Edward's Garden Center

Forty Fort, PA


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What Blooms During the Dog Days of Summer

It’s hot out. And it’s dry. NEPA has been going days without seeing anymore moisture than the water in the humid air. Your evening ritual probably includes soaking your plants everyday to try and keep the plants from wilting.

This time of year it is tough to enjoy your garden. You may be wondering what actually blooms in July and August. Keep reading and we will give you a bunch of options to make your garden pop with color during the dog days of summer.

Begonias
Begonias are pretty bloomers that come in varieties for every space, from flower beds to hanging baskets. Pluck flower heads off as the start to fade and your begonias will keep blooming from spring through late summer. The flowers can actually be grown as perennials if you take the extra step. Pick off flowers as they fade. When the plants begin to turn yellow in fall, withhold water. When the tops are completely dry, dig the tubers from the soil, and remove the tops. Dry them in the sun for a few days, then dust the tubers with sulfur powder or another fungicide to prevent rot. Store in paper containers in a cool, dry, dark place until planting time in spring. (DIY Network)

Edward's Garden Center Summer Bloomers

Scarlet Sage
Scarlet sage (Salvia splendens) is a perennial typically grown as an annual. Some varieties like full sun, while others like the shade. Watch where you plant them, and deadhead them when needed and these plants will glow bright all summer long.

Edward's Garden Center Summer Blooms

 

Coreopsis
A bright, fluffy yellow flower grows atop tall stems and is often called ‘sunray’ or ‘tickseed’. They are very rugged plants and there are nearly 100 varieties with different colors and sizes. Coreopsis grow best in full sun, but will adapt to growing in partial shade as well.

Edward's Garden Center Summer Blooms

Dahlia
Growing in many vibrant colors, Dahlia’s are a very popular summer bloomers. They can be planted in sunny spots in your garden or added to a container garden. They thrive with lots and lots of water so on weeks like this one, you will want to water them thoroughly.

Edward's Garden Center Summer Blooms

Gaura
White flowers cluster like butterflies atop tall spikes on these tall airy plants. Selected forms include ‘Siskiyou Pink’ (to 2 feet tall), with rose-pink flowers and ‘Whirling Butterflies’ (to 3 feet tall), with white flowers. The heaviest blooming occurs in late spring, but expect flushes of flowers to recur throughout the summer and into fall.

Edward's Garden Center Summer Blooms

 

 

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Birds Who Visit Your Garden in Winter

The cold dead winter has finally arrived in Northeast PA. The garden is dismal, the weather is bitter and no one wants to go outside. The only glimmer of life that can be seen out your window are the few feathery friends that have not left the area due to the cold.

common_grackle_6

Common grackles can be seen all around Pennsylvania throughout the winter.

Of course we want to keep the little birds coming to our yard and brightening our days. But do we even know what kind of birds we are attracting or how to keep them coming back?

According to a study done by Penn State, there are about 35 different species that frequent bird feeders in PA during the winter months. Rural areas see the most diversity, while more urban areas may continue to see the same species all the time.

Penn State has this wonderful chart on their website to show what birds are around our area in the winter and what food they prefer. We provided a copy of that chart below. Take a look and then keep reading for more tips on how to get these guys to make a stop in your garden.

Species Food Preference Feeder Preference
Mourning dove Cracked corn, millet, sunflower seeds Ground, platform feeder
Red-bellied woodpecker Suet, sunflower seeds, peanuts Suet feeder, hanging feeder
Downy and hairy woodpeckers Suet, sunflower seeds, peanuts Suet feeder, hanging feeder
Blue jay Sunflower seeds,  suet, peanuts Platform feeder
Black-capped chickadee Sunflower seeds,  suet, peanuts Almost all feeders
Tufted titmouse Sunflower seeds,  suet, peanuts Hanging feeder, suet feeder
White-breasted nuthatch Sunflower seeds,  suet Almost all feeders
Red-breasted nuthatch Sunflower seeds,  suet Suet feeder, hanging feeder
Carolina wren Peanut butter, suet Suet feeder
European starling Peanut butter, suet, sunflower seeds Suet feeder, platform feeder
White-throated sparrow Sunflower seeds, millet Ground, platform feeder
Song sparrow Sunflower seeds, millet Ground, platform feeder
Dark-eyed junco Sunflower seeds, millet Ground, platform feeder
Northern cardinal Sunflower seeds, seed mixes Ground, platform feeder, tube feeder with tray
Common grackle Cracked corn, sunflower seeds Platform feeder, tube feeder with tray
Brown-headed cowbird Millet Platform feeder
Purple finch Niger, sunflower seeds, millet Niger feeder, hanging tube feeder
House finch Niger, sunflower seeds, millet Niger feeder, hanging tube feeder, gound
American goldfinch Niger, sunflower seeds Niger feeder, hanging tube feeder, gound
House sparrow Niger, sunflower seeds Platform feeder, tube feeder with tray

Each one of these birds may have different food and feeder preferences, but on thing they all require is fresh water.

Water is even more crucial to birds than food is during the cold months. Many of their usual watering holes are frozen over or dried up so if your backyard has a nice bird bath, they are very likely to come back over and over again.

Shelter is extremely important to winter birds too. Different species will gravitate toward different kinds of shelters. Some birds like the covering of a green bush while others like an empty bird house. Offering both is not a bad idea, because it will bring a variety of birds to visit with you.

Hopefully many feathery friends visit and brighten your winter days this season!


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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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Top Ten Favorite Flowers for Fall

Just because summer is over and spring is long gone doesn’t mean your garden is doomed to be dull. There are so many flowers that will bring color to your garden through the first frost. Most of these are available at the Garden Center. Stop by and ask one of our experts to point them out for you.

Edward's Garden Center has Mums

There are so many mums available at the Garden Center!

1. Chrysanthemums
Everyone loves a beautiful “mum” in their garden. These flowers come in many colors and flower shape. They are a great addition to any outdoor space, in the ground or in containers and they also look great as centerpieces for holiday tables.

We have mums all over the Garden Center. If you are looking for a particular color ask Debi, Rawlyn or Diane for help!

2. Aster
The New England aster is another flower that comes in many colors including pink, blue, purple and white. They thrive in full sun and well drained soil. When flowering, the asters attract butterflies.

Edward's Garden Center has fall flowers

Toad Lilies come in so many colors. This one is a Japanese Toad Lily.

3. Toad Lily
No fall garden can be complete without Toad Lily. These Asian curiosities bloom with orchid-like flowers that demand a close look, when the garden is winding down in fall. They do best in light shade in humus-rich soil that retains moisture, and are suitable for borders or less formal parts of the garden and among shrubs gradually becoming large clumps. (BHG) They are also great for deterring deer since deer can’t stand the taste of them.

4. Golden Rod
This tough yellow plant can last through the heat of the summer and well into the fall.

5. Colchicum
Colchicums look a lot like crocuses only with bigger flowers. Their large cup-shaped blooms appear seemingly out of nowhere, in bright pink, purple and white.  These flowers can grow in the shade or sun so you can add them to any part of your garden. They also come back every year!

Edward's Garden Center has fall flowers

Japanese Anemone come in pink and white.

6. Japanese Anemone
This flower produces large poppy-shaped pink or white blooms, with large stems, making it a beautiful flower in the garden and an even more beautiful flower in a vase. If you add this to your garden, give it lots of room to grow as it tends to take over.

7. Mexican Sage
Sage is traditionally a tough, hardy plant and this variety is no different. Mexican sage grows well into the fall and gives you garden a beautiful fuchsia feature. This plant can grow to be about three feet tall and likes full sun.

8. Perennial Sunflower
While the annual sunflowers get all the glamorous press, the perennial sunflower is a true garden gem. The ‘Lemon Queen’, for example, produces gorgeous creamy-yellow blooms in late summer and early fall. The can grow 8 feet tall and enjoy lots of sun.

Edward's Garden Center has fall flower

Sedum comes in a variety of pink and orange colors.

9. Turtlehead
This plant earned its cute name because of its funny shaped white and pink blooms. Even when the blooms die off, this plant has luscious greens that last until the frost. Make sure to plant your turtlehead in full sun to get the best blooms.

10. Sedum
Another extremely popular fall flower, sedum bursts into flowers at summer’s end. This plant likes full sun and well drained-soil. It can grow to be about a foot and a half tall.

Hopefully we got your creative juices flowing with ideas on making your fall garden more colorful! As always, if you have questions stop by the Garden Center and speak with our experts.

 


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New Garden Trends for NEPA: Home of Gnomes

Stories and myths about gnomes have been around for thousands of years. In some stories they are cute, mini humans that play silly tricks. In some stories, gnomes are protectors of the garden and will do anything to defend it. Which ever story you like to believe, gnomes have become popular themes for gardens.

Here at Edward’s Garden Center we are preparing a space for our very own Gnome Garden. Our “Home of Gnomes” area will be dedicated to the kids.

There will be a misting, cooling area made from a tree trunk, with a checker board attached. Next to that, there will be an outside train station, with little gnomes happily waiting to go home with our customers. In the same area, there is an antique shanty building, currently under construction. We will have various antique garden items for sale. Miss Diane will be creating some miniature gardens to decorate this area and they will be for sale.

There has been a lot of talk about gnomes and gnome homes around the Garden Center lately so we decided to share a few of our favorite ideas for our customers and blog fans to try.

One of the most popular Gnome Homes can be made from an old tree stump. Yes, you can turn and unsightly old tree stump into a cute, little home for gnomes and fairies. All you need is a little door, some small windows and whatever you think your gnomes would enjoy in their front yard.

Another popular way to make a gnome home in your yard is to build or purchase a small house. There are many cute ideas online to make them, but our favorites were probably purchased.

While Gnomes need homes to live in, they also need accessories. There are so MANY accessories out there. Some you can make yourself. Here are just a few ideas.

Hope you enjoyed some of our favorite Gnome themed ideas. Make sure you stop by the Garden Center to see our progress!


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Enjoy Beautiful Water Features Throughout the Year

We all work so hard on our gardens during the spring and summer, we deserve to enjoy them all year round. Unfortunately, in NEPA we can’t enjoy flowers and our yards too much during the winter. We can have the next best thing, though! Enjoying our gardens three quarters of the year.

Edward's Garden Center sells fire fountains

Photo credit: aquascapeinc.com

There’s nothing more relaxing and enjoyable than sitting in your garden, listening to the water trickle from your fountain. There are so many stunning water features on the market today. From pond-free streams and waterfalls to bubbling boulders and water gardens. In sizes big and small, shapes long or round, these pieces can fit into any space. And the best part….All of these items can be enjoyed from the beginning of spring to the end of fall (depending on when the below freezing temperatures arrive).

Not sure if a water feature would fit into your space for (nearly) year long enjoyment? Take a look at all the different kinds and reconsider!

Fountains
Fountains come in all shapes and sizes. If you have walked around Edward’s Garden Center lately, you know what we mean: large vases, stone fountains, small urns and so many more. The fountain kits by Aquascape that are sold at the Garden Center, make adding a fountain to your garden quick and easy. Ask one of our experts about it!

Patio Ponds
If you don’t have enough room for a large in-ground pond or you just want to enjoy a water garden on your deck, than a patio pond is exactly what you need. Creating a beautifully planted water bowl or container water garden has never been easier. Aquascape Aquatic Patio Ponds have all the natural beauty of real rock with the added durability and light weight of fiberglass. You can even add fish! Take a look at this video to find out how creative you can get.

Fire Fountains
Self-contained water and fire features have been gaining popularity over the last few years. Edward’s is proud to say, we have brought the trend to NEPA! These beautiful units are very easy to set up and are a great feature for the cool autumn nights that are soon to arrive. Stop in to the Garden Center to check out our fire fountain selection or watch the video below.

Spillaway Bowls and Basins
These pieces are probably the most artistic of the bunch and they may not fit in with every garden, but they sure are cool looking. Spillway Bowls and Basins can be installed as a standalone disappearing water features or several spillway bowls can be linked together for an amazing display.

Edward's Garden Center sells water features

Photo credit: Aquascapeinc.com

Hopefully we have inspired you to add a water feature to your garden so you can enjoy (nearly) year round relaxation and beauty.


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News and Events for Edward’s Garden Center

It may be the latter half of the summer, but things are still happening at Edward’s Garden Center! There are still many reasons to stop in and to follow us on our Facebook page.

Fairy & Miniature Garden Seminar (cost $20)
On August 9, our expert gardener Diane Donnelly will hold a miniature gardening seminar. Learn how to make a beautiful miniature garden that you can enjoy for years. Diane will give instructions from start to finish and you’ll be able to take home what you made! Learn the best types of containers to use, the right type of plants and how to make it your own, with special accessories. If you have any interest in container gardening or fairy gardens, this is a seminar you won’t want to miss. Call 570.287.4329 ext 1 to sign up.

More Plants have arrived!
Stop by and see our huge selection of plants that arrived this week. Just because the weather is hot, doesn’t mean you have to stop planting in your garden. We have lots of plants that would be glad to make your home, their new home.

Edward’s Helps Out Wyoming Valley Children’s Association
Our Ed always loves to help the community. This week Ed delivered a raised garden that his staff made for the children at Wyoming Valley Children’s Association. The children planted flowers and vegetables and learned how to take care of the garden. Ed and the kids had a great time playing in the dirt 😉

Next week, our staff will again be helping the kids out. Our staff will be delivering new mulch and installing landscaping around the children’s boat sand box.

Photos below are from the Wyoming Valley Children’s Associate Facebook Page.

Hope you stop by and check out all that is going on at the Garden Center this summer! Don’t forget to sign up for the seminar. 
 


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5 Hot Gardening Trends for 2015

So we are half way through the year and you may have noticed many items trending in the outdoor living and gardening industry this year. Maybe on your latest visit to the Garden Center you noticed a popular item or theme that you might like to add to your garden. Well this post will tell you about many hot gardening trends for 2015 and if we have the items available at our Garden Center.

1. Bubbling Boulders
Adding a water feature to your garden is always a nice touch. One way to add a bit of water pizazz without digging an actual pond is by adding a bubbling boulder. Water gets pumped through a hole in the center of the rock and trickles down, giving your garden a calming sound and serene look. They come in all shapes and sizes and can fit in even the tightest spaces. When installed properly, they truly  look like a work of art. We have many different bubbling boulders available at Edward’s Garden Center.

2. Miniature Gardens or Fairy Gardens
This trend has been popular for the last few years. Miniature Gardens, also called Fairy Gardens, are so much fun to design and build. You can create any theme you want and find adorable mini items just by searching the web. These gardens are great year-round projects. Create them in small size containers so you can bring them in the house during the cold months. Edward’s carries many items for miniature gardens in the gift shopMiniature Garden Items at Edward's Garden Center

3. Cocktail Gardens
Themed gardens have been around for ages, but one of the hottest new trends is the Cocktail Garden. These gardens are filled with herbs, spices and roots that can compliment your evening cocktail. Lavendar, Rosemary, Orange mint, Cuban mint, Spearmint, Thai basil, lemongrass and alpine strawberries are just a few items you might want to plant in your cocktail garden. A garden like this is a great topic of conversation and you can get a nice fresh piece of mint for your mojito anytime you want. 😉

Miniature Meadows - Edward's Garden Center

via meadowinmygarden.co.uk

4. Miniature Meadows
Miniature Meadows are filled with native wildflowers and perennials. No garden space is too small to create one of your own. According to Top Inspired, “You can create a mini meadow from scratch, use pots, containers or garden beds or even create a mini meadow in your lawn. With wildflower meadows being lost all around the world you will be creating habitats for birds, butterflies, and bees. A trend definitely worth following this year!”

5. The Color Pink
The hottest color pallet for gardens in 2015 is pink. Who doesn’t love a pink flower? If you don’t have enough pink in your garden already, don’t worry there’s still time to add some. Stop by our greenhouse and see what pink flowers catch your eye.

Hope you enjoyed reading about this year’s gardening trends. If you have any you’d like to add, leave us a comment!


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Making your own personal sanctuary

Each one of us has a different idea of what a peaceful day is. For some, a peaceful day is spent just getting the kids out of the house. For others, a peaceful day means cuddling up on the coach to watch a movie. For most gardeners, a peaceful day would be spent sitting in their garden, listening to the sounds of nature and maybe enjoying a good book. What could be better than having your own personal sanctuary in your backyard to visit whenever you want? Nothing could be better.

How can your garden be turned into your own personal sanctuary? Try some of these ideas.

1. Watch a beautiful water feature
Is there anything more peaceful than sitting beside a waterfall or pond? Don’t worry if you only have a small space available. The experts at Edward’s Garden Center can find a water feature for your space. It might be a pond, a fountain, or dancing fountains. No matter what water feature you choose it will add peace and value to your garden.

Edward's Garden Center offers water features

There are over 18 water features at Edward’s Garden Center!

2. Let bamboo shade your sanctuary
OK, we know bamboo gets a bad rep for taking over gardens, but what other plant can double as an elegant screen and comes in so many varieties. Give bamboo a try and feel the tranquility creep into your garden.

Edward's Garden Center tips for creating a peaceful garden

Bamboo can offer shade and tranquility to your patio or garden.

3. Enjoy a peaceful sound with wind chimes
Another wonderfully peaceful sound is the sound of the wind bustling the wind chimes in your garden. By adding a few different sizes and shapes, you can have your very own symphony to listen to while you relaxing with an iced tea or a nice book.

Add wind chimes to your garden for a whimsical feel.

Add wind chimes to your garden for a whimsical feel.

4. Smell those fresh herbs
Make sure all of your senses are enjoying the peaceful feeling of your garden. Plant herbs that are known for having a beautiful smell like lavender, rosemary, basil or mint. The scents can relieve stress and set a calm mood for your evening of relaxation.

Edward's Garden Center Tips for making a tranquil garden

Grow herbs that have are known for having a calming scent.

5. Wiggle your toes in the sand
Maybe your idea of a peaceful sanctuary is resting your feet in the sand and laying back in a beach chair. Why not bring the beach to your garden? You can easily create a sand box or a sand garden, where you can pull up your chair and umbrella for a nice relaxing afternoon. Visit the Garden Center this spring to pick up sand for this project.

Sand is available at Edward's Garden Center

Create your own beach sanctuary by adding a sand garden to your yard.

 

Hopefully our post has given you some new ideas for your personal backyard sanctuary. Start planning now for spring!


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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!