Thursday, December 31, 2009


We are girls with a mission, and we LOVE to learn. We usually have several things going on both actively and in our minds (which can be frustrating at times...we scarcely know how to relax or sleep!). When every year makes it's debut, we each have a list of new things we want to learn. We don't tend toward goals of a physical nature (losing weight, exercising, etc., we like to cook and eat FAR too much to ever stick with resolutions like that!), rather ours run more toward learning a new skill, doing something different in the garden, traveling somewhere new, learning a new language (this one might be a stretch),but you know, things like that, that keep us active and moving! We talk about what we want to learn and usually end up doing a few of them together!

Here are a few for 2010...

1. We are tackling chickens! Mom has an elaborately beautiful coop plan she is going to tackle (turrets and all), one big enough to house enough chickens for both organic eggs and meat. I will be taking on a much smaller version; one that will hold up to 4 chickens (just for eggs...I don't know if I am ready to slaughter yet...gulp...)

2. We, believe it or not, have technology goals (this one makes me we are not technology lovers). Mom is going to get a new phone (with all the bells and wistles), she is going to learn how to use it in and out. I, on the other hand, am beginning to work on Andrew's new website. I have never designed a website before, so this will be a challenge, but I have wonderful people willing to help if I get stuck, and I know what my end goal is!

3. I want to learn to cook more ethnic food! My family and husband love trying foods from all over the world, so my goal is to add a few more recipes to my repetoire that reflect many different areas (Thailand, Japan, France, China, India, Mexico, Spain, etc.)! If any of you have great ethnic recipes, please do pass them on! I would love it! (I am also going to make my own butter, even if it only gets accomplished once! It only takes 15 minutes people! Did you know that!?)

4. I am going to learn to sew. I can do BASIC pillows, curtains tablecloths and napkins, but I am going to try to sew clothes... this should be interesting. Luckily, my mom is an ace. I hope she is prepared for lots of sewing emergency phone calls.

I could go on and on with things that we want to learn and do. I hope you, as well, have fun plans to look forward to in 2010, but first and foremost, we want to wish our wonderful readers a blessed and beautiful New Year!!!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Can't get enough herbs!!!

Okay, I don't know about you guys, but I don't like paying $3 at the store every time I need 1 Tablespoon of a specific herb. I also don't care for the quality in which I get them half the time. I love to cook, and still want my cooking to be fresh and flavorful through the winter months so here's my plan...I am going to grow my own.

I usually start off with already established herb plants that I plant outside and therefore can't use in the winter, or I have them in pots and forget to bring them in before the frost finishes them off. This time, I am going to do it from seed (yes, I know it's December)! I am using things I already had laying around (for the most part); a pot, some good potting mix, and a spray bottle for watering (create your own spray bottle by puncturing a plastic water bottle about 10 times with a sewing needle in a small circular pattern near the neck of the bottle-the water squeezes out at the perfect rate. I came up with this when I figured out I had started using my only spray bottle for floor cleaner). The seed and a grow light (I chose a 150 watt incandescent Agrosun Dayspot Grow Bulb) were the only things I had to gather .

A few herbs that I wanted to make sure I have around are rosemary, basil, parsley, chives and cilantro (having oregano and thyme wouldn't hurt either!). I haven't started rosemary from seed before, but all the others are a cinch! Plant them in the pot as you would sow them in the ground, keep the grow bulb on during the day, keep them constantly damp until they germinate (*imporant! if they dry out they will not germinate! just remember to water before work and before you go to bed), then follow a regular watering schedule once they get a little growth on them. You will have fresh herbs in no time!

I can't wait until I am biting into a peice of bruschetta made with tomatoes (preserved from this summer's garden) and a mound of fresh basil straight from my own windowsill! YUM!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Planning Ahead

I am always so grateful for the first spot of color in the spring after what seem like the longest, darkest days, when all I want to do is get outside and work in the garden. I am an instant gratification kind of girl, so planting bulbs in the fall oftentimes isn't hugely satisfying, but a few months later I am so happy that I did.

This past fall was the first I was able to plant bulbs in flower beds (my husband and I just bought a house and moved out of a rental), but there are ways to have bulbs even if you can't plant them directly in the ground or don't want to go to all the work of planting them in the ground (it gets a little tiring, I will admit, bending over for hours digging little holes for each bulb). Any kind of bulb (tulip, daffodil, crocus, hyacinth, etc.), works beautifully planted in pots for your front porch, back patio or even tucked into your flower beds! I write about it now, because it does take just a little bit of planning ahead. I am gathering up the bulbs I want in the next couple days to begin the project! I love to have something pretty by my front door every season, so this is always a fun way to ensure that it's pretty in the spring! It's fun to mix and match bulbs or have just a pot full of one color (very striking).

Here's how you do it:

Option #1
* Gather up the bulbs of your choice
* Put them in cold storage (a cool garage, cellar, refrigerator) for 8-12 weeks depending on the type of bulb you chose (some require 8 weeks, some require 10-12).
* Take out of cold storage in the early spring (after required chill time). Pot bulbs the depth indicated on bulb tag in good potting soil (I use Miracle Grow potting mix). You can use any size, shape, color of container you want!
* Keep evenly moist, don't let dry out completely but make sure not to give them too much water or it will rot the bulb.
* Put out on front porch when out of danger of freezing temperatures.

* There is one other way to do it, but it may just be slightly more touchy depending on what kind of conditions you have at your house. You can plant bulbs in pots now, keep them outside under covered patio, awning, etc.(to keep them protected from hard frost), but you must make sure to keep the roots damp, but not overly wet, just as with all potted plants this time of year. This would require watering every couple weeks or so. I tend to go with option #1 because it doesn't require me going out when it's freezing cold to water my plants!

That's it!!! Simple isn't it?

Here is some picture inspiration to get the juices flowing!

Happy Planting!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Need an appetizer idea?

Sometimes, I find it hard to figure out what hors de ouvres to serve at dinner parties, and it's especially hard to come up with something wonderful to take to a friend's dinner party that doesn't need to be served hot right out of the oven. We have a yummy solution, and want to share it with you! (Best part...only three ingredients!!!)

Almond stuffed Dates wrapped with Prosciutto

-One pouch pitted dates
-One package prosciutto
-One bag of slivered almonds

Toast almonds, in oven set on broil, just until lightly browned. Keep a CLOSE watch, they burn easily. When cooled off enough to handle, put an almond inside each date. Wrap dates with thin strips of prosciutto. Put wrapped dates in a heated skillet. Cook until prosciutto shrinks slightly around dates. Remove and enjoy!!! (Equally as wonderful served hot or at room temperature!)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

12 Shopping Days of Christmas!

We are closing in on Christmas, so we wanted to make sure everyone knew about the special deals we have going!!!

For the last 12 shopping days until Christmas a different item (or category) will be substantially discounted! See below for the deal of the day!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pickling Your Paperwhites

The paperwhite narcissus is a popular bulb for indoor forcing in the winter months. Unlike most other daffodils, paperwhites do not require a cold period. They are simply planted in pots with soil, or even more commonly, in dishes or bowls with gravel, marbles or other decorative material. With a little water, they rapidly form roots, grow leaves and shoots. The white,fragrant flowers usually open up within 2-3 weeks of planting.

A common problem with paperwhites, however, is that they often grow too tall and fall over.

There is a simple and effective way to reduce stem and leaf growth of paperwhites. The "secret" is using dilute solutions of alcohol. Properly used, the result is paperwhites that are 1/3 to 1/2 shorter, with equal sized flowers that last as long as normal.

Place your bulbs in stones, gravel, marbles, glass beads, etc., as usual. Add water as you normally would, then wait about 1 week until roots are growing and the shoot is green and growing about 1-2" above the top of the bulb. At this point, pour off the water and replace it with solution of 4 to 6% alcohol, made from just about any "hard" liquor. You can do the calculations to figure the dilution but, as an example, to get a 5% solution from a 40% distilled spirit (e.g., gin, vodka, whiskey, rum, tequila), you add 1 part of the alcohol to 7 parts of water. This is an 8-fold dilution yielding 5% alcohol.

Then, simply use this solution, instead of water, for further watering of your bulbs. It's as simple as that!
The result will be a plant that is shorter, but with flowers, just as large, fragrant, and long-lasting as usual. The plant will be nicely proportioned and won't need support stakes, wires, or other gizmos to keep it upright.

*Do not use beer or wine, as the sugars in them will cause major problems with the plants.
*If you do not have alcohol in the house, rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) works just as well. A dilution of 1 part rubbing alcohol to 10 or 11 parts water is appropriate.

It is simply "water stress", where the alcohol makes it more difficult for the plant to absorb water. the plant suffers a slight lack of water, enough to reduce leaf and stem growth, but not enough to affect flower size or flower longevity.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

O Christmas Tree!!!

Yesterday was an exciting day down at the store... our Christmas trees came in! Childhood memories came rushing back as I stood before the selection- wondering which should be the tree to grace my living room. Although I usually settle on a noble fir, I like to look at all the other beautiful varieties. Noble, Grand, Douglas & Frasier Firs. Have any of you ever put up a frasier fir??? This is a new variety to us this year, and they are GORGEOUS. They have a silvery tinge to there graceful branches. (I just might have to put up two trees this year!)

Something useful: I usually end up cutting a few branches off the bottom of the tree to make plenty of room for presents- Use the extra greens for decorating tops of tables or shelves!

I still have a few things on my list to prepare for the holiday season... put up the tree (of course!), gather greens to make garland, bring home poinsettias, send out Christmas cards, buy ingredients for holiday treats, and I can't forget to mention the clove plugged oranges (lovely to set among garland, or even stacked in a pretty bowl on your counter). Did I mention shopping??? I cannot boast about being ahead in that respect...

I hope your are enjoying the season!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Cactus

I love houseplants, and love to have at least one blooming houseplant all through the the year. Christmas cactus are a great pick for November-December blooms!

A little history...

The holiday cacti were originally forest cacti, growing at elevations between 3300 to 5600 feet above sea level in the Organ Mountains north of Rio de Janeiro in southeast Brazil, South America. They are called Flor de maio (May Flower) in Brazil.

Many modern holiday cactus cultivars are hybrids, first bred about 150 years ago in England.


Our Christmas cacti do best when kept in bright/indirect sunlight. We keep them on a 10-day watering schedule: water every 10 days, fertilizing (with Schultz Cactus fertilizer) every other time watered. They like to dry out inbetween waterings. To figure out the best spot and watering schedule for your cacti it will be a bit of trial and error. Cacti kept in an area where they get a draft and more light may need watering more than every 10 days, and cacti kept in spots with less light and little air circulation may not need watering as often as every 10 days. I have found that the most important thing is consistency. Figure out your watering/fertilizing schedule and stick to it.

Some say that Christmas cacti need a bit of a cold snap (6-8 wks. at 50-57 degrees Farenheit) in order to bloom. I have not found this to be the case. As long as the cacti get consistent care, they have always bloomed on time for me!

When the time comes to repot your Chritmas cactus, be sure not to upset the roots too much and use a good quality cactus soil (they like a sandier soil which allows for better drainage).

I have propagated a lot of houseplants, but have never tried Christmas cactus. So, this morning I looked up precisely how to do it and tried it out! I will let you know how it goes!

This is the info I found: Holiday cacti can be propagated quite easily by removing a single segment and plant it a quarter of its length deep in a pot filled with slightly sandy soil (it also helps to put some kind of rooting hormone on the base of the cutting). Place the pot in a well lit area (but not direct sunlight) and keep the soil moist. The cutting should begin showing signs of growth after two or three weeks.

Tough and long-lived, Christmas cactus can be passed easily from one generation to the next, blooming for family gatherings and cheering the darkening winter days.

We hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Holiday Open House!

This is just a glimpse of what we have for you at this years Holiday Open House! We have a beautiful array of things for you to see! We hope to see you there Friday or Saturday (or both!) 8am-5pm!

We have been working hard to make the store sparkle and shine with Christmas! Stop by to say hi and enjoy a latte and treat! We hope to see you all there!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Winter Interest

I was looking around in my yard yesterday taking note of areas that need just a little adjustment as well as areas that need some major improvements. It reminded me of a basic design principle that is easy to pinpoint this time of year: all-season interest. Now that the leaves have mostly fallen, we can see how our designs are doing when it comes to evergreens and beautifully colored bark. (HINT: Don't cut back your ornamental grasses until spring! They keep there shape and look beautiful with a dusting of snow! )

So take a good look in your garden...

What do you see???

What you see now, is what you will be looking at for the next few months. Are you happy with the winter interest in your garden? The winter garden can be equally as beautiful as all other seasons if planted just right! Personally, I am going to make a last-ditch effort to get a few more evergreens into my landscape (at least within eye-shot of my windows!). I want to be able to enjoy my garden all the way to the last drop- whether working in it or looking at it covered in snow from my windows!

Happy fall planting!

P.S. Time to have your sprinklers blown out if you haven't had it done yet! All hoses are coiled up and stored away for the winter as well! Bring on the snow!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Holly and the Ivy

I love ivy. Easy to care for, versatile and beautiful...what more could you ask for? I always get newly inspired to use ivy in my decorating around this time of year because of it's dark green, shiny (thanks in part to my trusted can of leaf shine), evergreen leaves. I am so excited about some of the ways we are able to use it this year! Here are just a few examples...

Kissing Balls
Isn't that cute!? Used back in the Colonial days in America and was also a popular Christmas decoration during the Victorian era in England. It is the predecessor of the tradition of hanging mistletoe, and it symbolizes everlasting good luck. Young women who were caught under the decoration had to pay the price and give the gentleman who caught her there a kiss. Couples that kissed beneath the ball would stay together for the year and maybe even marry.


Wouldn't a wreath be pretty laid flat on a table with candles in the middle? Hanging inside or outside one of your doors would also bring a touch of festivity!

Ivy Birdcage

Who could resist the charm of this little ivy bird cage???
What a wonderful gift idea! Don't you think?

The tender ivy plant, bent, yet unbroken by the storms of life, not only upholds its own hopeful courage, but clings around the tempest-fallen oak, to speak hope to his faltering spirit, and shelter him from the returning blast of the storm." ~Ernestine Rose

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Natural Healing

It's here...the dreaded cold season.It is a time when we, again, look back to our gardens for help! Do you know what in your garden can help boost your immune system and help ward off the cold?? What about for allergies? Or curing a rash?
Herbal remedies have been around since the beginning, long before modern medicine made its debut. Obtained from plant leaves, bark, berries, and roots, they are an effective and natural way to protect you from getting sick!

A few examples now to get you started...

For the common cold...

Echinacea and Goldenseal are both immune boosters and natural antibiotics. If taken at the onset of a cold, they will hep prevent further symptoms. Commonly taken by pill or oil. (Do not take Goldenseal if you are pregnant).

Eucalyptus Oil, Rosemary Oil and Sage oil are used as an expectorant, loosening mucus, making it easier to expel from the chest. Put 5 drops in a hot bath or place 6 drops in 2 c. boiling water, place a towel over your head and inhale deeply through your nose for 5 minutes.

Ginger and Yarrow Tea are useful as well. Ginger is used to rid the body of mucus buildup in the sinuses, throat and lungs, while yarrow tea induces sweating which helps to lower fevers in colds and flu.

Red Clover blossoms steaped and used as a tea, has expectorant and anti-inflammatory properties and is effective in relieving colds and dry, unproductive coughs.

Tea Tree Oil is effective for treating sinus issues and sore throats. Use as a gargle. A little goes a long way! Add 3-6 drops to warm water and use as gargle 3 times daily.

For allergies...

Chamomile tea is used to reduce the duration of allergy attacks and also as a calming agent. Gather leaves and steap in hot water. Strain and enjoy!

Thyme leaves break up congestion, as well as clear up sinusitis, laryngitis, throat infections and symptoms of the cold and flu. Heat 1 c. water with 1 oz. thyme leaves until boiling. Breathe in steam for 15 minutes.

Burdock, horseradish, dandelion, gingko biloba, stinging nettle and many more help to alleviate allergies!
For arthritis...
Alfalfa is considered a pain reliever. It is a storehouse for minerals which are vital for bone formation.

Stinging Nettle is a rich source of iron, calcium & folic acids.

Willow bark is used to treat pain, headache, fever and athritis.

Celery seed is useful to relieve inflammation and pain.

Parsley seeds can be used to make tea for the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism.

We are just skimming the surface- There are MANY more herbs that help treat many different conditions! We encourage you to research these natural ways of healing!

Now from personal experience...

As a child, I can not tell you how many weird things I ingested, swallowed, rubbed on, inhaled, gargled, and soaked in. At the time, my brother, sister and I thought our mom was just a little crazy (okay...a lot crazy) when she would carry around extra bags on our hikes to gather tree moss or a certain type of tree bark if found, but I now give her credit for it.
The stuff actually worked.

The most memorable for me was when our kitchen morphed into a distillery. We all got a good laugh at the quantities of fir bark and vodka that ended up there. But from it was churned out a fir bark sore throat remedy that we still use to this day. (I still wonder which ingredient actually does the curing!)

Another was an alder bark salve that became very popular among my brother's college roomates. With boys you inevitably get some kind of gross fungus, in this case it was Athletes Foot. The alder bark salve was the only thing that quickly worked to clear it up! It was in high demand! We use it for all sorts of different skin issues: chapped lips, dry nose from the constant blowing of it during a cold, dry skin, etc.

My mother has always been interested and drawn to all things natural. She made a friend, Darcy Williamson, in McCall, Idaho who has a book out 'Healing Plants of the Rocky Mountains' (available in our store). It has been an invaluable volume in our library.

It's not that we never used modern medicine, but when you can gather from nature and see it working you can't help but love it! If any of you would like information about any specific health issue or herb, please leave a comment and we will post follow-ups!


Sunday, October 25, 2009


Today was the perfect day to go outside and clean out windowboxes. The poor things looked ready for the compost pile. The frost froze everything that I had planted for the summer. I had brought home from the nursery kale and pansies to plant for fall. I love the colors of this season so I picked out things that would mirror the colors of a sugar maple: bronze, yellow, salmon pink, purple ect....

Freshening pots, windowboxes and anything else that is summer weary is such a satisfying thing to do. I know that most people are tired of gardening this time of year and don't really want to think about going out and working yet again but the rewards are well worth it. When you are sitting in your cozy house with a cup of tea, looking out at the pansy faces peering through the window it can't help but put a smile on your face.

"Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to

sit still and watch the leaves turn." ~Elizabeth Lawrence

Monday, October 19, 2009

Common Questions About Planting

We have been taking advantage of the wonderful fall weather to plant! We have brought in big loads of beautiful perennials, shrubs, and trees! It's always good to walk through the nursery at different times during the year so you can see what looks the best in each season, so you can be sure to get those colors in your own yard!

Here are a couple common questions about planting that we have been hearing over the past twomonths. It is always good to get a refresher even if you had previously heard about these!

#1. Can I plant in the fall?

It is a common misconception that you have to plant things earlier in the season, when it's warmer outside. Fall is one of the most wonderful times to plant! Not only is the weather easier for one to work in, it is also easier and more welcoming to new plantings. When you plant something when temperatures cool, you may only have to water it a few times (rather than an entire season) before it goes into winter dormancy. It allows for a lot less stress on the plant, and a lot less work for you! Plants will continue to root in through the winter months giving the plant a good head start for the next season. As long as you are able to dig a hole, you are able to plant!

#2.What is the best way to plant?

Here is our recommendation. Dig the hole 6-12 inches deeper than the pot the plant is in and about 6 inches wider all the way around. Line the bottom of the hole with compost (we have a wonderful planting compost), fill the hole 1/2 way with water, place your plant in center of hole, then backfill with 50% compost/50% native soil. This allows for the best possible environment for new plantings, especially if you have tough soil conditions.

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
~Albert Camus

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Gleaning from Nature

Nature offers us so many wonderful things to make our homes cozy and festive for fall. Sometimes you need to think outside the box when looking in your garden or taking a drive through the hills. It's amazing what you can glean from the side of the road! Wheat, corn, interesting seed heads, cattails, bark, pine cones, etc., etc.

Take walnuts for example. Gather a small bag full of walnuts and you have the main ingredient to make a festive walnut wreath (especially nice if you have or know someone with a walnut tree). The only thing you need to buy is a simple vine wreath, some hot glue sticks, and maybe a little ribbon and you are set! Any cone or nut can be substituted to give you just as beautiful a wreath. As the season progresses we spray ours with gold glitter spray or with a
metallic gold spray paint which give them
a festive Christmas look.

Cattails are pretty to look at and they dry wonderfully. Cut them with long stems and tie in bunches to set around your patio or by your front door; cut shorter bouquets to set on your table or anywhere else you have a flat surface (think about your bathrooms too! Make every room special for fall!) Take a drive in the country- there are cattails everywhere!

Wheat is great gathered into bunches and placed in a pretty container. It can also be made into wreaths. All you need is a wreath form and some wire (we carry what you need for this project!)

Gourds, Pumpkins, and really any kind of produce can be used for table centerpieces or can be set anywhere to give a little color and interest. Remember to think outside the box! You can paint, marble, stack, mix n' match, hang, etc. with these! Use whatever produce looks the prettiest at the farm stand! (Hint: A little olive oil shines up produce beautifully if you are wanting to display it!)

Houseplants are always my go-to decoration. They are there for you all year round, and there are some beautiful varieties available. Come see our sun room-it is always filled with good options for your home. We have plants that do well in low-light situations, plants that love a sunny window, and all those in between.

Don't forget about cornstalks! They are perfect to gather in bunches and place by your front doorstep. Cornstalks can usually be found at your local farm stand, or from a friendly farmer (Don't be afraid to ask!)

Indian corn contains all the colors of fall, and can be used wherever you like. Whether placed among gourds and pumpkins on your table or doorstep or gathered in a unique bouquet in the center of your table, it is sure to catch eyes!

Most of all, pick things that are pretty to YOU, there are no set ways to go about creating and decorating your home... and have fun!

~Laura & Susan

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Cook and the Gardener

When things slow down in the garden we turn to a few other things that we love to do-reading and cooking. For all of those who like one or the other, you should join us in reading The Cook and The Gardener! We LOVE it! It is about a woman (Amanda Hesser) living in France who learns to cook by the seasons and by the garden. Amanda shows how she manages each month of the year cooking from fresh or preserved fresh from the garden fruits and vegetables. It inspires me in the winter months when we don't have quite as many fresh ingredients available. You also get to to know the old french gardener with his old methods and superstitions when it comes to growing the best produce (quite funny actually).
On the menu for tonight:
~English roast with a herb rub (have to go into the garden to see which herbs look the best) plus a few jalapenos thrown in for good measure
~Rosemary potatoes (I always throw a rosemary plant in one of my flower pots to be assured some fresh when I need it-about time to bring it in for the winter)
~Roasted butternut squash (from the garden! I only ended up with three this year! Note to self: need lots of slug bait this next growing season)
~Warm apple crisp
Very fall.
So, curl up and enjoy a good book!
~Laura and Susan

Saturday, October 10, 2009

new beginnings

Yes, we are catching up with modern technology! I am thankful to have Laura with us, full-time, here at Andrews. She is a huge help to me and will be teaching me how to blog. Michael and I have been dragging our feet learning computer stuff, but we realize that we need to keep up. Laura and I will be posting often now to let you know what we are doing, both at work and at home. We will keep you posted about a wide variety of things that will, hopefully, be fun and informative. Such as, have you planted garlic yet? What varieties we have and how to plant it. Please feel free to ask questions and we will give it our best effort to reply quickly.

Blessings to you all, Susan

Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good. [Anthelme Brillat-Savarin]

Friday, October 9, 2009


We love to garden. In fact, we love it so much that we find ourselves occupied by it most of our days. We would like to take some time out (and join the ranks of the technologically savvy) to share with you, our friends and customers, what we are doing and what is inspiring us!

We always anticipate the fall season. The changing colors of the leaves, cooler temperatures, and cozy smells all signal us to slow down, step back, and enjoy what our garden has to offer. I find it easy to be inspired in the fall- all it takes is one step outside or one glance out of a window to get the creative juices flowing. Gathering the fall abundance to decorate the store and our homes is awaited with excitement every year. Wheat bundles, corn stalk bunches, walnut wreaths, and a multitude of gourds and pumpkins grace every empty space we have!

Before we can trench in for the winter, there are a few things we are doing to prepare the garden for the next season.

What we are doing in October:

-Changing over our summer pots to showcase beautiful mums, asters, kale and pansies (kale and pansies are pretty all the way through the cold months of winter by the way).

-Spring is already in our minds as we plant bulbs wherever we can find room.

-Amaryllis are being cut back and put in cold, dark storage for their dormant period (6-8 weeks), so we can have them blooming in time for Christmas.

-Winterizing our lawns

-Bringing in our tender potted plants. Repot with new soil if necessary, checking each one thouroghly to make sure no extra critters (nice way of saying insect pests) make their way in to our homes.

-Cleaning out the vegetable garden.

-We are planting garlic. Six different varieties this year! Elephant, Italian, Ajo Rojo, French Germidour, German Red, and Persian Star. (All available at the store, but you have to get in here early to be gauranteed some! Usually mid-August.)

-To start the spring out with a little less to do, we are starting to cut back perennials now.

Have to get back out in the nursery! More later!!!