Tuesday, January 25, 2011

FREE Tropical Getaway!

posted by eric
Really! Next time you need to get away from Michigan's frosty deep freeze - Just stop in & take a warm stroll through our greenhouse - for free! Its like a tropical jungle in here!

George & I just got back from a plant finding expedition to Florida - We both agree - it exceed our expectations! Not only did we find oodles of "neat new stuff" we can't wait for you to see, we found several plants I've been looking for, for years! We brought many of these back with us, with so much more to arrive over the coming weeks - way more than I can show you here, but I'll give you some of the highlghts:
When we go on road trips like this, every inch of space counts! By the time we were done packing our trusty Sprinter, after more than two dozen stops, you couldn't have shoved a tennis ball in there!
Our first stop, in Georgia, pointed out that even the cactus (Opuntia/left) were cold. We picked up our NEW cottages for miniature gardening and some yummy pecans for our bellys at the pecan farm. (I should mention - I've added over 100 new items for miniature gardening this year - including some Telly's exclusives I designed.) - More on that later.
For some reason, I love yellow plants, so I'm always glad to find new ones! From left to right; Philodendron 'Lemon Lime' (with pink stems), Caladium 'Yellow Blossom' (We offered the first of these in the country a few years ago under the name 'Leung Pa Li Chart' - the true name, when I managed to get a handful of corms from Berry Yinger), and the bold new Schefflera Amate called 'Soleil', with broad leaf clusters spanning more than a foot across! WOW!
My fondness for Alocasia continues to grow with our unmatched selection. As just a teaser, here are three new ones (left to right), 'Loco' - only seeing this plant in person can do it justice - suffice it to say - its just plain crAzY!, 'Bambino Silver Arrow', and 'Bambino'. The Bambino series are new dwarf introductions which only grow about 10" tall (smaller than the ever-popular 'Polly') and produce full, generously leafed plants perfect for the desk, office, or combos. We also have 'Bambino Curly', (not pictured), with several more new Alocasias, Colocasias, and Zanthosomas we'll introduce to you soon!

Its been decades since cactus and succulents have been anywhere near this hot! And when it comes to variety & selection - we've got you covered! We've added more than a hundred new varieties for 2011 in this catagory alone! Quadricolor Agaves, - Pink, Blue, Purple & Burgundy Succulents, and a chartreuse variegated cactus thats thornless! - Now that's savvy!

But we brought back more than just plants!  Check out our instant wall-art for plant lovers with these shadow boxes! Our tissue culture glass ornaments with living plants sealed inside can bring the science of plant propagtion to the school or home! We even found Ying-rock for Pentsai and Seisuki enthusiasts, & the creative geoligists at heart - though our supply is limited - so HURRY IN for these! And, since we've had increasing requests for "Lucky Bamboo" (which really isn't a bamboo at all, but a Dracaena), we thought, why offer what you can find in every chinese food market or restaurant? Check out our multiple art-forms of this intriguing plant - triple braided, variegated stems, - triple layer pyramids, - and petite minis perfect for the tiniest space at $1.99! We've also brought in hard-to-come-by cork bark, grapewood, and tree-fern pots for mounting your epiphytes (air plants)!

Speaking of epiphytes - these easy-to-grow botanical conundrums are far more varied than most people think - and we have the selection to prove it! Some are enchanting, some are curious, and some are - well, franky, so just plain ugly - you have to love them (or who else will?!) They've inspired us to set up a new section in the greenhouse for crAzY plants we'll call "The Sanitarium" - good bet that's where I'll be hanging out . . .

Yep! - We found some pretty crAzY stuff! And everything I've mentioned - plus a whole lot more - fit in that Sprinter for our 4000+ mile road trek - And they're ALL in the greenhouse for you to see RIGHT NOW! - Come check it out & give yourself a break from the Michigan winter! I'll leave you with some candid incidentals from our trip (above), and a few unlabled treasures soon to be in stock (below). - Keep warm - we are! - It's a jungle in here!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Farewells, Flashlights & Fall Events

posted by eric

Yes, it has been far too long since I've posted, I know. But I'm glad you're here and checking it out! We are fortunate to say it has been a very hectic season for the staff at Telly's, and a year well worth experiencing. Getting our new growing facility up and running was a huge undertaking, as was the opening of our new location in Shelby Township. This has kept us all very busy indeed!

After all this time, some staff updates are sorely in order . . .

We were all very much saddened by the loss of Hector, our Bonsai expert this past July. It is under his tutelage that our Bonsai department was delveloped and nurtured, and he was a major contributor to the Four Seasons Bonsai Club of Michigan. He is fondly remembered, and the seeds he planted & shared with us continue to grow.

In August, we congregated one last time at The Gathering Place for mass reflections with our friend, co-worker, and designer extraordinaire, Sara. Off to Iowa to begin a new act in her life adventure, we all wish her well in this, the newest part of her journey. We will miss both her presence and her spirit, as well as her unstoppable inspirations & jaw-dropping botanical creations.
- Our loss is Iowa's gain - far more than they could yet know . . .

Our 6TH Annual Flashlight Sale was an absolute blast! Perhaps singularly, the most fun shopping event of the year, we always look forward to it & really enjoy the flashlit ambiance of the hundreds of guests who attended this exclusive event! - Thanks to everyone who participated! (If you missed it, look for it to roll around again - next September!)

Our Fall Class Schedule is on-line, and, although these events are free, we always appretiate those who take the time to "pre-register" (it gives us a fighting chance to plan for your attendance). I've added a new page to the website which should make it easier to browse the class list, and quick-links to pre-register on-line in mere seconds! CLICK HERE to check it out!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


posted by eric

Here's your chance to win a Telly's Gift Card up to $150 in value! Just print out the entry form & drop it off at either of our stores to enter - It's that easy! Click here for your entry form.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What's NEW for 2011?

posted by George
Every year, about this time, plant companies from all over the world gather along 460 miles of the west coast of California to show off their varieties. At about 22 locations from San Diego to San Jose, more than 40 displays are set up for growers, retailers & brokers to see thousands of beautiful annual plants including new varieties for next year (2011). We have been coming here for years to photograph & learn about countless plants the world's greatest breaders have to offer. We use this opportunity to evaluate what's available, which plants will perform well, and select new plants to grow in the future. Here are some "sneak peaks" of some of the new plants we may be offering in 2011!
Begonia 'Gryphon'

A Rex begonia from seed! I believe this will be one of the more popular annuals for 2011, because it produces a full, saleable plant much more economically, & quicker than conventional methods. This shade loving plant may be grown in beds or containers, and, like most begonias, it makes a beautiful houseplant as well. The silvery leaves have an equally attractive maroon reverse.

Begonia 'Illumination Gold Picotee'

This addition to the 'Illumination' series of cascading tuberous begonias adds a beautiful orange & gold bi-color flower to the palette. This is ideal for hanging baskets, but may also be used as a component in shady combinations. These are easy-to-grow plants that require very little maintenance.

Calibrachoa ' Superbells Coralberry Punch'
This flower has a unique combination of colors. The outer coral edge surrounds a deep orange interior with a yellow center. Like most calibrachoa, it has a trailing habit that is ideal for hanging baskets, or as the floriferous trailing component in container combinations. Grow in full or part sun.

Canna 'Tropical Bronze Scarlet'

This addition to the 'Tropical' series of the first seed grown bronze-leaf canna! Seed is one of the few methods available for producing virus-free cannas. Plants grow about 3' tall, and produce deep scarlet red flowers above bronze-tinged foliage. I have already sown some of these to sample for this year, and am looking forward to seeing the results. Full or part sun.

Dahlia 'Lucky Face'

The photo here says it all; a unique combination of colors on one, very showy flower! Blooms are about 4" across on compact plants that grow about 15" tall. Like other Dahlias, 'Lucky Face' thrives in full sun.

Iberis 'Aboslutely Amethyst'
This is one of the few new perennials featured at the California Spring Trials this year. Perennial candytuft traditionally bloom pure white in spring. 'Absolutely Amethyst' has a completely different look with this new color! Plants do exhibit some rebloom in fall. Iberis are long-lived perennials that form mounds about 8 - 12" tall and 18 - 24" wide.

Impatiens 'Patchwork Peach Prism'
This new color combination promises to be stunning in hanging baskets, and inspiring for shady combinations. Unlike traditional bedding impatiens, this one is grown from cuttings. Best grown in full or part shade.

Petunia 'Black Velvet'
This plant gets us as close as we can get to a black flowering bedding plant. These upright plants produce flowers all summer in full or part sun, but will require some deadheading. The developers are emphasizing that this color goes with everything. From what I saw here in California, I think they are right.

Petunia 'Easy Wave Pink Dawn'
I'm seeing dozens of new petunias out here, but a new wave is always good news. This wave is baby pink with a vibrant white center. It combines beautifully with some of the other colors, but also shows stunningly on its own. These self cleaning plants will spread and form a carpet of low maintenance color in full or part sun.

Petunia 'Potunia Papaya'
Potunias are the mounding version of the perfect petunia. 'Potunias' are compact and self-cleaning; they are great for bedding, as a components plant, and in hanging baskets. This is a stunning new color like no other in the petunia palette: sort of a cross between coral and orange.

Scaevola 'Suntastic'

This is the world's first yellow scaevola! The flowering is still light, and the flowers are somewhat small, but nonetheless, a breading breakthrough! If it performs nearly as well as its blue & occasionally pink cousins, this is the beginning of something interesting. Good for hanging baskets in full or part sun.

Verbena 'Estrella Voodoo Star'
I saw this plant in three different places out here, where it stood out from the rest each time. The trailing plants seem very floriferous & vigorous. This verbena is sure to draw some attention next spring!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


posted by eric
First off, let me begin by saying Congratulations and Thank You! (Also, please forgive my break in format as I dispense the following editorial dissertation.)

In the day to day ongoings of our lives, it seems (to me) that big business & politics win out way too often over & at the expense of small businesses & the common man. So much so, in fact, that such impingement upon our lives has become compulsory & so covertly ingrained in the status quo, that even the most astute of us fall prey to complacency in regard to it. It is also unfortunate, that perhaps we are more likely to note the exceptions than the commonplace atrocities. But it is good that we do note them, and are worthy to the celebrate disrailment of such injustices.

So then, we invite you to celebrate with us. For far too many years, the City of Troy, in contradiction to the cries of it's citizens, and the tenants of reason, has elected to persecute, and attempted to interfere & obstruct with the operation of one of her longest standing family businesses; Telly's Greenhouse. This, they have done in a continual fashion, at substantial expense to her taxpayers, and an operation which gives generously of time & resources to the citizens of it's community. Alas, at last, it is behind us!

After countless losses under the position of the court, the city has finally, with reason, opted to cease it's endless litany of inane appeals. The "Right-To-Farm Act" still stands. We prevail. Chalk one up for the common man!

We, and farmers across this great nation thank you for your support, for standing at our side, and for using your voices in support of us. Thank You, and Congratulations!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Some pretty cool cats . . .

posted by eric
I love this time of year in the greenhouse! The air is once again filled with the moist oxygen-rich air of living, growing things - each breath is refreshing - and every moment, the palpable excitement we feel for the coming spring grows! This time of year, things begin to change so quickly . . . Susan & Sara are hard at work potting thousands upon thousands of roses. Their dedication & attention to detail is insiring as they imbue each plant with the quality only we can offer! We also extend a warm welcome to Scott, out new assistant grower, as he & Mike M. oversee the nurturing of all the new babies arriving at the production facility.

Over the past week, I've stocked litterally thousands of fresh houseplants & tropical treasures from Florida including more than 20 NEW varieties for 2010! A BIG thanks to Mike & George for helping me unpack them! Here are just a few highlights that came out of those boxes:
Calathea 'Jester'
Calatheas are easy to grow mederate to lower light plants. This one, with is enigmatic flashes of cream, chartreuse & yellow is sure to brighten any room!
Cissus amazonica
Also called "Amazon Jungle Vine", this tendril climber is considered rare (I've been trying to get my hands on this one for a few years now). We are proud to offer it, but if you're interested, hurry in - I only have a handful!

Vanilla planifolium 'Variegata'
Speaking of rare, how about a variegated Vanilla bean orchid? Yep - They're here - and at a Telly's price! They are easy to grow if you remember two things; they like bright, diffused light, & should be kept evenly moist (not wet).

Cattleya Orchids
This year, our Orchid selection is better than ever! Far mor than the common fare you will find elsewhere, our selections include; Ludisia (terrestrial Jewel Orchid), Oncidium, Cymbidium, Dendrobium, Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid), Vanilla, and some pretty cool Cats (Cattleya) - ALL at Telly's pricing! - We will also be unveiling several varieties of summer blooming orchids later in the season - perfect for the patio & combination pots!
Nepthytis (Syngonanthus) 'Emerald Gem'
We haven't stocked "Arrow Vine" for a few years now, but this one, with it's bold and ghostly white random flashing is a real stunner!

Colocasia 'Elena'
Those of you who know me know I love my "Elephant Ears". New for 2010, 'Elena' has strong potential for containers with its clearly chartreuse leaf, & a purple splotch in the center! Hmmm . . . .
Aglaonema 'Spakling Sarab'
I'm not sure yet if this variety is as indestructable as other "Chinese Evergreens", but, if it is; Katie - bar the doors! Nearly translucent cany-pink stems hold pink & white veined leaved with pink & white confetti splashes! This one has be seen to be believed!

Stop in & see all our other exciting new varieties!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

There's still time!