Learning to See

Learning to See

This week, everywhere I went, I saw huge stands of our native summersweet, Clethra alnifolia. What a heady scent this shrub has. It is really easy to grow, a pollinator
I spotted this Eastern black swallowtail caterpillar on my fennel plant
magnet, and will perfume your yard for many weeks. Yet I wonder just how many thousands of people drive or bicycle or walk past this native CT plant and never even notice. That is one of the gifts of gardening, it teaches you to slow down and learn to see. I have been taking so many pictures in my yard of the sphinx moths (as seen on the bee balm above), caterpillars, bees, and
butterflies. The other thing I am noticing is that the fields are filling up with ironweed and Joe Pye weed in flower. See my article below about some of these wonderful native summer flowers that you can grow in your yard. My world is bursting with life. Yours can be too.


This Saturday afternoon from 2-5 pm we are having an exciting gathering. OUR organic farming and gardening group in the state, CT NOFA, is joining with Natureworks to host our first ever Friends and Family Celebration.  
Last week there was a GLITCH on the CT/NOFA website- when you tried to register, it said the event was full. THE EVENT IS OPEN! So if you tried and couldn’t register, please try again. This time it will work! Click Here.


*Share delicious snacks and drinks including herbal iced teas and a sampling of organic wines.
*Meet other like-minded organic home gardeners, farmers, and landscapers.
*Treat your kids to fun activities in our organic gardens and visit our monarch nursery. Who knows? We may even have a few butterflies born that day!

*Learn from the old timers- all former board members and officers are invited to attend.


at 2:30 pm Second Season Organic Veggies- 
Early August is your chance to plant a SECOND round of vegetables for fall harvests. This is a HUGE opportunity as many plants thrive in the cooler temperatures of fall. Lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, broccoli raab, carrots, radishes, and so much more can be planted now. Nancy will explain how it works-which plants to start from seed, which ones to plant from seedlings and how to plan and organize this wonderful SECOND SEASON. 
The second season has begun! On Sunday I sowed three beds of carrot seeds. Join us on Saturdayafternoon for a FREE workshop on Second Season Organic Veggies at our CT/NOFA Friends and Family event. See details below. 

FREE Garden Walk

with Nancy at 3:30 pm– Stroll the Natureworks organic demonstration gardens and see what is in bloom in August.
Join CT/NOFA or renew your membership- it is SO IMPORTANT to support the vital work that is done by CT/NOFA every day. There is no cost to attend this event, and you don’t have to be a CT/NOFA member (but we HOPE you will join if you’re not!) CT/NOFA was started in 1982 by my mentor, the late Bill Duesing. I was on the board of director for many years and even the president of this important group for a while. 
I LOVE the name of this perennial Hibiscus that we have on our benches this week: ‘Summer in Paradise’. That pretty much sums it up if you have giant blossoms like this surrounding you to make you smile…
While I have been photographing so many interesting and beneficial insects, I have noticed one pest is disappearing- Japanese beetles are starting to return underground, starting the next phase of their lifecycle, as hungry grubs that
Study this photo of the life cycle of the Japanese beetle courtesy of Cornell University. They are going underground NOW.
eat the roots of your lawn. RIGHT NOW is the best time to apply the new, organic granular grub killer that we have waited so long to have in stock.  GrubGONE!®  (Bacillus thuringiensis galleriae) is a bio-insecticide to control adult Japanese, Asiatic, June, and Oriental beetles without hurting beneficial insects, such as bees, butterflies and other pollinators. 
Perennial Lobelia cardinalis- WOW!
This week our specials are changing and I am so excited to announce that for the next two weeks all perennial Lobelias and all Hydrangeas will be on sale at 20% off. We have never had such beautiful, flowering Lobelia cardinalis. What a great native plant to add color to your summer shade garden. And hydrangeas… we have so many varieties. Tree hydrangeas (H. paniculata) are basically bulletproof- they flower every year no matter what. We have so many different ones including Little 
Quickfire, Quickfire, Pinky Winky, Limelight, Strawberry Sunday, and Lava Lamp Fire. 
‘Jeana’ is our favorite Phlox variety.
We have so many colorful plants right now. Check out a little gallery of some of my faves…
Belamcanda (Blackberry lily)
Liatris pychnostacya has long flower spikes, great as a cut flower.
The Vitex is a wonderful summer blooming shrub. And check out the Delphinium flower, it makes a strong statement. Our plants are going strong! Have you grown Delphiniums? They are magnificent cut flowers. There’s even color in the world of herbs with pretty yellow tansy flowers opening every day. I use this flowering herb as a dried flower in fall arrangements.
Tansy grows around the edges of my veg garden. I love to hang the flowers and dry them.
This Thursday night on Facebook Live I will be focusing on Awesome August Color. We have been having trouble with the phone that we use for videos for Facebook Live and we apologize for the blurriness of the videos the past few weeks. We are upgrading to my new phone this week. I have been testing it and it works great so hang in there and hopefully you will enjoy an educational, colorful, and clear view of our episode on Thursday at 5 pm. 
This weekend I picked a huge basket full of fresh elderberries and froze them to make syrup this winter. They are such a powerful antioxidant. We have LOTS of elderberry plants in stock. #growyourown
You can just imagine the feeling of walking into our garden center and seeing monarchs, swallowtails, and every kind of pollinator buzzing around. As you stroll onto the front lawn and visit our demonstration gardens, we hope you will be enchanted with the lush abundance and life found there. Inside the shop, we have 137 monarch caterpillars, 106 eggs, and 56 chrysalises. We have released 100 monarch butterflies so far. It’s quite magical!
I hope you can make time to stop in for a visit this week and that you and your friends and family can come to our CT/NOFA Friends and Family celebration on Saturday. See you soon…
It’s not just about the monarchs. We have so many swallowtail butterflies flitting about too!




Sales this week:
  • All hydrangeas and perennial Lobelias are 20% off
  • Berry plants and figs are on sale 20% off 
  • Sidewalk/Front Lawn sale – deep sales on many shrubs & perennials 30-50% off. We continue to add to this sale which has now moved to the front lawn! 
  • Amber has marked a ton of annuals at 1/2 price! Come and help us make room for the new ones arriving!