Tag Archives: horticulture

Houseplants: Brighten Your Home… and Your Mood!

The weather is cooling and, for many of us, we find ourselves moving increasingly toward indoor hobbies and activities. If you’re an avid gardener, though, this can be a tough transition that leaves you itching to dig in the soil, quietly nurture your garden, and watch your plants grow and thrive. A growing trend in home decor (and rightfully so) has been houseplants: they’re a perfect way to get your gardening fix, and bring a wealth of health benefits to your home!

Did you know that including living plants in your home’s decor improves your air quality, minimizes headaches, reduces fatigue and eases dry skin during the winter months? Additionally, for anyone struggling with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) houseplants can improve your mood, relieve stress and anxiety, and provide a calming effect through tangible interaction. All of these benefits come down to one simple concept: biophilia. Simply put, plants make us feel good! When we are out in nature, surrounded by plant life, or just in a room with living plant material, we are more happy, content, and relaxed. All the reason to introduce a bit of fresh greenery to your home! Houseplants are becoming increasingly popular and there are more varieties available than ever before. Below is a quick guide to a few of our favorites; be sure to stop in to our garden center to check these out in person, along with a wide selection of other varieties, and bring that positive biophilia home with you for the long winter!

  1. Pilea- Pilea peperomioides is an easy to care for, cute little plant that’s been growing in popularity quickly. Native to Asia, its generally considered to be an easy-going plant, preferring medium to bright indirect sunlight. Water your pilea every one to two weeks, depending on how bright of light its in, and making sure it dries out in between waterings. Dry, curled leaves indicate too little water, while yellow leaves and black stems indicate too much. Your pilea will also produce “pups” or “babies” on its own, which will pop up in the surrounding soil!

2. Spider Plants– A long-time houseplant staple, spider plants are making a comeback in the design world! These hardy hanging plants aren’t fussy, and can survive in a variety of conditions. A perfect spot for your spider plant is in bright, indirect sunlight, but they can tolerate a lower light setting, too. Water well during during the summer months, then cut back through the winter and mist occasionally year-round. Spider plants prefer fast-draining, well-fertilized soil, particularly during the summer months. Make sure to watch out for pests, though: spider mites, mealybugs, aphids and whiteflies can be attracted to spider plants!

One of the fun and unique attributes of this plant is how easy it is to propagate. Simply remove one of the small plantlets and place it in soil, then watch to ensure that it grows roots. Its a quick and easy gift, and one that’s easy to care for!

3. Croton– With its colorful foliage, the croton is a gorgeous accent plant for your home. Your croton will do best in a sunny location, with regular misting. If you notice that its new growth is dull in color and vibrancy, move it to a sunnier spot: this is a sign that its not getting enough light. Keep the soil evenly moist but not wet, and allow to dry a bit in between waterings. Crotons tend to attract dust, so you’ll want to wipe its foliage with a damp rag occasionally!

4. Zamia-Fully named “Zamioculas Zamiifolia” and often referred to as “ZZ”, this popular houseplant has a modern look and is easy to care for. The Zamia plant can tolerate low to bright, indirect light levels, and prefers to dry out in between waterings. Its a perfect plant for beginners, and is very forgiving if you forget a watering or two! The Zamia’s foliage can be considered toxic, though, so you’ll want to keep it away from curious pets or small children.

5. Sansevieria- Often called “Snake Plant” or “Mother-in-Law Tongue”, this hardy houseplant is one of the easiest to care for and, with its vertical shape, one of the easiest to incorporate into your space. Sansevieria will thrive best in bright light, but are well known to tolerate dim rooms with very low light, too. These plants prefer to dry out in between watering; one of the most common mistakes, in fact, is overwatering and root rot. As your sansevieria grows, you’ll want to continually rotate it to ensure that it is growing evenly (they tend to arch toward the light, so you can end up with a heavily leaning plant!). Sansevieria come in many varieties and sizes and tend to be slow growing, making them a great fit for just about any home or office!

Stop in at our garden center to check out these outstanding houseplants, plus plenty of others! Our knowledgeable staff is here to help you select the perfect plants for your needs and get you started on the right foot!

Top 7 Signature Fall Container Plants

Dreaming about fall colors, cool autumn temperatures, and pumpkin-flavored everything? As we near our colorful fall season and the temperature begins to drop at night, now is the time to start thinking about your fall containers! Keep an eye out for plants with a disposition toward fall blooming and a tolerance for cooler temperatures so you can dress up your front door or back patio with beautiful color and excitement that lasts! Here are our Top 7 Signature Fall Container Plants! These plants are “signature” fall plants certain to bring color, texture, and beauty to your fall containers.

  1. Ornamental Kale and Cabbage. There are numerous varieties of kale and cabbage with various shades of green, pink, and purple. They are very cold weather tolerant, and the color will become even more prominent as the temperature continues to fall. While kale has a spikier texture and cabbage is rounder, both will bring delightful color and texture to your fall planters

2) Mums. Available in a variety of your classic fall colors including red, yellow, and orange, mums are a fall staple. Typically controlled by growers to encourage fall blooming, these dense plants display beautiful round blooms that are rich in color. While it can be overwintered as a perennial it functions primarily as an annual.

3) Coral Bells. A very hardy perennial plant, coral bells come in a large range of colors and leaf textures. While they can be beautiful on their own, they look gorgeous in the fall when paired with gourds, mums, and ornamental grasses. Be creative with how you organize your planter and the other fall decorations around it!

4) Hen and Chick Succulents. These hardy succulents provide unique texture paired with numerous colors both sharp and muted. They add extra interest to containers with their unique shape and color. The little “chicks” can easily be propagated to be planted in new containers and even in the ground. Leave them outside or bring them in… these plants are tough!

5) Mirror Plants. Known for their glossy leaves, these fall beauties bring stunning shades of pink, gold and burgundy. They are also very frost hardy, making them the perfect addition to your fall container.

6) Creeping Wire Vine. This dark stemmed annual with small green leaves makes a great spiller in your container or creeping ground cover. Pair it with some of the other fall plants in this list and watch it cascade over the side of your container, creating an arrangement full of texture and variety.

7) Ornamental Grasses. Grasses are a great way to add some extra height to your fall planters. They make a great “thriller” that can grab attention while bringing some color, texture and beautiful movement.

Don’t forget about the pumpkins, gourds, hay bales, and corn! Pair your new containers with other signature fall decorations to create a hearty fall feeling that makes us all dream of grandma’s fresh baked pumpkin pies. Have fun, try something different, and do not be afraid to ask for help! We would love to help you design your fall container! Stop by today for gorgeous fall plants and expert advice!

Festive Fourth of July Cocktails & Appetizer

Spice Up Your Summer with Fresh Herbs!

Nothing says “Summer” like the taste of a cool, freshly-muddled drink or the savory aroma of a crisp, garden dish on a hot night.  The use of herbs can enhance just about any meal or drink and growing your own will supply you with a bounty of flavorful ingredients, attractive plantings, and gorgeous patio aromas all season long! 

When it comes to summery dishes, you can’t go wrong with a classic Italian pesto, fresh-from-the-garden pizza sauce or an icy mojito, but the options don’t end there!  There’s a wealth of unique herbs to bring new flavors and colors to your herb bed; here are a few of our current favorites!

  1. Marjoram- Marjoram boasts a flavor of sweet pine and citrus, perfect for any Mediterranean-style dish, plus sauces, soups and meats.  For a pop of bright, chartreuse color in your planter bed, try Golden-Tip Marjoram (shown to the right). It’s delicious with tomatoes, pizza, and egg dishes!

2) Oregano Varieties– No Mediterranean dish is the same without oregano; it’s the go-to seasoning for the best sauces, salads, pizzas, and more!  If you like a little more pizazz with your dishes, try a Hot and Spicy variety; or if you prefer the mild side, try out a Variegated Oregano, perfect for use in salsa and vegetable dishes.  Oregano can bring more to the table, though!  Ornamental and Golden varieties provide a gorgeous pop of color and texture to your beds and planters all season long!

3) Pineapple Sage– For many of us, sage brings to mind hearty meat dishes, infused butters, and savory egg dishes.  Pineapple sage, on the other hand, is all about complimenting summer favorites!  With an aroma and flavor very similar to pineapple, this herb is a perfect addition to fruit salads, fresh garden salads and cocktails.  Growing 3-4’ height, it has gorgeous red blooms and is a fantastic pollinator!

4) Thyme Varieties-Thyme is a garden classic, and an excellent addition to both your culinary and ornamental planters.  Standard thyme is delicious in butters and spreads, meat marinades and rubs, and as a topping for roasted vegetables.  Some of the unique varieties that we love this year are:

  • Silver Thyme: A beautiful, variegated silver foliage that works great in mixed planters and gives off a lovely lemon scent, but can also be used in culinary dishes similar to traditional thyme.
  • Lime Thyme: a bright, eye-catching color and citrus scent make this variety a great pick for ornamental planers.
  • Lemon Thyme: Brings a fresh, citrus flavor to meat and vegetable dishes and is best added at the very end of cooking to maintain the most flavor.

5) Mint Varieties- Mint is a fast-spreading, easy to grow perennial that will be a garden staple year after year.  Adding it to your beds can even help deter ants and flies!  We’re all pretty familiar with mint as the flavor boost for fresh drinks and summery desserts, but there are plenty of varieties available besides just the standard:

  • Corsican mint:  A very low ground cover, this variety gives off an intense, refreshing peppermint aroma and flavor.  It’s a fantastic choice for beverages, especially tea.
  • Indian Mint:  This variety is perfect for hanging planters, and gives great flavor to tea, culinary dishes (especially lamb), and is known to relieve headache tension.
  • Apple Mint:  One of our absolute favorites, apple mint is a must-use for your summer beverages like lemonade, infused water, and cocktails!  Also try it out with peas, salad dressings, tomatoes and broccoli.

Whether you are a “seasoned” pro or new to the world of gardening, herbs are an incredible asset to your garden and an easy addition.  Most will thrive in containers as well as planter beds, and some can even be brought indoors through the winter months.  Note that plenty of sunlight and proper soil drainage are key in any herb planting.  Create a bed near your kitchen so that you can snip fresh herbs to add to meals as you are cooking; plus, you’ll enjoy their aromas all season!  

Stop in at our garden center to check out these outstanding herbs, plus plenty of others! Our knowledgeable staff is here to help you select the perfect plants for your needs and get you started on the right foot.  Also, keep an eye out for our herb classes coming up in July (click here to follow our events on Facebook).  Until next time, happy planting!

Dig a Hole and Put the Tree in the Ground, Right? … Wrong!

Planting a tree involves more than just digging a hole and putting the tree in the ground. If you want a beautiful, healthy tree, there are a few guidelines you should follow when planting to ensure long-term success. Check out these helpful tips and tricks!

  1. Dig a hole about as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Ensure that the plant is slightly above the existing grade (1-3”). You want a nice, undisturbed bottom to prevent settling.
  2. Prepare your planting mix for around the tree by combining the excavated soil with 1/3 leaf compost and any other soil amendments needed (noted below).
  3. Prepare your new trees for installation by removing any dead or disfigured branches. Inspect the root-ball for any circling roots. Gently open up and spread out the encircling roots.
  4. If the tree is B&B (balled and burlapped) lower into the hole and loosen the balling twine at the base of the tree to prevent the girding of the trunk. Peel back or remove as much of the burlap as possible. If the tree is potted, remove the pot and scar roots prior to lowering into the hole. Don’t forget to rotate the tree so the most attractive position is outward!
  5. Mix root stimulator and water and apply to the root ball. Backfill the hole with your planting mix, and gently firm in. Water to remove all air pockets. If it is a particularly large tree, it is also beneficial to fill the dirt halfway around the tree and then water. This will ensure that water gets all the way down to the roots and soaks them well! You can finish by filling in the rest of the hole.
  6. Proper watering is necessary for establishment and long-term plant health. Over or under-watering can be fatal for any plant. If rainfall has been adequate (1″ of rain per week), you may not need supplemental water. Otherwise, a deep watering of 1″ every 5-7 days (especially during the summer) is usually adequate for the first two years. Use a soaker hose to conserve water and get water to the root zone area where its needed. Also, keep in mind that organic mulch will decompose over time; reapply mulch as needed to maintain a 2″-3″ layer to help water conservation.
  7. Remember that newly planted trees (and shrubs, too, for that matter) may not always put forth significant new top growth during the first year or two because most of its energy goes toward root growth.

  • Soil Amendments
  • We recommend an additional soil amendment of com-peat or peat moss and soil sulfur or copperas for the following trees.
  • American Hornbeam
  • Beach
  • Birch
  • Fringetree
  • Hophornbeam
  • Red Maple
  • Magnolia
  • English Oak
  • Redbud
  • White Pine
  • Katsura Tree

Here at Vande Hey Company, we do not want to just give you a tree and send you on your way. We want to educate you on how to best plant and care for your tree so it has many years of looking beautiful and healthy. Following these simple steps will not only help your tree get acclimated to its new home but will lead to a long and happy life of growing. Your tree will look gorgeous for many years to come!

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!

21 Ideas to Inspire Outdoor Living

Looking for fun and unique ways to inspire outdoor living? Tired of looking at Pinterest ideas that seem unrealistic? Want to create your own backyard paradise, but not sure where to start? These ideas are for you!

With ideas like these, little things go a long way! Try a few things this year, add a few more next year, and before you know it your yard will be looking like that backyard eye candy everyone dreams about! Contemporary, modern, rustic, alfresco dining…Sign us up!

#1) Bar Carts – Nothing says alfresco dining like a mini-bar or a bar cart. Bringing your drinks outside not only makes your trip for a refill shorter, but also creates a nice display item that all your guests can enjoy!

2) Stylish Outdoor Rugs – A rug brings a warm and cozy feel that can also add flare. Choose something with some color to accent your color scheme, or something more neutral-colored to tie everything together!

3) Planters – Nothing brings a backyard to life like something living. Custom arrangements and planters can bring color and also be updated seasonally to reflect different color schemes. Add some trellises or vertical plantings to create height dimension and watch the way your backyard transforms. Ask us about our Color 365 program to learn more!

4) Swimming Pool – Need we say more? Nothing builds a backyard paradise like your own pool! Something the whole family can enjoy; a pool will lead to many lasting outdoor memories. Add some lounge chairs with bright throw pillows to accent with bold color and you will have a tropical destination right in your back yard. Did we mention we install pools?!

5) Vacation Vibes – Tropical feels are not just for the Caribbean! Paint your railings white, pick out some Ratana furniture, some tropical planters, and maybe even a seagrass rug. Before you know it, you will be able to hear the ocean in your backyard!

6) Fire – Firetables, fireplaces, firepits, and fire features leave endless opportunities for warmth and flare. Nothing creates a cozy atmosphere like the crackle of wood or the soft flicker of a gas flame. One of 2020’s Top Garden Trends, fire is sure to always bring the heat. Build a modern contemporary look with straight lines and a rectangular firetable or a free-flowing rustic look with a rounded firetable.

7) Hot tub – Nothing heats things up in your backyard quite like a hot tub. If you want to really step up your game, you could even add a custom deck around the hot tub. Now you have the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine and the health benefits of spas!

8) Create Cohesion and Flow – Take your indoor themes and extend them out! Whether it’s color scheme or even just a few accent colors, your indoor style does not have to end at the doorway.

9) Lighting – Low voltage lighting not only provides beauty and safety at night but also expands your ability to use your outdoor space later in the evening. Create a warm glow throughout your backyard as you up light some trees, add some path lights, or spotlight different highlights!

10) Add some color – Adding fresh paint to a deck or staircase is a great way to create an eye catcher that brings new life to older landscaping.

11) Cover it up – Adding a sunroom, pavilion, pergola or other structure adds shade and protection while also adding a structural centerpiece. These structures look awesome and create the perfect place to relax and unwind outside.

12) Make it multi-level- A multi-level landscape means a multi-purpose landscape. Levels create unique structural diversity that break up the landscape and provide little nooks for all sorts of different things whether it’s cocktails, open lounge areas, or a fire pit.

13) Frame it with a Bench or Seat Wall- Seat walls create visual intrigue and structure as they wrap the border of your patio or deck. They create more open space adding seating without filling your area with chairs.

14) Outdoor kitchen – Nothing inspires outdoor living quite like cooking and eating outside! Whether it is an expansive outdoor kitchen area, a pizza oven, or one of our favorite grills (Green Mountain and Green Egg), a kitchen adds a place to spend quality family time and enjoy good food together.

15) Add new furniture – Berlin Gardens, Kingsley Bate, and Ratana (our favorite furniture lines), provide couches, chairs, tables, and more to help transform your outdoor space! The styles and colors are limitless, so choose something that fits your style!

16) Make it comfy – Don’t just get furniture—class it up and make it comfy! Take a look at fabrics for outdoor pillows or throw cushions and create a seating area that you won’t want to leave! Express yourself with unique designs and colors and watch how it brings life and style to your space. We have extensive brochures of options for every taste.

17) Embellish with Little Things – Little details make big statements! Add lanterns throughout your yard, your favorite smelling candles, some of our favorite towels or napkins from June and December, and more! Stop by our retail center for fun ideas on how to create a space that fits your style!

18) Play Some Tunes – Every outdoor space needs some classy dinner music and late-night dance music. Whatever vibe you’re looking for, a nice Bluetooth speaker or an outdoor sound system takes your backyard party to the next level.

19) Add a Water Feature – When it comes to aesthetics, nothing quite relaxes like the soft trickle of a water feature in your backyard. Add lights to it and you have a whole new highlight to your outdoor oasis.

20) Build an Herb garden – Seems simple, but fresh herbs take every dish to the next level. They look cute in a small corner planter, highlight your green thumb, and make you look like an alfresco dining pro.

21) Get Active – Add a basketball hoop, a turf putting green, or maybe even a multipurpose court! Spending active time outside is great for your health and a great way to grow your outdoor living lifestyle.

10 DIY Planters: Recycle, Re-purpose, Reuse.

Are you looking for creative ways to bring new life to your yard? Are you looking for a fun DIY project that saves you money? Look no further! Recycling is not just separating some plastic bottles from the rest of your garbage; it’s also about reusing and re-purposing old items! Check out these unique planter ideas and show off your go-green zeal!

Before we jump into the ideas, we want to share a couple of notes. When it comes to plants, you want to be strategic about the plants you choose for your new pots. Because many of these ideas are smaller in size, we recommend succulents! Succulents can thrive in just about any nook or cranny because of their shallow root system. They all bloom, come in different colors and textures, and are easy to propagate. Not to mention the stellar names like tiger jaws, Shrek ears, and baby toes. Choose some tall ones, some hanging ones, and combine them to make a visual masterpiece. Just ensure you add a hole to the bottom of your planter, so the water can drain out.

Now without further ado, here are 10 DIY Planters: Recycle, Re-purpose and Reuse!

#1) Bottles or Tin Cans- It seems like canned goods are making a comeback, so maybe they can come back in your yard, too! Paint them, wrap them in fabric, cluster them together, or even stack them!

2) Pots and Kettles– Grab old scratched up pots that just sit in your drawer, add some paint, drill a hole in the bottom and TA-DA: new planter.

3) Clothing– Hang some old boots on a fence, set them in your garden, or even add a pair of jeans to make these unique “lower-half” planters.

4) Legos– If you are sick of stepping barefoot on those Legos that never seem to make it in the closet, put them to good use! Build a planter of any size and color, and just make sure to skip some holes in the bottom.

From In Habitat

5) Tires– Go BIG with some old tires. Stack them up, paint them, and create a new planter unlike anything in your neighbor’s yard.

From Favim

6) Bikes- Not only do bike wheels make a great trellis for climbing plants, but an old rusty bike can add a nice accent piece to your garden!

7) Broken Pots– Just because a pot is broken doesn’t mean it’s useless. This has got to be one of the coolest ideas we have seen! Just be careful with sharp pieces!

8) Dresser– Looking for a big rustic looking planter? Just slap an old dresser down, cut some holes in the bottom for drainage, and decorate.

9) Sports Equipment-Make a hanging basket with half of a basketball, or use tennis rackets to build a trellis. You can even cut a smaller hole and place a pot in it as a centerpiece item! These make great gifts for sports team banquets!

10) Bird Cages– Not all of us may have one of these laying around, but this is one really unique way to add a hanging accent with some trailing plants!

From Home BNC

While these suggestions are great, don’t be afraid to walk around the house and get creative! Once you have your new planter designed and decorated, we can provide the potting soil and some plants to fill it! Bring it in, show it off, and let us help you create a beautiful arrangement to fill your new planter.

For those of our less crafty friends, we also have our own succulent kits, custom arrangements, and even a full seasonal planter program with Color 365. We would love to help you create new centerpieces and accent containers that add fresh beauty and life to your yard. Call 920-788-6344 today with questions or to begin your journey.

Vande Hey’s Top 8 Garden Trends of 2020

Trendy. Hip. Modern. Everyone has that one friend who always seems to be one step ahead of the game. It’s like they are using iPhones and we are still waiting for our messenger pigeon to return from the ice age. Instead of letting that inward jealousy continue to fester, let’s take a step ahead this year. The roaring ‘20s are back and we want to tell you where all the best (figurative) speakeasies can be found. Prohibition no more, here’s 8 garden trends of 2020 from our team of experts to help you take your outdoor space to the next level.

#1 Eco-Friendly

In 2020, homeowners are looking to give some love back to Mother Nature through environmental sustainability.  More and more people are composting to put valuable nutrients back into the soil while reducing their carbon footprint and waste. This also means people are planting wildlife friendly, au naturel landscapes. Seasonal blooming plants, layering of plant heights, and letting plants grow longer to return to their natural form, all protect wildlife, encourage beneficial insects, and attract pollinators. Perennials such as hollyhock, coral bells, bee balm, summer phlox, and especially berries will be this year’s go-tos.

#2 Technology

Your friends may be using iPhones, but you now have an app for checking your houseplant sunlight and adjusting your grill temperature. Add in some self-watering pots, an outdoor tv, and Wi-Fi controlled irrigation and you are maximizing efficiency, saving water, grilling dinner, and doing it all while watching your favorite sports team on your new outdoor tv. Now who’s the jealous one?

#3 House Plants, Especially Succulents

It’s actually pretty simple; plants make people happy! In 2019, houseplant sales reached record highs with an increase in participation from younger generations. With apartments or smaller spaces, sometimes less expendable income, and longer time periods before marriage, “plant parenting” has provided an opportunity for people to nurture and care for something while connecting with nature. In addition to their trendy looks, house plants can also provide some health benefits such as deterring illnesses and cleaning the air.

This year variegated plants such as snake plants and colorful plants such as crotons are expected to grow in popularity while the general trend pushes for bigger and more exotic houseplants. Succulents also aren’t going away with their low maintenance and variety of appearances. The most popular succulents this year include string of dolphins, the hobbit/shrek ears, baby toes, and little zebras.  Not only does VandeHey Company carry these numerous varieties of house plants and succulents, but we also offer classes to help you learn more while creating beautiful containers.

#4 Foodscaping

We can’t imagine food ever not trending, but more eco-friendly also means more organic and homegrown foods. Herbs, berries, and vegetables are not only environmentally friendly, but also extremely popular when used to complete your meal or drinks. No more messenger pigeons for you—you’re making mojitos with fresh raspberries and mint. Now that’s a statement!

#5 Low Maintenance

Time is money, and people want more leisure time when they return home after a long day’s work. That’s why native plants and dwarf hybrids continue to increase in popularity. Requiring less water, fertilizer, and pruning, these plants not only require less care time, but also are more friendly to the environment. 

#6 Fire and Water

Earth’s elements are making a comeback. Whether it is the calming trickle of a water feature that can also attract birds, or the warmth and light provided by a fire table, these two elements are extremely underrated additions to your outdoor living space. You can even get them together with combined fire and water features. That’s like having the secret knock for the speakeasy. 

#7 Cut Flowers

As the great American architect Frank Lloyd Wright said, “now the outside may come inside and the inside may and does go outside.” Not only will the outside be coming in with houseplants, but also with fresh cut flowers. Adorn your dining room table with the most popular Vande Hey flowers such as zinnia, celosia, and aster or novelties such as asclepias physocarpa and scabiosa starflower. Freshen up, brighten up, and loosen up your indoor living space with outdoor living specialties. 

#8 Outdoor Living Spaces

With increased time indoors staring at screens, people are recognizing the need to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Outdoor kitchens, shade structures, and lighting all increase value and usability. Even simple additions such as outdoor furniture provide a space for you, your family, and your friends to step outside and relax.

With no prohibition and these trending ideas, you can let the ‘20s roar right in your backyard! Call or stop by VandeHey Company today to learn how we can make these trends a reality!

Our Own Growers

Meet Tom, the lead Horticulturist at Vande Heys and a member of our ‘Green Team’.  Tom has spent 35 years planting, growing, and finding ways to use all of our beautiful plants and landscapes. Tom finds joy in the usability aspect by taking the plants and helping people create ideas on how to use them.

“This is year two of our growing and it just keeps expanding  We started with two growing houses last year and by the time we were ready to sell, we had six to eight houses of materials that we were growing at the time.”

The idea for this began because we want to control what we would be using in our landscapes.  In Wisconsin, weather can be a headache, especially when a four-week time span has an April blizzard, and 90 degrees just weeks later!  It really is a team effort with a variety of things that could go wrong, but with the knowledge and expertise of our growers, we are able to overcome the adversity by knowing when to start and heavily monitoring what is happening.  

The ‘Green Team’ gets starts the process by meeting in the fall to map out the list of plants needed, to determine the exact varieties of plants and what’s available to grow.  Preparation of the growing houses is next so they are ready by February and March when the real process starts. We then seed and create small plugs, while keeping a heavy eye on them by monitoring temperature, water intake, and food to produce the type of quality we can be proud of.

By being able to grow our own materials, we can absolutely control the quality that we are providing for our retail center, and have the freedom to determine exactly what we want to grow.  Plus, it’s fun! During the winter months, it keeps people active and employed and involved instead of only pushing snow. These greenhouses create a beautiful stock, unique to the valley, that we love sharing with you.  It gives us a step above when we’re able to deliver exact information to our customers on the growing process and materials so you can take them home and grow them yourselves.

Stop on by and ask for Tom, the ‘Green Team’ guy & let’s figure out what type of our plants will create the oasis you are looking for.