Edward's Garden Center

Forty Fort, PA


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Exciting Additions to the Garden Center

As our loyal customers, blog readers and Facebook followers know, the staff at Edward’s Garden Center is always making exciting changes and additions to make the Garden Center a fun place for families to Explore and Enjoy! This season at the Garden Center definitely will not disappoint. We are delighted to tell you about the latest additions and we hope you stop in to enjoy them!

The Concession Stand-April 15
It has been a goal of ours to provide some form of snacks for our Garden Center visitors. We love our occasional visits from everyone’s favorite food trucks, but we wanted to offer something more permanent. That goal has finally been realized with the addition of our concession stand.

The concession stand will offer tasty treats such as hotdogs, popcorn, nachos, ice cream, slushies, coffee, soda, water, lemonade and iced tea. Food offerings will also change seasonally.

The concession stand will be open on weekends throughout the spring, summer and fall,

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More Children’s Events
One of the more exciting additions to the Garden Center this year is the addition of events specifically for children. We have four hands on events scheduled specifically for kids to come and explore their creative energy. Each event costs $10 (we provide materials required). Please reserve your child’s spot early, as the spots may fill up quickly.

May 7: Paint & Pot your Mother’s Day gift (Children’s event) $10 fee

June 18: Paint Your Own Bird House for Father’s Day (Children’s event) $10 fee

August 13: Fairy Garden & Gnome Gardens for Children (Children’s event. We supply container & soil) $10

November 26: Make Your Own Snowman Ornament (Children’s event) $10 fee

For a full list of our events, please check our our website.

Zen Garden 
Another fun addition to the Garden Center this year is our Zen Garden. Our staff has always wanted to add a beautiful space that is both peaceful and enjoyable. With the addition of our new product line, we were able to do exactly that. Stop by, grab a snack and relax in our new Zen Garden.


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Springtime at Edward’s Garden Center

There is some beautiful scenery at Edward’s Garden Center right now. Even though the weather has been unpredictable lately, spring is in full bloom. The sites are so pretty and colorful we had to take some pictures to share.

All of the colorful flowers are sure to brighten anyone’s day… even on one of those sad days when it snows and hails in May, like it did today!

We also have another surprise in the very last picture of the collage…. a new baby bunny! This little one is so cute and so young we don’t even know if we have a boy or girl. Stop by and see our new comer this week!


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Tips for preparing your garden for spring

Spring is in the air! The Garden Center is open and the weather for next week is looking warm and sunny. It’s time to start preparing your garden 🙂 To get your started, we have listed some activities (because they are obviously not chores for garden lovers) that will kick off your gardening season the right way.

  1. newdaysuntilspringCheck all of your raised garden bed for damage. While we didn’t have a particularly harsh winter, the wind the other night was enough to tear anything down. Make sure any wood frames are still strong and holding tight. Repair any bowed or split wood.
  2. Check your tools. Now is the time to make sure you have everything you need and it’s all in tip top shape. Purchase your new shovel and sharpen your hedge sheers. It won’t be long before you are putting them to work.
  3. Top dress your gardens with home-grown compost or purchase some manure. A well dressed garden will be a very fruitful garden in a few months.
  4. Begin your warm weather vegetable plants inside. Starting your seeds inside will give you healthier more fruitful seedlings when it is finally time to plant them outside. If you need more tips to starting some seedlings, read our post from last year on the topic: “Get spring started right now by planting seeds“.
  5. Start your weeding. As soon as the frost disappears, the weeds start to grow. Resolve to stay on top of your enemies this year….Take those weeds down.
  6. Plan a way to protect your seedlings. We all know spring weather is unpredictable. Begin planning how you will protect your little plants from the harsh winds and possible snowflakes. A tip from Gardentherapy: “Make sure you have enough cloth and plastic to protect tender plants. If a frost is predicted, just a cloth over your plants will suffice. For nights when the temps are forecasted to dip below freezing, it’s better to put a layer of cloth on first, then lay plastic on top. Condensation on the plastic will freeze and damage foliage.”
  7. Enjoy the prep! We can all be so excited to get outside and get started that we forget to enjoy our time in the garden. Try not to let the busyness get to you.

 


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The Biggest and Best Flowers for your XL Garden

Just a few more weeks until the official start of spring. It’s time to start thinking about what you can add to your garden. We came up with a fun theme for your new garden: extra large flowers.

Plants that have extra large flowers are great for adding vibrant colors and scents to your space. Using large flowering plants will allow you to have some fun with your theme too. You can have a ‘through the looking glass’ theme with huge flowers and small decorations. You can make it a kid’s garden (kid’s will love the flowers) or the theme can simply be large flowering plants.

No matter what theme you chose, you may need some guidance on what plants to chose. Here is a list of plants with large flowers and buds.

Perennial Hibiscus
Hardy enough to survive tough winters, the Perennial Hibiscus comes in red, pink, and white on stems that reach 7 feet or more tall. It’s is slow to start growing in the spring, but  the beautiful flowers will make up for it once it gets going.

Edward's Garden Center Giant Flowers

Delphinium
The biggest varieties can reach 6 feet tall, though there are dwarf selections. Cut down spent blossoms to coax another flush of blooms. This summer flower comes in blue, white, purple and pink.

Edward's Garden Center Giant Flowers

Hollylock
Known for its tall spires of colorful blooms, hollyhock is the perfect back-of-the-border plant. Old-fashioned selections can easily grow more than 6 feet tall in a spot with full sun and moist, well-drained soil. You may need to stake the stalks if you live in a windy area.

Edward's Garden Center Giant Flowers

Giant Lily
Not known for being grown in cooler climates, your friends will be very impressed if you can manage to grow Giant Lilies in NEPA. It bears spikes of up to 20 big white flowers with maroon stripes and a rich scent. The plant itself can easily reach 10-12 feet tall and thrives in moist, well-drained soil in partial shade.

Edward's Garden Center Giant Flowers

Queen of the Prairie
The Queen of the Prairie’s fluffy, cotton-candylike heads are full of fragrant pink flowers. This easy-growing wildflower has toothed, dark-green foliage that’s a great accent to the blooms — and a striking backdrop for other perennials.

Edward's Garden Center Giant Flowers


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Gardening Money Pits to Avoid

We know you love to spend time and money on your garden as much as we do. Setting a budget for your garden each season can be tough. We have all made mistakes (and wasted money) on plants, tools and flowers that we shouldn’t have bought. We are not here to lecture, but we do want to give you a few tips on things to avoid, going in to the next gardening season.

Edward's Garden Center in Forty Fort has Pansies

Chose your plants wisely, so you don’t go over budget!

Only buy enough plants to fill your space and your time
This is a tough one for gardeners alike. Spring comes and we get so excited to see flowers and color that we buy everything in site! When spring comes, take a breath, determine how many many plants you need to fill your garden and plan out when you are going to plan them. If you know you won’t get to one part of your garden for a few weeks, hold off on buying the plants. You may not be able to care for them and you may change your mind when you see something else at the Garden Center the following week.

Leave the poor quality soil and plants at the store
It may be tempting to purchase the soil on sale or the flowers from the local super center. Our advice to you is just make sure what you purchase is worth putting in to your garden. Your flowers and plants will not flourish in poor soil.

Don’t plant flowers that flourish in a different zone
By most USDA maps, Northeast PA is split between zones 6 and 7. Before you purchase any plants online or at the store, make sure they are meant to flourish in your zone. Non-native plants (or ones that have not adapted properly) will struggle in the wrong zone, require too much pampering (and resources), or worse still, become invasive.

Don’t grow more veggies than you can use (or pawn off on others)
If you are the neighborhood tomato grower, please plant until your heart is content. If not, please think back to last year. Did you end up with so many left over vegetables that they went bad before anyone could use them? Plant enough that you can get a decent vegetable crop but not so many that you are throwing your harvest away.

Save on water by collecting rain
Keeping your garden hydrated is vital. It is however one of the most expensive parts of gardening. When you know it is going to rain, place a few buckets outside to collect some water. This will help cut down on some cost later in the week. Maybe will the savings you can buy more flowers 😉


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Top east coast gardens to visit on your summer vacation

School will soon be out and summer time weather is officially here. That must mean it’s time to plan the family vacation. If your family is full of garden and flower lovers like you, why not take a road trip to a near by garden? There are many within driving distance of the Wyoming Valley and you are sure to come home with some inspired ideas for your own garden.

Pennsylvania Gardens

Edward's Garden Center - Top Gardens to visit

Chanticleer Garden in Wayne, PA. Photo credit: http://www.chanticleergarden.org/inbloom.html

Chanticleer – Wayne
This amazing garden is just a short drive from Philadelphia. It’s rich beauty and history are a draw for gardeners and history buffs alike. It was built in the early 20th century by the Rosengartens and has been in the family ever since. Adolph, Jr., left the entire property for the enjoyment and education of the public following his death in 1990. A nine member Board of Directors, six of whom are Rosengarten relatives, oversees The Chanticleer Foundation.

With ten diversely themed gardens, Chanticleer is home to thousands of trees, plants and flowers. Many of the groundskeepers have their own unique sections of the garden to show off their artistry.

Hours for the grounds are: Wednesday through Sunday 10 am to 5 pm. Guided tours of the house are offered Wednesday through Friday by reservation only. Admission to the grounds is $10. Children 12 and under are free. For more information visit: www.chanticleergarden.org/index.html.

Edward's Garden Center - Top Gardens to visit

Longwood Garden in Kennett Square, PA.

Longwood Gardens – Kennett Square
A massive 1,077 acres, this garden offers everything you could imagine. It is one of the premier botanical gardens in the United States and is open to visitors year-round to enjoy exotic plants and horticulture (both indoor and outdoor), events and performances, seasonal and themed attractions, as well as take part in educational lectures, courses, and workshops.

Dating back to the time of William Penn, the land became a park/garden after a fellow Quaker family began planting exotic trees on the land. It has been open to the public almost consistently since that time. By 1850, the park had amassed one of the finest collections of trees in the nation.

Hours for the grounds are 9 am to 6 pm daily. For admission prices, visit their website: www.longwoodgardens.org/visit/hours

New York Gardens

Edward's Garden Center - Top Gardens to visit

Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden inside the New York Botanical Garden, Bronx NY. Photo credit: http://www.nybg.org

New York Botanical Garden – Bronx
Spanning 25o acres in the Bronx Park, the New York Botanical Garden is a national landmark. The Garden contains 50 different gardens and plant collections. Sightseers can easily spend a day admiring the serene cascade waterfall, wetlands, trees, flowers and greenhouses. The Gardens are a place for the whole family to enjoy, with a special children’s adventure garden available.

The Gardens are also home to the Pfizer Plant Research Laboratory. The laboratory’s research emphasis is on plant genomics, the study of how genes function in plant development.

Garden hours are: 10 am to 6 pm and admission to the grounds is free. Guided tours of the buildings are available for a fee. For more information visit their website: www.nybg.org.

Virginia Gardens

Edward's Garden Center - Top Gardens to visit

Winding Border Gardens at Monticello

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello – Charlottesville
Monticello was the main home of Thomas Jefferson, who began the plantation with roughly 5,000 acres. Though Monticello is known for being rich in American history, not many people know about it gorgeous grounds that Jefferson himself had a hand in designing.

The winding flower border is one of the more beautiful gardens when it is in season. It has many varieties of flowers and bushes. The oval flower beds that Jefferson sketched as early as 1807 are also known for their beauty.

Besides flowers, Monticello has acres of tree gardens, vegetable gardens and picturesque grounds. Hours for the grounds are: 8:30 am to 6 pm. For ticket prices, visit their website: www.monticello.org/site/visit/tickets-tours


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Get inspired to Container Garden!

This Sunday, the Garden Center is hosting a container gardening seminar. Container gardening can be a great hobby that will make your garden beautiful, unique and colorful. In honor of this seminar, we thought we would share some container gardening inspiration.

Traditional Container Garden
A traditional container garden is your typical, everyday flower pot with flowers in it. There are millions of combinations that can make up a container garden. Generally, you want to chose plants that like the same amount of sunlight and water as the ones they are sharing a home with.

Edward's Garden Center Container Garden

Reserve your spot at the Container Gardening Seminar on May 17 at 11 a.m.

Fairy Garden or Miniature Garden
A popular trend over the last few years, fairy gardens or miniature gardens fall into the container garden category. These gardens are typically themed and involve miniature versions of items. For example, you could make an entire beach scene using small plants that look like those on the beach and by adding a small beach chair or umbrella, you can tie everything into your theme. Some fairy gardens are actually made in the ground, but most live in pots, barrels and other containers.

Succulent Containers
Succulents make the perfect low maintenance container garden. Almost any container that has good drainage can be used for succulents. Since succulents are slow growers, you can be sure they won’t out grow their container too soon and you can fit a few plants into a small space.

Edward's Garden Center Container Garden

How creative can you get with your container garden?

Unique Container Gardens
You can get really creative with container gardening and that’s the reason why it is such a great hobby! You can use almost ANYTHING as the starting point for a container garden: an old wheel barrow, a wooden barrel, a metal watering can, birdbaths, baskets and urns. As long as the container you choose has drainage, it can become a beautiful garden.

Hopefully, we inspired you to try a few container gardens of your own this season. If you need help getting started, sign up for our free seminar.

CONTAINER GARDENING SEMINAR
May 17, 2015: 11:00 am
Call (570) 287-4329 ext. 1 to sign up


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Enjoy more beautiful roses thanks to organic food

Who doesn’t love a fully blooming rose bush? Roses are definitely one of the more elegant and beautiful flowers that grows well in our area. Did you know that with a little help, you can enjoy more blooms on your rose bush?

Edward's Garden Center sells organic plant food

Feed your roses monthly with organic plant food and you’ll enjoy the most gorgeous flowers this season!

Our friends at Espoma know how to get the most out of their rose bushes and they decided to share some helpful information.

All you need for a beautiful blooming rose bush is a well fed plant. Roses are one of the hungriest plants so a well-balanced meal will go a long way.

Your roses are waking up now since spring is just beginning. They’ve made it through a long winter  and they are starving! Feed them the most nutritious meal you can.

Espoma’s organic Rose-tone includes more nutrients than any other rose food. Most rose fertilizers contain three nutrients — nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (N-P-K). Rose-tone goes far beyond that. This organic rose food contains 12 more micronutrients roses need, including iron, calcium and magnesium. Don’t forget you, Edward’s has all the plant food and fertilizer you need this spring so stop by.

Rose-tone is not only superior for its nutrients, but also because gradually release those nutrients. Due to its slow-release formula, Rose-tone will never burn or leach plants. Plus, this is the only organic rose food that improves soil structure.

For established roses in beds, spread 6 pounds of Rose-tone per 100 square feet. For individual roses, use 1¼ cups of Rose-tone per plant.

Sprinkle the granular organic rose food around each plant out to the widest branch. This encourages your roses to stretch their feet and grow a little!

Then, scratch the food into the top 1” of soil.

If you’re planting new roses, add a mixture of peat moss and 3 cups Rose-tone to the planting hole.

Either way, feed your roses monthly from early spring to mid-September to keep them producing beautiful blooms.

Information for this post came from Espoma.com.


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Reasons Why Gardening is Good for Your Health

In an age when many children and adults spend as little time as possible outside, gardeners are the exception to this new way of life. As gardeners, we know that being outside and working in the garden has amazing benefits beyond the dirt under your finger nails, growing blossoming plants from tiny seeds and having fresh air in your lungs.

So what other benefits does gardening have for our health? Many. Warning: reading the health benefits of gardening may make you love gardening even MORE.

Creative Gardening - Edwards Garden Center

Gardening improves your health. Get outside and garden at the first sign of spring!

Gardening, like all exercise can reduce your risk of stroke, as reported in “Stroke: Journal of The American Heart Association”.

Gardening, like all exercise, burns calories. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gardening is considered moderate to high intensity exercise and can burn 330 calories per hour. That’s more calorie burn than weight lifting. Just think about how all those squats are working your leg and glute muscles.

Gardening can reduce the risk of heart disease and other common illnesses. Just 30 minutes of moderate-level physical activity a few times a week can prevent and control high blood pressure. In fact, gardening scored a place on the The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute‘s recommendation list for battling high blood pressure.

Gardening reduces the chances of osteoporosis. With all of the reaching, squatting and stretching required to keep your garden in top shape, you are actually helping your body too.

Gardening reduces stress (as we are sure you already know). Sometimes there is no better way to de-stress than by getting out the shovel and accomplishing something in the garden.

Being surrounded by flowers improves one’s health. In behavioral research conducted at Rutgers University by Jeanette M. Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., the results showed that flowers are a natural and healthful moderator of moods and have an immediate impact on happiness, a long term positive effects on mood, and make for more intimate connections between individuals

Digging in the soil actually has mood lifting benefits. Christopher Lowry, Ph.D., an assistant professor of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has been injecting mice with Mycobacterium vaccae, a harmless bacteria commonly found in soil, and has found that they increase the release and metabolism of serotonin in parts of the brain that control cognitive function and mood — much like serotonin-boosting antidepressant drugs do.

Gardening strengthens your immune system. Humans were meant to spend time outside, enjoying the sunlight, getting exercise and working. Being outside, whether in your garden or on a hike, gives your body the chance to soak up some vitamin D, which which helps the body absorb calcium. In turn, calcium helps keep your bones strong and your immune system healthy.

For more reasons on how gardening is good for your health, read the article where many of these ideas came from: http://www.gardeninggonewild.com/?p=27941


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Try something new this year: Hydroponics

Looking for a new type of gardening to add to your repertoire? Maybe something you can start during the winter and carry through the year?

Why not try hydroponics?

OK, so many of your are probably saying, what is hydroponics and why would I want to invest time and money into it?

In simple terms, hydroponics is the process of growing plants in sand, gravel, or liquid (or other mediums), with added nutrients but without soil. Hydro is Latin for water and Ponos means works or labor. Water works! The main principles of hydroponics are increased oxygen to the root zone and liquid feed delivered directly to roots. These factors result in increased growth rates and increased yields when compared to tradition soil gardens where much lower oxygen and often nutrient levels are present. (http://www.hydroponics.com/faqs/)

Gardening experts that have successfully grown food and plants using hydroponics, say that the food is of better quality and more plentiful than the food grown using a traditional method.

To begin your own hydroponic garden, you will need to do a little research and spend some money.

You can purchase a beginners hydroponic kit online or you can put your own kit together depending on what you need. Before you purchase your kit, decide what kind and how many plants you want to grow. You should probably start out small, growing just one variety of plant.

You will also need to decide on a medium in which to grow your plants. Those mediums range from fiberglass to sand and from fired clay balls to nothing at all. Several branches of hyrdoponics include aeroponics (using air as the grow medium), aquaponics etc.

After doing some research you will learn that there are a few methods for creating hydroponic systems. The less expensive, yet still effective method, is a bubbler system. In this method, keep your pots filled with your choice of medium just barely above your nutrient solution level — then keep the solution well aerated. The popping of the air bubbles will keep your medium moist.

Other methods are the ebb and flow method, where you temporarily flood your plants and then let them drain; the NFT  or nutrient film technique – where you stream a thin layer of nutrient solution over the roots (method common in professional systems); aeroponics and drip systems.

Whichever method you chose, know that there is some extra time involved with beginning this new hobby. Once you get the hang out of it, growing through hydroponics is easy!

Here are some other links that you may want to use as resources before you start:

If you decide to try any of these systems, please leave us a note and let us know how do!