Natureworks Horticultural Services
Natureworks   |  518 Forest Road  |  Northford, CT  06472  |  203-484-2748

Fall Festival of Flowers!






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It's Time for Beneficial

  Nematodes under Microscope

Last week I talked about a wonderful new product for controlling grubs and beetles, B.T. galleriae. Unfortunately, there has been a holdup by the manufacturer and by the time it will arrive, it will be too late to apply this fall. We will keep you informed about it's arrival for the spring 2016 season.

Meanwhile, we have a fresh shipment of beneficial nematodes arriving this week. This is perfect timing, now that we've had plenty of rain and the ground is moist. We have had fantastic feedback from our customers who have been using the nematodes and they have become repeat customers for this cutting edge product. Once applied, the nematodes swim through the water in the soil and seek out grubs and the larval stages of many damaging insects.  

We get ONE shipment of beneficial nematodes in each fall. Call and reserve yours if you can get here right away. We will keep them refrigerated, happy, and healthy for you.  
Falling in Love with BULBS 

Now is the time to start picking out and planting your spring blooming bulbs. The picture above was taken in very early April. Remember the spring of 2015? We were just coming off of the one of the coldest, snowiest winters ever. The snow didn't want to quit, yet these brave little Iris reticulata and Pushkinia bulbs pushed their buds up through the cold, wet earth and graced us with drifts of the sweetest flowers imaginable. 

Bulb growers refer to these as "minor bulbs". That is NOT because they are minor in importance. Nothing could be further from the truth. The bulbs themselves are tiny (so they are REALLY easy to plant) and they spread, or naturalize, very easily.

We have everything you need to plant a gorgeous spring bulb garden. First, I have created a Succession of Bloom chart for bulbs that shows you when the different varieties bloom HERE, in CT. My staff made new tags for the bulb boxes, noting which are fragrant, deerproof, etc. This makes it so much easier to pick them out. We have organic bulb fertilizer and Repellex Systemic, which keeps away those pesky voles. And, naturally, we have all kinds of handouts on designing with bulbs and how to plant them if you are new to this game.

A spring garden without bulbs? Not on my watch. Perennials usually take most of April, even into May to emerge. Most spring flowering shrubs are May bloomers, with boring old Forsythia being the exception. If you EVER needed some color, believe me, you need it in March and April.  Stop in this week and check out our fabulous collection. You will be inspired.

P.S. We have organic, hard neck, seed garlic in stock as well. That is also a bulb that you plant in the fall. And we are having a free workshop on
Growing Great Garlic this Saturday morning at 11 am. Be there! 

Hometown Habitat Update 

Last winter, Diane and I were thrilled to attend the keynote speech at the CT Master Gardeners Asscociation Winter Conference given by one of very favorite writers, Catherine Zimmerman. She has been teaching about and promoting meadow gardening for quite a few years now. Her book, Urban and Suburban Meadows, was Diane's inspiration for creating her own meadow garden at home.

Zimmerman's  latest project is a documentary film titled  Hometown Habitat and is a collaboration with Doug Tallamy. This 90-minute educational documentary focuses on native plants and why they are so critical to the survival and vitality of local ecosystems. Doug Tallamy states, "We can change the notion that humans are here and nature is someplace else. It doesn't have to, and shouldn't be that way." 

Hometown Habitat is being filmed all across the country and features people who are habitat heroes, restoring their gardens, re-creating habitat and helping to reverse detrimental impacts on their land. Each and every individual has the power to conserve resources, restore habitat for wildlife and bring beauty to their patch of earth. It's an amazing project and we can't wait to see the movie and be inspired! 

Treat yourself and watch the trailer for this movie. It is being funded entirely by donations from individuals and environmental groups. I am proud to be one of the sponsors. Then follow the links to donate and become a part of this important educational work. 

Click to view trailer.

To learn more about you can support this project go here.

Catherine Zimmerman, an award-winning director of photography, celebrates her 40th year as a documentary filmmaker, working primarily on education and environmental issues. Environmental videos of hers include global warming documentaries for CNN Presents and New York Times Television; Save Rainforests/Save Lives, Freshfarm Markets, Wildlife Without Borders: Connecting People and Nature in the Americas, and America's Sustainable Garden: United States Botanic Garden.

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I was talking with Diane the other day, and we were trying to put our finger on just what is so different about Natureworks at this time of year. Basically, we have tons and tons of really amazing fall blooming perennials. Yes, we decorate with "annual" mums but our main focus is hardy perennials that will continue to grow in your garden for years to come.
Chrysopsis mariana is a fabulous yellow aster relative, very long blooming and hardy.
We're talking  about over 15 types of hardy asters, from tall to short, blooming anywhere from early September to late October blooming. The PERENNIAL mums are starting to arrive, including gorgeous 'Cambodian Queen', which makes such a great cut flower in October.

'Cambodian Queen' perennial mums have arrived. These are true, hardy perennials that will provide you with armloads of cut flowers in October. My plant tripled in size from last year.  

Eupatoriums galore, loads of toad lilies (Tricyrtis), Vernonia 'Iron Butterfly'... did you even know there were so many different perennials for September and October? We have three large shipments of fall bloomers arriving this week, including more fresh cool season annuals. What's blooming in YOUR September garden?
Perennial begonias are ideal shade plants for September. We have them in pink and white.

Fall officially begins next Wednesday, September 23rd. But it sure feels like fall this week. When I wake up early in the morning there is a chill in the air. The soft mists hang in the hills as I drive to work at 6:30 am.  The colors are brighter, the days are shorter, and there are occasional hints of fall color in the leaves. It is the PERFECT time to plant. The rain storms we had last week were just what the doctor ordered. The soil is warm and it is moist. You put a plant in the ground now and the ROOTS grow. That is the key to fall planting, it's all about a well established, vigorous root system.
This is what we're talking about! Diane reseeded her lawn last fall and this is what it looked like this spring. Organic, green, lush, healthy. Yes!  

It is TIME to reseed your lawn. Crabgrass is an annual and it will soon start to die. If you seed in between it NOW, the lawn grass seed will become established and be able to out-compete the weeds next year. As Diane puts it "You need to put seed down in any and every bare spot or weeds will grow there next spring." We carry two types of grass seed mixes. Eco-Lawn and our own Natureworks custom blend of the tall fescues recommended by UConn. We have topsoil, compost, shredded straw, dolomitic and high calcium lime (a soil test will tell you which you need), organic fertilizers - everything you need to do this important fall renovation work. Even the early morning dew that results from cool nights helps newly planted grass seed establish.  Even if you aren't reseeding, you should surely feed your lawn to build up a strong root system going into the winter. Most people assume spring is the best time to renovate and care for your lawn. No, it's the SECOND best time. Fall is best.    
My garden is looking much better now that we had some good, soaking rains. So many of the plants I am enjoying right now were planted in the fall over the past few years. I have a renewed energy to dig into the earth when the air is cooler. I bet you do too. I hope you can treat yourself to a visit to
Cool season annuals and hardy perennials fill this window box with fresh color. Don't settle for tired, old, bedraggled plants. Fall is long and lingering and you deserve to have beauty surrounding you.
Natureworks this week. We can tell that you are glad that we are open on Sundays from 10-4, we were super busy last Sunday, our first one open in September. We believe that we have CT's best selection of fall blooming annuals and perennials. Come by and see for yourself just how wonderful this "second season" for planting can be.  
 I'll see you soon...

The bulbs are here! The bulbs are here! 
The Garden Bouquet of the Week

I am on a mission! I want to inspire all of my readers to go out to the garden every week and pick flowers. I have been doing it for decades and it brings so much beauty to the inside of my house. To kick off this campaign, I offer you our very first
Garden Bouquet of the Week
brought to you by Verbena bonariensis, Eupatorium coelestinum, Buddleia 'Black Knight', Gomphrena 'Fireworks, my very first purple daisy perennial mum of the year, zinnias, and a really pretty hosta flower (variety unknown, I found it on one of my nursery crawls in Vermont). This now sits on the sink in my guest bathroom.
Verbena bonariensis is a also called "Verbena on a Stick". It is truly the most wonderful self-seeding annual. You plant it once, and as long as you don't weed out the babies, you will have it year after year. Butterflies adore it for it's nectar and I adore it because it's always available as a filler for bouquets.

Eupatorium coelestinum is also called perennial ageratum. I love the way the sky blue flowers weave in and out of my borders in September. It is a native plant, and it spreads along the surface, but I find it very easy to pry up some pieces of it each spring and continue to distribute it where I want blue right now. It is a fabulous cut flower. It is shown in my own garden (above) with Sedum 'Autumn Joy'.

Just keep on planting, and keep in mind the many perennials, annuals, and flowering shrubs that you can harvest to make the inside of your house beautiful. Then, do as I do, and start collecting vases of all sizes and shapes and make it a point to fill them regularly. It is a simple, inexpensive, fun hobby that will bring you great joy.
Bi-Weekly Plant Sales
New England asters are bursting into bloom everywhere. Butterflies adore asters. You will too.

Thursday, Sept 10th
 Wednesday, September 23rd

All Asters 20% off
All throughout the fields and along the side of the roads in Vermont, asters were in bloom. These are super easy to grow, native perennials that come in so many colors and shapes and heights. Fill your garden with asters and watch the migrating monarchs visit you for nectar. There are aster varieties that offer flowers in succession from July through November.  

All Echinaceas (coneflowers) 20% off
Yes, I know we have put the Echinaceas on sale already this summer, but there are so many new and wonderful varieties on our benches, like 'Butterfly Kisses' shown above. Besides, butterflies do cover these flowers and they are in great abundance right now. And, they are great for our fall bees and native pollinators.
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Saturday, September 19th
Growing Great Garlic 11:00 - 12:00 pm
Join us as we share knowledge and enthusiasm for growing great garlic, one of the easiest crops you can produce in your back yard. Nancy grows over 150 heads of garlic- some is sold at Natureworks for seed garlic and the rest she uses for cooking throughout the year. Garlic is planted in the late fall. This workshop is perfectly timed to help you grow a great crop of garlic that you will harvest next July!

Saturday, September 26th
Planting the Fall Garden to Support Migrating Monarchs 9:30 - 10:30 am
In Connecticut we nurture and raise the final generation of monarch butterflies that migrate all the way to Mexico. It is our job to provide them with plenty of nectar flowers as they make their way down from Canada and across the United States on their 3000 mile journey to their overwintering grounds in Mexico. These special plants also help to extend the beauty of the season by adding gorgeous color to your fall garden.

SEPTEMBER 24-27, 2015

Sunday, September 27th
Kokedama Garden Art 11:30 - 12:30 pm
What?? In this hands-on workshop you will learn to make your own Kokedama moss ball. A centuries old Japanese form of planting somewhat related to bonsai. You will plant up a fern or other suitable plant in a moss ball that you create.
Please call to pre-register, $15 fee.

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more information! 
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