Edward's Garden Center

Forty Fort, PA

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Adorable DIY trick or treat bag ideas

So there’s one day left until Halloween. You have the kids’ costumes all ready. The trick or treat route is all mapped out. You have checked the weather multiple times and readjusted the costumes. So what have you forgot? The trick or treat bags.

Sure you could send your kids out with plastic bags, plain pillow cases or whatever you can find around the house. But how cute would it be if their bags matched their costume? If you are in need of some inspiration, take a look the list we compiled. At least the ideas will come easily, if the actual sewing part doesn’t. ūüėČ

For the little ones:

  1. Felt ghost bag
  2. Felt candy corn bag
  3. Cute owl bag
  4. Golden pumpkin
  5. Witch’s hat
  6. Monster tote
  7. Ghoulish drawstring bag
  8. Goggly eye tote


Themed bags:

  1. Poison tote
  2. Paper skull bags
  3. Vintage needle point tote
  4. Duct tape skull bag
  5. Light up bucket bag


A simple Google search for easy DIY Halloween bags will give you more ideas with instructions on how to create them. Some of the one we mentioned are as simple as painting a plastic pumpkin with a handle gold. Others require some actual sewing skill. If you have the time and want to make a Halloween bag that will be useful for years to come, give these ideas a shot.

Ideas for this post came from http://www.babble.com/crafts-activities/25-diy-halloween-trick-or-treat-bags-totes/

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What to do with all those pumpkin seeds

You have everything ready to carve a pumpkin with the kids this week. You picked out the perfect pumpkin. Picked up a new set of carving tools. And polled the kids on the best funny/scary face to carve. There’s only one thing left to think about. What to do with all those pumpkin seeds?

Pumpkin seed ideas - Edward's Garden Center

So many pumpkin seeds, what to do?!? How about some of these ideas!

Option 1: Bake them for a tasty, healthy snack
Even if you are not a pumpkin flavor enthusiast, you may enjoy munching in some pumpkin seeds. With just a little seasoning you can bake pumpkin seeds to taste like just about anything you want. A quick Google search will give you flavors from traditional to Old Bay to barbecue. Choose a recipe your family will like and prepare to dry your seeds. Once you have cleaned all of the pumpkin pulp off, lay the pumpkins seeds out in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Let them dry in a cool dry area for a few days. Once they are dry, you will want to toss the seeds with a little bit of vegetable oil. Roast at 375 degrees F, stirring them every 5 mins or so. They will be done in about 15 minutes. Then sprinkle seeds with the seasoning of your choice and enjoy.

Option 2: Save them to plant
Did you know pumpkins are actually relatively easy to grow? Maybe you should save your seeds and grow your own pumpkins for next fall. If you decide this little adventure is worth the undertaking you will want be careful removing the seeds when you open up your pumpkin.

First,¬†remove the pulp and seeds from the pumpkin and place them in a colander. Next you want to remove the seeds from the pulp. Place the colander under running water. As the water runs over the pulp, start picking out the seeds from the pulp. Rinse them in the running water as you do. Do not let the pumpkin pulp ¬†sit in non-running water. You probably won’t be planting ALL of the seeds you dug out of your pumpkin. Instead choose the biggest seeds and put them on a paper towel to dry. Make sure the seeds are spaced out so they don’t stick to each other. Put the seeds in a cool, dry spot for one week. Then pack them up in an envelope for next spring. With any luck, you will have your own little pumpkin patch.

For more tips check out: http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/pumpkin/saving-pumpkin-seeds-how-to-store-pumpkin-seed-for-planting.htm.

Pumpkin seed necklace - Edward's Garden Center

Photo credit: activityvillage.co.uk/pumpkin-seed-necklace

Option 3: Arts & crafts for the kids
Pumpkin seeds can be used in many arts and crafts with the kids. They are easy to paint and can be made into necklaces and bracelets or glued to paper in many unique ways. Our favorite craft is the pumpkin seed necklace.

For this activity you will need your pumpkin seeds roasted. Once you have cleaned them up and roasted them, you can start painting. You will want to set the seeds on tinfoil to dry. Choose Halloween¬†or fall colors for a fun autumn craft. TIP:¬†The painting part is quite messy so you will want to make sure you use washable paint. When the seeds are all painted and dry, you can begin threading them.¬†Thread your needle with a length of thread long enough to go over your or your child’s head with 3 or 4 inches to spare.¬†Put your seeds a few at a time on a pile on newspaper or a thin sponge. One by one push the needle down through the seed – when you have pierced the seed safely, pick it up and pull it through the thread. When your thread is about two thirds filled, knot the ends together tightly.

Note: you need a sharp needle for this so make sure children are well supervised or that an adult does the threading. For more on making a pumpkin seed necklace, visit: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/pumpkin-seed-necklace.

Hope you can make all those pumpkin seeds useful! And speaking of pumpkin seeds… have you entered our contest on Facebook? Guess how many seeds are in the giant pumpkin from the Fall Festival. Closest guess without going over wins $100 gift card to the Garden Center. Good luck!

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Mums: Everyone’s favorite fall flowers

Before the family pool was closed, before the grass stopped growing and weeks before fall started to creep into Northeast PA, Edward’s Garden Center’s customers were looking for their mums.

Mums from Edward's Garden Center in Forty Fort

Beautiful mums by Donna Gatcha-Hines.

Mums are more than just a burst of color from September to October. They are a sign that summer has come to an end and the fresh autumn air is on its way. They are a favorite fall tradition, just like carving a pumpkin.

Customers poured into the Garden Center to chose their favorite mums and carry them off to their new homes. Red, yellow, magenta, orange, all packaged in pots.

We’ve received several photos from customers with their mum creations. We absolutely love to see everyone’s creativity!

Now we do take pride in having such creative garden-loving customers, but not everyone knows exactly what to do with their precious mums when get them home. So we have a few tips to share.

Mums are usually sold in large containers so they can easily be used to decorate entryways, patios and fall displays. Mums are easy to care for when they are in containers. Give them a drink of water each day and make sure they don’t wilt or catch cold. Other than that, all you have to do is enjoy their beautiful color.

While mums are often seen in large containers, they can also be planted in your garden. When planted in your garden, mums can actually become perennial plants. The flowers on the plants will die off but the plants will come back.

Fall plants from Edward's Garden Center

Fall container garden by Maria Rallo-Godfrey.

If you want your mums to come back for the following year, make sure you plant them in a spot that is well drained. Mums don’t like to be soaked. The ideal place would be sunny and sheltered from the wind.¬†The thing to remember is that mums are ‚Äúshort-day‚ÄĚ plants, meaning they flower when the hours of darkness are greater than the hours of daylight. So don‚Äôt plant them directly beneath a streetlight or commonly used porch light that would artificially lengthen the hours of ‚Äúdaylight.‚ÄĚ

At the first frost, your garden mums will ‚Äúdie back,‚ÄĚ meaning that the leaves turn black and the stems dry out. Don’t panic! The plant is very much alive beneath the soil, even if the dead heads look awful. Laying mulch on the ground around your mums will help keep your mums warm and protected from the cold NEPA weather.

Chrysanthemums aren’t just for containers. If you put them in the ground properly and let them grow, these fall favorites can adorn your garden year after year.

Some of the tips for this post came from Learn 2 Grow. Hope you enjoyed and learned something about everyone’s favorite fall flowers!


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Tips for bringing outdoor plants indoors

Begonias in Fall - Edward's Garden Center

Bring your Begonia’s inside this fall.

The weather in our area is finally more like fall and less like an extended summer. Just because it got cold out, doesn’t mean all of your beautiful summer plants are ready to die off. Did you know you can actually bring some of those plants in to extend their life? Now you don’t want to go digging up everything that is still living outside, but we do have a few tips for what you can bring in.

  1. Keep only the healthiest plants. If it has been struggling outside for any length of time, let it go. Surely you have other plants that are thriving and you want to save them.
  2. Check your plants for bugs, pests and disease. Quarantining your plant in the house will actually cause the problem to spread quickly to the others.
  3. Play favorites with your plants. If you have a few that you have been coddling for years, give them the best spot in the front window.
  4. Some plants look just as good as house plants as they do in your yard. Many people have the light to successfully winter geraniums and begonias in full bloom.
  5. Some tender perennials like a period of dormancy in winter. You can winter over potted lavender and¬†rosemary¬†in your garage. If the temperature doesn’t go below 20 degrees F. or above 40 degrees F. they won’t freeze, but will stay dormant. Just don’t let the pots dry out.
  6. If you have the room, consider bringing in some small pepper or tomato plants. These are actually tropical perennials and given enough light, will continue to produce fruits all winter. You will want to chose a smaller variety of tomato plant since tomatoes need a lot of room to grow.
  7. If you don’t have a good amount of space of light, don’t fret. You can always start cuttings, which will take up significantly less space.

Don’t let the cool weather and frost get you down. You can get your garden fix by tending a smaller one in your home. Then when the weather gets nice you’ll have lots of plants ready to go.

What plants are you bringing in this year?

Info for this post came from: http://gardening.about.com/od/houseplants/a/BringIndoors.htm.


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Trees and bushes for a colorful fall garden

It’s that beautiful, colorful time of year in Northeastern PA. The leaves are all changing and shades of red, orange and yellow paint the landscape. Does your garden match the breathtaking landscape or does it look like the remnants of summer are just begging to hold on?

Amur Maple - Edward's Garden Center

Amur Maple can add lots of color to your garden this fall season.

If you want to bring your garden back to life, there are some trees and shrubs that you can add to make your garden colorful for many autumns to come.

  1. Sugar Maple: The most common tree to have as part of your colorful landscape in NEPA, the Sugar Maple extra-reliable tree that makes a big statement in fall, sugar maple offers gorgeous red, orange, or yellow end-of-the-season leaves.
  2. Dogwood: A tree that is pretty just about all year around, the Dogwood¬†most loved for their white or pink springtime flowers, but don’t overlook the gorgeous purple-red tones they’ll bring to your¬†fall¬†landscape.
  3. Chokeberry: The chokeberry offers white flowers that look like apple blossoms in spring; rich red fruits in late summer and autumn; and brilliant orange-red fall foliage.
  4. Gingko: Slow-growing ginkgo adds grace to the landscape; its fan-shaped leaves are among the most elegant of any tree. In autumn, they show breathtaking shades of luminous, golden-yellow.
  5. Amur Maple: Another top-notch maple for fall color, Amur maple is a small tree or large shrub (depending how you prune it) that bears bright red leaves in fall.
  6. Serviceberry: A plant for season-long beauty, we adore serviceberry for its display of white springtime flowers, delicious summer fruits, and amazing orange and red fall foliage.
  7. Virginia Sweetspire:¬†Enjoy this great shrub for months. In summer, it offers fragrant white flowers. Then in autumn, it develops rich purple-red leaf¬†color. Plus, it’s very easy to grow.
  8. Witch Hazel:¬†A true plant for autumn, witch hazel leaves turn golden-yellow in¬†fall. As they drop, they’re joined by delightful spidery yellow flowers.
  9. Japanese Maple:¬†One of the best-known plants for an autumn show, Japanese maple turns on their glowing shades of red, orange, or yellow at season’s end.
  10. Burning Bush: This tough shrub earned its common name because of its autumn hues: In fall, the foliage turns glowing shades of red and pink.

These are just a few of the amazing trees and bushes that you can add to your garden. If you would like more information about any of these trees and bushes, please stop by the Garden Center and speak with our knowledgeable staff.

Information for this post came from Better Homes and Gardens.