Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Seeds & Weeds Holds Meeting at Wilmington Island Store

Seeds & Weeds held their October meeting at the Wilmington Island Hester & Zipperer on Monday night, and it went off without a hitch. I gave a talk on Responsible Pest Management, but we all left time to gobble delicious refreshments too!

Visit Our Skidaway Store For Breakfast In The Garden

This Saturday, October 17th, visit the Skidaway Road Hester & Zipperer for a complimentary breakfast in the nursery! Enjoy delicious food and activities. Katherine will be giving a talk on Fall borders and Lisa will answer the top ten questions on Winter gardening.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Give Your Next Garden Club Meeting A New Spin

Hester & Zipperer on Wilmington Island Wants Your Club

We invite the garden clubs in our area to schedule a meeting to be held at our store! Not only will we provide an informative talk, but your members will also receive 10% off any purchases made that evening (Excludes pine straw and propane).

Here's The Skinny
Meetings are to be held between 7-9PM.

Garden Clubs are responsible for providing members to help set up and clean up.

Hester & Zipperer will provide a speaker on a topic to be determined between the
club and the speaker.

Meeting must be scheduled at least 30 days in advance.

Please call 897-5581 and speak with Mary-Ann or Christine to schedule your event.

Don't Miss Our Free Fall Vegetable Gardening Workshop

Come by the Hester & Zipperer on Wilmington Island this Saturday and learn why a cool-season vegetable garden is perfect for even newbie gardeners. The class is free and participants will receive a discount associated with the class topic.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

We're glad to see so many of you returning to your garden activities now that the weather has cooled ever so slightly. We've gotten some new plants to inspire. For those of you looking for some unique mixed containers or hanging baskets, try combining Diamond Frost Euphorbia, Coral Red Trailing Verbena, and purple Sweet Potato Vine. This sunny combo would also be gorgeous spilling out of a window box. Snap Dragons will be in tomorrow, and they are perfect for those looking to put something in that will last all through the Winter. Mix with Ponytail Ferns for a cold-hardy container.

One of the most underused categories of plants is grasses. They are perfect for accenting containers and beds, but grasses can also be used without any flowers at all for a stunning display. They offer structure, drama, and low maintenance. Simply add some slow-release nitrogen like blood meal in the soil and groom occasionally to keep them looking their best.

Shrubs and trees can be put in now. Many of you are working on privacy screens. This can be so much more interesting than a line of plants. Let us help you select plants of various textures and sizes that compliment each other. We can also suggest soil amendments to help them get established faster.

There have been a lot of bug questions lately, and we're always happy to educate people on responsible pest management. One of the most interesting came from a gentleman struggling with caterpillars on his Cabbage Palm. After a bit of searching, I learned that it was the Palm Skeletonizer, Homaledra sabalella. Most sites suggest Dipel Dust or Carbaryl on this stubborn pest. Dipel is a biological control and has the advantage of only killing caterpillars.

Got some news to share? Let us know what's happening in your yard? Email us photos to share on our blog at hesterandzipperer@hotmail.com

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Plant Sale Is Over But You Can Still Save!

We are happy to say that many of you came out and took advantage of Wilmington Island's End of Summer Clearance Sale. It ran for a week and we watched you run away with great deals. Still need advice on how to get your new plants off to a successful start? Don't hesitate to ask. We can offer you excellent products that reduce transplant shock, stimulate root growth, and even help with your water and fertilizing efforts.

For those of you who are still craving a bargain, we are continuing the following sales for another week: Furniture 25% OFF
Wind Chimes 30% OFF
Citronella Candles 50% OFF
Gardman Obelisks and Arbors 30% OFF
All Terrain Body Products 30% OFF
Hummingbird Feeders 30% OFF
Birdfeeders and Seed 30% OFF
Gardman Screens 30% OFF
Composters 20% OFF
Austram Coco Hanging Baskets 30% OFF

Sale ends Saturday, September 5th!
Our store will be closed Sunday and Monday for Labor Day.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Price Correction

There was a mistake in our recent e-newsletter regarding the price of Natural Guard Soil Activator. The correct prices are: 20lb bag/2000 sq/ft $16.99
40 lb bag/4000 sq/ft $24.99

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Big Big Sale on Wilmington Island!!!

Hester & Zipperer
on Wilmington Island’s
End of Summer Clearance Sale
Saturday, August 22nd thru Sunday, August 30th

The Big Plant Sale!!!
(Includes All Plants)
Spend $1 - $100 and get 25% off
Spend $101-$200 and get 35% off
Spend $201-$300 and get 50% off
Spend $301-$499 and get 60% off
Spend $500 or more and get 70% off

Amounts are before discount.
Discounts will be taken at register.

Other Sales
All Pottery 20% off
Furniture 25% off
Wind Chimes 30% off
Citronella Candles 50% off
Gardman Obelisks 30% off
All Terrain Body Products 30% off
Hummingbird Feeders 30% off
Austram Coco Hanging Baskets 30% off
Birdfeeders and Seed 30% off
Gardman Arbors 30% off
Gardman Screens 30% off
Composters 20% off

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Educated Customers Are Making Smart Purchases

The green movement is about nothing if not education. Its momentum comes from showing you the difference between product A and product Green. Even customers who do not choose the greener option, initially, will likely make smarter purchases in the future thanks to greenies .

The first benefit comes from the environmentally friendly practice of reading labels and more specifically active ingredients. Those who actively read labels are helped in the following ways:

The same chemical may come in a liquid concentrate or a ready-to-use sprayer. By recognizing the same active ingredient marketed to you in a couple different forms, you can save money by choosing the least expensive form of application.

Customers who seek only a certain "Insecticidal Dust" based on brand marketing may find themselves frustrated and unnecessarily driving to more than one store to find it. If you know you only want "Scotts" this or "Ortho" that, you will likely overlook products that are less expensive, more effective, or otherwise better suited to your situation.

There is also the obvious benefit of learning the correct usage of a potentially hazardous chemical.

Greenies can also teach you useful terminology.

"Systemic" and "Contact" are two extremely helpful classifications, and they can help you in the following ways:

You've got roses that need repeated treatment with fungicide. The uneducated person might grab a bottle that says "fungicide" and think their problem is solved. If they grabbed a contact fungicide (even one with pretty roses on the label) though, they will not have the lasting effect of a systemic fungicide. Who wants to spray more when they don't have to do so?

You are spraying your vegetables or fruit trees for bugs, and you want something that will work like a champ. You like that systemic products last longer, but recognize that you don't want a chemical making its way through something you will eat.

You've got weeds and you need them dead. Most people will choose products that kill fast! Careful though. Just because the top of that weed is killed overnight with a contact herbicide doesn't mean the roots aren't clamoring to send up more growth in a few days.

Other buzz words and phrases that can help you out in the long run:
Pre-emergent-Great for keeping things from sprouting. Won't do diddly if it already has!

Post-emergent-Great for killing what has already sprouted. Won't do diddly to sprouting seeds.

Amend-To add to something. Amending soil improves plant growth.

Organic Matter-Soil that is not amended often has too little organic matter. Organic matter helps by retaining moisture and nutrients.

Soil Permeability-The ability of water to travel through soil.

Selective Herbicide - Kills only certain plants.

Non-selective-Kills everything.

Ph, Acid, Alkaline - Sometimes plants prefer a certain Ph. Nutrients are not absorbed correctly if the soil is too far in one direction or another.

Native - Naturally grows in this area.

Nonnative - Does not grow naturally in this area, and thereby may not be suited to our climate. Alternatively, it could be invasive like Kudzu.

The bottom line is a little information might help you more than you think.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Are your leaves being eaten? Read this and discover why that might not be a problem.

There are a few reasons that these slow-moving little guys cause people angst. First of all, they're weird looking. They are oddly colored, some have spines, and, by golly, they're eating our plants. People have used the chemical equivalent of flame-throwers for much less. Your panic, and choice of an unnecessary treatment, can easily cause your plant more harm than the caterpillars.

Look at these common caterpillar situations:
Barb goes out on her deck one afternoon. Her oleanders are blooming like heat-tolerant troopers. Wait, though! What's that?
Chances are you've seen these babies, and you were just dying to spray or dust something on them. (One customer even told us she sprayed Raid on them. No! No! No!. Raid is not designed for plant use. It will fry your plants.)

Solution: Keep drinking whatever cold beverage you were enjoying, and do nothing. These caterpillars are doing no more damage to your oleanders than if you cut them yourself. As we know, oleanders respond very well to pruning and respond with lush new growth.

Nancy heads out to her herb garden to cut some parsley for her chicken surprise. The surprise is that there's no parsley! The striped charmer to the left, and his cronies, have nibbled it down to the stems. Maybe you've got a second parsley and they're nibbling that one too.

Swallowtail caterpillars love herb gardens because herbs are their primary food source. Dill, Cilantro, Fennel, Parsley, and even Rue can woo these guys.

Solution: Follow Paul McCartney's advice and "let it be". In a few weeks they will go off and become beautiful butterflies. We've also found that birds, lizards, and even wasps will gladly take them off your hands. Wasps are VERY good for the garden. If you don't swat at them as they hunt for dinner, they aren't a threat. (If you're allergic-obviously don't place this plant right where you relax.) Herbs respond like they've been pruned. They will grow back, so continue to water regularly. You can even use fish emulsion or blood meal on them to give them an extra boost.

If you thought it was raining cats and dogs, or even men for that matter, you would be mistaken. It's tent caterpillars.Now you really want to do something, right? They love my pecan tree. Some people have suggested applying a systemic insecticide drench to trees with tent caterpillars. I understand, but let me tell you why that's not smart.
  1. Tent caterpillars are only caterpillars for a very short period of time. By the time the systemic insecticide goes all the way up the tree, the caterpillars will be long gone!
  2. Do you really want to put systemic insecticide into a plant that you might eat? No. Even if the chemical is out of the tree by the time the pecans form-how will you be sure?
  3. The tree does not suffer at all. It grows back like they were never there.
You got something on your citrus too?! Does it look more like bird poo than a caterpillar?

This is the caterpillar of the Giant Swallowtail butterfly. It likes citrus trees, and its ugly face shouldn't cause you panic. We all remember the story of the Ugly Ducking who became a swan, right?
So, to my left is the poor duck and to my right is the swan!

Solution:Use this caterpillar to teach your kids not to judge a book by its cover. Your plants will be fine. If you have a large number of these on a tiny citrus, just pluck them off. Okay, tell someone who doesn't get the willies to pluck them off. Doesn't your neighbor have a HUGE citrus tree that could use a trim?

By now you're just fed up. You want to do SOMETHING! If, by chance your tomato or pepper plants are disappearing before your eyes, chances are a Tomato Hornworm has found them. What? Something endanger your tomato plant? I know, it's crazy, but it happens.

Solution: Bacillus Thuringiensis, also known as BT, is the active ingredient in a product called Dipel Dust. This is the best insecticide for caterpillars. It is inexpensive, and it's only really necessary in the case of the Tomato Hornworm or, possibly, the Cabbage Looper. If you have another situation where some caterpillars need killin', it works on all kinds of caterpillars. We recommend identifying them before resorting to this. Often, as mentioned above, the caterpillar will do no harm.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

H&Z Customers Dig Deep

On behalf of Hester & Zipperer, I want to send thanks out to those of you that have donated to our Clothing Etc. drive benefiting the Metter family whose trailer burned. For those of you that would still like to contribute, please see my previous post on this blog for size information.

Thanks again! -Christine

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

H&Z Benefit For Family Who Lost Everything in Fire

Hester & Zipperer is collecting items for a family living near Metter, Georgia who lost everything when the trailer they were living in at the time caught fire. We have learned that the father was badly burnt and is currently receiving treatment for his injuries. We are unaware of specific injuries that may have been sustained by the mother, eight-month-old girl, and three-year-old boy. We do know that a three-year-old friend who was visiting did not survive.

Both locations of Hester & Zipperer will be collecting the following items:

Clothing for the little girl-size 12 months
Clothing for the little boy-size 3-4 toddler
Clothing for the mother-size zero
Clothing for the father-size XL shirts and size 38 pants
New or gently-used toys

All kinds of gift cards are appreciated. The family does not have a permanent residence yet, so gift cards and certificates are more helpful than large furniture and household donations (at least at this time-we'll keep you posted).

If you have any questions, please call our Skidaway store at 912-355-1950 or our Wilmington Island store at 912-897-5581.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fourth Of July-Hours Change

Hester & Zipperer will be closed Saturday, July 4th, but Yoshi and Travis have signed up to work on Sunday while the rest of us are taking a break! No kidding.
They volunteered! It's fishy, I know.
Visit them on Sunday from 11AM-4PM at Hester & Zipperer on Wilmington Island.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Nursery Is Full Of Activity-If Not Customers

Yoshi snapped this work of art before we convinced a willing customer to relocate the happy couple to a safer locale behind the Agapanthus. It's not polite to stare.

It seems that all of the rain we had in weeks past followed by this heat has sparked all kinds of activity.

These aphids are feasting on the juice from this Milk Weed Plant.

Don't reach for your spray bottle just yet. The aphids will soon be the main course for Lady Bugs and their larva. You don't even need to ring the dinner bell. They will show up on their own. Also, there would be no point in spraying, because Monarch butterfly caterpillars will come and eat all of the leaves off this host plant. It is fun to watch, and before you know it, the plant will grow back and spread its seed far and wide.

Our water features around the nursery are full of tadpoles. I mean in a few weeks we might think the plagues have started. There are hundreds of the little critters. They are helping keep algae away as well as entertaining passersby.

That leads me to Frank. Frank is 1/2 inches tall and looking for love. If any of you ladies out there are looking for a prince, word on the pond is that he's a great catch. He just asks that his match be an equally devoted fan of Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance".

Friday, June 5, 2009

Getting It Together Again

I just want to let everyone know that we still have some great plant sales going on at the Wilmington Island store, and we are also getting in new plants today so that you can freshen up after the deluge.

There are so many ways to get your gardens and beds back in working order, and fellow Savannah Morning News garden columnist, Gail Krueger writes about one in today's Accent section. Read her column by clicking here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Rain Can Be A Pain

Gardeners need rain, but we didn't ask for it all at once, did we? Chances are that today you had time to get out there and see what has happened to your plants. With so much water, there are some things to keep in mind.

Those of you growing tomatoes need to watch out for leaf fungus. If you have spotted leaves, please cut a sample and bring it to the store for review. We can suggest a treatment if necessary. Also, keep up with your garden maintenance. Prune overgrown plants, and make sure to disinfect your pruners between plants. You don't want to carry spores from one plant to another.

Be mindful of your sprinkler settings. It seems obvious, but you should not have your sprinkler watering when we've had so much rain. Take time see if anything even needs water.

Those of you with lawn fungus can stop by the store for some granular or liquid fungicide. Both are available and useful during wet times like this.

You may have become aware of standing water in certain areas of your yard. Now is the time to improve drainage in these areas by building up the soil, or adding sand to areas that are too mucky.

Feel Good Sale-Veggie Plants Now 50% off
This sale won't last, so get them now!

If you have any questions, please call 912-897-5581 or 912-355-1950

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Both Hester & Zipperer locations will be closed
on Sunday, May 24th and Monday, May 25th.
We will resume normal store hours on Tuesday, May 26th.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Memorial Day Sales!

Can you believe this chilly May weather in Savannah? Well, Summer is coming no matter how far the mercury may fall. We've got some exciting new merchandise in stock, and some hot sales.

Those of you that loved those brightly colored metal lizards and crabs we had last summer need to stop by! Not only are they back, but they've brought along huge fish friends! I'm thinking of picking something up for my dad for Father's Day!

While you're here, check out our 50% off section including:

Small Fountains
Solar Lighting
Mood Light Bug Repellent
Rechargeable Candles
Wine Bottle Holders
Motion-Activated Croaking Frogs

Of course, listed on the right side of this page, are still on sale. Don't miss out. We couldn't be having better weather to get them in the ground!

Friday, May 15, 2009


Don't Be Left In The Dark
Hester & Zipperer wants to empower you to make responsible garden decisions and inform you about specific gardening topics. If you haven't already, please check out our selection of informational handouts beneath the bulletin board at the Wilmington Island location.

Information Is Available Now On: Composting, Water Conservation, Armstrong Atlantic's Conifers for the South. Stay tuned for new handouts on growing citrus and berries.

Have You Found Your Treasure?
Hester & Zipperer customers that visited the Savannah Garden Expo, and were clever enough to pick up a treasure map coupon at our display, are saving big! Do you still have your map? Use it now to save 25% off your total purchase. (Excludes Pinestraw, Propane, and already discounted items.)

Garden Destinations That Inspire

Many of us will be planning Summer vacations, so I thought I'd take this time to mention a few for plant lovers. Actually, even if you're not a plant lover, these spaces have a lot to offer.

Atlanta Botanical Garden - Georgia
My sister lives in Atlanta and recently hosted a friend of hers from out of town. They spent a delightful evening at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. From May 2nd - October 31st they are showing the sculptures of Henry Moore. This might sound high brow, but my sister said they drank Apple Martinis and took turns trying to figure out the titles of the abstract pieces.

Cagles Dairy Farm Canton/Resaca - Georgia
What kid hasn't wanted to go to a dairy farm? If you didn't get your fix when you were little, or you have some youngsters that are game, head to this functioning family dairy. The site has specific details about tour times. Also keep it in mind for the Fall, because they have hayrides, bonfires, and a corn maize!

Brookgreen Gardens-Upstate Sculptour - South Carolina
Visit three venues in Spartanburg and enjoy marvelous artwork on loan until August 16, 2009. It's for people who don't know from abstract. See intriguing figurative sculptures amongst the plants and animals of this beautiful part of our country.

Lauderdale County Tomato Festival - Tennessee
On July 10th and 11th head to Ripley, Tennessee and give props to the area's tomato growers. Maybe even stay in The Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge. If waterfowl thrill you, this is your dream vacation!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mary-Ann Goes To Greenfest 09' Saturday!

You've heard Mary-Ann at the store, but now she's taking her show on the road. She'll be doing "Fun With Composting" from 11AM-12PM at Greenfest '09. Click here for more information on this really fun event.

Mother's Day

I'm using this photo of Dr. Lester, from Islands Vet Care, to illustrate a deer in the headlights. Don't let Mother's Day catch you off guard!

Here are some ideas for the woman that brought you in to this world,
and just might take you out!

ORCHID - easy to care for and makes a great impression!
WATER GLOBE - like the ones on TV! Mom's like glass stuff.
AFRICAN VIOLET - Moms like stuff that reminds them of their mom.
SAVANNAH BEE COMPANY - Whether it is honey or lotion,
this is a great gift for moms out of town.
FRUIT TREE - This gift only works if you plant it for her. They're 50% off during May!
OUTDOOR SEATING - She needs a nice place to relax and think about you!
HERBS - Cause she cooks better than your wife. Shhhhhh.
NEW CONTAINER TO PLANT - Don't let your mom run out of pots!

As always, we've got gift cards ready and waiting for the hard-to-please mother.

Seed Sales Going Strong

You might think that garden seeds were Pokemon or Garbage Pail Kids cards back from the 1980's. They have flown off the shelves this Spring, so much that we've got a new shipment in to keep everyone happy.

A lot of people forget about planting seeds once they've got their first round in the ground, but there is still lots of fun to be had.

What about planting pumpkins and gourds for Fall?
We've also got some new value packs of seed. Try the new Organic Salad Mix! It makes a nice gift too. Think of those parties where you know you want to bring something, are tired off the ol' bottle of wine. Salad greens are easy to grow, and you'll get praise for being original!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Customer's Topiary Dragon

Susan doesn't just sell houses. She makes topiary dragons in her spare time. Topiaries are easy and they are a nice project to do for kids.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Customer Requested Compost Info

Lets Talk About Us-Or Our Gardens Anyway

Mary-Ann's Garden
You've all seen her at the store, and I bet a fat lot of you have wished you could follow her home just to see what her yard looks like. Ssssshhhh. Get down! She'll see you. Okay, let's take a look at what this H&Z Nursery Manager has going on.

Well, would you look at those Snap Dragons and Violas! They are gorgeous. Cool season annuals play a big role in a Spring landscape. The trick is planting them in Fall, fertilizing them, and making sure to amend your beds with compost. Oh, and water helps too.

Herbs are fantastic in containers, but check out her use of a Buddha! You, of course, could add any object of your choosing.

Also note that she has chosen two herbs (Rosemary and Sage) that prefer the same dry soil conditions.

Choosing plants that have contrasting leaf shapes, like these, makes the container look less busy. It's what makes it pop-that and the sleeping guy.

When you choose a container, look for one that is big enough for your plants and some interesting found object. Found objects play a big part in Mary-Ann's garden aesthetic.

Getting The Look In Your Garden

You've got to have courage. Fear will have you saying, "A Phrenology head doesn't go in a garden! What will ______ say when she sees?"

Those of you who enjoy yard sales and flea markets should look for cool finds like:

chipped pots, sculptures, bowling balls, bottles, rusted whatever, and, most definitely, the bizarre!

It's not about being perfect. It's about collecting specimens and showing them off like a natural history museum!

Room For Edibles
If you'd love to have a Burpless Cucumber patch, here is a way to do it on the cheap! Select a sunny area against your privacy fence and staple up some trellis netting. Dig out a bed just below and amend the soil with good organic mushroom compost or cow manure. Finally, a front edge of your choosing gives the cucumber area a finished look.

Use this idea for other vines too!

Christine's Garden
I started a vegetable garden in my side yard last year with the addition of a raised bed made by my husband, Superman.

I grew frustrated by only getting a few cherry tomatoes and peppers at a time, so I decided to expand the bed this Winter.

I made a border of brick pavers around my raised bed so that I could easily make my way around. After that I dug another bed directly into the ground.

To amend the soil, I used a mixture of things. On the side visible hear I used mushroom compost and top soil. My Blackseeded Simpson and Romaine seem to be enjoying it.

On the other side I chose to try chicken manure for the first time. It has more nitrogen, and boy does it back a punch to the ol' nose. Peee-yew. While putting it out I thought, "This stuff is crap! It's all gummy and nasty." Ahh, but my egg plants are thriving now. (No photo-but trust me.)

Take a gander at this Squash plant underworld. They grew so quickly, and some have started setting fruit. I don't mind telling you that I've got some problems.

1. Blossom End Rot-I've started using a calcium spray that we carry at the store to try and put an end to it. I'll use it on the zucchini and tomatoes soon as well.

2. I've noticed some bacterial disease on the leaves of my zucchini. This is becoming a royal pain in the tookus, because I was going to try and remain organic. I may have to resort to spraying something. It starts in the soil, so replacing the plant probably wouldn't do any good. The best I can do is clip out bad leaves, avoid watering from the top, and cuss.

The Good News

I got some tasty strawberries to put in a salad the other night. They're shaded from the squash leaves, and I think this is helping them develop some size before they ripen.

We happen to be out of strawberry plants at our Wilmington Island store, at this very second, but call 897-5581 to see if some arrive on today's delivery. We'll get more in soon, if not.

Got some blueberries. In all fairness, these bushes are in another bed, but I couldn't resist showing off these beauties. I saw a few missing recently. I may end up having to cover them with netting.

We have blueberry plants at the store. Just remember to pick up two different varieties so that you will have cross pollination.

Let this photo on the right be a little thumb to the nose for all of you who complain about not having enough blooms. Not a single one in this picture, and yet look at all of the appeal. These Swiss Chard leaves (in the center) are great to put in a vase. I did so recently for our anniversary party. Joining them were some Loropetalum branches, and my older sister was quite impressed.

Finally, I must give a shout-out to the Sugar Snap Pea. They have been performing so well for me. I've made teepees out of bamboo and twine, and it seems to be working nicely. I prefer these babies raw. The whole pod can be eaten as a healthy snack.

Got garden photos? Email us your ups and downs at hesterandzipperer@hotmail.com

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Savannah Garden Expo-H&Z's Exhibition Garden

The Making Of The Mighty Hester & Zipperer

"We have to do the Garden Expo, Mary-Ann," I said a few months ago. "You know it's in the middle of Spring, right?" she cautioned.

Her step-dad, Buddy, designed and helped build the wood structure that would hold our pirate ship garden. I couldn't wait for the painting to begin. Before I was able to apply even a coat of primer, so much had to be done!

I thought I'd stain the floor panel of our vessel. Travis helped me, in the shade of the pine straw trailer, apply it with a roller. As I stood up to admire my work, I hit my face on the hitch of the trailer! Remember that busy day when I came behind the counter with ice applied to my face? Yeah, it was then. I told people that H&Z's very own Travis hit me. Was pressing charges too much? Naaaah.

Here Buddy and Mary-Ann raise the skull and cross bones during our setup at the Roundhouse.

Here are some pirates you might recognize at the Garden Expo's Preview Party!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Second Place-Arrrrrrh, maties!

The Wilmington Island store took second place with its exhibition garden at the Savannah Garden Expo last night! The construction that was taking place in the back of our store came together beautifully in the form of a pirate ship garden complete with water and a dock. We hope you make it to the Expo to see our garden and the efforts of everyone else involved.

Please grab a treasure map from in front of our garden, because you never know where it might lead you!

Stay tuned for photos!!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Pay Attention To The Weather And Water!

Alright, as much as I hate to think about it, we should be planning for a late freeze to take place this week. I blame the weather men and women. Obviously, they did not do the correct interpretive dance. So, plants are money. Let's talk about ways to protect them.

1. Hanging Baskets-Place them in a garage or shed. If they can't be put there, place on the ground, water, and cover.

2. Water EVERYTHING. Focus on saturating the soil over the foliage. Professional growers have specific ways of protecting plants by wetting the foliage. I don't recommend this for the average Joe.

3. Chances are most of your flowering containers, Summer vegetables, and herbs will need to be covered. Even plants that are not normally cold sensitive should be protected if purchased recently. They may have been grown in a hot house, and they've not had a chance to harden off.
Give them a good drink of water and cover them with burlap, sheets, or towels. Not plastic. Secure the edges on the ground so that wind will not destroy your efforts.

4.Get out your strings of lights! By trimming your plants, you can protect them. The lights will raise the temperature. Follow these safety tips: use outdoor cords and lights, don't let hot lightbulbs sit on foliage or sheets, and be sure to undo all of this the next morning. Check out this LSU page on protecting citrus.

You may not be able to get row covers by this point in the game, but I'm posting this video to give you an idea of how to cover your garden. You could make the hoops out of something from the hardware store. Creativity saves the day!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

H&Z Newer News

Hester & Zipperer on Wilmington Island is once again selling tickets for the N.O.G.S. Hidden Garden Tour. They are $45.00/person, and totally worth it, because there are even more gardens this year. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets at a discounted rate of $40.00/person.

Hester & Zipperer on Wilmington Island will raffling off two tickets for the N.O.G.S. tour. One chance is $5.00. If your name is drawn you will receive the two tickets.

All proceeds will benefit the Mr. B Memorial Feral Cat Spay & Neuter Fund at Islands Vet Clinic.

For those of you that don't know, Mr. B is the fabulous gray cat that we had here until his passing a few months ago.

H&Z News In A Peat Pot

Many of you stopped by last week and found our store overrun with floral invaders. It seems that Mary-Ann dorked out and ordered 47,362 hanging baskets. We were shoving them everywhere. Customers were told to stand like the Bird Girl statue and hold them, those that visited our facilities may have found a Wandering Jew or Pothos creeping under their stall. They were every where! There is still a very good selection! Come get them before they steal our souls.

In other news, I found someone's creative expression with an ink pen on our counter yesterday. As much as I appreciate abstract art, I found their efforts unsatisfactory. The artist should keep an eye out on their kitchen counter for my own artistic endeavor.

We are busy putting together containers for the Savannah Garden Expo! That group of pots and hanging troughs at the front corner of the nursery are not just forming a Plant Union. They are getting ready to to take their spots in the lime light. Please come and see our, dare I say KICK Aster exhibition garden!

A lot of you are coming in for mole cricket treatments now, but it is important to evaluate your lawns before deciding you have a problem. Moles don't mean mole crickets. Moles eat earth worms more than mole crickets. Also-you could have a fungus, not an insect problem. Got little mounds of dirt? Not necessarily mole crickets. Many insects that don't harm your lawn make them. Especially after a rain. So, remain calm, and we'll set you up with the right product.

It's going to be rainy today, so I'd like to invite all of you to come to the nursery today without your reading glasses. We'd really appreciate it if you would ask us to come out in a down pour and pick up each and every nursery pot to tell you the price. We REALLY like to read the tags with plant information in high wind and hail. Snow storms are even better! Luck folks in Fargo get all the breaks.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hanging Baskets - How They Are Hanging

Those of you that love the idea of hanging plants from your front porch railing, but struggle with hardware, look no further. These clever hangers involve no nails or screws. They simply fit between the vertical posts and are held up by counter weight from the basket. Hard to explain. Easy to use!

They can also be used to hold planter boxs!

Great for people who don't want to add decorating the front porch to their Honey-Do list.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The White House Kitchen Garden Breaks Ground

First Lady, Michelle Obama, broke ground for the White House kitchen garden with the help of White House Horticulturalist Dale Haney and kids from D.C.'s Bancroft Elementary School. This will be a functional garden that will serve the White House cooking staff.

Mrs. Obama might want to dress down, a bit, if she really wants to be considered a gardener. I recommend an over-sized Garfield t-shirt from 1985 or a heather grey sweatshirt, with the neck cut out, from the Flash Dance era. On the bottom, a pair of jeans with, "I (Heart) Barack" written in ink pen on the knee. Shoes? Reebok High Tops in white. Oh, and don't forget the slouch socks or leg warmers!

Friday, March 20, 2009

On the first day of Spring Hester & Zipperer gave to me...

It actually feels like we work at a plant nursery again. On Thursday morning we received a truck load of plants from Monrovia. An hour before the store was to open we were lightening the load of a tractor trailer full of killer plants. Mary-Ann calls us her A-Team.

"I thought the loud popping I heard was my back,
but it turned out to be Travis's Gun Show."
Christine Lucas

For the first time since I've been at Hester & Zipperer, we've gotten Prickly Pears! Imagine a cactus like this, at its mature 6ft stature, sporting vibrant yellow blooms in Spring. Right after planting it, you can begin writing your memoir, "Why All Of My Neighbors Are Jealous Of My Cool Yard." Dare to be different, but don't dare place it where its spines will jab you in the shin. I pulled one out of my jeans, and my leg, when I got home from work.

"Texture calling on line 2. Are you available?"

You may have seen Foxtail/Ponytail Ferns before, but the ones we just got it must have been juicing up with AROD. They are bigger than Brad and Angie, and only slightly less beautiful. Getting one will make you instantly a better person, or my name is Mrs. Hugh Laurie. Okay, it's not.

I am not saying that you're a loser if you don't buy one of the few Jacobinias that we have left. I'm simply saying that you are a loser if you don't buy it.

This shade-loving perennial will grow two to four feet tall and about three feet wide. It works well in containers, and would look like a million dollars next to Persian Shield.

Citrus Is Here - some of it anyway.

We have Limes, Improved Meyer Lemons, and Kumquats. Remember those delicious preserved lemons we mentioned a few posts back? Mmmmm.

Do you have excellent citrus recipes we should know about?
Email us at: hesterandzipperer@hotmail.com

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Grouping Herbs By Moisture Needs

Follow these groupings for watering success:

Thyme, Rosemary, Lavender, and Sage prefer well-drained soil and can exist on the dry side. They don't require soil with a lot of organic matter. The dry side does not mean bone dry. If your pots are small, you will still need to water them at least once a day-if not more.

Basil, Oregano, Cilantro, and Mint don't tolerate drying out well at all. It is best to give them a soil with more organic matter like Mushroom Compost.

Remember that plastic pots keep soil moist longer. Use this to your advantage, and place in a spot where terracotta pots might dry out too fast.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Container Workshop Supplement

I want to thank everyone who showed up for my container workshop on Saturday. I hope everyone got a few good ideas. The next few blog entries will have to do with container planting. Post a comment and let me know what you think.

Please visit this Proven Winners page for many container recipes as well. It is a wealth of information.

The container to the left is one that I did for the Savannah Garden Expo last year. I like it because of the contrast that has without a single bloom! I also dyed whole pecans with blue food coloring.

Plant list: Scottish Moss, Irish Moss, Red Dragon Coleus, Feather Grass, and Sedge
Light-full to part sun

Caladium bulbs are available now, and they make a dramatic statement in containers. Red varieties will take more sun. In a shade container they would work well with Impatiens, Persian Shield, or Creeping Jenny. Plant the bulbs with your favorites that are available and watch them show up to the party a little later.

You don't have to have a lot of plants to make a really big impression. Remember how I spoke about Fairy Gardens?
In this container someone has given them not just a bench, but a whole house. You can make this type of an arrangement with a birdhouse, child's old toy, or even old Christmas ornaments.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Contain Your Excitement!

Our Container Gardening Workshop will be tomorrow morning at eleven!
Take advantage of this free chance to be awesome.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Make Good Use Of Fresh Meyer Lemons

Gina Harrell visited Hester & Zipperer on Wilmington Island just the other day, and we got talking about ways to use Meyer Lemons. She was kind enough to email us the following:

If you are lucky enough to have Meyer lemons, try this easy fun way to make them last. These are preserved lemons that are a common ingredient in Moroccan recipes. Here's how:
Thoroughly wash and dry lemons. Cut a small slice off the stem end. Resting the lemon on the uncut end, carefully cut it into 6 wedges, but don't cut all the way through. You should have the lemon in wedges that are still joined together at the end. Remove seeds. In a glass crock or jar, layer a lemon in on its side, and press down firmly. (the juice, of course, will squeeze out) Next, cover the lemon with a generous layer of salt (about 3 Tablespoons). Repeat this layering process, covering each lemon with salt, until you have filled the jar.
Since the Meyer lemons are so juicy, I wound up pouring some of the juice off so I could get the jar filled to the top with lemons. Pack them in tight, and then make sure there is juice enough to cover them. (if you have poured some juice off, save it in case you need to add some back) Also, make sure you put in that final layer of salt.
Now, put the lid on tightly, shake them a bit to help dissolve the salt, and let them sit at room temperature for 24 hours. After this, refrigerate. The lemons need to sit in the fridge for about 4 weeks before they are ready to use. I shook mine gently from time to time. The juice will turn syrupy when they are ready to use. These will keep 6 months or more in the fridge.
You can do this with any kind of lemons, but Meyers are the preferred type. I am including a couple of recipes that call for these lemons, but you can find lots on the web. They make an interesting addition to salads, chicken dishes, and vegetables. I used them with asparagus, and they were very good:
*Wash and snap off the tough ends of fresh asparagus. Place in a microwave safe dish and add a small amount of water. Top with a few preserved lemon slices, a sprinkle of your favorite herbs, and a couple of small pats of butter. Cover and microwave about 3-5 minutes or until desired tenderness. Remember that you do not need to add extra salt, because the lemons are very salty already.
More recipes:
Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 quarter preserved lemon peel freed of pulp and chopped fine
1 shallot or mild onion chopped fine
4 - 5 Tablespoons of good olive oil (can also used walnut oil)
Put everything in a small jar with a tight lid and shake it well.
Moroccan Style Chopped Salad (from Recipezaar)
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 preserved lemon, chopped
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, peppers, onion, tomato, lemon and parsley and mix well.
Add garlic powder, lemon juice and oil and mix again.
Taste before adding any salt. The preserved lemon may be salty enough for the whole dish.
Allow to sit at room temperature for a half hour.
Mix again right before serving.
Meyer Lemon Curd
(uses less sugar, since the Meyers are not as tart)
3-4 medium Meyer lemons
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
Finely grate enough zest from lemons to measure 2 tsp. and squeeze enough juice to measure 1/2 cup. Whisk together zest, juice, sugar, and eggs in a metal bowl and add butter. Set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, whisking, until thickened and smooth and an instant-read thermometer registers 160, about 5 or 6 minutes. Serve warm or cover surface of curd with wax paper and cool completely.
Serve with biscuits or scones, gingerbread, in tart shells, or stirred into vanilla yogurt. May be frozen for longer storage.
Another idea for using your Meyer lemons is to juice them, and pour the juice into muffin tins in 1/4 cup portions. Freeze in the tins, then dip the bottom of the pan in hot water to loosen, and pop the frozen juices out. Now you have 1/4 cup cubes that you can put in a gallon zip top bag in the freezer to use for recipes. Grate the rind of the lemons, (a microplane zester is great for this) and put it in a small zip top bag. You can just slip this bag into the bigger bag with the juice cubes and keep them together. The frozen zest is easy to fluff up and measure out as you need for recipes.
There is a recipe for Meyer Lemon and Thyme pound cake in the most recent issue of Victoria magazine. It looks wonderful. Enjoy!
Gina Harrell

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Frost Warning

Good Frost won't kill plants but delight you by a warm fire.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Green Profit Tells You What Containers Must Have!!

(Okay...this is cheap self-promotion. I got my name in Green Profit! Woohoo!)

I told Green Profit, and I'm telling you, ornamental peppers are unbeatable in containers. Their fruit and foliage will wake up any landscape still drowsy from Winter. Plant in containers that can be protected from any late freezes, and combine with things like Diamond Frost Euphorbia!