THIS is the Week to Plant!

THIS is the Week to Plant!

Guess what? It’s STILL SPRING! We have two more full weeks of this glorious season to go. June has been simply beautiful, and now that we have had a bit of rain,

Tithonia (Mexican sunflower) is on my shopping list for this week. This is a magnet for butterflies.

my garden begs for more plants and seeds to be added. I am completely, 100% a planting fool right now. I spent all of Sunday and much of Monday planting my veggie plants and seeds, all kinds of annual flowers, and lots of new containers scattered about my yard. I returned to work on Tuesday and, with the new shipments, have already started yet another shopping list. I am filling my raised beds to capacity, intermingling everything together, and I still want to take home another Smart Pot or two to add to the grouping on the south side of my house. 

Check out the picture of one of our raised beds at Natureworks. Look at how layered the plants are. There are a couple of tomatoes, some kale, a sunflower, lots of flowers… don’t waste and inch of space. And the instant something is harvested, plant something else.

This week is ideal for planting cucumbers from seed. I planted some last week, some over the weekend, and will add more this week (my husband loves cucumbers!) I will cover the seedlings with floating row covers until the vines begin to flower to keep out the striped cucumber beetle which not only eats the leaves, it can infect your plants with the dreaded cucumber virus.

I spent quite a while on my days off tying up my sugar snap peas, staking my plants, and putting tomato cages on my tomato plants. Because I have over a dozen plants, I had to resort to using some of my old, bent, broken, cheap tomato cages from the old days. I will be investing in a few more of our very sturdy cages again this spring. We also use the 4′ tall cages for staking dahlias. And yes, I have added many dahlias to my gardens this year. 

On the left, you can see how inadequate the old cages will be. I will have to supplement them with lots of thick oak stakes. On the right, check out the tomato plants added right to our perennial borders, all properly supported by our heavy duty cages. They are an investment that will last a lifetime.

This week, we are offering two sessions of The June Prune. New this year, we are limiting the class size. You must register for this class. Class registrations on our website were not working for a couple of weeks and we apologize to anyone who tried to register for classes and couldn’t do it via the internet. It is fixed now! 

This is Amber’s son reminding everyone that you should prune your lilacs right after blooming along with all of the other spring blooming shrubs that flower on old wood. You have a few weeks to properly prune rhododendrons, azaleas, spring blooming viburnums, andromedas, quinces, and everything else that you can think of that has already finished blooming. Don’t miss out.

Click here to register today. 
 
Last week, Noah and I went to my house to film Facebook Live. It turns out the Wi-Fi signal in my yard wasn’t very good. So afterwards, we continued to make videos for a

few hours using my phone. We have put them up on You Tube. The video we made where I explained how to pinch back and prune perennials has gotten over 3000 views on Facebook! It is such an important technique to know if you grow a perennial garden. This is based on the book The Well Tended Perennial Garden by Tracy DiSabato-Aust. We have plenty in stock. Click here to see the YouTube video then stop in and get your copy of “our bible”. 

 
When I worked in the retail shop on Saturday, I fielded tons of questions about pest

I sprinkled diatomaceous earth powder on my eggplants on Sunday. I will reapply it after it rains. I use an old flower shaker. And check out the gorgeous calendulas in the foreground of this bed. They are a pretty edible flower. 

problems. One that kept coming up was flea beetles on eggplants. I dusted my plants with diatomaceous earth over the weekend. I will repeat this dusting now that it has rained. This seems to be the most effective way to control this tiny, destructive pest.

 
We carry lots of organic pest control products, but we always ask you lots of questions before suggesting anything. Our goal is to use as few organic sprays as possible and explore the least toxic methods of plant protection. That is why we love beneficial insects so much. We sell green lacewings in an unusual way- you buy the package and it contains a prepaid certificate with a code number. You send in the code and 1000 lacewing eggs are delivered fresh to your home! What do lacewings do? Well, they are voracious predators of soft bodied insect pests such as aphids. In fact, they are often referred to as “aphid lions” as each one can eat up to 1,000 aphids per day! They also eat whiteflies, thrips, and mites. We also sell red wiggler worms in the same way. Add them to your compost pile and watch it break down very quickly!

It’s such a beautiful time of year at Natureworks. So many plants that we eagerly anticipate all year are coming into bloom including Delphiniums, Hydrangeas, Campanulas, and so much more. Everywhere I turn, I am in heaven. New shipments are arriving daily, packed with all kinds of unusual perennials such as Sanguisorbas, Persicarias, June blooming Phloxes, bell-shaped Clematis flowers, fragrant dwarf mock oranges… 

A delicate white Sanguisorba with irises in the background, all in pots on our parking lot waiting to be displayed.
‘Manteau d’Hermine’ is a fragrant, dwarf mock orange that only grows 3′ tall and wide. 
Penstemon calycosus is one of the stars of my home garden right now. It fills in the empty spaces in my main border, adding a true cottage garden feeling. This is an underrated perennial that has been gracing my garden for many years.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lest you think we are focusing too much on perennials and shrubs, I must tell you that NEVER have we had such a magnificent selection of unusual annuals and tropicals as we do this year. Instead of watching our stock dwindle down after Memorial Day, we keep on restocking, trying new things, expanding our horizons. And we keep on planting, 4 trucks going out every morning, making the world a much more beautiful place. 
Verbena bonariensis, Agastache, white fan flower…we have so many healthy, pretty annuals

On Monday afternoon, I finally brought my huge collection of houseplants out onto my deck to “summer outdoors”. This is an age-old tradition that most avid gardeners

Evening scented Nicotianas now come in many colors

follow. The plants love it! I stage my plants all around the many seating areas. Many are evening scented, such as my Cestrum nocturnum. I have a collection of rare Hibiscus trees propagated by a friend. Out go my Christmas cactuses, begonias, and all the myriad plants that have kept me company all winter long. Some I weave into mixed annual plantings. Others get their own ceramic pots and a place of honor. We have pots, organic potting soil, and everything you need to summer your own collection of houseplants outdoors. I try to make the transition when I know there will be a couple of cloudy, rainy days as they need to adjust to the sun, even if they were inside in a sunny window. Put them in the shade first as they acclimate so they won’t sunburn. Then, in the fall, we will teach you how to prune them, clean them, repot them, and happily return them inside for the winter. Join the movement- houseplants on the porch, deck, and patio are happy plants! 

 

Father’s Day is this Sunday. We have fun gifts for dads. If your father likes to garden, bring him to Natureworks on Sunday and treat him to a photo shoot with the family in our gardens. Then buy him some plants that he can enjoy for years to come. Perhaps your dad loves to grow food. We still have tons of great varieties of tomatoes and peppers in stock as well as all kinds of seeds to plant now such as squashes, beans, baby pumpkins, and cucumbers. Mix in a collection of different basils, perhaps a blueberry bush. Giving the gift of a garden is a very special thing. 

Upright fuchsias- yup, we’ve got them! Variegated ones too…
So what are you waiting for? Get into Natureworks today and see what’s new. We are open 7 days a week and Thursday evenings until 7 pm for relaxed, late night shopping. Sign up for a class or two- so many are coming up in June, be sure to read the listings below. Check out our YouTube channel and watch some of the educational videos that we just shot in my home garden. Share this email with your friends. It’s a wonderful time to be a gardener, and no matter what your skill level, we are here to help you GROW!
 
See you soon!
 
 
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I bet you can find room for a few more pepper plants. I LOVE mini bell peppers. They pop open so easily, have very few seeds, and make a nutritious snack. I grow mine in containers. 
P.S. Lots of new natives arrived this week. The elderberries are budding up in my yard and along the side of the road. We have plenty in stock. We have yellowroot (Xanthorhiza), a new dwarf Aruncus called ‘Fairy Hair’ with very feathery leaves, dwarf Baptisias, and all kinds of Eupatoriums. We are getting ready for Pollinator Week, when native plants will take center stage.