree! Hester & Zipperer even has easy to understand information sheets for growing these attractive and fruitful trees.

Give Your Paper White A Lil' Somethin' Somethin'

Sometimes we hear little tips around the store, and we don't always know right off the bat whether they are based in fact. A popular one is that Narcissus, also known as Paperwhite Bulbs, will perform better if given some alcohol with their water. Pay close attention. I am not talking about you drinking alcohol until your bulbs are dancing around you like pink elephants. I am suggesting that you give your posies a little holiday nipper.

Cornell University has the research, and the correct dosage, to make your bulbs stand up straight. This information is important, because throwing a little of Uncle Joe's egg nog in with them will not achieve the same results.

Careful though. Bulbs may become a little flirty and more receptive to sexual advances. To avoid unwanted holiday shenanigans display your bulbs away from friends and relatives on the rebound.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

They Are Here!

Your old friends Frazier Fur and Poinsettia are back in town for the holidays. They are looking for a place to stay. Any suggestions? Don't worry. Hester & Zipperer also has sturdy stands to keep your tree in line. We don't want it fainting at an inopportune time.

Don't forget to grab your proof of purchase when you buy one of our conical beauties. It's a coupon. When you show up in January with it, you will receive 25% off your total purchase! That is a super opportunity to make a list and check it twice. Think about what you can buy for Spring? Need a hose-end sprayer? How about new hose? What about patio furniture? Hmmmm.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Will Work For Whitman's Sampler

I had a nice time with the ladies of the May Fair Garden Club last night. The topic of conversation was bugs. Do they need killin' all the time? If so, what is the best way to do it?

Products Discussed

Flea Destroyer-For Mole Crickets, Grubs, Fire Ants, Fleas, etc.

Mole Go-Castor Oil Mole Repellent

All Seasons Spray Oil-Kills by smothering

We also talked about the value of the National Pesticide Information Center! What a terrific resource for people looking to make educated decisions about their chemical usage.

Thanks for the chocolates! My husband and I "sampled" quite a few!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Eco-Friendly News

Hester & Zipperer Composts Restaurant Waste
Hester & Zipper is proud to be composting vegetable waste from Thrive Cafe and Saigon of Whitemarsh Plaza. That's right. The large wooden structure, built by our very own Travis, is not an ark, but a compost bin. Composting is an easy way to decrease your waste, but it also results in an effective soil amendment. You can do the same thing in your yard!

If you're not sure about composting on a large scale, there is another way to put your vegetable scraps and green waste to good use. Worm composting! Worm castings are one of the best additives for soil, but they can be costly. Click on the link to learn how to set up shop in your own yard. (Great activity for kids who like to get dirty!)

Getting A Charge Out of Recycling
Hester & Zipperer is now a drop off site for old cell phones, cell phone batteries, and rechargeable batteries. The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation can answer any questions you have about what items qualify. Please answer this "Call 2 Recycle."

Saving Money With Your H&Z Christmas Trees

Hester & Zipperer Christmas Trees
Fresh Christmas trees from H & Z are a holiday tradition, and this year they will help you save big in the new year! When you buy a Christmas tree from us this year, you will receive a proof of purchase. Bring it in to our store any time during January 2009 and receive 25% off everything except pine straw and propane. Now this offer is for one time only, so make it count! January is a great time to put in shrubs and trees! It's a fantastic time to create new beds! What products will you need for Spring? Buy them in January and save! Make your shopping list and check it twice, because you don't want to forget anything!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Container Gardening Part 2-Contrast

When designing a container, it is important to consider the distance from which it will be viewed. For example, if you are creating a container for the center of an outdoor seating area, it can be subtle. People are appreciating it from only a few feet away. If you are designing for a front entry, however, a bold statement is required. The most important element for such a composition is contrast.

Contrast is most often evident by its absence. Without contrast, combinations look messy, muddy, and unedited. Its a bunch of grassy foliage jumbled together or scads of tiny blooms competing for the spotlight. It's what makes us go, "This needs something."

Using contrast to benefit your containers is as easy as thinking in opposites. Let us start with the container itself. You've got a simple terracotta pot. How can we describe it? It's earthy, warm, old-fashioned, and unpretentious. Contrast suggests that the first plant we choose should reflect the opposite. We want foliage that is sleek, cool-toned, or modern.

Consider these options for our first plant: Variegated Water Iris, Lamb's Ear, Corkscrew Grass

Let's say we go with the Water Iris. It's upright, smooth, and variegated. We need a second plant that is sprawling, textured, and rich in color.

Second plant options: Mustard Greens, Purple Setcreasea or Heuchera

I like the dimpled texture of the Mustard. It's broad greenish purple leaves compliment the Water Iris nicely.

Finally, the splash of color is up to you. Snap Dragons and Pansies are always popular, but I suggest breaking from the pack with Nemesia! This cool season annual comes in white, lavender, and yellow. The white offers a sweet scent that will have you pining for Spring. For a slightly bigger bloom try Superbells Calibrachoa.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Do-It-Yourself Success In Wilmington Park

Dave and Susan Sherman, of Wilmington Park, came to H & Z a few weeks back with ink jet photos of their yard in hand. They were like a lot of homeowners. They had a landscape that was completely outdated, and they needed some help reworking it.

The Shermans picked the perfect time of year to update their front bed, because the cool weather of Fall allows plants to get established with ease. There is also a wide variety of shrubs available now, so it's not hard to put together really attractive combinations.

First things first, however. The Sherman's front bed needed some changes before one plant was purchased. A glance at the photo above reveals a narrow bed that would situate plants right beneath the roof's drip line. Suicide for any shrub. Dave was not to be discouraged though, and he sure wasn't going to be lazy about his project.

David and Susan returned with ink jet proof that they had followed my advice and expanded their bed to a suitable depth. They earned another star from me by amending their soil with organic matter like Mushroom Compost and Cow Manure! Oh...and check out the nice edging! Notice how the color brings out the brick in their house! A++

With the bed prepared, it was then time to choose plants. The Shermans wanted a low maintenance bed that had interest. They wanted to get away from the Loaf of Shrubs Chic behind which so many houses of that neighborhood still hide. The bed also receives a good deal of sun, so we chose plants that were ready for it!

Drought-tolerant selections like Dwarf New Zealand Flax, Autumn Joy Stonecrop, and Yucca
were used with the rich-colored Lorapetalum "pom-pom" topiary, Firepower Nandina, Purple Fountain Grass, and Ice Blue Yews (seen below).

There is still plenty of room for things to grow. By showing a little restraint now, the Shermans will eliminate the need for constant pruning later. The significant air circulation will also help prevent fungus from attacking their new plants. Finally, the attractive cypress mulch that they've added will help conserve water. Well done, guys!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fearless Container Gardening

A Visit With The Wilmington Island Garden Club

Yesterday I spoke to the Wilmington Island Garden Club about shaking things up in their containers this Fall. As promised, I'm offering further examples and information for those looking to move beyond the ordinaire. I'm going to explore one area at a time, so you can really see it put to good use.

It's what makes us remember a favorite sweater, a choice salad, and a jaw-dropping container. A container can put it to good use with mulch, foliage choice, container choice and what I like to call glue gun extras!

Run your fingers through the grasses on this Proven Winners page for some feathery options. Many would also make cool hair-doos for your Halloween pumpkin people!

Your container shouldn't be bland. One of my favorite artists, Judy Sell, knows how to make a container sing with her mosaics. Also check out this H&Z customer's yard for inspiring use of texture! Jane Rowan has been fearless in her yard's transformation. Take a slice of her creative use of rock, frans, and spines for your containers.

Her striking yard didn't happen over night, but it can in a nice container out on the deck!

Mulches like sea glass are elegant, but why not get funky for your next poker night with a container mulched with casino chips? Get your husband or boyfriend's attention when you say, "I'm going to mulch my container with your nuts."

You could use broken crayons, dominoes, dice, erasers, toy cars, Barbie shoes, plastic army guys, tooth picks, beads, and more to make your container unique. It doesn't have to last forever! It only takes an evening to make your neighbors totally jealous. The effects of your moment of greatness will last a life time.

Glue Gun Extras
The magic and wonder of a glue gun rivals anything that George Lucas has to offer. It enables one to craft with speed that would shock the Slowskies. Better yet is its ability to evoke childlike creativity. Glue moss, plastic forks, pencils, and other stuff to pots. You'll be surprised at what you can do!

Splitting Pesticide Hairs For The Informed Customer

If you're like me, thinking too much about chemistry makes your head hurt. I mean who gives a flying fig what Mole equals (1 mole of atoms or molecules contains 6.022 x 1023 atoms or molecules). We don't want to think about it. We just want it to work!

Unfortunately, in our advanced society, a lot of things work. Chemicals are lined up to kill what we want them to kill. They are eager to do our bidding. So, how do we decide between them?

Well, like a gal deciding between suitors, we must get a little more clever with our criteria. It's no longer good enough that a chemical does what we ask of it. We need to see what it's doing behind our backs. How does this joker deal with the birds and the bees? How will this prize fighter affect my friends like water and soil? Finally, does this dude know when to take a hike? I mean we had one date. That does not a life-long commitment make!

For those of you not lost in my exaggerated imagery, what I'm trying to say is that chemicals have a lot of characteristics that we must investigate. For the purpose of this discussion I'm taking two commonly sold active ingredients. Imidacloprid is one that we see in Bayer's Tree and Shrub drench, Bug Blaster lawn insecticide granules, and many others. The other is Acephate which we see in Orthene, Lancer, Pinpoint, etc.

As of late, I have measured pesticides by their effects on beneficial insects. "Protect the bees," I've said again and again. Imidacloprid is bad for them, and so is Acephate, if sprayed on plants where they forage. (This is why we recommend horticultural oils and soaps so often.)There is so much more to discover though.

For help with the technical stuff I consulted The National Pesticide Information Center. My concern was Imidacloprid's effect on bees if used as a systemic drench. I wondered if the toxic chemical would reach the flowers and affect bees through the pollen. The answer is no. It will not.

"What about Acephate?" I asked. This is where our comparison moved beyond bees to the overall effect of the two choices on the environment. Pesticides are better if they do their job and then get the heck out Dodge. We don't want them lingering in soil and water. Scientists measure the break down of chemicals in half-lives. A half-life is the time required for half of the compound to degrade or go away.

Acephate has a half-life of four days.
If you apply it to sandy soil like ours, it will be 97% degraded in five half-lives which equals twenty days. For twenty days, it is hanging around in the dirt. According to the NPIC, however, it has a low chance of moving into the water table.

Imidocloprid has a half-life greater than one year.
If you apply it to sandy soil like ours, it will be 97% degraded in five half-lives which equals five years. For five years, it will be in our soil. According to the NPIC fact sheet, this pesticide is more mobile in the ground, and may have affects on ground water.

So, there is reason to expand our knowlege of these products beyond dilution rates. There is more to learn, and people willing to teach us. It's not hard. It's chemistry, not rocket science.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

H&Z Customers Can Now Choose What's On Sale

Dirt Bags love flowers! Of course we are talking about the Hester & Zipperer Garden Variety Dirt Bag! It's our new reusable shopping bag that will save you money. How? Let me break it down for you.

Buy our bag for $3.99 and get 5% off your bill when you
bring it back to Hester & Zipperer (on Wilmington Island) to shop.

There are a lot of reusable shopping bags, but ours will help you save money and make your yard look good!

California Is Saving Table Scraps

Parents spend a huge amount of time and energy trying to get their kids to make happy plates. We're all familiar with phrases like, "Starving kids in Africa would be happy to eat that!" My maiden name is Fuller, so my dad's favorite was, "Eat a little more. You'll be a little Fuller." These wily attempts by parents are likely decline in California thanks to a new program which asks residents to save their table scraps.

Green counter top compost bins, with tight lids, are being distributed to people. They are told to collect the green waste and dump it into a larger can that remains outside. These larger cans are then taken to a large composting site! Think of how much WON'T be headed to the landfill?

Savannah residents can take charge of their own table scraps by purchasing their own counter top compost bin. Hester & Zipperer has been carrying these for about six months. They are a handy size that can be slid under a sink or into a pantry. There is no fear of bugs or odors! The tight lid keeps everything cozy inside!

Table Scraps To Fine Wine

LA Times Article About Scrap Collection

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Our Fall Sale Will Make Fall Planting Easier
Gas may be expensive. Milk may be right up there too. Making your yard pretty this season does not have to break the bank though. Come in and fill your car with these bargains!

  1. Deciduous Trees 40% off
  2. Hydrangeas 40% off
  3. Vines 40% off (excluding Confederate/Star Jasmine)
  4. Hibiscus 40% off
  5. Select Perennials 50% off
While you're here, check out the hot new combinations of Fall flowers. Buy them already planted or purchase separately!

The Dreaded Mole. Molie, Molie, Molie.

Moles make homeowners want to pull their hair out. They can make one's yard look like a BMX track in a single day. As someone who is in the position of solving this problem for people, I've found it difficult to say that one solution surpasses the rest. Some customers have success with sound emitters, others do the job with bait, and still others rely on traps.
Personally, I feel that stepping on the tunnels, to prevent grass roots from becoming exposed to air, is about as effective as the products on the market for this purpose. The bonus is that it is free. Compare that to the number of moles in the neighborhood, and homeowners could save a pretty penny.
Now, if moles are becoming a problem in shrub and flower beds, a physical barrier is an excellent solution. I've found another blog dedicated to solving mole problems, so click here to learn more.

Bulb and Flower Cages

Sunday, September 14, 2008

H&Z Hits Green Fest 2008

Mary-Ann and I got the chance to show off our expanding selection of environmentally responsible garden products this Saturday at Green Fest. The Trustees Garden event took place on an incredibly hot day, but it didn't affect the enthusiasm of the "shiny, happy, people" eager to demonstrate how small actions mean big results when protecting the environment.

Our biggest response no doubt came from our Flea Destroyer. You have heard me chatter on about it in our store and on this blog. It is an extremely effective way to solve problems with mole crickets, grubs, fire ants, fleas, and more. Other vendors like Coastal Pet rescue will be putting it to the test, and we hope to bring you more about their results in future posts.

The Black Pearl Pepper also stopped traffic quite a bit. The perfectly round fruit capable of burning your face off is surprisingly good at attracting beneficial insects to your garden. It's deep purple foliage compliments about anything you could put in the dirt next to it, so don't discard it if you're simply into fleurs.

Happily, Mary-Ann and I made some cool contacts that just might be showing up at our Fall Fest this year. In some cases, we are working on material for new classes to be held at other times. If there are certain topics that you would like to see covered, please post on this blog and let us know. We are anxious to start a dialogue with our customers to better serve your needs.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Our West Coast Plant Shipment Arrives,etc.

New arrivals at our Wilmington Island store!
Citrus Trees-Including Limes
Assorted Evergreen Topiaries
Foxtail Ferns
Texas Sage

Oh...and our organic solution for Mole Crickets, Grubs, Fleas and more is back in stock! The price has gone up a few dollars, but they are still a bargain.

$29.99 for a 2000 Sq./ Ft. application that lasts two years!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Rosco Speaks!

Okay folks. This is serious. It's time for Fall planting to begin. Read this very carefully. WE ARE GETTING MUMS IN TODAY. That's right. So, you know I speak the truth when I say it could get hairy.
I'll save you some if you bring me some tuna. My staff-well...I hear they like Box Wine. Be strong people. Your yards are depending on you.

This is Rosco...counter cat...over and out.

It's Just A Little Breezy! Come Shop!

Box Tidy
Now customers don't need to worry about cleaning their cars so much after a trip to Hester & Zipperer. We just got in Box Tidy trunk organizers that keep plants upright on the way home. It expands or shrinks to fit your load, and when you're not using it, it folds up to the size of a notebook!
What a great way to cut down on plastic usage. There is also no need to keep multitudes of bedding in your trunk.
Box Tidy - $17.99 Just in time for Fall planting!

You've Seen Them. We GOT 'EM.
Art and function combine to give us Aqua Globes. Fill them with water and place in your plants' soil. Now your Peace Lily can sit on the counter and sip away while you're watching the Weather Channel.

Aqua Globes - $9.99
Caution:They only work if you remember to fill them with water.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Doug Green Wants YOU!
Okay, he doesn't really want you. He wants your plants. Doug is a published garden writer and veteran nursery owner, and he'll be coming to Savannah this November to see what we've got growing.

Doug lives just outside of Kingston, Ontario, Canada and there are plenty of cool southern plants that he'd love to learn about and photograph for his web sites and feature stories.

Now, I know what you're thinking. NOT MY YARD. MY YARD IS...blablabla. Don't get your beans in a bunch. He just wants to see your plants. He doesn't even need to photograph identifying characteristics of your yard necessarily.

This is a one of a kind opportunity to chat with someone of Doug's knowledge and experience. Who knows. You may be in Canada one day and want to see some plants. We're building bridges people. It's not the time to be shy. A brown leaf on your coleus does not reflect poorly on you.

To suggest a plant for Doug to see this November, please reply to this post or email us at

Please do so within the next 30 days so that we can get an idea of how many gardens are available.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

White Fly Update In Christine's Garden

By tackling my white fly population with All Season's Oil, before it got out of hand, I have succeeded in avoiding a more toxic alternative. The leaves on my green beans are a little ugly looking from the previous damage and the mild effects of the oil. It's alright though, because new leaves are beginning to emerge.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Whispers Of Fall

Now that Fay has had her say, a softer voice can be heard. From amongst the leggy annuals and ever-spreading perennials comes the faint whisper of Fall. I heard it the first time as talk of a "back to school" sale came from my car radio. I caught a whiff of it that same week as I eyed my mature pecan tree that had just been struck by lightning. The bark had been blown off to reveal an almost elegant trailing scar. Would the tree drop its bounty of tasty nuts or its very branches come Autumn, I wondered.

I had to leave Savannah for a weekend trip to hear Fall's voice more clearly. My husband and I drove to Mountain City, Tennessee, and when we arrived, Fall was dancing through the trees. "When are you coming to Savannah? " I asked. My question was given a cool reception, because Fall had hardly been there long enough to change the color of the leaves.

Wild turkeys rushed by me like pigeons in Central Park. Had a distant Thanksgiving breeze found them during their late August foraging? Nature offers few things better than a soul-cleansing gust of wind. It clears the mind of meaningless chatter, raises goose bumps that weren't visible all Summer, and there is something else. For Southern gardeners, it awakens the desire to plant again.

The first batch of Fall veggies have found their way to our store. They haven't said much to the herbs on the rack beside them. In time, I'm sure they will be learn to work together. Collards, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Cabbage, and even Brussels Sprouts are waiting for you.

Have you thought about your Fall garden? How is the soil? Before you are tempted too much with new Fall flowers, shrubs, and trees, take the time to amend your beds. Make everything perfect for new arrivals. Mushroom Compost, Farmer D's Compost, Worm Castings, and many others offer nutrition to future residents.

Marigolds are good companion plants for veggies, because they attract beneficial insects and repel some bad ones as well. The variety of colors that we've just gotten in are also good for borders and mixed containers.

By planting your Fall containers early, they will have time to fill out. Early planting also allows you to save money by purchasing younger plants. You can spoil them with regular liquid fertilizer and quality potting soil so that in a month your affordable plants will have grown into beautiful show stoppers.

Those of you looking to stretch your gardening dollar should take advantage of less than fabulous looking perennials that we've got on sale. The tops of some of these 50% off plants may look a little long in the tooth, but the roots have had a long time to grow, and this will enable them to take hold at your house quite well. Take care to tease the roots apart before planting. It's like helping a house guest off with his coat. He's likely to stick around a lot longer.

We hope to see you soon.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

White Fly VS. AllSeasons Spray Oil

In the right corner, wearing no trunks, The Whitefly Family.

In the left corner, also wearing no trunks, AllSeasons Spray Oil.

The match began in poor weather, but between showers, I sprayed all of the undersides of my plants. The population has not gotten out of control yet. Plants seem to be doing alright.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Trying Something

My husband and I have a little saying whenever one of us is doing something that is likely not going to turn out well. It goes something like this, "I'm just trying something, okay?" Whatever the silly act might be, uttering this excuse prevents any further ridicule. It's like saying, "Hey, I need to learn this for myself."

If we carry this to the garden, where most everything is trial and error, this trying can teach more than any book or garden show. We remember how it felt to have dirt on our hands, the smell of the fertilizer as we watched it scatter around, the first glimpse of a bud beginning to form. Lastly, we recall the little white bug that showed up and invited his friends.

Whitefly causes great alarm in gardeners because it reproduces at such a fast rate. I was talking with a friend of mine the other day about treatments, and he poo-pooed the organic option that was given to him at our store. I poo-pooed the chemicals that kill everything. Finally, we poo-pooed the nerdy conversation that was taking place at his wife's birthday party and decided that our debate take place another time.

I was left wondering, though. You see, although I recommend organic products a lot, caution against unnecessary use of pesticides, and poke fun at those who hold them dear, I am a flexible gal-occasionally. Could it be that whitefly requires something more than I had offered.

So, after work, lastnight, I began trying something. It was the same organic something on the growing whitefly population in my raised veggie bed. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

One More Reason To Stop By Our Blog!

Holy Power Pellets! PAC-MAN IS HERE!

I thought you all could use a little blast from the past, so enjoy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Hot and Sticky News

Well, it is no secret that business slows down at a retail garden center during unpleasant weather. While blue skies and sunshine draw one to frolic in the exceptional plant finds Hester & Zipperer has to offer, the rain and delightful humidity have been keeping customers away. I suppose people have been sipping the last bit refreshment from the big cup that is Summer vacation.

Education Pays Off In Organic Sales
We are pleased to say that those of you who braved the weather have jumped at the chance to purchase our new organic solution to many lawn and garden insects called "Flea Destroyer." The name is really misleading, because although these beneficial nematodes kill fleas, they also put a stop to numerous other pests like: mole crickets, white grubs, sod web worm, fire ants, and more! We ordered ten canisters, and sold out in about a two weeks! We will be getting more in later this week, and we've started taking names for people who want this effective, eco-friendly product! Do you want to be on the list? Call 912-897-5581

Refresh Your Garden
A new shipment of tomatoes has arrived! Don't standby with the crash cart for plants that are on their way out. Do-overs aren't just for ping pong and kick ball!

Don't miss out on fun Summer decor that is 40% off! This is a great time to buy little accents for your Labor Day festivities!

Do You Get Our E-Newsletter? Sign up on the "Get Your Buzz" link on this page!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

This Saturday's Free Class

Your Garden's Balancing Act
This Saturday's free class will deal with the delicate balance of your garden's plants, insects, and other environmental factors. This class will be taught by Alex!

Class begins at 10:00 A.M. at the Wilmington Island location.

Remember, as always, students will receive a discount associated with the classes topic!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Papyrus In The House

You've Seen Them Before...

Many of you have spun a cool display of Papyrus greeting cards at locations across town. You may not have committed the brand name to memory, but you likely remember the cards. Now, you don't have to leave the island for these babies. Whether you are looking to reconnect with an old friend, neighbor, relative, or even your partner, these cards are perfect.

Hester & Zipperer, on Wilmington Island, has also started carrying a small selection of gift bags and tissue papers from Papyrus. Now when you find that perfect gift at our store, there is no need for a second stop before your function.

Friday, August 1, 2008

August 2nd's Free Saturday Class

Fighting Bugs With Bugs

The idea of beneficial insects is becoming ever so popular. This Saturday's Free Class will offer plant combination ideas for attracting them to your container garden.

Class begins at 10:00 A.M. at our Wilmington Island location.

Beneficial Insect Plants

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

When What You Don't Know Surprises You

People usually do well at what they enjoy. For example, if you enjoy knitting, you will most likely become a better knitter over time. If you enjoy drinking, chances are you will become better at making cocktails over time. It really isn't rocket science.

So, it is no wonder that people stink at reading chemical labels. Trying to decipher the tiny print, mixing instructions, and extensive list of cautions is as tedious as Ben Stein telling a bed time story! By the time the label is read, who feels like spraying?

This frustration is the reason that many people seem to give up reading chemical labels all together, ( I know. I know. You forgot your reading glasses). People have become comfortable with taking the recommendations of others. They have been sweet-talked by popular brand names, and this casual approach to chemical usage has reaching effects of which consumers may be unaware.

Take, for example, a product that says "Joe's Rose Spray." If Joe has a big line of chemicals, that makes a person feel like they are in good hands. "Surely Joe knows what to put on my roses." Ultimately, without reading the label, though, one doesn't know whether the product is an insecticide, a systemic insecticide, a fungicide, a systemic fungicide, or even a fertilizer. Yet, everyday people show up asking for a chemical by name, and they know nothing about its purpose.

Homeowners should take full responsibility for what is put on their yards by simply taking note of active ingredients in the products they use. This information is more useful in an online quest for information than a brand name. Most active ingredients are marketed under several brands.

Keep in mind that the application of chemicals to a landscape is meant to solve a problem. Whether it is aphids on plants, fleas in the yard, or spider mites on a shrub, the homeowner's goal should always be to target their specific problem. If the solution solves their problem, but causes ten others, is it really the best choice?

Beyond Pesticides

Sevin Dust/Carbaryl
Beneficial Nematodes
Create A Wildlife Habitat
Mosquitoes In The News

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The OFA Short Course

My First Lawn & Garden Trade Show

The Ohio Short Course, which took place in the Greater Columbus Convention Center, is a well known event in the lawn and garden industry. Everyone is there! Growers, garden center operators, suppliers, and more show up in Columbus to network and exchange ideas.

Participants were given exposure to panel discussions with garden magazine editors, lectures by industry experts, and enough inspirational booths and displays to make one anxious to get back to work!

Colorful Columbus

Of course, the mood was set before we even made it in
to the the trade show. Columbus had beautiful plantings all
around the city, and the less humid environment made them
all appear ever so perky!
Look at the lovely way that they have chosen to adorn the
lamp posts in town. The vibrant hues were made even more
attractive by their sharp contrast to the concrete jungle around them.

Aren't these planters fabulous?

I have two words for you: LIQUID FERTILIZER

Maybe three words: LACK OF HUMIDITY

Shop Talk

Many of you are familiar with a line of plants from Proven Winners. We have had great success with their plants. A lot of you out there fell in love with Diamond Frost Euphorbia. I had a wonderful conversation with Proven Winners Representative Doug Parkinson about how much sun and heat this delicate-looking gem can really take. He told me to fear not! Savannah residents can place it in our hot sunny spaces and feel confident it will not fizzle!

Doug is such a great resource that we have extended him an invitation to pay you all a visit down the road. He said that he would love to come to our store and hold a Question and Answer session with our customers about what Proven Winners have to offer! So, stay tuned.
In the mean time, take a look at these stunning Fall combinations.


Those of you who have been getting into water conservation and succulents should take cues from these cool booths that we saw. You see, succulents really look their best when they are given some uneven terrain to meander about. This effect can be achieved with pieces of clay pots, statuary, broken pieces of wood furniture, or even an old worn shoe.

Those of you searching for more advanced ways
to use succulents should consider 3-D options. By finding or creating wire forms to hold some soil and moss, one can separate themselves and their plants from the pack. Below is the back of an alligator topiary form. A variety of succulent plugs have been pinned in place around the moss-covered form. The result is a charming little guy that can take the heat!

Think of your summer tables? Your next dinner party? Your next shower? This type of an arrangement communicates an eco-friendly message far greater than that of a bouquet of cut flowers.

Beyond The Convention Center

Although the OFA show had much to offer, we decided to visit A Proper Garden. Located in Delaware, Ohio, this retail garden center is doing many cool things.
For starters, take a look at this effective display! There is no better way to show people what to put by their door than to have an actual door! Oh, and what child would not love a little fairy garden like this? (Or a G.I. Joe garden?)

The nursery is full of fountains like this one nestled in Hydrangeas. Take note of how in Ohio the Hydrangeas are not wilting in the sun! In our region, try this with some Cleome or Butterfly Bushes!

Speaking of butterfly plants, check our this lovely Cinderella variety of Butterfly Weed. I am fond of this selection, because not every butterfly lover wants the oranges and yellows so often used to attract the little devils. I couldn't tell whether the pink variety was as effective, but I'd certainly give it a try.

Finally, I found something that A Proper Garden has that we don't want! The dreaded Japanese Beetle! This is a pest that has made it to Georgia, but not plagued our area as of yet! Click here to see what counties in our state it now calls home. If you think you see one, bring it in. (No fish tales about it being THIS BIG! )

Our OFA and Ohio experiences left us eager to come back to our store, our cats, and our customers where we can put our newly-found knowledge to good use.

We hope to see you all soon!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mary-Ann and Christine Head To Columbus, OHIO!

Tomorrow morning, at O dark thirty, Mary-Ann and I will be off to the airport for a trip to Columbus, Ohio. Why would we leave the South at such a delightfully moist time of year? The Association of Floriculture Professionals trade show is this weekend, and there will be scads of vendors for us to check out!

While we're away, please come by and keep Travis company. He's manning the ship-I mean shop, and I'm sure he'll do a great job! To encourage weekend visitors, we've put a whole section of the store 40% off! That's right! Don't miss it!

Outside, we have a fresh batch of colorful flowers! The Black-eyed Susans are stunning! There's also gorgeous Pentas, Taro, and more!

No Saturday morning Free Class this week because of our absence. Stay tuned to the blog
for our cool Columbus finds!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Making Your Bed

Saturday Free Class Notes
Yesterday's class on veggie gardening may have gotten some of you in the mood to plant, and the rains over the past few days are probably seconding the motion. What is one to do, however, if they haven't got the space for a big ol' garden?


A raised bed offers more benefits than "your friend" from college, and the relationship is likely to be more fruitful. Let me explain. Remember how in "When Harry Met Sally" Carrie Fisher wanted nothing to do with her fiance's wagon-wheel coffee table? Well, your neighbors probably feel the same way about a jolly green vegetable garden sprawling all over your front yard. Tomato cages and large piles of cow manure are just the things to make a neighborhood association go Martha Stewart on your behind.

A raised bed is more chic. It reeks of sophistication with its log cabin corners and linseed oil
perfume. You must protect your wood. Pressure-treated wood in a vegetable garden is a questionable option, because it can leach arsenic.

ARSENIC?! If you think I'm eating any of that bull...
I found more perspective on this issue here. For those of you who think that perspective is for sissies, by all means, click here. Anyway, raised beds contain the lushness of a vegetable garden in a neat little frame. It's like the French say, "Je voudrais un potager."

I can't grow anything. My soil is for shizzle.
Don't worry. You see, Savannah's soil is sandy. It actually needs shizzle for stuff to grow. In a raised bed, you can add that and more. Mixing soil amendments in your raised bed will make you feel like Tom Cruise in "Cocktail." Except, of course, that your bar is a bed and the booze is, indeed, the shizzle.

I'd probably kill all of the plants anyway.
You know, it's just that kind of attitude that made them replace Olivia Newton-John in "Grease 2". Of course you're not going to kill the plants. What are you, the Godfather? You've got us on your side! Bring us your baggies full of leaves, etc. and we'll diagnose them for you! We're very good at identifying bugs, fungus, and diseases. Better yet, we can prescribe treatment, because we are the shizzle too!

Still not sure? Watch this.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Have You Got Class?

Hester & Zipperer's Got Class
Every Saturday morning, at 10:00, the Wilmington Island location of Hester & Zipperer offers a free gardening class. This week's class is "Veggie Gardening-This Summer's Second Harvest". Classes last about 30 minutes, and there is always a discount for students. So, have YOU got class?

Want to know about future classes?
Click on the "Get Your Buzz" in the upper right corner of this blog and subscribe to our monthly E-Newsletter. It contains class schedules, tips, and sale info!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Fire Cracker! Fire Cracker! Bloom, Bloom, Bloom!

Independence Day Prep Talk

This week America the beautiful might need to powder its nose in preparation for numerous celebrations that will kick off on Friday! Of course, I'm referring to the massive sprucing that will need to take place before company comes.

Do you need beat back some bamboo. After all, do you really want to see your mother-in-law with a machete, (If you do, we stock them.)?

Are there tripping hazards for your friends to navigate?

Most friends are pretty tolerant. They don't have the hawk eyes that belong to our family members. They just want to have fun, man! So, the moment they are out of their cars, race toward them with something hot off the grill. Trust me. It works!
Food is the ultimate distraction, especially if they have traveled great distances to be at your fiesta.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Free Class Saturday, June 28th

Tropical Vines-Making A Hot Yard Cool

Many of you have yards that, in steak terms, would be considered well done. Crispy might be a better description, and it comes at a bad time. Summer is when we get together with friends and family to celebrate the outdoors. The 4th of July is just around the corner, and our yards are crying out for attention.

Tropical vines offer a lot of bang for your buck. They are the go-go dancers of the garden as they draw attention from anyone in the vicinity. They are the popular kids with the cool clothes. They are a first love that you Google from time to time. Why not invite such excitement into your yard?

The Mandevilla Vine is a lady with pink bloomers who thrives in the humid South. Position her around a lamp post or mail box and, my word, you've got a show! Be sure to set the stage with good soil and liquid fertilize every couple of weeks.

Thumbergia hails from India. She's a striking Sky Flower with light-blue blooms that are around three inches across. Thumbergia may appreciate a little shade, but not too much! By planting on a pergola, her dense foliage will provide shade for those beneath.

For more on vines, come to our Free Saturday Class!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Saturday's Free Class Notes

Entertaining With Herbs Class Notes

Place Herbal Soap In Your Guest Bathroom! It is a lovely way to
carry your herbal theme evening through your home. Be sure to give
it a special soap dish. Your efforts will shine!

Serving cocktails before dinner is a good idea for two reasons. It gives your friends something
to talk about while you're rushing around, and it keeps you from taking it all too seriously.

Your Main Course-Turkey with Herbes de Provence and Citrus

Dessert! It's what everyone has been waiting for all evening!
Cherry Sorbet With Tarragon

If you don't care for Tarragon, you can use any herb you like! You could also use a combination of herbs to really wow your guests.

Finally, you want your friends to take home something to remember the great time they had. Flavored Vinegar is a good idea, especially if you served it on the salad they enjoyed. Students in our class received the recipe for creating this delicious infusion. Pour it into decorative bottles, and tape the cork in with black electrical tape. (Spills on the way home aren't the impression you want to leave.) Use a different shape bottle for each person. You could also use different colored bottles. When you bring them out on a tray, your friends will feel like royalty!

Monday, June 16, 2008

How To Get Your Buzz

Hester and Zipperer's new and improved monthly e-newsletter, The Buzz, went out to about one hundred of you recently. We are delighted to say that we've already received positive feedback from customers. We're using software called "Email Brain" to create our newsletters, and so far, it has enabled us to make leaps and bounds in our creative expression.

Those of you who read this blog may be wondering what The Buzz will have to offer. My answer is that the newsletter and blog will work together. For example, the newsletter will give you a month's glance at what we're up to at the store. It will contain our Wilmington Island location's schedule for its Saturday morning classes. It will suggest issues that should be addressed in the garden during that month. It will also offer information on new products and plants.

Our blog will offer more detail on the topics mentioned in The Buzz. It will provide links to other sites dealing with those topics. It will contain all sorts of photos (some more entertaining than informative), and it will illustrate all that gardening has to offer us.

Do YOU get The Buzz? Send your email address to:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Farmer D Organics

Hester and Zipperer is proud to carry Farmer D Organics Compost. Please take the time to visit Farmer D's blog and learn about his products. He explains them better than I could. You'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Free Class This Satuday On Water Conservation!

Learn To Use Water Smartly
Watering is so simple, so why does it give us so much trouble? The truth is that mastering one's use of water is one of the most challenging things for a gardener. Different plants have different needs, and different watering methods are available. How does one decide which is best?

Your troubles are over. Devote a half hour of your time to our Water Conservation Class this Saturday, at 10:00 A.M.,(The Wilmington Island Store) and you'll be watering like a pro! Learn the tricks that will save you time, water, and money from your favorite tattooed teacher, Mary-Ann.

To show our appreciation for responsible watering, all class participants will receive 15% off any succulents purchased the day of the class!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pass The Bees Please

Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Wilmington Island resident, Scott Barnard, for a chance to get up close and personal with some bees. Bees, of late, have been in the news due to colonies collapsing all over the country. There is talk of a virus being to blame. My interest in the bees was not as a researcher though. Nor was it as a garden center employee. I just thought it would be really cool.

Christine and Scott Demonstrate The Finest in Beekeeper Fashion

I work around bees all the time. They buzz inches from my face as I water the Ligustrum. I watch them swoon over Salvia and go bananas for African Basil blooms. So, why was I itching for a hive visit? Simply put, I wanted to see if I could walk the walk. It's one thing to see a few bees on flowers. It's another to have hundreds of them shaken from their homes a few feet in front of you. Would I panic and run for cover? I needed to know. I needed to know if the bees would best me.

The reality, which beekeepers, like Scott, are anxious to get out to the masses, is that honey bees are not aggressive bees. They are not the monsters that our swatting and panic would make them out to be. Scott was nice enough to loan me a book called "Beekeeping For Dummies" which helps explain bees to even the biggest, well "dummy."

One of the key beekeeping tools talked about in the book is called a smoker. By smoking a hive, before removing the frames, you decrease the number of bees flying around. Their instinct is to go inside and escape the pretend forest fire.

Bees Have A Lot To Teach Us
Their ability to communicate, through chemical pheromones and dance surpasses most of what you'll get from your kids at the dinner table. The Queen can signal her worker bees to build more comb, take care of young, search for food, and even store food neatly. The miracle is that she does this without threatening to take away access to the Internet, scarfing their cell phones, or beating them senseless!

Learning about bees is a good idea for even those who will never keep a hive. Firstly, it will allow you to wander through any garden with ease. Secondly, your new Zen attitude toward the buzzing beauties can be passed on to children in your life. (There will be no more shrieks of terror upon spotting one.) Lastly, you will be able to see how bees effect every fruit and veggie you put on your table.


Here Scott uses a hot knife to uncap cells. The frame will then
be placed in a stainless steel extractor that will use centrifugal
force to remove the honey.

Gardens can be designed to attract bees. It is similar to attracting butterflies. Most of the plants chosen are perennials. Bees, however, have their own favorite finds. Many of them might already be in your yard.

Bee-Attracting Plants
Blueberry Bushes
Crepe Myrtles
Orange Blossoms
Red Bud Trees
Indian Hawthorn
Purple Cone Flowers
Mexican Bush Sage
And much more!

I hope you've learned a little bit about bees. Thanks to the Barnard family for allowing me time with "their girls." The bees were perfect ladies, and didn't sting me once.

Please watch for bee-friendly merchandise at Hester & Zipperer.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday at the H & Zip

Tropicals Are Here!

People don't move South for the weather. That's a load of Moo-nure-priced nicely at $4.99. They move down for the tropical atmosphere. Drinks with umbrellas, patios with umbrellas, and beaches with umbrellas woo the masses.
Don't delay in creating a tropical oasis in YOUR backyard, or better yet, your mother's! Mother's Day is right around the corner, and nothing would thrill the lovely lady, who gave you life, more than a backyard make-over fit for a queen!
It's easy with the following: tropical vines, hummingbird feeders, colorful planters, and beautiful lanterns and candles. Add in some bug repellent, and you've got yourself a slice of Heaven here on Earth!
Attention all of you butterfly gardeners out there! Mary-ann will be teaching a class at our Wilmington Island location NEXT Saturday, May 10th, dealing with how to attract these flying friends to your garden. Show up at 9:45A.M. for the 10:A.M. class! Participants will receive 10% off butterfly-attracting plants listed by the tattooed teacher. Don't MISS OUT!
I'm still looking for recipes contributions! Send in your delicious ideas for fresh herbs and veggies. Don't deny that you've got some goodies, because you're Southerners! You've got recipes in your blood!
Have a good Friday night! Tomorrow there is gardening to be done!

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Speak Up Islanders!

Those of you not on our email list may want to hear about this:
Pat Farrell, Chatham County Commissioner of District 4, came by Hester and Zipperer on Saturday with an invitation for a Town Hall Meeting to be held at the Islands Precinct (54 Johnny Mercer Blvd.) Tuesday, May 6th, from 6-7P.M. This is a wonderful opportunity for all of you interested in the Live Oak issue on Johnny Mercer Blvd. Hundreds of you have come by to sign the petition we've hosted regarding the trees, and it is important to further support this cause by attending the meeting. Please send this out to your friends not on this email list.

Items to be discussed: Public Safety, Engineering, Public Works and Park Services, and presentations from County Staff
followed by a question and answer period.

Thanks! The Gang at Hester and Zipperer, Wilm. Island Location

Friday, April 25, 2008

Put Your Plants To Work!

Calling All Cooks! Calling All Noncooks!

I'm very excited about the new "widget" on this page for finding recipes. How often do we find ourselves wondering what to make for dinner? Now, you can pop by our blog and get some ideas! Hopefully, you'll find some cool new ways to use the herbs and veggies that we carry!

Even more important than the recipes is the feedback. I'd like to hear what you've tried! How did it work out for you? Would you make it again?

I'd also like to encourage you to send in original recipes to be featured on our blog! Maybe at some point we could make a cookbook. I can see it now! We'll be flipping through chapters called, "The Park", "Bradley Point", and "Old Towne"!

So, send them in, and let's get cookin'!