How to Plant Bare Root Plants

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BareRootBottom2What is a Bare Root plant?
  A bare root plant is a plant that is without soil exposing the bare, naked roots.  Trees, shrubs and some perennials can be found bare root for purchase in late winter and early spring while the plants are still dormant.  You can save money this way by getting a high quality plant at a lower price.  Fruit trees, cane and berry plants, roses and many flowering trees and shrubs can be found at your favorite local nursery.

bare-root-3-bagHow do you plant a bare root plant?  Follow these steps for planting success.

1. Select and purchase your plant at your local garden center or other reputable source.  Choose a plant with full healthy looking roots.  Dark, smelly roots may be rotten, so ask a nursery professional if you need advice.  Protect roots by placing them in a plastic bag until they are planted.


bare_root_plant-soak2. Soak your plant’s root in a bucket of water for several hours up to a day or so.  The goal is to allow the roots to absorb water, but not too long that the roots start to rot.  


3. Dig a hole as deeper than the length of your root ball and twice as wide. Use a stick as a guide to help orientate proper planting depth.  Too deep may suffocate the plant, too high bare-root-plantingmay make watering difficult or expose roots that may be susceptible to damage.

4. Add planting compost and organic start fertilizer into the hole and mix in with native soil. Make a mound in the center of your hole that your plant’s roots will rest on. Place your plant on this mound so that it is not too high or too low and orientate plant for best viewing angle.  Use your stick again if needed.

bare-root2-planting5. Completely cover roots and fill in the hole with a mix of planting compost and native soil.  Use your foot to tamp down and compress the soil.  Make sure your plant is straight and not planted at an angle. Water well.  Add a soaker hose and mulch if desired.




More questions?  Stop by and ask us at Alpine Nursery and Landscape or email us.



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midknight-blue-agapanthus-medium-shotPLANTS: Winterize any annuals/tropicals, tender perennials & vines and potted plants by putting them in the greenhouse, bringing them in the house or by creating micro-climates. A micro-climate is a well protected niche surrounded by 2-3sides (walls/plants) and possibly covered to trap in heat. Try locating near the dryer outlet for added heat. Geraniums, Fuchsias, Pepper Plants, Jasmine & Passion Flower Vines, Rosemary. Dig & store any tender bulbs such as dahlias. Plant spring blooming bulbs.

Pruning: Cutback/or divide perennials. Prune fall blooming shrubs, fruits & japn-maple-prune-2berries, and most other deciduous trees & shrubs.Dormant Spray* Fruit Trees, Maples, Lilacs, Dogwoods, newly pruned deciduous and any other disease prone plants to help prevent problems next year. SEE LABEL INSTRUCTIONS before use! Use the Right Product for the Right Plant rule. Transplant dormant plants before ground gets too cold. Dispose of any diseased leaf material to prevent spreading it to other plants next season.

Maintenance: Mulch plants to protect roots from winter freeze. Water during dry periods, especially newly transplanted plants. Protect irrigation, store tools, hoses,etc.


WATER QUALITY: Keep your water clean all winter from excess debris from falling leaves, dead plant material & accumulated fish waste. Regularly empty debris basket/net if you have a skimmer and skim pond surface for leaf and plant material with your net.  As water cools, cold water bacteria begin to break down waste in the pond helping it stay clear & balanced, so keep up the bacteria routine to 1-2 times per month. Yearly pondcleanouts”  are recommended in late spring through the summer.

100_4327Pond Plant Care: Cut back dead foliage to 2-3above the water surface (too low can drown plants). Remove any tropicals for overwintering indoors or in a greenhouse. Remove annual floaters such as hyacinths & lettuce before they turn to mush. Check hardy plants for exposed roots and cover any with pea gravel acting as amulch. Do not divide or fertilize until next spring.

100_4551FISH CARE: Watch water temps & when your thermometer reaches 50˚F, then stop feeding your fish. Fish cannot digest protein in winter and only need a small carbohydrate diet. (gradually mix in lo temp food with summer food starting in August/September). You may also feed most koi&goldfish treats orcheeriosonce in a while. Your fish will slow down as the water gets colder eventually going dormant-needing less  food.Winter feeding can cause them to bloat and eventually die.

POND CARE: Do not let your pond or water feature freeze completely over. Gases (hydrogen sulfide) can build up under ice and be toxic to fish, so a 1-2hole should be maintained all winter. A floating de-icer can be used in the coldest months in larger ponds and smaller ponds should only need their pumps/waterfalls running. Streams may ice over and leak on the sides so check your ponds water level occasionally and fill if needed. Check fish for signs of disease and treat if needed. You may increase salt to up to.03% , refer to our blog on Adding Pond Salt. Each .01% salt increase by adding 1lb salt per 100gallons.


Winterization for pondsIf your pond completely freezes over do not crack the ice. The sound waves can kill or damage your fish. Gradually thawing a hole in the ice with warm water is a safer solution.

PREDATOR CONTROL: Predators may visit your pond to eat your fish and can cause agony & destruction to you and your pond. Provide shelter for your fish inside your pond by constructingfish cavesand other hiding areas. Nets  may also be applied in autumn as leaves fall for easy removal, and they also can function as predator deterrents.

If you have any additional questions please do not hesitate to ask .

Enjoy your pond & Garden this autumn & winter!  Send us your winter photos for posting on our website and facebook.


Captivating Camellias

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camellia-nuccios-bella-rossa-camellia-medium-shotCamellias are native to eastern and southern Asia and represent longevity and faithfulness. Red camellias are a symbol of wealth while white camellias symbolize love.  Chinese Camellias is the plant used as black, green and white tea.  The Japanese varieties and hybrids are used as ornamentals.

Camellias are a popular evergreen flowing shrub used for privacy screens, woodland borders and are awesome in containers.  Showy flowers are great for cutting and are an essential component in Asian weddings.  Camellias need regular water, especially during hot weather.  Feed your camellia with an acidic rhododendron food-try Fox Farms organic fertilizers and soil amendments.  Most camellias are hardy from zones 7-10 and  may need some winter protection. Plant your camellia in a part or filtered sun location away from harsh winds.

The following Camellias are part of our current stock of winter wonder plants.  Print this blog and bring it for your purchase of a Camellia at our garden center- Alpine Nursery & Landscape in Puyallup, WA.     SAVE 20%     now until 12-29-13

camellia-apple-blossom-Apple Blossom (C. sasanqua)  A versatile performer displaying profuse, white blooms edged in a rich pink with golden yellow stamens at the center. Dense habit makes it an excellent choice for a colorful hedge or screen, or train as an espalier against a fence or wall to show off its blooms against its glossy, dark green foliage. Early to mid season bloomer- fall through winter. Evergreen. Moderate grower 10 tall and wide. Hardy to zones 7-10.

camellia-april-remembered-ice-angelsApril Remembered ‘Ice Angels’ (C. japonica) The new Ice Angels® series extends the timeless beauty of Camellias beyond their traditional range. They are a full hardiness zone more cold tolerant than other varieties. Blooms earliest in mild climates, later in the colder regions fall through mid-spring. Evergreen. Moderate grower to 6’ tall by 8’ wide or more with age. Hardy to zones 6-10.

camellia-bob-hopeBob Hope (C. japonica)  Large, deep red, semi-double flowers with yellow stamens and beautiful ruffled petals adorn this plant. Flowers contrast well with the glossy, dark green foliage. A prized plant of the milder regions of the U.S. Mid season bloomer. Evergreen. Moderate grower to 6’ tall by 8’ wide or more with age. Deer resistant. Hardy to zones 8-10.

camellia-buttermintjpgButtermint (hybrid)  Beautiful, pale, buttery yellow, semi-double, slightly fragrant flowers adorn this plant in late winter to early spring. This fast grower is perfect for brightening up a shady woodland garden. Its glossy, dark green leaves and fragrant, ruffled flowers are plentiful enough to cut and bring indoors. Mid to late season bloomer. Evergreen. Fast grower 6’ tall by 4’ wide. Hardy to zones 7-10.

camellia-coral-delightCoral Delight (hybrid) Deep, coral pink, semi double blooms with yellow stamens are backed by leathery, dark green foliage. A prized plant for the milder regions of the U.S. Midseason bloomer. Evergreen. Slow grower 6’ tall 8’wide. Hardy to zones 8-10.


camellia-kanjiroKanjiro  (Camellia sasanqua)A truly stunning cerise pink semi-double bloom edged in red with golden stamens and a slight fragrance. Truly outstanding cut flower. Dense semi-weeping habit and glossy, dark green foliage produces an exceptional evergreen for foundation planting and backgrounds. Mid season bloomer(fall through winter). Evergreen. Moderate grower 8-10’ tall and wide. Hardy through zones 7-10. Part sun.

Kramer’s Supreme (Camellia japonica) Deep red buds open to magnificent peony-like, rosy-red blooms with a delightful fragrance. Flowers make a dazzling contrast with the glossy, dark green foliage. An old favorite for milder regions of the U.S. Mid season bloomer. Evergreen. Hardy to zones 8-10. Slow grower 6-8’ tall and wide. Part sun.

Nuccio’s Bella Rossa (C. japonica) An abundance of formal, four-incamellia-nuccios-bella-rossajpgch, crimson red blooms open slowly over a long period for an especially long bloom season. Even young plants show an extra heavy bud set. Looks right at home in Asian gardens when massed or as a specimen in a container. Glossy, dark green foliage make this a prized plant for the milder regions. Evergreen. Moderate grower 6-8’ tall and wide, can reach up to 25’ with age. Hardy to zones 8-10. Deer resistant, long bloom season.

Nuccio’s Gem (C. japonica) Its sparkling white, formal, double blooms contrast well with the glossy, dark green foliage. This mid-season bloomer is a prized plant of the milder regions of the U.S. Evergreen. Hardy to zones 8-10. Moderate grower to 6-8’ tall and wide, more with age.

Setsugekkcamellia-setsugekkaa (C. sasanqua) Large, perfectly formed, semi-double, white flowers with ruffled edges and a bright cluster of golden stamens at the center. Dense, semi-weeping habit and glossy, dark green foliage makes for an exceptional plant for foundation plantings or as an espalier. Mid season bloomer. Evergreen. Moderate grower 8-10’ tall and wide. Hardy to zones 7-10.

camellias-taylors-perfectionTaylor’s Perfection (hybrid) Handsome shrub with leathery, dark green foliage that backs a profusion of exquisite light pink, large, semi-double blooms. A prized plant of the milder regions of the U.S. Mid to late season bloomer. Evergreen. Moderate grower 6-8” tall and wide. Hardy to zones 8-10


camellia-yuletide-camellia-close-upYuletide (C. sasanqua) Single, brilliant, fiery red blooms centered with bright yellow stamens make this a beautiful addition to the winter garden. Blossoms stand out in high contrast against glossy, dark green foliage. Excellent choice for a colorful hedge or screen, espalier, and border shrub. Mid season bloomer. Evergreen. Moderate grower 8-10’ tall and wide. Hardy to zones 7-10.

Special thanks to Monrovia Nursery for much of the text and all the images!



Air Plant Care

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air-plant1Air plants are a large group of plants called Tillandsias related to popular Bromeliads.  These non-parasitic plants are epiphytes (grows without soil) or aerophytes (air plants) that grow by attaching themselves to other plants or to themselves.  Air plants are tropical native to the Southern United States through South America and the West Indies.

Air plants make interesting houseplants.  They can live in air-plant-wood-glassmany unusual containers and can be placed in precarious positions. Kids love them for gardening and science projects and they make great gifts for most any holiday.

The trick is to properly take care of them.  Once you get the hang of it, you may just get hooked!


Inside the home they should be in bright indirect light. Near a window but not too close that air plants-wreaththey may burn or get too cold, and not too far away deprived from the sunlight.  You can add a full spectrum plant light during the winter if needed.  In the summer months, air plants can be outside if filtered sun or shady areas.  They make great centerpieces! The ideal temperature for air plants is from 50-90 °F.  Avoid placing plants near fireplaces or heaters as they will dry them out.


Attach your air plant to drift wood or other rigid surface using rubber bands or other flexible air_plants_tabletopmaterials.  They may also planted into bowls, trays, cups, shells, jars, globes and any other interesting vessel. Use porous media like aquarium gravel, sand or glass beads- no potting soil. Enjoy these shared unique ideas, have fun and be creative!


Water your plants 2-3 times a week by immersing into a tub of water or in the sink for air-plant-bloomseveral minutes up to a couple of hours. Too much water can rot your plant, too little water makes leaves shrivel.  You can add a liquid fertilizer to your water at ¼ strength, organic brands will work better (try Fox Farms).  Air plants are susceptible to salt burn, so avoid softened water, distilled water and chemical fertilizers. Aquarium or pond water is the ideal all-in-one water/fertilizer for these plants.  Mist in between watering if the air if very dry.


How to Plant & Care for Grapes.

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Looking for a hardy, fast growing plant with great fall color and edible fruit? The answer is Grapes!  Follow these guidelines for healthy, happy plants!

  • Plant your grapes directly in the ground using an organic starter fertilizer and soil amendment from Dr. Earth or Fox Farms in a wide hole, not deeper than the root ball. Remove plant from container, gently loosen roots and plant level with the surrounding soil, apply 1-3” of mulch and water well.

  •  Grapes like less frequent deep waterings, especially the first season and during hot summer months.   Space plants every 6-8’ in a row and 12’ between rows. Grapes need sturdy support from an arbor or trellis as they are fast growing vines.

  •  Fertilize your grapes 2-3 times a year with an organic fruit tree fertilizer such as Dr. Earth, following manufacturer’s instructions.  Prune in winter dead wood and thin out canes to encourage stronger, thicker canes which are less likely to split. Dormant spray in winter with a dormant oil spray or copper based spray from Bonide.

Catawba Grape Vitis labrusca ‘Catawba’      Vigorous, hardy, deciduous vine with bold-textured, deep green foliage. Grown for its medium-size clusters of round dull purple-red berries. Catawba grapes are well suited for jellies and juices, and for sweet white, red and rosé wines. Ripens late in the season. Fast grower to 20-25’ long in full sun in Zones 4-8, attractive fruit and fall color. North American native that is edible and attracts birds.

Eastern Concord Grape Vitis labrusca ‘Eastern Concord’ Vigorous vine with bold-textured, deep green foliage. Grown for its medium-size clusters of edible, highly aromatic, blue-black grapes. Harvest late-August to September. Skin separates easily from the fruit. Deciduous. Fast grower to 20-25’ long in full sun in Zones 4-8, attractive fruit and fall color. North American native that is edible and attracts birds.

Flame Seedless Grape Vitis vinifera ‘Flame Seedless’ Vigorous deciduous vine with bold-textured, deep-green foliage. Grown for its medium-size clusters of round red berries of firm, crisp texture. Excellent flavor. Ripens early season. Fast grower to 20-25’ long in full sun in Zones 7-9, attractive fruit and fall color. Fruit is edible and attracts birds.

Himrod Grape Vitis labrusca ‘Himrod’ Vigorous deciduous vine with bold-textured, deep green foliage. Grown for its clusters of small, entirely seedless, crispy sweet fruit which turns golden yellow when fully ripe. Excellent used as an ornamental, for summer shade, arbors or leafy walls. Good early season grape. Fast grower to 20-25’ long in full sun in Zones 5-8, attractive fruit and fall color. North American native that is edible and attracts birds.


Niagara Grape Vitis labrusca ‘Niagara’ Vigorous deciduous vine with bold-textured, deep green foliage. Grown for its large full clusters of medium to large green-gold berries. Sweet and juicy. Midseason ripening. Fast grower to 20-25’ long in full sun in Zones 4-8, attractive fruit and fall color. North American native that is edible and attracts birds.

Ruby Seedless Grape Vitis vinifera ‘Ruby Seedless’ Vigorous deciduous vine with bold-textured, deep green foliage. Grown for its large clusters of small to medium seedless, red to reddish-black berries. Sweet dessert fruit. Ripens late midseason. Fast grower to 20-25’ long in full sun in Zones 7-9, attractive fruit and fall color. Fruit is edible and attracts birds.


Thompson Seedless Grape Vitis vinifera ‘Thompson Seedless’  Vigorous deciduous vine with bold-textured, deep green foliage. Grown for its large bunches of small, sweet, mild-flavored, green grapes. Good mid-season table grape. Fast grower to 20-25’ long in full sun in Zones 7-9, attractive fruit and fall color. Fruit is edible and attracts birds.

These are some great grape varieties that we carry at Alpine Nursery from Monrovia growers.  For more information, please visit and


Bright, Bold and Beautiful- Blue & Gold Shrubs & Perennials

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 Let this spring sparkle with these bright, bold and beautiful plant selections of blue and gold from Monrovia. Add these to containers, raised beds and in the landscape as  focal points or mass plantings as ground cover effects.  Compliment with your favorite garden art, statuary and pottery. 

Kaleidoscope Abelia Bright, golden yellow  & green variegated leaves with brilliant red stems creating a kaleidoscope of color. Great for patio containers or in the landscape as a focal point or mass groundcover. Forms a low, compact 2-2 ½’ tall and 3 ½’ wide evergreen shrub. White flowers summer through fall that attract butterflies. Grows in Zones 6-9 in full to part sun.


 Let’s Dance Moonlight Big-leaved Hydrangea The Let’s Dance® Hydrangea series represents the next generation of reblooming hydrangeas, selected for exceptionally vibrant flower color and sturdy stems. Moonlight offers large, vividly colored mophead flowers in summer, with the added bonus of great fall foliage color. Blooms every year on both old and new wood. Soil pH affects blossom color; blue in highly acidic soils and lilac to pink in slightly acidic to alkaline soils. Great massed, in containers, or as a cut flower. Grows to 2-3’ tall and wide in full to part sun in Zones 5-8.



 Winter Bee Spanish Lavender The primary stems as well as side branches produce rich dark purple fragrant flowers creating a greater display than other Spanish Lavenders. Also survives hot humid and cold wet weather. An easy-care shrub for borders and gardens. Evergreen shrub grows to 20-28in. high – 18-36” wide in Zones 7-9.  Showy, prolific, fragrant flowers. Drought tolerate once established.

Midnight Blue Agapanthus An exciting introduction with deep, violet-blue flowers held in tight clusters on tall stalks. Lush strap-like foliage is bright green. Easy care, great for borders and containers. Herbaceous perennial hardy in Zones 6-11. Grows in full sun 3-4’ tall and 2’ wide.  Showy flowers attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. 


Blue Star Flower This long flowering, compact Amonsia blooms more vigorously than the species, forming a dense mound of dark green leaves that turn a brilliant yellow in the fall. Vivid dark lavender flowers appear in early spring for a wonderful show. Evergreen perennial in Zones 5-9. Compact, fast grower to 12-15” tall and 24” wide, full to partial sun.



Golden Zebra Daylily Extraordinary new plant blooms with large golden yellow flowers in summer; foliage is unique with boldly striped leaves. Plant in mass for vivid displays, in containers for excellent contrast, or in mixed perennial borders. Herbaceous perennial hardy in Zones 4-11. Moderate grower to 12” tall and 24” wide in full sun. Tolerates wet areas.

New growth is lovely, bright and bold! Thank you to Monrovia for the photos, plant information and of course these plant selections can be found at Alpine Nursery & Landscape- home of The Pond Pad. Stop by and let us help you with your selections.

Early Spring Blooming Rockery & Ground Cover Perennials

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You may have a tough time choosing between these early spring blooming, hardy perennials.  These work great in containers, rockeries and rock wall plantings.   We recommend Dr. Earth Rose and Flower fertilizer and soil for assured success!  

Candytuft ‘Purity’ Iberis sempervirens ‘Purity’   Clusters of pure white flowers with dark green leaves. Mat forming ground cover. Use in rock gardens and borders. Drought tolerant once established. Low maintenance plant. Ht. 8in. Zone 4. Evergreen

Candytuft ‘Snow Cone’ Iberis sempervirens ‘Snow Cone’
Early and profuse bloomer with snow white blossoms covering the dark green foliage from March to May. Easy to grow in full sun and average soil. Trim spent flowers to maintain tidy growth habit. Ht 13-24in. Zone 4

Rockcress Variegated Arabis caucasica ‘Variegata’
Excellent plant for rock gardens. Variegated foliage, with tiny white flowers. April-June. Zone 4.

Rock Cress Alpine Snowcap Arabis caucasica ‘Snowcap’
Fragrant white flowers atop spreading evergreen foliage in spring. Great rock garden plant. Sun. Zone 4

Lupine Gallery mix Lupinus ‘Gallery Mix’
Flowers in various shades of pink, blue, purple and white in spring. Deer resistant, attractive to butterflies and good for cut flowers. Full sun, ht18-24in, spread 15-18in, Zone 4

Lupine Gallery Red Lupinus ‘Gallery Red’
Vivid red spires of pea-like blossoms are displayed above the distinct leaflet foliage in early spring. Loved by butterflies and hummingbirds. Full sun moist soil. Ht.18-24in, spread 16in, Zone 4

Lupine Gallery Yellow Lupinus ‘Gallery Yellow’
Yellow spires of pea-like blossoms are displayed above the distinct leaflet foliage in early spring. Loved by butterflies and hummingbirds. Full sun moist soil. Ht.18-24in, spread 16in, Zone 4

Lupine Gallery Pink Lupinus ‘Gallery Pink’
Bi-colored pink spires of pea-like blossoms are displayed above the distinct leaflet foliage in early spring. Loved by butterflies and hummingbirds. Full sun moist soil. Ht.18-24in spread 16in, Zone 4

Lewesia Sunset series. This Lewisia has flowers in “sunset” shades of deep pink-orange May through September, may also bloom in Spring . Small rosettes of fleshy, evergreen leaves resemble a succulent. A nice addition to a rock garden or small perennial border. Grows  6-10” tall by 6-12” wide. Likes well draining soil, full to part sun.

Saxifrage  Mossy, Tourean Neon Rose Saxifraga x arendsii ‘Touran Neon Rose’
Low growing evergreen groundcover covered with bright pink flowers in late spring to early summer. Useful in rockeries. Part sun moist yet well draining soil. Ht. 4-6in, Zone 4.

Saxifrage Early Pink Saxifraga ‘Early Pink’
Low dense cushion-forming, evergreen perennial with mossy foliage and pink flowers in spring. Place around rockeries to soften the edges. Ht. 8in, Spread 6in, Zone 4

Etain Viola Lovely light yellow flowers with lavender edges have a sweet fragrance. Compact and very free-flowering perennial. It makes a great border and container plant. Full to part sun. Fragrant cut flower. Grows in full to part sun, tolerates moist areas 4-6” tall by 6” wide Zones 5-8.

English Daisy Pompom mix Bellis perennis Mix of pink, white, and red blooms in spring and fall. Zone 4-11 Miniature, double daisies in red, pink, and white bloom profusely for many weeks in spring. Full to part sun 4-6” tall 12” wide. Biennial.


Poem Pastel Wallflower (yellow lavender) A profusion of medium sized, sweetly scented flowers that open a soft yellow and darken to pale lavender spring through early summer. This new series is more bushy in habit and frost tolerant. 16-18″ tall x 16-18″ wide. Long blooming, fragrant cut flower, deer resistant.

Poem Lavender Wallflower Erysimum ‘Poem Lavender’ (light purple)
Wonderful light colored lavender flowers turning to a darker lavender. Blooms Mar.-July. Full sun to partial shade. Ht.12in. Zone 6. Evergreen., bowles mauve

Bowles Mauve Wallflower Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’(purple)
Long racemes of purple flowers bloom spring through summer. Grey-green foliage. Full sun. Ht 24-30in. Zone 6 Evergreen

Indoor Gardening Projects

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The weather has turned blustery, with March roaring like a lion!  Beat those blues with an Indoor gardening project that is also great for kids!    

Houseplant Care – Houseplants not only add color to our indoor living spaces, they are also help clean the air!   Repot and fertilize your tired houseplants try using Foxfarms potting soil, like Ocean Forest, and liquid fertilizers- we have the full line for all your nutrient needs.


Indoor Succulent Bowls – Create your own mixed succulent bowl.  Succulents are easy care houseplants that can be used outdoors in the summer as a patio table topper.  Just don’t over water!  Lots of textures, sizes, shapes and color to choose from, and they make great gifts!






Starting Seeds – Get a jump start by starting seeds indoors of your favorite vegetables, annuals and perennials. Great project for kids.  Plant what grows best in your climate and at the proper time. Stop by and we can answer your questions.



Indoor Ponds - Patio ponds can be a decorative accent, for any indoor space. Fun for the kids, goldfish can be raised in these during the winter along with aquatic plants. Add a  lights and a fogger for a mist effect. Patio ponds come in several different shapes, sizes and colors.  The Pond Pad has the supplies and can help you with your project.


Stop Alpine Nursery and The Pond Pad for more ideas and advise about indoor projects to help beat the bad weather blues.  We have just about everything you need, and if you don’t see what your looking for, let us know and we can order it for you. 

Thank you for supporting local small business!

How to Care for Rhododendrons and Azaleas

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 Rhododendrons and Azaleas are members of the Heath family, belonging to the same genus and sometimes hard to tell apart.  Generally, Rhodies have larger leaves, grow larger and are evergreen unlike azaleas which many are deciduous (usually referred to as Exbury Azaleas).  Azaleas tend to bloom up and down the stem with 5 stamens in each flower.  Rhodies have ten stamens per flower and tend to bloom in terminal clusters, on the end of branches. 

Planting & Fertilizing. Azaleas and rhododendrons prefer to be planted  in a part sun location, with azaleas and smaller leaved rhodies taking more sun than larger leaved rhodies.  Well-drained, acidic soil amended with compost and organic fertilizer works best. They thrive planted in the landscape, raised bed or in containers.  Use the Right Plant Right Place rule. Try Dr. Earth Acid Lovers Fertilizer and Planting mix for great success.  Water during hot weather and mulch to conserve moisture. Fertilize (if using an organics they won’t burn like chemical fertilizers) during planting, after bloom and again in late summer.  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Azalea Gerard’s Fuschia

Prune right after bloom, about 1/3 of the plants size for shape and air circulation. Evergreen Azaleas can be sheered into balls or other shapes.  Rhodies and Exbury Azaleas should be hand pruned using lopers, pruners and hand pruners.  Older larger rhodies can take a major pruning to keep down to a smaller size, or pruned tree-like taking advantage of their stately size.

Companion Plants.  There are many shade and acid loving plants that will compliment.  Taller trees like Maples, Japanese Maples, Pines/Conifers and Oaks are great

Rhododendron Rampapo

neighbors to help provide shade.  Perennials like Ferns, Wintergreen, Heucheras and Heathers help soften the gaps between plants adding texture and layers.

Rhododendrons and Azaleas bloom for up to 2-3 weeks depending upon the weather.  There are hundreds of varieties to choose from for any size garden.  Stop by and let us help you with your selections.

Awesome Late Winter Shrubs

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 Plant the must have shrubs for year round season interest now, in your garden, landscape or favorite container.  There are some amazingly fragrant plants like Winter Daphne (Daphne odora) and Sarcococca with their sweet, nectar-like scent that remind us that spring is almost here! 

Winter Blooming Shrubs 


Camellia ’April Kiss’ Vigorous growing evergreen shrub covered with beautiful red-pink formal double flower in late winter thru early spring. Grows to 8′ – 12′ tall 4′-5′ wide in Zones 6-9. 


Daphne odora  Evergreen shrub with long glossy green leaves with yellow edges. Fabulously Fragrant pink flowers! Ht. 4ft. Full sun. Zone 7, protect from winter winds, plant in a well-drained area, does not like to be over-watered. 



Nandina ‘Sienna Sunrise’ Intense fiery red new foliage cools to lush green in summer. Red highlights reappear in fall and winter. Occasionally produces small white flowers. Perfect choice for high profile accents or nooks in architecture. Mass for intense color. Evergreen. Needs regular watering – weekly, or more often in extreme heat. Slow growth to 3 to 4 ft. tall, 2 feet wide Compact, Narrow. Partial to full sun, Zones 6-11.

 Sarcococca. Fragrant white flowers with pointed green leaves. Great for planting in masses. Disease and deer resistant. Partial sun to shade. Evergreen.

Year round color, fragrance and flowers can be achieved utilizing some of these favorites.  Try cutting some branches use for indoor arrangements.  Find these and many more at your local, independent nursery, where quality and knowledgeable staff  can’t be beat by any box store! At Alpine Nursery, home of The Pond Pad, we make customer service our number priority.