Edward's Garden Center

Forty Fort, PA


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A Visit to Longwood Gardens, Kennet Square

Two of our avid readers and longtime customers visited Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square during a family vacation. Talented 15 year old Johanna Kiska sent in some absolutely beautiful photos she took while walking around the gardens and asked to share them with our readers. Scroll down and take a look at photo collage.

Before you take a look at the photos, you should probably learn a little more about Longwood Gardens. The gardens sit on over 1000 acres, outside of Philadelphia. Open to visitors year round,  there are special events for every season. Longwood Gardens features many conservatory gardens including Acacia Passage, Banana House, Indoor Children’s Garden, Mediterranean Garden, Orangery, Orchid House among others. There are also hundreds of fountains that put on a dancing water show several times a day.

Only two hours from the Wilkes-Barre area, Longwood Gardens is a MUST see for all garden lovers. The trip is easy and a great idea for the whole family.

Here is a small taste of what you can discover.

 

 

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2016 Full List of Events and Seminars

We know you have been waiting for it! Mark your calendars, we have a full list of our events and seminars. We are happy to announce we have many new, hands on seminars this season.

workshop2

Our seminars are great for kids and adults!

Traditionally, our events are a great way to learn a few gardening tips and tricks in a laid back, informal setting. We laugh, we make a mess and in many cases you get to take home a great souvenir.

From container gardening to pond openings and from rose pruning to brick paver laying, we truly have a seminar for every outdoor lover. Take a look at the list of our events below and make your reservations to take part. Our three main events are open to everyone, but to participate in our seminars you will need to stop by or call to reserve your spot.

  • Sunday April 10th: Opening your Pond/Pond Maintenance Tips Seminar
  • Sunday May 1st: Pond Fish & Care Seminar
  • Sunday May 15th: Rose Care and Maintenance
  • Sunday June 5th: Container Gardening, Grow Vegetables & Herbs in Containers Seminar ($20 fee)
  • Saturday & Sunday June 11th & 12th: OPEN HOUSE
  • Sunday June 19th: Pruning Seminar
  • Sunday July 10th: How to build a Bubbling Boulder for small spaces: Set-up and Care
  • Sunday July 17th: Brick Paver and Flagstone Installation Seminar
  • Sunday Aug. 7th: Create your own Air Plant Display Seminar ($20 fee)
  • Sunday Aug. 14th: Fair Garden/Gnome Garden workshop ($20 fee, container & soil supplied)
  • Sunday Sept. 18th: Build your own Scare Crow Seminar ($20, we supply straw and poles, bring your own clothes and accessories)
  • Saturday & Sunday September 24th & 25th: FALL FESTIVAL
  • Sunday Oct. 16th: Closing your Pond Seminar (hands on)
  • Sunday Nov. 27th: Design your own Holiday Topiary ($30 fee)
  • Saturday & Sunday December 3rd & 4th: HOLIDAY CELEBRATION

All seminars start promptly at 11 am. To reserve your spot for a seminar please call (570) 287-4329 ext 1.

If you attended one of our events or you want to see how much fun they are, visit our past events photo gallery!

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Our seminars are great for kids and adults!


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Air Plants & Terrariums Available at Edward’s

Terrariums and air plants have been quite popular the last few years. They are easy to care for and allow you to get really creative with designs, themes and decorations. They also grow almost anywhere!

So what are air plants?

Air plants or Tillandsias are a genus from the bromeliad family that don’t require soil to grow. The come in a variety of colors and sizes and can grow with little care. There are about 550 types, plus hybrids. Tillandsias are native to the southern U.S., Central America, South America and Mexico. They can be as small as a couple of inches or as large as three feet across. (Chicago Tribune)

Air plants are resistant to pests and diseases and are fairly forgiving and, with ambient air and the proper light and watering, can last quite a long time.

One of the great benefits to growing air plants is they make the air better. Seriously, scientific studies have proven air around air plants is cleaner and more pure.

We love them because they look great in miniature gardens and terrariums.  They can grow inside or outside or both. This year in the gift shop we have added a large selection of air plants and air plant containers.

If you are interested in growing some air plants, stop by the gift shop and speak with Diane, Debi or Amy. They will be happy to give you advice about how to care for air plants and what containers to grow them in.

Why wouldn’t you want to grow them? 🙂

Edward's Garden Center Air Plants

Lots to chose from at our new air plant display!

 


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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 Trends for 2016

The 2016 gardening season will soon be upon us so we wanted to write a little bit about what we see as an upcoming trends. As always, if you have any questions about the projects or the plants used, ask one of our wonderful staff.

Container Gardens
All container gardens will continue to be popular this year, probably due to their diversity and versatility. You can use so many different plants in such a small space and you can move these gardens to any spot where you need to add a little life. Our Diane is an expert container gardener. If you need help choosing plants or deciding how to arrange them, she is the perfect person to help you.

Terrarium Garden - Edward's Garden CenterTerrariums
Housed in glass vessels, this miniature gardens offer a unique look that will spruce up any space. There are many benefits to building a terrarium. First, building it can be a lot of fun. Planning and making a terrarium is a great project to do with the kids. Another benefit is that they are easy to care for, especially if you use succulents. We aren’t finished planning our workshops for this season yet, but you may see a terrarium class pop up on the schedule.

Naturalistic Landscapes
For some of you, this will be a trend that never reaches your garden. Naturalistic landscape are trending this year. What do we mean by that? The beautiful untidiness that comes with a wild, natural landscape. This doesn’t mean you just throw some seeds and never touch it again. You still weed these gardens, but you don’t have to make sure everything is the same height or a certain color. You just let it grow naturally. For those of you who are very set on pristine gardens, this trend will make you crazy.

Berry Bushes in Containers
We all know gardeners love to vegetable gardens and fruit trees. Berry bushes that come in pots are perfect for the gardener just starting out or the gardener that is out of room because the other plants are taking up all your space. If you find a berry bush in a pot, grab it. Yielding some berries for your fall pies will show it was worth it.

Petscaping or Dogspacing
Petscaping or gardening with your beloved pet in mind is the perfect blend of favorite things. Although dogs and plants don’t often go together, what could make a gardener happier than creating the perfect spot in the yard for a four legged best friend. Chose plants that are nontoxic and train your pets to enjoy this part of the garden, instead of the entire garden.

 


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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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Sore back from Gardening? Tips on how to ease it

Sometimes our favorite past times cause our bodies a lot of pain. Sore knees, sore backs, sore necks are just some of the ailments we hear from avid gardeners. While your back is on respite during these cold months, start considering how you can make this coming gardening season a less painful one.

So where should you start? The garden certainly isn’t going to weed, groom and plant itself.

We recently read a great post about this topic on the Big Blog of Gardening and we thought you may want to consider some of their great tips.

  1. Start with small easy tasks first, allowing your muscles and joints to warm up and get used to the movements. You can start by pruning bushes and trees that are just above or below waist high so your body can get used to bending and reaching. Trying mowing the smallest section of your grass first. Pull weeds out of your vegetable garden or sit down and begin planning out some container gardens.
  2. Consider wearing braces or supports. If your knee bothers you when you cut the grass, it may need some extra support. Wearing a brace for an ache can help support the muscles around that area and allow you to be outside enjoying your work longer.
  3. Use tools designed to help you garden easier. Use kneeling pads, gardening seats, extendable tree pruners and whatever other gardening tools you can find that make work easier.
  4. Work in your garden in increments. We know this one is probably the hardest for everyone, but it will ease your pain later. Set a timer on your phone and work in the same position for no more than 90 minutes. Take a break and switch tasks. If you were sitting on the ground weeding, stand up and do some pruning or stand at a table and organize seeds. This will give different muscle groups a needed break and you won’t hurt as much later.
  5. Switch lead hand and foot. According to the Big Blog of Gardening: “The importance of this tip cannot be overstated. The single most common flaw in digging/raking/sweeping technique is that we continue to rock back and forth with the same leg in front, and the tool in the same hand. This means only one leg takes all the ground reaction force, our spine is twisted only one way, and one side of our core muscles fatigues very quickly.” Switching leads will help you fatigue slower and feel better later.
  6. Get help! Another tough one to remember for many of us. If a task is too difficult because it involves heavy lifting or lots of strength, remember to ask for help. Is it really important to say you did it all by yourself? No. You’ll get more gardening in if you are not injured.

 

We probably made you all long for spring and time for digging in the dirt. Just 63 days until spring! Remember to come back to this post when you start working in your garden 🙂


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Prepare your garden for feathery winter friends

Winter is coming….not just a famous quote from hit show and book series Game of Thrones, but also the truth! Cooler weather has descended upon Northeast PA and we know that means frigid temps will be here soon. Cold weather is not just a pain in the neck for us, but can be a hazard for our bird friends that don’t fly south for the winter.

Edward's Garden Center - BirdsDuring the winter months, birds have a rough time finding fresh water. Many of the streams, ponds and bird baths that they are used to frequenting are frozen over or dried up.

Water is not only important for hydration, but it also helps birds preen their feathers. Without proper preening, birds’ feathers won’t stay positioned and aligned. Feathers out of alignment in winter create gaps in insulation, which makes birds lose body heat faster.

To help provide fresh water to birds over during the winter months, make sure your bird bath is always full and has a heating element to keep the water from freezing. You can purchase heating elements at hardware store or online. Many of these units turn on and off automatically depending on the temperature outside.

Water is the most important thing you can provide for winter visitors, but food is a close second. Birds bodies require more calories during winter months to keep them warm. Seeds, plants, berries and insects won’t be around for birds to feast on. Many birds look for reliable feeders during the harsh winter months. You can help by providing feeders with Suet, Nyjer thistle seed and black sunflower seed. The more often you keep the food stocked, the more often you will enjoy watching your feathery friends this winter.

Birds do like to keep warm and out of the snow in the winter. While some birds grow extra feathers or drop their body temperature to stay warm, others needs a warm place to hide. Providing birds with a small house to rest will keep them happy and safe all winter long. You can help by leaving your bird houses outside in the winter and cleaning out all of the debris from the breeding season.

We all enjoy watching the birds fly around our garden during the spring and summer, but don’t forget to care for them all year round. Providing fresh water, food and shelter will keep the birds coming back to your yard over and over again.

Some information for this post came from http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?articleid=2060.


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Fall Porch Ideas

Generally by November 5 in Northeast PA, we are bringing in our flowers and thinking about how to winterize our gardens. This year we are lucky enough to enjoy a few more weeks of nice weather. So let’s celebrate by making our porches and front entrances festive! Here are some of our favorite ideas for fall.

Pumpkins as House Numbers
Cute idea the kids can help you make! Paint a pumpkin white or purchase white pumpkins. Paint your house number on them or use felt or foam numbers.

Edward's Garden Center Fall Ideas

Add a rustic touch
Plant your seasonal flowers in a rustic pail or pot. Repurpose whatever you find for a rustic look.

Edward's Garden Center Fall Ideas

Go opposite with color
Fall is FULL of colors so make your porch or walk way calming with cool tones like white and pale blue.

Edward's Garden Center Fall Ideas

Cornstalks add great character
Large cornstalks are definitely eye catching as people walk or drive-by. What could make your porch look more falltastic?

Edward's Garden Center Fall Ideas

Monochromatic pumpkins make unique displays
Once thought of as strange, the white pumpkins are very popular for designing this year. You can create a pretty scene using jewel-tone flowers and monochromatic pumpkins for an elegant look.

Edward's Garden Center Fall Ideas

Repurpose an old wagon
At Edward’s Garden Center we love to repurpose old things. In fact its one of Diane’s specialties. One of our favorite ideas is reusing an old wagon to create a pretty scene.

Edward's Garden Center Fall Ideas

We hope you enjoyed seeing some of our favorite ideas for decorating your front porch. Enjoy the unusually warm weather and create a beautiful entry way into your house!

Photos for this post came from Country Living and Buzzfeed.