In Store


Greenhouse

Annuals
million-bells-fireSwan River Gardens offers a wide variety of pre-planted living container gardens and hanging baskets. Beautifully designed mini gardens bloom all season long and will surely brighten your home, office or special event. Many of our pre-planted liners can simply be dropped into your existing ceramic pottery or choose a new piece of ceramic pottery from our great selection.

Swan River Gardens carries many choices of favorite annuals such as geraniums, petunias, vinca & marigolds. Our growers look for new varieties of these classics and are sure to carry customer favorites each season. New and exciting plants come on to the market each year and we try to have as many as we can so you can have the latest and greatest stuff for your garden!

Annuals need the very best soil to grow in our short season plus lots of good water. They are also heavy feeders so time released or regular fertilizer is a good idea. We use annuals in containers like pots to sit on the deck, hanging baskets or window boxes. They come in all kind of upright or trailing shapes and can be used for many shapes and types of containers. Some annuals need ‘deadheading’ or cleaning off of spent flowers, to continue blooming all season. Because so many annuals will bloom all summer, they are often used in flower beds to provide color when the permanent plantings are growing or are finished with flowering. When planning flower beds, Swan River Garden’s designers always leave

Hanging Baskets and Container Gardening
20140708_062807_Richtone(HDR)Pre-planted
Swan River Gardens offers a wide variety of pre-planted living container gardens and hanging baskets. Beautifully designed mini gardens bloom all season long and will surely brighten your home, office or special event. Many of our pre-planted liners can be simply dropped into your existing containers or you can chose one from our great selection of ceramic pottery, this makes it easy for you to switch out to keep with the season, spring, summer, fall.

CustomIMG_6254
Swan River Gardens offers very popular custom planting of your containers and hanging baskets, lovingly tended in our greenhouses until you are ready to take them home. Customers may bring their containers to us in fall for winter storage and we can plant them in spring or they can get them to us in spring for planting. There is no charge for winter storage. Pickup and delivery is available for a fee based on mileage.

Customers can either specify what plants and colors they want or let Swan River Garden’s experienced designers show their stuff! Pots have soil replenished, fertilizer added and are planted to create the fullest, most lush pots you have ever seen! Cost will vary by pot size and plants used. Custom baskets and containers are perfect for your home, business, special event, and wedding. Call us for details. No matter how odd or unique the container is, if you can want it planted, we can do it!!!!

DIY
Spend a few moments with one of Swan River Gardens talented designers, they will gladly advise you on which colorful plant arrangements will fit your particular space. Or attend our Planting Night Workshop or sign up for our One-on-One Make and Take sessions we have in the spring. Check our events section for details and dates.

Vegetable Plants
Hot PeppersVegetable gardens and orchards are one of the most popular pastimes in the world. Even with Montana’s tough climate the list of foods we can grow here is nearly endless! Swan River Gardens specializes in tough, hardy fruit trees and shrubs that will thrive here. And we start our vegetable plants early so you can put out plants that are well on their way in spring. Our seed selections are fresh each spring so you know you are getting good seeds that will come up reliably.

Vegetable gardening is a rewarding hobby that pays off in fresh produce. You may never look at a supermarket tomato the same way again after having one fresh off the vine! Vegetable gardens can be large, elaborate plantings or one tomato plant in a pot on the deck. Whatever your designs are, Swan River Gardens can help you find seeds, plants and everything else to insure your success. You may start with one tomato plant in a pot and become so enthusiastic about the fresh vegetables that you will find ways to expand. Swan River Gardens will be there to help and offer tips about soil preparation, starting your own seeds, treating pests and how to harvest your crops.


Nursery

Trees
acerfreemaniiautumnblazeTrees are the ‘bones’ of any landscape, providing structure and architecture to build a design from. Swan River Gardens sells trees in many sizes, from small and economical potted ones to large (Balled & Burlap) ‘B&B’ that are ‘instant’ trees.

Trees serve a number of purposes in the landscape. Majestic Maples offer shade and are planted to make a cool refuge in the yard or cool the house the ‘green’ way. Showy Flowering Crabapples can be counted on to burst into color in May and herald the coming season. ToweringIMG_4604 Blue Spruce will provide a wind break and four seasons of screening. Distinctly colorful Canada Red Chokecherries make a showy point in the landscape and give visual relief from too much green!

Swan River Gardens brings in trees that thrive in the Flathead Valley and makes sure they are properly acclimated. Quite a few of our nursery trees come from neighboring northern Idaho where they grow them tough and hardy! Our knowledgeable nursery staff will help you select a tree for any site that will serve your purpose to enhance your property. The staff will give you good instructions so you can plant a tree and have it thrive. We know trees can be the biggest investment in the landscape so we do all we can to help you succeed. Come walk through the Swan River Gardens tree yards and you’ll see many wonderful specimens to consider taking home.

pruning diagram

Shrubs
shrub yard 3Swan River Gardens grows and sells a great selection of shrubs that are suited for all of the Flathead Valley. Our growers know their stuff and make sure our plants are hardy and acclimated for our region. Customers can select from flowering shrubs like spirea and lilac and many kinds of evergreen junipers or spruces. Our landscape designers can help you chose IMG_1978shrubs that will work in any site.

While shrubs are sometimes viewed as ‘boring’ plants that just go around the foundation of the house we’d like to expand your thinking and inspire you to see shrubs as players in your perennial beds, anchors for dramatic island beds in the yard or for stately hedge borders that define spaces and lead the eye to vistas beyond your property. There is a shrub, or two, or three that can do all these things and more.

SRG May 29 2007 168 In your perennial beds, a small spirea like ‘Little Princess’ flowers in June and July and then makes a tidy green mound that punctuates the space. A neat evergreen like ‘Little Gem’ Spruce can provide structure and interest through all four seasons. In a larger island bed, a dwarf lilac such as ‘Miss Kim’ with its strong vase shape and medium size 4-5’ of height will help transition from a tree’s size smoothly to a perennial plant’s size and make a design flow effortlessly.

If you are fond of your view of the mountains but not of your neighbor’s property, a row of native red twig dogwood, Cornus sericea, can make an informal boundary that will require little care once established. A more formal hedge of trimmed and clipped Alpine Currant makes an excellent living fence that can define a smaller space and provide a green backdrop for other plants.

Selecting the proper shrub for a site is important to get right. Swan River Gardens Retail Nursery Yard is full of informative signs that you tell you all the things you need to know to get it right: Sun or shade, dry or moist, how high, how wide, when and what color of flower. Our informative and helpful staff is always happy to help you make choices and answer any questions.

And let us not forget roses, that very favorite of all shrubs. Swan River Gardens carries hardy shrub roses, tough and dependable for the Flathead Valley and easy to care for. New varieties such as ‘Morden Sunrise’ offer new colors like salmon and compact growth habits in the 2-3’ range. Disease resistant types like ‘Knockout’ are becoming very popular and proving their toughness year after year.

Be sure to visit the Swan River Gardens Retail Nursery Yard for plenty of ideas for using shrubs in your garden. You’ll be surprised how useful and versatile many shrubs can be!!!

Perennials
P1060366Perennials are soft stemmed plants that return from their roots year after year. Swan River Gardens grows old garden favorites like peonies, daylilies, hosta and phlox along with many others. We grow nearly 500 different kinds of perennials so you are sure to find some that will work in any spot! New varieties come to the market every year and we always try to find room for some of those too. Some old plants like Coral Bells are being tinkered with all the time and the new varieties are a lot of fun to try.

Because perennials are permanent plantings, good site and soil preparation is a must. YouFanfare won’t get another chance so start these plants out right in good soil that will drain properly. Amend soil with compost so it is light and full of good things for the plants to spread roots out in. Healthy roots equal healthy plants in the long run. When you are ready to choose your plants, come see our design experts for ideas. We can help you choose the right plants for the amount of sun or shade your bed receives and show you plants that flower at different times so there is always something blooming. We will also help you arrange your choices for heights and habit that go together.

SRG May 29 2007 172While we think of perennials as permanent plantings, that does not mean maintenance is not necessary. Many kinds of perennials will benefit from regular deadheading, the removing of spent flowers, to continue blooming longer through the season. This is true of any of the Salvia’s for example. Other perennials need to be divided every few years to continue thriving. Siberian Iris will start to put fewer flowers out after 5-7 years and should be lifted and divided in spring. On the other hand, it is important to always let your perennial plantings grow undisturbed for at least three years before you do any dividing or moving. We use the phrase ‘sleep, creep & leap’ when describing perennial growth. Perennials ‘sleep’ the first year, showing very little change, ‘creep’ the second year, showing modest growth and ‘leap’ their third season, generally reaching mature height and spread.

Most perennials can be cut back to 2-3 inches in fall when frost has come along to knock the plant down. You can spread a 2-3 inch layer of compost on your perennial beds in either fall or spring to keep the soil healthy. If you are thinking about dividing any plants, the general rule is spring flowering plants get divided in fall and fall flowering plants get divided in spring. Remember though, this is a general rule. You can call us anytime you have questions and we are happy to help you!

Fruit Trees & Small Fruits
P1060946 Blueray From one tree in the backyard to a many fruit home orchard, you can get good local advice from the experts at Swan River Gardens. Because you should expect a fruit tree to live a long time, planting it in the right place with the right soil is very important. Fruit trees need to be sited where they will get a minimum of 6 hours of full sun each day. Fruit is mostly water so a site that you can get water to is also important.

Many fruits have specific needs for cross pollination and must be grown with companion trees that are selected for pollination. Cross pollination refers to two trees of the same fruit, such as Apple, but different varieties, Macintosh and Red Delicious for example. Some fruits are called ‘self fertile’. This means they do not need another tree of any kind to produce fruit. A number of plums such as Italian Prunes are self fertile whilestrawberry Earliglow pears never are. Cherry white backgroundCross pollination also applies to some small bush fruits. Blue Berries need two different varieties to set fruit while raspberries are self fertile and do not. The experts at Swan River Gardens select varieties that are compatible for you and can also offer advice for varieties you may already have.

fruit tree basics

Gifts & Pottery

Swan River Gardens gift shop is the place to go if you are looking for that special gift for a friend or need to add some personality to your garden. Our gift shop is filled with a variety of colored or natural pottery of all sizes, trellises, yard ornaments, unique planting containers, windchimes, decorative or functional watering cans, garden benches, tools, birdhouses, water wands and much much more!

Be sure to take time to browse our Gift Shop before or after you head to the greenhouses. You are sure to find something that will delight you and make your special garden an even more special place!


Soil, Compost & Mulch

How Much Mulch? What Kind of Soil? What?
Every once in a while at Swan River Gardens we will find some poor soul out in our bulk material yard walking from mulch mountain to mulch mountain trying to decide which one to get. Or someone comes in and asks for ‘dirt’ and suddenly faces what seems like just too many choices for such a simple request. Let’s try to sort this all out so you can walk in and confidently get what you need and want for every job.

Swan River Gardens sells garden soil, potting soil, soil conditioner and compost to grow plants in. We also sell chipped bark for mulch in four sizes, mini, small, medium and walk on. All these products are available bagged or in bulk by the yard and each kind is priced individually. Partial yards are also available. Our bulk products come from Mountain West and Glacier Gold, both local producers.

A cubic yard is equal to 27 square feet. In other words, it represents the volume of a box that measures 3 feet on all sides. For comparison, a raised one foot high bed, 3 feet wide and 9 feet long would also be one cubic yard. See the chart at the end of this article for formulas to figure out how much material you need. As far as how much a cubic yard weighs, that depends on the material and the water content. Evenly moist topsoil weighs about 90 pounds per cubic foot so a full yard of it will weigh about 2400 pounds or so. A full size standard half ton pickup can just about handle this amount so you should plan loads accordingly. The Swan River Gardens dump truck can carry about 7 yards of topsoil at one time. Obviously bark mulch is lighter and rock is heavier so you should adjust your plans to fit. Swan River Gardens offers delivery for a fee based on mileage.

Here is the scoop on the soil & mulch products we offer

Soil Mixes for growing plants:

Swan River 4 Way

Swan River Gardens 4-Way Mix: This custom blend contains compost, peat moss, sand and fine bark. This is what we plant our shrubs and trees in pots with. It is a great mix for raised garden beds or to make any garden soil better. This is the best choice for a new garden. It can also be used in containers especially ones you want to grow vegetables in. Annuals will do fine too but you may want to mix in some perlite to loosen the soil up even more. Available only in bulk.

IMG_0647

GG Growers Blend

Glacier Gold Grower’s Blend Potting Soil: Another fine local product that contains compost, perlite, coconut coir and peat moss. This is a premium blend for gardeners who grow plants that are a little bit fussy about soil conditions. For container plantings this mix will drain well and offer a little more nutrient from the compost than plain potting soil. It is what Swan River Gardens uses to plant the majority of our annuals in pots and our custom container plantings. You can usually get 2-3 seasons out of this mix in your containers if you add a little compost in spring. Available in 1.5cf bag or in bulk.

BULK SRG Sifted

SRG Planting Mix

SRG Planting Mix: This mix comes from Swan River Gardens own compost. Old plants, leaves and recycled potting soil are composted here on site then mixed with washed sand, peat moss, top soil and fertilizer then sifted. Great for refreshing your garden or planting trees and shrubs. SRG Compost Blend Has not been sterilized and is our most nutrient rich mix. Available only in bulk.

 

Products to Improve Your Soil:

GG Compost

GG Compost

Glacier Gold Compost: Locally produced compost made of forest products, organic matter & bio-solids. Bio-solids are waste from sewage treatment. In large urban areas, such material has been found to be contaminated with toxic waste but here in the Flathead Valley we do not have the kind of industry that contaminates the waste stream therefore we can say with confidence that Glacier Gold Compost is safe to use. Use it to amend garden soil to add nutrients and texture. You can use it to rejuvenate container soil and to top dress the strawberry or raspberry patch in spring. With very high nutrient value, this is GOOD STUFF! Available in bags or in bulk.

Yard Care Certified Organic Compost: This is our only OMRI Certified Organic Compost available in bulk or bags. OMRI Certified indicates, this compost has passed OMRI’s technical review and is compliant with organic standards. The compost is made up of composted Fir and Pine bark, composted Manure/Straw and Black Reed Sedge Peat Moss. This is a great way to add nutrients to containers or garden beds organically. If organic gardening is in your practices, then this is the compost for you.

Soil Pep

Soil Pep: This product is like the ugly stepsister to compost but most gardeners have a good use for it and some even swear by it. It is used to amend garden soil to improve texture & break up clay. Soil pep is an excellent clay buster! It can also be used as mulch to top dress perennial beds or fruit patches. It is less formal than bark or rock and does not contain weed seed so it can be an excellent for weed suppression. It is made up of finely ground bark & chips and does not have much nutrient value. You should add compost to it or use granulated fertilizer to amend soil pep’s nutrient levels. Available in bags or in bulk.

 

Products for Mulch: Mulch serves several important purposes in the garden world. They are a great way to save time in the garden. Mulch can help suppress weeds and hold moisture in. For some plants such as clematis mulch helps keep roots cool, something the vine needs for good flowering. Mulch also makes good paths to keep mud off feet, both yours and your pet’s.

Mini Nuggets

Mini Nuggets

Mini Bark: Made up of finely ground bark, this product is excellent for both moisture retention and weed suppression. It is good for perennial beds and will break down over several seasons after which you can till it in. Available in bags or in bulk.

 

Small Nuggets

Small Nuggets

Small Bark: These uniform pieces of conifer bark work for well for paths. The small pieces are easy and safe to walk on but do not scuff up easily. Small bark is also good for a clean look under shrubs and like all mulch helps hold moisture in and keep roots cool. Available in bags or in bulk.

 

MED Nuggets

MED Nuggets

Medium Bark: Larger pieces of chipped conifer bark are great for mulch around large shrubs and trees. The look is clean and finished. Use at least a 3 inch layer for good weed suppression. Available in bags or in bulk.

 

Walk On

Walk On

Supreme Walk On Bark: This is a blended product with medium and large bark chips plus shredded pieces of wood. The great advantage of Walk On Bark is that it holds in place well, even on slopes. The varied sizes of material help it to ‘knit’ together and stay in place. It is a good choice for mulching shrubs and trees or for paths. Available in bags or in bulk.

 

Soil Pep

Soil Pep

Soil Pep: This product is like the ugly stepsister to compost but most gardeners have a good use for it and some even swear by it. It is used to amend garden soil to improve texture & break up clay. Soil pep is an excellent clay buster! It can also be used as mulch to top dress perennial beds or fruit patches. It is less formal than bark or rock and does not contain weed seed so it can be an excellent for weed suppression. It is made up of finely ground bark & chips and does not have much nutrient value. You should add compost to it or use granulated fertilizer to amend soil pep’s nutrient levels. Available in bags or in bulk.

Swan River Gardens carries all these products throughout the season. We can load them for you in your truck or trailer. We also offer delivery for a fee based on mileage. Assorted other goods are also available in bag goods. You can find products like manure, peat moss and organic potting soil in our bag good lineup. Come see us and let our Swan River Gardens expert’s help you select the product you need. We look forward to showing you our mountains of mulch!

Bulk Coverage Chart

Bulk Coverage Chart


Gift Cards

Giving the perfect gift just got easier!

Simply, order a Swan River Gardens Gift Card online and we'll mail it wherever you'd like for free! Then let them shop our gift shop, greenhouse and nursery to find their favorite gift. Everyone wins!