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Friday, July 28, 2017

Medinilla Orchid is Magnificent ! July 28, 2017

Greetings all, we are about half way through summer here in Tampa Bay and with all this rain we have been getting, the nursery garden continues to explode with color and growth.  Many of our customers have been asking for House Plants and/or plants that thrive in bright shady areas outdoors and we have some great options :

This time of year, the beautiful Medinilla Orchid (Medinilla myriantha), aka Malaysian Orchid plant just explodes with color.

With deep, thick green leaves, this produces the most interesting starts very small and very light pink, then continues to grow larger and the color turns to dark pink. The bloom looks like little clusters of pink grapes !

Loving warmth and humidity, and liking to be on the dry side, it works great in a bright shady area outdoors, and can be grown as a house plant too.

Typically only growing 3-4 feet, it's a great plant for a small area that won't take over other foliage.

Another option is the White Bird of Paradise - Most of you know them from seeing very large specimens in gardens, but it actually will do quite well, kept on the small size, in containers, indoors and out.

With the lovely tropical foliage, White Birds are very easy to maintain and require very little care once they are  nestled in their containers.  Indoors, a little dusting of the leaves helps once in while. The baby Birds (1 gallon) are very popular with our student customers for their dorms, and for many customers for inside their homes and offices.

Red Anthuriums are another excellent choice for House and office plants.

The species we carry is the Dwarf Holland Anthurium, only getting about 12 inches high, and requiring very little water.  The blooms look very waxy and keep their color for months, and it is always putting up new shoots.

We have a great selection of Tillandsias (Air Plants) right now that will fit right into your home, office and porches and Air plants work great placed in Shells, which provides support but of course, does not hold water:

Air Plants do need a good watering once a week but other than that, they do not need soil or fancy pots etc in order to display and enjoy them.

At Market, we do have a nice selection of shells, and of course, most of us have shells collected over the years, so it's a very economical way to have plants and not spend a fortune !

And of course, we can't forget our favorite mini plants, that is, Mini Succulents and Cacti that are so low maintenance, and again, needing very little water and you can display them a thousand different ways (Google "Succulents" and you will see what I mean !)

Our summer Market days at Williams Park continue to be a bit challenging with rain, but it's never shut us down completely, so we are there, rain or shine, for our loyal customers.

Summer Market will continue every Saturday, from 9am-1pm till the end of August, so come on down and check it out if you haven't been there, and for those who frequent the Market, we and all our vendor friends are very appreciative of your support !

Williams Park Summer Market
Williams Park is bordered by 3rd and 4th streets north, between 1st and 2nd avenue north.  Plenty of parking in surrounding areas, either on-street or nearby parking garage. Every week you will find fresh fruit and vegetables, Organic eggs and Milk, Yummy treats to eat on-site as well as take home, and of course, Hey Plant Man Armstrong Nursery, located on the Northeast side of the park.

Every Saturday, 9am,-1pm, rain or shine !
Summer Market runs through to the end of August.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Air Plants - Easy Gardening ! July 20 2017

Greetings all and July is whizzing by us fast.

We know it's hot out there and most people are not in the mood to be planting major things right now, so we have two great alternatives !

 We have back in stock some beautiful specimens of various species of Air Plants (aka Tillandsias), and no digging of holes is required !

Most of you know of the native Air Plants you may see up in your trees - they are cool, but not all that colorful.

That's why we concentrate on different types from Central and South America - all very interesting in their own way, all shapes and size, and very, very colorful.

 Air Plants are so cool because you can do almost anything with them, because they do not require soil, or fancy pots, or digging in the hot summer days.

Many of our customers use them in Shells, attach to driftwood, put in water-less containers - there is thousand different ways to display them.

A good watering or heavy spritzing once a week does them good, and they will continue to thrill you as the Mother plants will put out babies who keep doing the job of keeping the plant going, and providing new color.

Another alternative is our favorites, mini succulents and cacti, and we are back from a hunting trip with hundreds of new, fresh specimens, and we always look to have the uncommonly found ones.

Whether you like them spiky, yet soft....

or even spikier....

or soft and colorful.....

We have loads of possibilities for you to add to existing succulent and cactus gardens/pots, or leave them in their little pots and line your windowsills for a dramatic little piece of plant heaven in your homes or offices.

We had great no-rain day at Market last weekend, and amazing crowds, and it looks to be the same this Saturday so come on out and stop by at Williams Park Saturday Morning Market and check out our little Garden of Eden at Market, and don't forget you can get your fresh produce, fantastic cheeses, and breads, great things to eat there, and things to take home !

And don't forget, if you can't make Market day, feel free to contact us to set up an appointment in St. Pete during the week for your plant buying needs.

Thank you for continuing to support our little nursery and supporting the local market scene !

Annie & Mitch
July 20, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

Williams Park Summer Market continues

Greetings all and hope you are having a great summer and keeping cool !

Summer Market at Williams Park continues, every Saturday Morning from 9am-1pm, rain or shine, and yes, we have had some rain lately but have had amazing customers come out in inclement weather to support us.

Our Mini Succulents and  Cacti continue to be hugely popular at market, and every week, we have 400 plus mini plants to choose from, so you can always start, or keep adding to your collection.

Mini plants are a great option to do some easy gardening during the heat of our summer. Being very tolerant of our heat and humidity, just keep them out of direct sun and water only once every 2-3 weeks.

They are a great way to dress up a windowsill or sunny room in your home or office, or put them out on the patio to enjoy.

We still have some gorgeous, huge Bleeding Heart Hanging baskets.

They bloom in sun or shade and love the heat of the day.

Our Yellow Lipstick Hanging baskets are all coming into full bloom and the bright yellow color really packs a punch in the garden, or as a house plant.

So, come on down to Summer Market, and get all the goodies you know and love from one of the best local markets around.

Williams Park Market is located at 1st avenue North , between 3rd and 4th streets, and there is plenty of street parking around.  You will find a huge display of produce, local food products, artisans, plants and live music to enjoy.

Mitch Armstrong Nursery is a licensed Nursery with the State of Florida.  
We do not have a retail location - our Home is Local Markets around the area
Keep track of our schedule on this blog
Contact us at or 727-742-9265

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer Market weekend June 24th-Taking Pride in our City

This weekend at Williams Park Summer Market should be a really fun one with our city celebrating the Pride Festival with tons of things going on downtown St. Pete.

We love the diversity of our town and we are happy to celebrate in that diversity and the joy, the hard work, the efforts of so many people that contribute to our Big Little city (as I call it!), as we all continue to strive to get along, support one another and flourish.

So, lets talk plants, cuz that's a universal language !

You know we love to search out plants, new plants, unusual plants, interesting growers who are doing their own thing on a small scale (I think you know by now, big, large growers, the ones that supply big box stores..the ones that really don't care about the plants, they are only putting it there for you to buy  the other pricy garden stuff....ok, enough ranting..but its true)....

Anyhoo, when we "buy" plants, it is important to us that we work with people who are like-minded..they are small businesses just like us, and they are dependant on people like us to survive..and our deal, we want to hand select. Now, I will preface this by saying, yes, once in a while, we go work with one large nursery (in the spring time), that grows wonderful colorful perennials that are popular with our customers, but 99% of the time, you are getting plants from us that we have hand selected..we spend loads of time on the road searching them out, and we spent loads of time in nurseries, going from greenhouse to greenhouse looking for the best and the healthiest...basically, this is what we love, this is what makes us tick, this is who we are.

So, when a customer comes up with a particular succulent or cacti, or a hanging basket, or a blooming vine, we recognize each and every's personal, we know every plant and we have selected it just for you !

So, forgive me for getting off the this week, we found a wonderful nursery that grows gorgeous Begonias and Lipstick Plants..they are their "thing" and they put tons of time and love into them and boy, we had a great time picking some out for you, our customer ! And, this weekend at market, you will see the beauties we found for you.

Image result for yellow lipstick plants

Image result for orange lipstick hanging baskets

And, we found some gorgeous varigated Begonias....excellent house and porch plants, to die for !

And less we forget, the heart and soul of our operation, fantastic Mini Succulents and Cacti

So, we hope you get down to Market this weekend, downtown St. Pete...we set up around 8am and stay while customers are still there up to 2pm. And while you are there, check out all the awesome shops and restaurants and Pride Happenings this weekend.

We are thankful you shop Local, we are incredibly grateful that you support Local, thank you for supporting us to keep on doing what we are doing !

Here's the scoop:

Williams Park Summer Market
Downtown St. Pete
Bordered by 3rd and 4th streets north between 1st and 2nd Avenue south
Parking: lots of street parking and there are cheap parking garages right near by
50 Plus vendors - Produce, specialty food products, artisans and plants
Live music, shade under the Old Oak Trees - Safe environment
Market hours 9am-1pm (but we stay open later if you are still there !)

Happy Pride, Happy Gardening, Come visit Mitch and I and our community market family.

Mitch Armstrong Nursery

Monday, June 12, 2017

Desert Rose Rarities !

Greetings, we just wanted to let everyone know we have some acquired some rare grafted Desert Rose varieties and we can't wait to share them with our customers !

Yes, that's a Yellow Desert Rose !!

You can find us all summer long at the Downtown St. Pete
Williams Park Summer Market, Market hours 9am-1pm.

Can't make Market? Give us a shout by phone or email to arrange an appointment:

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Williams Park Summer Market Time !

Greetings all, It's Time for Summer Market !

This time of year, lots of us vendors move to Williams Park, downtown St. Pete for the Summer Market season June through August.

The park is a lovely location downtown, with towering shady Oaks, winding walkways and you can still find great Produce, Food products, Artisans, Live Music and us, the Plant Vendor !

Summer Market hours are 9am-1pm, rain or shine (except if it starts lightning, then we head for shelter!). You can find Armstrong Nursery on the NE corner of the market at 2nd avenue and 3rd street North. We will have a convenient pick up point for your plant purchases if needed, very close by.

During the Summer Market, we will continue to bring you Unusual Exotics, Butterfly Friendly plants, Desert Rose, Landscape Plants and of course, our popular Mini Succulents and Cacti.

Summer Market is a great time to strut out some of Mitch's favorite rare plants from his private nursery. One of Mitch's favorite plants is amusingly called the "Sharktooth Cactus" Hanging Basket.

A fragrant night bloomer, she has long legs draping down from the pot with unique sharktooth-like petals.

Another unique specimen we have is the Rare "Superbum" Staghorn fern. It's uniqueness is from the way it grows. I "borrowed" the 1st pic from Pinterest as we do not have that large of a specimen to show, but you can see how it grows up and down...very cool !

One of the newest succulents we have been carrying its the "Tiger Jaw" Succulent (Faucaria tigrina) which is Annie's current favorite addiction!  A clumper, she doesn't grow very high, but multiplies outward and has an amazingly huge yellow flower.

The flowering happens mid to late afternoon into early evening and we have observed it reflowering for up to 4 days in a row before it is spent. Once that flower is spent, it immediately goes in to forming new clump and new buds.  Contrary to some information on the web that says it will not flower on a shady day, it has been our experience, it will, even going as far as us opening a closed box that contained it, that was in full bloom.  The uniqueness of its petals and the "teethlike" ends (which are very soft) just makes this an exciting succulent. We try and have specimens for you that do have buds ready to open or are near to it. (Annie's note: most succulent do not put a huge bloom, this is the Exception..she's gorgeous !)

What else ? You just gotta come see us ! Thanks for supporting us and all our vendor friends as we aim to work hard and be there for our supportive customers as we continue to survive, in our own way.

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
Mitch Armstrong & Annie Sprague