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Decorating for fall
Welcome to the Paul Parent Garden Club 2014 Newsletter
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Now is the time to plant Daffodils/Narcissus/Jonquels


Have you ever heard the story of how the narcissus got its name? A long time ago, Greek mythology stories and writing told the story of Narcissus, the young son of a Greek god, who was led to believe by his father that a long and happy life would be his if he never gazed upon his own features. By chance, Narcissus saw his own reflection in a quiet pool of water and fell in love with his own reflection. Because of this, Narcissus soon withered away; at the spot where he died, beautiful nodding flowers sprang up and were named after him.

Greek stories also tell of the narcotic perfume smell of the flower and how it was used to stupefy those who were to be punished for crimes committed. Other writers said that the fragrance of the flower led to hallucinations and madness. The beauty of the flower has led many gardeners to madness, but the madness is about the beauty of the flower in their gardens. Judge for yourself--plant daffodils in your garden this fall and enjoy the madness in the spring.

In the early days of daffodils, they were called "Lent lilies," as these flower bulbs bloomed naturally in the garden during the Lenten holidays. Today's Easter lily blooms naturally during late June; the Easter lily is forced into bloom by your local florist to celebrate the holiday. Another name given to the daffodil was "chalice flower," because of the shape of the corona or trumpet. Look at the narcissus trumpet--it does resemble the shape of the cup or chalice used to hold the sacramental wine.

The jonquil is a member of the amaryllis family. If you look at writings from Homer and Sophocles hundreds of years ago, you will see how popular they were back then. You may be wondering why I am using three different names for this bulb--let me tell you. Daffodil is the common name for the entire family; narcissus is the Latin or botanical name. The name "jonquil" was given to hybrids that were developed from this family; it means a sweetly scented, rich, yellow species of Narcissus having a slender rounded flower stem and rush-like leaves--hybrids. So no matter what you call them in your garden you are right, no matter what name you use.

Daffodils were wildflowers many years ago, like most of the flowers we have in our gardens today. The Dutch gardeners loved them so much that they began to cross them together to develop new flower strains, and their popularity grew and grew. Dutch records show that in 1548, there were only 24 different types of daffodils, in 1629, the numbers grew to 90 and by 1948, they had grown to almost 8,000 varieties. Today there are over 10,000 varieties and new ones each year.

In Holland today there are only two unique areas where daffodils are grown commercially. One area is 25 square miles in area and concentrated, while the second area is spread out over the country side and not much larger than the major bulb growing area totaling just 50 square miles of soil where they can be grown for exporting.

As the love for these bulbs grew, the Dutch government quickly realized that it would have to act to protect the quality of these bulbs and keep them insect and disease free if the industry was to prosper. The growers and the government together set up guidelines to protect this valuable crop. Strict rules were imposed to keep the Dutch bulb industry safe and strong. Today, no bulb can leave Holland until they are guaranteed to flower in your garden, and are certified insect and disease free.

Narcissus bulbs must be planted in a soil that is well drained and rich in organic matter if you want them to re-bloom for several years to come. Wet soil with standing water or soil that contains clay will kill the bulb during the first winter in the ground, because wet soil will rot the delicate roots. Animal manure or, better still, compost is the best soil conditioner when planting.

If your soil is on the sandy side, be sure to add Soil Moist Granules to help hold moisture around the bulbs during the summer time. When planting, select a location with as much sun as possible or plant under trees that leaf out after the flower fades to allow the foliage to make and replace the energy it takes to make new flower buds for next year. If planting under evergreens, plant near the drip line or tips of the branches to insure the bulb foliage gets some sun.

Bulbs need to be fertilized spring and fall for the best flowers every year. Apply Bulb-Tone fertilizer around the foliage while it is in bloom while you remember to care for the plant. Also NEVER, use bone meal as a fertilizer around outdoor bulbs as it will draw animals to the garden--and they will dig up the garden looking for possible bones left there as their food.

It is also important to remove the flowers as they fade to prevent the plant from making useless seed that will never develop properly in your garden. This way all the energy made by the plant is used by the plant for next year's growth and not wasted on unusable seeds. Use a plastic golf tee to mark the bulb cluster in your garden so you will know where to apply the fertilizer in the fall in the fall; weather will flake the paint off wooden tees.

Always plant in groups and never in straight lines as it will be easier to plant annuals around them as the daffodil foliage begins to fade. Remove the foliage to the ground ONLY when the foliage begins to turn yellow! Plant bulbs with a covering of conditioned soil that covers the bulb with twice as much soil as the bulb is high. Example: daffodil bulbs are 3 inches tall so you must dig a hole 9 inches deep! Three inches for the bulb and six inches of soil to cover it. I advise you use Bark Mulch over them for added winter protection.

If you are planting them as wildflowers and are naturalizing them, the grass will do the same as mulch to protect them. If you are mowing this area, be sure the foliage has begun to die back before cutting and NEVER use a lawn weed control product to control weeds or the bulbs will also be killed. When planting narcissus, be sure to plant the bulb with the pointed part of the bulb facing UP. Plant bulbs in groups of 5 to 7 bulbs for the best show of color; also, if the weather gets stormy, they will be able to brace each other from the wind and rain.

Check with your local garden center for information on blooming time so you can plant several types that will bloom at staggered times in your garden. Also consider height of flowers, shape of flower, flower color combinations--and look for unique characteristics of the plant. Remember daffodils are NOT eaten by animals of any type, so do not worry about voles this winter and rabbits and deer in the spring when they are in bloom. Enjoy and plant now.




Kenny Chesney - The Boys of Fall
Kenny Chesney - The Boys of Fall
October flowering Montauk Daisy


As the garden begins to fade with the arrival of the fall season, shorter days and cooler temperatures, one perennial flower is coming into its own season: the Montauk daisy. Some gardeners from the northeast believe since it is named for the town of Montauk on Long Island, New York it originated there, but it originated along the sandy coastal shore of Japan.

This perennial flower does prefer a sandy soil with good drainage and lots of direct sunshine. Unlike most plants, it will thrive in any coastal garden that receives wind, occasional high tide flooding and even wind-driven salt spray from the stormy ocean. This wonderful fall daisy will grow where winter temperatures dip down to -20 to -30 degrees so it is a very hardy plant for your garden. This special daisy is also not bothered by rabbits and deer.

So please consider planting this daisy in your garden this fall as many garden centers grow the plants along with fall mums, flowering cabbage and kale. This special plant will grow large, showy, and easy to grow and requires little to no maintenance. As a bonus, it will attract bees and butterflies well into November. At one time, the Montauk daisy was part of the Chrysanthemum family but was recently renamed to its own origin (Nipponanthemum nipponicum). So call it what you want--chrysanthemum or daisy--it does not matter because this beautiful plant belongs in your garden this fall.

The Montauk daisy is better known on the East Coast than anywhere else in the country. This daisy is a close relative to the Shasta daisy, a wonderful perennial daisy that will flower during the springtime in our gardens. The foliage on both plants is similar, as are the flowers, but they bloom at different times of the year.

The plant grows upright but spreading 2 to 4 feet tall and just as wide. If you allow the plant to grow without pruning, it will become top-heavy and the once thick-growing plant will open up and fall over. The foliage is medium green with rich color and shiny to waxy looking. The leaves grow 2 to 3 inches long, less than an inch wide and cover the plant like a thick growing evergreen shrub.

The flowers buds form during September but do not open until October and last well into November when our other perennial flowers are finished flowering. The flowers form on the tips of the branches on short 1 to 2 inch stems. Each flower will grow 2 to 3 inches wide, with a bright yellow center and one inch long white petals growing around the center. The flowers do not have much of a fragrance but the insects love them, and during this time of the year they do make a great cut flower for the house.

In the fall when plants finally die back and turn brown, cut back the plant to 6 to 12 inches from the ground and cover the plant with pine needles for the winter. In the spring you will notice in early April those stems are now covered with many green buds that will form new branches during the summer. At this time, cut the plant back to 3 to 6 inches tall from the ground and fertilize with Flower-Tone organic fertilizer.

By the first week in July, the plant will have grown to 18 to 24 inches tall and just as wide. If you do not prune it, it will grow to 4 feet tall by October and begin to spread apart, so cut back the plant to 12 inches tall and wide. The plant will now fill in like the shape of a mushroom, growing wider and staying thick and full, growing 18 to 24 inches tall and 24 to 30 inches wide.

The cuttings you remove in July will root very easily in a pot filled with all-purpose potting soil--or just push the cuttings that you have trimmed to 6 inches long directly into the garden soil that you have conditioned with a bit of animal manure or compost. I also use Soil Moist granules to help retain moisture around cuttings. They should root in just a couple of weeks when placed in a light shade part of the garden--but not full shade.

Once they are rooted, plant them in a bright sunny location in your garden and in the fall you will have a few flowers form on these young cuttings; next year you are in for a real treat. If your plants like your garden soil, they will grow wide and large in just a few years. When the plants mature, you can divide them in the spring by digging them up and splitting them into 2 or 3 pieces to make new plants.

I fertilize regularly during the summer along with my other perennials and check regularly for possible slugs during wet weather--their only problem. If the summer gets hot and dry, water weekly to encourage new growth. Enjoy! 




 Three spring flowering blue Bulbs



After a long winter of cold weather, snow, wind and no flowers in the gardens, I look to three small, inexpensive and very hardy spring flowering bulbs to cheer me up. This threesome, made up of the Scilla S. siberica (Siberian squill), Chionodoxia (glory-of-the-snow), and the Muscari (grape hyacinth) is your answer.

These three bulbs are guaranteed to relieve all symptoms of cabin fever at the first sighting of flowers in your garden. All you have to do is plan, like getting a flu shot for winter colds, to plant these bulbs now.

All three bulbs are left uneaten by rodents and will grow in sun or part shade. Best of all, these three types of bulbs will multiply in your flower garden, rock gardens, in wild flower gardens or even in your lawn. If you have a sloping bank, plant them near the top this fall and watch them reseed gradually all the way to the bottom of the slope, like water running down the hill--but it's flowers. Think about this, flowers growing in your yard starting in February or early March!

Siberian Squill

The first to bloom is Scilla siberica or squill, native to Russia and the mountains of Turkey. These plants grow naturally in a soil among rocks, scrub and woods, so just imagine how well they will grow in your garden that has good soil to grow. The flowers grow on spikes 4 to 6 inches tall, and each spike produces 3 to 5 bell shaped, nodding, bright blue flowers about 1/2 inch across.


The flowers face down, so you are looking at the top of the flower that develops in a cluster of deep green foliage that is one inch wide and 4 to 6 inches tall. Each flower has a deep bright blue line running down the center of the top of the petal for extra color. When the wind blows, you can almost hear them ring the arrival of spring. Larger nurseries or bulb catalogs will have white, pink, lavender or purple varieties available, but the blue is the most popular and found everywhere. Flowering time is February to April.

Chionodoxia - Glory of th Snow

The second to bloom is the Chionodoxia or Glory of the Snow. Native to the open mountainside and forest of Crete, Turkey and Cyprus, it is related to the Scilla. The flowers develop on stems 4 to 6 inches tall; each stem can produce 7 to 10 star shaped, upward facing pale blue flowers. The flowers contain six petals that grow to one inch across, and the tip on the petals bends over to show off the center of the bloom and a white trumpet-like center.

Unlike the squill, which grows on stiff stems, these stems are soft and the flowers are loose, making the clump of flowers look like a bouquet in the garden. The deep green straplike foliage grows 1/2 inch wide and 4 to 6 inches tall.

The foliage will die back as soon as the flowers fade, unlike sqill, which will last for several weeks after the bloom. White, pink, and deep blue are available in bulb catalogs. Chionodoxia are more showy than the squills but the squills flower in colder and more stormy weather conditions. Flowering time February to April.

The third to flower is Muscari or grape hyacinth. It is a native plant of the Mediterranean to South Asia. This spring-flowering bulb is a miniature of the giant Dutch hyacinth that we all love for its beauty and fragrance.

Muscari-Grape Hyacinth

The grape hyacinth gets its Latin name "Muscari" because of a slight scent of musk to the flowers. The flower stem will grow 4 to 8 inches tall, and this single strong stem will bear 30 or more small bell-like flowers 1/4 of an inch each in diameter. The tiny bells are arranged around the stem in the shape of a catalane tail or poker.

The flower is medium blue with a white edge at the bottom of the bell. The foliage of the grape hyacinth is deep green, 1/2 inch wide, and will grow 6 to 9 inches tall. The flower clump is very stiff looking compared to its two counterparts but it will spread much faster in the garden and is perfect for wildflower gardens, rock gardens or naturalizing under tall trees. White grape hyacinths are readily available at most garden centers, but they do not spread as fast and grow shorter. Flowers time is from March to early May.


The flowers of all three of these spring-flowering bulbs can be cut for a short vase for a small-scale flower arrangement. All should be planted 3 to 4 inches deep in a soil that is well drained, and conditioned with compost. Plant 3 to 5 bulbs together for the best color and show. Use Bulb-Tone fertilizer when planting and reapply in the spring to help make viable seed and more plants.

If planting under trees, deciduous types are best because of early sunlight in the spring due to the absence of foliage. When planting under evergreens be sure the bulbs are facing south and out of heavy shade. If planted in the lawn do not mow lawn until foliage begins to turn brown--and never use a lawn weed killer in that area.

Early honeybees love these flowers for their pollen and nectar. In addition, insect and disease problems are seldom found. This fall, plant all three of these bulbs for continuous color from February until May, you will enjoy the arrival of spring more than ever! Enjoy!





Many years ago, on a crisp fall morning of exploration, I found a planting of white berries growing on a very steep hillside. I was thirteen and just beginning to find my love for plants. This plant was one I had never seen before. I carefully picked a small branch tip with leaves and berries on it and quickly took it home to show my mother. We took out the book of native plants of Maine, looked carefully for this plant and--to our surprise--we found it; it was the snowberry.

My mother and I walked back to the area where I found it growing so she could see the plant for herself To our surprise, we met the man who had planted them on the steep slope to help hold back the soil and prevent erosion. He told us he had planted several snowberry plants many years ago and they were highly recommended by a local nurseryman.

Snowberry would grow in the shade and would spread quickly to hold back the soil on his hill. Snowberry spreads quickly with suckers; he told us to come back in the spring and he would give us some to plant for our yard. We did and the snowberry became a wonderful part of fall color in our yard.

The snowberry will grow 3 to 6 feet tall and wide. The plant will grow bushy, with a rounded shape. It grows upright shoots that will droop over with the weight of the berries. When the foliage has developed, the plant is dense looking and filled with slim twigs that give the plant a solid mat appearance. The foliage looks like a miniature oak leaf, 1 to 2 inches long, dark blue-green, with no fall color. The flowers are pale pink and not very showy. However, the fruit is spectacular and deserves your attention.

The fruit is bright white, has a shiny skin and the center of the berry feels like popcorn. The berries grow to 1/2 inch in diameter and on the bottom of the berry are the remains of the flower, making the berry look much like the shape of a blueberry. These white berries grow in clusters on the tip of the branches and their weight makes the branches weep.

The fruits form during the summer and color up in late August, lasting well into November. If the weather does not get too cold, it will last through December, but cold weather with ice will turn the fruit brown and it will then fall apart quickly. The snowberry fruit is not eaten by the birds, but these beautiful fruit are enjoyed in the fall for their wonderful color.

Plant snowberry in the spring. I would suggest that you talk to your local Garden Center or Nursery to order them for you, as they are not readily available. The snowberry plant is an old-fashioned plant introduced to gardeners in 1879 and not readily available today but many plant catalogs that you get in the mail in the spring sell them. The plant will grow in most soils, even clay-type--as long as you lime the soil regularly to prevent acidity.

Plants will grow in full sun to moderate shade. Once the plant is well established, it will produce many suckers every year, which can easily be transplanted the following spring. If you have a steep slope, plant 3 feet apart in staggered rows and watch the plants fill in quickly--usually in just 3 years.

The better you condition the soil when planting, the faster the plant will get established and begin to produce suckers. Compost and animal manure will do a great job. If the soil is sandy be sure to use Soil Moist to help hold water in the soil on steep banks. This plant is great to prevent accidents where mowing is a problem.

Prune in the spring to control size and stimulate new growth that will produce many berries. Fertilize with Plant-Tone in the spring when you prune the plant or in Early May. The plant is very hardy, and it will grow from Nova Scotia to Virginia, where it is a native plant. If you're looking for a good hybrid with large fruit, and more fruit on the plant, ask for Symphoricarpos albus v. laevigatus. Enjoy!


"Beauty can inspire miracles"

Benjamin Disraeli

Skillet-Roasted Okra and Shrimp


1 Pound of large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, 21 to25 count

½ to 1 pound of okra, stem end removed and cut up into 1 inch pieces

1 pint of cherry tomatoes cut in half

1 medium onion, diced

1cup of celery, diced

1 cup of red bell pepper, diced

2 tablespoons of Flour

Olive oil

1 to 2 cups of shrimp broth*

Course kosher salt, fresh ground pepper to taste

2 tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped

3 garlic cloves finely chopped

1 bay leaf

You will need 3 cups of plain white rice to place mixture on for extra flavor

So cook first and let rest in a bowl.



Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium

High heat, add the Okra and cook until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.

Then transfer to a bowl.

In the same skillet and a bit more olive oil and add the tomatoes, onions,

Celery, bell peppers. Cook over medium heat until softened.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat until hot, and add 1 to 2 cups of shrimp broth.

 Shake the flour evenly over the mixture, to make a quick roux. Cook over medium

 heat for 1 minute and stir.

Add the shrimp and cook until pink and tender about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the cooked Okra and remaining spices and mix well.

Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until thoroughly heated and serve over a

large scoop, of white rice and serve. Enjoy!


* To make your shrimp broth, place the shells in a small pot and cover with water.

Bring to a medium boil and cook for 10 minutes. Remove shells from your broth,

Is ready and gives your dish more flavor. It also freezes well.  



              Garden Journal - A garden is a friend you can visit any time. Gardens require planning and cultivation, yielding beauty and joy. This garden journal helps make planning and organizing easy. This book makes a great gift for gardeners, family, friends, birthdays, Christmas, new home or as a self purchase.

Cover holds a 5 x7 or 4x6 photo, Heavy-duty D-ring binder

1. 8 tabbed sections
2. 5 garden details sections with pockets for seeds, tags....
3. Weather records page
4. 6 three year journal pages
5. Insect & diseases page - 3 project pages
6. 3 annual checklist pages
7. Plant wish list page
8. 2 large pocket pages
9. Sheet of garden labels
10. 5 garden detail sheets
11. 5 graph paper pages for layouts
12. 5 photo pages holds - 4- 4x6 photos in landscape or portrait format

Journal, Planning, Inspirations. 

 To Order call 207-985-6972

Regular price $34.95  Special Price $29.95! Limited supply!! Out of stock until November 5, 2014

Fall Fertilization - The key to a great lawn next spring


By: Lonnie Heflin Director of Operations Pro Trust Products 


The arrival of cooler temperatures triggers a dramatic change in the physiology of the millions of individual grass plants that make up your lawn. As the daytime temperatures cool, the "top growth" slows, and the grass plants direct their energy to their roots. Making two applications of Turf Trust® this fall provides the energy your lawn needs to develop a deep, dense root system.


The Turf Trust® Lawn Program is based on four feedings per year. Four applications of Turf Trust® supplies your lawn with the 3 pounds of nitrogen fescue lawns need In order to thrive. Each application of Turf Trust® supplies ¾ of a pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.


The fall feedings are the most important. With two applications, the 1st around Labor Day, and the 2nd between Halloween and Thanksgiving, Turf Trust® supplies your lawn with the energy it needs to build a deep, dense root system. This root system will help your lawn withstand the hazy, hot, and humid days of summer.


Grass plants grow from their crown, which is just above the soil surface. By making two applications of Turf Trust® this fall, the expanding root system stores energy in as carbohydrates (sugar) over the winter. When soil temperatures reach 52°F, the root system starts to release the stored sugars, providing the grass plant with enough energy to produce new shoots from the crown. The result is a thicker lawn next spring.


The Pro Trust Products line of ultra premium fertilizers and weed controls are only available at independent garden centers and hardware stores. As a special to Paul Parent Garden Club listeners, if we do not have a stocking dealer in your area, you can purchase our products on our website:  Simply click on the "Shop" tab and place your order. Remember to mention that you heard about our products from Paul Parent, and your order ships for free!


If you want a beautiful lawn next spring, now is the time to start a "Grass Roots Movement:" in your lawn with Turf Trust®. Prepare to be amazed!



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