Monday, December 15, 2008

Closed for the Winter Season

Bird Tracks on Fresh Snow

Green Wellies has gone "Seasonal"!
We will be closed for the winter season, and will reopen April 1st, 2009.

I will continue to post to the blog throughout the winter.

So look forward to gardening tips and other thoughts and ramblings.

I will look forward to seeing all of our loyal customers in the spring.

Hawthorn Berries

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

50% - 70% Storewide Savings

In the Spirit of Winter and the Holidays.

Green Wellies is hosting a one time only, 50-70% off all Merchandise Storewide!

Believe me folks this has never is just us doing our part this holiday season to stimulate the economy.

You can save on birdfeeders, birdfeeding stations, pond liners, pond pumps, filters, and all of the pretty, glittery gifts also.

This sale will only last until the 28th of November so hurry in for the best selection.

Wishing you all a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Getting Gussied Up for the Holidays

I realized abruptly that there are only a few short weeks until Christmas, I guess with all the work to be done in the garden I lost track of time.

With that said, the last week has been spent preparing the shoppe for the holidays.

Trees are lighted, ornaments are placed, gift items ready for the giving.

If you struggle with the whole gift giving idea especially in this economy, go simple.

A birdfeeder and birdseed, a new garden trowel and gloves, a hand blown glass ornament with homemade cookies, exquisite hand balm for rough gardeners hands.

I know we all have to watch our dollars but still wish to give during the season.

At Green Wellies we are full of great ideas to make this season a little less stressful. Stop in today and lets get going!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween

It appears we will have perfect weather for all the ghosts and goblins tomorrow night.
And the forecast for the next 5 days looks promising also.
Take advantage of this great autumn weather and finish up last minute garden tasks.
Empty, clean and store your Container and Planters
Dig, clean and store all tender tubers; i.e. Dahlia and Cannas
Plant Peonies
Trim back all water garden plants and protect your pond from falling leaves
Place pond de-icer and aerator in water garden.
Protect shrubs from snow load.
Rake and compost leaves.
Take a break and take the kids trick or treating!
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bonfire Begonia

Many times a day customers ask what are these big orange flowers .

When I tell them a begonia variety named 'Bonfire' they never believe me. I can't for the life of me understand why they would ask and then not believe the person who planted and cared for them all summer, let alone owns and runs a garden shoppe.

I think the disbelief comes from knowing that they are a begonia, most assume that begonia can only grow in shade.

'Bonfire' not only can tolerate full day sun it thrives, but will also be happy in a more shaded garden.

We have been most fortunate that the 'Bonfire' has done so well this fall, but this week the big hanging baskets and big planters in front of the shoppe will come down and be stored for next season.

Enjoy them for the rest of this week and remember to get yours early in the season next year for I have a feeling they will go fast.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Countdown to Last Harvest

Even though we are heading into the 3rd week of October, the garden is still giving.

Floating row cover was needed 3 times in the last week, but Dan says he has the best looking pepper plants he has ever grown.

We have been lucky that along with the seasonal cool nights we have had lots of sunshine and warmth throughout the days.

The 13 inches of rain we had in 24 hours a few weeks ago also helped bring in a bummer crop of peppers.

We will roast and/or freeze as many as the freezer will hold.

Remember that as those leaves continue to fall get the Water Garden net on.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Water Gardening and Falling Leaves

In the last few days the deciduous trees have begun to colour up.
What does the Water Gardener need to keep in mind during the fall?
Primarily, autumn leaves do not belong in the pond and should not remain there to decompose during the winter.
Is there an easy solution?

Pond Netting!

Pond Nets keep autumn debris from polluting your pond. I suggest getting your pond fall clean up done in the next few days, and place a net over the entire surface.
Pond Netting should not touch the surface, but be place with a gradual slope so when the leaves blow in they fall to the edge of the pond and not on the pond itself.

You can remove the netting after all the leaves are off the trees.
This is just one simple task to complete during warm falls days, it greatly reduces your spring clean up.

Your pond fish will also benefit from netting your pond, for any decomposing matter robs your pond of oxygen in the winter.
Remember, cold doesn't kill your fish in the winter, lack of oxygen does.

Mention this posting and save 10% on your fall/winter pond products.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hummingbirds & Autumn

Ruby Throated Hummingbird Feeding on Petunia at Green Wellies Garden Shoppe

I have been receiving many calls asking if it is time to take down the hummingbird nectar.
The answer is a resounding NO.
It is a ol'wives tale that by keeping the nectar out you "trick" the hummingbird into staying north. This is just not so. When the time is right hummingbirds know instinctively when to head south.

It is very important at this time to continue keeping the nectar feeders full. With the onset of cooler nights the hummingbird will need more nectar, plus they are getting ready for that terrifically long journey.

I find that I am filling my feeder more often than in the height of summer. Plants nectar is just not as plentiful, as our perennial gardens begin to go dormant.

Continue to fill the feeders until you no longer see the level going down.
Then clean and store your feeders for next year.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Change is Coming

And no I am not talking about the upcoming election. Will we ever be able to hear those words again without thinking of this last political season.
The change we are talking about right now is the change in our seasons.
Today, after 12" of rain in 72 hours the sun came back and it was welcomed with big arms.
Along with the rain I noticed we still have Water Lilies blooming in the upper pond, and nestled right next to the blossom was this lovely maple leaf.
I think we who garden have mixed feelings regarding autumn.
We enjoy the crispness in the air, the lack of humidity, the blueness of the sky, and of course the myriad colours in the autumn leaves.
But, with this comes the end of our blooming perennial and water gardens, the last of our summer vegetables.
Have your tomato plants started to go?
Oh is truly coming!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

These Guys are Now in Charge

Green Wellies will be CLOSED Sept 5th - Sept 12th.
While we are away these two fine gentlemen have been volunteered to watch over things.
We have it on the best authority that they are very trustworthy.
Herman (the big goldfish) and Essie (his mate) are not quite sure about their ability.
It seems they have brought along a get away car.

"Milkweed" says, don't worry Leela, I will help them!
Have a great week....I certainly will and we will talk when I get back.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Labor Day Hours

We will be open regular hours Friday the 29th and Sunday the 31st.
Friday - 10a-5p Sunday 12n-5p

But I am taking the day off on Monday the 1st!
Whoopee for me!

Happy Labor Day everyone.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Perennial Sale

Our 1st ever Perennial Sale is going on now.

Save 50% on all in stock Perennials!
Save 50% on all Aquatic Plants
Save 50% on all Fish.

The employees have left for college and I don't want to clean up so take advantage of my laziness and save today.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Garden Bounty

Basil, Basil, we have so much Basil, I will be making pesto for the next week.

This is just the trimming from 3 basil plants. I believe there are 15 more in the garden.

This time of year we are in production mode, canning fruit, vegetables, freezing the last of the green beans and sweet corn.

Pulling and curing the onions for winter storage. Waiting for the late varieties of tomatoes.

We get so busy we forget that this is also the perfect time to plant perennials.

With warm days, but cooler nights, new perennial plantings will thrive.
We still have many varieties available and starting August 17th will offer them at a savings of 50%!

And while you are here loading your car with great new plants, stop by the Berrien County Fair for one last corndog.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Gardening Season - Part III - Fresh Salad

Salad Greens

If you haven't tried to grow your own salad greens, you have no idea what you are missing.

The salad mixes in the grocery may look appealing, but even the organic bulk produce lacks flavor and substance.

When you control what your produce is grown in the nutritional value increase along with flavor.

Once picked, soak them in several changes of water, dry in salad spinner, pack loosely in large ziplocs with several layers of paper toweling. Fresh Salad Greens should last a week or more.

Dress them very lightly in a light vinaigrette for they are so succulent you want the flavor of the greens to shine.

Need help getting started....visit us today. We will share our favorite lettuce blends and secrets to growing them!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Gardening Season - Part II - Green Beans

40 feet of green beans, 2 rows

Sauteed, Steamed, Stir Fried, whatever way you prefer, green beans are on the menu.

Dan picked 11 pounds Thursday night. Nothing beats picking fresh organic produce and consuming it minutes later for supper.

I am not sure how we got away from this privilege in this country, but I hear the trend toward home vegetable gardening is on the increase.
Most trade publications say that vegetable flats out sold flower flats this spring.
With the upturn in grocery costs, along with fuel costs, I can understand why.

Dan has worked his organic vegetable plot with zeal for 12 years. This garden provides most of our produce needs not only during the season, but all winter.

We are also harvesting summer squash, onions, the last of the salad greens, more basil then I can make pesto, and carrots. Sweet Corn and Tomatoes can not ripen so enough.

Questions on organic gardening? Stop in and chat, we still have Renee's Garden Seed in stock at a reduced price. Perfect for next season.

green beans, wash and snapped, ready to blanch and freeze

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Perennials

Last Friday we restocked with a large variety of perennials.

The Leucanthemum are looking especially lovely,the pure white of the blossom just shines. Companion plant with Heliopsis and you have a wonderful combination!

Astilbes seem to be in style this year, as they should be. Growers are continually introducing new varieties, better colours and disease resistant. Astilbes are a great way to brighten your shady areas.

Come in today before these beauties leave the courtyard.

Did you know that many perennials can be "tricked" them into repeat blooms. We would love to show you how.

Gardeners whom are not daunted by our soon to be 90 degree temps can SAVE 10% if they mention this posting.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Garden Season - Part I

Dan pulled the 1st Walla Walla Onion on Saturday.
We know we are having a successfull garden season when the onions from last year last until the Walla Walla's are ready to be pulled this year.

Walla Wallas are high in moisture and sugar, which makes them perfect for fresh eating but will store for only 2 to 3 weeks after harvest.

Perfect for summer salsas, onion rings, ratatouille and many more summertime dishes.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Nyphaea 'Partytime' - Blooming Now at Green Wellies

This is the reason I love Water Gardens.
Water Lilies are at the showiest in the month of July, they love the hot, sultry days we have recently had.

I always prompt gardeners to add at least 1 Tropical Water Lily to their Water Features.
Tropicals bloom off the surface of the water, their blooms are usually larger and the have a longer bloom period.
If blue/purple tones are your preferred colours Tropical Water Lilies are your only choice.

Tropical Water Lilies can be overwintered in our zone 5, but think of them as another annual, providing you with colour all season long.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Plant of the Week

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'

'Limelight' is a hardy hydrangea which blooms on new wood. Which to the home gardener means guaranteed late summer blooms.

'Limelight' is hardy to Zone 3 (we are zone 5)and can grow 6-8' in height, with a spread of 4-5'. Full sun is required.

It is perfect grown in the landscape or in containers.

As the name suggest the blooms are a creamy limey white, on mature plants quite large and showy.

'Limelight' requires little care and is not bothered by disease or garden pests.

It does require a good pruning yearly to keep it's shape and tip pruning in the spring eliminates the need to stake these heavy beauties.

This week we offer 'Limelight' at a 10% discount, and have them available in 2 gallon containers.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Meghan on Sunday....waiting ....waiting....waiting

Meghan today...smiling...smiling...smiling!

We just got in 100 tadpoles and they are going fast.
In fact some are going so fast they have their hind legs already.

Meghan would love to catch them for you to take home to your backyard Water Garden.
$2.49 each or buy 6 for $1.99 each

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Spring Bounty

Strawberries Season began last week and we have been taking advantage!
Strawberries for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Vist Bixby Farms U-Pick for the best!

Tomato season really does not begin until late summer, but we have a "in" with a local farmer who grows them in a greenhouse in soil, not hydroponic. And these taste like the real thing! Vist "Corey Lake Farms" to get yours today!

Visit Green Wellies Garden Shoppe for new shipments of perennials! Be first and get the best selection.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Favorite Spring Water Plants

We hope that frost warnings are a thing of the past as we head into the month of June.
May 2008 was the coldest since 2002 nationwide and the coldest since 1988 here in Michigan.

Silver Lining.....most spring blooming plants, while blooming the later than usual have had incredible staying power.

The above photo shows 2 of my favorite Spring Bog Plants.

In the foreground Mimulus luteus , common name 'Monkey Flower'. A moisture loving plants the freely flowers most of the summer and self seeds with abundance. As 'Monkey Flower' matures the plant will reach out into your water garden taking up nitrites and helping to combat algae blooms.

In the background Myosotis palustris, 'Water Forget Me Not', a favorite of all who see it blooming at the edge of our pond. It like 'Monkey Flower' will self seed and if cut back after flowering will bloom again.

Two bog plants not to be without in your Water Garden.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Birdathon Give Away

Every year it gives me great pleasure to donate an item for the Southwest Michigan Birdathon.

This annual event consists of bird counting, bird watching, a meal, and silent auction, hosted by Kip and Pat at Love Creek Nature Center.

This year we donated a Forever Feeder, several premium annuals, birdseed and of course a "Green Wellies" Ball cap.

Pat was in last week to report they had a wonderful turnout and the bird count was up this year!
Mainly due to lingering shorebirds. Pat also commented that our donated item was one of the items most bid on. Yea!

Congratulation to all the Birders out there that participated in the Southwest Michigan Birdathon.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rainy Day Offer

raindrops on flower petals

Free Geraniums!

Gray, misty, cool, light breeze, london-y.

London-y....not a real word but one I keep saying all day.

It just feels London-y out today.

We would like to tempt you to come out today, brave this London-y weather, pull on your rain slicker and wellies.

Purchase 3 four inch premium annuals and we will give you a 4" Geranium! (1 Geranium per purchase)

Free, absolutely Free!

For we admire all you gardeners that do not let a little inclement weather stop you.

This special is only valid to our blog readers.

Mention you are a reader and want your free Geranium!

Rainy Day Offer Valid 14May - 16May.

I love Rain, Rain makes me Happy!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Michigan Farmers Desperate to Save Crops

The Headline we see more and more often.
It has been spring officially for 6 weeks. Temps. in the high 70's and even 80 last week.
Temperatures in which Fruit Trees and Strawberries Bloom.
Last night at 11pm, 33 degrees, early a.m. 22 degrees.

When Fruit is in bloom, and a hard killing frost is forecasted, the area Farmers best line of defense is irrigation. If they can encapsulate the bloom in ice it actually protects it.

It is too early to tell if all the efforts were "fruitful". Cherries may be okay, they had already dropped bloom. Apples and Peaches are still in question.
This is just another reason why we all need to be aware of where food originates and the effort it takes to feed people.
Be a locavore , support your local farmers and buy only locally grown food.
Think about it...transportation cost is less, which equals less fuel usage, which equals less oil dependence.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Water Gardening Season

"Milkweed" enjoys the 1st Fish Feeding of Season

A few tips for Spring Start Up of your Water Gardens.

1. Replace all filter media.
2. Clean/Start your Pumps
3. Clean debris off bottom of pond as much as possible.
4. Do a partial water exchange, no more than 1/3 total volume
5. Add your 1st dose of Beneficial Bacteria i.e. PondZyme, Microlift PL,etc.
6. Check salt levels
7. Add submerged plants and floaters a.s.a.p.
submerged plants 1 bunch for every 2 sq ft of surface space
floaters (water lettuce/hyacinth) enough to give good coverage of surface
8. Be Patient. Give your pond time to achieve "balance". Some degree of algae bloom is to be expected.
9. Fed fish only when water temp is above 50 degrees. Or when you have special help like "Milkweed"

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Seed Starting 101 - Part 2

Cotyledon (or "seed leaf") is the first growth to appear upon germination, it is really the embryo within the seed of the plant.

It is appropriate when seeing "seed leaves" to do a small victory dance! You have your 1st success!

Light now becomes a requirement, place florescent grow lights as close to the seedling as possible, provide at least 14 hours of light daily. Secondary or "true leaves" should emerge within 7 to 10 days. Monitor the growth and move the light up as needed.

Moisture levels most also be monitored, damp not wet potting media is required. Also bottom water and never allow the tray to sit in a pool of water.

Once several sets of "true leaves" have grown and girth is achieved in the stem, begin watering with a very diluted fertilizer. 20:1 ratio.

to be continued.....

Monday, April 7, 2008

Signs of True Spring


Iris reticulata

Even though spring officially arrived several weeks ago, we have had very cool, un-spring like weather until this past weekend. Two days of bright sunshine and 60 degrees.
It was wonderful to get out in our yards and begin the spring clean up that usually happens in March.
Green Wellies kicked off Spring Cleaning yesterday and we shall have cold tolerant annuals by the 3rd week of April.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Seed Starting 101

Have you ever wanted to start your own garden seeds, but the process is a tad intimidating?
In the next few postings we will walk you through the process.

By starting our own seeds we have even more control over what we grow, and more importantly where the seed originated and how it was gathered. We choose to grow from certified organic seeds.
The process begins by gathering and sterilizing your seeding trays. Trays may be used multiple times, but will need to be sanitized by washing in a tub of 10:1 bleach solution. Do not skip this step, it is messy, but worth it to begin the seedlings in a sterile environment.
Once the trays are dry fill them with a organic potting mix, a seed starting mix is preferred.

Check the seed packet for it will have invaluable information, such as how early to start indoors & days to germination. The last "official" frost date is May 20th in our zone.

We are starting Sweet Peppers, which have a germination of 10-21 days, at soil temps of 75-85 degrees. Yes, that is soil temp which means you have to warm the potting mix up to 75-85 degrees to ensure germination. The easiest way to do so is with a heating mat.

Pepper seed need only be planted 1/4" deep in the moist potting mix, once planted, place on heating mat or warmest spot in house, seeds do not need light to germinate. Immediately upon germination light will need to be provided.

If your seeding trays do not have a plastic domed cover, a thin plastic bag (dry cleaning bags) over the top of the tray will suffice. Covering the tray provides humidity which aids in keeping the potting mix moist. Keep the mix moist but not wet and if needed always bottom water.

to be continued.......

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Blue Skies and Birdsong

Signs of Spring are abundant today, beautiful blue skies and birdsong at dawn.
The sun actually feels warms today. It prompts me to think once again of spring plantings, and fresh asparagus.
The Robins have returned along with many of our other Summer Birds, I have spotted Robins, Redwing Blackbirds, Grackles, Killdeer, and we have had many customers in purchasing Wren Houses.
The Birdsong at dawn in the backyard is a pleasant and welcome way to wake up each morning, for spring you are ever so welcome this year!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Winter Aconites

This sight greeting me yesterday when I returned from work. These particular bulbs of winter aconties orginated from my partners family. His grandmother planted them 40 some years ago at the house his parents now live in. They cover the hillside, ravine and lawns at their house. It is a sight to behold, and one we look forward to, for it yells out, "Spring is Coming!".
Winter Aconites are inexpensive and easy to plant in the autumn. The reward is indescribable.

Winter aconites have been grown since the sixteenth century in English Gardens and extend the flowering season of perennials by adding a splashes of colour from January to March, often pushing through the snows of winter.Their name comes from the Greek “er” meaning spring and “anthos” meaning flower and hyemalis which means flowering in the spring.
Winter aconites have upturned yellow cup shaped flowers (¾ - 1 inch or 2 -2.5 cm across) that sit stalkless on a ruff of bright green leaves and they can flower for up to six weeks.From April onwards the leaves die down and the plant will be dormant and hidden until next winter. Cultivation
The knobbly tubers need to be planted 2” (5cm) deep.
3-4” (7.5 – 10cm) apart.
They do best in moist, fertile, well-drained soil.