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Exotic Flowers in Boston

Flower Bags Are All the Rage

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, May 30, 2018

f you’ve been perusing the nursery scenes lately, you might have seen a cool new way of growing and displaying your favorite blooming flowers.  Unlike other planters and pots filled to the brim with spring and summer blooms, there is an interesting method that clever gardeners have invented to optimize growing power while providing a dynamic presentation.  “Bag-a-Bloom is a funky container system that yes-is made out of plastic bag material. Usually fashioned in black or forest green, these interesting harvesting contraptions allows you to hang wherever there is a spot available.  Depending on the variety used to be planted, long cascades and tendrils can flourish down walls and posts, causing an optimal floral display for all who pass by. I’ve even seen these babies used by restaurants and hotels to create show stopping entryways for an ultimate ambiance splash.  For personal consumption, we can hang them on a hook outside front doors or place on gates, poles and trellis archways. Use your imagination when it comes to Bag-a-Bloom styling and here are some ideas to get those wheels turning!


Coleus

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Coleus is an awesome variety of foliage to add in this type of growing vessel because it will appreciate the heat generated within the plastic as well as enable to the roots to firmly situate themselves in the condensed soil.  This variety grows in a variety of colors including green, purple and even pink so the overall arrangement is tremendous no matter what type of coleus plants you choose. Conveniently, these flowering bags are only good for one season and since the coleus is an annual, you can just toss the whole thing out in the fall.  Remember to hang the bag in a brightly lit area with tons of sunlight and water frequently to keep the plant moist and continuously flowering.

Impatiens


Pansies are probably the top choice for bagged flowers because again, they are an annual that can be discarded at the end of the season plus they are a wonderful spreading décor to hang outside.  Impatiens are pretty tough in nature and don’t demand a lot of fussing over if you don’t have the hours to play full time gardener, which keep their demand high with good reasoning. With partial sun to shade flexibility, impatiens bags are a guaranteed winner for gifts or seasonal garnishing.


Tomatoes


Yes-I know.  Tomatoes are not a flower but you’ll love growing your own juicy veggies all summer long with the convenience of no large garden patches to tend to.  Treating yourself to freshly made salads and other tomato based recipes will become a luxury I guarantee you’ll become accustomed to quite quickly! If you really want to see something spectacular, select a species that possesses long vines and watch a hanging garden appear right before your very eyes!

Tags: Outdoor Living, Gardens, Gardening, Garden Center

Tips to Transform Your Garden into a Great Outdoor Space

Posted by Jenny Holt on Fri, May 18, 2018

Is your garden looking a bit neglected after the winter? Maybe you’ve piled surplus stuff from inside the home to make some extra space? Whatever your reason, it’s time to think about transforming it into a fabulous outdoor space and growing plants from seeds before spring arrives. Giving your garden a spruce-up will not only make it a beautiful and relaxing space to hang out for family and friends, but it can also be rewarding feeling once all the work is done. Here are a few ideas for you to try.

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Make it comfortable

Inject a bit of personality into your outdoor space through repainting your fencing, buying or re-purposing garden furniture and decluttering broken or useless junk lying around. Try and think about maximizing the space to make it more comfortable for everyone to enjoy, and that includes making a pet-friendly garden if you have animals. If you want privacy, consider planting tall, evergreen trees which will also provide shade on hot, summer days.

Create a grassy space

Lawn care takes a lot of work to get the lush greenness you want to relax on but it’s not the same if you have to sit on concrete paving stone! Plus, it’s a great space for children to play on. If you’ve already got a lawn, look out for any patches or signs of unhealthiness that have appeared but if you don’t have grassy area then maybe it’s time to consider planted grass seeds. Either way, depending on the size of your space, the chances are you’ll need a handheld spreader for a small space or review broadcast and drop style spreaders for larger areas as they'll allow the area to be covered in a few passes.

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Add color

Who doesn’t like the stunning colors of nature’s flowers growing in a garden? Admittedly, it takes a bit of effort to start off but once established you’ll be able to enjoy their beauty in the months to come. There are many ways to brighten up your garden, even on a budget and you should choose different types of species, for example, exotic flowers, edible flowers, annual, etc, to mix it up. It’s important to make sure they’re watered well and receive the right amount of shade or sun they desire and you can either plant from seed or buy in pots from a gardening center.

Whatever you decide to incorporate or add into your garden, it will be a reflection of your style and tastes so makes for a perfect escape in the good weather.

Tags: Garden, Gardening, Outdoor Living

Not All Medicine Comes in a Pill - Video

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Jun 28, 2017

Get outside and plant something.

Being outside with plants is good for your mind, body and soul.

Fresh air, exercise and an immeasurable feeling of being whole.

Tags: Video Flower Commercial, #EXFL, Lifestyle, Garden, DIY, exercise, Outdoor Living

Is It the Dirt ? - Video

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Jun 22, 2017

 

Is it the flowers ?

Is it the dirt ?

Is it the hard work ?

It's all that.

when you are working outside and dirt weaves through your hands, your endorphins get going. Step outside and make your life better.

 

 

.

Tags: Outdoor Living, Garden, outdoors, DIY, Gardening

New Home, New Garden

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Jun 03, 2017

It’s typical this time of year in New England to see several houses for sale in your neighborhood.  During the months of June, July and August, this real estate market is in full swing, selling more homes than any other time of year.  It’s no mystery why since we’re more than likely to be covered in snow during the winter, which is not a great sales pitch for future buyers.  So if you are getting ready to buy a house in the Boston area, besides paying close attention to the condition of the roof and plumbing, make sure to inspect the grounds including lawn care, landscaping and most importantly – THE GARDEN!  

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You might think this is a small improvement you’ll have to make down the road, an issue that needs very little concern but I assure you it will save you time and money to investigate beforehand.  Renovating garden beds is a bigger job than you suspect and will absolutely affect the value of your property down the road.  I know… I know… you’d rather replace old furniture with new or perhaps blast out an outdated bathroom before getting your hands dirty in the backyard but the truth is-it’s the perfect place to start.  With a few tips on how to get going, you can whip up your surrounding outdoor area with little headache or worry.  Not a green thumb?  No sweat!  Follow these suggestions closely and you’ll be on your way to having an ideal spring and summer season both in and out of your new home.


Tips for New Homeowners Concerning Gardens, Lawn Care and Landscape:

  1. Take a look around and notice if there are a density of pine trees hovering over your lawn.  If there are, it’s likely that you’ll have trouble keeping a nice green patch growing and will need professional care down the road.  The reason is because the needles will drop, affecting the growth of healthy blades beneath so you might want to consider mulch or another attractive ground covering.  

  1. Landscaping is a tricky area of renovation because it relies a lot on the past owners taste and whether it is congruent to your own.  If they preferred large shrubs as opposed to flowering bushes like hydrangea, this might be an area where you’re going to have to invest some money.  Also watch out for large rocks that might be difficult to remove if you’re interested in another layout for your yard.  There are companies who will come out to lift and take them away but they are costly.
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  1.  Now for the area of grand discussion….THE GARDENS.  You’re in good shape if the previous gardeners liked their perennials because lucky for you-they come back every year bigger and better than before.  In this case, you’ll have to do an occasional weeding but for the most part, the hard work has been done for you.  If you’re working with a blank slate, that’s also fortunate since you can design the area with anything you like.  It’s your yard now, so go for it!  If the new property has old framework like rotting raised beds or other accessories you don’t want, get someone who can help you lug the stuff away and start fresh.  Try to salvage anything that might be reused, though because again, this can get costly.  

Tags: DIY, Outdoor Living, Garden, Gardening

Earth Day - Plant a Tree - Drop A Seed Bomb

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Apr 17, 2017

April 22nd is Earth Day, a celebration honoring our beautiful planet and the importance of keeping her healthy.  The tradition began in 1970 when a United States Senator by the name of Gaylord Nelson started the initiative and became the founder of this first ever, global celebration.  His mission was to teach others the importance of maintaining and sustaining our natural resources after the massive 1969 oil spill in California.  During this time, vehicles were also sucking down massive consumptions of gas, air pollution was on an upward skew and the concept of global warming had sudden become a threat.  

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With the help of a Republican Congressman, Pete McClosky and a Harvard professor, Nelson was able to devise a team that would promote events around the country to peacefully protest the need to preserve our home.  For the first time in ages, both parties of government joined together as well as different diversities, ethnicities, religions and financial realms to serve a common purpose.  People from all over marched in the streets holding signs to advertise the need for new legislature, which would protect our natural environment.  The outcome was successful and led the way for “The Clean Air Act”, “Endangered Species Act” and “The Clean Water Act” to become legalized.  Although there is still much work to do, every year Earth Day participants seek to push this important initiative and show their love for our planet.


If you’re not up for joining a demonstration but want to celebrate Earth Day just the same, there are plenty of fun ways to do it!  The most common activity is to plant a tree, which helps cultivate new wildlife, vegetation and better air quality.  You can also start a garden and include flowers that attract bees or make “seed bombs” and disperse them around your yard.  For those who don’t have a green thumb, there are several other options to support the holiday, which can simply mean fixing leaky faucets around the house, starting a compost collection or recycling paper products and tin cans.  Forgoing driving and walking or biking for the day will also raise awareness as well as swapping your electric phone chargers for solar powered units.  Become smarter buying groceries, build a birdhouse and simply picking up litter you see on the ground are also easy ways to get involved.

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Families should keep in mind the spirit of Earth Day by teaching their children the concerns facing our home and how we can all do our part to implement solutions!  April 22nd is all about educating one another about the importance of our environment and one easy way to accomplish this is by spending time in the outdoors.  Go for a hike or a walk in the woods and expose your kids to the beautiful natural wonders that surround us everyday!

Tags: Earth Day, hiking, Trees, Nature, Outdoor Living, Seeds

Log Cabin Inspired Floral Creations

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Jan 19, 2017

Last weekend, my family and I foraged into the great outdoors to spend a couple of night’s winter camping in Vermont.  There was beautiful forestry with trails all around us, winding roads that led you down miles of countryside and the simple sound of silence that living near a city, we can all take for granted.

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It was spectacular.


All of our surroundings alluded to a natural beauty that made just being there, relaxing and peaceful.  Trees, snow drifts and the scent of wood burning fireplaces set the stage for a place to reconnect with nature without complication.  

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After returning home, I wondered if there was a way to collect and replicate the picturesque aura of Vermont so we could continue the Zen sensation long after the vacation ended.   After a little thinking, I decided to try using flowers as my muse and see if I could come up with a few options that would mirror the “log cabin” appeal.  What I found was that species such as wild flowers and fern like foliage work really well for this style and are easily found in Massachusetts, probably even in your own backyard.  Clippings from your summer garden will also breathe a rustic statement when placed in containers like mason jars or old ceramic watertight bowls and cups.  If you’d like to amp it up beyond your capabilities, ask for the services of your local floristwho’ll be able to transform your home into a cozy, cottage retreat.

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Tags: Log Cabin, Outdoor Living, outdoors, hiking, Flower Arrangements

Growing Vegetables in New England

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Jun 23, 2016

Our favorite blogger Suzie Canale takes us for a walk through her garden in Westwood. While being outside in the garden is great exercise and makes you feel better, the harvest from your vegetable garden makes it all worthwhile.

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Get an uo close look at healthy and energizing broccoli and cauliflower plants in the garden.

Tags: Suzie Canale, Vegetable Garden, Gardening, Outdoor Living

Easy Steps to Shape Up Your Garden for the Summer Season

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Jun 15, 2016

Sometimes a garden can look pretty bleak when we begin to prepare for the summer season.  There is no color, the soil looks as if its evaporated into thin air and the idea of ever seeing beautiful plants once again flourish seems like an impossibility.  We all go through this in one way or another because if you’re a true New England gardener, you know that the winter is brutal on our beloved flower and vegetable beds.  It will take a little time to get things back into tip top shape but I assure you, the task doesn’t have to be as taxing as we make it out to be.  There are many ways that we can get the job done without having to spend months of our time breaking our backs or emptying our wallets.  This is a list of several tips that will get your green thumb growing in no time so you can spend your summer days doing exactly what you want to do, playing in your gardens!

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Tips to Shape Up Summer Gardens Fast


  1. You don’t always have to replace emptied raised beds with a ton of extra soil.  Sometimes the earth just needs a good toss and till to infuse the dirt with life after the colder months have past by.  Often freezing occurs which tricks the landscape into lying lower than it really is so pick up a shovel and do a little digging before you haul heavy bags of soil all over your lawn.

  1. Buy your seeds in advance from places like local hardware stores, Home Depot and Job Lot who often cut the prices once the summer has ended.  You’ll be able to stock up early as well as save a pretty penny on all the deals that you’ll find.  
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  1. Save old sheets and other fabric material that can be reused for purposes such as weed coverage or netting.  Many varieties of plants need extra protection from unwanted animals and bugs and these items are extremely helpful.  Labeled netting is often expensive and the supplies you may already have at home work just as well if not better so rummage through closets before you decide to buy anything.

  1. Save yourself the frustration of having to decipher what plant remnants are annuals and which are perennials by yanking out annuals as soon as the time has come to shut down your garden.  It can be wasteful when you discard plants that are able to bloom again if only given the time to rejuvenate.  If you really want to be economical, replant the annuals inside and see if you can weather them until the next summer!   This is how many of the pros do it and how many plant heirlooms are passed down through generations of family.  

Tags: Gardening, Plant Care, Outdoor Living, Seeds, Gardens

Easy Steps to Care for Your Hanging Plants

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Jun 11, 2016

Part of loving summer is being able to decorate the outdoor landscape with beautiful plants and flowers.  For many of us, this means long warm days spent weeding our gardens and filling up window boxes but for others who are looking for another way to enjoy seasonal flowers, you might want to consider hanging baskets.  Hanging baskets are a wonderful investment although many people shy away from this type of floral design because of the intimidation of care.  For some reason, flowering, cascading plants can look as though their maintenance might be overwhelming but in reality, they’re really quite simple as gardening tasks go.  You don’t have to have a green thumb to enjoy these stunning presentations!  All you need to learn is this hanging plant care guide to get you on your way to displaying a decadent and bold array of color on the outside of your home.

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Care Guide Instructions


  1. One of the best reasons to grab a few hanging baskets is that they will last all summer long as apposed to perennials which make their entrance in spring and then slowly exit before the end of summer.  You can color coordinate with the paint on your house or even choose an eclectic palette that showcases many different colors.  Tell yourflorist or garden center the climate of your living space as well (Do you live by the beach?  Do you live in the city?), because these differences may affect the variety of species in your basket.  Some varieties do better in the salt air as other types do better inside steamier humid conditions.  

  1. Before you go out and buy a hanging planter, find an area that you’ll be able to install a sturdy piece of hardware to hold it intact (some hangers are very heavy) and a place where there is a lot of sunlight.  Most people like to display them right outside their front doors but if there isn’t a lot of sunlight, you might want to rethink your decision.  Flowers need light to thrive and survive so the position of the planter is going to make a huge difference on how the flowers perform throughout the summer.

  1. WATER!!!!!!!  Yes, watering is the single most important thing to do when you hang a planter because they are constantly seeking moisture since there is no saucer to contain it.  Take a pitcher of water and dump it directly into the soil and if the dirt feels extra dry?  Water it again!  The single most cause for the death amongst flowering hangers is dehydration so make sure it is done daily.

  1. A little nip and tuck of the dead blooms ensures that the flowers keep blooming throughout the entire season.  Don’t worry if you’ve trimmed back the plant slightly too much because I assure you, they love “haircuts” that keep its system healthy and continuously producing blossoms.  

Tags: Gardening, Plant Care, Outdoor Living, June, Garden

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