Happy Mother"s Day to all including Christina and Michael Parent
Garth Brooks - Mom  - Live on Good Morning America 2014
Garth Brooks - Mom - Live on Good Morning America 2014

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The earliest Mother's Day celebrations we know of were ancient Greek spring celebrations in honor of Rhea, the mother of the gods; the ancient Romans also had another holiday, Matronalia, that was dedicated to Juno. But those were in honor of one particular mother. England's "Mothering Sunday," begun in the 1600's, is closer to what we think of as "Mother's Day." Celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent, "Mothering Sunday" honored the mothers of England.

In 1907, Anna Jarvis started a drive to establish a national Mother's Day. In 1907 she passed out 500 white carnations at her mother's church in West Virginia--one for each mother in the congregation. In 1908, her mother's church held the first Mother's Day service, on May 10th (the second Sunday in May). That same day a special service was held at the Wanamaker Auditorium in Philadelphia, where Anna was from, which could seat no more than a third of the 15,000 people who showed up.


By 1909, churches in 46 states, Canada and Mexico were holding Mother's Day services. In the meantime, Ms. Jarvis had quit her job to campaign full time. She managed to get the World's Sunday School Association to help; they were a big factor in convincing legislators to support the idea. In 1912, West Virginia was the first state to designate an official Mother's Day. By 1914, the campaign had convinced Congress, which passed a joint resolution. President Woodrow Wilson signed the resolution, establishing an official national Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May.

Many countries of the world now have their own Mother's Day at different times of the year, but Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Japan, and Turkey join the US in celebrating Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May. Britain still celebrates Mothering Day on the fourth Sunday of Lent--but they now call it Mother's Day. By any name, and at any date, it's a special day to honor a special person.


Having trouble thinking of a gift? Why not do something a little different this year? Instead of giving her a bouquet of roses, plant her a rose garden! If she already has a rose garden--add to it! If she lives in an apartment, consider a potted rose plant--many roses will do quite well in containers). And you can give her a Garden Journal to keep track of her roses!


Why give one bouquet that will soon fade away, when you can give years of pleasure from living roses instead?



Mayflower - Viburnum, Carlesii







When I first started working in the nursery industry back many years ago, I always enjoyed opening the doors of big trucks full of freshly dug trees and shrubs in the spring. Opening those heavy doors of the truck was like unwrapping a present on my birthday; I could not wait to see what was inside.


One late April morning, as I opened the doors of a truck, I was greeted with the fragrance of a plant that I will never forget; the mayflower viburnum. I quickly climbed into the back of the truck to find where this incredible fragrance came from, and was greeted with several rows of snowball-shaped flowering plants.


I bent down to get a better smell of the flowers and yelled, "what is this plant?" My boss, Bob Kennedy at Kennedy's Country Gardens in Scituate, Mass., just smiled and told me, "that is Korean spice viburnum." I was hooked, and so will you be when you smell the flowers of this wonderful deciduous spring-flowering shrub.


I remember that we placed them near the front door of the garden center and that by the end of the weekend all the plants were gone. I was so disappointed because I never got the chance to purchase one that year, but the following year I got to choose first, for my mother on Mother's Day.


The fragrance of the mayflower viburnum is spicy-sweet; when planted in your yard, it will fill the yard with its fragrance. When planted near a window up against your home, be sure to open that window on nice days to let the fragrance inside for a real treat. The flowers are 2 to 3 inch diameter snowball-shaped flower clusters and the flower buds are red to pink in color. As the flower buds open, the flowers change to pure white; the flower cluster has all three colors at the same time.


The flowers develop on the tips of the branches. Each flower is 3/4 inches wide and trumpet-shaped. Each flower cluster can contain as many as 50 individual flowers in the cluster. When the flower buds first open, the flower is light pink color.


This wonderful viburnum will grow 4 to 8 feet tall and just as wide but if you prune the plant when the flowers fade you can control the size of the plant very easily without affecting the flower production for next year. Viburnums make the flower buds on the new growth made during June and July, so prune as the flowers fade to control the size of the plant. This also the best time to cut back plants that have overgrown their place in your garden.


When you prune your plants back, be sure to fertilize them to encourage new growth for next year's flowers. I like Plant -Tone or Start and grow plant food from Fertilome especially in the spring time. If you do not have room for this big growing plant look for the compact variety called Viburnum carlesii 'Compactum,' found at larger nurseries only and it will grow only 2.5 to 3.5 feet tall and wide.


The foliage is 2 to 4 inches long, oval and almost rounded on the tip of the leaf. The leaf is a dull dark green, nothing exciting, until the fall, when it will turn bright red to wine-red, almost as nice as a burning bush/euonymus. The fall red leaf is also dull red, with no shine to it.


During the summer the plant will grow very thick and dense, making a wonderful plant for spring birds to build a home in. The branches and stems are soft gray, and the plant can make as much as a foot of new growth each summer. The branches grow in all directions, giving the plant an interesting shape during the winter months, and those branches are stiff looking. The plant is strong and can handle some heavy snow load, but not ice, so keep it away from any roof line with no gutters.


All viburnum varieties love a fertile soil with lots of organic matter it. They prefer a well-drained soil with no standing water,but will do great in a sandy soil if you can water during the heat of summer. Plant in full sun to half a day of shade. The plants will also do great under tall growing trees with high-limbed branches on them.


When you plant, be sure to add lots of organic matter, Soil Moist if soils are on the sandy side, and mycorrhizae for fast root development and better than average growth the first spring and summer. Mulching around the base of the plant really benefits the plant during hot days of summer to help keep it cool, hold water around the roots, and keep weeds away from the newly forming roots.


Viburnum can be used as a single focal point plant in the back of a perennial garden for early color during the month of May; this would brighten up your perennial garden because not many perennials are showing color yet. If your windows are high off the ground, it will make a great foundation plant against your home. If your windows are less than 5 feet from the ground, you will have to prune every year to prevent the plant from covering up the bottom of your windows.


This is a great plant to plant along a tree line on your property or in tree clearings for early color. If you have a deck or patio that you use during May, this plant is perfect to enjoy on those warm afternoons, but it blooms too early for decks around swimming pools. You can also use several plants in a row for a privacy hedge during the summer to block off the neighbor's view into your yard, or plant and let grow without pruning to soften a large blank wall or side of a garage. I love this viburnum when you plant it near the spring flowering dogwood, especially the pink varieties

Insect and disease problems are minimal, so little to no maintenance is needed except for pruning to control the size of the plant. The plant will sometimes form small clusters of fruit during the summer that will turn from green to red then purple-black and are often eaten by the birds living in your yard. The berries are not very showy and because of the dense foliage not usually visible on the plants.


This mayflower viburnum plant is hardy to -20 degrees. It will flower every year if you fertilize it and water when the summers get hot and dry. Its main qualities are very fragrant flowers that last several weeks and the bright red fall color. It is easy to grow--and if your mother loves plants like lilacs, hyacinths, and roses for their fragrance, she will love this wonderful spring-flowering plant that will bloom on her special day--Mother's Day. This could be the plant that will make you her favorite and her garden extra-special. Enjoy!




A Song For Mama by Boyz 2 Men
A Song For Mama by Boyz 2 Men
Bridal Wreath - Spirea van Houttei


Is there a shrub that will grow anywhere? How about a sunny or shady location, along the side of the road, or where salt is in the soil because of the snowplow or how about under large trees to create a privacy hedge? There is one plant than can do all this and more: the shrub called the Bridal Wreath Spirea. This shrub is one of the most popular plants in the American garden today. Because the plant can tolerate very cold weather with temperatures to minus 30 below Zero, it is grown as far north as Canada. During the month of May, there is no plant that outshines the Bridal Wreath's show of color. Plan your wedding around the flowering time for the perfect outside garden wedding complete with white flowers for the occasion.


Most shrubs and trees go through periods of not flowering because of weather, soil fertility, moisture, light, care, or all of the above, but the Bridal Wreath just keeps on flowering every May like clock-work, no matter what you do to the plant. The Bridal Wreath grows like a fountain of branches filled with white flower clusters in the shape of a small flower bouquet. The foliage is about 1 inch long, looks like a small-elongated maple leaf, blue green in color. The flowers develop after the plant opens all the leaves after a long winter rest. The flowers are on short 1-inch stems above all the leaves. The flower bouquet is made up of 15 to 25 individual 4-petal white single petal flowers in the shape of a ball or a handheld bouquet. The center of the flower is yellow but not noticeable until you look at the flower closely. The flowers are very durable and will stand up to the wind in your yard, unlike most other plants. The flowers will last on the plant 3 weeks or more depending on the weather (hot weather shortens the blooming time).


Bridal Wreath will grow 6 to 8 feet tall and 10 to 12 feet wide, sometimes more. If the plant is getting out of control, wait to cut it back until it has finished flowering in early June. Please do not cut it back into the shape of a ball or you will lose the beautiful shape of weeping branches. Rounded shape plants belong at Disney World, not your yard. Your yard is as real as Disney's make believe! Cut each branch back as much as 50% with hand pruners, not hedge shears to keep the plant looking natural. If pruned after flowering, the plant should make a foot or more of new growth and flowers for next year's spring flower show.


Bridal Wreath will grow very well in a shady location, even under trees or in the back of a tall building. When you plant, be sure to add compost or animal manure to the soil when conditioning. If the soil is dry or sandy, add a couple of tablespoons of Soil Moist to help keep the roots moist so they can develop properly and quickly. Once the plant is well established and growing on its own in the yard, it will tolerate dry soils. If planted in the sun give it extra room to grow. When using it in hedges, be sure to space the plants six feet apart and be sure to stay back from sidewalks or it will quickly block the walkway and require frequent pruning. Fertilize in the spring with Plant-Tone or Garden Trust Tree and Shrub fertilizer. Water 2 times a week for the first couple of months and then weekly until the fall season arrives.


If you like the Bridal Wreath Vanhouttei and want more, look for the Spirea prunifolia, as it is a double flowering white variety. It is not as large-growing, but by itself in a garden, it is striking. Also look at the Dwarf variety called 'Snow Mound,' growing only 3 to 5 feet tall and perfect for a small garden bed. Enjoy!



"I guess a good gardener starts as a good weeder."
Amos Pettingill
You've Made Me So Very Happy - Blood, Sweat, & Tears w/Lyrics
You've Made Me So Very Happy - Blood, Sweat, & Tears w/Lyrics

Hybrid white flowering Lilacs





If you ask a gardener what the most fragrant plant in their garden is, the answer would most likely be the lilac plant. The lilac is a longtime favorite for most gardeners and it was even grown in the gardens of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Be sure to see some of the original lilac in their gardens when you visit their homes when the season is right for them to bloom. Lilacs are unique plants; if cared for properly and planted in the right spot, they will live for hundreds of years. Lilacs date back to the mid 1700s and were planted in our first botanical gardens and arboretums across the colonies.


If you want to grow lilacs, select a location in your yard with full sun all day, though there are some varieties that will also tolerate a bit of shade. These varieties will have smaller and fewer flowers on the plants due to the shade. Sunshine is the number one reason your lilacs may not be flowering. Next to sunshine, ask what is the type of soil on your property and how it can affect the development of flowers? Lilacs prefer a rich soil that is well drained and never has standing water around it at any time of the year. One last piece to the puzzle is the pH or acidity level in your soils; lilacs do much better in a sweet soil than an acidic soil.


All soils can be changed by adding soil conditioners to them like peat moss, compost, animal manure, and even sand. If you can open up the soil and improve the texture of the soil, your plant will thrive. Sand will break apart the clay in your soils, allowing better air movement; peat moss will help hold moisture in a sandy soil that typically dries out during the heat of summer. Compost and animal manure will do both, plus help to make poor soil healthier and better able to hold nourishment and water.


If the soil around the lilacs contains clay, treat the area with a soil conditioner like garden gypsum . In just a few weeks, your soil will expand and drainage will be greatly improved. For acidic soil, add lime stone, wood ashes or Bonide turf turbo or Espoma lightning lime to sweeten the soil and free up the phosphorus in your soil. Look at the ground in the area where you want to plant a new lilac. If you see moss growing, it is a signal that the soil is acidic and you will have to add soil sweeteners to help the lilac grow and flower. If you have an established plant that is not flowering very well and moss is growing in the area, apply soil sweeteners in the spring and fall until the plant begins to flower.


Lilacs will also grow better if you can remove the grass growing around the plant and create a mulch bed 2 to 3 feet in diameter at the base of the plant. Grass and weeds will rob the plant of moisture during the summer and nutrition during the growing season; this completion will limit the plant's ability to make new shoots at the base of the plant. A layer of bark mulch 2 to 3 inches thick will go a long way toward helping your plants prosper.


When the plants are young, it is very important to remove faded flowers from the plant. This cleaning prevents the plant from using its energy to make useless seed pods, and that energy will be used to make additional foliage on the plant. Pruning is also very important on both young and established plants, as it will stimulate new growth on the plant.

The best time to prune your lilac is when the plant has finished flowering or, in the case of no flowers on your plant, when the lilacs in the neighborhood are in bloom. Do not be scared to prune, as pruning will stimulate new growth and that is where the flower buds will develop during the summer. Say to your lilac, "I am doing this for your own good." Begin by removing any dead or damaged branches from the plant. You should remove 1/3 of the foliage on the taller growing branches. If some branches are very tall, cut them to your waist and leave this tall stump in the clump. Strong plants will develop new growth in the shape of a broom from this stump, and in just a couple of years these new shoots will be in bloom. You can also cut the branch to a foot from the ground and shoots will develop on it also.

Older plants can be rejuvenated by removing 1/3 of the branches each year for three years and allowing the new shoots that develop at the base to take over the plant. Those new shoots that develop at the base should be thinned by 1/3. You should remove the small, weak looking ones, keeping the thick and strong looking shoots to replace the older branches.


New lilac plants should be planted with compost and mycorrhizae to help the plant get established quickly before the heat of summer arrives. Water 2 times a week until the fall and fertilize the plant in September with mycorrhizae again.

The only problem lilacs have is powdery mildew on the foliage, and that can be prevented with 2 or 3 applications of Bayer Natria disease control, formerly (Serenade organic fungicide) beginning in mid-June and repeated every two weeks. Good air circulation around the plant and keeping plants away from irrigation systems that splash water on the foliage will prevent this problem.


If you like lilacs, look for a new hybrid variety this spring called 'Bloomerang.' This variety will give you months of flowers, not just weeks, as it is a repeat bloomer. It will flower in the spring for several weeks and, if you can remove the faded flowers, it will re-bloom in the mid-summer until frost. The beautiful fragrant flowers are lavender, and are great for cutting also. The plant will grow five feet tall and just as wide, very similar to the 'Miss Kim' hybrid; the flowers and foliage look similar also. This is a wonderful plant to have near a deck or patio where you spend time outside during the summer. Enjoy!




Spicy Peanut Soup


I like to try eating new foods whenever I can and I think you will like this soup. Sure Chicken soup is good and Clam chowder is great but have you ever had Peanut soup? It sounds strange but I love Pea soup why not try Peanut soup and I loved it. Give it a try you may too!




3 large carrots, sliced and chopped

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 to 3 garlic cloves minced

1 large Sweet potato to 1 pound, peeled and cubed to 1 inch pieces

cup of chunky peanut butter, mounded

2 tablespoons of red curry paste

1 can of vegetable broth, 32 ounces

1 can 14 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

1 Bay leaf

1 fresh thyme sprig

teaspoon pepper

cup of unsalted peanuts


Cooking method:


1} In a large sauce pan, cook the carrots and onions in oil over medium heat for about 2 to 3 minutes to give them a bit of color. Add the garlic, blend and cook 1 minute longer.


2} Stir in the sweet potatoes, and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the peanut butter and curry paste until well blended. Now add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, and pepper.


3} Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes and carrots become tender. The soup will appear curdled. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprig. Stir the soup well and serve with a tablespoon of peanuts as a topping. 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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