Reflections

 Reflections of 2015

 

The Zergott Family and Staff wish you the merriest of Holidays and a healthy New Year!  As we reflect on the hundreds of customers we have seen over the past year, we are quite pleased. You have given us the opportunity to have  touched your lives in positive ways.  We have transformed your outdoor areas into colorful gardens and useful spaces that will be enjoyed by your family and friends for years to come.  That’s what memories are made of and we are honored to have been a part of them.  May we continue to see you and  serve you joyfully in 2016.

 

Merry Christmas and God Bless!

The Zergott Family and Staff

Posted on December 15, 2015 .

Meet Maggie the Monarch!

On a warm Tuesday morning, August 18, 2015, a baby was born at Zergott Garden Center!

Butterfly 15.JPG

 

Maggie, as we named her, slowly emerged within 20 seconds from her protective chrysalis (pupa).  She unfurled her colorful wings, shedding her clear, tissue-like chrysalis “womb.” She hung around on her Swamp Milkweed leaf for about a half an hour as her grateful audience gathered around quietly.  When her wings were ready she took flight!  It was the first birth of this type at Zergott’s in over 25 years of business.  What excitement we had!

You can make your own Monarch nursery by planting the host plant of Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) What a wonderful way to teach your children or grandchildren about parenting and help the environment too!

Don’t forget there are many other types of beautiful butterflies to coax to your garden!  Make sure you provide host plants for the larvae, water, shelter from predators, open areas for basking in the sun and nectar plants for the adults: Black-eyed Susan, Butterfly Bushes, Butterfly Weed, Coneflower, Daisies, Daylily, Lilacs, Monarda, Phlox, Sage, Verbena, Yarrow and Zinnia, to name a few.  Stop in to Zergott’s to check out our selections!

Cheaper by the Dozen!

Update!  As of September 17, 2015, we have had 16 fledgling Monarch butterflies emerge and take flight from our Garden Center!  We have named them: Maggie, Molly, Mary, Michael, Marty, Micki, Matthew, Minnie, Mo, Max, Miles, Miracle, Milo, Maude, Mortimer and Morgan.  Our staff nurtured the Swamp Milkweed host plants with regular watering and sunshine.  We protected them by removing detrimental insects, like Oleander Aphids (yellow) and Milkweed Bugs (black and red) through careful trimming.  No insecticides were used!  We collected the seeds from the splitting pods for future cultivation.  We watched Monarch butterflies as they took flight , occasionally resting on nearby blooming perennials or pine trees before they flew off into the sunny skies of September.  Sadly, our chrysalis watching moments were over.   All that remained were the inch-long, tissue-thin, torn-open, transparent chrysalis which hung from leaves, branches and arbors.  We were grateful that we helped add more Monarchs to the fleet that would eventually head south for the winter.

Complete Metamorphosis (From Egg to Larva to Pupa to Adult.)

Monarch butterflies lay eggs that hatch into striped caterpillars (larvae).  The tiny caterpillars go on a feeding frenzy over the next 2 to 3 weeks, reaching about 2 inches at maturity.  They will completely devour the Milkweed leaves, but the sacrifice will be worth it.  Mother Nature would be proud.

 

When the caterpillars have grown enough and  shed their skins several times (molting), they pupate, or spin silk girdles (chrysalis) around themselves as they hang from the milkweed leaves.  The small, light green, pod-like chrysalis (pupa) blends in with the color of the milkweed leaves, which is nature’s way of protecting the growing baby in the weeks ahead.  Later the vibrant colors of the Monarch’s curled wings can be seen through the almost-transparent chrysalis.  The pupa pushes through the chrysalis, peeking out slowly.  Then it emerges as a full-size, adult Monarch with orange areas, black outlining and white spots.  The adults fly for short distances to feed on nectar from flowers and find suitable homes for the eggs they will lay.  So the cycle of life begins all over again.  

 

Monarchs can produce 4 generations during one summer.  Sadly, most Monarch butterflies only live one to two weeks.  Since they eat poisonous Milkweed and their bodies store the poisonous toxins, they are distasteful victims.  So in this way, nature protects her own.

Weather

If Monarchs are lucky enough to survive the ravages of the cold, wet weather, freezing temperatures will kill them. They need body temperatures of at least 86 degrees to fly.  Monarchs will sit in the sun or quiver their wings to warm up.  Few butterflies fly on cloudy days

Habitat

Monarchs must have Milkweed host plants for the survival of the species. Since they migrate south the loss of trees limits their wintering habitat.  It can take up to 2 months for them to complete their journey to winter habitats like Mexico and California.

 

Predators

As the larvae emerge from their eggs they often eat their nearby eggs.  Hungry insect predators like ants, mites and spiders also eat the eggs.  In the larva stage, they are prey for ants, wasps, flies , spiders, assassin bugs and some birds.  Only tiny wasps will eat the pupae.  Adult butterflies will be eaten by orb weaver spiders and birds: Cassin’s Kingbird, Rufous-sided Towhee, Starlings, Chestnut-backed Chickadees and Scrub Blue Jays.

Dangers

Do not use herbicides and pesticides, which can damage the eggs and larvae.

 

By Rose P. Zatezalo

Our thanks to Nicole Horn for her fascinating photographs.  

Posted on September 3, 2015 .

SPRING FLOWERS!

Spring Lilies, Pansies, Violas, Tulips, Hyacinths, Floral Azaleas & Floral Hydrangeas!

Hurry to Zergott’s Garden Center to have the first pick of the spring flower that just arrived this week!  Check our website home page for the current hours because we extend them as we inch toward summer..

Posted on March 31, 2015 .

Those Dear Deer!

 

 

What time is breakfast being served at your house?  Some hairy critters may have shown up even before your alarm clock buzzed you awake!  Have you seen any of these dreaded, telltale signs that Bambi's parents visited your yard?

* Flower stalks minus the blossoms?  (Dessert to them!)

*  Evergreen branches appearing thinner each day?  (Nibbling alert!)

*  Piles of mysterious, black jellybean-like pebbles scattered about?

*  Trodden-down grass and perennial areas?  (Happy Trails to you!)

*  “Shaved areas along the bark of young tree trunks?  (The deer “marked” your trees as their own, leaving their scent with their antler “rubs” or scrapes.)

BEWARE!  Sunrise and sunset are the favorite times for deer to browse. During their mating season in the fall, they will graze anytime.   No plants are safe if the deer are hungry enough!  But don’t give up!  There is hope.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the old adage cautions.  So head over to Zergott Garden Center for a list of plants that the deer do not prefer and some preventive chemicals.  

Deer Scram by Epic is an organic, granular repellent for deer and rabbits. It’s effective up to 100 days in the winter and works well under a light coating of snow.  It is available in small or large containers.  It’s easy to use.  Sprinkle the granules in a 16-24” wide strip around the group of plants every 30-45 days, depending on rainfall.  

Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent is long lasting and dries odorless.  It’s available in small, handy sprayers.  The concentrated liquid in large sprayers sell will save you money.  Use it weekly for the first 3 weeks then monthly.  This will train the critters to chow down elsewhere.  How it works:  animals have a natural aversion to the scent, so it will deter them as they check out your yard, before they browse. Spray it on flowers, vines, trees and shrubs. (The manufacturer offers a 100 % Money Back Guarantee.)  

Repels-All Animal Repellent by ShotGun comes in liquid or granular form that lasts up to 2 months.  It’s available in a small or large handle sprayer bottles or concentrate.  It repels: beavers, birds, chipmunks, crows, deer, groundhogs, mice, rabbits, raccoons, rats, shrews, skunks, squirrels and voles.  How it works:  the smell causes minor irritation to the animals’ nasal passages so they stay away.  

We also have other products for smaller critters:

Molemax by Bonide is a biodegradable granular product that will not harm bulbs, gardens, lawns, plants or shrubs.  Use 1 pound per 500 square feet, watering it in (or using rainfall) to control:  gophers, ground squirrels, moles and skunks.  

Critter Ridder by Havahart is a granular product that lasts 30 days.  It deters cats, chipmunks, dogs, groundhogs, raccoons, skunks and squirrels.  How it works:  it repels by odor and taste.

Posted on November 10, 2014 .

Look Who's Coming!

Dig out your flannel pajamas and furry slippers, Old Man Winter is right around the corner!  Are you ready?  If not, let Zergott Landscaping help you!  We don’t stock flannel and fur, but we have just about everything else you’ll need to welcome the blustery days of winter.  It’s as simple as a phone call: 440-777-3810.

Sprinkler Systems

If you are fortunate enough to have a sprinkler system for your yard, it should be shut down before the temperature reaches freezing.  We are scheduling shut-downs now, so call today to get a date.  

If you don’t have an irrigation system, we can install one for you next spring.  Let us put you on our 2015 list.  Rest assured that you won’t miss dragging your hoses around your yard to water your lawn and landscape beds once the warm spring weather begins!

Just a reminder:  Don’t forget to turn off your exterior faucets and drain your hoses.

SNOW!

That dreaded four letter word will be appearing out your window too soon, unless you’re headed south for the winter!  Don’t be caught off guard!  Become one of our snowplow customers and rest easy at night, knowing your driveway will be clear.  We do residential and commercial properties.  Call us today to get on our seasonal snowplow route, if you live in North Olmsted, Berea, Olmsted Township, North Ridgeville or Westlake, Ohio:  440-777-3810.   We will give you a free estimate and mail you a contract.  Let your fingers do the walking so we can do your snow removal!

Firewood!  

You will need firewood for your hearth or fire pit to keep you warm and toasty on those blustery winter days and nights!  We sell firewood in various quantities:  stack, ⅓ cord, ½ cord and full cords.  Delivery is available for a reasonable fee.  

Please check Zergott’s home page for our current hours because they change along with the seasons.  Call us today at 440-777-3810 to set up an appointment for an estimate or a delivery. In the meantime, enjoy “the calm before the storm” of winter!


 

Posted on November 4, 2014 .

Flight of the Fairies!

 

Come visit our tiny Fairy Garden, safe within the walls of Zergott Garden Center!  

Bring along your own little urchins and let them peek at the gnomes and fairies. They will laugh with delight as they imagine the antics of the woodland creatures!

Why not create an outdoor Fairy Garden for yourself?  These miniature gardens bring out the playful child in all of us.  Zergott’s carries all the elements you’ll need to make a fantasy Fairy Garden:  fairies, gnomes, houses, fencing, tables, chairs, wheelbarrows, garden tools, pots, mushrooms, bird houses, bridges, pea gravel, pond pebbles, stepping stones and rocks.  

Ground cover Junipers, Gold Mop Cypress, Birds Nest Spruce and Little Gem Dwarf Spruce will provide appropriate evergreen woodland settings for your Fairy villages.  Succulents  like Chicks n’ Hens or Sedums also work splendidly with the small-scale figures.  Tuck in delicate perennials and annuals to brighten the scene.  Fragrant Sweet Woodruff, Thyme, Alyssum and small-leafed perennials, like Creeping Phlox, can be placed around the Fairy houses and stepping stones.    

We have handy, colored, metal trays and pottery to use for container Fairy Gardens  They are small, transportable and will hold your village with ease.  Bring your tiny Fairy wonderland inside during the construction phase.  You will be able to work on it in the comfort of your kitchen.  After you add all the finishing touches, just place it outside, in an area that is visible  and reachable.  Or use houseplants and keep your Fairy Garden inside.  Whether it is used as a table-top decoration inside or a playful addition to your patio, porch, landscaping or deck, it is sure to catch the attention of your family and guests.  Add your own special touches to personalize your Fairy Garden, like your family name or address.

What a great gift idea!  Buy all the pieces and assemble it together with someone special. Together you will be creating a memory and a unique gift to be enjoyed for many years to come.  Do you know someone who is restricted to their home or nursing home?  A Fairy Garden may be just the thing to bring a smile to their face and brightness to their room.  It might just bring back some wonderful childhood memories for you too!

Posted on August 26, 2014 .

Splish-Splash!

Sprinkler Systems and Water Features For You!

Tired of dragging hoses with sprinklers across your lawn all season?  Or seeing hoses laying around to water your garden?  Consider an Irrigation System! Zergott Landscaping and Garden Center can set you up!  We will measure and make our recommendations to install a complete irrigation system for you.  Wouldn’t it be convenient to have your watering done automatically, even while you’re on vacation this summer?  Call Zergott’s!  In the spring we can start up your system and in the fall put it to “bed.”  We carry a full line of spare parts for repairs too.

Who can custom-make a pond or waterfall?  Zergott’s can!  The sound of trickling water can be very soothing as you sit on your patio or deck.  We have photographs of formal and informal water features we have installed throughout the years on our website and in our Garden Center.  Formal fountains with paver walls and seating areas are so inviting for entertaining your guests.  Natural rock waterfalls or ponds will add new dimensions to your landscaping.

Think “out of the box” to imagine a lovely water feature in the area of your yard where you sit the most. You may even want to hang a hammock to take advantage of the gurgling water to lull you to sleep. The front landscaping would also lend itself well to a pond with a few lawn chairs for casual conversations with your neighbors.  

Call Zergott’s today to set an appointment for a free consultation and estimate:  440.777.3810.

Posted on May 1, 2014 .

April Showers do bring May Flowers!

Yes, SPRING is finally here!

 

The adage is old but true.  Those drippy days of April are necessary for spring flowers to delight you in May!  So keep your umbrella handy and head over to Zergott Landscaping and Garden Center!  

 

Stock up on vegetable and flower seeds and plan your garden layout.  Arrange for a load of organic Sweet Peet to be delivered to add to your garden, for a rich planting medium.  Plant cold weather vegetables when the soil is workable.  Then at the end of the  month plant a second crop so that you can extend the period of harvest.  Sow tomato seeds inside.  Involve children in this process  to show them how tiny seeds end up providing food for your dinner table.  

 

Use Sweet Peet to amend the soil in your perennial garden too.  Crowded perennials can be divided now, if you didn’t do it last fall, and transplanted to other suitable areas..  Pick up a bag of potting soil so you can repot your family of houseplants to take advantage of the spurt of growth that comes with spring.

 

Use horticultural oil to control spider mites on spruces.  We carry products to help you.  We also provide a complete line of Greenview products.  Start applying the Crabgrass Control/Fertilizer on your lawn now.


Mulch is like frosting on the cake for your beds!  Place your order now to be picked up or delivered by us (for a nominal fee.)  Call us today: 440.777.3810 to be put on our schedule.

Posted on April 1, 2014 .