Friday, March 26, 2010

A peek at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show

Right away I noticed tulips and hyacinths tucked into every kind of landscape!  I L-O-ve this!!! In the northern tundra we wait soooo long for spring to bloom.  Spring bulbs give us color before our shrubs and perennials have warmed up for the season.  The whole left from spring bulbs is the perfect place to fill in annuals for color punch the rest of the season…

Another trend that I L-O-ve was the frequent use of kale and purple cabbage.  Again, I L-O-ve this because it lends cool-tolerant color for early spring and late autumn.  Flower show & Kane County 046

This picture shows cacti…but replacing it with kale would be a really great statement especially for early spring or late fall!! Flower show & Kane County 038

My favorite is always LUCIOUS containers!!!

Dusty Miller is a fun surprise here…Flower show & Kane County 065

The boxwood is a great backdrop for this colorful mix of bulbs, annuals, and trailing vines…

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This monochromatic scheme brings elegance and tranquility --- plus it can be over-wintered indoors…prolonging your investment

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The Green Thumbers floral team started talking in January about the importance of botanicals in arrangements this year…and guess what….they were right on!!!!  (No surprise though:) )

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Hope you are inspired…it’s time to start getting dirty hands!!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Grills website page

Weber welcome

Weber Grills...

Grilling done Right!

Gas and Charcoal grills to meet every

budget and every chef's desires...

Genesis Series Weber Q Series

Spirit Series Performer Grills


Grilling Accessories make it FUN and EASY

to cook your next meal on the GRILL!!

The Green Thumbers offers cookbooks, utensils, grill covers, grill accessories and more!!!

Make the weekends menu easy!!

Home_FindRecipeBtnWeekly Grilling Recipes. Sign up here.

Gourmet Gardens

by The Green Thumbers

A great addition to any BBQ!! Green Thumbers 007

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Prune – is that a fruit?

The idea of “pruning” sends many people running out of the garden!!  What do you prune? When do you prune it? How do you prune it? What kind of pruner do you use????

Here is a very plain-language simple look at pruning for Early Spring…remember…this is for Early Spring…

What do you prune?

> Deciduous shrubs and trees (remember the “D” in deciduous can trigger your memory that deciduous plants “die back” in spring…thanks to my 5th grade science teacher for the memory trick:) )

> Roses

> All perennials

> All ornamental grasses

How do you prune it?

> For shape, prune shrubs accordingly

> To encourage new growth, prune shrubs back 1/3…in other words…prune it back to 2/3 of the size it is now

> To encourage better health or tame an overgrown shrub…use “hard cut” pruning method.  In other words do the opposite as above…Cut back 2/3…leaving the shrub 1/3 of the size it is now

What kind of pruner do you use????

> Anvil pruner: Used to trim woody or dead branchesThe Green Thumbers 009

>Bypass Pruner: Used to trim healthy branches The Green Thumbers 008

>Hedge or Grass Shears: Use for perennials or shaping soft shrub branchesThe Green Thumbers 007

>A Knife: as in from the kitchen:) Use like a scythe to release frustration and take down dead foliage The Green Thumbers 020>Cutters: What my 2 year old uses to help!The Green Thumbers 016

Electric Hedge Trimmer:  To make the job on grasses very easy and make me feel very, very powerful

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And lastly…before you have a funeral for your shrub consider

that this guy is still alive…(although living in my shadow – HA!)The Green Thumbers 028  This is cut back hard…very hard…but there is still life in there because the stems are pliable and fleshy.  I trimmed (note: with my anvil pruner) the dead branches. 

The finger test is always a good test with deciduous shrubs…if you can break it off…it’s a dead branch…if it bends…there’s still hope!!!  I will first root stimulate, then fertilize, water, and of course…pray!

Happy pruning!!!

PS…feel free to leave your questions or tips in the comments…we can all learn from each other…

And of course…come in to see us or visit

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Simple Seed Starting

A great way to enjoy SPRING and save money is growing your own plants from seeds!

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This is a great project to do with children!! They learn not just from the process, but also from knowing where there food comes from…

Here’s a look at some very easy seeds to start.

Start with a simple plastic growing flat with a dome… Blog 081

Dr. Earth made it very easy to start seeds ORGANICALLY this year!!!

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(Click the pic for more on Dr. Earth)

Step 1: Use a high quality potting soil and mix in 2 tablespoons of Dr. Earth ORGANIC fertilizer with one quart of soil.Blog 086

Fill each cell to about 2/3 with mixture Flower show & Kane County 001

Drop Seeds into mixture

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Cover lightly with a dusting of more soil mixtureFlower show & Kane County 002

Label cells according to seeds planted

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Water thoroughly

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Cover with dome and set in warm, sunny window…

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The inside of the dome should become moist after a few days. Just about the time you have forgotten about it…you will have little sprouts coming up just like ours!!

We L-O-ve Dr. Earth!!

Check back soon to find out what to do next, but right now…grab a friend or your family and START SOME SEEDS!!!

Stop into The Green Thumbers for a FREE magazine about organic growing and vegetable garding complements of Dr. Earth :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Chores in the Sunshine

I’m sure the warm weather has gardeners all over the Quad Cities just itching to get their hands dirty!  The feel of the warm sun on our skin and the beckoning of empty forlorn containers beckon to be played with, fill up, and fussed over…

Although I hate to think about it and spoil the fun…it is still too early for most beautiful blooms…however, all due respect given to the hyacinths, daffodils, tulips and iris sprouting their pretty green heads as eager to start the season as we are!

A few ideas on “safe” garden chores during this time of ‘EARLY SPRING’.

Pull out pots of tender plants that have been over-wintered.  Trim back growth, celebrate signs of green like these chives!!  Give a little water and put them in a sunny window to prepare them for going back outside very soon!!!

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There’s always plenty of sidewalk and patio clean up!!The Green Thumbers 003

Do not get too eager to remove debris from all beds unless you are going to lay a thick mulch right away…

The natural mulch of nature that we call debris is a warm winter blanket for tender perennials, but there’s always one of these to pull!!!The Green Thumbers 017

It’s also good to make notes of upcoming spring projects to be done…

I spotted this creeping charley…and need to pick up some Weed Free Zone at The Green Thumbers for an application when it’s a bit warmer…

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It’s also a wonderful time to prune overgrown shrubs like this barberry and other summer to fall blooming shrubs…

BE SURE NOT TO CUT SPRING FLOWERING SHRUBS like lilacs!!! The Green Thumbers 021 The Green Thumbers 022

Pull out a few garden accessories to perk your mood…The Green Thumbers 002

Uncover tender plants covered in the garden like this 1st year Japanese maple…The Green Thumbers 012

Leave trunks wrapped until after Easter though to protect from winter sunburn.The Green Thumbers 013   

It’a a great time to cut back ornamental grasses also! Leave about 1/3 of the brown stalks to support the height of new growth.The Green Thumbers 005 

Celebrate every little sign of green sprout!!!!   

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Well Said with Walligraphy as seen on Paula Sands

Flower show & Kane CountyA picture paints a thousand words they say…but sometimes you just need a few words to share the heart of your home…

Most people are becoming at least a little familiar with vinyl wall words – have you tried it yet?

It is such an easy way to bring punch to any room.

You can use wall words on a variety of surfaces…mirrors as seen on the TV demo today (March 8th) on Paula Sands for The Green Thumbers. But also on old windows, flower pots, buckets, cabinet doors and anything else your creative mind can scheme…

Every home should have some entry welcome or ‘warning’ !

I offer both at my home :)

For my visitors…Blog 054

For my boys…Blog 056

Many great phrases are offered in store at The Green Thumbers…we can also set up customization by emailing me (see profile).

Hope you enjoy the demo and pick out a great place to share the heart of your home…

A few tips:

- Lay your lettering out flat for easier installation.

- The smoother the surface, the better the finished decal will look

- Use a flat tool (even a credit card) to smooth out the letters

- It peels off the wall later, so it’s great for renters or people like me who L-O-ve change!

- Think outside the ‘wall’…flower pots, doors, sides of bath tubs…almost anywhere!

GREAT GIFT IDEAS personalized from The Green Thumbers

Picture frames and wall art

It is FUN, FUN, FUN to design your own

You don’t even have to commit to the design right away..

You can save your design online…

Click on any of the pictures to HAVE FUN NOW:)

Please tell me if you enjoyed the site and include a note that you found it here if you order!! Have fun – I hope you L-O-ve it!!!