Don't worry all the snow will melt, because Spring is 36 days away

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The language of Flowers for Valentine Day


As every gardener or non-gardener knows Flowers have a language of their own, a special meaning. Florist have a wonderful saying "Say it with Flowers" but do you know what those flowers are saying to the recipient? Some of these flowers are seasonal like spring flowering bulbs, tulips, Daffodils, iris, hyacinths but others like Roses, carnations, chrysanthemum, Orchids, Hybrid lilies are available year round. Then the uncommon varieties of flowers, like Sweet peas, lily of the valley, Calla lilies, Forget -me- not, anemone's, freesia and more have their own seasons. So how do we know what to choose for a special day like Valentine Day, Birthday, anniversary, or even a funeral arrangement? Begin with your local Florist for the best selection of flowers depending on the season and availability.


First buy locally for a better selection of flowers and fresher product. When you shop in a big box store or supermarket, those flowers have been shipped from the grower, to a distributor, then to the main warehouse and then to the individual stores and you have now lost 3 to 4 days in freshness, less time for you to enjoy in your home. Are the flowers being process properly when received to keep them lasting longer in your home?   Are they refrigerated to keep them fresh and is their water in the containers with a preservative to keep them fresher?

Flowers shipped by UPS or FEDEX are left on the front porch and if the temperatures are below freezing and you're at work, will they freeze if you're not home until after working all day, YES. Your local Florist always calls before delivering to prevent FROZEN flowers. I you live where snow is on the ground and windy, it will not take long to freeze them, It's up to you.


Your local florist can deliver to your work, the house, or even at a restaurant where you're having dinner for a special surprise. You can also request delivery at a specific time if you plan early, so order your flowers today for Valentine Day. Also if you order early your choice of flowers will be better as certain flowers sell out quickly. Because Valentine Day is Saturday, have them delivered to your better half or special friend at work on Friday to make the co-workers jealous, good brownie points for you and surprise for them. Order now to make this happen and if you want special flowers it will give the florist time to get them for you.


If you have a choice of choosing loose flowers or flowers arranged in a vase always choose the vase. They will give you more bangs for your dollar and the recipient does not have to find a vase to arrange them in and recut each flower before arranging them. If you have a special vase they like, bring it to the florist to use and the cost of a new vase will go into extra flowers.


If you're looking for something spectacular that they will never be forgotten, talk to the florist and the two of you can create a designers choice arrangement. Let the designer do what they love most, create for you. Think tropical flowers like the King Protea, Pincushion Protea, and Helaconia from California and Hawaii. They will last for 2 plus weeks and then you can dry them. Hybrid lilies, orchid, and other flowers combined with a few roses will show your special person that you put some real thought to this year's Valentine flower selection.


One last thing to remember, keep your flowers out of the direct sun, out of rooms with a wood or pellet stove, flowers like it cool and they will last longer. Also add a couple Ice cubes every day to cool down the water and add cool water daily as needed.


Here are a few flowers and their meaning:

Potted Azaleas:   Take care of yourself for me.

Bells of Ireland: Good luck.

Red Carnations: My heart aches for you.

Striped carnations: I wish I could be with you.

Pink Carnations: I'll never forget you.

White Carnations: Sweet and lovely, pure love.

Yellow Carnations: You have disappointed me.

Red Chrysanthemum: Love.

White Chrysanthemum: Truth.

Yellow chrysanthemum: Slighted Love

Daffodils: You're the only one.

Daisies: Innocence and loyal Love.

Forget-Me-Nots: True Love.

Gardenias: Secret love.

Gladiolus: Give me a break.

Purple Hyacinth: I am sorry, Please forgive me.

White Hyacinths: loveliness.

Yellow Hyacinths: Jealousy.

Red or pink Hyacinths: let's play.

Hydrangea: Thank you for understanding.

Calla Lily: Beauty.

Tiger Lilies: wealth and pride.

Oriental lilies: Love and understanding.

Orchids: Love and Beauty.

Peonies: Happy Marriage.

Rose coral: desire.

Rose Dark Pink: Thankfulness.

Rose pale pink: Grace and Joy.

Rose red: Love and respect.

Rose Thorn less: Love at first sight.

Rose white: innocence and secrecy.

Rose yellow: Friendship.

Sweet Peas: Thank you for a lovely time.

Tulips red: Declaration of love.

Tulips variegated or multi colored: Beautiful eyes.

Tulips yellow: There's sunshine in your smile.

Violets blue: I'll always be true.

Violets white: Let's take a chance on happiness.


Now you know the meanings, it's up to you to send a message by picking the flowers that give the right message from you to that special person. Enjoy!!! 

The Beatles- She Loves You (1963 Live)

The Beatles- She Loves You

(1963 Live)

Happy Valentines Day

The type of flowers you select does not matter, it's the quality of the flower that does! This weekend, as you look at the flowers for your special Valentine (for her and yes for him, as men love flowers too), let me tell you about them. We all have our favorites, we all have a budget to think of, and we want them to last as long as possible. Begin by selecting a florist, garden center, or nursery you are acquainted with for quality. You may pay a bit more--but in the long run it will be worth the extra expense. Avoid flowers that will be finished blooming in just a couple of days or drooping over the day after Valentine's Day.


The number one Valentine's Day flower is, of course, the rose--and the growers of roses know this. There are only so many available for that day, so you will pay more for roses and of course more for red roses than other colored roses. Supply and demand determines the price of everything you purchase--and this is a one day holiday, not a month like Christmas. So do not always blame the higher cost of flowers on your florist. A bouquet of mixed color roses will be less expensive and will send the same message. Often the pink, white, lavender, yellow, or bi-colored roses have better fragrance than the red roses do. The longer the stems, the more expensive the roses will be--so what is the matter with shorter stems? Nothing.


When you select your roses for Valentine's Day, here is what to look for. Look at the shape of the flower buds, as they are not all alike. Some roses open by unraveling one petal at a time in a spiral fashion; this is a classic rose. I want you to gently squeeze that flower bud. It should feel firm, not soft, as soft rose buds have been kept under refrigeration for some time. If it feels hard and looks like a Hershey Kiss, it is called a "bullet," and was picked too early by the grower (not the florist) and it will not open. Look for firm roses that are unraveling on the tip of the rosebud! Foliage color and appearance is next; the better it looks, the longer the flowers will last.


Roses keep best in a cool place, so keep them away from heat sources and "out of the sun." Every morning, add a bit of ice to the vase that is kept filled with water to cool the plant down and extend the flowering time. Never allow the leaves on the rose to be under water; remove them from the stem, as they will rot and this will shorten the flowering time also. If you're transporting flowers home from the florist, be sure to keep them warm, as freezing temperatures will damage the flower buds--have them wrapped properly!


Lilies are also very beautiful, more delicate looking, and will last just as long. What you are looking for in a bouquet of lilies is more flower buds than open flowers when you receive them. The Oriental types are the most fragrant, and I like them more than roses for the fragrance.


Carnations are wonderful and will last the longest, if they are fresh. Here is what to look for when choosing carnations. Just under the flower you will see a green capsule-like growth; this is the actual flower bud, and that is where the flower petals came from. Gently squeeze it and if it feels firm, it means that there are still flower petals inside yet to come. If it feels empty or hollow, all the petals are out and it will not last as long in your home.

Gerber daisies are also a wonderful cut flower and will last a couple of weeks. Nice long stems with 3-inch wide blooms that are often multi-petal and unique looking. This is also your chance to use nice foliage as filler because this flower has no foliage. Add secondary flowers like baby's breath for contrast. Gerber daisy comes in all colors like the rainbow.


Alstroemeria is another unusual cut flower that comes in all colors and will last in your home for a long time. The flower is a cluster of small 1 inch lily-shaped blooms on a strong stem that open just a few at a time with many buds visible. This flower is a great cut flower for a warm home or the office.


Tulips are always wonderful at this time of the year, especially when the winter has been as snowy and cold as it has been. Tulips also send a message that spring is just around the corner, and if your special sweetheart has "cabin fever," this flower will help them to feel better.


The Hawaiian 'King' protea is my favorite flower and hard to come by, but it will last for 2 to 3 weeks in a vase of water. When the flower begins to fade, empty the vase and use it in a dry arrangement for the next year. The 'King' protea is a 5 to 6 inch pink bell-shaped tropical flower with an intricate looking center. It grows in only 5 places in the world, because it needs special growing conditions. Hawaii has these special conditions and many florists can get them for you if you call them now.


No matter what you choose, your special Valentine will appreciate the effort. Remember quality, colors, texture, and--most of all--presentation. For extra points, guys, remember flowers sent to her work or even his workplace will mean even more. For this to happen order NOW, not Monday during your lunch hour. Valentine's Day is the busiest time of the year for the florist to deliver flowers because it's a one day holiday. The earlier the better, or they could think you forgot them and just remembered when someone reminded you! Enjoy!!


How to grow Roses in your back yard


If you are looking to grow roses that you may receive during Valentine's Day in your garden, then consider moving to California. But if you want better roses than the florist can supply you, think about growing roses in your garden. It won't be easy, it will be a lot of work, but it is possible to have wonderful, fragrant roses from your own garden.

Here is what you will need. Choose a location in your yard that has sun all day long, not just part of the day--but all day! If that location is sheltered from the harsh winter winds, it would be a big plus for the rose bushes. Strong winds, especially during a winter with little to no snow cover, are rough on the plants because they are dry and the wind will rob the plant of moisture. If your chosen location is open, then be sure to build a mound of organic matter like bark mulch or top soil around the plant 12 to 18 inches high in the shape of an igloo in the late fall.


I also recommend that each fall you spray those roses with an anti-desiccant spray like Wilt-Pruf or Wilt-Stop to help seal in moisture in the stems before you cover the plant with organic matter. Also NEVER prune your roses back in the fall, always in the spring but-again--NEVER in the fall! If your roses are getting tall and you want to prune them back, it must be done in early September. This is possible while the plant is actively growing so the plant will be able to produce callouses on the area where you cut to seal the stem from the wind. Winter protection is a must if you want your roses to survive the winter season--or you could just wish for 3 feet of snow that will protect the plants with a blanket effect.


You have the location, now let us work on the soil. The better you prepare the area before you plant, the better they will grow for you. Remember that these plants will be in your garden for many years, so put the effort into the soil now for better plants in the future. Roses like a well-drained soil. If spring rains and winter ice build up in the soil around the roots, the plant will suffer and will not grow well. If you have a clay type soil, just blend a lot of organic matter like compost, peat moss, animal manure, and coarse sharp sand to break up the clay. Yearly applications of a garden gypsum will help break up the clay particles.


Once the roses are planted, be sure to cover the ground with organic matter like bark mulch, compost, pine needles, or peat moss. This will keep out weeds, hold the heat in the ground longer in the fall season, keep moisture in the ground longer during the hot days of summer, and help to protect the roots of the plant during the winter by keeping it frozen once it does freeze. Stay away from stone mulches, as they will heat up the ground during hot weather, increasing the need to water.


Water is important to roses and they will need 1 to 2 inches of water a week during the summer. If water supply is not adequate, the plant will not develop as quickly and the number of flowers will be less. Watering roses is important, but not as important as how you water them! If you can put the water around the plant without wetting the foliage, your disease problems will be cut back a great deal. Never use a sprinkler system that applies water overhead or a sprinkler attached to your hose to water plants. Take off the nozzle and let the water run on the ground between plants or better still lay a drip hose on the ground around the plants before you cover the plants with mulch.


Fertilizer is also important and roses love to be fed regularly. Feed them every month with a granular food designed for roses like Rose-tone organic fertilizer or a liquid food every two weeks. Fertilizer is applied in early April and this should continue until September first. NO fertilizer after September first, because you want the plant to prepare itself for the winter--and if you feed it, the plant will continue to make new growth. You want the plant to stop growing and begin to thicken the stems, bark and tissue to help prevent wind damage during the winter.


Insect and disease problems come to your garden when you plant roses, but you can minimize the problems if you plan ahead. Gardening companies like Bonide Lawn and Garden, and Bayer Advance have wonderful products to help control these problems. Set up a prevention program early in the spring and keep on it during the growing season to minimize problems.


Now get yourself a good book on roses, read it during these snowy days and begin to select the roses you would like in your garden. Think, hardiness, resistance to problems, fragrance, color, and--most of all-repeating blooms. Enjoy!!



P.S. I Love You - The Beatles (With Lyrics and HD)

P.S. I Love You - The Beatles

 (With Lyrics and HD)



"More than anything, I must have flowers, always, always.

Claude Monet





                                                 Wintery Night American Chili


After a day of shoveling snow out in the cold, it time for this great homemade chili to warm up those cold bones and muscles. Make it in the morning, let it cool and refrigerate or better still make the day before for even better tasting chili. Add a nice crusty bread and a glass of wine to make the memories of all that snow melt away.




8 ounces of hot turkey Italian sausage

2 cups of chopped sweet onion

1 cup of chopped green or red bell peppers

8 garlic cloves, minced or 16 level teaspoons

of the jar type of minced garlic

1 pound of ground sirloin

1 jalapeno pepper chopped and seeds removed  

2 tablespoons of chili powder  

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cumin

3 mounded tablespoons of tomato paste

1 teaspoon dried oregano

teaspoon fresh ground pepper

teaspoon od sea salt

2 bay leaves

1 cups of merlot or another fruity red wine

2- 28 ounce cans of flavored diced tomatoes Such as basil,

 garlic and oregano or green peppers, celery and onions undrained

2 15 ounce cans of red kidney beans, drained

1 package of a sharp cheddar cheese for garnish



1] Heat a large Dutch oven or large heavy pot with a lid over medium-high heat. Remove the casings from sausage and break up the meat into small pieces. Add sausage meat, onions, and the next 4 ingredients and mix well in the pan; cook for 8 to 10 minutes until the sausage and ground beef are browned.


2} Add the chili powder and the next 7 ingredients, mix well and cook for a minute or two stirring constantly. Now stir in the tomatoes and liquid, wine, and red kidney beans, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally. Now remove the cover and cook an additional 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove the Bay leaves and serve.


You can also Sprinkle some of the shredded cheese over the top of the bowl and serve. If you like, add a spoonful of sour cream on top before adding the cheese and some diced scallions. Enjoy!  

This will serve 6 to 8 people but I always double the recipe and freeze for the next snow storm!



               ONLY 1 Cabins Left - don't miss out on this wonderful trip




Monday July 27 - Boston, MA -
Depart on your overnight trans-Atlantic flight to Prague, Czech Republic.

Tuesday, July 28- Prague, Czech Republic
Settle into you hotel, Hilton Praguea,for the next two evenings. Explore Prague at your leisure.

Wednesday-July 29 -
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, and a free day to explore the city at your own pace. Perhaps visit the Communist Musem: sample the local plum dumplings and Pilsner; stroll along the Vltava River(B)

Thursday- July 30
After breakfast at the hotel, you will have time to discover Prague's treasures. You will depart your hotel in the early afternoon to embark on the Avalon Visionary in Nuremberg (approx.. 3 hour drive) Welcome Reception and Dinner onboard (B, D)

Friday - July 31 - Nuremberg
Today, choose from an included guided sightseeing tour and marvel at this 1,000-year-old city's medieval fortifications. Extraordinary gothic churches, and Kaiserburg(Imperial Castle) or join a more specialized Nuremberg Rally Grounds Tour. Enjoy a tranquil afternoon of cruising. Take in an interesting onboard lecture about the engineering marvel that is the Main Danube Canal (B,L,D)

Saturday, August 1- Regensburg
Some of today's highlights during your guided wall will include Altes Rathaus (old Time Hall), Porta Pretoria and 12th-century Steinerne Brucke (Stone Bridge). Enjoy an included snack at historische Wurskuche, one of the oldest restaurants. Before Dinner, join us for a beer tasting of some of Germany's most famous beers.(B,L,D)

Sunday, August 2 - Passau-Linz, Austria
This morning, dock in Passau uniquely located where the INN, Ilz and the Danube Rivers converge. Passau is a maze of cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses. St Stephen's Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian Baroque architecture, house one of the world's largest church organs with 17, 774 pipes. Take in the highlights on the included guided walk. Then sail to Linz, Austria's 3rd largest town, which lies on both banks of the Danube (B, L, D)

Monday, August 3 - Melk-Vienna
This morning enjoy a included guided visit of Melk's magnificent 11th century Benedictine Abbey, which houses an ornate library with over 80,000 printed books and 2,000 manuscripts. During lunchtime, cruise through Wachau Valley a UNESCO world Heritage site. Arrive in Vienna this evening.(B, L, D)/p>

Tuesday, August 4 - Vienna

Your included city tour with your local guide includes sites such as the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace Complex, the Neo-Renaissance Vienna Opera House, and St Stephen's Cathedral. Spend some time in the delightful pedestrian Karntnerstrasse to enjoy a piece of decadent Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel Depart for Budapest. (B, L, D)

Wednesday, August 5 - Budapest, Hungary
On your guided sightseeing tour, see Heroes' Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen's Bastion & 11th century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian menarches. Be sure to take note of the city's 8 bridges - many famous sites in and of themselves which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with pest on left bank. You may even want to walk across Chain Bridgebuilt in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest. (B, L, D)

Thursday August 6 - Budapest (disembarkation)
After breakfast you will be transferred to your hotel. The day is free to explore Budapest at your leisure (b).

Friday, August 7 - Budapest to Boston
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before you prepare for your transfer to the airport and you flight home.

For more information :
Largay Travel Inc.
625 Wolcott Street
Waterbury, CT 06705




Valentines Day is 2 days away - Don't forget!


              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 207-590-4887

Regular price $34.95  Special Price $31.95!  special!


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