It’s Time to THINK SPRING!

It’s Time to THINK SPRING!

I bet you were excited to see an email from Natureworks in your inbox this week! It’s time to start thinking SPRING! Ironically, I drove to the office to write this in a snowstorm, but that doesn’t matter. Once here, I could see that we are

I saw one pussywillow catkin open in my yard last week.

jammed packed with new merchandise and gearing up big time for Seedy Sundaywhich is February 11th. Last week I loaded all the seed racks and realized I was missing some important varieties so I reordered and now… we are ready. Diane is setting out the seed starting supplies AND setting up what she claims to be “an amazing clearance sale” on leftover items in the greenhouse. This seed lover’s party starts at 9 am. Mark your calendars and BE THERE! It is the only day the retail shop is open in the winter. That doesn’t mean we aren’t doing tons of off-site events…


Check out our Great Gardening Eventslisted below. We have so much going on! Naturally we are gearing up for the CT Flower and Garden Show February 22nd-25th. I am speaking on The Healing Power of Plants and Food and 

Flowers Belong Together. Diane is speaking about 1000 Monarchs.  Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, is speaking- if you have never seen him, don’t miss this opportunity! He changed the way I look at landscapes. There are so many great speakers and your admission ticket to the show allows you to see all of the speakers that day. Our booth will be very different 

this year. I won’t tell you much more, but I WILL tell you that Diane and Amber have been designing it since early January. I have once again volunteered to design an educational garden. This year it is about Plants with a Purpose. If you have been reading this email for a while, you know what that means. The garden will feature birds, butterflies, and pollinators and teach you how to welcome them into your own yard. Click on the flower show link below for all the details. We will be selling discount flower show tickets at Natureworks on Seedy Sunday.

Got seeds? We do! Thousands and thousands of them…

I am VERY excited to announce that my friend Lorraine Ballato has finally

Come in on Seedy Sunday to get a signed copy of this groundbreaking new book.

published her long-awaited book Success with Hydrangeas. This is a groundbreaking book, filled with very detailed information about all the different species of hydrangeas, including the newest varieties. PRUNING hydrangeas is the part that really impressed me. Lorraine dug deep into the research and explains it so clearly. I KNOW how confusing this subject is because whenever I teach a class on hydrangeas, I see the same faces year after year and it is usually filled to overflowing. This book will become your bible on all things hydrangea. Lorraine will also be speaking twice at the flower show AND she is doing a two hour class strictly on pruning hydrangeas for Natureworks on Saturday, April 7th.  Yes, our 2018 Winter and Early Spring Natureworks Class Brochure is ready. Click here to download it. 

During the warm spell last week, I found myself checking the south side of my house for my Iris reticulata bulbs. Not yet, but very soon.

Now is the time to start harvesting branches of the earliest blooming shrubs and trees to force indoors. Witch hazels, Abeliophyllum, Lonicera fragrantissima, winter jasmine, and quince will all force beautifully now. 

This seed likes to be sown early and grows best in cool spring temperatures.

Cut the branches on a warm day, plunge them into warm water, keep them cool and humid (placing them in a shower stall for a few days helps to acclimate them to indoor air) and watch them unfold. Pussywillows are already starting to show their catkins outside. If you bring them in, remember to remove them from the water as soon as they are fully open to keep them from going to seed. Every nice day finds me walking my property, looking for any sign of spring I can find. I pulled away the leaves from the crown of my Helleborus niger (Christmas rose) and, lo and behold, the white buds were sitting there, patiently waiting for just a little more warm weather. It’s been a roller coaster ride of bone chilling, deep cold and lovely warm spells. Snow is actually our best friend to protect the crowns of the plants. This would have been a good year to have WiltPrufed your broadleaf evergreens and hilled up your roses. Nevertheless, spring will ever-so-slowly unfold. Until then, we have plenty to keep us occupied. 

I hope you are planning on trying some new veggies, flowers, and herbs in 2018. I know that I am. As I was unpacking the seeds, I kept stopping to show my staff the exciting new varieties. Shown above is ‘Chima Family Heirloom Poppy’ from Seed Saver’s Exchange. These are one of the many poppies we

Craspidia seed from Seed Savers is now on our racks

sell that should be sown from seed on cold soil in March. That is one of the benefits of shopping for seed at Natureworks on Seedy Sunday, at the flower show, the Hardy Plant Society Soup Symposium, or the Master Gardeners Conference before we open on the first day of spring. You get first dibs on the cool new poppy varieties and have them at-the-ready when the ground reveals itself. On the left you will see Craspidia, also called drumstick flower. We grow these as fresh or cut flowers

Love in a mist seed is available in blue from Seed Savers

and offer the seed on our racks from Seed Savers. I am bringing home packets of blue Nigella (love in a mist) to spread throughout my garden beds. They are also great as cut flowers and the pods that follow are fun to dry and use in fall arrangements. The intricacy of the flowers makes me stop and study them, slowing me down to contemplate nature.


Of course, we will have organic seed starting 

supplies- soil, cow pots, trays, greenhouse domes, soil thermometers, heat mats, and Organic Plant Magic fertilizer. When you read our Class Brochure,

you will see that we will be offering many educational opportunities to learn more about growing from seed. On Saturday, March 10th we are having and all-day seminar Growing a Healthy Yard. On that day, my friend and CT’s seed expert Sandy Merrill will be teaching us how to grow seeds for pollinators, butterflies, and hummingbirds from seed. Sandy will also be offering two hands-on seed starting workshops in our greenhouse the first weekend we are open. Register early, class size is limited, and these will surely fill up fast.
Soon cool season annuals such as Ostoespermum and Nemesias will be filling our benches and our porch pots.

So that’s the news from Natureworks! I hope you are enjoying a little bit of cozy down time this winter. I have been reading and studying lots of gardening books and I will be sharing all I’ve learned with you in the upcoming workshops. My home office is overflowing with houseplants and flowering bulbs- I hope yours is too. Keep the faith and know that spring is a mere 48 days away! The flower show is only 22 days away! And Seedy Sunday is in 11 days


I bet I’ll see you very soon… 


Check your Helleborus niger for buds- it will make you smile and give you hope!