Celebrating 40 years of growing strong!

 Sabo's Woodside Nursery  

& Garden Center, Inc.

Monday - Saturday:  9 - 5:30

Sunday: 9 - 5

Call 440-466-9523

7800 North Ridge Road E, Madison OH 44057
phone: 440-466-9523   


"Earth laughs with flowers."  

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Creeping phlox is a great evergreen ground cover for the sun. It blooms profusely every spring, creating a blanket of color.
Flowering Cabbage thrives in cool weather and looks great all winter - as does Flowering Kale!

Giant Flowering Alliums 'Globemaster' in front of Scarlet Orange Poppies. Alliums are available in the fall when tulips and crocus are ready to plant. 

FLOWERS for FALL: Anemones bloom in September and October
Toad Lily
If possible, wait until November or December to shape up your holly and evergreens so they may be used for holiday decorating.
Cathee's Corner
Tips - Tips and more Tips!    
Listen to Sabo's Garden Chats on  WKKY 104.7 FM, Digital Country at about 4:10 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday April through June and Friday mornings on Mix 97.1 FM 

As Garden Center Manager for Sabo's Woodside Nursery, I bring decades of horticultural experience, including over 20 years at the Holden Arboretum. It was there that I developed a fascination with rare and unusual plants.  

My background is art and biology.  I love experimenting and creating Sabo's unique combos, advising customers on garden design, vegetable gardens, troubleshooting problems, plant ID, or finding creative solutions for growing challenges.  

I'm delighted to work with fellow garden lovers like Joanna, Steve, Paige, my daughter Lysa and the Sabo's, Brian, Barb, Caroline and Becky who equally enjoy sharing their experience and garden know-how with our wonderful customers.

My husband, Ron, and I have a small garden in Madison, and maximize every square inch of our property - we even plant on top of our compost.  We love to garden and frequently field questions from neighbors, family and friends.

This page is dedicated to sharing what we have done with very little space and what and how you can too! And by little, I mean less than 1/4 acre and that includes the house, garage and driveway! Most of the images I use on this site are from my home or Sabo's greenhouses. Get inspired - be creative!

 Email your gardening questions to:


or follow me on Facebook.


The weather has been great for getting outside to work and play. Gardens are in . . .mostly, and flowers are adding color to the landscapes and patios.

But what do you see when you look around the house? Are your house plants suffering from Cabin Fever? Mine sure are. They are longing for fresh air and sunshine, not to mention a good shower.

Most houseplants do very well with a summer outdoors, after all, they are just captive tropical plants. Even my orchids enjoy the summer break, returning in the fall with lush leaves and sturdy stems sporting new buds for winter blooms.

Remember this – just like us, plants can get a sunburn too! If they are moved from the house to direct sun the leaves can be damaged and do not recover. Sunburn doesn’t kill the plant – just the leaves which will have large brown areas that you’ll want to remove.

But that will not happen if you follow this advice. Put your plants in the shade, indirect sunlight is brighter than house light and may be all some plants need, others can be moved gradually into more light over the course of a couple weeks.

This is also a good time to repot, prune and feed as they are entering a growth spurt. Keep an eye on the rain and water as needed. If plants are in a pot that does not have drainage holes, be sure to dump the excess water out after rain or watering.

JULY 20: First tomato and more turning - Big Beef of course. 
It's that time again. We have been harvesting our Paris Island Romaine and Red Salad Bowl Lettuce all month and there's plenty to come. Pulled the first few radishes June 21.  
Tomatoes are forming on Big Beef , and bell peppers are also setting their first fruits.  Kentucky Blue Pole beans and Bush Beans are growing well, as are the Diva cucumbers, once again climbing the fence. Peas were planted late, but are starting to climb. Dill, Basil and Rosemary add fragrance to our garden walks. 


With the 2017 growing season in progress, I thought I'd summarize last year's harvest numbers to compare as this year's harvest. The actual tally is on the right - if you're curious. 

Our little  6' x 14' plot pictured above  plus 10' of our neighbor's chain link fence proves you do not need a big garden to yield a big harvest.

Choose varieties wisely, prep the soil, water and 
fertilize consistently.

 4 BIG BEEF tomato plants = 199 tomatoes
 5 BELL PEPPERS = 123  peppers
Red Baron, Red Knight, Orange Blaze, 2 Early Summer (yellow)
10' row of DIVA CUCUMBERS climbing a fence = 189 cukes
KENTUCKY BLUE POLE BEANS 4x8' trellis = 14 quarts

We also had 2 bushels of PARIS ISLAND ROMAINE LETTUCE
from 4 plants, plus assorted additional greens.

Cherry tomatoes are hard to tally because we graze on our garden walks.  we grow 1 each of Sweet Gold, Grape and Sweet 100 in a 20" patio pot with a tomato cage and keep the top trimmed to encourage lower ripening and to keep them under 6' tall. 

We also had a plentiful supply of dill, basil, cilantro, parsley and rosemary. Herbs are easy to pop into flower gardens. 

I jumped the gun for an early start when the weather was so warm.
 planting began April 26 with 4 BIG BEEF TOMATOES, 5 BELL PEPPERS, lettuce, parsley, and spinach in a window box that will later hold flowers.  More details later. 


How to plant bare root Bearded Iris:

1. Select firm health rhizomes - the adapted root of an iris, a few new roots and perhaps the tips of new growth can be seen. Bare roots can be soaked from a few hours to overnight before planting - NO longer!

2. Choose a mostly sunny site - 6-8 hours of direct sun per day.

3. Dig a shallow hole big enough to accommodate the roots to be spread out, and mound soil for setting the rhizome on.

4. Place the rhizome on the mound so it be exposed to the air after to roots are covered with soil.

5. Firm soil in place with your hands, water, label, and make sure the rhizome remains visible - do not cover it with mulch. Sand makes a good mulch for iris beds.


August is also a good time to divide daylilies as well as iris. Once the plants are dug and divided, cut the tops back to about 6 inches, this will help the roots hold more of the energy



Check your tomatoes for the veracious eater - TOMATO HORNWORM - also known to consume pepper, eggplant and potato, in fact any member of the solanaceous family.


Hand picking is recommended as they are usually small in number. They can be relocated to the woodland where additional food sources - horse nettle, jimsonweed, and nightshade are available.


As an adult these garden pests are a delight in the butterfly garden when they become the HUMMINGBIRD or SPHINX MOTH.


Go to: www.vegedge.umn.edu/vegpest/hornworm.htm for a very informative handout.


When to pick: Early morning is best, the flowers, fruits and veggies retain water overnight making them fresher and flowers longer lasting.


Pick green beans before they start to bulge, that means the seeds inside are swelling to mature and will soon become wood and far less tender. Unless you are growing zucchini to be the giant entry at the fair, they should be picked when they are  to 8 inches long. They will be more tender at this stage. larger ones can be shredded and used for pancakes or zucchini bread.


See it. Know it. Treat it.

This is a picture of botrytis on the stems of lilies. Unacceptable. It starts at the ground and works its way up the stem. Our wet spring and summer weather contributed greatly to this situation. I am pretty much an organic garden - bugs are bird food so I just cope and let nature take its course. Plant disease  requires action. What to do?


These stems and all infected are about to be cut off at the ground and burned. They may also be bagged and trashed. The MOST important thing to note is do NOT compost them. Botrytis is a disease and will spread throughout your garden plants.


Stop the flow by removing the source and treating the remaining plants and soil. PLEASE!


These pictures are from my home garden where we grow hundreds of lilies, so the need to deal with the threat is huge.


I am using a product from Bonide called Fung-onil  (from SABO'S) available in a ready to spray bottle for small applications or a larger attach to the hose form. I will be using the later.


After removing the diseased foliage, I will spray the rest of my garden to protect them from the spread of botrytis . . . and pray. 


Although it will not kill the lily bulbs, I will have smaller and fewer blooms next year because the bulbs are will not have the needed nourishment from the foliage to feed themselves. After they bloom, it is important (just as in daffodils and tulips) to allow the leaves to remain attached and healthy as long as possible to grow great flowers for the following year.

This is the lily bed in our front yard. It was sprayed with Fung-0nil and all the lilies thrived!   FYI - they are Orienpet lilies, get 6-7' tall and carry 2 -3 DOZEN blooms per stem without staking!  It's a cross between oriental and trumpet.

The pictures of botrytis (above) were taken in the bed to the left. Too close for comfort so we had to act quickly!

Yes, it is real - and you can make it happen in your yard.
The concept is as simple as planting the right plant in the right place.
Sun lovers go in the sun; shade lovers in the shade; drought tolerant plants in your hard to water locations, moisture lovers in your damp spots or wet areas. 
Consider the height at maturity - especially in shrubs - and use tall plants in the back; shorter ones to the front. It takes a lot of time and effort to keep a tall shrub short.
So much to know - where do you find all this information? 
We all love to garden at home and enjoy sharing our experience with Sabo's shoppers.

The low maintenance shade garden pictured above is from Garden Center manager, Cathee Thomas' back yard.
Holly berries begin with the flowers - both male and female, blooming on separate plants. The female flower (above) clearly shows the center of the bloom where the ovary - which will become the berry, is already defined and waiting for pollination, geneally accomplished by bees
Only female holly plants produce berries
This is what BLEEDING HEARTS are suppose to look like in August. They go dormant in mid-summer. They are NOT dying, simply going to bed early for the season so they will be well rested and ready to grow and bloom in early spring. Many spring perennials, Trillium, Squirrel Corn/Dutchman's Britches, Virginia Bluebells, also go dormant in the summer - do not remove them!
Do Not Prune Spring Blooming Shrubs in Summer or Fall!
Trees and shrubs that bloom in the spring set their buds for next year within a month of blooming. Pruning later will remove these future flowers. Some, like dogwood, rhododendron or viburnum,  have very obvious buds that you can see. Others, like forsythia, flowering almond, lilac, azaleas, and many more are less obvious.
Hydrangeas bloom on OLD WOOD - do not prune other than removing dead wood or you will also be removing future blooms. 

This is the nasty little Viburnum Beelte. it is about half the size of  a Japanese beelte but can eat twice a much in half the time. Deal with them  right away.   Learn more at:


Recommended treatment: Bonide's EIGHT Insect Control - it kills over 100 species of problem pests including Japanese Beetles! Whatever you choose to use - READ and FOLLOW the directions!

After the flowers fade on rhododendrons it is time to deadhead. The best method is to reach in and grasp the stem just below the flower truss and above the tips of new branches and bend. This action should snap the seed head cleanly off. If the plant is soft and bends rather than snap it probably needs water. Soak the soil and try again later - or use pruners.

This is also a good time to do any pruning or shaping of the plant.

Plan for spring as you clean!
As you clean up your gardens look carefully and review your garden - look at what worked and what did not; can you improve the growing conditions for those that didn't? Make a note what to do when or what would be a better plant for those problem areas. Fall is a good time to plant - go ahead and add some perennials - and tuck some spring blooming bulbs between them!
Do this NOW while it is fresh on your mind!
There will be plenty of distractions before its time to plant again.


Have you planted ALL your spring blooming bulbs yet? It's OK if you haven't. They can safely be planted whenever the ground is workable - as in not frozen.  They will fare far better with a late planting  - even the January thaw (I know this from experience) rather than being held for spring planting.


So get out there and just DO IT!

Take advantage of the end of the season specials and get them in the ground. Bulbs will not survive in the bag in your garage.

Tulips, narcisus and grape hyacinths make a memorable display come spring. Just check out this Madison home.
I am breaking down the topics on Cathee's Corner to to blogs by topic to make it easier for you to find what interests you.
Repeat Blooming Iris flower well into the fall as this picture from my Madison garden with the mums in full glory shows.


Choose heathy rhisomes that are firm and show some signs new growth
Soak roots of bare root perennials a few hours before planting
When planting two different colors in a bed aim the fans (new growth) in oposite directions, later when time to divide you will be able to tell which color is which.