Edward's Garden Center

Forty Fort, PA


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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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Resolution Ideas for Gardeners

Resolutions have a bad reputation as starting out as good intentioned ideas and ending up as epic failures. We have a great idea to make 2016 different. Chose something you actually WANT to do as your 2016 resolution. Sure you want to lose weight, but maybe you don’t want to change your diet or exercise. You may want to save more money each week but you don’t want to give up your morning stop at the coffee stop.

Make your resolution something you want to do and you will stick to it. 

For all our garden lovers out there, here are a few resolution ideas that you will want to keep up with all year.

Spend more time actually enjoying your garden
We all spend countless hours each week (or day) working in our gardens. From planning to watering and from pruning to planting, we work and work and work. Of course it’s work we enjoy. But at the end of the day, how often is there enough time to just sit and enjoy what we created? In 2016, promise to spend more time relaxing and enjoying the garden you created.

Make a plan for the spring and summer seasons
This is something you can do starting today. Get out a piece of paper (or several depending on your garden) and begin sketching and labeling what grows in your garden. Make a plan for what plants you want to move and what you want to add. Think about any big projects you want to do and start planning them. In 2016, promise to have the best garden you possibly can.

Try something new
It’s easy as a gardener to stick to the same plants you always grow. Make 2016 the year of planting something new and learning how to care for it. If you have never grown vegetables, start a vegetable garden. If you have never tried a more exotic variety of flowers, go for it! You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Visit your favorite Garden Center weekly (hint hint)
You know you love seeing all of the new plants, shrubs and garden trinkets that your favorite Garden Center has to offer. Why not stop by each week to see what’s new? Here at Edward’s Garden Center there is always something new to discover. In 2016, stir your creativity by stopping by your favorite Garden Center weekly.

Wishing all of our readers the best 2016 possible! Hopefully, whatever your resolution is for the year, you are able to accomplish it.

Edward's Garden Center Resolutions


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Unique Christmas Traditions

While chatting with the rest of the staff after the Holiday Celebration last week, we got to talking about Christmas traditions. Several people said they never put up the Christmas tree until Christmas Eve and Santa always decorated it. A few people were surprised by this tradition. So this got us to thinking what are some holiday traditions that other families might find unusual or unique? We have found several that are quite interesting and we want to share them!

Christmas Stockings
Do you open your Christmas stocking the night before or first thing in the morning? We found there are various traditions revolving around the Christmas stocking. Some families just hang them as decorations while others fill them up. In some households even the pets get a stocking. Can’t forget Fluffy or Fido right?

Edward's Garden Center Christmas Traditions

Photo Credit: health.usnews.com

Open a Gift on Christmas Eve
Many families allow one gift per person to be opened on Christmas Eve. This gift is sometimes the same thing every year. For instance, one family gives new pajamas on Christmas Eve to be worn that night. Other families might just let the kids open one gift to convince the kids to go to sleep.

New Year’s Prediction
We found this one online and we thought it was a great idea to share. On Christmas, have all of your family members write down what they think will happen either in their own lives or someone else’s within the family and then place them in the jar. Then during next year’s festivities, open the jar and delegate someone to reads them aloud! It’s so fun (and funny!) to see where you’ve been as a family throughout the year and how things have changed. (All Women’s Talk)

Community Service – Remembering the Reason for the Season
One tradition many families have is doing community service leading up to Christmas. Since the reason for the season is based on giving and sharing with one another this is a great tradition and a great way to teach kids to do good for others instead of want want want. Some families sing Christmas carols at retirement homes while others shop for children who are less fortunate.

Make at least One Gift that You Give
This is a great tradition that can be filled with memories as well as make the holidays less expensive. Whether its Grandpa’s favorite Christmas cookies or a picture frame for mom, making a gift always adds special meaning.

These are just a few of the unique traditions we found from speaking with others and looking online. We would LOVE to hear about some of your family’s unique traditions. Share them in the comments here or on our Facebook page!


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Inside Scoop: Holiday Celebration Dec. 5 & 6

It’s time to get in the Holiday spirit! There’s no better way to do so than to come to our Holiday Celebration this weekend. For our blog readers and Facebook followers, we’re giving you the inside scoop 😉

Celebration Hours: 9 am to 6 pm, Saturday & Sunday

Santa overlooking Edward's Garden CenterWe have lots of great family fun planned this weekend so make sure you bring the kids for these great events.

Santa & Mrs. Claus photo opp
We will have the big guy himself here with his wife. Bring the kids to sit on Santa’s lap and chat with him about their Christmas wishes. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Garden Center Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.

Live reindeer
On Saturday, Santa and Mrs. Claus will have a friend or two with them as they are bringing some of their reindeer… yes REAL LIVE reindeer. We are quite excited for this, as the kids just love seeing them! Remember the reindeer will be at the Garden Center Saturday ONLY.

Christmas carols by local singer Mackenzie Kiederding
You may not have heard of her, but we promise you will want to see her perform. Mackenzie is a local artist who tried out for a spot on The Voice. She will be performing Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 3pm.

Opening the winter habitat for the Garden Center pets
The weather has gotten chilly so many of our pets have moved into their winter home. The staff worked hard to build this new home this year so we can keep our pets at the Garden Center all year. Bring the kids to see our tortoise, iguanas and others in their new winter home.

Holiday decor Edward's Garden CenterFace Painting
Always back by popular demand, Face Painting by Jessica! And according to her Facebook page, she has lots of new holiday themed designs. Stop by and have your face painted 10 am to 4 pm Saturday or Sunday.

Blue Chip Animal Farm and ornaments for our tree
As many of you know we are HUGE supporters of Blue Chip Animal Farm in Dallas. There will be volunteers at the Celebration this weekend with some animals that would love a home for the holidays. They will also be collecting pet food donations. Anyone who donates a bag of pet food can put a creative homemade ornament on our Christmas tree. The person with the most creative ornament will win a $100 gift certificate to the Garden Center!

Tree lighting 
Join us at 5pm on Sunday for our Christmas tree lighting! The ornaments from the contest will be displayed.

Food vendors
As always, there will be food vendors all weekend…one of them may be a very special cupcake truck :).

Holiday decor & Christmas trees
While you are enjoying your time at the Holiday Celebration make sure to check out all our holiday decor and take home a Christmas tree!

Hope to see all of you at our Holiday Celebration this weekend! We just can’t wait to get into the holiday spirit with you!

 

Edward's Garden Center Christmas Trees


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Christmas Trees & Holiday Decor at Edward’s

First of all, we would like to wish all of our readers and customers a very happy Thanksgiving! As day to give thanks, we are thankful for our customers who are a source of continued support and the reason we keep growing and bringing more unique things to the Garden Center. We hope you have a wonderful day with family, friends and lots of wonderful food.

Thanksgiving-Wishes-SayingsNow to the reason for this blog post… the Christmas trees have arrived just in time for the day after Thanksgiving! Stop by on Friday to get your pick of the crop. You didn’t really want to go shopping at the mall anyway so pick up a tree and start decorating. 😉

While you are visiting the Garden Center to pick our your Christmas tree, make sure you stop in to the gift shop to see all our our holiday decor and gifts.

We love to bring our customers a beautiful selection of unique items and the holiday season is a great time to do so. We have unique holiday planters, cemetery logs, ornaments, candles, angels, and of course gardening items. The gift shop is  great place to find something for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list. When all else fails, you can always get them an Edward’s Garden Center gift certificate!

Hope to see many of you visiting the Garden Center this holiday season and don’t forget about our Holiday Celebration December 5 & 6. More info on our website and in next week’s blog post.

 


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Easy DIY Thanksgiving Decorations

The countdown is on. There’s just one week until Thanksgiving. Is your home appropriately decorated? Maybe it is and you just want some fun projects to do with the kids or maybe it isn’t and you better get busy. To help you out, we have collected a few easy DIY decoration ideas that  you can accomplish before the guests arrive at your home.

Give Thanks Message Board
Though it fells like the day is about turkey and pumpkin pie, the day is really about giving thanks. Create a message board and ask everyone who comes to your home to write what they are thankful for. You can create the frame from a piece of cork board cut to fit into a large picture frame. Use real leaves if you can still find them or cut them out of construction paper.

Cozy Candles 
Purchase a few votive candles and some textured paper. Wrap the lights, add a decorative bow and perhaps even a feather. You can get super creative with this one and it’s an easy project to complete.

Natural Centerpiece
What could be more festive than a centerpiece made from a pumpkin? A pumpkin “basket” makes an imaginative centerpiece for a fall table. Hollow out the pumpkin, then place a block of wet floral foam inside. Position a pillar candle in the foam and surround with fall blooms and berries to complete this DIY fall decoration.

Repurpose a Coffee Can
Using items from your backyard you can create a beautiful centerpiece for your holiday gathering. Get a coffee can and glue sticks to it. You can add a burlap bow or ribbon to add some more rustic flair. Since the weather is getting cold, you may not find fresh flowers. If you don’t have any to use, you can get artificial flowers at the dollar store.

 

 


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Prep your garden for fall

Cooler weather is moving in and here at Edward’s Garden Center, we have started stocking all our fall items. Since fall is quickly arriving in NEPA, we thought we’d share some tips for preparing your garden for fall.

Sure you can call adding a few pumpkins and mums to your garden “getting ready for fall,” but that’s not really what we were thinking. Here are some times to make your fall garden just as gorgeous as your summer garden.

Prune your shrubs and deadhead your flowers 
Since the flowers are dying off, you should concentrate on the body of your plants and make sure they are in pristine condition. Pop the dead heads off and prune your shrubs and rose bushes. For more tips on pruning, read our post from last year, “Is it time to prune?

Plant your bulbs
While you are tidying up your yard for fall, you could bury a few new bulbs to enjoy next spring. Stop in to our gift shop and pick up a few bags of tulips and daffodils.

Bulbs at Edward's Garden Center

Large variety of bulbs available at Edward’s Garden Center!

Plant fall veggies
Choose fast-growing, frost-tolerant plants such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, beets, carrots, green onions, lettuce and spinach.

Divide in stride
Divide and transplant spring-flowering and other dormant perennials. To reduce stress, do so during the coolest part of the day, and don’t skimp on the water!

Push for the red
Tomato plants not performing anymore? Or have lackluster leaves? Feed ‘em Tomato-tone to help them pull through until the first frost.

Hopefully, along with adding some pumpkins and mums to your garden this fall, you’ll consider some of the items we mentioned above. For more tips on how to get your garden ready for fall, stop into the Garden Center and speak with one of our staff.

Some information for this post came from our great friends at Espoma.


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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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Gardening 101 From Espoma

In honor of back to school time in NEPA, we are sharing a great article from our friends at Espoma.

Grab your books for a lesson in Gardening 101!

Going back to school is equal parts nervous jitters and genuine excitement for what could be. Remember what it was like to have a new backpack, a fresh outfit that makes just the right statement and your stack of empty notebooks waiting to be filled?

It feels like anything is possible at this time of year!

We’ve tapped into that feeling to help teach you gardening basics. Already an experienced gardener? Now is the time brush up on your lessons.

Espoma’s Gardening School 101

1. Build a Foundation for Success. For a garden to be great, superior soil is a must! Perform a quick soil test (by bringing a sample to Edward’s to have it tested), study the results and your garden will be A+ in no time!

soil test

2. Back to School Shopping. Examine your garden equipment to see what should stay — and what needs to go. Look for cracked handles, rust and missing or loose parts. Then, go shopping for replacements.

Plan your garden

3. Get a Whole New Look. A new school year means it’s time to reveal your new look. Do you want to be refined? Edgy? Colorful and bold? Sweet and simple? Define your garden look and do your homework —then start pinning!

Espoma Pinterest

4. Make a Plan for Success. The only way to improve this year’s performance is to analyze the successes and failures of last year’s garden. Your assignment: create a new garden plan or speak with the experts at Edward’s Garden Center and we can create a “We Plan, You Plant” design for you!

plan your garden

5. Meet the Teacher. Hi! It’s a pleasure to see you! At Espoma, we’ve been teaching organic gardening practices since 1929. Comment with questions below, post them to Facebook or tweet us. We’re here to make you the best gardener you can be.

Espoma Facebook6. Sharpen Pencils. Clean and sharpen your garden tools to get them ready for the new season! You can DIY or take them to your local garden center.

Garden tools

7. Find New Friends. Follow us on Facebook and check out our posts to find gardeners who are just as passionate about organic growing as you are.

Throw your cap (or gardening gloves) up in the air! You passed Espoma’s Back to Gardening School Class! Your garden will thank you for it later!