Monday, November 23, 2020

Poinsettia Gallery 2020

 Mitchell's Nursery & Greenhouse

Presents:   Poinsettias On Parade 2020

These represent only a small portion of the 103 varieties on display at the greenhouse right now. You are invited to stop by and have a look for yourself before they are all gone. There is still a great selection and even if you don't want to purchase a poinsettia, we promise your senses will not be disappointed. The vibrant colors and the light holiday fragrance is something not soon forgotten. Bring your family and your camera. If you have never been to Mitchell's during poinsettia season, you must come at least once. They get gone quickly, so the earlier the better. We hope you enjoy this gallery of poinsettias on parade.  

Below you will see a sample ballot. This allows you to rank your favorites and the data is given to the breeders so that they know how to plan for the next poinsettia season. Some will be improved upon. Some will remain the same for years to come and some will be scrapped and sent back to the hybrid drawing board. Take part in the future of your favorites. Mitchell's Nursery is one of only 3 that takes part in these poinsettia trials in NC. Bring your opinion to the table.


Many times you will see poinsettias paired with other beautiful plants to make an unusual but stunning gift for the holiday. Mitchell's prides themselves in the creativity that it takes to make your gift-giving easy and painless. So many combinations to choose from. Build your own from amaryllis, succulents, cactus, vines, or cyclamen. Maybe you prefer diamond frost or just a combination of different poinsettias. You be the artist and create your own masterpiece.

Thanksgiving Morning Roll-ups

 Thanksgiving Morning Roll-ups


  • 5 eggs scrambled (reserve 2 tbs. uncooked to brush on top of rolls)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 (8 oz) roll refrigerated *Pillsbury
    crescent rolls
  • 8 fully cooked breakfast sausage links
  • 4 slices American cheese or any cheese of your choice


  • Heat oven to 350°F. 
  • Unroll dough onto work surface; separate into 8 triangles.
  • Cut cheese slices in half; place 1 half on each triangle.
  • Top each with a spoonful of scrambled eggs and 1 sausage link.
  • Loosely roll up triangles as directed on can
  • Place rolls on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Brush reserved beaten egg on top of each crescent.
  • Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper & salt over each. (optional)
  • Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Judy's Jambalaya


1-8 oz. Zatarain's Jambalaya

1/2 c. chopped fresh or frozen green or red pepper

1/2 c. chopped onion

1 tsp. turmeric

Follow directions on the box and simmer until the rice is almost done.


2 c. frozen or fresh okra sliced, optional

12-15 oz sliced smoked sausage of your choice

1- 15 oz. can black beans

Simmer until okra changes color.


The Wonderful History of the Poinsettia

The poinsettia is an ornamental shrub, native to Mexico and Central America, where it was known as Flor de la Noche Buena or "Flower of the Holy Night". It is believed to have been used as a Christmas decoration as early as the 17th century when Franciscan monks near Taxco, Mexico incorporated the plant in their Nativity processions. According to Mexican legend, a young boy (or girl) named Pepita was on his way to visit the village Nativity scene. In route, he realized he had no gift for the Christ child. He gathered pretty green blooms from along the road and brought them to the church. He was ridiculed and mocked by the other children for his humble gift. Yet, when laid at the manger, a beautiful, red, star-shaped flower appeared atop the green leaves. In 1828, Joel R. Poinsett, then U.S. ambassador to Mexico, was introduced to the plant and brought it back with him to America. Poinsett's love of botany led him to cultivate the plant at his home in South Carolina. He shared specimens of it with friends and botanists. In the U.S., the plant was later named the 'poinsettia' in honor of the first American to discover and begin propagating it. In 1836, Congress declared December 12th as National Poinsettia Day to commemorate the death of Joel Poinsett. The bright red petals, often mistaken for flowers, are actually the upper leaves of the plant called bracts and the tiny flowers are nestled amongst the bracts. Though widely thought to be poisonous to humans, this is actually a myth. According to the POISINDEX, used by most U.S. poison control centers, a 50 lb. child would need to consume more than 500 leaves of the plant to reach a potentially fatal dose of the compounds found in poinsettias. The bitter taste of the plant ensures that most humans and animals rarely take more than one bite. The poinsettia has become a worldwide holiday favorite for indoor decorating. Though available in a variety of colors, including pink, white, and burgundy, the traditional red is and always has been the most popular color. The lovely poinsettia adds a lasting, beautiful splash of color during the Christmas season. 

              Different Poinsettia varieties.                                 Joel Roberts Poinsett

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Pumpkin Crisp

 Pumpkin Crisp

  • 15 oz Pumpkin puree
  • 2 Eggs

  • 12 oz Evaporated milk

  • 3/4 cup Oats, Old Fashioned

  • 1 cup Brown sugar

  • 1 tsp Cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup Flour

  • 1 tsp Pumpkin pie spice

  • 1/2 tsp Salt

  • 3/4 cup Sugar

  • 1 tsp Vanilla

  • 1/2 cup butter


  • Grease 8x8" casserole. Set aside.
  • Combine eggs, pumpkin, sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Beat until blended.
  • Slowly mix in the evaporated milk.
  • Pour mixture into prepared dish.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Mix together flour, brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  • Add in vanilla and cut in butter with a pastry blender or fork.
  • Work until mixture forms large crumbs.
  • Set topping aside.
  • After the pumpkin has baked for 30 minutes, pull from the oven.
  • Sprinkle the prepared topping over the dish.
  • Reduce heat to 350 and bake for additional 20-30 minutes, until the center is slightly jiggly.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

What's New ?

 Knock Out, Petite Roses.

Photo courtesy of 

Petite Knockout is the first-ever miniature Knock Out Rose. It offers the same flower power and easy care of traditional Knock Out Roses. However, these tiny treasures will only reach a mature height of 18" tall. They are perfect for decorative container planting or as a stand-alone in a small space. If you choose a more dramatic look they can be planted in mass along borders and edges. You cannot go wrong with these bright red non-fading blooms that  last all summer into early fall.                                                                          

Pugster Butterfly Bushes

Pugster Blue
 The Pugster line of buddleia or butterfly bushes from Proven Winners offers a small plant with a big impact. You get full-size blooms on a dwarf plant that will only reach 24" at maturity with a spread of about 36".
Pugster Pink
They offer sturdy limbs to support the large dense blooms with the same ability to bring in the butterflies from far and near.

Pugster Periwinkle

Photos courtesy of Proven Winners

And, as always, the Proven Winners' name always means quality and proven success in the test gardens.  Give your butterflies something to look forward to year after year.

Winecraft Black Smoke Bush

Photo courtesy of Proven Winners

This beautiful shrub can be used as a specimen plant in a focal area or as a hedge to satisfy even the pickiest of homeowners. 

Proven Winners have outdone themselves with this one. With a mature size of 4 to 6 ft. and the same spread it is certain not to outgrow the space. Winecraft Black offers plum-colored foliage through the summer then turns almost black before giving way to its brilliant reds and oranges for the fall. The blooms are delicate and feathery and range from purple to pink until frost. Everyone will be asking where you got this beautiful shrub and all you have to say is Proven Winners and Mitchell's Nursery. (shameless plug) The only two names you need for beauty and quality.

So why not visit your local Garden center and see what Proven Winners has to offer for your landscape.

If you happen to live in the local area of King NC, Mitchell's Nursery loves to see new or old faces! (shameless plug #2)

Now is the time to plant!

Happy Digging!

Do You Have a Planting Plan?

How often have you bought a tree or a shrub and just dug a hole and stuck it in the ground? You can drive around any town in this great country and you will find that people have been doing that for a long time.
A beautiful tree hacked and maimed because they have grown into a power line or overhead phone cable. Make no mistake, the utility companies are in no way obligated to trim and prune your trees nice and neat. It is simply their job to get your tree out of their power lines. So be sure to keep that in mind when planning your future plantings. When you get a case of planting fever, be sure to know the mature size of your plants and trees. What grows well under a power line today could be the cause of a power outage in the future. Then your tree will be like thousands of others. You will end up with a tree that resembles a slingshot or something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. 

   You also may want to do your research before you plant. Check out not only the height and width, but find out if it has a deep or shallow root system. You don't want to plant anything with a deep root system near your water source or your sewerage lines. Always remember, the roots will grow as wide as the canopy. So if your tree has a spread of 30 ft. you can count on the roots spreading equally as far. Trees are the number one cause of power outages and cracked foundations. Tree roots don't care if they ruin your home, but, you will. 

If you live in an area where you have public water and sewer you want to be extremely diligent when planting. Paying for that repair will ensure that your kids never go to college. The same with underground power lines, fiber optic cables, and phone lines. Be sure to call 811 BEFORE you dig because after may be too late.

In short, no one will be responsible for damage caused by your plantings other than you. Not the power company, not the phone company, and not your home builder. Ultimately you are the one who makes the decision. Unless, of course, trees were already in place before you acquired the property. Even if that was the case, you need to make an assessment after you have bought the property and have trees removed if necessary. Mortgages are far too costly to allow an ill-placed tree to ruin your investment. 
Plan smart, and enjoy the comfort of knowing you will not be the reason your entire neighborhood loses power, phones, water, or the internet. That last one may spawn a lynch mob of angry teens and nobody wants that. 

Great plans produce great plants.


Saturday, August 29, 2020

Native Trees and Why We Shouldn't Overlook Them

 Everyone is talking about native plants these days. Most people do not know the difference between native and non-native plants. Some believe that if you see a plant growing in the wild that it is native. That is not necessarily true. There are many plants that have established themselves among our native plants and trees that actually were introduced from foreign countries somewhere in our past.

Native simply means that a certain thing has been a part of a particular area for as long as man has been documenting plant discoveries.

For example, in the North Carolina region, you are likely to see mimosa trees growing along the edge of wooded areas and roadsides. However, North Carolina is not home to these trees. They are actually considered an invasive species because they were introduced here in 1745 from Asia and due to their adaptability they spread very quickly and rob native plants of the light, nutrients, and space to grow efficiently. Ever wonder why you don't see mimosa trees growing within most state parks? That is because of their invasive status.

Invasive plants threaten biodiversity in the U.S.  Native animals and insects feed and grow on native plants. If invasive plants are left to spread, they will eventually choke out a lot of the native plant species and in turn, it will deplete the area of natural food sources and nesting habitats for the native animal life.

Photo: Kudzu, Invasive species originating in Asia.

The growing interest in native plants is bringing hope to many. If you do your research before you do your landscape you can find native alternatives to most things. 

A lot of people will ask for red maple, and then get upset when their red maple has green leaves. Most of the maple trees you see in people's yards are indeed a variety of Japanese maple. Native red maples are only red in the fall after they have changed colors and begin to drop their leaves for winter. While red maples are native to our area, most of the ones that are red all year are not. 

There are several more native trees you may have overlooked in your search for the perfect addition to your landscape such as oak, river birch, and the Slender Silhouette Sweet Gum. Though you may associate native with common, that is a misconception, as they are not so commonly used in a landscape plan. Many are underutilized in a manicured setting, and that is a shame because all natives have a unique personality that is capable of lending a wow factor to any landscape plan. 

If you are looking for an ornamental tree, there are three natives to consider. The redbud tree is a native that most are familiar with. In the spring they offer beautiful blooms and interesting heart-shaped foliage. The foliage of the Carolina Sweetheart Redbud is variegated,  Ruby Falls and Forest Pansy are purple, and Rising Sun is yellow and gold. This provides visual interest all summer.

Dogwood is another native that is growing in popularity among homeowners. Their gorgeous spring blooms, their interesting shapes, fall, and winter red berries, and their growth patterns definitely make this native tree a winner every time. 

We must not forget the southern favorite, the magnolia. With their large, fragrant, white blooms and dark green waxy foliage that is present year-round, you can't go wrong.

Native plants support native wildlife and keep the ecosystem balanced and happy. Which, in turn, keeps native food sources plentiful and thriving. This circle of life that we are all a part of is a delicate balancing act. When invasive species of any kind are introduced it can upset the entire circle. Plant native, plant happiness.