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!!!