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Problem Solving Gift List

In the holiday season we can easily figure out gifts for some of our friends and family members. But others are more challenging to shop for. Here is part 1 of the Country Garden Present Problem Solver...our suggestions for interesting, unexpected, but oh-so-appreciated gifts. 

For The Person Who Doesn’t Need “More Stuff” 

For the Cape Codder who has everything. This Mr. Bird cage holds blocks of birdseed that appeal to a variety of winged wildlife.

For the Cape Codder who has everything! This Mr. Bird cage holds blocks of birdseed that appeal to a variety of winged wildlife. Easy to fill because you drop the block of seed into the holder, which is either hung or attached to a tree or structure. Watching the birds is calming and entertaining, and since the seeds are consumed, you’re not giving a gift that becomes just another “dust catcher.”

For Your Favorite Aunt or Grandmother

She was the Auntie who was willing to take you shopping and hiking all on the same day. She let you roast marshmallows over candles at her kitchen table, and make a mess with colored markers and glitter on rainy days. No matter her age, she'd love a light and colorful wrap that is perfect for her winter travels to warmer places or for the beach when she's back on Cape.

She was the Auntie or Grandmother who was willing to take you shopping and hiking all on the same day. She let you roast marshmallows over candles at her kitchen table, and make a mess with colored markers and glitter on rainy days. No matter her age, she’d love a light and colorful wrap that is perfect for her winter travels to warmer places or for the beach when she’s back on Cape.

For Your Recently Retired Parents

Your parents have recently retired and finally have time to putter in their yard. Get them a great tool that makes pruning easier! Felco pruners last for years...they are the professional gardener's pruner of choice.

Your parents have recently retired and finally have time to putter in their yard. Get them a great tool that makes pruning easier! Felco pruners last for years…they are the professional gardener’s pruner of choice. The perfect gift for anyone who likes “the right tool for the job.”

For Your “Retro-Loving” Sister

Your sister got married in a barn and stores her nuts and grains in Mason jars. She has an old fashioned blackboard in the kitchen and loves agricultural style. She will be thrilled some vintage-look metal planters for her indoor or outdoor styling. For extra points, decorate the package with an old-time truck and tree cutout.

Your sister got married in a barn and stores her nuts and grains in Mason jars. She has an old fashioned blackboard in the kitchen and loves agricultural style. She will be thrilled some vintage-look metal planters for her indoor or outdoor styling. For extra points, decorate the package with an old-time truck and tree cutout.

For The Localvore

She loves to "think globally, act locally." These beeswax soaps and candles are made right here on Cape Cod.

She loves to “think globally, act locally.” These beeswax soaps and candles are made right here on Cape Cod. She shops at farmer’s markets and wants to support local businesses instead of shopping at the mall. She’ll love the Little River products.

For The Creative Nature Lover

She or he likes nature and being creative. Give them a terrarium jar so they can have a green experience even in the winter! You can either pick out plants and other needed supplies, or tuck a Country Garden gift card in the jar so that they can have the fun of picking these out themselves. A gift for anyone from 9 to 90.

She or he likes nature and being creative. Give them a terrarium jar so they can have a green experience even in the winter! You can either pick out plants and other needed supplies, or tuck a Country Garden gift card in the jar so that they can have the fun of picking these out themselves. A perfect gift for anyone from ages of 9 to 90.              

For Your Dog and Football Obsessed Brother-in-Law

Your brother loves his dog and the Patriots, in that order. Make him smile every game day with some team gear just for Fido.

Your brother-in-law loves his dog and the Patriots, in that order. Make him smile every game day with some team gear just for Fido. Patriot shirts for dogs of all ages. (Don’t even think about getting a cat into these outfits…)

For The Organic Grower

They want to grow organically. No matter what plant they're propagating, they will love this all-purpose, organic fertilizer from Coast of Maine.

They want to grow organically. No matter what plant they’re propagating, they will love this all-purpose, organic fertilizer from Coast of Maine. 

For Your Weather Obsessed Friend or Family Member

You know the type...they have the weather channel on as background and they check the forecast frequently. When you arrive for dinner the first fifteen minutes is spent talking about how hot, cold or rainy it's been. Don't fight it...give them an attractive outdoor thermometer so they can monitor the temperatures moment to moment.

You know the type…they have the weather channel on as background and they check the forecast frequently. When you arrive for dinner the first fifteen minutes is spent talking about how hot, cold or rainy it’s been. Don’t fight it…give them an attractive outdoor thermometer so they can monitor the temperatures moment to moment.       

For The Woman Who Just LOVES Christmas

She absolutely loves Christmas. She likes to set the table with special linens, put holiday throw pillows on the couch and places cinnamon potpourri in the bathrooms. So you know that she'll love these sweet Christmas dishes.

She absolutely loves the Christmas season. She likes to set the table with special linens and put holiday throw pillows on the couch. She even places cinnamon or pine-scent potpourri in the bathrooms. So you know that she’ll love and treasure these sweet Christmas dishes.

Come into the store for these and other problem-solving gifts.

Let us help you make your favorite people happy.

How To Make A Boxwood Tree in Oasis

One of the things our custom department does at the holidays is to make boxwood and mixed greens trees in oasis. We sell plain trees for those who want to decorate one themselves, and we offer pre-decorated trees in assorted styles. These trees are fun to make and every year we offer workshops and teach people how to make a tree themselves. For those who can’t come into a workshop, I’m printing the instructions here so that you can make your own.

This is a boxwood tree decorated with small starfish and fresh baby's breath flowers. To keep these trees looking good for months, water from the top every two days. In order to get them well watered, carry the tree to the sink so that a lot of water can be poured over the oasis block.

This is a boxwood tree decorated with small starfish and fresh baby’s breath flowers. To keep these trees looking good for months, water from the top every two days. In order to get them well watered, carry the tree to the sink so that a lot of water can be poured over the oasis block.

You can also make a lovely tree using boxwood and other, mixed evergreens from your yard.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This mixed greens tree was made using noble fir, white pine, variegated holly, juniper and boxwood.

Click on this image to download a pdf of these instructions you can print out.

Click on this image to download a pdf of these instructions you can print out.

Click on the image to download a pdf of this image that you can print out.

Click on the image to download a pdf of this image that you can print out.

 

Mixed greens trees are done in much the same way as a boxwood tree. Do one type of green at a time. It helps to do the boxwood last to fill in.

mixed_greens_tree

Click on this image to download a pdf of these instructions for printing.

Click on the picture to download a pdf you can print out.

Click on the picture to download a pdf you can print out.

Christmas With A Sense Of Place

I was having fun in the garden center today getting ready for Christmas. I’ve done arrangements and wreaths in our custom department for over 15 years now, and I’ve seen that our customers love the holidays and Cape Cod. They appreciate decorations that celebrate Christmas and this seaside region. Many of the wreaths we make have shells, netting and other references to the ocean on them. So this year I’m looking into a few new designs.

This is our standard "Cape Cod Wreath. We make these with fresh or artificial greens, and will customize them with different ribbon, blueberries, or other materials.

This is our standard “Cape Cod Wreath. We make these with fresh or artificial greens, and will customize them with different ribbon, blueberries, or other materials.

I made this one in artificial materials today since it's too early for fresh greens. I think I'll put a red bow at the top of the anchor.

I made this one in artificial materials today since it’s too early for fresh greens. I think I’ll put a red bow at the top of the anchor.

The seahorse might end up with a red ribbon around his neck and a bow on his side. I might also add some white sprays in this wreath to balance out the large expanse of white on the seahorse.

The seahorse might end up with a red ribbon around his neck and a bow on his side. I might also add some white sprays in this wreath to balance out the large expanse of white on the seahorse.

And of course nothing says "Cape Cod" like a great white shark! Ho, ho, ho!

And of course nothing says “Cape Cod” like a great white shark! Ho, ho, ho!

We do wreaths and arrangements with local greens and cones as well. There are so many ways to celebrate our lovely Cape while enjoying the holidays.

Houseplants Safe For Cats and Dogs

Last week I published a list of some of the great houseplants we have in our greenhouse. Susan commented, asking if these houseplants were pet-friendly. Were they OK for dogs and cats? Her cat is a “muncher” and so she needs indoor greeenery that isn’t toxic. Our greenhouse manager, Marsha, often points out that many of our common houseplants come from tropical areas. Plants that grow in these regions have needed to develop some levels of toxicity since there are so many insects and animals there that would otherwise eat them.

Susan’s question prompted me to do this week’s post about plants that are safe for dogs and cats. Many of these are pictured here. Note: if you have a cat that keeps nibbling on your plants, it’s likely that the cat would love its own dish of “cat grass.” This is a wheat grass that is easy to grow from seed. We commonly carry packages of the cat grass pictured below, and all you have to do is to sow it in a shallow pot filled with some organic potting soil.

Spider plants are one of the easiest plants to grow indoors.

Spider plants are one of the easiest plants to grow indoors.

Boston ferns are good in bright locations, and are pretty displayed on tall plant stands.

Boston ferns are good in bright locations, and are pretty displayed on tall plant stands.

Succulents are very popular right now and grow well in sunny windows. This blue Echeveria is safe for pets.

Succulents are very popular right now and grow well in sunny windows. This blue Echeveria is safe for pets.

African violets grow well in eastern windows and are pet friendly.

African violets grow well in eastern windows and are pet friendly.

Prayer plants are so named because the leaves close together like "praying hands" at night. They are colorful and pet friendly too.

Prayer plants are so named because the leaves close together like “praying hands” at night. They are colorful and pet friendly too.

Peperomias are another easy to grow plant that is dog and cat friendly.

Peperomias are another easy to grow plant that is dog and cat friendly.

Palms are safe for pets and provide tall greenery indoors.

Palms are safe for pets and provide tall greenery indoors.

Not only are Phalaenopsis orchids available most of the year, but they are long-flowering and pet friendly!

Not only are Phalaenopsis orchids available most of the year, but they are long-flowering and pet friendly!

Grow a low pot of cat grass so your cat is free to munch on greenery that provides the minerals etc the cat craves.

Grow a low pot of cat grass so your cat is free to munch on greenery that provides the minerals etc that your cat craves. Be sure to use fresh, organic potting soil – we have several types in the store.

Final note: The plants listed above are widely held to be safe for pets and are included in lists from the ASPCA and others. There could still be individual dogs, cats and other pets with special allergies and sensitivities to either a plant or a product used on a plant. So when introducing any new indoor greenery, watch your pet and see if he or she is likely to eat the plant or soil. An alert owner is a pet’s best protection.

A List of Great Garden Blogs

 

I recently posted on the GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators Facebook page asking fellow GWA members to post their blog URLs. I thought that the Country Garden customers would be interested in knowing about all of these blogs as well. Note that Cape Cod’s own Melissa Caughey’s blog, Tilly’s Nest, is included here. 

The images were screenshots of the posts on Facebook, so the links pictured are not clickable – but the title of the blogs are below every image and you can click on those.

Some of these blogs are specific to other parts of the country, and others contain general garden or plant information that is useful to all. From raising vegetables to foraging, from editorials to cats in the garden, you’ll find some great reading here.

Garden Delights by Julie Thompson Adolf

Savvy Gardening by Tara Nolan

Art of Gardening by Jim Charlier

The Deep Middle by Benjamin Vogt

The Impatient Gardener by Erin Schanen

Hoosier Gardener by Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Hobby Farms by Jessica Walliser

Miss Smarty Pants by Keri Byrum 

Liza and John’s Garden and Liza and John’s Habitat by John Williams

Garden Rant by Susan Harris et al

Hidden Hills Garden by Peggy Hill

Healthy Gardens. Healthy Lives. Urban Farming by Jenny Nybro Peterson

Backyard Forager by Ellen Zachos

Caleb Melchior’s Journal by Caleb Melchior

The Houseplant Guru by Lisa Eldred Steinkoph 

Valley View Farms by Carrie Engel

DeerResistant Designs by Helen Newling Lawson

The World’s Best Gardening Blog by Amy Campion

Plant Addicts by Chris Link

May Dreams Garden by Carol Michel

The Freckled Rose by Angie Lituri 

Clay and Limestone by Gail Eichelberger

The Washington Gardener and Cats In the Garden by Kathy Jentz 

PegPlant by Peggy Riccio 

Lois de Vries’ Garden Views by Lois de Vries

Revolutionary Gardens by David Marciniak

Herb Lover’s Garden by Sue Goetz

DC Tropics by John Boggan

Making A Difference Every Day by Shauna Coronado

Plant Postings by Beth Stetenfeld

The Garden Buzz by Rhonda Fleming Hayes

Gardens Eye View by Donna Abel Donabella

Anelle’s Gardening by Anelle Ammons

Tilly’s Nest by Melissa Caughey

Creating Gardens for Life by Andrea Whitely

The Garden Lady’s Blog by C.L. Fornari

Western Gardeners – tips and tools for gardening in the west by Jodi Torpey

The Garden Post by Barbara Segall

Digging by Pam Penick

Simply Cultivating by Janet Hommel Mangas

Cottage In The Court by Teresa Speight

Sharing Nature’s Garden by Diana Kirby

The Gardener’s Workshop by Lisa Mason Ziegler

Gardenerd by Christy Wilhelmi

Earth Friendly Landscapes by Rama Nayeri

Covering Ground by Kathleen Groll Connolly 

The New Perennialist by Tony Spencer

Ramblings from a Desert Garden by Noelle Johnson

Gardening From A Hammock by Dan Cooper

A Growing Passion by Nan Sterman

Plant Some Joy! by Martha Swiss

Three Oaks Garden by Kelly Norris

From The Driveway by Craig LeHoullier

Empress of Dirt by Melissa J. Will

Cold Climate Gardening by Kathy Purdy

Savor the Southwest and Gardening With Soule by Jacqueline Soule

Rooting For You by Mary-Kate Mackey 

The Paintbox Garden by Janet Davis

Gardens of the Wild Wild West by Mary Ann Newcomer

Garden Foreplay by Katherine Tracey

Frau Zinnie by Jen McGuinness

Hobson’s Garden and Green Trips and My Existential Garden by David Hobson (clearly this group’s overachiever)

Kathryn and David’s Blog by David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth

Home, Garden and Homestead by Randy Schultz

The Journal – Plantsmap by Tracy Blevins 

Organic Gardening for Body & Spirit by Tova Roseman

Almost Heaven Farm by Patty Hanus Brooking

Red Dirt Ramblings by Dee Nash

That Gardenin Guy by Timothy R. Burress

Toronto Gardens by Helen Battersby

Central Texas Gardener by Linda Lehmusvirta

National Seed Swap Day by Kathy Jentz

Experimental Homesteader by Sheri AnnWilder Richerson 

Soil Groundwork Blog by Christina da Silva

Gardening the Hudson Valley by Marie Lannotti 

 

Bringing The Outdoors In

As the foliage begins falling from shrubs and trees outdoors, it’s time to begin greening the interior of our houses. Some plants have been put outside for the summer and we bring them back inside. (See our post about preventing insect stowaways here.) But many of us are also interested in refreshing or adding to our indoor greenery…and our choices are more colorful and interesting than every before.

One of the hottest plants for indoors is Ficus lyrata. Commonly called the fiddle-leaf fig, this plant thrives in a very bright location so place it near sliders or in a room with skylights.

One of the hottest plants for indoors is Ficus lyrata. Commonly called the fiddle-leaf fig, this plant thrives in a very bright location so place it near sliders or in a room with skylights.

The Dracena fragrans is commonly called corn plant, and there are new, brighter versions that blend in with any style interior, from modern to Victorian! These like a bright location but don't need tons of sun.

The Dracena fragrans is commonly called corn plant, and there are new, brighter versions that blend in with any style interior, from modern to Victorian! These like a bright location but don’t need tons of sun.

Aglaonemas come with an assortment of variegated leaves that will brighten your house and contrast well with other plants.

Aglaonemas come with an assortment of variegated leaves that will brighten your house and contrast well with other plants.

And you know what I say...you can NEVER go wrong with purple. This Cordyline fruticosa, commonly called ti plant, likes a western or southern exposure.

And you know what I say…you can NEVER go wrong with purple. This Cordyline fruticosa, commonly called ti plant, likes a western or southern exposure.

Begonias love a bright location but don't need direct sun, and most orchids do well with the same amount of light.

Begonias love a bright location but don’t need direct sun, and most orchids do well with the same amount of light.

These are not your mother’s houseplants, although we certainly have the classic plants your mom raised as well. We hear that tropicals are the new succulents, so our greenhouse has plenty of both. As the days get shorter, you can improve indoor air quality and humidity as well as lifting your mood. Go GREEN!

Planting Large Containers For Winter

Whisky barrels, troughs and other large containers are perfect for filling with small evergreens in the fall. Plant them in October and enjoy their beauty into early May. And if you stick some bulbs around those plants you’ll have winter shrubs and spring flowers. In early May, transplant these small evergreens to a spot in the yard so you can fill the containers with summer annuals.

If your container is large enough, use assorted evergreens with a variety of colors and textures of foliage. Be sure your container has drainage holes and soil that’s deeper than the pot your chosen evergreen was grown in. Containers that don’t drain will rot roots and bulbs.

Here are some suggested plants:

One year I planted my large deck troughs with small Cryptomeria, holly and gold cypress. I included tulip bulbs so that after enjoying the evergreens all winter I had bulbs to smile about in the spring. The evergreens are now growing well in other parts of my yard.

One year I planted my large deck troughs with small Cryptomeria, holly and gold cypress. I included tulip bulbs so that after enjoying the evergreens all winter I had bulbs to smile about in the spring. The evergreens are now growing well in other parts of my yard.

The most popular evergreen for containers is the Dwarf Alberta Spruce. These will live in a  pot for years, so they are a good choice to plant in the center of a whisky barrel if you want a plant to leave in place.

The most popular evergreen for containers is the Dwarf Alberta Spruce. These will live in a pot for years, so they are a good choice to plant in the center of a whisky barrel if you want a plant to leave in place.

For contrast, combine a needled evergreen with a broad-leaf evergreen. Here are a gold thread cypress and a boxwood.

For contrast, combine a needled evergreen with a broad-leaf evergreen. Here are a gold thread cypress and a boxwood. We have a good assortment of evergreen plants in one gallon pots and this size is good in pots.

A Japanese umbrella pine will grow too large to leave in a container for long, but it can be enjoyed all winter and then planted in the yard come spring.

A Japanese umbrella pine will grow too large to leave in a container for long, but it can be enjoyed all winter and then planted in the yard come spring.

Holly is another favorite for pots and large boxes. This Red Beauty holly is one that stays fairly narrow so it is good for a container and for landscapes.

Holly is another favorite for pots and large boxes. This Red Beauty holly is one that stays fairly narrow so it is good for a container and for landscapes.

How Late Can I Plant In The Fall?

From October through December we hear this question from our customers. In fact, we find that on Cape Cod there are many people who are planting in the fall. Some have recently purchased a home and want to get a jump on the landscaping. Others suddenly need a privacy screening or are now ready to make the changes they’ve been dreaming about all summer. So at Country Garden we are getting in fresh nursery stock in the fall so that our customers have a good selection of shrubs and trees to choose from.

If you’re planting in the fall, here are some tips for success:

  1. You can plant through December on Cape Cod, but please remember that if it doesn’t rain well once a week that new plant will need watering. This is especially true of plants that keep their foliage all winter. Get a rain gauge and if Mother Nature hasn’t delivered an inch of rain once a week, water your newly installed plants well. If possible, use a soaker hose or sprinkler so that the entire area, not just directly under the trunk, gets well soaked.
  2. After planting spread a two-inch thick layer of Coast of Maine Dark Bark Mulch all around the plant and just beyond the drip-line. This will absorb the heat of the sun and help keep the ground warmer, which will help stimulate root growth.
  3. Spray broadleaf evergreens such as rhododendrons and holly with Wilt-Pruf as directed on the label. This can help new plants conserve water through the winter.
  4. You can plant and transplant perennials all fall too but remember to water these as well. A two inch layer of mulch will help conserve water and will provide weed control the following year. Keep mulch about two inches away from the stems of perennials.
  5. Country Garden is well stocked with fresh shrubs, trees and grasses in the fall so that those who want to do their landscaping will have a good selection.

    Country Garden is well stocked with fresh shrubs, trees and grasses in the fall so that those who want to do their landscaping will have a good selection.

  6. Be sure to have a rain gauge so that you can accurately know how much rain fell. If Mother Nature has delivered an inch or more in a 24 hour period, your plants should be fine for another week. If not, supplement with irrigation.

    Be sure to have a rain gauge so that you can accurately know how much rain fell. If Mother Nature has delivered an inch or more in a 24 hour period, your plants should be fine for another week. If not, supplement with irrigation.

    Plants that lose their leaves in the winter, such as these Bobo Hydrangeas, need a bit less water than evergreens. Water deciduous plants weekly into November.

    Plants that lose their leaves in the winter, such as these Bobo Hydrangeas, need a bit less water than evergreens. Water deciduous plants weekly into November.

    As long a the ground isn't frozen, you can plant. But needless to say, you'll have the best selection early in the fall.

    As long a the ground isn’t frozen, you can plant. But needless to say, you’ll have the best selection early in the fall.

    Finally, if you’ve planted new evergreens in a windy location, you might want to use some stakes and burlap to create a wind-screen that will protect the new plants through their first winter.

Celebrate The Season ~ Loving Fall

Since Autumn is such a glorious time on Cape Cod, people want to celebrate the season. So we decided to give you a picture gallery with a few ideas for “fall-ifying” your yard, porch and garden.

If you get hay bales they can serve more than one purpose. Use them to decorate through Thanksgiving, then use the hay to amend soil or mulch in the vegetable garden. Salt marsh hay, like bales above, is ideal for mulching a perennial garden...just wait until closer to January to apply it to the garden.

If you get hay bales they can serve more than one purpose. Use them to decorate through Thanksgiving, then use the hay to amend soil or mulch in the vegetable garden. Salt marsh hay, like bales above, is ideal for mulching a perennial garden…just wait until closer to January to apply it to the garden.

Urns can hole a stack of colorful pumpkins, and any large container can be planted with a mix of pumpkins, mums and other fall plants.

Urns can hole a stack of colorful pumpkins, and any large container can be planted with a mix of pumpkins, mums and other fall plants.

Once the peonies were cut out of this perennial garden, it needed something to fill that area. So I took two identical flower pots, turned one upside down to make a base and put the other on top. I planted a ring of Heuchera plants around the edge of the top pot, and added a pumpkin stack. The Heuchera plants will get placed in the perennial garden after Thanksgiving.

Once the peonies were cut out of this perennial garden, it needed something to fill that area. So I took two identical flower pots, turned one upside down to make a base and put the other on top. I planted a ring of Heuchera plants around the edge of the top pot, and added a pumpkin stack. The Heuchera plants will get placed in the perennial garden after Thanksgiving.

Don't forget the deck furniture when it comes to fall decorating. A fall-flowering plant (this one is a plectranthus) and some pumpkins and gourds make a lovely table display.

Don’t forget the deck furniture when it comes to fall decorating. A fall-flowering plant (this one is a Plectranthus) and some pumpkins and gourds make a lovely table display.

Got a stump? Then you've got the perfect base for a fall arrangement. Get creative with pumpkins, sticks, leaves and anything else that strikes your fancy.

Got a stump? Then you’ve got the perfect base for a fall arrangement. Get creative with pumpkins, sticks, leaves and anything else that strikes your fancy.

At Hyannis Country Garden, we love landscapes in all seasons. Right now, we've fallen in love with Autumn.

At Hyannis Country Garden, we love landscapes in all seasons. Right now, we’ve fallen in love with Autumn.

 

Bringing Plants Back Inside For The Winter

Here is your "Houseplant Happiness Kit" for bringing plants inside after the summer.

Here is your “Houseplant Happiness Kit” for bringing plants inside after the summer.

As the latest wind and rain storm approached I brought several of my houseplants back indoors. I send many of my plants “to summer camp” and save a few tropicals and tender annuals from year to year as well. Normally I bring all of these in at the end of September, but this fall many came indoors a bit earlier because of the storm.

We don’t give houseplants any synthetic fertilizer in the fall because most of them are going into a resting period for the winter. When the days are shorter the reduced daylight gives plants the signal that they shouldn’t be actively growing. But many people realize as they bring plants inside that they may have forgotten to fertilize over the summer, and they want to give their plants a bit of a boost when they come indoors. Here is the method that I use for preventing insect pests and helping my houseplants look their best over the winter.

  1. Come into the store for your “Houseplant Happiness Kit” – for less than $25.00 you can pick up a bottle of Insecticidal Soap, yellow sticky cards, and a bag of Stonington Blend Organic Plant Food. (This Coast of Maine product is normally $19.99 but we have it on sale this week for $12.99.)
  2. Cut off all brown or damaged leaves and dead stems before you bring the plants inside.
  3. Spray the plant with Insecticidal Soap before you bring the plants in.
  4. Apply two teaspoons of the Coast of Maine fertilizer on top of the soil. If it looks like some of the soil has eroded over the summer you could put a thin layer of potting soil over the organic plant food. (Note: sometimes organic plant food shows “mold” as it breaks down on the surface of the potting mix. This is normal and doesn’t hurt the plant.)
  5. Place the yellow sticky cards near the plants. I tuck mine between the tines of an old fork and stick the handle of the fork into one of the pots. The cards trap any fungus gnats and whitefly that might be around. If you see the small “fruit flies” on the cards you might want to pick up some Captain Jack’s spinosad to put in the watering can when you water; this kills the fungus gnat larvae that feed on the roots of houseplants.
    If you see many fungus gnats being trapped on your yellow sticky cards, start putting spinodad in the watering can when you water the plants.

    If you see many fungus gnats being trapped on your yellow sticky cards, start putting spinodad in the watering can when you water the plants.

    Many people find that at some point a plant or two is too large to bring back indoors. Often they call and ask if we are willing to take such large plants and unfortunately we are not. Consider taking a cutting of a large plant and putting the remainder in the compost. And remember that sometimes it’s appropriate to thank a plant for coming, put it in the compost and start fresh with a smaller house plant.

    You can download this list of instructions and products by clicking here.