A Bit of Chrysanthemum History

“If you would be happy for a lifetime, grow Chrysanthemums.” (Chinese philosopher)

More than just a late-season garden booster, Chrysanthemums are used throughout the world in medicine, pest controls, edibles and teas. They are plants that have continually proved their worth, in both utility and beauty, since ancient times.

Chrysanthemums have been used and revered by the Chinese since at least the early 15th century, according to the National Chrysanthemum Society USA, “As an herb, it was believed to have the power of life. Legend has it that the boiled roots were used as a headache remedy; young sprouts and petals were eaten in salads; and leaves were brewed for a festive drink.” […]

By |October 9th, 2014|Blog, Garden Tips|Comments Off on A Bit of Chrysanthemum History

Are You Out Of Your Gourd

If you love to grow vegetables, but find you can never eat all your garden yields, here’s an alternative to researching new recipes in anticipation of your millionth tomato. Grow some decorative gourds in place of a portion of your usual edible veggies. Decorative gourds have potential as centerpieces, serving bowls, storage containers, birdhouses, and a wide range of children’s craft projects. You might be surprised that professional gourd artists can sell their art for as much as $20,000 and their artwork is displayed in galleries across the nation. If mastering the skills required for fine art gourds is not in your future, then consider the novelty of drying gourds for maracas and giving them to the youngsters in your family. […]

By |October 9th, 2014|Blog, Garden Tips|Comments Off on Are You Out Of Your Gourd

Caring for Fall Beds

Are you overloaded with new ideas for perennial beds and borders after visiting friends or public display gardens? Seen lots of unfamiliar and interesting new plants at the nursery? If so, fall is an excellent time to prepare new beds for planting now or in the spring. The cooler temperatures, weaker sunlight and shorter days of fall mean less energy goes into top growth and more into establishing a strong root system. Planting in this area can usually continue through October.

After choosing the proper plants for your location-taking into account plant hardiness and the amount of available light-the most important thing you can do to insure success is to properly prepare your soil.

After marking off the area, you need to rid it of perennial weeds. Rototilling will only increase your weed crop, so you will need to carefully pull all underground stems and roots. Be sure to also remove any additional roots you find when you turn the soil over. […]

By |October 9th, 2014|Blog, Garden Tips|Comments Off on Caring for Fall Beds


Mums are as ubiquitous as pumpkins in the fall. You can find them everywhere and anywhere from nurseries to supermarkets to gas stations. However, once you get them home they are incredibly easy to kill. They dry out in a nanosecond and need to be watered at least once a day. After the repeated stress of drying out, they often just up and die.

Here are five tips to keep your mums from croaking.


• Re-pot – This is the single most important thing you can do to increase the longevity of your mums. Most mums are completely root bound when you get them. The roots have taken up the entire pot, which makes it really hard for the soil to retain any water. The best way to deal with this is to provide your mums with more soil by re-potting them. To do this, choose a container that is a little bigger than the container your mums came in. Fill the bottom of the new pot with a good quality potting soil. Carefully remove the mum from its nursery pot. Break up any roots you can, or simply rough them up by rubbing them. Put the plant in the new pot, making sure the surface of the soil rests at least an inch below the lip of the new pot. You do this so there is room for water. Fill in around the plant’s root ball, because you want potting soil, not air in contact with the roots. Tamp down soil gently. Give the pot a good water and add more soil wherever it’s needed.


By |September 1st, 2014|Blog, Garden Tips|Comments Off on CARING FOR MUMS IN CONTAINERS

Fall is for Planting

Autumn is a wonderful time for planting in the landscape or container garden: temperatures are more moderate, soil moisture is easier to maintain, root growth increases in most trees and shrubs, it’s easier to see where empty or lacking places are than in spring and we plant tenders have caught our second wind! Spring flowering bulbs, perennials (including the classic Mum) and trees and shrubs thrive when planted in the fall. […]

By |August 19th, 2014|Blog, Garden Tips|Comments Off on Fall is for Planting

Feelings of Fall

Fall evokes thoughts of crisp, cool air, geese flying overhead, and leaves crunching underfoot. Capture the spirit of autumn with an inviting display of plants near the doorway of your home. Your display can be as simple or fancy as you like, start with a basic potted container, and then add-on decorative accents. […]

By |February 10th, 2014|Blog, Garden Tips|Comments Off on Feelings of Fall

Tips for Annual Selection & Care

Choose Well

To ensure attractive healthy annuals all season, choose full, well branched plants with good foliage color and – on flowering annuals – an abundance of buds. Don’t go for the biggest plants or most open blooms, these are more likely to be leggy and burned out too soon. If the latter is all you find, you can improve their appearance and longevity by pruning them back by about one third to encourage branching and fresh growth. […]

By |February 10th, 2014|Blog, Spring|Comments Off on Tips for Annual Selection & Care

Plants to Celebrate Spring’s Return

Late winter into early spring is when we crave fresh growth, a bit of color…some sign that spring is really returning!! Swelling buds on Pussy Willow and dainty Snowdrop blooms – which might be overlooked or scoffed at if amongst the lushness of summer plant life – bring excitement, praise and hope! These are soon followed by bolder displays, as the likes of Forsythia, Tulips, Magnolias and more burst into bloom and cement our certainty of spring’s return! […]

By |February 9th, 2014|Blog, Spring|Comments Off on Plants to Celebrate Spring’s Return

Beneficial Mulches Assist with Chemical-Free Garden Health

Benefits of Mulching

Long before modern day use as a purely decorative element, mulch had an established history of benefitting plants, soil and gardeners. This is still its highest calling. A good layer of beneficial mulch can reduce stress on plants by regulating soil temperatures and reducing moisture loss and competition from weeds. In the veggie garden it also helps keep leafy veggies from getting splashed with dirt each


By |February 9th, 2014|Blog, Spring|Comments Off on Beneficial Mulches Assist with Chemical-Free Garden Health

Make room for ‘BIG’ color in your garden this year!

Hot, bold hues and diversified shades of foliage are all the rage. From Tangerine Tango, the new Pantone color of the year, to rich jewel tones galore, make this seasons’ garden space your own tropical paradise. Dramatic foliage plants such as Black Lace™ Elderberry or ‘Black Magic’ Colocasia help create that relaxed island feel. Plant them in lively colored glazed pottery. To complete your setting, add a colorful accent such as ‘Jewel Mix’ Nasturtiums or a basket of Caliente® Orange Ivy Geraniums. […]

By |November 19th, 2013|Blog, Spring|Comments Off on Make room for ‘BIG’ color in your garden this year!