Pink Mums

Mums & Fall Foliage

While some of us here at Preston’s are not ready to give up our pool days and flip-flops, we are ready to talk Chrysanthemums and the fall foliage kings! With days cooling down and nights coming sooner, your landscape is starting its seasonal change.

Here in upstate New York, we pride ourselves on our vibrant fall foliage and leaf-peeping locations, let us make your landscape one of them! Mums are such a fun explosion of color for your seasonally changing landscape, especially when they’re planted in mass plantings.

After your Daisies, Coreopsis, and most other blooms have passed, it becomes Mum season. They come in a very large variety- from colors to blossom shape to annual vs. perennial. With the dozens of kinds of Chrysanthemums to choose from, the potting arrangements are endless!

Mums are also great for window boxes and other arrangement options for you to enjoy the weeks of blooms to come. Pair your Mums with Flowering Kale, ornamental peppers, and some Purple Fountain Grass for a fun seasonal planter. Don’t forget, Mums are the perfect backdrop for your pumpkins and gourds this Fall!

There are 2 kinds of Mums that break into subcategories, they are the Florist Mum and the Hardy Mum.

Florist Mums don’t do well outside in our area- or any area that gets chilly weather. Meant to be enjoyed in our bouquets, these Mums do not have runners to protect themselves from the cold as the Hardy Mum does.

The Hardy Mum or Garden Mum is a perennial in zones 5-9 and most can tolerate a light frost at the beginning of the season. One of the most important things you can do for your new Mum is to repot it and give it a good soak afterward.

Mums tend to have very tight root balls from growing in their nursery pots in the warm greenhouses, they’ll want to stretch out a bit. Fall is a great time for planting perennials, but you do run the risk of your plant’s roots not developing enough in the new soil fast enough.

To give your Mum the best chance of surviving winter make sure you water it every other day and put it in a spot to get 6+ hours of sunshine. Mums love full sun but not the heat, which is why fall is the Chrysanthemum’s favorite season! If you’re watering your mum enough, it will prevent wilting which affects the vibrancy of your blooms.

Don’t forget to dead-head your Mums to encourage the new buds!

Time to talk about the kings of foliage that we have here in New York State!

Some of our favorites here at Preston’s start with the classic Northern Red Oak. This tree boasts dark red foliage that physically hangs on longer than the other trees in the area.

Next, we have our beloved Dogwoods, focusing especially on the Kousa and Bailey Red Twig. Dogwoods have always been known for their spring interest with all their beautiful blooms, but they also make for great fall interest too!

The foliage goes from orange to reddish-purple and the branches even don berries in the colder seasons for the birds. Some Dogwoods do have vibrant branches, the Bailey Red Twigged Dogwood or Yellow Twigged would make a beautiful contrast to the bleaker winter/fall landscapes.

If you’re looking for a pop of gold in your landscape- look no further than the Birch Tree. Most of these trees come with an added bonus- a fun textured bark that looks great in landscaping and your home!

Our favorite fall foliage king is the Japanese Maple or Acer Palm. With so many foliage texture variations and color variations, how could this not be a fan favorite? Their lacey foliage ranges from light green to gold to even burgundy/purple. Some Japanese Maples, such as the Tamukeyama, do great in pots on your patio too.

A fresh tree planting with a sprinkling of Mums is a wonderful way to embrace the changing seasons and brighten up your landscape.

Come check out our Chrysanthemum selection and fall foliage tree selection at Preston’s Home & Garden Center in Ontario NY.


Hydrangeas & Hydrangea Trees

The hydrangea shrub and hydrangea trees are crowd favorites, especially in N.Y. and neighboring North-Eastern states.  With the spring rain and breaks in the summer heat, we have a great climate for all sorts of these deciduous shrubs.  From small to large, bold to subtle, and a large variety to pick from, the hydrangea will be a great addition to your landscape!

Hydrangeas come in an array of colors, foliage, and sizes.  They can range from creams to blues to even pinks and multicolored.  Some of our favorites are in the NEW ‘Seaside Serenade’ collection – they boast beautiful, bright blossoms on dense foliage and have longer-lasting blooms!  While color ranges on hydrangeas, so does the shape of the blossoms. 

Hydrangea blooms can go from a full cone-like shape to a more spaced-out blossom like the ‘Tiny Tuff Stuff’ hydrangea has.  Even the foliage varies on hydrangeas, going from small ovals to large oak-shaped leaves.  These shrubs come in multiple sizes as well – from dwarves at only 1.5’, like the ‘Pink Elf’, to tall trees.

Hydrangea trees are a fun way to add some height and extra color later in the summer.  With fun names like ‘Pinky-Winky’ & ‘Pee Gee’, these trees will become a focal point in your garden.  Their blossoms are dense and cone-shaped. Most are usually white, but there are hydrangea trees that have a pink hue at the ends.

These shrubs are not difficult to keep looking beautiful. They prefer well-draining soil and they don’t pay too much attention to the level of acidity.  Hydrangeas do need to be pruned.  Depending on when the buds set on your hydrangea, that will determine the best time.  Blossoms happen on the new growth of hydrangea trees – you’ll want to avoid pruning at the wrong time or you’ll interrupt your blossoms!  For some extra bright blooms on your hydrangeas, try out a bloom booster!

Purple Hibiscus Bush

Hibiscus & Rose of Sharon

Need a *POP* of color in your garden? Are you worried about a colorless garden later in the season?

Look no further than the Hibiscus or Rose of Sharon!

They are classified as deciduous shrubs but with some pruning, in the winter or early spring, you can easily get a tree shape or even a blossoming hedge. These beauties bloom later in the season after the spring and most summer blossoms are done with their display.

While you will love the array of colors, the smaller locals will appreciate them too. Rose of Sharon and Hibiscus is a fan favorite among butterflies and hummingbirds with their perfume and flashy colors.

Their blooms range all across the color wheel- blues, pinks, whites, reds, yellows, purples, and even blossoms with a mix of colors. The foliage on these shrubs can be variegated to add a little extra color- like the ‘Sugar Tip’ Rose of Sharon.

These are very tolerant shrubs- they aren’t bothered by the heat, humidity, or most pests. They actually LOVE the heat and full sun. They aren’t too picky when it comes to soil either- just make sure it drains well.

Be patient with your Hibiscus & Rose of Sharon– they are late bloomers and late to get their leaves.