Tuesday, April 19, 2011


It is finally safe to fill your window boxes, urns and planters with a burst of color! Pansies are the ideal annual to use in this time of the year. They are perfectly paired with pussy willows for height and alyssum to drape down the front of your planters. There are so many beautiful colors and sizes to chose from, take a look at your local plant nursery!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Natural Swimming Pool?

Thinking of installing a pool this spring or summer?   A great alternative to the typical chlorine pool is going natural.  The main advantage to the natural swimming pool is ecological, but other benefits include lower maintenance, a natural heating system, and attraction to wildlife. Which ever shape or size natural pool is chosen, there are two essential parts. One being the swimming pool and the other being the regeneration zone. The Regeneration zone consists of aquatic and marginal plants such as water lilies, cattails, etc. all of which act as filters for the water. Why not install a natural pool this year, great for the environment and great for your skin!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Storm-water run off

Driveway with Grass Pave to add detail and reduce storm-water run off
Patio with ground cover between pavers to reduce storm-water run off
While starting to think of your spring and summer outdoor projects, also consider storm water run off. Storm-water run off is a major way pollutants can be brought to near by marshes, bays, and streams. To do your part in reducing storm-water run off on your own property use a mixture of pavers, turf and porous material when considering patios and driveways. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Forcing Branches!

Tricking branches of flowering shrubs and trees into blooming early is known as "Forcing Branches". It is a great way brighten up your home and also a great reminder that spring is around the corner! The most successful branches to use are ones from forsythia, cherry, and crabapple, but any bloomer can be forced.  Here are our tips for forcing branches:

1) Cut branches about 3 to 6 weeks before normal blooming season, it is easiest to force branches when their buds begin to plump

2) Put the branches in water with in 20 minutes of cutting. Place them in a container with a teaspoon of bleach to kill bacteria that may rot the branches. It is also necessary to keep the upper parts of the branches moist as well; spray them frequently with a misting bottle.

3) Now cover and keep them cool. Ideal temperature would be 50 degrees at night and 60 degrees in the day time. A garage is an ideal place for this stage, as light is not needed.

4) Once blooms begin to appear, arrange branches in a decorative vase and place them in a sunny spot. As the blooms open, change the water weekly and remove from direct sun light.

Let us know if you have any questions!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Winter Snow Damage

As the snow melts keep your eyes out for damage to your shrubs and trees, especially to evergreens. This has been a really rough winter and now it is time to repair or replace! To repair you may need to prune and/or support limbs for regrowth and this needs to be done asap in order to give the plant the best chance to bounce back quickly. Replacing the tree or shrub may also be your only option. It would be a good idea to replace it with a different plant than what is existing because that tree or shrub obviously is not the best choice for that location. Let us know if you need some advice or installation on your replacement trees or shrubs!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Take a look at our new facebook page at
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/The-Secret-Gardeners/156713464365856 ! We have posted lots of pictures from our 2010 season and would love to hear what you think!

Friday, February 11, 2011

2011 Perennial of the Year!

Amsonia hubrichtii (Arkansas Blue Star)
We are so excited that this amazing perennial is finally getting the recognition it deserves! We have been using it for years and it really is a spectacular specimen. It is primarily known for its delicate foliage and pale blue star-shaped flowers in the spring. Other characteristics include amazing golden-yellow fall color and tolerance to the New England climate.  

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Website!!

Take a look at our new and improved Website! We have included pictures of our fabulous 2010 season, as well as favorites from past years. Let us know what you think!