It’s a glorious summer week. The humidity is lessening, scattered thunderstorms have brought rain to some towns, and the garden is alive with life. We’re keeping it fresh here at Natureworks with lots of new annuals, plenty of colorful perennials, interesting ornamental grasses, and beautiful roses reblooming like crazy. NEWSFLASH! Our second season organic veggie seedlings arrive on Thursday and our seed racks are being restocked with all the cool weather crops for late August, September, and October.
Our roses are cared for organically. This is ‘Julia Child’
blooming again on our benches.
Feeding your plants is the name of the game right now. We use Pro-Start, a 2-3-3 organic granular fertilizer. We mix it with compost or worm castings (a much richer, condensed version of compost) and add it to the top of our hanging planters and container gardens. We feed the roses, butterfly bushes, annuals, vegetables… anything that is expected to keep blooming and producing for many more months. This is the secret of happy, healthy summer plants. Our Feeding the Garden handout has all the details on exactly which plants to feed, click here. When you come to visit, don’t forget to check out ourThrifty Gardener’s Bench. All of the plants on this bench are basically past bloom and on sale for 50% off. I was just told that if you buy 10 or more plants from this display your discount total will be 75% off! I took home a ‘Fireball’ bee balm and I am eyeing a block of ‘Coronation Gold’ yarrow, one of the classic varieties for dried arrangements.
Worm castings are an efficient, powerful, rich compost. It is easy to sprinkle it on the surface of all of your potted plants for an August boost.
Our bi-weekly specials change this week, and Diane has decided to put all of the statuary and containers on sale at 20% off. I have walked around the nursery yard and have compiled a list of an eclectic collection of shrubs and trees that we have in small numbers. They will also be on sale at 20% off. See the details on our sales in the box below.
Butterfly bushes are quite the nectar source for butterflies, hummingbird (sphinx) moths, bees, and other pollinators. They are also sweetly fragrant. This is a great time to shop for the best selection of colors and heights. We carry full sized, dwarfs, and sterile varieties that don’t form seed pods so they don’t need deadheading to keep blooming.
Diane and Jillian have been the traveling monarch butterfly road show lately. On Monday they spoke to a large crowd at the Edward Smith Library in Northford. On Tuesday they gave a presentation at Common Ground High School and planted some milkweed with the students. They are showing off the dozens of baby monarch caterpillars that we have been raising from collected eggs; the many chrysalises that have formed; and even releasing some newly hatched monarch butterflies. It is all to raise awareness and teach people what they can do to save the monarch butterflies.
Click the PLAY arrow above to watch the video of Monarch butterfly caterpillars feeding on leaves from Asclepias, the common milkweed plant.
This is the video that Diane made showing lots of healthy caterpillars feeding on Asclepias leaves and flowers. You can also view it by linking through our Facebook page, click here. Diane and Jillian will present this fascinating workshop at Natureworks on August 29th. Mark your calendars and don’t miss it. Meanwhile, when you stop in for a visit, be sure to check out all of the various stages of monarchs we have all over our shop. It is so fascinating!
Aster ‘Blue Autumn’ really starts blooming in late July and is amazing right now. Here you see it with a peachy orange coneflower. Fresh color is EVERYWHERE at Natureworks.
This Saturday morning is our August Earlybird Sale. Shop between 7 and 9 am and you will get a $5 gift card good on any purchase of $20 or more. At 9:30, Terri Cusson will be our guest. She will be teaching a workshop on Making Elderberry Syrup. Kassie and I are harvesting LOTS of fresh, ripe elderberries from our home gardens for this class. Registration information is below. Sign up today and bring a friend. Elderberries are VERY good for you. They help to fight off flu and colds and strengthen your immune system. They are an easy to grow native shrub and YES, we have plenty of elderberry plants ON SALE so you can grow your own for next year. I just made 9 quarts of elderberry liqueur in the past two weeks. I will share my recipe for that libation with you as well.
Elderberries in my garden.
Take advantage of this great summer weather and stop in for a visit this week. You will be inspired and fascinated with all we have to offer in the good old summer time at Natureworks.
I’ll see you soon…