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!

Spa Day for Houseplants

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Houseplants really work hard in our homes. They help make our surroundings beautiful, clean pollutants out of the air, and keep us connected to living green plants during the months we need them most. They work hard, and they can start to look tired regardless of how hard we try to mimic their ideal growing conditions in our indoor environment. We tend to limit the amount of water we give them because we don’t want the saucer to overflow onto the floor. We place them in lighting conditions base on our decorating needs. And then there’s a pet or two (or three), that think they’re their for entertainment value.

One of the things I do regularly to keep my houseplants at their fittest, is to give them a spa day. This is a day when every plant gets a little love, a little attention, a little closer inspection. Spa days can bring problems to your attention, allowing you to correct situations like over/under watering, pests, and build up of dust on the leaves. By addressing these issues, you can add years to the life of your plants and keep them looking beautiful. That’s the reason you bought them, right?

On spa day, everyone gets a shower. But prior to the shower I inspect as I move them. Were they sitting in water when I picked them up? Did I see any of those lovely little fungus gnats fly off when I moved the pot? If so, it’s time to inspect the roots, so out of the pot it goes. If I see further signs of root rot (soil falls away when I take the plant out of the pot or brown mushy roots), it may be time to do a soil change or pot it down a size in pots. Never pot up a size when these kinds of things happen. Did I note webbing on the foliage or any other kind of critter? Time to buy or mix up an insecticidal soap and spray thoroughly prior to the shower.

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After special needs are addressed, turn the shower head on and watering deeply to allow water to flow through the entire pot and out the bottom several times. The foliage will also need to be showered off, but gently. This process also will leach out any buildup of fertilizer salts (a white-ish film on the top of the soil)  in the soil which can be toxic to our plants long term.

Let everyone drip dry before returning to the rightful place in your home. This is also a good time to ‘rearrange the furniture’ and rotate the location of your plants in your home. Plants do respond to new lighting situations and maybe you can find a spot where they’ll be happier.

You will be amazed at how your plants perk up after spa day! It’s almost instant. I’d like to say I do this once a month, but I just do it as often as I can. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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.

What’s Growing On This Week? Take a peek!

Isn’t it great to have an early spring? We’re so excited to have our doors open again, and hope you’ll come on out and see us! Pansies arrive Monday the 14th. NOW is the time to get them planted to keep them short and loaded with blooms. Here are just a few pics of things you’ll see this week when you come in.

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This is quite possibly the NICEST crop of fruit trees! Shrubs are starting to arrive, awesome dogwoods, and Okami Cherry trees.

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Carnivorous plants are amazing! Hanging baskets and small pots, several different varieties.

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The early birds get the best citrus trees! Lemon, lime and calamondins. Very healthy looking plants, and active!

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Floor plants for home and office, low light and high light.

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Miniature plants for terrariums, fairy gardens, and windowsills. MANY different plants right now.

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Miniature African Violets. So cute. Some of these little beauties are variegated too.

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Ferns, ferns, and MORE ferns. We love ferns and hope you will too.

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Garden art like we’ve never had before! Some light up, some spin, but these big flowers are just plain beautiful.

Pottery like never before. Oh. My. You'll have to come by to see for yourself.

Pottery like never before. Oh. My. You’ll have to come by to see for yourself.

Garden statues for everyone's taste...oh and the birdbaths are awesome too.

Garden statues for everyone’s taste…oh and the birdbaths are awesome too.

Hope to see you all soon!