Thursday, April 30, 2009

Still Time!!

Thanks to everyone who sent in pictures for the spring photo contest. If you have not done it yet, and still want to enter you have until tomorrow at 11:59 p.m. to submit! If you would rather drop off your photos to one of our locations, feel free to do so tomorrow. We will have the pictures on the blog along with a poll for you to vote on your favorites. The winner will be announced on May 8, and will get a $25 gift card to Johnson's.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tweet, Tweet!!

Do you twitter? We do! Follow us at jgcwichita!

Big Tomato Event!

Tired of buying tomatoes at the store, only to bite into the flavorless, mushy fruit that looked so perfect? Well, be tired no more, because we're having a Big Tomato Event! Johnson's is bringing in over 100 varieties of tomatoes, along with peppers, zucchini, melons, squash and eggplant. If you love the homegrown flavor of veggies, now's your chance to stock up. Pick up your favorites, or try some new, you surely won't be disappointed.

The Big Tomato Event is this coming weekend, April 30 - May 3 at all 4 Johnson's locations. Pick up your veggies 5/$10, reg. $2.49 each. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Flat Sale Day IV

I don't know if we have had this many really good plants, this late in the sale. We have had shipments of plants at all of our locations everyday. Our grower Ashley is busy pulling plants for our retail locations and Brother/Uncle Wes Johnson has done all he and his staff could do to keep us supplied. His driver Larry was at our stores before 6AM today unloading flowers. The Johnson's staff has done a great job as well in keeping a variety of plants for the customers. Our employees work 12+ hour days, yes, dragging a little late in the day, but they all get a rush working the sale. A big shout out and thanks to all of our staff for a great job. The big event continues thru tomorrow, Sunday, so hurry in.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Flat Sale Day 1

What a great day for Flat Sale. Yes, it was warm. I won't use the 'H' work, but the car was saying 91. Very little wind, it was just perfect for shopping for bedding plants. It wasn't that long ago that I was walking up to the greenhouse before going to bed, making sure the heaters were running because the low was going to be in the 20's. Now, we have the furnaces turned off, and can leave the back vents open at night. My Brother Wes Johnson has done a great job in growing plants for our 3 stores. Johnson's greenhouse grower Ashley has done a great job as well, growing about 1000 flats, mainly for our 13th. street store. We have shipment arriving during the sale, filling up the shelves with your favorite annuals.

Happy Hour April 22!

This week's special is Pro-Mix Potting Soil, only $4.99, reg. $9.98! Limit 2 please. Pro-Mix is the ultimate peat based potting soil for plants grown in hanging baskets and outdoor planters. It's water retention formula keeps a moist environment for plants, and allows for more time between waterings. Stop by Thurs. between 2-Close for Happy Hour to cash in on this great deal!

While you're at it, be sure to stock up on your favorite annuals at the annual Fill-A-Flat sale, flats of annuals for only $12.97!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Johnson's Flat Sale starts Wednesday 4/22

I am not sure which on this is, but I am guessing it is about our 20th annual flat sale. I remember our first one. It was only 1 day, a Sunday. We ran a 'spadia' ad in the newspaper. A spadia is a wrap around the spline of a section of the paper. Ours was around the comic section, pretty good placement I think. We bought a 1/2 truck load of plants, about 900 flats total for 2 stores. I thought my place would be at the east store, and Nancy decided to help out west. I did think that the west store should place their sale plants in the rear of the greenhouse (like the grocers do with milk and meat). My idea worked real well. The west store greenhouse was FULL of customers, with a line to pay running the length of the greenhouse! Needless to say, those plans changed that next year.

We now run the sale 5 days long, and sell well over 12,000 flats of locally grown annual bedding plants. Since the early days, Wichitians, and surrounding customers literally take vacation days from work to attend the event. This year, the weather looks great for shopping, planting, shopping, planting. We have the shelves stocked well and more plants on the way.

Have a great week of gardening.

Monrovia Boutique Slideshow!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Monrovia Boutique at Johnson's East

Be sure and take a walk through the new Monrovia Boutique at Johnson's East store at 21st and Woodlawn. This project was presented to us last summer, and after seeing a boutique in Chicago, we were on board. Monrovia Nurseries sent a construction crew this winter and installed the wooden structures. Johnson's Legacy Landscapes then installed brick pavers to make the experience even nicer. Monrovia staff then worked with Johnson's staff in merchandising the boutique.

The boutique will let us show off Monrovia plants in a way that you can invision the plants in your landscape. The plant material will be continually changing in the boutique. Customers can select plants from the display and as weekly deliveries arrive from Monrovia, new seasonal plants will be added.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Confessions of a Plant Geek

I have something to come clean about. I am a Plant Geek. I am also somewhat absent-minded, some might call forgetful. But I also LOVE this time of year at our nurseries, as new, cool plants come in that I seem to have forgotten about since I ordered them sometime last year.

After spending this week ogling at new things, I wanted to share a few here. Most of these plants we didnt buy very many of, so if you see something that's interesting, hurry in.

Any Dogwood fans out there? Sure Kousa dogwood isn't anything new or rare, but we got a few Empress of China Dogwood trees in that I'm really excited about. This new to the trade variety is a subspecies of Kousa dogwood that is evergreen! These photos don't do the plant justice, as the foliage is absolutely beautiful, and covered with creamy white flowers, it's going to be an amazing specimen in the landscape.

Another little something I came across last summer is a new form of Contorted Filbert (Harry Lauder's Walking Stick, Corylus, etc) called Red Majestic. This form has (you guessed it) brilliant red new growth! While the color is going to fade during the heat of the summer, some of the red will remain all year long. While it keeps the same weeping/contorted appearance of the common variety, this variety will actually give a reason to look at this plant when it has leaves on it. As you can see in the picture, the catkins (male flowers) are also a reddish color, unlike the brownish-yellow of the common variety. I know I'm going to have to make room for one of these in my garden.
I could go on and on, but don't want to spoil ALL of the fun. Coming to the nurseries is kinda like a plant adventure. Or expedition. Here's a partial list of some other things that have arrived in small numbers: 'Amazing Grace' Katsura Tree, 'Venus' Dogwood (GIANT flowers), 'Spring Delight' Japanese Maple, 'Purple Ghost' Japanese Maple, 'Autumn Cascade' Black Gum (yummm), Vivax Bamboo (Chinese Timber Bamboo-this is a COOL plant, but only tread here if you've got tons of room, or a great containment system, it's gonna get BIG), great quantities of Black Mondo Grass (great little ground cover for the semi-shade garden).
I'll post again when we get interesting, rare, or just plain weird stuff in.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Florel Fruit Elimimator

I thought that maybe after the cold temperatures the past few nights that maybe, we would have been lucky enough for the sub-feezing temperatures to have killed Sweet Gum balls. These seed balls are the structure of the plant that produces the seed. After the seed has dropped, the balls dry, then fall off of the tree all winter and well into spring. As you can see, the sharp points are not something you want to step on. I guess you could make a Christmas wreath out of these, but that is about all.
Help is on the way with Florel, a spray that needs to be applied very soon, like this week, to have the tree drop the flower which will make the balls.
Florel® brand Growth Regulator is registered to reduce or eliminate undesirable fruit development on many ornamental trees and shrubs such as: cottonwood, crabapple, elm, flowering pear, maple, oak, pine, sweet gum (liquidambar) and sycamore. It also works on many other species that produce nuisance fruit.
Application must be made prior to fruit set; apply at the mid to full-bloom stage in sufficient water to wet (do not spray to run off). Good spray coverage is essential for complete fruit elimination. Application made too early or too late will also not be effective. Temperatures at the time of application should be between 65 degrees Fahrenheit and 95 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results. In university tests, we have received 95-100 percent control of undesirable fruit on many species. However, timing is extremely critical!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Opening Soon!

Monrovia Boutiques!

Johnson's Garden Centers have become partners with Monrovia Nurseries, who have developed themed boutiques to display their plant material. Stop by any one of our nurseries and check them out! The plant material within the boutiques have been specifically chosen to portray the particular theme.

Also, sign up for Monrovia's Plant Savvy newsletter! This is a monthly e-newsletter produced by Monrovia that talks about interesting plant ideas and the latest gardening trends in each issue. Click here to sign up!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bedding plants at Johnson's

Another weekend not being able to work outside in the garden because of cold, windy weather. The next couple of nights with the lows in the mid to lower 20's will surly keep us out of the garden for a couple of days. The forcast past that though, looks pretty good. Maybe some moisture towards the end of the week, but with temps in mid to upper 60's it will be time to get back outside.

Plants continue to grow though in the greenhouses at our stores. Here is impatiens that are scheduled for sale for our Annual Fill-A-Flat sale, April 23 - 28th. Our west 13th street store staff is growing over 1000 flats to add to the many more that our local (Kansas, not from many 100's of miles away) professional greenhouse producers are growing for us.

My brother Wes Johnson, Hesston Plant Co. (the states finest producer of bedding plants) is growing many of the flats for the sale, along with many unique offerings for your selection. Here are a few examples of what Wes is growing for this spring. We already have in the stores some of his mixed Bouganvilla baskets. This tri-color combination is a very striking basket will sell out fast, so hurry in to get yours. Wes also also grows many varietyies and sizes of Geraniums for your garden or patio that we also presently have in the greenhouses.

Along with other annuals and perennials, we also have many varieties of vegetable plants that can be planted after it warms up.

Stop by the stores, take a strole through the greenhouse and get ready to plant.