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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
marketannie@aol.com


727-542-9951




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
www.saturdaymorningmarket.com  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
marketannie@aol.com


727-542-9951





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
www.saturdaymorningmarket.com  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
marketannie@aol.com
727-542-9951

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Happy New Years..a recap 2017

Happy New Years All ! this is a good time to recap our year...plants..business..family, 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 family.....me 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. Pete....it'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.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Almost Christmas - Market Sat. Dec. 23rd, 2017 Happenings



It's the countdown to Christmas Day and you can find some great last minute gifts at Saturday Morning Market this Sat. Dec. 23rd, from 9am-2pm!


Among the hundreds of vendors there, you can find some great food items for your holiday cooking, as well as specialty food items to gift to others.

Not to mention, the market has wonderful local artisans that offer very unique items that will make anyone happy.  Also, if you just can't decide, or you are not sure of what to get for those special people in your life, a Market Gift Certificate is the perfect choice. You can find them at the Market Booth, right next to the ATM, right off the big seating/musical stage area.

And of course, Armstrong Nursery will have some beautiful plants and garden items that make the perfect gift for the gardeners in your lives.

First, Annie was able to get back in stock some beautiful little plant pots that fit our Mini 3 inch succulents and cacti perfectly !



One of our most popular recent offerings is the gorgeous Orange Paintbrush Ginger, and we have some left that are just blooming their hearts out


Another great little plant that everyone has been clamoring for, is back - the lovely String of Pearls


Everyone loves the Sharks Tooth Cactus in the Hanging Baskets


Of course, for the Bird lovers in your life, our unique Cedar Bird Houses are the 
perfect gift






We are also back in stock with hundreds of Mini succulents and Cacti and new exotics that are sure to put a smile on your face.

Please join us at this special Pre-Christmas Market day !

Saturday Morning Market
www.saturdaymorningmarket.com
Downtown St. Petersburg, FL
Al Lang Field Parking Lot
1st Avenue South at 1st street
Free entrance to market
Live Music on Stage
Hundreds of Vendors
Market hours 9am - 2pm

You can find ARMSTRONG NURSERY on the very back (East Row) of Market every week

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mitch Armstrong Nursery is a licensed Tropical Plant Nursery with the State of Florida.
We do not have a retail location, our "home" is the Saturday Morning Market, downtown 
St. Petersburg, FL, every weekend.

Contact:
Mitch Armstrong
heyplantman1@juno.com
727-542-9951





Friday, December 15, 2017


Greetings all, and we just want to say, we need 8 days a week, haha, the time just goes so darn fast so here we are late blogging for this week, but it's worth it, promise !

Yes, so, at left, beautiful South American Tillandsia that thrives on our home porch, and as you asked us, yes, we have Tillandsias (Air plants) Big time this weekend at market, and they are all showing glorious holiday colors, so don't miss out. We also have some very coooool shells, that can be great homes for these babies.
Look for our resident Super Helper, Susan, to teach, inform and get you excited about Air plants !

Last Saturday at market was a wild and wooly day...a bit of sun, a bit of clouds, a bit of rain and a Lot of Wind, phew, but we all managed to make it through the day and are so grateful for the thousands of customers who still turned out. 

The new Super Hot Pink Poinsettia went flying out of our booth along with our gorgeous Xmas Cactus, and we are restocked for this weekend, yeah !












Also, last weekend, on Sunday, we had a great time at the Largo Botanical Gardens in Largo for their annual Holiday plant sale and practically sold out, and, so many people were happy for us to turn them onto the Garden Seasonal Garden Light show that goes on till the end of the year.   If you get a night to do, highly recommend..the garden is not so huge, that it is a great time for all ages to enjoy and not wear out your feet !  And it is user friendly to all ages..the paths are lit brightly so easy to keep an eye on the youngins as well as plenty of room for your party, even if including wheelchairs, they go the extra mile to make it a wonderful experience for all.

So, one of the plants we highlighted last week, the Orange Paint Brush Ginger, got lots of oohs and aahs and comments and were picked up quickly. We have a few left, still budding, so come to market to get this treasure.



See that plant on the lower right of the pic? This plant is also a winner in our mind for shade gardens and indoors, kinda called a weird name, "Rattlesnake" Calathea, and it became more widely available a few years ago, and it's a staple with us...slow growing, only gets about 18", with wavy spots on the foliage, it's a showstopper and in our experience, one of the coolest low light plants we have seen in a long time.












One of both of ours new favorites is "Kalenchoe synsepala"     This cutie has such marvelous coloring around the edges and puts out 6-8 inch long straight shoots of new babies.  And, it's not "pokey" ie, won't hurt your fingers, a big plus in our world !










These are just a few highlights of plants at our market this Saturday, along with colorful Bougainvillea and other goodies, and, another great thing.....



Back, by popular demand, we have gorgeous Cedar Birdhouses..the perfect gift for yourself or the gardener in your life.

Each birdhouse is unique, made of Cedar and Barnwood, decorated with moss,  Pine cones and grapevines, they are beautiful and useful, Birds will use them !!

We have to go a very long way to get these beauties hand made by a secret super-woodworker, but we know they are worth it.








Don't forget..yes, it's the holidays, but for us, like all nurseries, the work never stops and we will continue to bring you great plants and decor that will make your holidays shine, as well, keep your gardens going all winter long.

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

Can't make market? We are available for any last minute holiday gift ideas, as well as on-going plant wishes, just email or call us to make a private appointment at our private home nursery in Northeast St. Pete.
marketannie@aol.com
heyplantman1@juno.com
727-542-9951
727-742-9265

Happy Holidays !


Friday, December 8, 2017

Dec Happenings-Market and Largo Botanical Show this weekend

It's Holiday Time !!!! Whether you celebrate Christmas, or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, we support and celebrate all within our families, friends and customers. 

We are excited about the month of December, because we get to offer our customers some pretty cool stuff that we normally don't have, plus more more exotic and rare stuff !

So, first thing, Holiday time, and it's Poinsettia time, but, we usually do not carry them because they are located at every box store, every street corner etc, but we could NOT resist a couple of NEW hybrids that are available now, and not widely available....that saying, you will love the new Hot Pink Poinsettia as well as the "Baby Pink" poinsettia...both are just drop dead gorgeous.



Also, we will have some Christmas Cactus plants finally available. Between Hurricane Irma and other factors, some big-time growers lost their entire crops this year, so there has been a scramble, locally, to find these and we were lucky to get a hold of some just for you.

This weekend brings a cool front to our area with some rain Friday night, but we are confident the storm will be over first thing Saturday Morning and we will set up at Sat. Morning Market, downtown St. Pete, and we think the clearing skies and the cooler temps will put a liveliness to all our steps. !

Besides Market on Saturday, this Sunday, we will be set up at Florida Botanical Gardens, in Largo. This yearly holiday plant show coincides with their Celebration of Lights in the Gardens for the month.  The plant show will have 40 plus plant and garden decor vendors, and it's a great time to come for the show, and stay to enjoy the lights ! The plant show runs 9am-4pm on Sunday.

I wanted to highlight a couple of other special plants we have this weekend:


yes, this is the terrific "Bat Plant", aka Tacca, and you usually see this more around Halloween time, but ours are still budding and blooming !


This beautiful Orange Paint Brush Ginger is a winner for shade gardens and porches and patios. One of the few Gingers that does not go completely dormant in winter, the unique blooms slowly open into a bright orange glaze glory.


Our large Bougainvillea baskets are always very popular - they love the cooler weather - and we also have the Miss Pixie, dwarf varigated thorn-less bougainvillea too !






These are just some highlights of what we have in stock right now - we got tons more of great landscape plants for sun, as well as lots of great plants for shade gardens and homes and offices, and of course, we Always have a fresh assortment of hundreds of Mini Succulents and Cacti.

Here's the scoop:
Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete
Al Lang Field Parking Lot
Every Saturday 9am-2pm
Free admission, live music, lots of nearby parking

Sunday, Dec. 10th
Holiday Plant and Garden Show
Florida Botanical Gardens
12520 Ulmerton Rd, Largo, FL 33774
Show hours 9am-4pm
Stay after for the incredible lights in the Garden !

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mitch Armstrong Nursery is a licensed Plant Nursery in the state of Florida.
We do not have a retail site - our Home Base is the Saturday Morning Market, downtown St. Pete

Keep up with us all the time - sign up for our Email (we do not share it with anyone!)
Mitch Armstrong
heyplantman1@juno.com
727-542-9951