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Ann Tosovsky

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Oso Easy® Roses-Review

Posted by Ann Tosovsky

Oso Easy®Roses

Growing roses is a favorite past time for many dedicated and passionate gardeners.  For many years gardens were filled with hybrid teas, grandiflora and floribunda roses emitting aromatic fragrances and exquisite flower displays. Countless hours spent dead heading, spraying and pruning gave great peace, serenity and pride to those who treated their rose garden as well as one of their own children.  In our company early February was the time that the nursery would begin buzzing  while orders were being filled with hundreds of bare root, packaged and potted roses. Semi after semi rolled out the door with rose orders for early spring.  That was then……..

This is now.  The demand for the “old fashioned” types has dramatically changed in the rose market. Consumers no longer want to spend hours in their gardens maintaining plants nor do they have the time to do so.  Whether we like it or not, today’s consumers don’t view gardening the same way as the gardening generation that came before them. In general, today’s consumer is looking for plants they don’t have to mess with, are “guaranteed” to grow, have multi-season interest with lots of color and look great in the landscape.  Hmmm, that’s easy right?

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Tags: Plants, Branded Plants, Shrubs

Best Oakleaf Hydrangeas (Review/Ratings)

Posted by Ann Tosovsky

When talking about choices in hydrangeas it can quickly become an overwhelming topic. Macrophylla, arborescens, quercifolia, paniculata, mopheads, lacecaps, climbers, blue flowers, pink flowers… Good golly molly the choices are endless!   The exciting thing though is that there are so many choices and there’s a fantastic hydrangea for every garden.  Basically, there are four species of hydrangeas, macrophylla, quercifolia, arborescens and paniculata.  Within those species are hundreds of varieties of hydrangeas which would take a lifetime to review and discuss.  To narrow the scope let’s take a closer look and review a few of the oakleaf hydrangeas (quercifolia) which are a very popular type of hydrangea. 

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Tags: Plants, Shrubs

Is There Any Value In Trade Shows Anymore?

Posted by Ann Tosovsky

The Value of Trade Shows

We all know that the industry has changed dramatically since the recession.  We've been watching our pennies and scrutinizing every decision while exploring new and different ways to do business in the current economy. As business owners and decision makers we often wonder about the value of exhibiting as well as attending trade shows. I recently had a conversation with Joe Kahyyat, Executive Director of the Mid Am trade show in Chicago, and asked him to give us his perspective on industry trade shows and what to expect at MidAM in 2013.  

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Tags: General

Best Upright Junipers In The Midwest (Ratings/Reviews)

Posted by Ann Tosovsky

Best upright junipers in the Midwest

When you hear the name Juniper you might immediately think, UGH, I hate that plant.  Sure, for a long time in the 1950’s and 60’s junipers (mostly spreading) were probably a bit overused, but who can argue that a low maintenance shrub with year round color isn’t nice to have.  Upright junipers lost favor as well because the faster growing and cheaper arborvitae came into the picture. As gardeners we’ve evolved quite a bit over the years.  We have access to more information, growers are producing so many more varieties of plants, we’ve turned our yards into outdoor living spaces and we basically are demanding more.  But, does that mean junipers are a “has been” or should be thrown to the curb?  I say, NO! Junipiers, just like any other plant, serve a purpose and have their place in everyone’s landscape.  Since there are several types of junipers, uprights, spreaders, groundcover, let’s focus on the upright junipers and talk about three of the top selling varieties in the Midwest.

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Tags: Plants, Evergreens, Trees, Shrubs

What are the Best Ornamental Grasses in the Midwest? (Reviews)

Posted by Ann Tosovsky

What are the Best Ornamental Grasses in the Midwest? 

Ornamental grasses have been around for a long time, but only over the last several years have they become such a prominent feature in the landscape.  Landscape/Horticulture professionals have come to recognize not only the hardiness and easy care of ornamental grasses but also the versatility and amazing beauty they provide.  We’ve talked to our customers who told us what their favorite grasses are and why. Let’s take a closer look at three of the best-selling ornamental grasses in the Midwest.

Best Selling Grasses in the Midwest

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Tags: Plants, Local, Perennials

Best Practices for Maintaining the Landscape in Drought Conditions

Posted by Ann Tosovsky


We have been experiencing hotter and dryer than normal weather conditions this summer which can have a significant and lasting damage on plants in the landscape. Plants and trees draw in moisture from the soil using it for plant growth then release water through the stems and leaves through “transpiration.” When the rate of transpiration is greater than the amount of water plants are drawing in, we begin to see the signs of drought stress. The timing of these drought conditions is equally as important as more damage can occur during the longer days during June and July versus August and September.  Knowing some of the best practices for managing plants in the landscape during these drought conditions can save plants from severe damage or death. 

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Tags: Plants, General

Which Is Better: Yew or Boxwood? Plant Information You Need To Know

Posted by Ann Tosovsky

For decades the Yew (Taxus x media ‘Densiformis’) was considered one of the staple plants used in the landscape. It served as a good, solid evergreen shrub, providing color all year long and it was basically maintenance free.  As long as the plant had good drainage there really wasn’t much that affected it.  No bugs, no diseases…..no brainer. 

Along comes the boxwood, the new “hottie” on the market that has been gaining in popularity over the past 10 years or so.  Homeowners became tired of the old look and began searching for something new and Boxwood sure fit the bill.  Having a lot of the same attributes as the Yew in regards to low maintenance and year round color, Boxwoods have become the new staple evergreen for the landscape. 

So which plant is better……Yew or Boxwood? Here's the plant information you need to know.

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Tags: Plants, Evergreens

Top 3 Reasons To Plant Evergreens

Posted by Ann Tosovsky

Why Plant Evergreens?

Flowering shrubs are trending right now as gardeners are crazy for color. There are many attributes that make flowering shrubs such a popular choice in the garden. From pretty bloom color to fragrant flowers and outstanding fall color, flowering shrubs seem to have it all, right?  Not so fast.  What about the cold, dreary days of winter?  Where are the flowering shrubs then?  We must not forget how important evergreens are in the landscape.  Every plant has a purpose and evergreens are no exception. In fact they can be quite exceptional by filling some very important needs in the landscape.  Take a look at the top three reasons you should plant evergreens. 

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Tags: Plants, Evergreens