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bloom 2018 Spring

Inspiration for your Garden, Home & Lifestyle from Al’s Garden & Home

Three Generations of Al’s Owners: Jack Bigej (left), Al Bigej (right), and a very young Mark Bigej.

Al’s Garden & Home

Container Days

April 5 - 8 th


All Al’s Locations Build your own spring container and leave the dirt with us! Bring in your own container or pick one out from our large selection. We make it easy to add stunning plant combinations with a great selection of premium annual and perennial choices! You will leave with a container that you proudly planted yourself. Need help or inspiration? Our Al’s Experts will be on hand to lend their container expertise!

Spring 2018 Yard + Garden


Outdoor Living


Home + Gifts


Always in bloom



Considerations for Creative Containers


Grower’s Choice

Inspired Pieces Inspired Places

Four Favorites




Pick A Pair O’ Peppers


Perfect For Your Patio Pizzeria


Al’s @ Home

Don’t Call ‘em Fake


Hottest Trends in Spring Fashion

Privacy Hedges For Smaller Spaces


Letter from Jack

The Color King


Container Gardening

A White Hot Tropical Summer

On The Cover: Three Generations of Al’s Owners: Jack Bigej (left), Al Bigej (right), and a very young Mark Bigej.

The Color King By Jack Bigej Al’s Son & 2nd Generation Owner


f I could be king of anything, it would be color! I know, out of all the great things in the world, color might seem insignificant, but for someone who has built a life and a business based on color, it means everything! When I’m talking about color, I’m referring to the authentic color that is found in nature and the plants we grow but more specifically, annuals. Nature makes no mistakes when it comes to color. We sometimes get picky when looking at palettes and decide that only certain colors go together when in fact, Mother Nature mixes it all up and it is always beautiful. Spring is the perfect time to turn the black and white (or gray) scenery of winter into a full color display. This issue of Bloom Magazine is all about refreshing and rejuvenating your life, whether it’s in the garden, on the patio, in your home, or your personal wardrobe. Spring is the perfect time to start again and we have lots of inspiration to help get you motivated.

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Back by popular demand, we have our Grower’s Choice selection of unique plants and vegetables that have been chosen for their taste, hardiness and bloom. See our top picks for 2018 and trust me, you will want to find a way to incorporate them into your garden!

No matter the size or space, container gardening is a great way to add beauty by incorporating different textures, a variety of plants and - you guessed it - COLOR! Accent your front porch and complement your outdoor living area with beautiful containers that will provide a color show for spring through fall. For ideas on how to build a beautiful container display, you don’t want to miss our article on container design made easy. A few helpful hints and a handful of plants is all you need to create your own backyard paradise.

Love the color in your backyard, but don’t want to see your neighbors? With an abundance of new construction in our area, the houses seem to be getting closer together, which poses a challenge when it comes to privacy. Our tree and shrub buyer, Tim Mouzakis has the solution with some great hedge options for smaller spaces that will add privacy and beauty to your plot.

Do-it-yourself enthusiasts will thrive with our D.I.Y. Container Days in early April! Get expert advice on stunning flower combinations while you create and plant a container of your liking. We will have plenty of other events and seminars to help jump-start the season, so join us as we celebrate the beginning of another exciting spring. Happy Gardening,

@ Home Don’t Call ‘Em


Just because these succulents aren’t technically made by nature, doesn’t mean they can’t add simple beauty to your home. Available at Al’s in many shapes and sizes, these faux succulents are the real deal!

Spring 2018 • 3

By Judy Alleruzzo Al’s Perennials Buyer

Considerations for

Creative Containers I

t’s hard to “contain” my enthusiasm this time of year, when the palette of available plants and colors explodes! I know creating a pleasing container garden may be intimidating, but with a few simple considerations, you’ll be planting up spring containers that are sure to be the envy of all your friends.

Consider this: 1) Drainage

I cannot say enough about proper drainage. Ensuring that your container has good drainage will ensure enjoyment for a long time to come. You can achieve an effective drainage hole without losing our precious soil by simply placing some drywall tape over the container’s hole. The mesh allows water out but keeps precious soil in, and also prevents insects from sneaking into your container.

2) To Fill or Not To Fill

We don’t recommend filling a large container with plastic bottles or other filler material. Your plants need soil in which to thrive, so go ahead and fill ‘er up!

3) Same Water/Sun Requirements You probably have a specific spot in mind for your new container, and understanding how much sun and shade that area receives throughout the day can save a lot of plant salvaging later on. Once you’ve determined your container’s final destination, be sure to choose plants that thrive in those conditions.

4) Choosing Your Plant Pairings Carefully

Being able to choose plant pairings that have the same water and sun requirements is step one, but the ability to choose plants that leverage off of one another is what separates the good container designers from the great ones! Choose plants that bring out the tones and textures of the other plants, as well as the container itself. The plants in this beauty were chosen for their ability to thrive in shady environments.

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5) Mix It Up

Beautiful container gardens seduce you with varying heights and textures. The right choice can draw your eye up, and the lush texture helps everything to feel full. A trailing plant helps create movement. An easy way to remember this basic container design concept is to think of “thrillers”, “fillers”, and “spillers” - and make sure your container has all three.

6) Consider Perennials

It’s always helpful to have the grounding element of a perennial. Perennials can bloom throughout the summer, and you can easily add annual color. I like to mix them with annuals to ensure the most continuous color. When the annuals are spent, simply add a seasonally appropriate replacement.

7) Cram and Jam

It probably takes more plants to fill a large 14” or 16” across container than you may believe. Resist the urge to say the plants will “fill in”. Use enough plants to make the container look like it’s been planted for weeks. I like to arrange my plant selections on my Al’s shopping cart just like it’s going to be planted in my container. When planting, remove the plant from its plastic container and massage the roots, allowing a bit of loose soil to fall away. Once the root ball looks ready, go ahead and place your plant.

8) Anchor Your Gathering Area

A container garden is a great way to anchor your gathering area. It can help define the space and the style desired. Once you have found the best place for your container, it becomes a little like a friendly directional sign, welcoming you to come visit and stay for a while.

It’s easy to spot the thrillers, fillers, and spillers in this bold container.

8) The Power of Lighting

Nothing looks better than an inviting patio at night, where the lighting choices lead you to new discoveries along the way. By uplighting trees, garden art, and even the container itself, they take on a much more dramatic appearance.

Add a simple trellis and climbing plants to take your container to new heights!

If all else fails, please join us for DIY Container Days on April 5th - 8th at all Al’s locations. We’ll have Al’s Experts on hand to guide you through the entire process. Bring in your own containers or purchase one of ours. We’ll have all the supplies ready to go in order for you to create your very own masterpiece.

Create a show-stopper like this one to be the main attraction of your outdoor living area. Spring 2018 • 5

By Teri Schafer Al’s Patio Furniture Buyer

Inspired Pieces

Inspired Places E

very home tells a different story. If you shop eclectically for indoor furniture, the same applies for your outdoor areas. If you love the traditional styles, but want to add a new perspective, you will look for some new pieces with a mix of materials to add depth to your patio. Throw in some new colors, patterns, and textures with umbrellas, pillows, or outdoor art and this will be the year for your patio to shine.

The world of fashion moves at a furious pace and we all know that trends tend to come and go in the blink of an eye, but everyone wants to have a unique look that is different than the previous year. People want to be different, they want to be set apart from everyone else. Whether you have a small space to create a relaxing sanctuary to escape after a busy day at work or a large area to entertain your friends and family, look for inspiration to make it your own. As the lines continue to blur between indoor and outdoor spaces, exterior rooms are keeping pace with interior areas when it comes to color, style and trends. Those who want to stay abreast of the latest in fashion, think it is essential to look first to color. In

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2018, blues are predicted to be the best selling color for cushions and pillows. Grays are predicted to be the best selling color group for slings. Mixing patterns is becoming more and more prevalent and adds interest and depth while giving an outdoor space a custom style. Patterns and colors don’t need to “match” each other, but you should avoid a jarring and uncoordinated look. More than any other element of the outdoor room, bold splashes of color, eye popping patterns, textures and soothing neutrals set the mood and sense of place. Create that crucial 5th room! There are a million ways to celebrate color and Al’s is a great place to shop for it. We define the idea of compatibility

by offering multiple collections that work together to achieve an overall cohesive look and provide the opportunity to unify the space through color. We are anything but ordinary, we offer inspiration and a one stop solution for outdoor furniture, umbrellas, pillows and other accessories.


Always on Trend Santa Barbara (1)

The design of this collection is suggestive of the Spanish Colonial influence through its distinctive scrolling armrests and intersecting crescent back, giving the appearance of ornamental ironwork.

Mayfair (2) Comfortable, durable and graceful, the Mayfair Estate Deep Seating Collection from Hanamint provides an overall experience unlike any other outdoor furniture.


Spring 2018 • 7




Stunning Compatibility

Small Spaces

This collection offers sophisticated, sleek styling in a popular gray textured fabric that will add a rich modern look to your outdoor living area.

The Monaco collection carries a sleek, Euro styling in a charcoal grey finish. This collection is available in dining and simple deep seating to fit any size patio.

Emmett (4)

Ventura (7)

This brand new collection combines a unique wrapped arm styling in a black finish that will add a contemporary look to your outdoor living area.

This transitional group offers a compact yet comfortable solution that would be perfect for that hideaway nook on your patio.

Jessica (5)

Pinecrest Bistros (8)

This dining collection blends with any contemporary set and features an extendable table, achieving minimum space with maximum seating.

This beautiful bistro bring the perfect accent of color to your small patio.

Hudson (3)

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Monaco (6)


6 9 8 Hints of Color

Adirondack Accents (9) Enjoy colorful chairs crafted from recycled plastic and built to last generations.

Umbrellas & Pillows Don’t forget the splash of color and patterns available through pillows and umbrellas

Spring 2018 • 9

By Aaron Rivera Al’s Grill Buyer

Perfect For Your

Patio Pizzeria I

n my ongoing search for new outdoor grilling products, I came across these Wood Fired Outdoor Ovens from the BBQ Pit Boys and Sunterra Outdoor Products. This oven is constructed of durable powdercoated steel and is insulated to keep the heat inside the oven for perfectly baked pizza, desserts, and really anything you would cook inside a conventional oven casseroles, roasts, chicken, paella, and even breads!

Start the fire with lump charcoal as fuel to get any type of hardwood going. Regulate temperature with the firebox damper and monitor the internal temperature with the large, easy to read thermometer. Cooking outdoors is one of my favorite things to do…and I think this oven is a must-have! This oven is stocked at our Sherwood location in red, but black is available by special order. Each oven comes with heavy duty storage shelves, 4 heavy-duty wheels, and all of the accessories you need to make pizza baking easy, such as a pizza stone, roasting rack and a pizza paddle.

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bloom Let’s Make Pizza! There is nothing better than Brick Oven style pizza - it’s the best pizza in the world. Making your own pizza is a great way to feed a small or large group of people, and relatively inexpensive - especially when compared to ordering delivery. So the next tme you’re hungry for a personal size pizza, or you have a whole crew to feed, fire up the BBQ oven and let’s get cooking. The BBQ Pit Boys have some tips for getting the best-tasting pizza out of your Wood Fired Outdoor Oven.

Rolling Out the Dough • Whether you found a favorite dough recipe, or you are buying premade dough, use some flour and a rolling pin to stretch out the dough. • Place corn meal on a pizza stone and set your rolled dough on the stone. • To ensure a crisp crust, turn the edges by crimping with your fingers. One trick is to rub olive oil along the edges of the pizza. When the edges are golden brown, your pizza is ready! • Add a little salt and pepper to flavor the dough.

Add Tomato Sauce • Add marinara sauce to the middle of the pizza and spread out in a circular motion. • Remember, a little sauce goes a long way.

Add Your Favorite Toppings • Add raw ground beef or sausage, the temperature of the oven will cook the meat. • Add veggies! We love fresh sliced white onions, fresh green and red bell peppers for color, and fresh sliced mushrooms. Sliced Roma tomatoes are perfect for pizza! • Use a high quality mozzarella. The cheese is the heart of the pizza! • Add red pepper flakes for some heat. • Sprinkle with olive oil to keep everything moist. • Add salt and pepper to flavor the toppings.

Time to Cook • Slide pizza onto a pizza stone and place it in the oven with the pizza paddle. • Stoke the fire to keep the temperature even. • Check edge for browning. • Remove the pizza and place on a bread board or flat surface to cool. You want to hear a good crunch on the edge of the pizza when you slice into it. When you hear that sound, you know you’ve made a great pizza! Spring 2018 • 11

By Josh Clarke Manager, Al’s of Sherwood

A White, Hot,

Tropical Summer T

hat feeling when stepping into the hotel of your vacation dreams is an ethereal experience. Glorious days spent by the pool leave one relaxed and recharged. Then... the last day comes and the kicking and screaming commences.

I’ve had the opportunity this year to make some amazing memories with my friends in beautiful places and wanted to extend some clean lines, elegant whites and a few tropical vibes to my patio this summer, and here she is! Based on receiving morning sun, this combination contains everything that I love about container gardening, including simple compatible colors and TEXTURE! I’ve used one of the easiest plants to grow, a ZZ Plant (1) as the backdrop, as it has thick, glossy green leaves. It doesn’t take a lot of light, nor does it require a lot of moisture, and will love being outside in the morning filtered sun. As for that texture, I’ve included

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2 Maidenhair Fern (2), a variegated Dracaena (3) and even a few air plants. Neon Pothos (4) and gorgeous Phalaenopsis Orchids (5) top it off to give it that fresh, tropical look. I made a bold choice with the turquoise container. I wanted something to remind me of some of the beautiful tiles of my travels and also to give me a challenge. I didn’t know if I could pull off planting such a bold color without using bluehued plants, but this works. I even went one step further and added a few silk “faux plants” from our home and decor department... Can you tell where I took a few shortcuts? Have a great season! Have fun with your containers and make some great memories on the patio!




Spring 2018 • 13

Come see the hottest trends in


at Al’s Garden & Home

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Spring 2018 • 15

Al’s Grower’s Choice brings you select varieties of plants that have been chosen for their taste, hardiness and bloom. They are unique, hand-picked plants and vegetables that our growers believe work best in our climate and terrains. We believe you will have the best success with the Grower’s Choice series. Look for great Grower’s Choice plants at all Al’s locations!

Clematis What Is It?

A climbing vine with prolific blooms and countless varieties to offer the modern gardener beautiful year-round flowers and endless options when it comes to vertical and container gardening.

Why We Chose It:

Known as the queen of flowering vines, clematis are unmatched when it comes to their long bloom time, diversity of flower shapes and colors, and acceptance of different climates and exposures. With few demands on the gardener, clematis will reward you with a profusion of gorgeous blossoms year after year. From tree huggers to container varieties, there’s a clematis for every garden and flowers for every season!

How To Grow It:

Clematis grow best in a sunny spot and prefer moist, well-drained soil that’s neutral to slightly alkaline in pH. They are happiest with cool shade at their roots and warm sun on their foliage, so mulching around the roots or planting lowgrowing perennials at the base of the plant will help keep the soil cool. Some have a bushy habit, but most were born to climb, making them ideal candidates for container gardening. Make sure to offer a trellis or other support system for the vine to wrap itself around so it can continue to grow and reach new heights.

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Dianthus - Star Series ™

What Is It?

A long blooming perennial with fragrant flowers that have a hint of clove and come in unique color combinations.

Why We Chose It:

This series is considered the best on the market, with attractive, mounding foliage, and excellent vigor and heat tolerance. Flowers have serrated, overlapping petals in multiple striking patterns. The heaviest bloom time is in the spring, but plants will bloom sporadically throughout the summer and into the fall as the weather begins to cool.

How To Grow It:

Dianthus are one of the most low maintenance perennials. They are easy to grow, tolerating a wide range of soil types, have low water needs, and are not prone to pests or diseases. They grow best in full sun and will reach 7” in height and spread when in full bloom, making them ideal for use in the front of a perennial border or in mixed containers.

Petunia - Headliner Night Sky ™

What Is It?

A colorful blooming annual that brings a striking, unique color pattern to baskets and containers.

Why We Chose It:

Petunias have been around for a long time, but this is not your grandmother’s petunia. Night Sky has vivid purple blooms covered in bright white spots, giving it the appearance of a starry night sky. The mounding, semi-trailing habit means it won’t take over your containers like some other petunias can. Each bloom has a different color pattern, making each plant unique.

How To Grow It:

Performs best when grown in full sun. Water every 1-2 days as needed, weather dependent, and fertilize 1-2 times per week to encourage new growth and continuous flowers. Height: 10-16”; spread: 20-30”.

Tomato - San Marzano -

What Is It?

A classic heirloom sauce and paste tomato.

Why We Chose It:

Sometimes the original is still the best. San Marzano tomatoes have been commercially produced since the 1920’s, but have existed for a lot longer than that (rumored back to the 1700’s!). Originating from the small town of San Marzano (near Naples, Italy), these tomatoes are the parent of the modern day Roma hybrids, but compared to Romas they have thicker flesh with fewer seeds and a stronger tomato flavor that is sweeter and less acidic.

How To Grow It:

Plant in full sun, spaced 24-36” apart from other plants. Relatively early maturing, this variety yields an abundance of bright red, tapered tomatoes in 70-80 days. As an indeterminate variety, it will grow best if caged or supported with stakes. Spring 2018 • 17

By Jill West Al’s Edibles Grower

Pick a Pair o’ Peppers W

e got our start 70 years ago as a local produce stand, and while we might not sell fresh fruits and vegetables anymore, we still sell plenty of vegetable starts for your garden. Peppers are always popular at Al’s, so this year we’ve added some exciting new varieties to our lineup. Trying new things can be intimidating, so we’ve highlighted some classic, tried-and-true varieties you may already know and love, and paired them with a new variety that you may consider trying if you are looking for something different.

If you like: Pepper Habanero Orange...

These compact plants produce an abundance of small, bright orange peppers that pack a punch. A little bit goes a long way towards kicking up the flavor and adding some lingering heat to salsas and dips. Full Sun | Space 12-18” | Maturity: 95 Days

Then try:

Pepper Carolina Reaper

Officially the hottest pepper in the world as ranked by Guiness Records. With an average Scolville Unit rating of 1.5 million, these peppers are twice as hot as their cousin the Ghost Pepper. Uniquely shaped with a stinger tail, these fiery red peppers have a great flavor – sweet and fruity, until the heat kicks in... Full Sun | Space 12-18” | Maturity: 95 days

If you like: Pepper Cherry...

The classic pepper for pickling and stuffing, these 1.5” round peppers have thick walls that soak up more pickling brine than other peppers, preserving their mildly hot flavor, while their uniform shape makes them perfect for stuffing. Full Sun | Space 12-18” | Maturity: 60-65 Days

Then try:

Pepper Mad Hatter

Unique, flat-disc peppers are crunchy and crisp, with a rich flavor that sweetens as it matures. A small number of fruit will have a touch of heat close to the seeds, but the majority remain sweeter than Cherry peppers and can be eaten fresh, pickled, or stuffed. Full Sun | Space 12-18” | Maturity: 85 days 18 •


If you like: Pepper Jalapeño...

The most versatile hot pepper on the market, these 4” long peppers have a flavor and heat that’s hard to beat and can be diced fresh into salsas, stuffed, pickled, baked, grilled, or roasted. Fruit can be harvested green or left to mature to a bright red. Full Sun | Space 12-18” | Maturity: 85 Days

Then try:

Pepper Hot Sriracha

The namesake of the famous hot sauce, Sriracha produces uniform, dark green peppers that ripen red, with good heat content. The thick walled fruit have a long shelf life and can be used fresh just as you would a Jalapeno, or dried to make your own homemade Sriracha sauce. Full Sun | Space 12-18” | Maturity: 65-70 days

If you like: Pepper Red Bell...

The traditional sweet pepper, these blocky, lobed fruit grow green and finish a deep red at maturity. The 4” fruit are perfect for fresh eating, roasting, or stuffing, holding their great flavor in many forms. Full Sun | Space 12-18” | Maturity: 65-75 Days

Then try:

Pepper Candy Cane Red

Uniquely striped, elongated sweet peppers grow on compact plants that have striking variegated foliage. Fruit ripens from green striped to solid red, with unique color patterns in between, and can be harvested at any stage. Perfect for containers and small space. Full Sun | Space 12-15” | Maturity: 65 days

If you like: Pepper Italian Roaster...

An improved chili variety that produces long, thin fruit, Italian Roaster is an ideal choice for roasting or grilling. They can also be dried, concentrating their flavor, and used in powders and pastes. The peppers will ripen from green to red, but can be harvested and used at any stage. Full Sun | Space 18-24” | Maturity: 68 Days

Then try:

Pepper Jimmy Nardello’s

An Italian heirloom variety that is extremely versatile. Fruit can be harvested when green or red, eaten fresh or sautéed, and also freezes and dries well. The extremely sweet, slender peppers can reach 6-9” in length, and form in abundance on sturdy plants. Full Sun | Space 12-24” | Maturity: 75 days

Spring 2018 • 19

By Tim Mouzakis Al’s Tree & Shrub buyer

Privacy Hedges For Smaller Spaces


ou may have noticed all of the new housing construction throughout the area. What is most noticeable is how close the houses are to one another. While not all of us want or have the time to maintain a large yard, sometimes these smaller lot sizes can pose interesting challenges when it comes to privacy. With this in mind, we have some great options for creating privacy hedges that can work in small areas.

Emerald Green Arborvitae

Arborvitae is probably the most used plant when it comes to creating privacy hedges. It’s a quick grower and its narrow shape makes it perfect for a very orderly hedge appearance. • Evergreen • 3-4 ft. wide • Up to 15 ft. tall • Full sun, part shade

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English Laurel

If you want your privacy hedge in a hurry, English Laurel is a great, fastgrowing solution. English Laurel will need to be pruned occasionally, in order to help keep its shape, especially where space is limited. • Quickly reaches 12 ft. tall • 8 ft. wide • Larger with age • Full sun, part shade

Compact Spring Bouquet Vibernum

Perhaps it’s not something tall and narrow that you are looking for, but rather a hedge that works to define an area and create structure. This moderate grower is perfect for small hedges. • Moderate grower • Will get 4-6 ft. tall and 4-6 ft. wide • Beautiful pinkish white flowers in spring • Full sun, part shade

Pink Princess Escallonia

Because this beauty blooms from spring through fall, it’s a great shrub to use near a fence or entrance. This evergreen with pink flowers will require some pruning in order to keep its desired shape. • Moderate grower • Will get 4-6 ft. tall and 4-6 ft. wide • Pink flowers off and on from spring through fall • Full sun, part shade

Sky Pencil Holly

If you’re looking for something other than Arborvitae, Sky Pencil Holly is another narrow growing plant that makes for a great privacy hedge. Its irregular vertical spires give it structure and a unique texture that won’t just look like your neighbors’. • Evergreen • Moderate grower • Reaches 6-8 ft. tall and 2-3 ft wide • Full sun, part shade

• Moderate to fast growing • Requires support • White flowers are showy in early spring • Full sun, part shade

When it comes to covering up that ugly utility box in the front of your new home, a lower growing and very compact Japanese Holly will do the trick nicely. • Slow grower • 6 ft. tall and 6 ft. wide • Full sun, part shade


Evergreen Vines

The Snowdrift and Apple Blossom Clematis are very fast growers and perfect for trailing along a fence line. Clematis is an Al’s favorite because of its abundant beautiful blooms!

Japanese Holly Crenata

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar

Want to get creative? Try a weeping conifer for your hedge. This horizontal grower is perfect for railings, fences, or retaining walls. The combination of its weeping habit and dusty blue-green color makes this choice wonderfully unique. • Weeping habit • Will get 5-6 ft. tall and 10-12 ft. wide • Full sun, part shade

Got shade? Aucuba is an excellent choice for your shade garden when a little separation is required between you and your neighbor. It will help provide the privacy you want and buffer sound. • Evergreen • 6-8 ft. tall and 6-8 ft. wide • Part shade

Spring 2018 • 21

16920 SW Roy Rogers Road Sherwood, OR 97140 (503) 726-1162 1220 N. Pacific Highway Woodburn, OR 97071 (503) 981-1245 7505 SE Hogan Road Gresham, OR 97080 (503) 491-0771 27755 SW Parkway Ave Wilsonville, OR 97070 (503) 855-3527

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the/19 - 4/2 e Save runs 4 Sal

Flats of

Annuals $

(twelve 3-packs)

5 off

Mix-and-match color and variety. While supplies last. Selection varies by store.

Bloom Magazine - Spring 2018  

Inspiration for yourGarden, Home, & Lifestyle from Al's Garden & Home

Bloom Magazine - Spring 2018  

Inspiration for yourGarden, Home, & Lifestyle from Al's Garden & Home