Armstrong and Monrovia have a long history together, dating back to the 1920s when founders John Armstrong and Harry Rosedale worked together to bring about changes in the way trees and shrubs were introduced to the home gardener.  It was all about making shopping for plants easier and more fun.  And the tradition continues…. Five years ago, Armstrong was the first garden center in the country to install Monrovia Boutiques, those large areas in our garden centers dedicated to ideas and inspiration.  There you will see a wide array of Monrovia plants, including many fabulous improved varieties that you won’t find at the warehouse stores.   Plus the Boutique displays illustrate which plants look good together, how to create interesting containers and ways to integrate garden accents to create a theme look for your garden. I’m sure you recognize the green Monrovia pots that hold those Distinctively Better® plants, and notice how lush and healthy they are.  But it’s what is going on inside that pot that makes a difference.  Each of the 2,300 plant varieties they grow is nurtured in a customized soil mix that helps develop a strong root system.  Mycorrhizae are added to the soil mix – this is a “good fungus” that helps the roots absorb moisture and nutrients from the soil.  Monrovia’s healthy plants will flourish in your garden and make you a more successful gardener.     Monrovia has introduced hundreds of improved plant varieties that are bred to be more pest and disease resistant and/or with improved characteristics such as increased flower or fruit production, or unique color or shape.  Like the new Bountiful Blue® Blueberry, winner of “Best Edible Plant” award at a recent horticulture trade show.  It produces a huge crop of sweet berries and its blue-tinged foliage is stunning in the garden. Another is Monrovia’s Gardenias that are grafted onto root stock that is nematode resistant, that tolerate poor soils and is better at taking up soil nutrients.  Princess Lillies® Alstromeria are bred for a nice compact shape and are less leggy than other Alstromeria.  Hibiscus Red Darling is a prolific bloomer with an exceptional bright cherry red flower and a vigorous upright growth habit. For monthly ideas and inspiration, visit www.monrovia.com and sign up for the plant savvy newsletter.