Time to Bring the Houseplants Indoors!

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Houseplants waiting their turn to come inside on the back porch.

Looks like the weather is taking a turn to much colder temperatures here in Southeastern Connecticut! My policy has always been to pretend that cold weather will never come until it can’t be ignored any longer. It’s called denial. SO, I tend to wait until the last possible moment to bring in my beloved houseplants and other plants that I don’t want to part with just yet. My collection includes plants like large citrus passed down to me from my Grandmother, to small plants like maindenhair ferns and ivy. Every year there seem to be a few more new little lovelies that I just had to have.

I’ve decide that I have two personalities. The Spring me (who seems to be FAR more energetic) , and the Fall me. The Fall me doesn’t really like the Spring me very much right now, as I’ve had to go on a scavenger hunt looking for all the places I tucked and stashed my tender houseplants around our property.  Apparently I’m also stronger in the Spring, as I had to use a dolly to get one of the larger plants inside as I muttered under my breath questioning “whose idea was it to put you so far from the house?”.

Whether you have one plant or a dozen to bring inside, here are some things that I do that may help you as well. My ritual is to collect all the plants first and bring them to the back door. That’s day one. I’ve found that if I break up the task of bringing them all in, it doesn’t seem like such a big job. As I’m collecting them I pull the weeds from the soil and remove dead leaves, debris, and cobwebs. I access pot size and only repot larger if absolutely necessary. Next, preferably on a sunny day, everyone gets a bath, including the pots. When the leaves are dry, it’s time for an application of insecticidal soap. Just in case some critters think my house might be a good place to spend the winter. Having saucers ready and on hand for each plant will also make the return from summer vacation easier. Some years I’m able to think ahead enough to have washed them all in the dishwasher prior to needing them. Some years…not so much, and I scramble looking for them.

Now all the plants are safely inside, making the house feel like a home again. Outside, the garden still needs some help getting put to bed for the season. But inside gardening has just begun.

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

Hope your day is full of flowers and sunshine!

Is Fall Really a Good Time to Plant?

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One of the most common questions we get this time of year is, “Is it safe to plant in the fall?”. FALL IS FOR PLANTING has long been the Burnett mantra since the days of the little wood shed on route 85 in Salem that displayed hand painted signs shouting this good news.

Good news? No, GREAT news! Not only have we begun to wrap up the season with big savings on top quality plants, but the air is crisp and cool while the ground is still nice and warm, making perfect conditions for good root development. No top growth will occur this time of year, but your plant’s roots will continue to grow right up until the ground freezes, ensuring that you will enjoy your new plant for years to come.

Plants also visibly seem to appreciate Fall’s cooler temperatures. They are less stressed, and so is the gardener that can enjoy working outdoors without being scorched by the sun.

Rain is usually more plentiful in the Fall too, making daily maintenance of newly planted trees, shrubs, and perennials, much easier.  Still, water is part of the insurance policy of your new planting and if we get less than an inch a week, keep your hose handy. Another tool we recommend to ensure the life of your plants is Biotone from Espoma. It is a low nitrogen starter fertilizer that helps produce more and stronger roots. It’s what you don’t see under the soil line that directly impacts the part you enjoy seeing above the soil line.

When planting broadleaf evergreens, it’s a good idea to also use an anti-desiccant spray like EcoLogic Moisture-In. This will help protect your plant from Winter Burn. Extreme temps will soon be on their way, and an anti-desiccant spray will keep those leaves from losing moisture and turning brown. In fact, this kind of treatment is good for even established broadleafs.rhodie

Fall IS for Planting! Enjoy the beautiful weather and plant something! Oh, and if you’re going to plant perennials this fall, why not side plant some spring daffodil bulbs in every hole you dig? You’ll thank yourself next spring.

Express Your Autumnal Self!

DSC_0094Your home is your happy place, right? Your refuge from the world, the place that you can truly call your own. Making it reflect you and who you are is what makes it yours. Changing things seasonally will not only allow you to express yourself, but it’s also about making you smile whenever you see what you’ve created. DSC_0104And making you smile as you approach your home after a long day at work because the MOST beautiful mum (ever) is gracing your doorstep is where we come in…DSC_0092Let your inner artist choose the pallet for your Fall decor; cornstalks, mini and full sized hay bales, ornamental corn, pumpkins, gourds, and Fall plants have filled up our greenhouses! Come and have some fun family time at our Fall Festival, and leave with a cartful of happiness. 

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Fall(en) Leaves

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Driving to the garden center yesterday morning, my eyes noted the presence of leaves on the roadside of route 82, flying into the air as oncoming cars zipped by. My brain (still sleepy and waiting for the coffee to kick in), sighed ‘fall is here’. Yessss…but not the reason the leaves are falling. Sorry to say this dry weather may affect our fall display of colors if we don’t get some much needed rain soon. Look at THIS chart to see how little rain the hottest month of the year gave our gardens. We encourage you to protect the plants you’ve invested in, especially the ones you’ve planted this year. They need to be watered, and not just the kind of water that prevents wilt or just enough to keep them alive, but BIG and thorough drinks every time you water. You loved it when you bought it, continue with the love….questions on watering? Give us a call. We’re happy to help. THIS article will help too.

Pansies: The Tough Cookies of Spring

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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 time in cold New England. Believe it or not, pansies perform best in cool weather months, looking and blooming best in early spring, and 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.

This spring is going to be a little messy, with snow still being on the ground and major melting going on, the ground is going to be sopping wet for a while. We recommend planting pansies in decorative pots, containers, or window boxes to bring a little spring to your home and garden. To give you a helping hand, we’ve decide to add a Pansy Container Garden Workshop to our spring events list. Come in on April 4th and 5th, and we’ll help you plant a beautiful early spring container garden that will chase away what’s left of winter.

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It’s Friday! See What’s Growing On…

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Hyacinths and Pansies…how about we pot them together in a container for you? Instant spring.

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Beautiful houseplants to add some life to any room in your house.

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Terrariums are SOOOO fun to make! Lots of options.

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Indoor ferns for terrariums or just by themselves. Elegant and easy to care for.

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Rex begonias. Colorful and interesting leaves.

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Phaleanopsis Orchids.

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Add a little colorful plant to this fun bunny planter!

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Gardenia trees are fabulous with their perfumy blooms.

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…and speaking of perfumy, Easter Lilies are just breaking bud and filling the greenhouse with their scent.

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Smiling little pansies!

Spring is Springing!

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This is a good sign that winter has finally loosened its grip on us!

In the last week, we have had some serious snow melt. Do you realize how long it’s been since we’ve seen…ground? It’s actually kind of weird. I saw my little solar walkway lights for the first time in forever last night, and I thought, what’s THAT? 

With the snow line receding, and as the possibility of walking around your yard becomes a reality, it’s time to start accessing the winter damage. While the snow was a protective blanket for our plants in regards to the record breaking low temps, it was also heavy for some things. I’ve walked only a small area so far. My poor ‘Miss Kim’  lilac bent in some places until she broke, I guess she won’t have a big showing this year. Other small shrubs with broken or cracked branches have also been noted for some helpful pruning as soon as the rest of the snow and ice are melted. 

We’ll keep you in the know about winter clean up as the season progresses, OH, and you might need those pruners and lopers NICE and sharp to make your spring chores easier. (BTW, the tool and knife sharpening people will be at BCG the first weekend in May.)

So how about you and your yard and garden? Winter damage? Concerns? Log on to our facebook page and let us hear it #wintercleanup, post pics too.