May, Mom, And Love from the Garden

May, Mom, And Love from the Garden

Ah May. What a month. It never ceases to thrill me when I drive around and see so many magnificent trees in flower. Life is exploding from the earth. If you

The hummingbirds are here, are you ready? Cuphea is one of their favorite flowers. 

wander into the woods, wildflowers abound. I can’t seem to peddle fast enough as I continue to plant my veggies and herbs, staging and planting my containers for the hummingbirds, weeding, pruning- yikes! I’m sure you feel the same way, especially “after the deluge”  last week, when the rain just wouldn’t let up. I have to wear my high rubber boots to even walk in my lower back yard. Hopefully, the sun will grace us with its presence a lot more now and things will warm up and dry out. 

We have so many colorful annuals including dahlias, both big and small. 
Is it safe to plant everything outside now? Usually I tell people to wait until after the full moon in May, which is Saturday, May 18th. The moon seems to bring in extreme weather, and we have certainly had frost right up until the middle of May in Northford, Memorial Day in northern parts of the state. But that isn’t stopping my staff from fully stocking up on warm season annuals! We have some huge shipments arriving this week, and are scrambling to make room to display it all. With Memorial Day less than 3 weeks away, my garden crews are pulling all they can grab for their clients. Plants come in, plants go out at 

This week, the fragrant Viburnums are starting to bloom. We have many varieties in stock, including V. carcephalum with enormous flowers!

an astonishing pace at this time of year. We have also been steadily getting in flowering shrubs and perennials. I am psyched to see beautiful fragrant Viburnums, just in time for Mother’s Day. I sorely miss my mom this week. Her birthday was Monday and she has been gone 12 years. I used to celebrate Mother’s Day and her birthday this coming weekend, by planting a rose or flowering shrub, planting up her annual pots, and cleaning up her garden before having cake. But I love to see everyone coming to Natureworks 

to shop for their moms this week. This is truly where you can get a thoughtful, unique gift. One of my friends in this business said (and I paraphrase here): “Your mom nurtured you, now give her the gift of a beautiful garden to nurture.” Of course, for many, it is a tradition to visit Natureworks with their moms on Mother’s Day weekend, stroll the gardens, and buy her something she admires. We can even have a gift certificate waiting if you call or email in advance. And as always, they can be ordered on our website and over the phone and mailed out to the special woman in your life. Call us!

I am so excited because I just had all of my raised beds rebuilt and added two new ones to the sunniest part of my yard. Growing your food in raised beds makes it so easy. New this year we have raised beds with legs, ideal for anyone with knee problems or unable to bend easily. Don’t kid yourself, add our wonderful Coast of Maine Raised Bed mix and then pack this bed full of food, flowers, and herbs. 

Sometimes a new product comes in that really tickles my fancy. Check out these cool over-the-railing planters in bright, showy colors! It brings me back to my cottage days when I had a teeny-tiny deck and used wooden versions of these to bring the hummingbirds to my outdoor dining room. It worked and my husband fell in love with hummingbirds. Needless to say, I now surround our deck with hummingbird planters. We just sat outside Monday evening, sipping wine, soaking up the sun. It was the first time for him this year. It felt like the season really began at our house because of it. BUT, I hadn’t done my hummingbird pots yet. THAT will be done this week! I have a giant Natureworks shopping list clipped to the dashboard of my car. 

Weigela ‘Magical Robin’ is a new variety that only grows 3-4′ tall and repeat blooms on new wood. This is a true hummingbird magnet and now it will fit in any yard. Weigelas are very deer resistant.
Speaking of hummingbirds, they are BACK in CT and everyone has been emailing and posting pictures on Facebook and Instagram. To celebrate, tune in this Thursday evening at 4 pm for a very special episode of Facebook Live when I will talk about the many annuals, perennials, shrubs, and vines that the Hummingbirds are visiting this week. 

My staff has also been restocking our houseplant department in advance of

Succulent planters make great gifts

Mother’s Day weekend. They are pairing them with all sorts of pretty pottery. Above is Pilea peperomioides, also called the “bitcoin” plant. This is so easy to care for, you don’t need a lot of sun, and it can dry out a bit too. We’ve also gotten in lots and lots of cool succulents which can be grown indoors on the windowsill or outdoors in containers. Talk about low maintenance! They are perfect for anyone who always forgets to water. 

 
We had a nice visit from Sue Lavallee, our sales representative from Coast of Maine. She came to continue to train us on many of the new products we are carrying. This year we are stocking Schoodic Cow Manure Compost. Some of our customers wanted a shellfish-free compost option and this is it! She also did a video for us explaining the various organic fertilizers that we are carrying. Alfalfa meal and kelp meal are both great for vegan gardeners who don’t want any animal products added to their gardens. Click Here to meet Sue and hear her explain all about the wonderful fertilizers and soil amendments we are carrying this year. 

And now it’s time for an Asclepias update. We constantly field calls and emails about whether our common milkweed is in yet. No, not yet, but don’t worry, we have tons coming and will gladly take your name and notify you the instant it arrives. We do have Asclepias incarnata ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Ice Ballet’, white and pink versions of swamp milkweed which clumps and doesn’t run. This is actually a better choice for smaller gardens. We got in and sold our Asclepias speciosa, showy milkweed, as expected last week. Rumor has it that more is arriving along with tropical milkweeds. There’s plenty of time to get ready and plant a butterfly garden! And rumor has it, a few monarchs have been spotted in CT by two of our favorite customers in two different places in the state…one even posted 2 pictures on our facebook page! 

Asclepias speciosa, showy milkweed has gorgeous, large, star-shaped flowers. It is not as vigorous as common milkweed. Supply is very limited. It WILL sell out!

So that’s the news from Natureworks this first full week of May. We have exactly what you need and lots of things you didn’t know you wanted…the garden center is just bursting at the seems with beauty. We will teach you to garden organically, plant natives, protect our pollinators, plant for the birds, and grow your own food and herbs. We will guide you and inspire you. Please come in for a visit this week. 

 
I look forward to seeing you very soon…
 
Nemesias and Bidens- what a striking combination for hanging baskets or to pop right into a planter.
 
 
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P.S. If you are looking for organically grown, unusual annuals for cutting and drying, be sure to read the article below on our growing partnership with Once Upon a Farm.