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Friday, April 20, 2018

Sat. Morning Market April 21st and Green Thumb Festival April 28/29, 2018

We are back on the Blog !  This Spring has already been super busy for us and all  our fellow nursery friends with busy markets and Spring Plant shows. And of course, the Big Mama of all Shows, the Green Thumb Festival, here in St. Pete is coming up next weekend, April 28th and 29th !!

While we prepare for the Green Thumb Festival, we don't ignore our home base of the Saturday Morning Market and still bring a full gorgeous load every week, and this Saturday, April 21st is no exception.  Coming to the market can help you get a jump on some great Spring and Summer plants - let's talk about them !

Hollyhocks - a customer favorite, these tropical Hocks are a sturdy perennial here in Florida, giving great interest to any garden and self-seeding. Perfect for 1/2 day sun, in a pot or in-ground, they bring smiles to everyone.

Right now, we have them in Pink at Market - at Green Thumb, we will  have Pink, Purple, Apricot and Crimson.

Who doesn't love Gardenias ? Right now in stock, we have the stunning "Miss Aimee", known for having one of the largest blooms of it's kind.  Super sweet smelling with dark foliage, she is a stunner.

Loving our sun and warm weather, Diplodenias just bloom their heart out for months and months going into Fall.  People love to wrap them around mailboxes, on fences, carport supports etc.  Easy care for any gardener.

Foxgloves (Digitalis) makes a strong statement in any garden and the bees go nuts for them !

Everybody loves Lavender, right ? A peaceful fragrance emanating from the foliage and beautiful color makes this a favorite.

One of our favorites for shady areas on porches or hanging under trees is the unusual "Miranda" Nepenthese (pitcher plant). The Miranda grows large pitchers, that captures pesky bugs and feeds on them. A once a week splash over the plant and filling the pitchers keeps this going easily.

Another great low-light plant is the Fiddle Leaf Ficus plant. Very popular as a house or office plant as it doesn't mind low light, doesn't need much watering and always looks fresh and tropical.

And of course, we have hundreds and hundreds of mini Succulents and Cacti every week. Each and every plant is hand picked by Mitch and I for it's beauty and healthiness and we are always striving to bring fresh and new varieties to our customers !

This is all just a small assortment of the plants we bring to Market every week, and of course, next weekend at Green Thumb Festival, where we always have one of the largest booth displays there, we will have thousands of plants to choose from.

Here's the scoop:
Sat. April 21st - Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete

Sat/Sun April 28 and 29th - Green Thumb Festival, Walter Fuller Park, west side of St. Pete.

Sat. May 5th, we return to Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete

Keep checking in with us about more great info for the Green Thumb Festival coming up !

Mitch Armstrong Nursery is a licensed Tropical Plant nursery with the state of Florida.
We do not have a retail location, but you can find us weekly at 
Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete and Spring Plant Shows around the state

Mitch Armstrong, Owner
Annie Sprague, Nursery Manager


Friday, March 2, 2018

Spring Show and Market schedule March through May 2018

Greetings all, Mother Nature seems to have decided to turn quickly to a very warm Spring/Summer mood but we are ready for it !

We wanted to share with you our upcoming Spring Plant shows info, plus continued happenings at market, plus, we have great new plant offerings.

First, this weekend, Sat. March 3rd, the whole of Sat. Morning Market moves temporarily to Williams Park, because of the Grand Prix car race rep. All vendors will be present in the park and surrounding streets. You can find Armstrong Nursery right at the front and center corner of 3rd street and 1st avenue North..yup, we will be "on" the street !

Here's a pic from last year.....

We had a great time last year and anticipate another fun day and the weather is going to be gorgeous !

Next week, the Market is completely closed because of the Car Race but luckily we are staying busy as we head over to Leu Botanical Gardens in Orlando for their annual Spring Plant festival.  Leu is one of our favorite shows and, favorite gardens. It's an easy one tank trip from the Tampa Bay area, and, free admittance to the park all weekend, which is quite a savings.

Let's catch up on plants, and then I will give your our complete Spring Market and Show schedule:

We are slowly getting back into stock with Passion Vines and have lovely Lady Margaret back in stock

We are back in stock with Bougainvilleas, including the "Miss Pixie" which is the dwarf thornless type.

Epidendrum orchid is one of the easiest orchids to grow and they love sunshine and warmth and are blooming profusely right now.

Fiddle Leaf Ficus is one of our favorite plants and everyone is always looking for them.  A terrific house or office plant, its easy to care for and quite dramatic. We have them in short 3 gallons and also in taller 10 gallon pots.

In addition to usual wide selection of Succulents and Cacti, we have started to bring some very rare Thai hybrid Desert Roses, like this one depicted.  Most of them are double flowers, and many have variegated coloring !

We are also back in stock with the popular String of Pearls !!!

This is just some of the goodies we will have at coming Market Days as well as our Spring shows....speaking of, here's our schedule:

March 2 - Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete at Williams Park
March 10 & 11th - Leu Gardens Spring Plant Festival, Orlando, FL
March 17 - Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete
March 24 - Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete
March 31 - Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete

April 6-8 - Spring Plant Festival at Tropiflora Nursery, Sarasota FL
April 7 & 8th -Spring Festival, historic downtown Winter Garden, FL
April 14 -  Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete
April 21 - Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete
April 28 & 29 - Green Thumb Festival, Walter Fuller Park, St. Pete

May 5th through May 19th - Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete
May 26 - Garden Jubilee, Hendersonville, N. Carolina

Note: Summer Market at Williams park begins May 2nd, but we will miss the first Saturday, but will start up full time for the summer June-Aug on June 9th.

Hope to see you at our Home base market as well as some of the Spring Plant Sales !

Mitch Armstrong Nursery is a licensed Tropical Plant nursery with the state of Florida.
We do not have a retail location, but you can find us weekly at 
Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete, and various Spring Plant festivals around the state

Mitch Armstrong, Owner
Annie Sprague, Nursery Manager


Friday, February 9, 2018

Celebrating Valentines Day at Markets this weekend

Greetings all, you will find Mitch Armstrong Nursery at 2 events this weekend:

First, we will be at our homebase of the Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete, on Saturday from 9am-2pm.

On Sunday, we will be participating with the Sunday Morning Market at Safety Harbor market.  Also, that day at Safety Harbor, the "Shabby Chic" Pop Up Market will be all along Main Street right next to the Park and gazebo area.  So you will have hundreds of vendors to visit and check out their products ! Because of the 2 events, the markets hours will be extended - see below for their advertisement:

Tampa Bays most unique shopping event the Shabby Chic Vintage Market & Artisan Day returns to Safety Harbor on Main Street on February 11, 2018. 10am-4pm. There'll be DIY Workshops, Paint Demos, and 100+ artisans. Items offered will be Shabby Chic Items, Plants & Yard Art, Home Decor, vintage & antiques and more! 
Free admission and free parking

So, this weekend at both Markets, you can find some beautiful Valentines Gifts for yourselves and those you cherish around you. It is warming up fast in our area and the plants are all doing beautifully.

This "Red Success" dwarf Anthurium is one of our most popular sellers, and it's the perfect color for Valentines Day.

A dwarf, from Holland, only grows to about 12 inches. Loving low light, it's the perfect plant for homes/offices or your porches, patios and shade gardens.

Another great selection for Valentines Day is the beautiful Calla Lily.  Just like the Anthurium above, it loves the same conditions.

For your landscape needs, the Bougainvilleas are thriving.  They are on trellises that give them support - plant them on their own, or plant the trellised pot next to a fence or arbor.  Loving Sun and warmth, they give great color all year long.

We have striking Epidendrum Orchids in stock - this is one of the easiest orchids to grown, whether in-ground, or in pots.

We have them in 1 & 3 gallon containers and they are all loaded with blooms and buds.

One of the few orchids that is sun-loving, its a great all around plant.

This Orange Paintbrush (Birbidgea) specimen is a darling - the bright orange flowers slowly open, ending with a spectacular display.  Loving bright shade, this can be grown in shade gardens, or as a house plant.

Duranta, aka, Sapphire Showers,  is a winner in any garden.  A butterfly lover, it blooms on and off all year round and is very hardy.  You can grow it as a smallish tree, or bush, and it makes a beautiful display against fences and arbors.

We are happily stocked back up with a wide selection of Mini Succulents and Cacti.  You will only find just a variety with us and remember, every single plant is hand picked by myself and Mitch, for its beauty and healthiness.

We are fully in stock with a wide selection of Tilandsias (Air Plants) and our super helper, Susan is right on the spot to inform you about it's growth habits and care.

The Air Plants we have, again, are hand picked. These plants come from Central and South America, and offer bright blooming color all the time. We have a great selection of shells that you can "house" them in.

All these, and much much more, are at Markets this weekend so we hope you can come out to see them - It is going to gorgeous weather, and a good time to get fresh air and enjoy the community around you !

Mitch Armstrong Nursery is a licensed Tropical Plant nursery with the state of Florida.
We do not have a retail location, but you can find us weekly at 
Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete

Mitch Armstrong, Owner
Annie Sprague, Nursery Manager


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Time to warm up for Market Day

Warm Greetings all !  At least we hope it's warmer by the time you see this !

All of us experienced some unseasonably cold weather this week and we know everyone has been concerned about their garden plants. Let's face it, some of it may have got zapped...probably some it won't make it...probably some WILL  revive !  So no matter how ugly your plant(s) look, "now" is not the time to cut back/clean up, you have to have patience :)

Here at my house in NE St. Pete, it got down to at least 30 degrees for several hours, as documented by the quickly acquired temp thermometer purchased at last moment.  My home nursery probably looks a lot like many of yours...every sheet and blanket used to cover things, not to mention, small entrances placed so that neighborhood kitties could find a warm cozy place out of the elements.

Fun fact: During these times when we see ourselves and our neighbors all using sheets etc, it is like a walk of history for all of us, showing the history of the many sheet sets we all have had over the years -  From the single sheets of our college-age dorm kids, to the original wedding gift sheet sets that were washed to an inch of their life and now tear so easily if you just look at them..... to the colorful ones from the hippy sixties (yes, I have a sheet with peace signs on it) to the mix-matched stuff we pick up at Goodwill. I personally think the more colorful the better..its kinda like decorating your outside house post-Christmas.

Many plants, if they were well established in the soil, will be fine, once the more-consistent warm weather returns early March.  Plants amaze us all the time at their resilience, either in cold, heat, lots of rain, no rain etc so don't give up, you may be surprised.

That being said, obviously there was serious protection issues at my home nursery here in St. Pete, jut like yours and yes, spent lots of time putting up tarps, sheets and boxes up and around the things that really needed protection. And just like you, ugh, will all spend a ton of time taking it all down and putting things back.....just remember, we still have the rest of January and Feb to get through, so don't pack those sheets away yet.

The things  "reallllly" wanting  protection ?? Well, of course that would be the hundreds and hundreds of mini succulents and cacti that are brought to market each week.  Those babies all got boxed up and have been sitting calmly inside the house, awaiting fresh air tomorrow when the load for market starts. 

What else was done? Well, the "rare and special" hanging plants found temp homes hanging on  indoor rods over the washer and bathroom. Approximately 100.25249 old Air Plants that usually hang from my old grapefruit tree out front were taken down and they were cozied in boxes too.  Air Plants slated for market sit quite prettily atop the succulent boxes inside the house, which makes for some fun temporary house decor and I can ignore the dusting for a bit longer.

Since there is not a greenhouse here at my home nursery,  the front porch was turned into a temp green house with hundreds of other specimens huddled on the porch, with sheets and the market banners hung along the roof line as wind protection.  You do what you gotta do ! Just had to remember to pull down one sheet quickly this morning to let the mailman thorough.

Don't forget during times like this to think about the outside critters - yes, doing what could be done to provide protection for feral kitties, and keeping fresh water in the birdbath is important (even if you had to hack thru the ice this morning).  Feeding the birds - I have one feeding station hanging outside the office window - nothing fancy, a flat wood plank hanging from the branch of the Bougainvillea tree - this morning I noticed constant stream of birds to it, hacking at the very last of the suet square I buy at Ace hardware. Birds need the nutrition during winter, especially when dealing with colder temps and the feed gives them energy and internal warmness.  Other than staying inside today swabbed with my favorite housecoat, I did make quick trip to Ace to get new ones..they are cheap (less than $2) and easy to use..if you don't have a feeder, just unzip the plastic square and put it out in the yard, preferably on a surface off the ground and our Bird friends will be very appreciated.

Anyhoo, wow, sorry to go so long here..think I am suffering stuck-inside-house mode !  So, tomorrow the warming trend starts and come Market day on Saturday, the Armstrong Nursery crew will be back in shorts and working on our tans. Please come out and see us at Market and support us and the many farmers and artisans that work so hard to bring you great product during sometimes-tough-Winter days.

Here's the scoop:

Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete  for more info and directions.
Market hours 9am-2pm
Armstrong Nursery booth is located on the very East (back) row of market, right across from the fabulous Hot Cuban booth !


Mitch Armstrong Nursery is a licensed Tropical Plant nursery with the state of Florida.
We do not have a retail location, but you can find us weekly at 
Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete

Mitch Armstrong, Owner
Annie Sprague, Nursery Manager


Friday, January 12, 2018

EZ plants for Winter time in Florida

Greetings all and a belated Happy New Years.

Now that we have some technical issues squared away on the website, we are finally able to do the first post of the New Year 2018 !

We had some super markets over the Holiday season and the first of new year brought continued great business.

Customers love the offerings of the colorful South American Air Plants, and of course, our Mini Succulents and Cacti business continues to be very popular.

Of course, this new year has brought some cold weather to the region. We are lucky here in Pinellas County, that due to our mini peninsula being surrounded by water, that our temps have not been super damaging to the plant crops and landscaping.  Our philosophy is that if a plant is showing damage, we basically leave them alone until Spring time. Many plants will re-energize then, and come early spring, that is the best time to do your pruning and clean up.

Many things that we have in stock right now can be easily protected during extreme cold weather times by either bringing indoors, or placing in garages or under roofed patios etc !

We are back in stock with the beautiful "String of Pearls" which is very popular with our customers.    This great succulent will thrive indoors and out and just doesn't like to be kept too wet, like most succulents.

If you have a small pot or hanging basket, the Pearls will do great in, allowing them room to cascade down.

Just keep them out of children and pet's mouths !

Among our shade garden plant offerings, the Orange Paintbrush Ginger continues to bloom like mad. Again, indoor or out, it will thrive and blooms off and on all year long.  It is a clumper, and it's easy to tease apart stem pieces to start new plants or share with your favorite fellow gardener friend.

The dwarf Red Success Anthurium continues to be one of ours, and our customers favorites, especially as a House Plant.  The blooms last for months, and are always putting up new shoots.  It's definitely one of the top EZ care House plants you can ever have and it makes a great gift too.

The lovely Citronella geranium is back in stock and now is a great time to get one (or two) established in the ground or in pots by your patio to give you great aroma plus skeeter protection !

We also have Gray Lavender plant in stock - another great aromatic, loves the cold, and will be blooming soon with purple flowers galore.

Our popular Cedar Birdhouses flew out the booth at Holiday time and now we are back in stock with fresh ones.  Each one is hand made and no two are alike and they are made of fresh Cedar wood and Barnwood, decorated with Pinecones, Moss and grape vines.

You can't beat the smell of fresh Cedar wood, and it's a very tough wood, that will endure just fine in your outside gardens and patios.

Also back in stock, the very popular Burro's Tail Sedum.

These make a spectacular statement when put in a hanging basket or tall planter and everyone just loves the look of growth habit of them.

All of these, plus More will be with us at Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete, our home base every week.  Market runs rain or shine, hot or cold !  Here's the scoop:

Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete  for more info and directions.
Market hours 9am-2pm
Armstrong Nursery booth is located on the very East (back) row of market, right across from the fabulous Hot Cuban booth !


Mitch Armstrong Nursery is a licensed Tropical Plant nursery with the state of Florida.
We do not have a retail location, but you can find us weekly at 
Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete

Mitch Armstrong

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Happy New Years..a recap 2017

Happy New Years All ! this is a good time to recap our, we rejoice in it all. Before we get to some great pics, yup, we will be at Saturday Morning Market this weekend with our usual great stuff. And, we have to thank so many people that continue to support us, we could  not do this without you all so our hearts are so thankful for you all....

The original Armstrong Nursery and Mitch with Rickie Oliver, Rickie forever in our hearts...

Tilandsias..aka Air Plants..a customer favorite, and we are so grateful for the local growers that supply us with these beauties...

The joy of our home base at Saturday Morning Market, downtown St.'s  our store, so to speak of, and every Saturday we basically set up a garden center for 6 hours,and have all sorts of visitors ! This market is our heart, our home base for 15 years,, has given us so much, and for 8 months of the year, this is where our Saturdays are at....

Mini Succulents and Cacti, now a major part of our business, all hand picked after hours and hours at our trusted grower every week...we have a passion for these and they have truly been a wonder for gardeners of all ages...

On a personal note,  we lost 2 of our home kitties who have graced our lives for so long...

Baby Girl

Miss Lilly

And, we met a new friend, Miss Becky Blitch, with her trusted guide dog, Aki, who started a new part of her life, at Thrill Hill market, which Annie started, with her handcrafted arts..we love her, and she is our inspiration....Thrill Hill Market was started to give a voice to those who had a dream to make Art in their lives and enable them to grow their talents  and inspirations and make a living at it......Becky's talent has proved true and we are so happy she is able to continue working on her dream on her Etsy site as well as local shows, and her Artistic efforts continue to make an impact on so many lives. 

My personal talisman, "Breathe"...I keep it right by my side, to remind me everyday .....Becky hand lettered this on a piece of bark...a remarkable woman who inspires me every moment of the day...

This year, we've had other friends going through tough times, so we encouraged them, and are inspired by their resilience....

And we suffered the loss of Mitch's beloved brother (at left), Marshall, who bravely battled a great battle of cancer to the end, we will miss him so.

And as family goes on, Mitch's first great grand daughter, Charlotte Luna, has graced our lives this year,  a new beginning ....

We've had great plant festival shows where we could share them with family...

And others, when we exalted at the finish of them (Leu gardens in Orlando)

We were lucky to have some down time when on the road at a show, here in N.  Carolina, to spend some good time by a river and a fire...

We got to visit some of our favorite local grower friends, who we depend on to bring you goodies...

We battled a hurricane, putting all of our precious into the trailer, while...

While our neighbors (pictured here, Billy of "The Burg Restaurant" ) used our garden lattice to secure his windows..we all looked out after one another and were grateful that we came through with little damage.

We battled rainy days at market this past summer, when we really could not set up, and thus, no income that weekend so we got creative with the foods in our cabinets...

Had a blessed weekend at Green Thumb Festival in the Spring, these times are to truly rejoice...and get us through the summer...filling our cabinets  (see above)

Somehow, we still cling together, keeping our Little Nursery That Could going....through all the flowers, the plants, the work, the markets and the shows, the economy, the vehicle breakdowns,  and the weather that challenges us all,  with the help of our treasured crew of Susan, Larry and Jeremy, and the support of our customers, we are hanging in there....

Happy New Years All, we are grateful for our lives, and yours.