Monday, November 26, 2007

Forcing Bulbs for Christmas

I love giving "forced bulbs" for Christmas Gifts. It is an easy and inexpensive, but lovely gift.
A few tips when forcing bulbs: 1. Look for the bulbs to state they are either "prepared" or "chilled". This means the bulbs have been chilled or cooled and are ready to bloom. Most Bulbs need a chilling period of 8 to 12 weeks. 2. You could buy bulbs that are not chilled, but the bulbs will have to be placed in a cool/cold area for the required time. 3. Always pick a bulb that is firm, unblemished and the paper skin is tight, much as you would choose an onion.

Pick a pretty pot, vase or any vessel (no plastic, please!) to plant the bulb. The pot will need to accommodate the bulb once watered, so choose a pot with at least 1" larger than bulb.You will need gravel for the bottom of the pot if it has no drainage hole. Choose a good quality potting soil, one heavy in peat. Don't forget pot dressing to finish (I prefer reindeer moss).

1. Place gravel for drainage in bottom of pot.

2. Fill to a depth of 3" with the potting soil.

3. Place bulb on soil and fill with remaining soil just up to the "hips" of the bulb.

4. Water well, but do not flood the pot.

5. Top dress with reindeer moss. This helps to keep in the moisture, and doesn't it just look pretty and finished this way. Place pot in a warm area, i.e. where you are comfortable .

In days you or the recipient will begin to see the bulb emerge from dormancy , and in a few short weeks blooms!

Another lovely presentation is planting in glass pebbles. Children especially like this for as the bulb grows they can see the roots find their way through the pebbles. Make sure the vase is large enough to accommodate the swelling of the bulb. Place the bulb on the top of the pebbles.

Fill vase with water until it just tickles the bottom of the bulb. Keep the water consistently at this level. If the bulb itself sits in water it will rot. You may wish to change the water every few days to avoid a skunky smell (just tip out water, and refill).

Give Bulbs this Holiday Season. It's spot on!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Countdown to Christmas

I would like to thank all of you who made the time over this busy, busy weekend to visit and shop during our Open House. I hope you found what you were looking for and if there is something you wished we carried, please leave me a comment.

This coming Thursday, November 29th, the shoppe will be participating in our downtown's "Rekindle Your Christmas Spirit" Fesitival. This is a first time event with a many exiciting events planned.
The Southwest Michigan Symphony String Quartet will perform at the 1839 Courthouse, Lighting of the Memorial Park Christmas Tree, Horse and Carriage rides, and of course Mr. and Mrs Claus.
I am hoping it will bring a good crowd to our updated downtown.
Green Wellies will be open until 900pm with discounts on Christmas merchandise during the fesitival.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Finishing Touches

I love to tempt our customers to come in, visit, browse, shop. This year during the Holiday Open House (Friday 11/29) I'll even give you a lovely little gift. Are you tempted yet?

How about now? Doesn't this look yummy? is not for your tummy, it's gourmet birdseed, in a darling little felt bucket and just for you a sparkly ornament for your tree.

Monday, November 19, 2007

We are Ready for Christmas - Are You?

I was so in need of elves last week. So much to do. Turning a Garden Shoppe into a Christmas Gift Shoppe. (now don't worry we still are first and foremost a Garden Shoppe). It was Wednesday morning and I realized we had only a week to get it all done!!! Yikes!!

Pulled in the big guns...dragged Meggie away from college for 2 days. She jumped right in tearing displays apart.

Then setting up new displays.

Stopping only long enough when Don our UPS Man brought us goodies. Don always brings us goodies. We love Don.

The goodies today were additional hooks for the slatwall. Probably not too exiciting for you, but look.....

At all the ornaments now hanging on the slatwall!

My favorite display of this season. Forced Hyacinth and Amaryllis Bulbs, what a perfect gift!

We made it! The shoppe is dressed, bejeweled, gussied up, whatever you want to call it, and Ready for the Holidays!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Let me introduce you to my friend "Milkweed", Milkweed until 2 weeks ago had very long, very blond, very wispy hair, hence the name. His father finally had enough and took him for his big boy haircut, we approve, but his nickname stands. Milkweed's grandmother owns a business a few doors down and we get to visit with him quite often. This morning when I stopped in for another cup of coffee, his mom Heidi wanted me to notice he still had his shoes on, he had told her earlier "when Lela (when he was a baby he could not say Leisa) gets here, I'm going with her. "

I would like to think it is my magnetic personality, but truly it is all the sparkly lights and thoughts of Santa that excite him.

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Getting Ready for the Holidays

Remember those "Big Pots"? They also make wonderful Christmas Trees stands. My preferred choice in Christmas Trees is the Concolor Fir. The Concolor has bluish green flat needles (soft not prickly) prefers full sun and moist sandy loam, dislikes heavy clay soil, is tolerant of drier conditions and heat. If planting in the landscape give it lots of room, it will top out at 30'-50' with a spread of 15'-30' though it is a moderate slow grower.
What I particularly like is it's wonderful open habit, perfect for hanging long dangley ornaments. And when the needles are crushed they smell of citrus. Lovely!
The Concolor in the photo is approx. 10-12ft tall and when placed in the "big pots" add another 3 ft in height. We placed over 1000 lights on this puppy!
For the last few days we have been transforming the shoppe for the holidays, it is a big task, but with the help of many paid elves, we should have it complete by this weekend. I hate to rush Christmas but in the retail world you are forced to. Frank's (Sinatra that is, we are on a 1st name basis) Holiday CD may get tossed in the player today to heighten the mood. We will keep you updated.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Halloween at Green Wellies Garden Shoppe

It was a madcap staff up to their armpits in pumpkin guts. 2 Days of Carving Fever. Our good friend Scotty helping out at the last minute but 31 Pumpkins were gutted, carved, stacked and lit. But it sure was worth it.

The Trick or Treaters loved them.

We loved them.

p.s. It was such a successful evening that even the "new" police chief stopped to tell us just how nice the display was. Now let me tell you this is the first time in 10 years that I have had any comments from the local police chief. So it truly was a successful night