Tag Archives: flowers

2020’s Top 10 Annuals from Vande Hey Company

Every year we grow beautiful annuals perfect for containers or for annual beds. They provide extra color, texture, and also a variety of different heights. Check out our 2020 Top 10 Annuals to learn a little bit more about some of our favorites!

  1. Profusion Zinnia- Providing bright colorful flowers spring through fall, this sun-loving hybrid Zinnia is known for its durability: resisting disease, drought, and heat and even repelling deer and rabbits. Up to 18” tall and spreading 24”, it is the perfect choice for the front of borders or large containers. Their numerous 2” flowers are also loved by butterflies!

2) Verbena Meteor Shower– These dense clusters of small purple flowers are beautiful in combinations or planted as a mass. Growing 20-30” tall and 8-12” wide, this plant grows best in full sun or light shade. As a high nectar plant, butterflies and hummingbirds love it as well!

3) Australian Sword Fern– This fast-growing bright green evergreen tolerates both wind and even some sun making it perfect for hanging baskets or pots. Growing 24-46” tall, the sword-shaped fronds that characterize this Australian native are a fan favorite!

4) Euphorbia Diamond Mountain-Blooming with airy white flowers spring through fall, this low maintenance and drought tolerant plant adds great texture to combination plantings. Growing 24-36” in both height and spread, this plant-friend of ours does best in partial to full sun.

5) Gaura- Adding some height, movement, and color to combination plantings, this drought tolerant plant provides color spring through fall. Producing nectar-rich white, pink, and bi-colored flowers loved by butterflies this plant grows 24-36” tall.

6) Coprosma (Mirror Plant)– This woody plant with shiny variegated foliage offers year-round color and a range of colors from yellow or lime to pink and burgundy. It’s an instant impact plant that grows best in full sun to partial shade and reaches 48-60” tall and 36-48” wide.

7) Artemisia- Available in a variety of different growth habits, the silvery foliage looks beautiful whether it is planted alone or as an accent. FUN FACT: Artemisia is currently being tested as a ‘miracle cure’ herb for COVID-19.

8) Anigozanthos (Kangaroo Paw)- Known for its unique bird-attracting tubular flowers, the multiple long club-shaped blooms on this plant are coated with dense hairs that open up right at the tip. Coming in an assortment of colors, they are not only heat and drought tolerant, but are gorgeous as cut flowers. The plant typically grows 12-36” tall.

9) Annual Grasses- Annual grasses come in a variety of colors and heights. They provide a great accent or border adding both movement and texture. Stop by our retail center so we can tell you more about some of our favorites!

10) Strawberry Ruby Ann- Providing a continuous bloom of hot pink flowers and delicious berries all summer long, this fruit plant provides a unique addition to combination containers along with your other favorite annuals. They are also winter hardy when planted in the ground!

Looking for some help arranging containers or annual beds? Check out our Color 365 program or this video to learn more about how we can help bring extra beauty and color to your yard. We would love to help you design the perfect container to fit your style.

Stop by today to see our beautiful selection of annuals!

Landscaping Management 101: May

The weather is finally warming up, spring is in the air, and we cannot wait to get to work in our gardens! We survived the “April in Wisconsin Gauntlet” and all 5,236 different types of weather it threw at us. Now it is May! Everything is greener, brighter, and warmer! Let’s get to work!


  • Fertilize bush fruits, grapes, and ornamental shrubs.
  • Plant broccoli, early cabbage, cauliflower, and spinach.
  • Interplant annuals among spring flowering bulbs. Be gentle!
  • Scout for bare patches in your lawn, raking up dead plants and debris. Now is a great time to sow grass seed to ensure it beats out the crabgrass.
  • Treat lawn for control of broadleaf weeds.
  • Do not roll lawn. Instead aerate which will allow much needed oxygen and nutrients to get to your grass. This is especially beneficial for lawns on heavy clay soils that are compacted, lumpy, or thinning. You may need to aerate again in the fall for very lumpy lawns.
  • Prune Evergreens as new growth begins to expand.  Pinch off up to two-thirds the length of new growth “candles.”
  • Prune Forsythia after they have bloomed.
  • It is not too late to start seeds indoors, but beets, carrots, chard, kohlrabi, late cabbage, leaf lettuce, mustard, collards, turnips, radish, spinach, onion sets, onion seeds for bunching onions, peas, and potatoes can be sown directly into the garden.
  • Purchase and plant trees and shrubs now! Ask a Vande Hey Company representative for planting instructions to ensure healthy plants!
  • Examine fruit trees for Eastern tent caterpillars, being sure to remove limbs where they are nesting. You should also start your fruit tree spraying schedule. You do not want to spray when it is blooming because it can harm bees and other pollinating insects.
  • When leaves start to emerge from the buds, begin fungicide treatment. Be proactive! Apply every 14 days throughout cool season. Make sure to apply to crabapples, ninebarks, roses, and honeysuckles. Call Vande Hey Company to pick up your fungicide today!


  • Plant bush beans, snap beans, and sweet corn.
  • Plant muskmelon, squash, and cucumbers.
  • Work systemic insecticides into soil around roses.
  • Stake peonies and delphiniums.
  • Prune out winter-killed wood on trees and shrubs by cutting back to green wood after new growth begins.


  • Plant geraniums and tuberous rooted begonias.
  • Set out peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants.
  • Start compost pile.

Staying on top of these tasks and being proactive will help keep your landscaping healthy and beautiful! Go get your hands dirty and enjoy the warming weather!

As always, let us know if you have questions! Also, stay tuned for our brand-new service “The Plant Doctor!” Ask all your plant and gardening questions and get answers!

Landscaping Management:101 April

April Showers bring May… Well, we sure hope for showers instead of snow this year! As things continue to warm up, we can all get more and more active in the backyard! Here’s our list of things you can do in April and don’t forget about Landscape Management 101: March if you are behind schedule!


  • Finish pruning trees and evergreens. Avoid pruning maple, elm, birch, oak, and walnut trees at this time. Pruning these trees now will cause excess sap bleeding and increase the likelihood of contracting diseases such as oak wilt.
  • Once the ground has thawed, fertilize grapes, raspberries, and blueberries before growth resumes.
  • Rake the lawn when weather conditions permit. Raking when lawns are too wet will result in pulling out large amounts of roots and live grass parts.
  • Pull out last year’s dead annuals if you have not yet done so.
  • Dead flowers, stems, leaves, etc. can serve as protection for new plants and compost in place. There is no need to clean up too much this early in the season.
  • Prune summer flowering shrubs.
  • Plant fruit trees.
  • Graft apple trees when buds begin to swell.
  • Plant pansies in a pot and place outside. Pansies can handle some frost and cold temperatures.
  • Do not work in garden soil when it is wet.
  • Collect soil samples for testing. Test multiple areas separately.


  • Uncover and prune roses if weather permits. You can vent rose cones (if you are still using them) during the day, but replace by sundown. Do not feed roses until mid-May.
  • Check out your indoor plants. More sun and higher intensity will lead to quicker growth and more need for fertilizer and water. You can also prune back hard now to stimulate new growth.
  • Seed or sod new lawns as soon as the soil can be worked. 
  • Vegetables that do well in cold temperatures such as broccoli, lettuce, and parsley can be transplanted outdoors after the average last frost date (May 21-31). In the meantime, you can slowly introduce plants to the outdoors by placing flats in shaded protected areas and gradually increasing exposure to sun and wind.
  • Sow seeds indoors for the following: tomatoes, asparagus, beets, carrots, chard, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, mustard, onion sets, parsnips, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach, and turnips.
  • Reseed or sod lawn areas injured by the winter.


  • Dig and divide fall-blooming perennials before top growth gets too tall.
  • Consider planting flowers which can be dried for winter arrangements.  Strawflower, statice, Chinese lantern, celosia, and globe amaranth are some of the best choices for successful drying.
  • Do not mow the lawn until it has grown at least 2 inches.  The roots are being renewed in the spring and grass needs vigorous initial top-growth.
  • Check birch leaves for birch leaf miner. Staying ahead of pests and treating trees early leads to greater health and success in the long run.
  • Plant onions, carrots, beets, chard, leaf lettuce, parsnips, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach, and turnips.

If you are on top of all of these things and still chomping at the bit for more, check out our blog post Get Outside! 33 Outdoor Activities You Can Do Right Now!

Have questions? Call us. Need help? Call us. Our team of experts is here for you.

Landscaping Management:101 March

You’re sitting inside waiting for the snow to melt and the ground to thaw so you can finally get started on your garden and landscaping—it’s kind of like watching paint dry, but worse. Someone keeps adding paint (or in our case, snow). What’s the solution? Stop staring at the paint! Our horticultural experts at Vande Hey Company have a few practical things you can do right now. Let’s get up off the couch and get started!


If you were still watching paint dry in early March and haven’t started yet, you can start these things now!

  • Early March is a good time to start making cuttings of fast-growing annuals such as lysimachia, coleus, and sweet potato vine.
  • Even though it can be tempting, be careful this time of year not to remove mulch or evergreen boughs from perennials too early. If we get cold temperatures, your plants could easily be harmed.
  • If you have been storing geraniums in cool dark places, you can pot them up, cut them back, and start watering again.
  • As always, here’s your friendly reminder to feed your house plants every 2-3 weeks. March’s longer days and shorter nights will result in more rapid growth, but if it is a cloudy month, plants will still use less water and fertilizer.


  • Start slow-growing annuals indoors if you have good light. Not sure if you have good light—there’s an app for that. Search your phone’s app store for a light meter app!
  • If you have dormant sprays to combat insect pests, be sure to use them before new growth starts. Make sure temperatures will be above freezing for 8-12 hours after spraying to avoid damaging stems and needles.
  • Divide and conquer. Dahlia clumps and cannas can be split and added to pots to get growing.
  • Clean up your garden as the weather warms. Be patient; using a blowdryer is not efficient, so wait for the snow to melt on its own then get after it!
  • Remove mulch from spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils and crocus.
  • Cultivate and fertilize asparagus beds if the ground is not frozen.
  • Get pruning! The end of the dormant season is the best time to prune almost all trees and shrubs. Pines are one of the only exceptions; let young pine needles expand to about half their full size before pruning.
  • Prune raspberries, thinning the canes so there is about six to eight per foot of row, and remove the upper 20% of the cane. This will promote new growth and more fruit for the berry season. Remember those raspberry mojitos we talked about in our 2020 Garden Trends? Mhmmm.


  • Remove winter protection from roses as soon as the danger of frost is past.
  • Sprinkle systemic insecticide granules within the dripline of birch trees to prevent birch leaf miner. We recommend doing this with a systemic drench just as the trees start to break bud.
  • Sow seeds indoors for vegetables including broccoli, cabbage cauliflower, celery, eggplant, and head lettuce. Lettuce know if you have questions…
  • Start thinking about lawn care. Check out your lawn as the snow clears to check for damage, especially from voles (mice), and think about what type of lawn care you want to do this year. April is National Lawn Care Month!

Even though these are just a few suggestions, we hope you can satisfy some of your gardening itch before spring fully opens up. These tips are definitely more exciting than watching paint dry!

Have questions? Call us. Need help? Call us. Our team of experts is here for you.