Miss Kim in the Garden

What’s not to love about Miss Kim? She’s beautiful, low-maintenance, and fabulously fragrant. Of course, we’re talking about the low growing lilac shrub, Miss Kim.

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Tight buds with the promise of fragrant blooms very soon!

Miss Kim is a compact lilac shrub that only gets 6′ tall, making it a great addition to foundation plantings. This Korean type lilac will be covered with spicy scented blossoms in late spring, just when the old-fashioned lilacs are finishing up. Even in the Fall, Miss Kim does not disappoint with the foliage putting on a show of burgundy tones.

Mother’s Day Hanging Basket Special!

Through May 8, 2016, 10″ annual flowering hanging baskets are Buy 1 Get 1 Half Off! Right now, there are literally THOUSANDS of blooming hanging baskets covering the ceilings of our greenhouses! Our staff is ready and waiting to help you make your selection. Got shade? We’ll show your your choices. Hot sunny spot? No problem, we’ve got the perfect plants for that too! Bring Mom and enjoy a special day at the garden center.

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Want to keep those beautiful hanging baskets blooming? Read here for some tips.

Caring For Your Flowering Hanging Basket

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Flowering hanging baskets have become a symbol of warm weather. Nearly every house in every neighborhood is adorned with overflowing blooms suspended in the air, as surely as there is a mailbox. Time, energy, and money are spent choosing the perfect hanging baskets for your home, so learning to maintain them to keep them looking beautiful is important.

Here are some tips to help you this season.

-In a very short period of time, the pot of your hanging basket will have more roots than soil. The bigger the basket, the easier time you will have maintaining it. Watering is the most important part of caring for your hanging basket. You don’t want them to be consistently sopping wet, nor do you want them to wilt flat to the pot before giving it a drink.

-In early spring, your basket can go longer between waterings, simply because the plants are young with smaller root systems and the days are cooler. But as the days become hotter, you will be watering more frequently, eventually every day the sun is shining.

-Learn to feel the weight of your hanging basket by gently lifting up the bottom of the pot. A heavier pot may not need watering that day, and make note of how much lighter if feels as it dries out.

-Another way to know when to water, is when the soil surface feels dry to the touch.

-When you water, water thoroughly until the water comes flowing out of the bottom. If this happens immediately, it means the pot was really dry, repeat the process again after several minutes.

-Remember, your basket is packed full of plants, so fertilizer is JUST as important as water to keep them looking healthy. We recommend a time-release fertilizer like Jobe Potting Plants and Hanging Basket Spikes. For 10” and 12” baskets, place 2 spikes on the outskirts of the pot every 8 weeks. 14” cone baskets get 3 spikes.

Bee a Good Gardener

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There is a movement out there that I’m sure you’ve at least heard a mention of, it’s about saving the honeybees. Honeybees are responsible for pollinating many of the flowers that make the food that we love, enjoy, and need to eat to live. The thought of the honey bees disappearing….well, it just makes me hungry. So I’m all for saving the honeybees!

There are arguments from both sides of the aisle why honeybee colonies collapse and bee keepers are finding it harder and harder to sustain their bees. I personally have sat through many lectures on the subject from varying point of views, and this winter I even took a bee keeping course. The bee keeping class set me straight that the term ‘colony collapse’ gets used often when it probably shouldn’t be. Many times it’s just poor bee keeping practices, and more often the varroa mite is to blame for the demise of the colony.

It is a confusing topic with many different avenues of blame, and with that comes many opinions on what should be done to help the honeybees. But good news! There is a simple thing you can do TODAY to help the honeybees thrive – focus on planting the plants that honeybees love most! A great place to start is right in the moment with things you can plant that bloom early when flowers are in short supply. Plant things like pussy willows, witch hazel, fruit trees, hellebores, snapdragons, and sweet alyssum. Stop by Burnett’s Country Gardens for a complimentary list of plants that are sure to make the gardener and the bee both very happy!

Heather Thibeault is a life-long gardener, plant collector, and Burnett's employee.

Heather Thibeault is a life-long gardener, plant collector, and Burnett’s employee.

Kids Garden Activity: Fairy Doors

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Legend has it, Fairy Doors are magical gateways to the fairy world. If you spot one, you are special! But don’t bother trying to open it, because only fairies can do so. We find fairy doors (and fairies), more than just ‘magical’. They are a growing trend connecting our children not only to a  land of make believe, but also to nature and gardening. And that’s where the true magic begins.

Here are some pics from one of our Fairy Door Workshops. Keep an eye out for this event and other events by Liking us on facebook, then select ‘see first’ so you don’t miss anything!
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A Bunny Hunt

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No, it’s not ‘wabbit season’ so no bunnies will be harmed during our annual Bunny Hunt! In lieu of a traditonal Egg Hunt, the crew at Burnett’s hosts a Bunny Hunt the day before Easter. Kids will get plenty of fresh air and exercise as they ‘hunt’ for all the staff members chosen to be the rabbit-ear-wearing Burnett’s Bunnies to get their prizes. Kids are encouraged to bring a basket or bag to bring home their goodies.

 

Spring’s ‘Tough Cookie’

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If ever there were a pretty little flower that could be considered a ‘tough cookie’ , it would be the pansy. Although these captivating little beauties may look delicate, they are one of the first flowers that can brave our spring gardens in cold New England. Believe it or not, pansies perform best in cool weather months, looking and blooming best in early spring, and then again in fall. It’s the heat of the summer that stretches their limits, literally. Warm weather temperatures cause pansies to stretch and become ‘leggy’ or tall. The solution to keeping them going in the summer is to plant them in part shade, cut them back when they get too tall, and plant summer loving annuals close by to take the spotlight off of them until they perk up again come fall.

So when can pansies be planted outside? What are the minimum temperatures they can tolerate? Good questions. It depends on who grew them. Pansies can tolerate low temperatures down to the mid twenties without flower or bud damage, as long as they’ve been acclimated. That means, they are already used to cold temperatures and haven’t gone straight from a hot greenhouse to outside. Our pansies our locally grown in cool greenhouses, making them ready to brave the chilly outdoors. So right NOW is the time to kick off the gardening season and plant pansies!