Park News July 2011

Our Fall Catalog is Now Online!

Park Seed Fall Planting Catalog 2011A super-compact Hydrangea with 4-color blooms that repeat.... the first everblooming Honeysuckle.... an eye-popping double red Coneflower.... a trailing Pansy for baskets and windowboxes.... These are just a few of more than 50 new plants waiting for you online in our fall collection!

If you received our fall 2011 paper catalog and want more information about your favorites, check them out on It's our best fall collection in years, and we know you're going to find old favorites and exciting new stars for your garden!

Flower Day 2011 Brings Applause (and lots of great deals)!

BrowsingMore than 3,500 people visited us in Greenwood, South Carolina on June 25, attending our annual Flower Day as part of the South Carolina Festival of Flowers. Gardeners, photographers, nature lovers, and strolling families all "walked the rows" in our 9-acre trial gardens, shopped the bargains at our Garden Center, took our horticulturists' tours, participated in our silent plant auction, and ate lots of great food.

First in LineIt's no secret that getting to Park Seed early on Flower Day is a good idea, both to secure the best bargains and to beat the heat. But this year our guests outdid themselves, appearing as early as 6:30 a.m. By 8:00, a sizable crowd had formed. And when we threw open our doors, our guests applauded! That meant so much to our employees, who give up a Saturday to work hard on Flower Day — not to mention the months of "prep" that go into this annual open house. To all of you who came and didn't hear this in person from one of us: thank you for your continued support. It means everything to us!

WalkingOne thing we can never predict on Flower Day is which plants will most capture the public fancy. This year the Dahlias and the American Garden Award display attracted the most attention, followed closely by new Red-leaved Perilla (photos really don't do justice to these big, brilliant leaves, and of course they don't convey that powerful spicy-mint fragrance!), Four o'Clock Salmon Sunset, and the 2011 Perennial Plant of the Year, beautiful Amsonia hubrichtii!

Full vanIn addition to these newcomers, old favorites continue to wow 'em in the aisles: Lily Silk Road stops visitors in their tracks every year. Hydrangea Forever Pink was in exceptionally fine form on Flower Day, and in the vegetable garden, our Tomatillos drew oohs and ahhs, both from folks who weren't sure what they were and from gardeners who had never seen them grown so big before.

CartOne new herb that we hope to debut in next spring's seed catalog got rave reviews from our guests: Parsley Lisette, a bright lime-green curly-leaved variety with bushy, tight foliage you can spot from way across the garden. It will definitely be the brightest green spot in your herb garden!

Great bargains were to be had in the Garden Center, and all day long our golf carts could be seen overloaded with plants as Park Seed employees ferried guests and their goodies back to their vehicles. Loading truck It was often a challenge to fit all of the trees, shrubs, plants, and bulbs into backseats and truck beds, but we're pleased to think that everybody went home with a few new finds for their garden.

If you weren't able to visit on Flower Day this year, consider making the trip in 2012. We'd love to meet you, and we know you'd enjoy your day in the garden!

Believe it Or Not, it's Time to Plan Your Fall Garden!

Just as summer is heating up and the garden is in full, glorious bloom, it's time to turn your thoughts to fall! Grab a tall glass of lemonade, a pad of paper and pen, and spend a lovely hour or two in the garden dreaming of next season's glory:

Cool-season vegetables from seed
Now is the time to order any seeds you'll need for your fall crops:

For specific information on when and how to start each crop in your area, please consult our Know Before You Grow series. Don't forget to order your seeds soon, so you'll have plenty of time in case the weather is up to its usual tricks.

Cool-season annuals and vegetable plants
Our new fall plant collection includes flowering annual and vegetable plants, economically priced in packs of 6 and ready to ship to your door at just the right time for fall planting. Annual plants are the easiest way to grow your cool-season crops, offering instant color for your hanging baskets, beds, and borders as well as the vegetable garden!

Frost protection for the garden
Make the most of your fall crops by protecting plants when unseasonable cold snaps strike. This year we have an all-new selection of superior frost protection supplies, from an amazing all-in-one row cover tunnel to a "breathable" plant blanket you can leave over your plants for weeks! And our trusty coldframes offer permanent season-long protection for your tender and tropical plants. Order today, before the temperature begins to drop!

Vote for Your Favorite Flowering Plant!

Touring the AGA gardens at Flower DayThe American Garden Award (AGA) is a fairly new competition (2011 is its 3rd year) that invites home gardeners to vote for their favorite plant from among a group submitted by some of the largest and most prestigious plant breeders in the world.

Each of the nominated plants is grown by several dozen public gardens across the country, including ours right here in Greenwood, South Carolina. Then, beginning in May and continuing through August 31, the public is invited to vote for its favorite. American Garden AwardYou may vote at the public garden itself (as many people did at Flower Day here at Park!), or cast your vote online, where the AGA website provides useful information about each plant as well as luscious photos.

Right now, Dahlia 'Dahlinova® Hypnotica Lavender' is in the lead, having recently edged out Petunia 'Easy Wave™ Neon Rose.' The AGA website keeps a running tally of the online votes, so you can follow the action all season!

Even if you can't get out to see the AGA contenders in person, take a moment to look them over and, if you like, cast a vote for your favorite!

And the Winner Is.... - Facebook Fan Contest

Last month we asked you to name your favorite park item and tell us why it has won your heart. We were delighted to hear from gardeners about their pride and joy, and as promised, we selected one at random from all of the submissions. The lucky winner of a $25 Park Seed Gift Certificate is Cheryl H. of Dale, Indiana.

I absolutely love the wide selection of Park plants and the beautiful photos online and many sales, but I have to say my favorite Park item is the best customer service I have ever received from a catalog/online service.
This spring, I ordered several plants, including some new cone flower varieties. All my plants arrived healthy, but one coneflower was much smaller than the rest and did not survive. I simply wrote you an email explaining the circumstances, and asked for a replacement plant, and you so very quickly responded. Within a few days my replacement coneflower arrived and is now thriving in my garden.
A sincere thank you for such wonderful service, all my Park plants are doing well.
- Cheryl H.

You can read a selection of other submissions here. Thanks to all who entered, and if your name wasn't chosen this time, just wait! We have a fun new contest waiting for you this month! Read on....

New Contest - Create a New You... with Veggies!

Veggie portraitOkay, we must warn you that our new contest is very silly! Inspired by this photo of our Seed Horticulturist Stephanie using a curled red pepper as her tongue (!), we began wondering if other gardeners play the same crazy games we do with our vegetables — treating ourselves as human Mr. Potato Heads and sticking veggies onto our faces to create a new look! (If you've ever used a long green bean as a mustache or pretended that a carrot was a cigar, you know what we're talking about.) So here's the contest:

Send us a portrait of yourself using one or more vegetables from your garden in a truly silly way (keep it family-friendly!). We'll choose the most sublimely ridiculous and award the winner a $25 Park Seed Gift Certificate. And you can bet that we'll post all the best submissions on Facebook for everyone to enjoy!

The deadline for this contest is Tuesday, August 23, 2011. Please submit your photo in an email addressed to with the subject My Veggie Portrait.

Good luck and happy posing!

New Contest - Create a New You... with Veggies!

July 1Canada Day — Canada's national holiday!

July 2 - 24Tour de France — This annual bicycle race throughout France is 2,200 miles long and lasts 3 weeks.

July 4Independence Day — Celebrate our independence from Great Britain!

July 14Bastille Day (French Independence) — The French national holiday!

July 18National Ice Cream Day — I think this needs no other explanation. Mmmm!