Feed your Body. Feed your Soul. Get outside and Garden!

Feed your Body. Feed your Soul. Get outside and Garden!

What a difference a week makes! Who could every have imagined the world we are living in right now, but, this is our new reality. At Natureworks, we have been working SO hard to get ready to open on Thursday, March 19th, the first day of spring. We have also been working on ways to make our plants, seeds, and organic supplies available to everyone. As long as we are allowed to stay open, we will be open BUT we have many new measures in place to make purchasing from us safe. Here is the statement that I have prepared, with the invaluable help of my staff:

Say Hi! to our newest Hellebore- ‘Glenda’s Gloss’
We will be posting photos of all the plants in stock on Instagram and Facebook and will add to it daily as selection changes.
Call to order, give us a credit card number and pull in for curbside pickup or to schedule a delivery. Easy peasy!

 

Natureworks is opening this week on Thursday, March 19th,
the first day of spring.
 
We realize how desperately all of us want to garden right now, especially with the very early spring and the fact that we have to stay home. After MUCH consideration, we have decided to open as usual, but enact some new measures to keep everyone safe.
*The well-being and safety of our customers and our staff is our top priority.*
 
We are very aware of the need for social distancing, regular hand washing, and sanitizing of all surfaces. Here is what we are doing:
 
We are asking all of our staff AND our customers to not come to Natureworks if they or anyone in their family are feeling ill in any way. This is so important.
 
Any employees of Natureworks that can possibly work remotely from home will be doing so. That includes office and design staff. 
 
All of our Natureworks staff will be using CDC recommended hand washing procedures.
 
We will be keeping our cash register counter and all equipment sanitized.
 
We will be regularly cleaning all doorknobs, wagon handles, and anything else that may be touched.
 
We will be cleaning everything, all the time. We are serious about this.
 
Even though we love to hug and shake hands with our customers, we will be doing a 

“Namaste” bow instead. We ask that everyone be aware of the recommended 3-6 foot “social spacing”. Waving and making silly faces at us is allowed!

 
We hope that all of our customers can use credit cards instead of cash so we can all avoid handling money.
 
We offer many ways to bring some spring into your home without coming into our shop:
  • You can call ahead and place an order for anything we have in stock, pay for it over the phone with a credit card, drive into the parking lot, and call us to tell us you are here. We will then load your car for you and give you a smile and a wave as you go home and garden.
  • You can call and place an order for anything we have in stock, pay for it over the phone with a credit card, and arrange to have it delivered. There is no minimum purchase required for delivery and a fee charged for this service (as we have to pay our staff to do it!) We expect to make deliveries of bagged materials such as fertilizer, compost, and mulch on the weekends as our crew vans and trucks are available. If you are interested in having your organic gardening supplies delivered, we are ready to take your order!
  • If you do not wish to come inside our store, you can shop outside and we can ring you up outside. Because of its small size, we will not allow our shop to get crowded. Please be understanding if we ask you to wait outside. We encourage you to shop our benches and when you are ready, we will come out and ring you up.
  • If you need seed starting supplies, seeds, or other items that we display inside our shop, we can bring them out to your wagon for you. On nice days, when it isn’t windy, we will display as much as is practical outside.
  • We want to be your “personal shoppers”. We can help you select seeds, organic fertilizers, organic pest control products, even our favorite gardening books. Tell us what you want and we will gather it together for you from inside the shop and bring it out to your wagon for you! 
Yes, we most certainly can do Curbside Pickup! Call and place your orders, let us help you select just what you need and then we will load it in your car, smile, and wave goodbye!
We are blessed with a very early spring. That is a gift. We know how much it means to all of our customers to be able to go outside and garden, especially now. Take advantage of all of the joy, relaxation, and stress relief that gardening offers us. If there is anything we can do to help you, please reach out to us.
 

Yes, when you drive up, there WILL be pansies and we will be happy to load them into your car for you. Just point and in they go. We can take a credit card and “ring you up” right in the parking lot.
Okay, with that being said, let’s talk gardening! Yay! We have been getting in all kinds of plants this week including some simply stunning new Hellebores, pansies, and the 

‘Penny’s Pink’ Hellebore- just look at that foliage!

first of our native ground covers such as Packera aurea (golden groundsel). Of course, as a small business owner with 30 employees, it is a bit scary to invest in new inventory. But, we hope that curbside pickup, our delivery service, and our personal shopping service will allow everyone to garden while they are forced to stay home. And why not? Going outside, soaking up sunshine, breathing the fresh air, and caring for the earth are very healing. Every day new wonders await- bulbs are popping up, perennial herbs like oregano and thyme are coming to life, even the forsythia is starting to crack in my shrub border. I am adding young dandelion greens to everything I cook as they are so good for you. My sunset view is glowing with the red flowers of the swamp maple trees in the distance and the STILL-blooming witch hazel trees in my yard. My home is perfumed with the branches of Lonicera fragrantissima and Abeliophyllum that I picked IN FLOWER this week. If I was disciplined enough to turn off my thoughts while outside working in the yard, I would be a serenely happy person. I try each day to do that, even for a little while. I see my neighbors out walking. I hear the kids all around me outside playing. We all wave to each other and talk over the fence. 

This is the first St. Patrick’s Day in decades when you can actually plant your peas. Do you have a soil thermometer to check the temperature of your soil? We have plenty in stock. Add one to your order for curbside pickup.
We have everything you need to wake up and feed the garden, including our *Magic Formula*. Click Here to read our handout on Feeding the Garden that explains all about it. With this very early spring, you should be cutting back the old leaves of your 

Don’t forget to feed your garden with our Magic Formula!

Epimediums and Hellebores as soon as you can so you don’t have to “tiptoe” around the new, tender growth. Every day I prune some summer blooming shrubs. So far I have worked on my buttonbush (Cephalanthus), rose of Sharon, Callicarpa, and Potentilla. Still to come are my summer blooming spireas, the rest of my butterfly bushes (which never lost their leaves this winter), and a lot more. I am cutting back any of last year’s perennial stems that I left up for the tunnel nesting bees to 15″ – leaving that much up assures that the late emerging bees will still be okay. The new growth will grow up and cover it within weeks. I have also been moving plants around- roses, raspberry canes, divisions of ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ asters, even some self-sown plants that I was smart enough to mark in the fall. 

 

With this very early spring weather, I have already planted radish seeds because my soil thermometer read 50 degrees everywhere I tried it, even in the shade. Radishes and lettuce can go in at 40 degrees, so we are off to the races, my friends. Never has their been a year when it is more important to grow as much of your own organic food as possible. I am writing this on St. Patrick’s Day and it is the first one in decades where I can actually plant my pea seeds! We have a very handy chart called Vegetable Crop Timing on our website. Click Here to read it. In fact, if you are home, mine our website for all kinds of organic growing information. There is so much there for you to learn. 
Speaking of learning, we did cancel our sold out Lawn Elimination all-day workshop last weekend. We are right now working on offering the Pruning and Designing with Native Plants workshops on March 28th as paid webinars. We hope to eventually make the Lawn Elimination Day of workshops webinars too. Stay tuned, this is truly an exciting development that we have been wanting to do for a LONG time and this situation has forced us to DO IT! And we will be firing back up our weekly YouTube/Facebook videos starting this Thursday. There is SO much to talk about as spring begins.
It’s March and our mason bees are starting to emerge. Have you put up your tunnel nesting bee houses yet? Do you have clean tubes for this year? It’s time! 
I am transitioning my bird feeding to the all-natural suet and meal worms that we sell here at the store. Boy, do the birds love it! They need protein NOW as they can only raise their young on insects, not seeds. Watching the birds continues to be one of my husband and my favorite pastimes. He has learned all their names this winter! 

 

We have another very exciting announcement to make: we are offering a selection of ECO 59 native plant plugs for prebooking. What does this mean? Click Here to find out. It is a wonderful way to grow CT sourced, native plants at a great price. Be sure to read all the fine print, the program has a deadline and a few rules to follow. We hope this is the wave of the future in terms of restoring our yards to locally sourced and grown native plants. 
If you need ANY organic seed starting supplies or seeds, just call and we will help you build and order. We can take a credit card over the phone. Then you can let us know when you are in the parking 
lot and we will come out and load you up. 

So, with our new reality for a while, I urge you to let nature calm you, relax you, entertain, and delight you. Perhaps we can meditate on all the connections that we have to each other that we were so used to taking for granted and also realize that, in nature, everything is also connected. We are all in this together and together, we will get through this crazy spring and have an even MORE beautiful, well-tended garden as a result. 

Stay safe, stay calm, and garden as much as you possibly can. Stop by for “curbside pickup” of whatever you need. Call first to place an order. Hook up with one of my amazing staff members and let them be your personal shopper. If need be, we can deliver our beautiful plants and organic supplies to your door. Or you can come, shop outside, and we will check you out in the fresh air, give you a Namaste bow and wave you on your way with a smile on our face. 

Signature_Nancy

 

Helleborus ‘Anna’s Red’