Friday, October 15, 2010

Where Squishy is Fun!

There are certain instance were squishy isn’t fun, as in when its raining and you step in a puddle, but squishy is enormously fun when you are talking about GelGems.

Loved by the very young and older…my daughter has them decorating her common room area in college…these versatile, colorful, clinging shapes open up endless creative decorating opportunities. Halloween is no exception.

Here is the chance to move haunting ghosts, glow-in-the-dark skeletons or silly pumpkins all over the windows of your house. Visit the Williams Nursery gift shop or the hard cover greenhouse to see the current selection and unleash your inner artist.

Then get even more out of your GelGems experience by visiting these links:

- Send a GelGems eGreeting card.
- Create a virtual GelGems on the Internet window of your choosing, save it, edit it and/or send it to a friend
- Learn about a new, lighted GelGems that will be available at Williams in the spring.

GelGems are reusable and don’t require extensive cleanup after they are applied, like some other types of window decorations. If they get dirty you can wash them in warm water. New designs are available with each season.

Don’t apply them to wood or painted surfaces, plastic or fabric or they will leave a mark.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Here's to Hats

Did you just receive a Halloween party invite in the mail?
Want to standout from the crowd on Halloween?
Looking for the uncommon choice?

Visit the gift shop at Williams for a unique and easy solution to your Halloween costume dilemma.

Before you head off to the party your hat can be a stunning decoration on top of your hall sidetable or entryway coat rack.

Then on Halloween all one of these hats need is that little black dress that everyone has in their closet in order for you to become an elegant and bewitching party guest.

Visit the gift shop for other unusual decorations of the season.

Monday, October 04, 2010

OMG :( My Crabgrass is out of Control!!!

Normally what happens in the lawn is "not my department." The seemingly endless diversity of flowers and shrubs with new introductions all the time are much more fascinating to me. But still always being curious when I notice something "horticulturally" unusual I decided to track down the why and the how. And so it was with the question, "Why is last year's beautifully re-sodded side lawn now a hotbed of crabgrass?"

The answer is that first of all the side lawn ended up being next to a construction site of sorts (actually more of a destruction site). Crabgrass seeds love open soil to take root in. The second part of the answer is this year's weather.

The summer presented the perfect conditions for extreme crabgrass growth. Crabgrass sprouts when the soil gets to between 50-60 degrees. But it was really the hot, dry July and August that set off later season spreads. Apparently my sod must of consisted entirely cool season grasses. The hot weather forced the grasses into dormancy and left more open areas for the crabgrass seeds to quickly sprout. So what to do now?

Some people talk of the home remedy using vinegar on lawn weeds but I would caution against this as store bought vinegar is not acidic enough and industrial vinegar is likely to damage the soil and kill beneficial insects and organisms in the soil.

Since children play in the lawn, I prefer a more organic approach. So I was pleased to discover that Williams' carries a line of both Dr. Earth and Jonathan Green organic lawn products, including Jonathan Green's Crabgrass Preventer Plus Green-Up Tm.

_______(Print & Clip Here)_______________

Dear Husband:

Right now the focus should be on preventing the crabgrass from going to seed. Mowing short with a grass collection device on the mower is recommended if the seeds are not too evident. Clippings should go in the trash and certainly not back on the lawn. If the seeds are already abundant the next step is to pull the crabgrass up. Not a particularly pleasant task but a drastic situation calls for drastic measures.

Then reseed to help give the crabgrass seeds less room to flourish in the spring. Look for grass seed mixtures that offer a combination of grasses, including rye grass, as these will stand up better to hot, harsh weather conditions. A soil test, either through a kit or by contacting the local Rutgers Cooperative Extension Office (in Union County) will help determine what our soil's true nutritional needs are. Mulch the grass seeds.

In the spring around the time the forsythia bloom, apply Jonathan Green's Crabgrass Preventer plus Green-Up to suppress the remaining crabgrass seed growth. It won't hurt to get a bag now so that you have it on hand. While Jonathan Green's can be applied later than other types, timing is really critical in catching the seeds before warm weather causes them to germinate. Which is probably another reason why our crabgrass is so bad, the critical window as missed this last spring because we did not have any on hand at the right time.

________Sincerely, Your Loving Wife_____________________

Thursday, September 30, 2010

AIB begins!!!

The America in Bloom symposium has begun in St. Louis. Tonight the criteria awards were given for different categories.

We are very excited to announce that Westfield has won the award for landscaped areas. The judges noted "that the landscaped areas were all neat and well conceived. The entire residential area of the city was impressive. All yards were crisply landscaped and evidenced an overall pride of community."

We still have to wait until Saturday night to hear how Westfield has done in the entire competition. But this is an exciting start. Special thanks to everyone in town!!!

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, September 06, 2010

Trees for troops in the running for a grant from Pepsi!

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Hey I think this is a great program...One that we have also dedicated our time to support.

Trees for Troops is in the running for a $250k grant from the Pepsi Refresh Everything project. As a big supporter of Trees for Troops, would you encourage your visitors to vote for us? Details at: dirct link to vote and more at: 

Saturday, September 04, 2010

The winterberries are starting to color up

The winterberry holly berries have started their transformation and started to turn to red.... Fall isn't that far away!

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Running to Bloom

Just a quick note. I'm at the Downtown 5k race and Pizza extravaganza with a booth promoting the Westfield in Bloom garden and flower competition.
I'm also handing out coupons for 30% off any one item at Williams. Stop in and say hi! And tell me if you like all the flowers around town.
-Dave Williams

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, July 12, 2010

News flash! Murray had a New Planter

Special Thanks to Donna Perch, Caldwell Banker, Galaxy Building Contractors, Westfield Lumber and Williams Nursery for adding this great flowering addition to to the South Ave Train Station.

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Coreopsis Big Bang "cosmic eye"

I'm at the Ofa show in Columbus Ohio looking at the new plant varieties for 2011.
I just love this Coreopsis Big Bang(r) "Cosmic Eye"
Great contrasting claret-colored tipped in gold flowers that will take our hot Nj summers.
Grows 12-15" tall in full sun.

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thanks to all the Tree Stewards

 We sometimes forget how important trees are to our everyday. I've written about the importance of trees before. Today I'm writing to thank the people that have planted them. This year for Arbor day I set aside 50 5-6' trees to give out to anyone who wanted one for no charge. I even thought that I may have a hard time giving out these fifty trees. I was happily surprised that we had 50 people come in on arbor morning, and in an hour's time all of the trees had happy homes.
I had created a little pledge sheet that the family taking the tree had to sign, that they would take care of their tree, and they also promised to share a picture of their tree in their new home.
Shown on the right are the O'Keefe's of Westfield. Mary O'Keefe send me a note that the tree stewards have planted and watered it faithfully. Thanks!

Thanks to all of the other tree stewards for sending in their pictures. (If you haven't sent your pic there is still time.) I am compiling them all together.
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Billy, Do you like movies of Gladiator allium? - In Bloom today

allium gladiator-10
Originally uploaded by williamsnursery
Excuse the reference to the movie Airplane:-)
After a great soaking rain last night, I walked back into our perennial department. Right away I spotted this Allium covered with water droplets. The variety is Allium gladiator. It looks like a giant fireworks show in the garden. You can see the other pictures that I took of the allium here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New arrival! Just in from Monrovia and a first for us

I just love this mandevilla stars and stripes. A new mandevilla that I had first seen last year, that I've been counting the days for us to get them. Dark red blooms with bright white lines. These are in limited supply for this year. They have tons of buds and ready to go.

-- Post From My iPhone

Learn how to Garden with the Master Gardeners

The Rutgers Master Gardeners of Union County will be holding their 21st annual Spring Fair & Plant Sale on Sunday, May 16, from 12:00 to 5:00 PM at Trailside Nature Center in Mountainside.

The Master Gardener Helpliners will answer your gardening questions, so bring samples of that sad looking plant that is struggling in your yard. The Union County Bureau of Mosquito Control will also be there to show how you can help prevent mosquitoes from taking up residence in your yard.

4- H will have a display on trees, and children’s activities include face painting, planting a marigold to take home and making bird feeders, all at no charge.

Attend the lecture at 2pm if you want to learn how to grow a vegetable garden. At 3pm a composting lecture will be given. They will be conducting tours of their Herb and Community Sharing Garden, where over 1,500 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.

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Friday, April 09, 2010

Branch Brook Park Past Peak and misses Festival

After writing about Branch Brook Park in my e-news this morning I waited for my son Dakota and his friend Jack to come home from school, grabbed my camera gear and headed to Newark.
  For those that didn't read my e-news, Branch Brook Park has the largest selection of flowering cherries in the US. Over 1000 more than Washington, DC.  Their cherry blossom festival starts tomorrow and runs April 10th through April 18th. When it's at its peak it truly is heaven on earth. Maxwell Smart would say "Missed it by that much" Unfortunately the peak was early this week right when the Summer temperatures started. The warm air, and the warm breezes caused the cherries to bloom at an extremely accelerated rate. In fact when they were at peak there were probably a larger percentage that were ever in bloom at one time because Branch Brook has planted many different varieties to extend the blooming time. I think that more varities were flowering at the same time this year because of the heat.
This was my son's first time to Branch Brook. I wanted to show him a glorious flower display, but instead I got to explain to him that God doesn't look at a calendar. I'm sure thousands of people will be going to the park this weekend, and will walk away disappointed. That's too bad because even when the trees are not in full bloom, it is a beautiful space. The Kwansan Cherries are still in bloom and haven't peaked yet. The Kwansan has large pink flowers that remind me of cotton candy balls. There were a few scattered weeping cherries that were also very pretty and also haven't peaked, but the majority of the cherries were more than 75% done blooming.  There is also some extremely large cherries that make great family photo opportunities.
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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Reeves Reed in Bloom

Reeves Reed in Bloom-1
Originally uploaded by williamsnursery
Reeves Reed Arboretum in Summit NJ has a collection of 40,000 daffodils in bloom. The warm weather has gotten them popping early. Their official Daffodil Day is April 18th, but the daffs don't watch the calendar, so I would put it on my visit right away list.

This picture was taken yesterday with my son Dakota and his friend Jack. This year at Reeves Reed they are celebrating the year of the tree, and there are some amazing trees on site. There's one beech that the three of us couldn't wrap our arms around.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Fourteen Thousand Plants in your Pocket

For those that haven't seen it, this is my current article in the Gardener News:
When I got my iphone® three years ago, it transformed the way that I do business. I don’t have to travel with a heavy computer anymore. I have easy internet access at my fingertips. I can update my blog from my phone. I can see what my friends have posted on Facebook. It’s like having a little computer in the palm of your hands. One of the best features of the phone is that third party vendors can create applications or apps that run on the phone.

There are thousands of apps now available for the iphone®, but until recently there has been very few garden applications. In early December 10-20 media released a fantastic iphone® application called the Garden Pilot™. Garden Pilot™ is a handheld garden guide to plants, vegetables, trees and shrubs. Its like having an entire gardening encyclopedia in your phone. It has over 14,000 plants in its library. These pictures are not stored in the phone but are accessed from the database that 10-20 media has spent years compiling. (an internet connection is required) There are a several powerful search capabilities. Touch the seach icon on the bottom of the screen and you can search by a botanic name or common name. Results are instantly brought up in list form. Touch one of the choices and a full color picture fills the screen. Want more info? There is a little picture of a plant tag on the top right of the screen. Touch the tag, and the picture flips over revealing information such as growing height, bloom season, uses and zone hardiness.

You can also search by the browse button. Tap browse, and you can search 14 plant categories including annuals, perennials, roses and aquatics. Hidden in this feature is a feature where you can then filter the items. Tap the button on the top right (says 1 of x) to open the filter screen. Then you can filter by options such as color, light requirement, water requirement, etc. You can even filter plants that were just released in 2010, or 2009. A perfect way to start planning your garden.

If you were traveling and wanted to actually buy a searched plant, you could touch the find it button on the top corner, and the iphone’s® GPS finds stores that are local to you. Tap the phone number and you can ask if it is in stock. Tap the map button and get directions to the store.
Another cool feature available on GardenPilot™ version 1.0 is the Joe section. It’s great when you’re sitting at Starbucks sipping a coffee and want to read up on one of Joes gardening tips. Joe Lamp'l is currently the host of GardenSMART on PBS. Joe has provided GardenPilot™ with timely articles to make you a better gardener. Joe is a frequent guest expert on shows such as The Today Show, Good Morning America and The Victory Garden. There are currently articles in twelve different categories. Categories include eco-friendly ideas, to flower gardening, to insects and pests including deer, to roses, to vegetable gardening.
There are a few minor things that I don’t like about the program, but this is only version 1.0. I would have had the search enabled where you didn’t have to type in the complete name, just a few characters. This option is available but hidden under filters. This would help spelling impaired people like myself have more success. It would also be nice if you could filter by more than one color at a time. I would also like to see support added where you could zoom into a picture like you can with other iphone pictures. I also noticed that sometimes images render on the screen with the wrong aspect ratio making them look a bit stretched out. Again a minor problem.

Iphone® application prices are always subject to change, but when I wrote this article the cost of the application was only $2.99. That’s less money than a single garden magazine. You’ll notice that your thumb will get greener with every use. Go direct to the apple store by clicking the link below.
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