Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Night scene of the water feature at Greenscape Gardens. We have created several large permanent display gardens at the garden center. NO OTHER GARDEN CENTER IN ST. LOUIS OR ST. LOUIS COUNTY HAS MORE DISPLAY GARDENS THAN GREENSCAPE GARDENS. We are creating a garden center environment with mature plantings to encourage the St. Louis gardener to "stop and smell the roses". The koi/goldfish pond pictured here is just another example of our commitment to the St. Louis gardening public. Posted by Picasa

This is one of the many new varieties of annuals and perennials, you'll find at Greenscape Gardens in 2006. We have made a committment to bring new and exciting cultivars of flowers, trees, and shrubs to the St. Louis market.  Posted by Picasa

Looking to create the perfect perennial garden next year. Start this year with 50% off all remaining perennials. We have a good selection of shade and sun loving perennials.

Why is now a good time? The first reason is you'll save 50% on your perennials purchases. But you must hurry, since the supply is limited and the sale ends on October 31st, 2005.

The second reason is simple. The old saying "Fall is for Planting" creates great gardens. Planting in the fall encourages deep root development. The perennial will be more established since it has been developing an extensive root system all winter. There is no undue stress on the plant. As long as the ground isn't frozen, the plant is growing and developing a mature root system. Posted by Picasa




With the great weather we have been experiencing this past week, we have been extremely busy servicing the landscapers and homeowners with their fall landscape purchases. We still have a good selection of mums, pansies, kale and Proven Winner fall annuals.

Only 12 days remain for the great October Perennial Sale. Yes we still have a fair selection of perennials still available at 50% off. The stock has diminished greatly but we still have coreopsis, daylillies, scabosia, hostas and even a few butterfly bushes. "No coupon needed" for these great savings.

Only 2 Saturdays remain for Starr BBQ. Dave Starr has been teasing us with the great aroma of smoked meats the past couple of Saturdays. Check out his mouth watering treats on Saturday with ribs, pulled pork, chicken, my favorite of pork steaks, brats and hotdogs for the kids. Open to 5 on Saturday.



A good rule of thumb is to winterize sprinklers by Halloween. Most years, that’s when it starts to freeze in this area. People often forget to winterize until its too late. It’s not hard to do.

Here’s some simple procedures you can utilize to winterize your irrigation system.

Go to the backflow preventer, located inside the basement or outside near the water meter. Turn levers off so that the waterflow is stopped. The preventer should be tested before you turn the sprinklers back on in the spring, and costs at least $50. It must be serviced by a licensed backflow technician in St. Louis and St. Louis County. Insulate any above-ground piping with self-sticking foam-insulating tape or foam insulating tubes from a home-supply store.

Shut down the timer. Most controllers have a rain mode that shuts off signals to the valves. The controller continues to keep time so the programming information such as start times and valve run times isn’t lost. The only change is that the valves will not activate.

Drain the system. Open each drain valve. There should be one per zone, and a master valve for the whole system.

As an optional added precaution, insulate backflow preventers and valves if they are above ground, using insulation tape. Don’t block the air vents and drain outlets on backflow preventers.

The sprinkler system should be shut off until March or April. That’s usually when you find out if you have any problems like a leak from incorrect winterization.



NOAA announced the 2005-2006 U.S. Winter Outlook for the months of December, January and February. NOAA forecasters expect warmer-than-normal temperatures in most of the U.S. The precipitation outlook is less certain, showing equal chances of above, near or below normal precipitation for much of the country.

"Even though the average temperature over the three-month winter season is forecast to be above normal in much of the country, there still will be bouts of winter weather with cold temperatures and frozen precipitation," said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.
NOAA does not expect La Niña and El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) to play a role in this winter's forecast. Without ENSO, forecasters look to other short-term climate factors, like the North Atlantic Oscillation, in determining the overall winter patterns. Under these conditions there tends to be more variability in winter weather patterns across the nation, especially in the Great Lakes region and the northeast U.S.

The Outlook

The 2005-2006 U.S. Winter Outlook calls for warmer-than-normal temperatures across much of the central and western United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. The Midwest, the Southern Californian coast and the East Coast have equal chances of warmer, cooler or near-normal temperatures this winter.

The precipitation outlook calls for wetter-than-normal conditions across most of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and northeastern Texas. Drier-than-normal conditions are expected across the Southwest from Arizona to New Mexico.

As winter approaches, nearly 20 percent of the nation is in some level of drought compared to around 30 percent of the country this time last year as defined by the U.S. Drought Monitor. For the sixth year in a row, drought remains a concern for parts of the Northwest and northern Rockies. Wet or dry conditions during the winter typically have a significant impact on drought conditions. Winter-spring snow pack is particularly important in the West, as much of the annual water supply comes from the springtime snow melt. NOAA cautions it would take a number of significant winter snowstorms to end the drought in the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies.

What Could Drive This Winter's Weather?

Since early 2005 sea-surface temperatures in the central-equatorial Pacific Ocean have been near normal. Near normal sea-surface temperatures in the central-equatorial Pacific Ocean are expected to continue for the next three to six months. Therefore, it is unlikely that either the El Niño or La Niña phases of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle will be present during the upcoming winter. As a result, one key climate feature that could have a particularly large impact in U.S. winter weather, especially along the East Coast, is the North Atlantic Oscillation or NAO.
The North Atlantic Oscillation often changes its phase from week-to-week. During the positive phase, the jet stream shifts to the north of its usual position and the winter weather features relatively warm days over much of the contiguous U.S. In contrast, during the negative phase the jet stream shifts to the south of its usual position. The negative phase of the NAO features more Nor'easters and more frequent cold air outbreaks and snowstorms, especially along the East Coast. Currently, the phase of the NAO is difficult to anticipate more than one to two weeks in advance.

Recognizing the demand to have more precision with seasonal outlooks, the NOAA Climate Prediction Center has formed a Climate Test Bed. The Climate Test Bed is a collaborative scientific effort among the operational, academic and research communities. The mission of the Climate Test Bed is to accelerate the transfer of atmospheric and oceanic research and development into operational climate forecasts, products and applications. At present the Climate Test Bed is focused on maximizing the use of the NOAA Climate Forecast System model in combination with other climate forecast tools to improve U.S. seasonal precipitation and temperature outlooks.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Eastern Performance Trials Pictures

Topiary plantings at Virginia Growers. The whimisal dragon of sedum was displayed at the grounds of Virginia Growers. Notice the hens and chicks on the backside of the dragon. This entire display was quite attractive and was something you normally think of as "Disney".
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