Monday, March 30, 2009

Tulips in Bloom

I finally got to do a little clean up and gardening at home. (The shoemakers kids have no shoes) I replaced the cut branches of the winter with a mixture of different tulip varieties. I wanted to share these pictures with you, since the tulips are all coming in bloom. The great light rain on Saturday added the nice water droplet beads on the flowers.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Carry away a basket of Spring

Just unloaded these wicker baskets of Spring. They are filled with lots of cool season annuals such as pansies, ranunculus, martha washington geraniums, and sunscape daises. These make a great plant on the front step, or on a table. A perfect gift for Easter.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Frost Free?

One of the most common questions that we get this time of year is "when is the last chance of frost?"

Since weathermen seem to have a hard enough time predicting yesterday's weather let alone tommorow's this is a tricky question to answer.

We've had years where we haven't had a frost after the 10th of April. We've also had years where there has been a frost towards the end of May. This is generally the exception to the rule. Generally the chances of a frost after the first of May is fairly low. The trees have also leafed out by this time, and this actually offers protection to the plants that are under them.

Some plants have more tolerance to frost than others. The cool season annuals such as pansies, primrose and rannunculus can handle a frost with no problems, and can actually tolerate temperatures in the low 20's. Annuals such as impatiens are far less tolerant of the cold weather, and can not take any frost.

The national weather service does have a probability chart that covers the westfield/cranford area.

will fall below
90% 50% 10%

36F 1-May 14-May 26-May
Frost 32F 14-Apr 30-Apr 17-May
Freeze 28F 30-Mar 15-Apr 2-May

What this means is that there is only a 10% chance that there will be a frost after May 17th.

Poll Results - When do you plan to get back in the garden?

I've already been in the Garden 28 (46%)

This Weekend 7 (11%)

Next Weekend 7 (11%)

Next Month 18 (30%)

Forsythia Peaking Out! Spring is getting Closer

Finally! I always think that one of the first true signs of Spring is the Robin's playing in the grass, and the forsythia blooming in the garden. The robins were out in full force yesterday, and I spied a bright yellow forsythia bloom.

Did you know you can bring some Spring inside by taking some cuttings of the forsythia and placing them in a vase of water. The flowers will open up within a few days inside. You can do this all winter long, but earlier in the winter, it takes more time to get them to open.

If you don't have forsythia to cut, we have some great plants that just arrived. Forsythia is one of the easiest shrubs to grow. Plant in a sunny location, and they're off and running.


Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Irony of Spring

Well its of 3 minutes ago (7:44) Spring has started. When I looked out the window, it was snowing like crazy. At least Spring Snows don't last for very long. When I looked out the another window I noticed a jogger running by the house in shorts. Consider the dusting of snow, Winter's final send off. The snow won't be around by this afternoon.

Don't worry about the little snowdrops, the pansies and the crocus in the garden. The snow doesn't make them unhappy. I was just thinking how my snowdrops didn't even get to experience the snow when blooming this year. Snowdrops get their name because they are one of the earliest bulbs to bloom, and often their white flowers appear popping out of the snow. I took this picture in Echo Lake Park on Thursday.

Happy Spring!


Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Daffodil sighting!!!

Wow, these daffodils win for first out. I saw these in Echo lake park today. They were just across from the renovated lake.

-- Post From My iPhone

Fruit Trees

Fruit Trees 2009

Royal Gala Apple

Dwarf: The very
best-eating apple, sweet and crunchy, matures in late summer. This
red-orange apple brings the highest prices in grocery stores and
fruit markets. Pollinator required. Zone 5.

Golden Delicious

Dwarf: The original
Golden Delicious is still the best. Sweet and spicy. Most popular
apple world over. Self-pollinating. Zone 5.

Rynbrandt Cherry -
Semi-dwarf: Large,
sweet, firm, jet-black cherries. Resistant to disease and cracking.
Upright, spreading tree with nice form. Very hardy. Pollinator
required. Zone 5.

Danube Cherry -
Hungarian Tart (Erdi Botermo cv.)

Semi-dwarf: Danube
produces an abundant crop of large, juicy, glossy dark red fruit with
semi-firm flesh and delicious sweet-tart flavor. A naturally dwarf
tree. Self-pollinating. Zone 4.

Jubileum Cherry
– Hungarian Tart (Erdi Jubileum cv.)

Semi-dwarf: High
quality variety, prized for its large, firm, very dark purple fruit.
Tart and sweet at the same time, it is great for fresh eating and
preserves. A naturally dwarf tree. Self-pollinating. Zone 5.

Montmorency Cherry
– tart

Semi-dwarf: Fruit has a
bright red skin and juicy yellow flesh. Trees are vigorous growers,
early bearers and heavy producers. Self-pollinating. Zone 5.

Royal Ann Cherry
– Sweet

Semi-dwarf: Produces
large, sweet fruit that is light yellow with a pinkish blush.
Excellent fresh eating and canning. Not compatible with Bing.
Pollinator required. Zone 5.

Green Gage Plum
– European

Semi-dwarf: The fruit
has green and yellow skin with rich, golden flesh. A sweet plum with
a very distinctive flavor. The fruit is oval in shape. Good for fresh
eating as well as desserts and preserves. Self-pollinating. Zone 5.

Shiro Plum

Dwarf: The only
Japanese variety we offer that produces a dark yellow fruit. Fruit is
very juicy and medium in size. Pollinator required. Zone 5.

Santa Rosa Plum
– Japanese

Dwarf: This large plum
with its deep red-purple skin and amber flesh is juicy and delicious.
Self-pollinating. Zone 5.

Stanley Prune Plum
– European

Dwarf: A blue, medium
sized plum, oval in shape. Freestone, very hardy, yields consistent
large crops. Self-pollinating. Zone 5.

Redgold Nectarine

Dwarf: This variety
produces an excellent dessert quality red fruit which is sweet and
juicy when fully mature. Freestone. Self-pollinating. Zone 5.

Sunglo Nectarine

Dwarf: A fuzzless
peach. This variety is a heavy producer of mid-season fruit with
beautiful color and exceptional flavor. Freestone. Self-pollinating.
Zone 5.

Burbank July Elberta Peach
Dwarf: Large, juicy,
yellow fleshed peach developed by Luthur Burbank. The best for fresh
eating. Mid-season. Freestone. Self-pollinating. Zone 5.

Redhaven Peach

Dwarf: The standard by
which all peaches are compared. Yellow fleshed. Exceptionally hardy.
Matures early and crops heavily. Semi-freestone. Self-pollinating.
Zone 5.

Summer Pearl Peach

Dwarf: A very hardy,
white-fleshed, mid-to-late season variety. It has fantastic fruit
quality and excellent flesh firmness. Freestone. Self-pollinating.
Zone 5.

Jiro Persimmon
(Diospyros kaki)

Asian Persimmon. Very
good cold-hardy cultivar with large, sweet, orange-red fruit and
upright tree form. Ripens in late October. Fruit is delicious when
firm like an apple or let it soften like a tomato for a sweeter
flavor. Non-astringent. Mature 10-12’. Self-pollinating. Zone

Nikita’s Gift
(Diospyros virginiana x kaki)

Ukrainian Persimmon.
This variety bears abundant crops of 2-1/2” diameter,
reddish-orange fruit. Fruit is sweet and flavorful. Fruit must fully
soften before eating. The orange-yellow fall foliage is also
strikingly beautiful. Mature 10-12’. Self-pollinating. Zone 5.

Brown Turkey Fig
Ficus carica)

Handsome, low, bushy
plant produces medium to large elongated purple-brown fruit.
Everbearing beginning in early June. Mature size 10’.
Self-pollinating. Zone 5.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Wow...what a difference a few days make in blooms.

Its amazing what a few days of warmer temperatures do to bring on the onset of Spring. I was driving through Echo Lake Park yesterday, and over the back I saw a mass of purple flowers. I ran home got my camera, and took these crocus pictures. It was the first flowers that I noticed in Spring. Today, I looked in my backyard and pow...crocus and snowdrops in bloom, then I looked over at my neighbors yard, and pow...lots more crocus!

The white flowers are snowdrops (galanthus) that were growing in my back yard. This is the latest that they've started to bloom in a long time. They usually start to bloom in February.

The tiny crocus in Echo Lake park and my yard are crocus species, which tend to be a bit smaller than the giant crocus. The main advantage is that they naturalize better than the regular crocus.

Friday, March 13, 2009

New Arrival - Perennial Hellebores Green Corscican

Hellebores have just arrived at Williams Nursery. If you've never grown them, you don't know what you're missing. They are one of the earliest blooming plants in the garden. In fact, you can expect to see them flowering from February to April, depending upon the variety. They range in color from white, pale pink to dark pink, deep purple and even green. Although the flowers do not last very long in cut in arrangements, they are beautiful floating in a dish of water, and they last for a long time. Unlike many other perennials, Hellebores are evergreen, which means their leaves do not die back in winter. Even though their bloom time is very early, they remain attractive as a foliage plant for the entire year. If you have a problem with deer, rest assured that they will not eat Hellebores. If you're itching for some late winter color from a super hardy, low maintenance perennial, stop by and see our Hellebores.

New Arrival - Perennial Leopard's Bane

These just arrived today in bloom. Plant in full sun to partial shade. Grows 12-15 inches tall.

Vibrant golden flowers brighten the springtime garden. Beautiful cut for spring bouquets. Attractive planted with spring bulbs, forget-me-nots and candy tuft. May go dormant in summer heat. Best planted in small groupings among perennials with spreading leaves.

New Arrival - Perennial Rock Cress

Just arrived today in bloom, is Ararabis blepharophylla 'Spring Charm', also known as Rock Cress. Grows in full sun, and will grow 6-8" tall.

Abundant, fragrant flowers and attractive foliage make this a wonderful small-scale ground cover. Attractive cascading over stones or as edging near the front of the garden. Shear after blooming to encourage new growth and a neat appearance.

Pussy Willows - Kid's Love them!

Another arrival today was some cute pussy willows. The white fuzzy part is actually the flower bud. Kids just love the way they feel. Great for a wet location.

Spring Pansy Flowers Arrive at Williams

Our Spring Pansies have just arrived. This is a new ruffled variety, 'Frizzle Sizzle Yellow/Blue'. Over 50 other varieties.