Garden Writers: Five Story Starters for you

February 14, 2011

Need gardening story content and quality images – fast? We’ve got you covered, with 2011 ‘story starters’

Low-maintenance landscapes, affordable gardening, winning plant combos and more!


Feb 14, 2011—In a pinch and need a gardening story…now? Here’s our Valentine’s Day gift to you—five handy “2011 story starters” gathered from Anthony Tesselaar’s conversations with growers and garden enthusiasts around the world, which were also our most popular topics from Tesselaar’s Your Easy Garden blog.

We’ve offered up a few images for each story idea because we know how hard it is to quickly find high-resolution images that are large enough to reproduce in print. We also suggested a few videos if you need them for web and multimedia versions of garden stories.

We hope these “story starters,” complete with suggestions for images, videos and fact sheets, get your gardening story juices flowing. All content is copyright free and you can use as many images as you’d like (it’s not necessary to credit us for images, but we’d appreciate if you could mention the Tesselaar plant name in the caption).


Story Starter 1:
10 Steps to an Easy-Care, Low-Maintenance Garden

Everyone wants a perfect garden, but who has the time to fuss? Lisa Hutchurson, garden writer and blogger for Tesselaar, is the busy working mom of a preschooler who decided to take a pro-active approach to easy-care gardening. The tips she collected from experts are solid gardening advice for anyone who wants a great garden but doesn’t have a lot of time to babysit their plants.

The following list offers help on how to design, plant, water and choose plantings to ensure a garden can start and stay low-maintenance. Feel free to re-purpose (copyright free) these 10 tips on how to establish an easy-care garden—or at least make your existing garden work—and look—much better.

10 Steps to an Easy-Care, Low-Maintenance Garden

  1. Choose easy-care plants
  2. Mulch, mulch, mulch
  3. Pursue “weedless gardening”
  4. Know Your Plants
  5. Water wisely
  6. Use smart design
  7. Shrink your lawn
  8. Grow a water-wise landscape
  9. Go easy on the pruning
  10. Don’t overfeed

Suggested images for 10 Steps to an Easy-Care, Low-Maintenance Garden:

Plant featured: Next Generation Flower Carpet® roses

Flower Carpet roses fact sheet

Hi-res images of Flower Carpet roses

Flower Carpet Pink pool side

Flower Carpet Pink pool side in mass planting

Also easy-care (extremely drought tolerant): Festival™ Burgundy cordyline

Festival Burgundy cordyline fact sheet

Hi-res images of Festival Burgundy cordylines





Story Starter 2:
Honeysuckle: 2011 Pantone® Color of the Year, looks great in the garden

carpet roses

Never forget to consider the overall plant when deciding what roses to grow. Look for roses that grow to become rounded, lush bushes smothered in blooms as with these low-growing Flower Carpet Coral roses

Well, it’s official—Honeysuckle is the color of the year for 2011, according to the Pantone Color Research Institute.

“Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color for a brave new world,” says Pantone of this festive reddish-pink. “Let the bold spirit of Honeysuckle infuse you, lift you and carry you through the year. It’s a color for every day—with nothing ‘everyday’ about it.”

Well, before Calgon takes you away, are you curious as to how you can incorporate this cheery color into your home or garden?

While simply incorporating an actual honeysuckle bush in your garden would do the trick, there are also a number of plants—including the popular coral-colored Flower Carpet® roses—that would work as well.


You can also check out our Flower Carpet Coral fact sheet for more information on this plant.

Suggested images for Honeysuckle: Pantone 2010 Color of the Year:

Plant featured: Flower Carpet roses (Coral)

Hi-res image: Flower Carpet Coral



Story Starter 3:
5 ways to afford gardening this year

The economy is still in recovery, spurring a long-lasting change in consumer buying habits. Gone are the days of prima donna perennials and one-trick ponies that provide interest for maybe a week while they bloom and then don’t pull their weight the rest of the season. Taking their place are plants that offer long-term benefits, save time or money or prevent problems down the road. In other words, buying smart isn’t always about money. Instead, it’s about finding the best value for your dollar.

For instance, is a drought-tolerant plant that costs 20 percent more than its similar counterpart worth the purchase because you can go on vacation and not have to find a plant-sitter? Can the price for a season-long-blooming shrub be amortized over several years because it boosts the resale value of your home? Does the $40 hanging basket also work in the shade or save space in a downsized or urban dwelling?

You can also check out our fact sheets on Bonfire® begonia and Festival Burgundy cordyline—an extremely drought-tolerant plant that also gives you more than your money’s worth.

Suggested images for 5 ways to afford gardening this year:

Plant featured: Bonfire begonia

Hi-res images

Plant featured: Festival Burgundy cordyline

Hi-res images



Story Starter 4:
Winning plant combinations

It’s one thing to find a beautiful plant in the garden center or an online catalog. But many people have trouble visualizing them with other plants in the landscape or containers. Here are a few places to look for ideas:

Try Flower Carpet Yellow roses in a pot with an underplanting of hakenochloa (Japanese Forest Grass). Here’s the Flower Carpet Yellow fact sheet. (For images of the featured plant, Flower Carpet Yellow roses, see “Suggested images/video” below.)

You can create great container combos featuring Tropicanna® cannas. Here’s the Tropicanna Gold cannas fact sheet and the Tropicanna cannas (original) fact sheet. (For images of the featured plants, Tropicanna and Tropicanna Gold cannas, see “Suggested images/video” below.)

  • Tropicanna Gold cannas with Purple Lady iresine (iresine herbstii) and Limelight licorice plant (helichrysum petiolare)
  • Tropicanna cannas (original, with rainbow-striped leaves and tangerine blooms) with small yellow zinnias

You can mix Next Generation Flower Carpet roses (Pink Supreme) with white dianthus, licorice plant ‘Limelight’ and purple millet. And if you need it, here’s the Flower Carpet roses fact sheet. (For images of the featured plant, Flower Carpet  Pink Supreme, see “Suggested images/video” below.)

Bonfire begonias work beautifully with red Japanese maple and lime and dark purple heuchera and/or foamflower (you can find it in the post under “Design Tips”). Here’s the Bonfire begonias fact sheet. (For images of the featured plant, Bonfire begonias, see “Suggested images/video” below.)

Suggested images/video for Winning plant combinations:

Plant featured: Flower Carpet Yellow roses

Hi-res images

Plant featured: Flower Carpet Pink Supreme

Similar hi-res images

Plants featured: Tropicanna Black and Tropicanna Gold

Hi-res images

Plant featured: Bonfire begonias

Hi-res images



Story Starter 5:
10 ways to use low-growing, easy-care shrub roses

New England

Next Generation Flower Carpet Pink Supreme thrives along a New England driveway

Today’s modern, easy-care shrub roses have now taken the place of fussy, hybrid teas that require deadheading, chemical treatments and tons of water. Because they can be planted in masses, for a block or swatch of color that can be seen from the road, they also offer more design applications—perfect for the front-yard gardens and sustainable, eco-friendly lawn alternatives that are becoming more and more popular.


Flower Carpet roses fact sheet

Suggested Images

Flower Carpet rose images

Download this Press Release/Story Starter as a Word Doc:

(Right-click and Save-Link-As) Download Link



About Tesselaar

Tesselaar Plants searches the world and introduces new plants through their USA office for the home garden, landscape, home décor and gift markets. Tesselaar Plants undertakes extensive research and development of its varieties and, once selected for introduction, provides marketing and promotional support for its plant brands through its grower and retail network. Tesselaar’s portfolio of plants is small by design, given rigorous standards that result in high-quality, dramatic, prolific plants that are also environmentally friendly and exceptionally easy to grow.

The Tesselaar philosophy is to introduce exceptional plants while “making gardening easy” for everyone, and so they make them widely available as possible. We believe that the more people who garden, the better it is for everyone.



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