February 16, 2018

Lyme Tick Alert February 2018

Don't be fooled by the winter weather we've had here in the Northeast. I just went for a quick walk through the woods behind my house and brought back 6 ticks! Four adults, two nymphs.

With fluctuating cold and warm weather, apparently the tick population is ready to begin its season. Take care to check yourself thoroughly after time spent in woods or grasslands. Read more about why we hate ticks.

Ugh. Now I'm all crawly-itchy!

Adult Tick

January 30, 2018

Flower Shows: The Answer to Gardening Withdrawal in Winter

by Toni Leland

One of the things I miss most in the frigid months here in New England is being outdoors in my gardens. Even just strolling around each flower bed in the morning with my coffee is enough to set my spirits for the day. If I can dig in the soil – even better! So how do I work my way through the winter months?

Dreaming. And planning. And attending every flower show and garden symposium I can get to. Here are some of the great "cures" I found last winter. At the end of this post, I've listed some attractions that might help you get through the hibernating months.

I'd love to hear your own ideas!


Garden display with azaleas and tulips
Imagine stepping in from a cold, snowy day to see this!
Rhododendron 'Yak'
You can dream about the magnificent spring show provided by Rhododendrons.
This one is Rhododendron 'Yak' – a color palette of pinks.

Flower and garden shows are an excellent way to learn about new varieties of old favorites, or discover specimens completely new to you. The Connecticut Flower Show gave me a glimpse of plants I'd completely forgotten.


Multicolored Ranunculus
My garden definitely needs some of these fabulous Ranunculus plants.
Don't they almost look like crepe paper flowers?
White Calla Lilies
I've never grown Calla Lilies, but these beauties make me want to try

Scattered strategically amongst the unique and new plant varieties are the landscaping favorites we all love.


Pieris japonica 'Brouwers Beauty' (also Andromeda)
Pieris japonica 'Brouwers Beauty' fills that partly shady spot in the landscape, growing more abundant flowers ever year.
(This shrub is also known as Andromeda.)
Hosta 'Sum and Substance'
Some planning is definitely  needed to decide where this gigantic Hosta 'Sum and Substance' might fit – but it would be worth it!

Love houseplants? Feast your eyes and soul on the wide variety of beautiful plants in full bloom. Many will grow outdoors year 'round in warmer climes, but for us northern staters, they brighten the winter corners of our homes.


Multicolored Cyclamen
Cyclamen! Exotic, colorful, lush low-light plants to give your spirits a lift.

A burst of summer color is everywhere you look, from perennials to shrubs to trees.
Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) blooms in peachy pink all summer
We don't see Gerbera daisies (Gerbera jamesonii) until July, but what a treat!


Not only will you find the perfect plant(s) for your gardens, but gardening and home shows will have hundreds of beautiful and useful items for your outdoor pleasure.


Beautiful glass bird bath from the Garden Barn
I definitely need this birdbath!
Garden sculpture display
I'm pretty sure I can find a place for this!

Here are some great winter gardening events for your inspection.


A word of warning: if you go to one of these events, be prepared to come home with dozens of ideas and, probably, a plant or two.