Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Spring fever has hit me like a ton of bricks!  It seems to be getting worse by the hour.  So, this is the time of year that I start to hunt for signs of things green and growing.  As I rake away the leaves that fell last fall I am always so thrilled to see little green shoots reaching for the sun(when it peeks out from behind the clouds).  Some of the first plants I see making their debut are Snowdrops.

The white flowers usually bloom singly, mostly in early spring but sometimes in mid to late winter, which makes them the earliest flowering bulb.  The three inner petals have green tips and overlap the outer petals to form a tube.
The bulbs should be planted 3-4 inches deep in early autumn in fertile soil.  They will thrive in sun or shade.  Snowdrops are also a good choice for forcing, naturalizing, and planting in lawns. 
When the snowdrop bulbs arrive this coming late summer to early fall I will sure let all of you know so that you, too, can go out next January and hunt snowdrops with me!
                                                                             Happy Winter, Susan
P.S.  Snowdrops may be left undisturbed for many years, but if you plan to move them or propogate the bulbs, lift just as the flowers fade.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fresh and New!

This is what's happening this week! We have been busy, busy turning the store around for spring! It always helps getting in new, beautiful plants!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sunny Weather

 Aren't you all just loving the weather these past couple days!? I was able to get out today and do a little gardening! Even though I came in with mud packed shoes, tools, and gloves, it gave me some satisfaction that all us gardeners want this time of year! I picked my way through a little ice in order to plant some leftover hyacinths and daffodils, cut a few grasses back that I left for winter interest,and cleaned out some pots! What a great afternoon!

Another reminder to everyone that it's time to start seeds!!! If you are looking to start your own tomatos, peppers, eggplants, petunias, geraniums, etc., you better think about getting started! It doesn't take much time or special equipment! I started my basil at home (on a windowsill) mid-December so that I might use it even before I put it outside, and basil was started at the store at the beginning of last week. Take a look at the progress!

There is nothing like the smell and taste of fresh basil or the feeling of accomplishment one gets from starting and caring for a plant from a speck of a seed to a full grown specimen!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What is Witch Hazel?

One of my favorite, under used, shrubs is, Hamamelis, Witch Hazel. It is considered a four season shrub. I have two varieties of witch hazels at home and they are both just about ready to bloom!! Yes, that's right, late January or early February is when they bloom. It is unlike anything you have ever seen.
The first variety that I planted was called 'Arnold's Promise'. It is a rare early color in the midst of winter making it a shrub in high demand. It has a spreading open form and unique starburst flowers.
The second witch hazel that I planted is called 'Diane'. She is the showiest of all witch hazels, this gorgeous shrub or small tree has ruby-red flowers preceding foliage in winter or early spring. Long ribbon-like petals are crinkled and exotic up close.
The reason that witch hazels are considered to be four season is because of their beautiful fall color. All of the varieties turn the brilliant colors of a sugar maple.
We have both varieties here at Andrews and would love for you to stop by to see them in bloom. I am always so excited for spring to get here but witch hazels always make me slow down and take time for each season. Blessings to you all, Susan

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's Time To Start Seeds

This is one of my favorite times of the year. Most would say I am crazy, with the cold weather, bad roads, etc....but this is the time to 'take time'. This is the time when I dream and plan of the coming warm months with my own veggies right outside my kitchen door.
I am the person that does all of the seed packet orders for Andrews, which only serves to peak my interests of the things that I have been wanting to try. Some of the things that are on my list are Celeriac, also known as root celery. Bitter melon is another one, it is an edible melon but is also used as a decorative plant that can be grown on a trellis or fence. It is a tasty, mildly bitter fruit that gives delicious flavor to stir-fries and Oriental dishes. My list is long and my days are short so I need to stay focused!!!

This is also a time to start tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. These three crops are easy to start and exciting to see grow. They need more days in the soil and more heat to produce so it's a good idea to get them started right away. I started all of these today at Andrews.
Another good reason to start your own plants is to be able to choose the varieties you want. We have very good commercial growers but they only have so much space for different varieties. I like heirloom, and organic varieties and those are very hard to find from a grower so I start my own.
I want to encourage all of you to make the month of January a month to have fun and enjoy each and every day.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Sewing 101 & Basil!

Okay, so here is my attempt #1 at learning to sew in 2010!!! I thought I would start with pajama pants (with a little embellishment to make them one of a kind). I was amazed how quickly they came together! Day one of the new year... off to a good start!

And an update...

I started basil on December 19th, and here is how it looks now! It isn't much work at all, I have it in the window closest to my kitchen sink, that way I don't have much of a chance to forget to water it as much as it has needed during it's beginning stages! You should try it!