Monday, May 22, 2017

Nursery News -End of May heading into June

Greetings all, a special message to everyone, as of Monday, May 22nd:

We have had a fabulous 17th season at Saturday Morning Market, and look forward to joining up with the Summer Market at Williams Park, Downtown St. Pete, Sat. June 10th.

Until then, we are on hiatus ! We have some travel plans, a very special show to do outside the area, and some things to do around the nursery and personal things to take care of, so we appreciate your patience.

During this time, we will not be able to handle any special plant requests but starting the week of June  5th, we will be back in action, so feel free to contact us.

We plan to go into Summer Market with all your favorite Exotic Tropicals as well as our specialty, Mini Succulents and Cacti.

The Summer Market at Williams Park is located, bordered by 3rd and 4th streets north, between 1 and 2nd avenue north. Summer Market hours are 9am -1pm.

There is plenty of close-by parking and you can still find us, along with 50 plus vendors with their specialties of Produce, Arts and Crafts, Great Eats  and of course, live music and a beautiful park of towering Oak trees that will give us all some great shade from our sunny skies.

We hope to see you at Summer Market and we are thankful to continue to trust and support our little nursery !

Mitch Armstrong Nursery is a licensed nursery with the state of Florida. We do not have a retail nursery--our home is Downtown St. Pete Markets and area plant shows and Pop-up Markets.


Exotic Tropicals and Mini Succulents and Cacti
www.heyplantman.com
marketannie@aol.com
727-742-9265
Mitch Armstrong & Annie Sprague

Friday, May 19, 2017

Succullents in St. Pete at Market this weekend !

It's going to be a another beautiful Succulent Heaven Day at Saturday Morning Market this weekend. We've got new items and plenty of your favorites too.

We also have beautiful Bougainvillea and Mandevilla that love the heat  and sun of this time of year and will give you great color all summer long. Along with those, we have lots of other cool exotics for sun or shade, especially our new Desert Rose hybrids.  

This Saturday, will be "our" last day for the regular Market season at Al Lang Field (the Market goes through May 27th) but you will be able to find us on Sat. June 10th, as we join up with the Williams Park Summer Market, Downtown St. Pete.

We love Summer Market under the Towering, shady Oak Trees of Williams Park, and 50 plus of your vendor favorites will all be there from the 1st of June till the end of August.

Williams Park Summer Market is in the lovely renewed park, bordered by 3rd and 4th streets north, between 1st and 2nd Avenue north. There is plenty of parking surrounding the park area and you will find great vendors, live music and lots of good Eats.  Summer Market hours are 9am-1pm.








A note to our Southern customers and friends around the Punta Gorda area - Although we are not setting up there this year,the Annual Hibiscus Festival is taking place this weekend  and we hope you turn out to support it. Since the popular Gilchrist Park is undergoing renovation, the event had to be moved, and, is only a Friday/Saturday event this year.  The festival is in nearby History Park (the same park that hosts the weekly Sunday Farmers Market). The event runs today (Friday) and Saturday. We will miss seeing everyone this year and hope to return for the event next year in Summer 2018.

Well, we hope to see you at St. Pete Downtown Market tomorrow where you can catch some great deals, and don't forget to put the Williams Park Summer Market on your calendar as we continue to bring you lovely plants for your homes, offices and gardens all summer long.

We are very grateful for your loyalty and support !

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mother's Day Weekend !

 This pic is of my Gramma Jane.she wasn't my real grandma..actually the mother in law of my sister, who I was blessed when I was a very young Mother, to have in our lives.

My own Mother passed away 17 years ago, and I was very blessed to have Jane in my life when I was raising a young son.
We had many adventures and lots of great lunches and outings, and Jane was always the one to buy my son his Winter jacket.

Jane was also a great gardener...nothing big but she appreciated every little flower that grew in her garden.

I think, like most, that Mothers Day does not just encompass our own Mothers, but Mother figures in our lives, whether it be inlaws, sisters or friends.  I have been very lucky that the Mothers, in every shape and form, have given me the gift of gardening and loving plants and I have learned and appreciated their histories.

Today, Mitch and I were at Lowes aka Big Box store, to buy some stuff for the house, and we witnessed people buying beautiful flowers and plants for their Mums. What woman does not want flowers ?!  It doesn't really matter whether you buy them from the grocery store or nearby plant nurseries, flowers are just something that speaks to our hearts...it doesn't matter if they last a week , or months, or years....giving a living plant speaks to all women....

So..maybe you come to Saturday Morning Market this weekend to find something special for the Mother figures in your life....maybe you visit our booth and find a beautiful plant  that speaks to your heart...maybe you think Cheese ! or Fresh herbs ! or a beautiful scarf ! Or  a great new sun hat ?! I guarantee you will find something that will speak to you heart that you want to share with the special woman in your life.

Let's not just celebrate this day , but everyday in between, and in the past. that those Mother figures have given their love, and support and helped us to be who we are.

Gramma Jane passed at age 93 in 2001, I will always miss her and I will always bless the day she came into my life.  She taught me that even a weed can be beautiful.

See you at Market tomorrow, looks to be beautiful weather and we have some beautiful plants for your garden.

Saturday Morning Market
Downtown St. Pete
www.saturdaymorningmarket.com
Market hours 9am-2m







Friday, May 5, 2017

Succulent Plants in St. Pete highlighted today !

Greetings again, this is my second post of the day. After posting early this morning, I opened my Tampa Times and saw a great article about Succulents and how this type of gardening has really hit the masses the last couple of  years and just increasing in popularity.

And boy, are they right !



The article mentioned O'Berry Succulents who is a popular vendor at area markets with their beautiful Put-Together Succulent and Cacti gardens, as well as their whimsical gardening using succulents planted in, or used with inanimate objects, such as shoes, dinosaurs, cork and other such fun stuff.

I found out there is actually a Facebook group called "St. Petersburg Succulent Addicts" ! Of course, I asked to join the group online immediately and saw many other new people who just found out about the group too, and were eager for info and care about these great plants.I love to be part of groups that share info, pictures and their experiences and joy with succulent gardening.

For the past 3 years at Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete, as well as the popular Spring Plant shows in our area (like Leu Gardens, Tampa Greenfest and Green Thumb Festival, Armstrong Nursery have been carrying the individual mini succulent and cacti plants, and yes, they are popular and have really helped us to grow our business.  We have found for a majority of our customers, they want to DYT, or Do It Themselves !  That is why we focus on just providing the individual plants they can use with their own inspiring ideas. On average, we bring 500 plus mini succulent and cacti so you have loads to choose from.

Also, as the article stated, the mini succulents are very popular for gifts at baby and wedding showers, wedding receptions and we have had the pleasure and privilege of providing the plants for many events such as those too.





We focus on many types that you don't normally find at the Big Box stores, and we spend a lot of time with our customers teaching them about care and the growth.  Besides conversing with our customers, we make sure every one goes home with a care sheet to remind them about 2 very basic things that Most people want to know - Watering and Where the heck to put them !!

First, these plants can really be grown anywhere, but at this mini size, they are best NOT in direct sun and can be readily used indoors (think windowsills, bright bathrooms, sunny rooms) and we have had many a customer tell us how they have really brightened their homes, dorms, and offices.

Outside, they will thrive in Bright In-direct light - so think porch/patio, under awnings, protected walkways etc.

Second, and this is OUR personal recommendation based on our knowledge and experience - we only recommend watering once every 2-3 weeks, so they are very low maintenance. You can keep the mini plants in their little pots for a long time, and some types will grow faster, or taller than others. You can simply trim them, or, move to a larger container at some point.   The trick to watering is to water the soil part thoroughly (much succulent foliage does not want, nor need watering) and then let the soil dry out completely.

We have found that "spritzing" with a water bottle etc, is really not enough to water your plant successfully. The easiest way to water the plant in its mini pot is to simply put it in a sink, or a plastic pot where the water level comes half way up the pot.  In a couple of hours, the water will seep up from the drainage holes (more about that later) and you will see that the soil top level is moist. At that point, removed the mini plant from the water source and place on paper towel to let it drain, then put your plant back to it's home place.

For container watering, the important thing is for your container to have drainage holes.   I see many of cute pot at the Dollar Stores etc but they have no holes.  Truth is, you can plant it like that and it may last for a while - but in the long term, it will not. Either the plant soil will not get watered enough, or built up watering will cause mold and mildew at the bottom of your container.   Mitch is quite adept at pulling the ole drill out to put holes into containers that I love that didn't have the drainage and it does not take any special, expensive drill bit  !

Here's some pics of our plants being readied to take to Saturday Morning Market tomorrow !






















We bring on average, 500 plus mini Succulent and Cacti to Sat. Market every weekend, so you have loads to choose from.



One of the newest mini succulents available, called "Tiger Jaw". It is a late afternoon/evening bloomer and the bloom looks like a large daisy flower that practically covers the whole foilage ! It will continue to bloom for 3-4 days and then starts producing babies to start the process again.
O


Along with the Tiger Jaw at right, some of the newest popular specimens, the Red Pepperomia and the "Propeller"

It is amazing how large of bloom you get off such a teeny plant.


Our most popular size is the 3 inch potted specimens.  They are the perfect size to use alone, or as a grouping and they don't take up much space.





Well, it's time to get back to loading our trailer for market and we hope this post finds many new people that are eager to get into Succulent gardening and we are there to help!

Mitch Armstrong Nursery is a licensed Tropical Plant Nursery with the state of Florida. We do not have a retail location, our "store" is the Sat. Morning Market in St. Pete, FL, area Botanical Shows and Special Pop Up markets around the area.  Keep up with us and our schedule at: 

www.heyplantman.com
Find us now on Facebook too ! Mitch Armstrong Nursery

Can't make market? Please contact us to arrange a time during the week to tour our private nursery here in St. Pete !

Just email or call us to make an appointment !
727-742-9265
marketannie@aol.com






Come What May, May 2017 that is !

Greetings all, well Mother Nature gave us some nice rain and a bit cooler weather to help usher in the month of May and the plants and we, are loving it !

This weekend for Saturday Morning Market, we have a fresh stock of Mini Succulents, as well as Mini Cacti, that we have been waiting for, for so long to grow !

We are still well stocked with Abutilon Hibiscus (Chinese Lantern), Passion Vines, Succulent Bowl gardens, and more.

This week in the nursery, some of our Rare Desert Rose were blooming their hearts out :























We will be bringing all of these to market too, and if you are gardener that loves to collect rare and unusual Desert Rose, you will love these.

During this month of May at Market, we will be running several special Sale items, clearing out some room for the summer. Among these specials are our 4 inch Succulents and Cacti.  As well, Annie will be clearing out some great Fairy Garden decorative items that you can use to make your own special potted arrangements.

Remember, Sat. Morning Market regular season runs through Sat. 27th, then on Sat. June 3rd, the Williams Park Summer Market starts up right away for our summer season of June-August.

Can't make market? Please email us about inquiries for specific plants on your wish list !
Marketannie@aol.com

Here's the scoop:
Saturday Morning Market
Downtown St. Pete
Al Lang Field Parking Lot
Market hours 9am-2pm



Friday, April 28, 2017

Sat. Morning Market Armstrong Nursery update

Greetings all, a quick correction on the date of the Saturday Morning Market tomorrow, yes, it is Sat. April 29th.

We will have some of these beauties, at left, the Abutilon Hibiscus (aka Flowering Maple)....as well...











The lovely perennial Morning Glory.

This sturdy colorful gem is a fast growing vine, but considered non-invasive, as it's seeds are sterile.

It can cover an arbor, fence or unsightly area fast and give you great color and durability.

Loves sun and yes, can take it all year long.




We are back stocked up with the Purple Possem Passion Vine, that produces edible fruit - sweet/tart tasting, very high in Vitamin C and great eating as-is or in juicing.

This time of year it is important to have Milkweed in your gardens for the Monarch Butterflies. Milkweed is a host plant for butterflies laying their eggs, nectar for their systems and a base food for young caterpillars to eat on. Yes, they can eat it down to it's stems, but simply cut back the plant halfway, and it will sprout new leaves, continuing the cycle.

We are having a sale on beautiful hardy Succulent Bowls this weekend, so come check them out along with all our lovely mini succulents and cacti and lots of amazing perennials and tropicals for home and garden.

Here's the scoop:
Saturday Morning Market
Downtown St. Pete, parking lot of Al Lang stadium
Market hours 9am-2pm
www.saturdaymorningmarket.com


Monday, April 24, 2017

Green Thumb Fest Recap and going forward into May !


We just wrapped up the 2017 Green Thumb Festival here in our hometown of St. Pete and had record crowds.  We really love and appreciate the support of so many people coming out to support us and 200 plus other vendors who worked their hearts out to bring you great plant products !

Green Thumb was our last Big Spring Plant show here in Florida and we are headed back to our home base of Saturday Morning Market, downtown, St. Pete this coming weekend Sat. May 1st.

2 of our most popular items at Green Thumb were the Magic Yellow Carpet ground cover and our beautiful Abutilon Hibiscus (aka Flowering Maple) and we sold out quickly. Good news is, we have more !  We are bringing it to market this weekend and we ARE taking reservations for each, so by reserving with us by email, you are assured of getting your Wish-List plant...so, today, now, right away! email Annie at marketannie@aol.com and tell us what plant you want, how many, and your name and contact, and we will be happy to put you on the list for priority of getting your loving plant.

Again, email:    marketannie@aol.com
Tell us what/which plant you want, how many, and your name and contact.

The details of the 2 plants are:
Abutilon hibiscus come in 3 gallon pots, about 3-4 feet tall and the price is $20 each
Magic Carpet come in 1 gallon pots, and are priced at $7 each, or 2/$12 or 3/$20.

May brings us into the last month of the regular season of Sat. Morning Market, but don't forget, Summer Market, begins immediately in June at the Williams Park Summer Market. Williams Park is located in the heart of downtown, bordered by 3rd and 4th streets North, between 1st and 2nd Avenues north. The park has lovely Oak trees that provide great shade, there will still be live music, lots of fresh produce, plants, and artisans.  The park is a safe zone, and there is plenty of street parking around the area.

We hope to see you soon at Market and thank you again for your support and patronage !