Sorry the Newsletter was late,  we have had internet problem, meaning we could not connect for the last few days!  Paul
Yeah Spring is finally here! 
Jimmie Rodgers :::::  English Country Garden.
Jimmie Rodgers - English Country Garden.

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Now that spring is here it's time for the Pussy Willow to show its beauty



When you think of the weeping willow, think of water. Weeping willows love wet soil, love growing near a stream or pond and--be sure to remember this--the weeping willow will destroy your septic system if it is close by! Most trees have as much of a root system below the ground as they have branches above the ground. The weeping willow has double the roots of most trees, so be careful where you plant it on your property. This tree is one of the most loved in our landscape because of the beautiful golden bark branches that are also graceful and weeping. These long branches will grow right to the ground from the top of the tree. During the winter, the tree will almost shine with the sun on it.


The tree has a rounded appearance year round. Gold branches without leaves in the winter and in the fall with golden-yellow leaves. During the summer, the leaves are a rich green color with a bit of shine to them. The leaves are 2 to 4 inches long and 1/2 in. wide, shaped almost like your finger. The weeping willow is one of the first plants to develop leaves in the spring. The golden leaves of spring really stand out among other trees still dormant in early April. This plant will grow 50 to 75 feet tall and just as wide. Each year the weeping willow can grow 3 to 5 feet a year if there is plenty of water.


When you plant this tree, place it in the back yard where you can admire it from afar. The branches are not strong and heavy; wet snow can create a mess of broken branches after the storm. It is a messy tree and many small branches will fall during the year making for constant cleanup. However, in the right place, the weeping willow will keep your yard dry and usable again. You need to weigh the pros and cons before you plant this tree on your property.


The weeping willow will make a great wind-break, noise-barrier, or screening for privacy and will provide you with shade quickly when planted in groups. When planted alone, it makes a great specimen plant. The tree is not one that will last long in your yard, as it matures in 20 to 25 years and falls apart quickly. Trees planted in a full sun location do much better than trees planted in the shade.


The Native Americans were the first to recognize the willow tree for its beauty and medicinal value, using willow extract to relieve pain, arthritis, and fever. The salicylic acid found in the willow bark is an anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving ingredient. The dried bark can be used as a detergent to clean clothing, and crushed young leaves were thought to stop bleeding. As Native Americans moved across the country looking for food and fertile soils to grow crops, they also looked for the native willow tree. The willow grew where fresh water was found--and without water, the people could not survive.


In Irish legend, the willow is the wood used to make the harp sing. The most famous Celtic Harp is the "Brian Boru" and is exhibited at Trinity College, Dublin. Made in the 15th century, the harp has a pillar and head-piece made of oak, a sound body of willow and is strung with brass. The willow is the resonating-vessel that receives the vibration from the strings and makes the music.


In Jewish tradition, the willow is one of four woods used in the "Feast of the Tabernacle" to give thanks for the harvest. In your garden, the willow means resonance and harmony. When looking for a site to drill a well, dowsers always use the willow branch to find water. You see, the weeping willow is much more than just a tree. Enjoy!




Canadian Hemlock tree is a beautiful evergreen


To me the Canadian hemlock is the most beautiful evergreen tree that grows wild or under cultivation in all of New England. This is a "grand" native plant with soft evergreen needles on arching branches. The needle is 1/2 to 3/4 inch long and flat with a rounded tip, making it soft to touch. The top of the needle is dark green with a glossy finish. The bottom side of the needle has two silvery stripes running from end to end. When the wind blows, the underside of the needle becomes visible and makes the plant almost shimmer as it sways with the wind.


The Canadian hemlock grows in a rounded pyramidal shape. The new growth gives the tree a soft and almost feathery look. The plant is always thick and will hold inner foliage for many years, making it a wonderful privacy plant or noise barrier plant. The hemlock will also keep needles on the lower branches, right to the ground, unlike many evergreen trees as they mature and grow tall. When allowed to grow naturally and not pruned, the hemlock will grow to 70 feet tall and 25 to 35 feet wide.


Canadian hemlock looks great on your lawn as a single plant or in groups with under plantings of large leaf evergreens such as holly, rhododendron and azaleas. When planted on 10-foot centers, these plants will quickly grow together, creating a wonderful hedge. Prune the front and back of the hedge to control the width of the plant but not the sides. This will help fill in the space between plants faster. Once they fill in, prune both the front and back. The height is up to you--from 6 feet to the clouds. To control height, prune during March or April before the new growth starts. This way the new growth will fill in any spaces you open up during pruning, and the new growth that develops will keep the plant soft-looking, even though you have cut the plant like a wall.


Hemlocks will grow in sun or shade but must have a soil rich in organic matter--like compost or peat moss--that is able to hold moisture. When planting in clay type soils, add organic matter to improve the drainage, and the plant will do well. Sandy soils, like those on Cape Cod, must be conditioned with organic matter and watered regularly to have a nice plant. Hemlocks prefer a soil that is acid so do not add limestone near the plants!


The Canadian hemlock will make a small brown cone 1/2 to 3/4 inches long on new growth, dangling down from the tips of the branches with the point at the bottom. When there are many cones noticeable on the plant, they look like Christmas ornaments decorating the tree. Birds of all types love this tree, as it makes a great nesting plant. During the winter, the birds that stay around can hide in the thick foliage and stay out of the fury of the storm. Planted in an area where you feed the birds, the hemlock is perfect as birds can check out the feeding area for the neighbor's cat before they fly to the feeder.


When planting hemlocks, use plenty of peat moss or compost and water two time a week. Use a plant root stimulator like Bio-Tone that contains mycorrhizae. This will increase root development much faster. Hemlock has one problem in Southern New England and south. A little insect called "wooly adelgid," that looks like small pieces of cotton, develops on the underside of the needles. Thanks to Bayer Lawn and Garden research, a product called "Tree and Shrub" applied to the base of the tree yearly will keep the tree insect free. It works systemically; just pour on the ground at the base of the tree and it will move right up to the top of the tree without spraying. Best of all, you can do it yourself--saving money. One application will last one year. Feed young plants yearly with Holly-Tone or Acid Adoring fertilizer. As you travel into Northern New England, you will see the Canadian hemlock growing with pines, spruces, maples and oaks in perfect harmony. The cold winters keep the wooly adelgid away in Northern growing areas, or the forest would have some real problems with this insect. This is a GREAT plant for your property.



Peter,Paul, and Mary:

Peter,Paul, and Mary:"Right Field

Spring training is almost over, get ready!!!

White Pine - Maines state tree


Many of us know that the strongest wood available from our native forest is the oak family of trees. The value of the wood from these trees was almost that of gold at one time during the 1700's. The king of the trees was the white pine and it was so valuable that this tree was one of the reasons we fought the War of Independence in 1776. In 1761, the British government passed a law in England that all white pines growing in the colonies that had growth 24 inches diameter and upwards at 12 inches from the earth belonged to the Royal Navy. No such tree, they said, "shall be cut without a license" from the Kingdom of Great Britain.


In 1774 The American Congress passed a law stopping the export of all white pine trees from its shores. In 1775 the lumbermen from Machias, Maine overtook the armed British Warship "Margaretta" and turned her into a privateer against the British. The same year the patriots of Portsmouth, New Hampshire seized the British storage yards where hundreds of tall white pine logs were ready for shipment to England for ship's masts. In 1777, John Paul Jones used those same logs to build a mast for the "Ranger," our first warship, and it flew the "Stars and Stripes."


And you thought it was just a tree! Well, as just a tree, it is the finest evergreen tree you can plant on your property. If the white pine is not disturbed it will grow for up to 400 years. The white pine is the tallest growing tree native to eastern North America, and is the state tree of Maine and Michigan.


White pines are easily transplanted because of a wide spider web like root system that grows shallow in the soil. It will thrive in a well-drained sandy soil, but if you plant it in a rich moist soil in a sunny location this tree will have no match for its looks. When the tree is young, it will have a pyramidal shape and hold green foliage right to the ground, making a great screen plant. As it matures, the tree opens up and spreads out, often with a flat top, and the branches become irregularly shaped. Most white pines grow from a single trunk and seldom need pruning. Plant them in groups and they will protect you from the wind and muffle the noise on the other side of the planting. Once the pine grows to 25 to 30 feet tall, it will provide you with a beautiful living area under the branches as they mature.


White pines will grow 1 to 3 feet a year when established and mature to 50 to 80 feet tall and 20 to 50 feet wide. The needles are soft to the touch and grow to 4 to 5 inches long. The needle color will range from medium green to blue green and they develop in a bunch of five. Each needle cluster will stay on the tree for a year and a half before falling from the tree. The ground will have a thick blanket-like covering under the tree of brown needles, often choking out the weeds. The soil is traditionally acid for the best growth so keep the limestone away from this plant. When young, fertilize spring and fall until the trees reach 10 feet tall. Use an acid-based tree food such as Holly-Tone or Acid Adoring.


Plant the white pine as specimen plant on the front lawn and prune it to keep the pyramidal shape. This tree will make a wonderful plant when used in groups for screening or hedges for privacy. White pine will not do well when planted on the side of the road as it will suffer from road salt, air pollution, ozone and sulfur dioxide damage. It will not do well in a clay type soil or areas with standing water. If you park your car under the tree you will compact the soil and hurt the tree roots, so stay off! The tree will get back to you by dripping "pitch" on your car and remove the paint. Enjoy!



"After the fine exercise in the garden, I have an appetite like a 12 year-old  and have no sleepless nights !"
Jim G. Brown
A true sign that Spring has arrived is a Magnolia in bloom



From Maine to Minnesota and south to Georgia, there is no more exciting tree than the flowering star magnolia in the springtime. As April approaches, the tree begins to open its flower buds, which resemble pure white eggs that burst into pure white star-like flowers, quickly covering the tree branches.


On a bright full moon evening look at your tree for a real treat, as those flowers will glow in the moonlight and light up your garden with color. Next fall, plant white-flowering daffodils in the garden around the base of the tree and you will be in for a very special treat. White reflects the moonlight and your garden will amaze you--try it.


The star magnolia is the first flowering tree of spring time and it will show you that warm weather is not far behind, so get ready for spring. This type of magnolia will grow as large as a flowering crabapple, from 15 to 20 feet tall and just as wide--but if placed in a sheltered area with evergreen trees protecting it from the winds it can and will grow larger. The star magnolia can be grown as a single trunk small tree or multi stem shrub-like tree; it will depend on the shape of the plant you select at the nursery.


If you want more of a tree shape, select a plant at the nursery with just one main trunk and remove all the other smaller branches that develop at the base of the plant. Your pruning techniques will shape the future growing habit of the plant and determine its overall shape. If you allow the side branches or the shoots that will form the base of the plant to form, the plant will stay shorter and spread out more like a large shrub does. If you prune out the side shoots and lower branches, the plant will grow taller, stay more narrow and spread out less, resembling a tree more--it's up to you.


The bark of the plant is smooth, gray, and very clean looking. The branches have many small side shoots that will form; these side shoots will all make flowers in the spring. The flowers look like giant daisies when in bloom and each flower can have 25 or more white petals that grow 2 to 3 inches long and 3/4 to 1 inch wide. The star magnolia flowers will last 2 to 3 weeks, sometimes longer if the weather is not too severe and warm as the flowers begin to fade. Because the flower petals are long and narrow, the wind seems to flow through them easily.


The saucer magnolia, a wonderful sister to this plant, has much larger flower petals and if the weather gets stormy will blow apart easily, causing the base of the tree to look as if a box of Kleenex exploded under it. So if your yard is in an exposed area with lots of wind, plant the star magnolia, not the saucer magnolia and you will enjoy the flowers longer in your garden.


What also makes the flowers last longer on the tree is that the flower buds do not all open at the same time, happening over a week or two in April. At this time of the year, the weather is cooler and this also helps to keep the flowers blooming longer. The flowers have a mild fragrance when the days are warm and the weather is dry. If you have a branch that is growing out of shape, prune it off while it's in bloom and place it in a tall vase of water to enjoy on the kitchen table for a couple of weeks.


The leaves are dark green, oval in shape, growing from 4 to 6 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide. Some years the leaves will develop on the tree at the same time as the flowers are in bloom. In the fall, if the wind and insects did their job properly, a pod will form where the flowers were on the plant. The pod is cone-shaped, with swollen bumps along its side that contain small red seeds. The pod is gray, and it will burst open and reveal its seeds when the weather gets cold in the fall, as the leaves drop to the ground from the tree. Birds and small animals like chipmunks will eat the seed during the winter, or you can pick them and store them in your vegetable crisper for the winter and plant them in the spring time.


Magnolias will grow in full sun or half a day in the shade. They will grow much better if there is moisture available to them all year long. If your soil is sandy, be sure to add lots of organic matter like compost, animal manure or peat moss when planting. To help get your magnolia off to a good start, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of Soil Moist granules to help hold moisture around the new roots that form. I have had great results also adding kelp seaweed and mycorrhizae at the time of planting to help the roots to develop more quickly.


Always plant magnolias in a planting bed and cover the soil with bark mulch to help hold moisture around the roots of the plant and keep out weeds. Planting beds also help prevent damage to the trunk of the plant from your lawn mower and weed whacker. The bark is smooth and thin; it will not tolerate bruising from your garden equipment. The planting bed also gives you room to plant spring flowering bulbs like white daffodils for your moonlight garden in the spring and annuals for summer color.


I have always noticed that flowering plants that have flowers planted under or near them always flower better in the spring. This is because you are feeding the flowers during the summer, and your flowering trees get some of the food you're giving your flowers. This feeding will help produce more energy for your plants and make flowers for next year on your trees.


Keep the plant well watered the first year in your garden; if the plant is taller than 5 to 6 feet, I would stake it in the fall to help keep the winter winds from blowing it around during the winter and damaging the new roots. If you're planting the tree in an area where there are tall grasses or a wooded area close by, be sure to wrap the trunk of the tree a couple of feet high with tree wrap the first winter to prevent mouse damage.


If the winter is one with lots of snow and the snow lasts into early April, don't be surprised if squirrels eat the flower buds before they have a chance to open; it does not happen often but it does happen. They also like rhododendron flower buds so if you see those disappearing, use an animal repellent on them quickly.


Plant the star magnolia as a single tree, or plant several in a row to create a wonderful tall-growing privacy hedge on your property; they also make a good noise barrier to buffer road noise and quiet the traffic. If the side of your house has a large blank wall between windows, a tall fence, or evergreens as a background, the star magnolia will soften the area during all seasons of the year. This is also a great plant to place a spotlight under to highlight the unique branches and flowers.


The star magnolia is a tree that will give your garden the look and feel of the South in the cold of the Northeast. All you need is a mint julep and a rocking chair near the tree to enjoy the arrival of spring! Enjoy!



Risotto Primavera



This is a great Italian vegetable dish that goes well with any meal. You can also add some grilled chicken breast, grilled shrimp, grilled scallops, or grilled Salmon for the perfect meal on top of the Primavera. Great on a hot day when you don't want to heat up the kitchen to much or you want to impress your friends and family.




1 pound of fresh thin asparagus spears

cup of olive oil or flavored oil like truffle oil

2 cups of fresh green beans cut into one inch pieces

2 cups of Zucchini squash, quartered and cut into I inch pieces

2 cups of fresh or frozen peas, you can also use pea pods cut in half

1 medium sweet onion finely chopped

2 cloves of fresh garlic finely chopped or garlic from a jar will also do

2 cups of risotto rice

6 1/2 to 7 cups of chicken or vegetable stock/ broth

4 scallions cut into 1 inch pieces or 2 Leaks will do

cup of unsalted butter

1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese or packaged shredded parmesan cheese

2 tbsp. Snipped fresh chives

2 tbsp. shredded fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste




1: Cut off the woody end of the asparagus and cut into 1 inch pieces, set aside.


2: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the Asparagus, green beans, zucchini. And peas and stir fry for 3 to 5 minutes until the vegetables are deep green and just starting to soften, set aside.


3: Heat the remaining oil in a large, heavy bottom pan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until it starts to soften. Stir in the Garlic and cook while stirring for 30 seconds.


4: Reduce the heat, and add the rice and mix to coat in oil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the rice grains is succulent. Gradually add the hot stock ladleful at a time, until all but 2 tablespoons of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is creamy.


5: Stir in the stir fried vegetables, onions mixture, and scallions or Leeks with the remaining stock. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the soften butter that has been cut into 1 inch cubes, Parmesan cheese, chives, and Basil.


6: Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the Risotto to a warm serving dish and serve.


7 If you're going to add grilled chicken, shrimp, scallops, or salmon add as a topping before serving to your guest. Sprinkle a bit of grated parmesan cheese and additional chopped chives for added flavor. Enjoy!









Garden Journal

        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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