Edward's Garden Center

Forty Fort, PA

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You know you are a gardener if…

By now, anyone who has a Facebook page or follows a blog has seen lists like “21 things you do  if you are a dog lover,” “11 things that only happen to pale people,” or “29 Things only S.W.E.A.T.-aholics can relate to.” (That last one is a plug for another blog I write for). Sometimes these posts get annoying, but mostly they are quick amusing reads that you only look at if you can immediately relate to the topic.

Well, gardeners, this one is for YOU! You know you are a gardener when - Edward's Garden Center

You know you are a gardener if….

  • You can make an entire meal using only items from your garden and it’s your favorite meal of the week.
  • You’re running out of places to garden, but the neighbor’s yard looks promising.
  • On vacation your car is programmed to arrive at every garden center and botanic garden along the way.
  • It’s common for you to find seeds in your pocket. Trouble is you often can’t remember where the seeds came from.
  • You wait impatiently for the day when the frost finally stops and you can start pulling weeds and planting seeds.
  • A new gas powered edger or tiller as an anniversary gift is not considered immediate grounds for divorce.
  • Instead of throwing out the sprouting potatoes in your vegetable bin, you plant them.
  • You’re love of gardening has been forcibly passed down to your children and at least one of them retains that love of gardening once leaving your household.
  • You know exactly how to run the leaf shredder, but you haven’t quite figured out how to use your cell phone voice mail.
  • Your yard is tidier than your home during gardening season.
  • Pine needles, mulch and/or seeds can be found on your clothes at any given time.
  • There are more pairs of gardening gloves throughout your house than there are shoes.
  • While visiting a friend’s house, the weeds jump out at you and you have to pull them.
  • You are outside in 6 inches of snow looking at your garden because you had a sudden epiphany (thanks to Pinterest).
  • You complain about getting up early for work, but get up even earlier on the weekends to get started on your gardening.
  • When looking for a new car, you consider how many flats of flowers, bags of mulch and tools the potential car can hold.
  • You enjoy working in your garden so much you forget to eat.
  • You visit your local garden center often and follow their Facebook page, blog, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

-Aimee, blogger for Edward’s Garden Center, ReBath Northeast and S.W.E.A.T. Fitness Studio.

Sources for this post: https://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/homeowners/120103.html, http://gardening.about.com/u/ua/gardenprimer/You-Know-You-Are-A-Gardener.htm

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Edible Garden Treats

It’s the time of year for enjoying fresh veggies from the garden. We are sure many of you are chowing down on some fresh garden tomatoes, sweet corn, lettuce and green beans. But did you know that other plants from your garden can produce some tasty treats?

Edible flowers - Edward's Garden Center

Fried Sunflowers by Eleven Madison Park

Why not try some fried sunflower?
Everyone knows that these beautiful flowers can produce some tasty seeds. But how many of your have tried to eat the actual sunflower? Diners at the Eleven Madison Park in New York City are familiar with the creamy, woodsy taste of the sunflower. The sunflower is a cousin to the artichoke so it tastes similar.

The chefs at Eleven Madison Park strip away the pedals and the stem. Then they plunge it three times into boiling water, then an ice bath. Once the sunflower heart is braised until tender in a rich barigoule sauce of white wine, onion, fennel, thyme, bay leaves, and lemon—a riff on a classic artichoke preparation. The chef cakes one side with buttery brioche crust crumbs and sears it until it’s a perfect golden-brown disc.

This process helps remove the floral taste the flower gives off, making it quite delicious.

Marigold tastes great in soup?
Calendula or Marigolds are a tasty addition to many common dishes. Their sharp taste resembles saffron (also known as Poor Man’s Saffron). Has pretty petals in golden-orange hues. Sprinkle them on soups, pasta or rice dishes, herb butters, and salads. Petals add a yellow tint to soups, spreads, and scrambled eggs.

Daylillies are edible - Edward's Garden CenterDaylilies are a vegetable?
OK, not really, but they taste like a combination of asparagus and zucchini. You can sprinkle the flowers on a spring salad or use them in a dessert. Some people think that different colored blossoms have different flavors. Use Daylilies in your cooking sparingly; they can act as a diarrhetic.

Bea Balm on your pizza?
Wild bee balm tastes like oregano and mint. The taste of bee balm is reminiscent of citrus with soft mingling of lemon and orange. The red flowers have a minty flavor. Any place you use oregano, you can use bee balm blossoms. The leaves and flower petals can also be used in both fruit and regular salads. The leaves taste like the main ingredient in Earl Gray Tea and can be used as a substitute.

For more edible flowers and what to do with them visit: http://whatscookingamerica.net/EdibleFlowers/EdibleFlowersMain.htm

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Make your garden your pet’s favorite spot

Judging by the number of people excited to visit with the dogs from Blue Chip Animal Rescue at the last Open House, we would venture a guess and say there are a lot of Ed’s customers who are dog lovers.

Dog-scaping - Edward's Garden Center

Create a space you and the family pets can enjoy!

Wouldn’t it be fabulous to put two of your favorite passions together? Well you can! Of course dogs are plenty happy with a big empty field of grass to play in or even just a small fenced in yard; but wouldn’t it be fun to make the garden they dream of? It sure would! We found a great article that tells you everything you need to make a pet’s paradise, in your yard. Arranging it a certain way and using the correct plants will keep your pup from getting hurt and from hurting your flowers… most of the time anyway. Step one in creating a “dogscape” is learning to think like a canine: If you were a dog, what would you want? Spaniels, terriers, retrievers ― each breed has a different personality. Think about what your dog enjoys and go from there.

Elements of a dog-friendly garden

Gentle hardscape: Smooth flagstones set in pebbles form a dry creek bed dogs can comfortably tread.

Comfy mulch: Small cedar chips are easy on paws yet large enough so they won’t cling to silky coats.

Border control: Pieces of driftwood persuade dogs to stay away from planted areas.

Running track: A long, winding path provides dogs with plenty of exercise.

Sensible plants: Plants near paths should have soft foliage but be sturdy enough to stand canine rough-housing.

Marking post: A sculptural piece of driftwood creates a suitable spot to mark his territory.

Paths to patrol
Dogs need exercise; paths give them a designated space to do it as well as a venue to perform their perceived job ― to patrol your property line and keep out intruders. Readers suggested sacrificing a few feet along the fence for a perimeter path to simultaneously satisfy both needs. If your dogs have already created their own paths through the garden, don’t try to redirect them. Instead, turn their well-worn routes into proper pathways. A 3-foot-wide clearance is sufficient for most canines. Plant a screen to hide this dog run if you like; pets seem to like having their own “secret garden.”

Shade and shelter 
Dogs love basking in the sun, but keep in mind, they can overheat quickly. Make sure to plan some trees that provide shade. Giving them access to the family’s porch or gazebo is great too. Building a cool dog house is also a fun option.

Pet-safe landscaping
Avoid thorny and spiny plants, which can cause serious eye injuries. Be very cautious about growing poisonous plants, like castor bean or hellebore, in readily accessible areas. Visit www.aspca.org/toxicplants for a complete list.

A place to answer nature’s call
Your dog needs a spot to relieve himself, but it doesn’t have to be your lawn or flower bed. Set aside a corner of your yard as a toilet area, and train your pet to eliminate there and nowhere else. This learning process may take a puppy about three weeks and an adult dog longer. Consult a dog-training manual for instructions. Cover the designated area with material Fido will accept and that you can clean easily. Flagstone, pea gravel, bricks, and cedar chips are all good choices. If you have a male dog, consider adding a marking post so he can define his territory (Stuckey set up a driftwood stump).

Ideas for this story came from Sunset.com.


Blitz, White German Shepherd, 1 year old.

Hope this gave you some awesome ideas for your dog-friendly garden! Share photos with us on our Facebook page if you complete and of the projects we post about. We would be happy to see them 🙂

-Aimee (my inspiration for hopefully creating a friendlier dog garden one day…)

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World’s most beautiful gardens

As the saying goes, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - Edward's Garden Center

Each and everyone of us is unique and has a different outlook on life. Because of our different experiences, likes, dislikes etc, each one of us finds different things beautiful. Our customer photo contest that ended at the beginning of the week is a great example. We had beautiful images of flower gardens, rock gardens, fairy gardens, vegetable gardens and many more. Each one of them was beautiful in its own way.

As different as beautify can be to each person, there are things that are universally appreciated as beautiful. Flowers and tranquilty are definitely on the list.

Looking through some amazing gardens online, we stumbled across this video from a few years ago. It displays gorgeous images of gardens from all over the world, set to relaxing music. If you have about 8 minutes, sit back, relax and enjoy.

Some of our favorites from the video:

  • Crathes Castle Gardens in Banchory, Scotland
  • Zhuozheng Yuan in Suzhou, China
  • Giardini di Villa d’Este in Tivoli, Italy
  • Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai, China
  • Dubai Miracle Garden in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Hampton Court Gardens in London, England (from personal experience 🙂 )
  • Exbury Gardens in Hampshire, England
  • Mae Fah Luang Garden in Pa Kluay, Thailand

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Where do you get your garden inspiration?

There are so many beautiful and creative garden designs out there. Our recent Facebook contest has shown us just how different gardens can be. From raised garden beds to a tire-swing garden, we have really seen some fun ideas.

All of the staff at the Garden Center love finding new ideas for container gardens, landscaping, water features, fairy gardens and more!

We find inspiration all over the internet, on TV and of course, from our customers.

Here are a few ideas we came across recently on Pinterest that we found fun and creative.

Flower stepping stones
This idea is super easy. All you need are a few round stepping stones and some oval paving stones for the pedals. You can find the materials at the Garden Center. If we don’t have them, we will know who will. You can get creative with the colors too!

DIY Flower Stepping Stones - Edward's Garden CenterFun Fairy Gardens
Who doesn’t love an awesome fairy garden? There are SO many ways to get creative with fairy gardens. Check out this page for a few castle-like ideas.

Purchase Fairy Garden Materials at Edward's Garden Center

Kids grew out of them, let the flowers grow in them!
This colorful idea is a great way to get the kid’s involved. Let them pick out a pair of old boots and decide which flowers to plant in them. Creative Gardening - Edwards Garden Center

Give an old pallet new meaning
This project is pretty simple and the decorating possibilities are endless. Every year you can pick a new theme and redecorate it. Take a look at this blog to see exactly how to hang the pallet and the pots.  Just keep in mind you will want some help to hang it up.

Vertical Plant Garden - Edward's Garden Center

Hope you find some of these ideas exciting and give them a try! If you do, remember to post a picture of the finished product on our Facebook page.

Now that we shared some of our ideas. Share some of yours in the comment section!