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I love the Greeks because they have a god or a connection to a god's name for everything that grows on this planet called Earth. The Greek goddess "Iris" is said to have created the rainbow, a bridge to connect heaven and Earth. The Iris plant family, which has hundreds of colors and many varieties, was chosen to carry her name by the elders in the heavens. Because of this accomplishment, the elders gave Iris a magic potion that when poured on the Earth would produce a flower garden of rainbow color flowers.

She was so eager to begin her new task of creating a flower garden of colorful flowers that she forgot to empty the entire vial. The few drops that remained in the vial were reds and that is why that today we have no true red flowers in our garden. It goes to show that even the gods were not perfect.

Iris plants have been growing in gardens around the world for over 4000 years. The Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians all grew these plants for their flowers and for medical remedies. Pottery and art found from those periods have pictures of these flowers on them in a garden setting and its use to treat fever, chills, and coughs with its dried tubers, not recommended today as the plant is considered poisonous. So if you have iris plants in your garden or are thinking of purchasing them to add to your garden, remember this story to tell your fellow gardeners, because these are plants with a story behind them.

Because there are hundreds of varieties of iris to choose from, I have chosen the bearded iris today to tell you about, as they have the most colorful flowers and the most color combination of flowers in the iris plant family. The bearded iris is also the most popular and I think the best one for you to start with and grow in your perennial garden today. Iris plants will catch your eye when in bloom, they are easy to grow in your garden, require minimum care, and they multiply quickly and are easy to divide and make new plants. Also the foliage, no other plant has foliage like the iris.

The bearded iris will grow best in a well-drained soil that has been conditioned before planting in it. The richer the soil, the larger the plant will grow, the larger the flowers will be on the plant and the more flowers will form on the individual stems. The better prepared soil will also hold more moisture in it without being wet! This will also help the flowers last longer when in bloom.

Heavy, clay type soils or a garden that get watered daily from a sprinkler system will create problems for the plant, so keep plants out of wet areas or your plants will rot easily. Dry soils are best for this plant to grow in. If your soil is sandy or a light loam, set the rhizome in the garden and just barely cover the rhizome with a bit of soil over it. If your soil is heavy or has clay in it, be sure to just barely cover the rhizome with soil; when watered it should be completely visible and sitting on top of the ground. Plants prefer a full sun location but will tolerate a bit of late day shade.

What is an iris? An iris is a plant that grows from a horizontal growing rhizome. A rhizome is a fattened, creeping stem with grass-like foliage at one end and roots that grow underneath this stem. If you care for the plant properly, this original rhizome will make two new rhizomes at the end of each year. One new rhizome will develop on each side of the plant and the old rhizome will transfer its energy to the two new plants and die at the end of the season. The foliage is grass-like, but very wide at the base near the rhizome, 1.5 to 2 inches, and slims down to a point at the tip. The foliage will grow from 12 to 18 inches tall each spring and has a blue green color to it. This foliage will grow in the shape of a fan and spread as wide as 12 inches in the early summer. The plant looks like a foot sitting on the surface of the soil with a fan of foliage on the heel of the plant.

Plant irises in the late summer or early fall after they have finished flowering. Space plants 12 to 18 inches apart between plants. Work compost, animal manure or fresh garden soil together to create a soil that will be 8 to 12 inches deep for planting. Mix in Natural Alternative 5-5-5  organic fertilizer with mycorrhizae or Bio-Tone fertilizer from Espoma before planting. Each plant should be a single rhizome with a fan of foliage at one end.

Before planting be sure to squeeze the rhizome and feel it all over to make sure it is firm all around. Soft rhizomes should be discarded as they could have an insect problem: an insect called a "borer." If you have them in your rhizomes as a soft spot cut, them out and dispose of the infected rhizome. When you re-plant your garden bed, add Bonide Lawn and Garden Eight Granules insecticide to prevent future problems in your planting bed.

The flowers emerge from the fan of foliage on a tall growing, pencil-thick, strong stem during June. Each stem can produce 3 to 5 elegant flowers that will last for up to a week each, depending on the weather and outside temperature during the flowering time. Cloudy and cool temperatures will extend the flowering time while sunny, hot weather with wind can decrease the flowering time of each flower to just a couple of days. The iris will open just one flower on the stem at a time and as one fades a new bloom will begin to open.

Each flower will grow 4 to 6 inches tall and wide. Each flower has 3 lower petals in the shape of your tongue that will hang down with a small beard of tiny hairs running vertically in the center of the petals. Also on the flower you will find 3 upper tongue-shaped flower petals that will grow upright together like the petals of a tulip; they have no beard-like growth on them, making the overall flower very unique looking. The top and bottom flower petals can be the same color or the top petals can be one color and the lower petals another color. No other plant can produce flowers this way or with so many color possibilities.

Fertilize each spring with compost around the rhizome but not covering it. Mycorrhizae is best for the plant when blended with an organic fertilizer, and will encourage more growth and flowers. When the flowers fade in late June, remove the flower stem to the base of the rhizome to prevent seed production and encourage new rhizome development. In the fall cut the foliage in half and remove any dead foliage present on the plant.

If you have had problems with borers in the past remember that the borer moth will lay the eggs on the foliage of your irises in the late summer or early fall. The eggs overwinter on the old foliage and emerge in the spring as a caterpillar type insect and eat their way into your new foliage. As they mature they will eat their way down into your rhizome and grow to 1 to 2 inches long. Soon they will pupate in the surrounding soil and emerge as a moth a few weeks later starting the cycle anew.

The best way to prevent this from happening is to remove all the foliage from the rhizome in the late fall once the ground has frozen. By removing the foliage you remove the problem, and the plant will replace the missing foliage in the spring. An application of Bayer Systemic Tree and Shrub insecticide will also control the borer in your rhizomes when applied in the spring or fall season. Keep the plants clean at all times and dispose of dead or dying foliage, faded flowering stems and infected rhizomes. Iris plants should be divided every 2 to 3 years and checked for borers every year. By dividing every 2 to 3 years your plants will grow better and have more flowers on them.




Asiatic Red Lily Beetle on your Lilies


Gardeners beware! The beetles have invaded America again! Not the singing Beatles from Liverpool, England, but this time the beetles that are native to Europe and Asia have entered the United States from Montreal, Canada. These beetles (also known as scarlet lily beetles and lily leaf beetles ) were first spotted in gardens in Montreal in 1945; quietly they moved south until they were spotted in a garden in Cambridge, Mass in 1992. Today they are everywhere and if your love lilies as much as I do, be prepared for the invasion. This is a tough insect because it will thrive in a climate where winter temperatures drop as cold as -20 to -30 degrees.

The adult Asiatic red lily beetle is bright red, and at first sight it is often confused with the common ladybug. This small beetle will grow 1/4 to 3/8 inches long and has a hard shell covering its body. The head, legs, antennas, and the undersurface are all black. The body is more rectangular in shape than rounded like the lady bug. It is also a very strong flyer and can move quickly when you try to pick it while it is feeding on your plants. It can hide in small cracks and crevices in the foliage of your lilies when startled.

The adult will lay rows of yellow to orange-red eggs on the underside of the lily leaves from March to June. Some times as many as 30 or more eggs can be found on the underside of the leaf where they hide undetected. When they hatch in 7 to 10 days, they develop into a rather unpleasant looking slug-like creature 3/8 inches long that can be brown, yellow, or orange with a black head. You may not notice the color of this BEAST, because to help protect itself from predators (including you) it will cover itself with its own excrement. This is known as fecal shield, and from talking to many of you--it works. Many of you are reluctant to pick them off your plant at this stage but this is the most destructive time in the pest's life.

This larval stage will last 2 to 3 weeks, and it will eat its weight in foliage every day. It will begin with foliage and when all of that is eaten, it will move to the flower buds. It will then drop to the garden soil where it will pupate, rest, and emerge from the soil in about two weeks as an adult beetle, ready to start the cycle again. When the weather gets warm in mid-summer, the adults will dig their way back into the garden and sleep in the soil and plant debris until the following spring. The following spring they will emerge looking for food and a mate and start the cycle of destruction all over again.

This beetle, if uncontrolled, will destroy your lily plants in just one season. The destruction cycle begins early, as the beetles begins the feeding and mating frenzy on the fritillaria - that wonderful orange or yellow flowering bulb from Holland. Other native plants are also attacked, but when the lilies emerge from the garden in April this beetle quickly moves to them. All lilium species are eaten, including the Asiatic, Oriental, tiger lily, and the Easter lily. The beetle will not bother the daylilies in your garden, as they are a different family of plants and not a true lily. If you have Solomon's Seal in your garden, check it also, as the beetles will feed on its foliage. Turk's cap lilies are eaten as well, and some varieties of nicotiana, known as "flowering tobacco," a wonderful annual flowering plant.

Controlling the Asiatic red leaf beetle can be easily accomplished by handpicking the beetle from the plant every day as you see them. The adult beetle will squeak if squeezed gently, but I recommend that you squeeze hard and crush this pest! Or pick them off your plants and drop them in a container of soapy water and flush down the toilet--a great ending for them. If you only have a few lilies in your garden it will not be a problem if you stay vigilant and check the plants daily. But if you have many plants in the garden, natural or chemical control products will have to be used.

A natural product such as neem oil can kill and repel the adult beetles from your garden if you apply it a couple times a week to your plants. Neem oil is natural but, like all natural products, will break down quickly with rain and bright warm sunshine on the plant. Neem oil is a bio-pesticide, and is extracted from the seed of the neem tree, found growing in southeast Asia. Neem oil will control both the adult and the larval forms of the Asiatic red lily beetle. If used regularly on your lily plants, it will also work as a repellent for egg-laying adult beetles. Neem oil is available at your local garden center or nursery. Mother nature has not provided any known predators for this insect.

Chemically this insect is best and more effectively controlled with a product called "Tree and Shrub, " from Ferti-Lome or Bayer which is available at your local garden center or nursery. The active ingredient is imidacloprid insecticide; once it is absorbed into the plant's sap systems it will protect your plants for a full year. It is best applied as a soil drench around the new lily shoots as they emerge from the garden or when you first see the beetles on the plant. It will also control other leaf and flower eating insects that threaten the plant during the growing season in your garden. Applying the product as a soil drench will also reduce the chance of drift to non-threatened plants in your garden and prevent harm to beneficial insects in your garden. Tree and Shrub was developed by Bayer Advanced and one application will protect the plants for the entire year. If your time in the garden is limited, this is the best way to prevent damage to your plants.

A new product just released from Bonide Lawn and Garden is called "Beetle Killer" has pyrethroids as active ingredients. This product will also kill Japanese beetles, the stink bug, and the Asian lady bug that will soon arrive to your home and garden.

Whichever product you decide to use, follow the recommendations on the label and get the product on the plant or in the soil early, now. This beast will destroy all your lilies in just one year if do not act now.


100 most beautiful gardens in the world
100 most beautiful gardens
 in the world!
Check your lawn carefully during the month of June


During June, your garden will explode with flowers, the results of all your planning, hard work and money you invested in them, so pick some of those flowers for the kitchen table. They look nice in the garden but believe me; you will enjoy them more as you drink your morning cup of coffee--and don't be scared to bring some to work with you either, for your desk, show them off!

While the weather is nice and your lawn is still green and soft, take off your shoes and socks to walk on your green carpet just to feel the texture of your lawn. Your toes will love the feel of the grass as you walk on it. If you have a garden that is surrounded by your lawn, be sure to water that garden barefoot every now and then just to feel the sensation of wet grass on your tired feet; it's better than a foot rub.

When you're picking fresh vegetables in the garden for the dinner table, be sure to eat a few peas, beans or lettuce right in the garden. This taste is what you have worked so hard for this spring and the flavor, texture and smell will excite all your senses. Listen to the snap of that green bean, your lips will feel the texture and your tongue will taste the excitement not matched by store bought vegetables.

Sit in or in front of your garden and look at what you have accomplished so far this year. What you are looking at was not an accident; it happened because of the time and effort you put into it and you should be pleased with what you accomplished. Watch the bees and butterflies dance on your flowers. Many gardeners put a lot of time in their garden but don't sit in them to enjoy the results; it's a garden party time!

Have you ever looked closely at the flowers on your flowering trees, not from a distance but right in front of you? Look at the shape of those flower clusters, the individual flowers, and the intricate design of the flower parts. Is the flower fragrant as it touches your nose? Smell it. Look at the shape of that plant, how the branches are growing on the plant, and how unique it is to your garden. These characteristics are the reasons you purchased the plant and planted it in your garden, so get up close and enjoy; it's not just a tree tree--its part of your garden to enjoy.

If you're growing herbs for the first time, I want you to kneel in your garden and pinch the foliage of your plants to smell the aroma of the foliage. Now rub the leaves between your fingers crushing them gently and smell again, you will be surprised. Now for the big test, slowly chew a small piece of the plant and experience its flavor in your mouth. Have you ever tasted fresh spearmint, basil, thyme, oregano, or rosemary in your garden before? It's time you do!

Invite a neighbor or friend to see your garden and show them what you have accomplished. Offer them some flowers or fresh vegetables to take home. Offer them your help if they did not have the success you had or ask them for their help if you're having a problem. There is nothing more enjoyable for a gardener than learning or sharing information about the garden. Go visit their garden and see what they have accomplished. The garden season is always too short, so this summer get out and enjoy your garden and those of your friends and neighbors. Touch it, smell it, look at it and enjoy it, because that is why you planted it in the first place, your garden. Enjoy!


Keep an Eye on your Lawn. Possible Summer Problems Are on the Way.

The next 30 days could bring potential problems to your lawn, but if you keep an eye on the grass and are aware of the signs to look for, these problems will be minor. The big three lawn problems are red thread fungus, crabgrass, and Japanese beetle grubs. During the next few months, lawn weeds are not as noticeable because these weeds do not have showy flowers like the dandelions, for example, do. The problem is there, but you need to know what to look for and I will try to show you these signs and tell you how to correct the potential problems before they get out of hand.

Let's begin with red thread fungus, because it has already begun to show up in most states due to the cool and wet spring. Most years this problem is caused by hot humid weather during the summer when rainfall is limited and sprinklers are used to supply extra water to make up for lack of rainfall. When sprinklers run during the evening hours and the grass stays wet all night long, problems will develop, especially if the weather stays cloudy for several days. Warm days and cool nights increase the chances of the problem and if fog is common, it will help to increase the chances the problem even more. Coastal areas and lawns near ponds and lakes are at greater risk, but lawns surrounded by tall trees that prevent good air movement can also be at risk.

Red thread will turn your grass light tan to pink in color in 3 to 24 inch patches scattered on your lawn. Pink webbing will develop, connecting the infected blades of grass together. Red to pink cottony ball-like growth 1/4 inch, will form on the blades of grass, giving the lawn a red cast.

Begin by watering first thing in the morning, 4 to 6 am is best--not at the end of the day--so the sun can dry up surface and foliage moisture early in the morning. The water applied to the lawn is cold and it will cool down the temperature around the grass, increasing the chance of this problem. It is also found in the fall when the temperatures cool down and rainfall increases. Soils that are heavy, with clay in them, soils that drain slowly and puddles form on your lawn, soils that are on the acidic side with a PH of below 6.0 and soils that need to be fertilized are at greater risk. If you had this problem this spring, be sure to fertilize the lawn as soon as possible and watch the weather this coming fall so it does not reoccur if the fall is cool and wet. When grass growth slows down due to lack of nitrogen, the disease will become more prevalent.

Here is what to do to control the problem: Rake the lawn where the problem is developing to separate the infected blades of grass, as the problem spreads like dominoes, with blades of infected grass falling on healthy grass blades. Getting air around the plant will slow it down greatly and this cleaning also helps by removing infected blades of grass. Do not water the lawn when you see a problem, as dry grass prevents disease movement also. Sharpen your lawn mower blade so the grass is cut, not ripped, when mowing the grass. A clean-cut blade of grass can callus over easily, stopping the fungus from entering the blade of grass, while a torn blade of grass is ragged looking and cannot callus over--and your lawn may also have a white appearance to it. If you see the red threads of the fungus on the grass, be sure to bag all your clippings to prevent them from spreading all over the lawn. If you do not have a bagging lawn mower, rake the lawn in those infected areas and dispose of the grass clippings to prevent the fungus from spreading more.

Treat the fungus with a good fungus control product like Ferti-Lome Liquid Systemic fungicide 2  or use Bonide Lawn and Garden liquid fungicide called "Infuse" that is applied with your hose end bottle sprayer. This fungus will not kill the grass but weaken it, and thin the grass growing in those areas enough that weeds will grow in open areas left by the damage.

Next is crabgrass. If you did not treat the lawn for this grassy weed this spring, it should be developing in your thin areas of your lawn right now. Crabgrass is easy to identify in your lawn right now because it is a pale green color, the blade is wide and coarse looking with a sharp point on the tip. Crabgrass grows low to the ground, almost hugging or crawling on the soil; most good grasses grow straight up and do not crawl. Crabgrass is an annual plant and will develop in thin lawns not fertilized properly, or in open holes where the grass died out due to insect, disease, drought, poor drainage, low mowing of the lawn or damage during the winter. Crabgrass is the first and most common weed to fill in these thin spots. Crabgrass will grow in groups in these thin spots and quickly grow together.

As crabgrass matures, it will creep along the ground and roots will form on the joints of the stems. These stems become thick and heavy, giving them the strength to push down and flatten your good grass and smother it to take over it place in your lawn. The plant is very coarse and will stand out in your lawn. In late summer the plant will make seed heads that will turn red when mature. The seed head will resemble the old-fashioned TV antenna you once had on your roof of the house. Each plant can make several hundred seeds for next year. Each crabgrass plant can grow 6 to 12 inches in diameter in your lawn in just a few weeks, killing everything in its way. Crabgrass loves the sun and is not a major problem in shady lawns.

The best way to control and prevent crabgrass problems is with a pre-emergent control product that is applied before the seeds germinate. Apply the products during Late March to late April or when your forsythia is still in bloom. After the forsythia drops its flowers in the spring, the seeds are beginning to germinate and these products do not work! An application of lawn fertilizer is also recommended to help the existing grass to grow and help fill in thin spots in your lawn. Crabgrass is less of a problem in a thick, healthy lawn. Both chemical and organic products are available at your local garden center. One of the best deterrents is to raise the blade of your lawn mower to a height of 3 inches; grass cut short is easily overpowered by the fast growing crabgrass.

At this time of the year, you must use a post emergent weed control product. These products are liquid and applied with a hose type bottle sprayer or ready to use bottle sprayer. Look for the Bayer Advanced Crabgrass Killer for Lawns,  or Ferti-Lome All season 2 lawn food plus crabgrass and weed preventer.  Each product will kill Crabgrass plants on contact with the foliage and also work systemically to kill the roots of the plant. These products are rainproof in just an hour or two; you should keep your pets and your children off the treated lawn until it has dried properly, just like any other weed killer. The first powder product that will kill crabgrass that has germinated in your lawn. It's from Bonide Lawn and garden called "Weed Beater Complete." It contains products that will kill crabgrass both pre-and post-germination. The smaller the crabgrass plant is when you apply these products, the better they will work so use them now for the best results.

The last problem for this month is to prepare for the Japanese beetle grubs that are in your lawn now from last year and the new grubs that will arrive during July and August. The white grub is an insect stage of the Japanese beetle, that tunnels into your soil and eats the roots of your lawn. He is quite fussy and will only eat the roots of grass--and only good grasses, not weedy grasses like crabgrass, quack grass, or even bentgrass. The grub will not eat roots of broadleaf weeds like clover, dandelions or chickweed, only the good stuff. Right now, they are large, one to one and a half inches long with a brown head and black rounded tail, usually found in the soil curled up like the letter C.

The grub right now is beginning to change to a stage called a pupa, a sort of mummy where it will change to a coppery hard-shell flying and eating machine. The Japanese beetles that will emerge from the ground in just a few weeks, traditionally around the fourth of July, are a major pest of your gardens, shrubs and trees, not the lawn. At this stage the coppery colored, hard shelled, one-inch beetle has two goals in mind: eat several times its weight in plant foliage each day, and mate like crazy to produce eggs for next year.

Japanese beetles love most deciduous plants from vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees and will not bother most evergreen plants. Their favorite plants include rose bushes, grapes, mountain ash trees, and most flowering trees--especially flowering plum. As the Japanese beetle matures and prepares for its egg-laying cycle it will dig into your well-kept lawn and deposit eggs in the ground where they will hatch in just a few short weeks. This destructive stage is best controlled with the  Bonide Lawn And Garden Beetle Killer that comes in a ready to use bottle sprayer that you just attach to your hose and spray. Bayer Advance has a Complete Insect Killer as a liquid or powder and Ferti-Lome Broad Spectrum insecticide.

As the eggs hatch and develop into tiny fast growing grubs, they will eat the roots of your lawn and if you have many eggs in your lawn, they will destroy and kill your lawn during the late summer months and the fall season. This is the best and easiest time to kill this insect because they are all together in the soil, not flying around your yard from tree to tree. You have three methods to control them in the ground: first with a soil insecticide like Season Long Grub Control from Bayer or Organic Milky Spore disease from St Gabriel Organic's applied at this time of the year or in the early spring, April and will last right into the fall months.

If you have never had grubs in your lawn before and do not treat your lawn, that's great; there is no need to apply a pesticide if you do not have a problem. If in the fall you find a problem with animals digging and you find grubs have come to your lawn, ask for a grub insecticide called Dylox. This is a new concentrated grub killer that releases all it power in 24 hours, killing every grub in your lawn, for fall use only, as it will not protect your lawn during the summer months when grubs are most active.

The second method is with a disease called "milky-spore disease," a naturally occurring disease of Japanese beetles that can be applied to your lawn. This product was developed by government research and Saint Gabriel Organics for the home owner. It must be applied spring and fall for three years; once established in your lawn, it is safe for up to 25 years.

The newest, all natural, and fastest acting product attacks the grub in the soil with a predator called a nematode. These nematodes are microscopic worm like creatures that live in our soils but many die during our cold winter, so we must re-introduce them each spring or summer to the lawn. This creature will tunnel thru the soil looking for grubs to feed on, and once found will pierce the skin of the grub and feed on his innards. While feeding it will also mate and reproduce itself so new emerging nematodes can move out of the grub and look for their own food source. The nematode is very effective and will kill all soil stages--even the very large and mature grub that most of the chemical granular products will not control.


For years we have had Japanese beetle traps to use to help catch the adult beetles while they feed and mate in our gardens and lawns.  These traps tend to attract more beetles to your propriety and cause more damage to your lawn and gardens. My suggestion is don't use traps.  

Now is the Time To Control the Winter Moth!

From Cape Cod, Rhode Island and Connecticut to the North Shore of Boston, a tiny caterpillar is raging war on our leaf trees, shrubs and flowers this spring and his name is the winter moth. The winter moth start to cause us problems as it emerges from the cold soil during late November and can stay active into January. These male moths are attracted to bright lights and you may see them around porch lights from Thanksgiving to New Years.

The male moth is small, less than an inch wide and light brown in color. The female is gray, has no wings and cannot fly, so she sits at the base of trees waiting to mate with the male moth. Once the mating cycle is finished she will begin to deposit egg clusters on the tree trunks and crawl up the tree to leave egg clusters on branches, in the crevices of the bark and anywhere she can hide them. When the eggs are all deposited both the male and female die and the eggs sit on the trees waiting for spring to arrive.

When the air temperature reaches 50 to 55 degrees, the eggs begin to hatch. Newly hatched larvae or caterpillars climb high into the tree, feed on buds, and produce a long silken fiber to help make them buoyant; when the wind begins to blow, off they go, moving from tree to tree like in a hot air balloon. They feed on flower buds especially fruit and flowering trees, but when these buds are devoured, the larvae or caterpillars move on to leaf buds and newly sprouting leaf clusters.

The caterpillars feed in the leaf clusters during the day and as they grow in size and mature, move out on their own to feed on young foliage on the tree. In time, they will create a new balloon silk strand and take off to feed on shrubs and perennials on the ground. They are not fussy eaters and as long as the foliage is soft and tender they will eat it. The caterpillar will grow to one inch and is pale green with white stripes running down each side of the body. They eat until middle to late June, depending on the weather, then crawl to the ground where they will dig into the ground and go into a pupa cycle until they emerge in November and start the cycle all over again.

The best product to use is Spinosad from Fertilome Lawn and Garden or Captain Jack Organic from Bonide; both are natural pesticides from soil microbes and considered organic and bio-rational. These products are safe to use around pets and children once dried on the plant. These products are more effective than the traditional Bacillus thuringiensis or B.T. and will kill much larger types of caterpillar insects; also the product is more easily absorbed into the foliage and does not wash off plants as easily. Both products can be used in the vegetable garden and will control tomato hornworms, cabbage lopes, and the dreaded Colorado potato beetle. Chemically use Garden Eight spray if the problem is severe. 

Treat your garden plants and trees now if you have holes in the foliage, to prevent them from stripping or damaging your plants any further--and to prevent them from moving into the soil to pupate. They will not kill the tree or shrub the first year but if it happens 3 years in a row your trees and shrubs could die, perennials will fail to flower and your garden will look as if it has been invaded and scarred.



"The love of flowers is really the best teacher of how to grow and understand them."
Max Schling


Dubai Miracle Garden
Dubai Miracle Garden





    Sweet Vidalia Onion Soup



Fresh dug Vidalia onions are now in season and their flavor cannot be matched by any other onion variety at the supermarket.  Their mild and sweet flavor will make an Onion soup your family will love and with the toasted bread and cheese topping, you better make extra!




4 Tablespoons of unsalted butter

4 to 6 sweet Vidalia onions, sliced into thin rings

1 Tablespoons of white sugar

6 cups of beef broth, divided.  Low salt broth if you diets calls for less salt

2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

Salt and Pepper to taste

4 slices of one inch thick French bread

Garlic salt or 1 garlic clove minced

1 1/2 cup of shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese




1} In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat.  Saute the onions until tender, Sprinkle sugar over the onions.  Reduce the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized, for about 20 minutes.


2} Add 3 cups of beef broth, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the remaining beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper to taste.  Cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes.


3} While the soup is cooking, slice your French bread and spread both side of the bread with additional softened butter and sprinkle with garlic salt or minced garlic.  Place under the broiler until the bread turns brown, then turn over and brown the other side.


4} When the soup is ready ladle the soup in individual oven proof soup bowls.  Float a slice of bread in each bowel and sprinkle with lots of cheese.  Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  Serve immediately and enjoy! 


5} If you like onion soup double the recipe as it reheats easily later on, just don't place the bread and cheese on the soup or it will soak up all the broth, add them when you're going to serve later. Services 4 people  Enjoy!



Beautiful Garden Video
Beautiful Garden Video



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!        Supplies are now limited!


*How to print article's from our Newsletter -  Constant contact does not allow us to print articles one at a time

Do not use the "Print" icon unless you want to print the whole web page or email. Instead, follow the next steps.

Select the text you want on a web page where there is a story, paragraph, or a few lines that you want to print. Left-click on the mouse at the beginning and drag across to the end of the text you want and release. While the text is selected (highlighted), go to the top menu line and click "File" / "Print", in the print window that shows. Put a dot in the radio button for "Selection," and then click the OK or Print button. Some printers need you to select apply .

Do the same for emails. If you want to print a joke or article that you receive, do not click the Print icon. Select the text as above and use the "File" / "Print" menu and click "Selection", click OK or "Print".

Try another way to do a print job for text only. This involves selecting the text you want as above; then right click, copy and right click, paste to a word processor or even Wordpad (located in "Start" / "Programs" / "Accessories" / "Wordpad") and print from there. This method will produce a copy with no extra information. 

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