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Archives for May 2, 2014

Get Growing: Winter hardships and May flowers

A year ago we had a spectacular and early spring flowering season, especially with ornamental trees like magnolias and crabapples. This year, so far, is less spectacular and several weeks late. However, considering the harsh winter we have endured, the floral display is pretty amazing.

My witch hazel ‘Arnold’s Promise’, which is usually such a delight in March, obviously suffered frosted flower buds since few of them opened. Although I brought some inside they didn’t have half the scent or the beauty of most years. Many people have complained that their forsythia isn’t doing wonderfully this spring.

Last year my star magnolia (Magnolia stellata) was gorgeous. This year it is far less impressive but still quite lovely. It was the first thing we planted way back in the spring of 1976. It was my birthday present and was just about three feet tall. Now it towers up to the second story of the barn.

Some crabapples are genetically every-other-year bearers of lots of fruit. Last year was a bumper crop. This year, we shall see, but I am not hopeful.

Pruning is the key to beautiful blooms on flowering trees and shrubs. Timing is critical. Crabapples and other flowering trees ideally should be pruned in late winter before bud break. They also can be pruned after flowering. In fact, dogwoods resent winter pruning and should be trimmed in late spring or early summer.

It is sad to see flowering shrubs and trees forced into boxy shapes or gumdrops, just to keep them within bounds. Weeping cherries this year look gorgeous – at least those that are allowed to grow naturally. It seems almost criminal to give a weeping cherry a bowl-like haircut so it looks like an awkward Japanese parasol. Do let the branches drip in a natural way. Yes, you will need to cut some back, but don’t give them a symmetrical trim. Let some be longer than others. You probably don’t want them sweeping the ground but they shouldn’t have their branches lopped off like a schoolboy’s haircut.

Forsythia and some other shrubs bloom on old wood. That means they form their flower buds for next year in early summer. All too often we let them grow out of control until they interfere with opening the garage doors or crowd the pathway and then, in August, in desperation, we carve them into silly gumdrops. Schedule a pruning session in June, cut out a third of the oldest stems right to the ground and carefully cut back other branches that are causing trouble. Then new flower buds can form over the summer and, unless we have another hideous winter, your forsythia should bloom gloriously next spring. But if you wait till August, you will sacrifice most of the blooms.

Meanwhile, this is an ideal time to scout out new shrubs to plant to enhance your landscape. Take a tour of the Smith College campus or UMass or Mount Holyoke to get ideas on ornamental trees and shrubs that do well in our climate. Ask questions of campus staff or take a picture and consult your local garden center expert for advice. It’s important to select the right species and cultivar for your particular landscape situation. It was harsh winter winds that dried up flower buds on many of our ornamental shrubs this year, so keep in mind windy situations when making selections.

PRIMROSE AND DAFFODIL SHOWS: Last year spring came early and the Seven State Daffodil Show at Tower Hill Botanic Garden had to be canceled because all the daffodils had already bloomed by May 1. This year, the show should be gorgeous. At the same time, the New England Chapter of the American Primrose Society holds its show at Tower Hill. Early primroses should be looking lovely. The shows are tomorrow and Sunday starting at 1 p.m.; after judging is completed. There are lectures held by each group and a tour of the daffodils at Tower Hill. For more information, go to

SMALL SPACE AND VERTICAL GARDENING: Charlotte Vesel of the Western Massachusetts Master Gardener Association will speak about growing vegetables in small spaces and vertical gardening Monday at 7 p.m. in Amherst Town Hall. Bring a soil sample for testing for pH (acidity level). The free program is sponsored by Grow Food Amherst.

BELCHERTOWN PLANT SWAP: The popular plant swap organized by Elaine Williamson opens for the season on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at 253 Warren Wright Road in Belchertown. Bring plants — seedlings, perennial divisions, seeds — to exchange.

PERMACULTURE: The final session on permaculture at River Valley Market in Northampton is Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Lisa DePiano of UMass will give a talk called “The Permablitz: Like a flashmob only tastier.” Preregistration is required. Call 584-2665. Free.

WILDFLOWERS: Ted Watt of the Hitchcock Center will lead a wildflower walk on Mount Toby in Sunderland tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Fee is $15. Register by calling 256-6006.

TREE ID: Nancy Goodman offers a workshop on tree identification using bark and habitat at High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary in Shelburne tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. under the auspices of Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Fee is $25. Register by calling 584-3009.

PEONIES: Dan Furman of famed Cricket Hill Garden in Connecticut, peony specialists, will discuss the flower tomorrow from 10 a.m. to noon at the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge. Fee is $25. To register go to

WILDFLOWERS: Connie Parks and Janet Bissell, botanists, will lead a wildflower walk at Lynes Woods in Westhampton on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon. Fee is $8. Call Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary at 584-3009 to register.

PLANT SALES: It’s time once again for local nonprofit groups to raise funds by offering locally-grown plants for sale to the community. Garden clubs, social groups, historical societies and schools will hold plant sales in the upcoming weeks. Most of the perennials are dug from area gardens, indicating they should be hardy in the Pioneer Valley. Annuals and vegetable starts are grown by local greenhouses or by home gardeners. Plan to patronize at least one of these sales to restock your own garden. Bring a box to take your purchases home and plant them as quickly as possible.

∎ MAY 9 AND 10: Stockbridge: Berkshire Botanical Garden, May 9, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; May 10, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Approximately 5,000 plants from local nurseries and the botanical garden, artisan vendors, living fern and succulent wreaths and mini wall gardens, tag sale of garden-related items. Plant list available online at 298-3926.

∎ MAY 10: Northampton: Support Our Schools, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Smith Vocational Agricultural High School, 80 Locust St., Northampton. Home-grown plants, raffle for arbor or quilt, many professional vendors. Plant donations can be delivered on May 9, 4-7 p.m., to the school. Benefits Northampton Education Foundation’s SOS Book Fund. Amherst: Garden Club of Amherst, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Town Common. Perennials, shrubs, trees, ornamental grasses and wildflowers all from local gardens. Proceeds used for beautification projects, UMass scholarship, garden book funds for local libraries and contributions to environmental groups. Williamsburg: School support group, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., soil testing for acidity level (pH) by master gardeners from 9 a.m. to noon. All proceeds go to schools. To donate plants call Elaine Hyde at 268-7826.

∎ MAY 17: Southampton: Southampton Woman’s Club Anita Smith Memorial Plant Sale, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Conant Park. Locally grown plants at reasonable prices. Pelham: Pelham Library, 9 a.m. to noon, the library at the corner of Amherst and South Valley roads. Perennials, annual seedlings and vegetable starts. Benefits library programs. South Hadley: Council on Aging, 9 a.m. to noon, South Hadley Senior Center, 45 Dayton St. Soil testing and garden advice available from master gardeners. Shelburne Falls: Bridge of Flowers, 9 a.m. to noon, Trinity Church Baptist Corner, Water and Main streets. Proceeds fund maintenance of Bridge of Flowers.

∎ MAY 24: Amherst: 4-H plant sale, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Amherst Farmers Supply, 320 South Pleasant St., Amherst. Hanging plants, patio pots, vegetable plants, flowering plants, herbs and perennials. Leverett: Leverett Historical Society Plant and Garden Book Sale, 9 a.m. to noon, Leverett Town Hall. To donate plants or books or offer help contact Dawn Marvin Ward at 367-9562 or Julie at 367-2656.

∎ MAY 31: Amherst: Grace Episcopal Church, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Town Common. Plants, including house plants, garden tools, decorative pots and books. Proceeds finance landscaping at the church. To donate plants call the church office at 256-6754.

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House of the Week: Homebuilder wanted to give himself a challenge – The Post

Volney, N.Y. — Dan Fey has built his share of homes.

He founded Spectrum Contracting more than 25 years ago and has worked on everything from high-end custom projects to ordinary remodeling gigs. For the dream home he built for himself and his wife, he took inspiration from many projects.

He also wanted to give himself a challenge.

“I took a lot of things I liked,” he said. “I wanted to do something unusual and difficult.”

The house has nearly 40 corners, unique angles and fixtures and plenty of custom, hand-made touches, including marble inlay on the floor by the front door, Fey said. The floor plan is wide open.

Nearly every place visitors sit in the home, they’ll see something different, Fey said.

“If you move 10 feet, you’ll get a whole different feeling,” he said. “As long as I’ve lived there, there are still places I can sit and see different things. I guess that’s my definition of architectural perfection.”

Fey worked with an architect on the design, but it was based on his ideas.

“It’s kind of a sneaky thing,” Fey said. “You’re not really sure what you like so much about it at first.”

With such a personal connection to the home, Fey said he has mixed feelings about selling.

Fey and his wife, Robin, are selling now to downsize. She is retired from her job as a nurse and their children are grown.

The house sits on 2.7 acres. Toward the back of the property is a wooded area with a creek running through it.

The home is on a private, paved drive.

It has real stone light posts along a circular driveway and multiple areas of gardens and landscaping. The house itself also has real stonework on the outside in some spots and vertical siding in other areas.

Elsewhere outside, the home has a 2,000-square-foot cedar deck along its back and an 18-by-38 in-ground pool.


Address: 18 Creekside Drive, Volney, N.Y. 13069
Price: $374,900
Size: 3,167 square feet
Lot size: 2.68 acres
Monthly Mortgage: $1,482.46 (based on this week’s national average rate of 4.29 percent by Freddie Mac for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a 20 percent down payment. Fees and points are not included.)
Taxes: $11,832
Built: 1993
School District: Fulton

Great room: The great room, with 24-foot ceilings, large windows and a wood-burning fireplace, is visible from the home’s front entrance. It has custom built-in shelving and a built-in entertainment center. Its windows look toward a wooded area and a stream that runs by the house.

Office/dining room: The home’s office, with 10-foot ceilings, is to the left of the front entrance. To the right is the formal dining room. Above the doors to each room are open transoms surrounded by oak casings.

Sunroom: The sunroom is off the great room. It has vaulted ceilings, French doors and skylights. The sunroom leads to a screened porch, which allows access to the deck along the home’s back.

Kitchen: The kitchen is off the sunroom. It has a ceramic tile floor, Wood-Mode cabinetry, 14-foot ceilings, multiple pantries and inlaid designs in the counters. It also has a work desk located by a window with a view of the front yard.

Master suite: The bedroom has a walk-in closet and hardwood trim. The bathroom has a whirlpool tub, double vanity and a combination of marble and ceramic tile. The floor is granite. The bathroom also has a glass shower.

Bedrooms/bathrooms: The home has a total of four bedrooms, three full bathrooms and one half bathroom. A balcony on the second floor looks down onto the great room from above. The upstairs also features a guest suite with its own bathroom. Another full bathroom is located in between the other two bedrooms on the second floor.

Basement: The basement is partially finished and includes a sunken game room, bar area and exercise room. The house also has an attached, three-car garage.

Agent: Sandra Farrands
18 Canalview Mall, Fulton, N.Y. 13069
Phone: (315) 952-8216

To nominate a listing for House of the Week send an email to Contact Kevin Tampone at or (315) 454-2112 and follow him on Twitter @ktampone.

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Smart landscaping

Whilst establishing privacy, homeowners too, sometimes settle for towering hedges and profusely thick shrubbery and mostly these attributes that provide privacy on one hand, also make the perfect screen to shield a burglar on the other. DH photo

Apart from modern technologies that promise to keep your home safe, there are also some easy landscaping ideas that can make your home more secure, writes Simran Chhibber.

Having come across umpteen signs displaying alerts like ‘Beware of Dogs’, ‘Trespassers will be prosecuted’ etc., I had often wondered if these ways to deter unwanted company onto a property were as effective as thought to be?

Or whether there were subtler, friendlier or rather better looking means than ugly chain link fences to prevent intruders of the likes of burglars and robbers?

Observing a few facts about recent burglaries helped me understand the psyche of housebreakers better.

Recent studies have indicated that most robbers take only about a minute to break into a property and less than 10 minutes to polish off a house.

The aim being, to vanish before getting noticed.

Another interesting fact that came up was that robbers usually strike at night somewhere around midnight till early dawn hours.

Robbers usually are no strangers, rather they are young amateurs living in nearby areas.

Whilst establishing privacy, homeowners too, sometimes settle for towering hedges and profusely thick shrubbery and mostly these attributes that provide privacy on one hand, also make the perfect screen to shield a burglar on the other.

Scrutinising these facts led to a little research on my part and I got more answers than I thought I would.

Here are a few landscaping tips that could aid in keeping housebreakers away.

Keep the hedges short

Tall hedges, bushes and shrubs provide the requisite hiding garb that robbers look for.

Keeping the hedges trimmed to about three feet and clipping tree branches so the canopy starts at least eight feet from the ground, shall ensure that your garden isn’t providing a hideout for the robbers and that your house is visible to the neighbours and passers-by, eliminating hiding places for intruders.

Gravel wonders

Laying a path of gravel or stone up to your door and below your external windows ensures that even subtle footsteps can be heard loudly.

Hence, a robber walking on it cannot go unnoticed or unheard.

Pea gravel, for example, available in a light stone colour can mingle flawlessly with the existing landscaping and makes a loud crunching noise to inform the homeowners of an intruder’s presence.

As an added bonus, gravel or stones are a water-saving substitute to grass in dry conditions.

Thorny bushes can help too

Bedecking the space below the windows with a thorny plant like a bougainvillea bush, rose, cactus or any other barbed vegetation is sure to deter the entry of an intruder.

Installing a good security system

Recent crime studies reveal that homes with security systems are three times less likely to be burgled than homes without them.

A display board about the home security system on your front kerb might dissuade some criminals, even if it is a sham.

Motion-activated lights

Motion-activated lights can actually make the robbers feel that the light has been switched on because of them. This new gizmo can actually scare off housebreakers, catching them unaware.

And because the lights are only triggered off when required, they can be a cost-effective and an environmentally-friendly choice.

A busy looking house

When away from your house, ensure that your house doesn’t look empty.

Simple things like keeping your car in the driveway or a friendly request to the neighbours asking them to pick up dropped newspapers etc can aid to the cause.

Leaving your TV or music system set up to an alarm can lead to the house looking abuzz with activity.

Landscaping is often ignored and missed as an element of home safety.

However, keeping these suggestions in mind can help ascertain that your home is safe and secure.

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Saunders Landscape Supply Helps Homeowners Prep Gardens With High …

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High quality mulch helps to aid in water retention for plants, shrubs, and bushes. It also helps with weed suppression, and supplies a higher quality and more visually pleasing appearance and aesthetic feel.

Chantilly, VA (PRWEB) May 01, 2014

Thanks to Saunders Landscape Supply, customers in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area have great options for mulch this spring. The company is helping customers in the local area nurture and beautify their gardens with high-quality, color enhanced mulch.

Prior to consulting with Saunders Landscape Supply, some clients didn’t understand the purpose of mulch for their gardens. Donald Saunders Jr., founder of the landscaping business, is happy to explain. “High quality mulch helps to aid in water retention for plants, shrubs, and bushes,” he says. “It also helps with weed suppression, and supplies a higher quality and more visually pleasing appearance and aesthetic feel.”

Water retention can be a big issue, considering that, on average, homeowners spend 30% of their daily water on outdoor uses. Retaining more water allows for plants to grow full and remain healthy throughout the drier months, while requiring less assistance, both physically and financially, from homeowners. Saunders Landscape Supply recommends that homeowners add at least three inches of mulch to plant beds in order to ensure proper moisture retention and weed suppression.

Saunders Landscape Supply uses double shredded hardwood mulch. A common issue with mulch is sun fade that occurs as it dries out. Color enhanced double shredded hardwood mulch is run through the grinder twice, and has often been praised for its durability and visually pleasing appearance. The color enhanced mulch comes in black, brown, and red to complement any landscaping project or design.

In order to accommodate the varying needs of its customers, Saunders offers multiple options for receiving the mulch. “We can deliver and drop it to the customers driveway and there is no delivery fee,” explains Saunders.

Saunders Landscape Supply serves the entire metropolitan Washington D.C. area. Customers can order new mulch from the company’s Chester, MD or Chantilly, VA locations. Mulch delivery areas include Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Fauquier, Montgomery, Howard, Anne Arundel, Queen Anne’s, and Prince George’s Counties

About Saunders Landscape Supply

Saunders Landscape Supply is a privately owned business founded in 1994 that provides and delivers landscaping supplies to the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Contact Saunders Landscape Supply by email, don(at)saundersls(dot)com or visit for more information.

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Fire at Izzo’s garden center quickly extinguished

A fire in the nursery building at Izzo’s Country Gardens and Landscaping was quickly extinguished Thursday evening before causing significant damage.

The fire was reported to firefighters just before 6 p.m. Thursday, and fire crews arriving at the Post Road East plant nursery found that the flames were moving across the ceiling.

The fire was quickly doused by firefighters from Engine 5, the first crew on the scene.

The Post Road was briefly closed to traffic as a water-supply line was attached to the nearest fire hydrant.

Firefighters from Fairfield and Norwalk provided assistance both at the scene and as backup coverage for the rest of town.

The fire is being investigated by the Fire Marshal’s office.

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Los Angeles Landscaping Company, Neighborhood Gardening, Now Offers …

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Neighborhood Gardening

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) April 29, 2014

Los Angeles landscaping company, Neighborhood Gardening, now offers sprinkler system installation services to area homeowners and businesses. In contrast to manual watering methods, automatic sprinkler watering requires no special attention once installed and configured. This service allows more area clients to keep their lawns, gardens and landscaping plants healthy throughout the year. With plenty of experience designing and installing these systems, Neighborhood Gardening is an efficient choice for creation and maintenance of a hands-free successful landscape.

About Neighborhood Gardening Services Los Angeles

Neighborhood Gardening, Los Angeles landscaping company, has been offering client-focused landscape services since 2009. In addition to installing sprinkler systems in Los Angeles area, Neighborhood Gardening professionals offer deck construction, design of landscapes and hardscapes, installation and repair of irrigation systems, placement of sod and artificial grass in Los Angeles and several other services. With this broad selection of options performed on budget and on time consistently, hundreds of clients in Los Angeles rely on the company for regular installation and maintenance of commercial and residential lawns and gardens throughout the year.

The dry climate of Southern California presents certain challenges to property owners who want a lush, attractive landscape that onlookers will love. During long summer days of intense sunshine, multiple water sessions may be necessary to sustain trees, shrubs and flowers. Unfortunately, watering by hand can result in wasting water or overwatering an entire garden or parts of it. Using the professional sprinkler system installation services of Neighborhood Gardening ensures that sprinklers are selected and configured optimally for lower water bills and protection from property damage.

A variety of systems can be chosen by clients who use Los Angeles landscaping company Neighborhood Gardening. For example, above-ground or below-ground systems may be best depending on certain conditions. For larger areas of grass, oscillating sprinklers may be recommended. Pulsating types are a more affordable option ideal for rounded sections of vegetation. For the lowest cost when watering smaller lawns, stationary sprinklers can be ideal. Neighborhood Gardening technicians analyze every lawn to determine the ideal product and system design for the best results. With any type of system, property values are likely to increase, making sprinkler systems sound investments for virtually any home or business that requires regular watering.

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Advancing Eco Agriculture Gardening Tips Featured on

MIDDLEFIELD, Ohio, May 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Advancing Eco Agriculture is pleased to announce being featured on,, and  Advancing Eco Agriculture’ John Kempf provided information regarding the care and treatment of home gardens and how to maximize yield and maintain a sustainable plant lifecycle.  Advancing Eco Agriculture is dedicated to advancing the collaboration of shared goals between individuals, communities, and different sectors of commerce and business.

Advancing Eco Agriculture’s gardening tips are different than most commonly found and discussed gardening tips.  Typically when focusing on gardening tips articles will mention care and growth of seedlings and tenders in different environmental conditions.  While the advice of Advancing Eco Agriculture’s tips focused more on the optimization of plant health and soil biology to increase the yields of plants and crops while increasing their nutrimental and beneficial value. 

Advancing Eco Agriculture is pleased and excited to be featured by any and all websites.  Focusing on improving and integrating communities with the benefits of raising a garden and in creating supportable ecosystems and food supply is of major importance to Advancing Eco Agriculture as they grow and advance. Of the websites to feature Advancing Eco Agriculture, is unique that it is not a niche or a specialty website completely devoted to the dissemination of gardening information, rather is a leading source of information and news for every aspect of living in Cleveland and Ohio, providing up-to-date news and information regarding local, national, and international news, sports, entertainment, lifestyles, politics, and business. 

John Kempf is the founder and CEO of Advancing Eco Agriculture, a leading crop nutrition consulting company.  Advancing Eco Agriculture focuses on a systemic approach to agronomy emphasizing the improvement of crop quality.  The stated mission of Advancing Eco Agriculture and John Kempf is in assisting farmers in growing healthier crops, regenerating soil health, and improving farm economics through education, individual attention, and research.  

Media Contact: John Kempf, Advancing Eco-Agriculture, 800.495.6603,

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SOURCE Advancing Eco Agriculture


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Get Great Gardening Tips During the Friends Of The Library Spring Meeting

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ – Do you have gardening and landscaping questions? Come to the Friends of the Library’s Spring Meeting on Thursday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the East Brunswick Public Library for the answers.

Clara Rivera-Pacheco will offer ideas and best practices on selection, planting and maintenance of popular New Jersey perennials and annuals. Ask your gardening questions, get handouts of tips and suggestions and perhaps win a plant to take home with you.

Rivera-Pacheco is finishing the Rutgers’ Master Gardeners program. She is an active volunteer at Rutgers Gardens and consults on landscaping projects. This free program is art of the Friends of the Library’s Spring Meeting.

For more information, please call 732-390-6767 or go to The Library’s website at and click on “News Events.” Follow us on Twitter and Facebook:,


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KEEPING FIT: Tips to avoid injuries while gardening

By Wayne L. Westcott
For The Patriot Ledger

Posted Apr. 27, 2014 @ 7:00 am

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Keep that Easter plant blooming for years, with these gardening tips for those …

The bloom on the potted plant that you got for Easter may already be fading. With some care, you may be able to enjoy that plant for years to come.

I talked to Teresa Buchanan, the garden center manager at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, which is located at 4484 Clark St. in Hamburg. She had great tips about how to care for various plants.

Some, such as hyacinths, tulips and lilies, can be transplanted into your garden; they should come back, year after year. With calla lilies, which aren’t true lilies, it is more convenient to just keep them in the pot, rather than transplant them into your garden; you have to dig up calla lily bulbs in the fall, anyway. Azaleas need to spend a little time outside, but treat them like a houseplant, during the winter. Spring mums might rebloom in the fall, but will not overwinter.

Hyacinths, tulips and


You can transplant hyacinths, tulips and daffodils into your garden, but wait until the fall.

When the flowers on your potted plant are done, cut off the flower stalk and leave the plant in the pot. Put the plant in a sunny spot outside.

Buchanan warned to not cut the foliage off. The plant uses its leaves to store up energy, so it can rebloom next year. That applies, whether you have these plants in a pot or in your garden.

When the leaves turn yellow, stop watering the plant. Put the whole pot, soil and all, in a cool, dry place for the summer, and forget about it. You do not have to take the bulbs out of the soil and place them in a paper bag; that is a waste of time.

Knock the soil out of the pot and plant the bulbs in your garden, at the end of August or beginning of September. These bulbs may have been planted in a shallow pot, but when you plant them in your garden, place them approximately 6 inches below the soil’s surface.

Easter lilies, oriental lilies and Asiatic lilies

Easter lilies are those traditional white lilies with the large, fragrant trumpets. Asiatic lilies come in orange, red and pink and are not fragrant. Oriental lilies come in pink and white and are highly fragrant.

All of these can be planted as perennials in your garden and should rebloom, next year. If you plant your potted lily in the garden now, it may even bloom again, this summer.

When the flower is spent, cut it off. While the leaves are green, plant it in your garden. However deep the lily was in the pot is how deep you should plant it outside.

Calla lily

The calla lily isn’t a true lily, and will not overwinter in Western New York. If you plant calla lilies in your garden, you must dig them up in the fall and bring them inside, whether you start with a potted plant or with bulbs.

Keep it in the same pot or transplant it into a larger pot. These are shade-loving plants, so set them with your hostas. Water and fertilize the plant through the summer; it was forced to bloom for Easter and will not rebloom during the summer.

In the fall, probably around late September when the weather is in the 40s Fahrenheit, but before we get a frost, bring the pot inside. Place it in a cool, dry, dark spot and stop watering. Let the foliage die back.

In May, when the danger of frost has passed, start watering the pot and the plant will grow again. Buchanan suggested keeping it on a patio table.

“To me, that’s the easiest thing to do,” Buchanan said. “You could put it in the garden, but you’ll have to dig it up in the fall, like you do with dahlias and cannas.”


Keep azaleas as a houseplant. “These are florist azaleas,” Buchanan said. “They’re not for the garden at all.”

Keep them inside now, until the danger of frost has passed. At the end of May, repot them, to give them more room, and place the pot outside in the morning sun.

“Don’t allow them to dry out,” Buchanan warned. “They will die.”

Leave the potted plant outside until the temperature gets down into the 40s, then bring the plant inside. Those cool temperatures trigger the buds for the following spring. Bring the pot inside, before we get a frost.

Place the pot in a sunny window through the winter. The evergreen leaves are beautiful, and in the spring, the plant will flower again.

Easter mums

Mums that were forced for Easter can be planted in the garden and they could rebloom in late fall. These are not garden mums, so they probably will not make it through the winter.

Connie Oswald Stofko is the publisher of, the online gardening magazine for Western New York. Email

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