Join me in Philadelphia next March for dinner and a day at the Philadelphia Flower Show! I will be in New York that week but will meet up with the touring group on Wednesday night in Philadelphia for dinner together. On Thursday together we will attend the famous Philadelphia Flower Show and on Friday Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell! This trip should be a kick in the plants and I would love to have you join me! Click the picture for more details
“Peas” on Earth
I have a holiday and Christmas wish for Michigan this year. An El Nino’ winter because my opinion is we deserve it after the last two winters we’ve all endured. I remember past El Nino’ November months in West Michigan. Wearing short sleeve shirts as we put the garden to bed for winter and stringing lots of Christmas lights outdoors to celebrate the holidays ahead. We would unload Christmas trees, in by November standards, warm temperatures. These were the years that due to a lack of ice and snow people would be inclined to string a lot of Christmas lights on the home and in the landscape. The final leaves of fall are raked in November and tilled into the garden. Anticipation of the upcoming holidays builds as we begin to decorate indoors and out. I am not a meteorologist, but when scientists predict an El Nino’ winter due to warm Pacific Ocean water temperatures it gets my attention.
Warmer November temperatures allow us to “hoe hoe hoe” extending the gardening season in West Michigan and get the ladders and extension cords out to string some “electric ivy”. I call it “peas” on earth and good “till’ towards men and women to enjoy the great outdoors in November.
November is a great month to take cuttings from the natural landscape to add to fresh greens for Porch Pots. These entry door containers are an inviting welcome to holiday visitors. Pruned Rose Hips from the rose bushes, lengths of Russian Sage, Red Twig Dogwood branches or Birch Branches as examples are great compliments to fresh evergreen boughs in containers for entryways. Now that the flowers are frozen but the soil is still workable, arrange the branches in these containers and they will look great through the holidays into February.
Forcing bulbs for indoor color is another way to brighten the home. Paperwhite narcissus and Amaryllis are easy to grow bulbs to flower indoors otherwise known as “forcing”. You can also still purchase Tulips and Daffodils or Hyacinths to plant outdoors or “force” indoors into bloom.
Finally don’t forget that indoor foliage plants are our friends as we spend more time indoors in the winter months. They can improve indoor air quality and keep us connected to nature as the winter months arrive. Try to give your foliage plants a brightly lit window and rotate them from time to time. Remember not to kill them with kindness as the shorter days and less light of winter causes them to require far less water than the summer months.
Fall officially arrived at 10:49 AM on Saturday September 22 with the fall equinox. After a hot dry summer I think a lot of people are ready for some cool fall weather. We decided to celebrate with Pumpkin Smash 2012. After this summer’s drought it seemed appropriate considering a pumpkin is 80% to 90% water. We rang in the fall season similar to the New Year’s Eve ball drop by dropping a giant pumpkin on it’s gourd to celebrate the moment!
Spring is right around the corner. The weather here in West Michigan this past December and so far in January has been down right balmy. For us hardy Michigan folk some sunshine and temperatures in the 30’s and 40’s gets us giddy and ready to garden! In anticipation of spring 2012 P Allen Smith will join me on my radio show Saturday January 7 to talk about his new book Seasonal Recipes from the Garden.
If you want to break away from your seed catalog reading and dreaming you can come out to hear him speak at the DeVos Place here in Grand Rapids on Wednesday January 11 at 3 PM.
Here is the link to register for the event:
Proven Winners is also bringing an exciting event to West Michigan….their Outdoor Living Extravaganza on Saturday April 14. This enjoyable and educational gardening event and seminar will take place in 4 cities this spring, San Diego, Washington DC, Edmonton Canada and Grand Rapids Michigan! (More specifically Hudsonville Michigan west of Grand Rapids). P Allen Smith will be speaking at this event also.
Tickets are $80 per person and you can register and get event details here: