Wednesday, April 29, 2009

First Hummingbird Sighted

I was working up in the office when I heard on our radio..."there's a hummingbird in the bleeding hearts and columbine." I grabbed my camera and went down to the perennial department. The hummingbird had left the bleeding hearts, but stopped for a quick feeding on the nepeta.

Hummingbirds are a common sighting at Williams. Now that they've arrived, stop in and look carefully. You have a very good chance at seeing one. 

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Growing a Pizza Garden

Last Friday, we had a delightful evening with the 4-h's as Jim Nichnadowic gave a hands on Pizza gardening workshop. Kids got to dig holes, learn about proper planting, feeding, and how to amend the soil. A fun evening!
Thanks Jim! 

Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 27, 2009

Master Gardeners help community “go green” for 20th consecutive year

The Rutgers Master Gardeners of Union County will be holding their 20th annual Spring Fair & Plant Sale on Sunday, May 17, from 12:00 to 5:00 PM at Trailside Nature Center in Mountainside.

The Master Gardener Helpliners will answer your gardening questions, and demonstrate gardening and composting methods. There will also be displays on mosquito control, and the beauty of trees.
If you want to learn how to grow a vegetable garden, this is the place to get answers. They will be conducting tours of their Community Sharing Garden, where over 2,000 lbs. of fresh vegetables were grown by volunteers and donated to community food banks and churches last year. Among the wide variety of plants for sale will be the hard-to-find Ramapo tomato, as well as many other vegetables.

Visit their website at for more information about the Master Gardener program, or for directions to the garden.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

What is with these Upside Down Topsy TurvyTomato Plants?

I was going to talk about these things several weeks ago because I thought they looked silly, and I'm usually not inclined to buy things I see on those infomercials. I belong to a garden center networking group, and the buzz on our message board is that they can't keep these Topsy Turvy items in-stock. I personally was thinking these things are like the Japanese Beetle traps...novelty, but not needed. But I have been wrong before. My son wanted me to grab some at target the other day. I then tried to get them from my distributor and they're out. Does anyone have any actual experience with them?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Park Clean Up Day

The friends of Mindowaskin Park present Park Clean Up Day. Saturday April 25th 2009. Time 9am-12PM.
Bring your friends and family and spend the morning helping to beautify Mindowaskin. Show your support for the centerpiece of Westfield. Earn service hours! Light refreshements will be provided. Contact

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!!!

For quite a number of years, the Union County Freeholders have been providing trees to schools, and community groups to be planted for Arbor Day. James Nichnadowicz, the Union County 4-h Agent instructs how the trees are planted. One hundred trees get planted in our county yearly because of this program. This year the tree that we selected was a disease resistant crab apple. Shown is myself and Freeholder Deborah Scanlon, and one of the recipient groups. (Out of all of the years we've done this, this was the first year it's rained, but everyone is still smiling:-)

Posted by Picasa

What's in Bloom Now - Flowering Plum

There are lots of trees blooming right now. This is one of my favorites, the purple leaf plum.

Here is the information from our website:
Prunus cerasifera 'Krauter Vesuvius' ('Vesuvius')'
Cherry Plum 'Krauter Vesuvius' ('Vesuvius')', Myrobalan Plum 'Krauter Vesuvius' ('Vesuvius')', Purple Leaf Plum 'Krauter Vesuvius' ('Vesuvius')'

Sun/Water Requirements:
No specific shade requirements.
Moderate climate.

Climate / Hardiness Zones:
Zone 4 to Zone 8
Provider notes: "Supposedly quite heat tolerant"

Range: Grows from 15' to 30'.
Rate: Relatively fast growth.
Provider notes: "Similar to 'Thundercloud' but more upright oval-rounded"

Colors: Pink
Season(s): Spring

Color: Leaves are purple in the summer. Leaves are purple in the fall.

Color: Red, Purple
Season(s): Summer

Landscape Value:
Can be used as an ornamental plant.
Can be used as a specimen plant.
Can be used as a grouping plant.

Posted by Picasa

Favorite Tree - Poll Results

Here are the Poll Results for your favorite tree. I was surprised that Cherries scored over 40%, but then again after seeing all the cherries in Branch Brook Park last week I understand.

Cherry - Upright
17 (17%)
Cherry - Weeping
25 (26%)
14 (14%)
Magnolia - Saucer
14 (14%)
Magnolia -Star
9 (9%)
Pear - Flowering
4 (4%)
Plum - Flowering
2 (2%)
Red Bud
9 (9%)
2 (2%)
Not Sure of the Name
0 (0%)
3 (3%)

Family Tree Planting

We were delighted to be location for the Tree Planting workshop that was taught by Union County 4-H representative James Nichnadowicz. Approximately 20 famileis showed up to take part in learing how to plant a tree.  

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cherry Blossom Festival at Branch Brook Park

One of nature's fireworks show's is at Branch Brook Park in Newark.
This was my fisrt year that I went, and I'm sorry that I missed all of the others. The cherry trees are at their peak this weekend. You owe it to yourself to see them. It may be a bit crowded, but its worth it!

If you don't want to drive, you can do what I did. I took the train to Newark Penn, and then took the short light rail ride to the branch brook park exit. For those that have concerns, the Newark Subway was clean, and safe. When you exit the subway, head to the left of the Tennis Court. Branch Brook Park is huge, but the majority of the cherries are to the right. How many trees? I didn't count them, but they just added several thousand trees to this established collection last year.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Grow Your Own Vegetables - Poll Results

This will be my first Veggie Year.
6 (13%)
Growning More Veggies, Same amount of Flowers.
25 (58%)
More Veggies, Less Flowers
3 (6%)
Total Veggie - No Flowers
1 (2%)
No Veggies - Just Flowers
8 (18%)

Easter Egg Hunt - Saturday April 11th 2pm

Williams Nursery at 524 Springfield Ave. Westfield will be having its Thirteeth annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday April 11th at 2pm. There will be over 5000 eggs filled with candy & toys, and 25 special prize eggs, which can be traded for bigger prizes. Take your picture with the Easter Bunny. The Egg Hunt is only for Children 10 and under. There is no charge for this event. Please arrive at least 30 minutes early since the Hunt starts at exactly 2pm.
For further information call 908-232-4076.

Posted by Picasa

Williams Nursery Easter Egg Hunt 2008

This is the video from the 6-10 year olds hunt from last year. Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

New Arrival - Little Lanterns

Aquilegia canadensis 'Little Lanterns'
is a wildflower native to North America. Commonly known as Columbine, it has dainty nodding flowers that are fiery red with a yellow corolla. This particular Columbine is more compact than other varieties, growing only 10 to 12 inches tall. These perennials prefer sun or partial shade. They bloom from early spring through midsummer, thriving in average, well drained soil. If they are happy in their environment, Columbines will self sow and naturalize in a woodland garden. They are attract hummingbirds and make an excellent cut flower.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 03, 2009

New Arrival - Milky Way

Pulmonaria 'Milky Way'
is a show stopper in the spring garden. Wine pink blooms that fade to blue cover the plant in spring. In addition to the beautiful flowers, the green leaves are speckled with silvery spots that glow in shady sites. These speckles keep the foliage interesting even after the flowers fade. Pulmonaria has the unfortunate common name of Lungwort, derived from the spotting on the leaves which were said to resemble the X ray of unhealthy, spotted lungs. Despite its common name, Pulmonaria brings a beautiful and colorful accent to a shady garden. Growing to about 12 inches tall, they attract hummingbirds and are extremely deer resistant.

Posted by Picasa

New Arrival - True Blue Flowers

Corydalis 'Canary Feathers'
Corydalis flex. 'Purple Leaf' What amazing blue flowers! Foliage is bronze tinged with clusters of violet blue flowers. All Corydalis prefer partial to mostly shady sites, making them a perfect perennial for the woodland garden. The ideal soil should be rich and evenly moist. They make excellent companions with Ferns and Hostas, and are extremely tough despite their delicate appearance.

Posted by Picasa

Too Few to Feature...but wow!

We only have five of these perennial Viola's Left. The variety is called Viola 'Columbine'. These are absolutely stunning! 

Posted by Picasa