Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tips on Winter Bird Feeding

Winter is a crucial time for the birds that remain in our area. They spend their time facing the elements of bitter cold and snowstorms. There are no insects to eat and the natural seeds are covered with snow; the berries and crab apples are gone. Birds need enough food to maintain their body temperatures and must search for food from sun up to dusk. Fortunately, for the birds, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 41 million Americans spend $2 billion annually on bird feed and the numbers are increasing yearly.

Some simple tips to help the birds are as follows:

* Put out feeders with good size capacity or multiple feeder. 
  * Place feeders at different levels for different types of birds.

* Provide seed such as Black Oil Sunflower Seed or Wild Bird Seed.

* Providing suet during the winter gives energy and fat that the birds need to survive.

* Keep your feeders full. If you leave on vacation have a friend or family member fill your bird feeders while you are gone.
* Be consistent and keep feeding through the winter. 

* Remember to keep water out for the birds. Using bird bath heaters helps keep water from freezing in your birdbaths.  

* Clean your feeders periodically during the winter to avoid grime.

* Place your feeders in a protected area.

Fairy Simple

You don't have to be a child to enjoy this activity. Fairy gardens are one of the most popular fads going on in gardens across the country.

Not only can you create a beautiful fairy garden outside, but  indoor ones as well.

They can be as simple or elaborate as you want to make them. All you need is a little imagination, a pot, some soil and little fairy garden supplies. (We stock a great selection).

Check out the our  Fairy Garden Pinterest page for great ideas. 

Cat Tastic

Cat grass is one of the easiest seeds to grow and you don't  necessarily need to own a cat in order to grow it. If you have a child or grand child and you need something to do on a cold wintery day. This activity is fun and simple. All you need are the following supplies.
  • Cat Grass Seeds 
  • Clay Pot
  • Acrylic Paint (Any color)  
  • Potting Soil    
The sky is the limit on what to color your pot. Mine is the color of my cat 'Mittens'. 
After your pot is done drying fill it with potting soil.  
Then gently push the seeds into the soil and place a light layer on top of the seeds.  
Water in and place in a sunny window.  

Cat grass seeds germinate quickly and once it has grown tall enough you can keep it trimmed like grass

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Spreading The Green Spirit

There is nothing like the smell of fresh cut greens to make the holiday season hit home. If you are like me, I relish the day when the greens come in. I purposely walk by the greens area every day so I can catch that whiff of fresh cut pine.

For those who love to make fresh arrangements.  I have included in this edition our "Christmas How To" You Tube videos. For other great You Tube videos check out our You Tube page. 


What you need:
Fresh Greens, Wreath Frame, Paddle Wire, Ribbon,
 & Pine Cones.
Porch Sitter
What you need:
Fresh Greens, Pot, Wet Oasis, Ribbon & Other Decorations
Candle Ring
What you need:
Juniper Greens, Wreath Frame, Paddle Wire, & Candle
Pine Cone Door Swag
What you need:
Large Pine Cones, Ribbon, Hot Glue, & Artificial Greens
Fresh Greens Swag
What you need:
Fresh Greens, Paddle Wire, & Ribbon
Center Piece
What you need:
Ceramic Bowl, Fresh Greens, Wet Oasis, & Decorations
Quick Hostess Gifts
What You Need:
Basket or Coffee Mug, Fresh Greens, & Small Gifts

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


A typical Thanksgiving day in our household is to try to sleep in (if you have a child or animal you know that is quite impossible). Then, after the usual hustle and bustle of getting breakfast going and tending to the animals, we sit down and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

After enjoying the floats and balloons, we get together with family and friends, relax -eat way too much! -and give thanks for all that we have.

This has been a long standing tradition in our home.

As many others have their traditions, so has the plant world. Not only do Christmas trees, poinsettias and Christmas cactus hold a place among traditional plants of the season; the amaryllis has also become part of the lineup, brightening the home with gorgeous flowers that last for weeks on end.
 Legend has it that a young woman named Amaryllis fell in love, but the man she was in love with would not return that love. He was more interested in his garden. In desperation the young woman went to an oracle who gave her a golden arrow.

She was told for 29 days to stop by his house and each day prick her heart with it.

On the 29th day a beautiful red flower grew where the blood of the girl's heart had fallen on the ground. Of course, like all fairy tale love stories, this one has a happy ending. The man fell instantly in love with the girl and he named the flower Amaryllis.
If you would like to add this beautiful flower to your home this season just follow these few easy steps.
  • How To Choose A Pot - Like the Black Friday rush, Amaryllis like to be somewhat crowded. A pot that has drainage holes and is 1-2 inches wider and deeper than the bulb itself is a perfect home for it.
  • How To Plant - If you look at an amaryllis they kind of resemble a human neck and shoulders. When planting you want the neck and part of the shoulders (1/3 of bulb) to stick up out of the soil. If they are planted too deep they will not bloom.
  • When To Water - After planting your bulb water thoroughly then allow the soil to dry out before watering again. Once growth appears you will want the soil to stay moist, but not wet. Just remember this saying "No soggy britches".
  • After Growth Appears - You will want to place your amaryllis in a sunny window. Once a day you want to turn you pot 180 degrees. This is called the Amaryllis twist. They like to grow towards the light and by turning the pot you will allow it to grow straight.
  • When Do I Fertilize? - After growth appears you will want to fertilize every 2 to 4 weeks with a diluted fertilizer solution such as Bud N' Bloom.  
  • When Will It Bloom? - Amaryllis take about 6 to 8 weeks from the time they are planted until they bloom. Once it starts to bloom, move your plant to an area which does not receive direct sunlight and is slightly cooler. This will prolong the life of the flowers.
I am adding the amaryllis to my traditions this year. I encourage you to do the same. Just like in the legend, you will fall in love with it too.  

Stay tuned for future newsletters, outlining what to do once the flowers are spent.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Don't Become Trigger Happy

Everyone has a love hate relationship when it comes to roses. We love the breathtaking blooms and intoxicating fragrance, but we hate the thorns. Mom always said "Their bark is worse than their bite", but if you have ever been pricked by a rose, you know that is not true! If the garden world could come up with one great invention for us it would be that all roses are thorn-less. At this time of year one of the most asked questions about roses is when can I prune them?

Well, my trigger happy friends (or should we say pruner happy), in Ohio it is best to wait until we have experienced a few hard freezes. 

In October, remove any tall canes that can be whipped around in the wind, but leave all the other canes alone.

After Thanksgiving or in December, for grafted roses put 10-12 inches of soil/ mulch on the crown of your plant or add a rose cone/ collar. Otherwise, if you own a Knock Out, shrub, own-root or ground cover rose, leave them alone until March/April.

In March, gradually remove covering (mulch) or vent the top of the rose cones to allow warm air to escape.   

In April, after all danger of hard frost has past, you will want to trim down to where new growth starts and you have nice green canes. Remove all dead wood. An easy way to tell dead wood is that it is black. Also, remove any weak or damaged canes, or any that may cross or touch in any way.

Over time we have come to respect these thorny beauties and have learned some of the tricks of the trade to pruning and over wintering them. If you have your own thorny issue, feel free to give us a call or email.