Blog

Fall yard preperation

16 Aug

 

by Janet Lee Harrold

Get a head start on next season now!

I know, I know…we are certainly not ready for summer to be over so the last thing we want to start thinking about is preparing our yard for the fall, or even better next spring. I’m thinking we should  ease in to it slowly, while you are out there grilling your burgers this summer, just take a glance around your yard and take inventory of what needs to be done. Now is a good time to fill in those voids that you noticed this year.  In fact now is actually the perfect time to get perennials on sale and what do ya know, we just so happen to have them on sale at Cedar Grove Gardens in the garden center right now, what perfect timing! Though you may not want to spend the last few dog days of summer planting for next year, come next spring you will be so glad that you did. We have a pretty good selection of day lilies, heuchera coral bells, astilbe, ferns, hosta and a few shasta daisys, gypsophila, foxglove, butterfly bush, ladies mantle…shall I go on?  Any way save a buck now and be thankful for the beauty you will see in your garden this spring, after all it will be here before you know it! While you are out there, think about fertilizing your grass, this is typically done around labor day. A low-nitrogen, slow release fertilizer is always a good choice. it keeps the grass from eating up all the nitrogen at once. Keep in mind that there is no need to fertilize shrubs and tree’s this time of year and also, you may want to put off pruning until spring, you don’t want to give your plants a fresh wound as winter will make them vulnerable to damage. So see, it’s not all work this time of year, just a little preparation that’s all.

It’s also a great time to plant a couple dozen bulbs. Remember that smile on your face after a long New England winter when that first sign of crocus, tulips and daffodils force there pretty heads through the cold ground to greet you, it’s as if they really know that you just can’t take anymore of the bitter cold weather and everything is going to be o.k.

 

 

So enough about next year, let’s talk about what you can expect to see this year in the garden center as we transition from summer to fall….autumn in your garden should be as abundant as spring and we are expecting shipments of beautiful mum plants, kale, seedum, ornamental grasses any day now and as soon as the heat breaks our usual load of pumpkins,corn and haystacks will fill the yard as we prepare for our annual Harvest Festival.

 

 

 

 

5 Questions to ask your wedding florist

10 Aug

 

On occasion we like to let guest bloggers that have relevant material to the floral industry post here on the Cedar Grove Gardens blog with the intention of keeping the content fresh and new and also from a different perspective. These words by Ayn Bernos, Content Manager for Wedding Favy are sure to enlighten you when you are in the beginning process of planning your big day.

 photo credit Jim Canole Photography

There are people who take flowers for granted, but little do they know, deciding which flowers to have on your special day is hard work, considering the variety of options available in the market. Your favorite flowers may or may not be in season, or it may not be fitting for your chosen theme or venue. This is why coordinating with your wedding florist is so crucial to the successful and beautiful wedding reception of your dreams.

So before anything else, here are five questions to ask your wedding florist:

  • Would you be willing to work with our budget?

 

    • First off, identify your budget. Be transparent about the kind of spending you’re willing to make, and discuss the terms and conditions with your florist. You must confirm that they will be willing to work within your budget to avoid any miscommunication down the road.
    • Additionally, your florist may have more and/or extra services, such as partnerships with other vendors and wedding coordinators. The wedding industry is a small circle after all, and you can always use this to your advantage.

 

  • What’s your specialty?

 

    • If you still have not decided on a theme and the flowers, relying on your florist’s expertise might just make it easier for you. They certainly have experienced various wedding events that required different designs, arrangements, and motifs. Moreover, they might also give you a fresher take on what suits you more as a bride. Which leads us to the next inquiry…

 

  • Is there a compilation of your previous projects and sample arrangements?

 

    • If you don’t already have an image in mind, why not try checking your florist’s portfolio and events from the past? It will give you the idea whether or not your vision for your wedding and their style match. In any case they don’t, you could start compromising and make the necessary adjustments to achieve your desired arrangement.

 

  • Do you accept more than one wedding on the same day?

 

    • Expectation management is always key to a good working relationship. Clarify the scope of work beforehand so you can keep track of how things are going to work out on the big day. Are they simply dropping the flowers off? Or are they setting up flowers at the venue? If that’s the case and they’re handling another wedding on the same day, would they have enough manpower to deliver the services they promised? Just some things to ponder upon.

 

  • Have you had an event at our wedding site? Are you familiar with the place?

 

    • Your florist may or may not have had projects at your wedding site. While that shouldn’t be a major consideration for selecting your vendor, such information would still help as your florist might be able to estimate and make the necessary adjustments according to your design agreement. Familiarity, in this case, is a bonus, since your florist already knows the measurements and ambiance of the place. Otherwise, be sure to take extra steps to fill this info gap! Show pictures, schedule a visit — those kinds of things. At the end of the day, the flowers and the quality of service are the top priorities.

 

Author Bio

Ayn Bernos is a writer, a Youtuber, and an advocate of happily ever afters. As a real life bride-to-be and the Content Manager for Wedding Favy, an online haven for themed and personalized wedding favors, she spends her days living and breathing wedding celebrations. She loves to write about all things bridal — from fun bachelorettes and intimate vows, to catering expenses and stationery ideas.

In case you were wondering…about Cedar Grove Gardens

19 Jun

written by Janet Lee Harrold

Though most of our loyal customers already know the scope of what we do at Cedar Grove Gardens, I think it is always a good reminder to keep our customers both new and old (haha)  informed. It’s sometimes hard to believe but we have been in business for 37 years now (wow) and many of you have been with us from the beginning (we won’t mention any names) a few of our staff members have been as well. This blog is just a way of letting our new comers know what is in service for them as well as a gentle reminder to our longstanding customers.

This time of year we are full swing in the garden center, it is bursting with color and fragrance. You can find annuals and perennials, herbs, soil and wind spinners. Our staff in the garden center are  always happy to assist you in making the right choices for your yard. In addition to the garden center we offer a number of off site services. We are happy to work with you on landscaping projects as well as planting window boxes, patio planters and container gardens.

In the fall our garden center stocks pumpkins, kale, wheat, mums and anything that you can possibly imagine at Harvest Time. It is also the time of year that we host our annual “Harvest Festival”  we encourage the children to attend this festival in their favorite Halloween costume. We pass out balloons, apple cider, popcorn and the kids have loads of fun busting our candy and money filled pinata’s. If that isn’t enough fun we offer a horse drawn carriage ride that takes place across the street in the Cedar Grove Cemetery.  All FREE of charge!

For the adults who are eager to start the holiday season, we host a popular event here at the shop often times it is in November, but this year it will be held October 23rd, 24th and 25th. “Evening of Inspiration” is one of our most sought after events, R.S.V.P required. There is a ticket charge for this event but your money is well spent. It is a catered event and an evening of sipping and entertainment as we demonstrate how to get your home ready for the holidays, offering tips and inspiration from the many talented floral experts here on staff. You can come by yourself or with a group of friends, we guarantee you will not be disappointed!

 

 

 

During the winter months, our garden center is choc full of Christmas trees, custom designed wreaths (a service that not many provide) and roping. During this time of year we also do a few off site design jobs. We offer in home and commercial decorating for the Holidays. Inside the shop you will be captivated by the variety of beautifully decorated trees on display, often decorated in different themes and always  adorned with the most unusual Christmas tree ornaments that you will ever find.  You may even catch a glimpse of our upside down tree. Come in to be inspired and be prepared to be wowed. It’s our busiest time of the year!

 

What a lot of people don’t realize (and this surprises me every time) is that inside the flower shop we also have an extensive gift shop, a hidden gem if you will. We carry a very sweet line and sometimes unusual line of unique gifts. Many things that you won’t find in the stores.  You can expect to see items that local artisans have created, In fact “Motowi Tiles” are a popular seller here in the shop, If you are in the market for an accent lamp, we have some great finds that are sure to add to the character and charm of your decor.  We have fine pottery, lanterns, wall hangings, we carry gourmet candies and foods, funny cocktail napkins oh and if you want to know how to mix the best cocktail, we have books that will show you just that. We stock the funniest and nicest greeting cards (a thing that people think is becoming a lost art, but we know better).

In addition to all the fun things listed above, we can’t loose site of the fact that we are a full service flower shop. We are fortunate enough to have a flower market so close by so we visit and shop there every single day, this is the main reason why you can count on having fresh flowers and plants when you order from Cedar Grove Gardens.

A few of the everyday flower needs that we service on a regular basis are for both happy and sad occasions. In addition to all of the Holidays (and believe me there are many) we commonly design flowers for birthdays, anniversaries, proms and  sympathy, we send flowers to cheer people up when they are sick or flowers to say I love you.

Speaking of I love you’s can we talk about weddings? On average we book about 75 weddings a year! (Yikes).  We are a full service florist, this means that we meet with you a number of times during the planning stages of your big day, we provide consultations, on site visits and samples…. we don’t just drop off your beautiful blooms and let you fend for yourself, we take pride in our work and we realize that the beauty is in the details, we deliver the personal flowers to you, we set up the ceremony flowers and we transport them to the reception if need be, we also deliver the centerpieces to your reception, this can be as simple as setting them on the table or as elaborate as setting up the entire facility,  maybe you have rented a chuppah or archway from us and it needs the touch of a  floral expert, we are happy to provide that service as well. Oh and the work load doesn’t stop there. We typically go back the same evening and collect any rental containers that may have been used to enhance the beauty of the floral elements that were provided, so you see, when you hire us to do your wedding, we are going to go that extra mile to ensure that your day is as perfect as it was meant to be.

Luscious Bouquets Rachel Red Photography

We also host wedding shows here in the shop, offering the hottest of trends and allowing you to see and hold flowers from all four seasons. No matter what time of year our wedding show is held we’ve got your month covered!

All in all this was my brief.. lol summary of what we do on a regular basis and the services that we provide to you. I hope it was helpful and I hope that you stop in to our little hidden gem, a sliver of Dorchester that many don’t even realize exists.

Art Exhibit at The Ashmont Grill

29 May

If you have been a long standing customer of Cedar Grove Gardens then it will be no surprise to you that the staff here is multi talented even beyond the beautiful floral creations that they design on a daily basis. Mitchell and Janet have both worked for Cedar Grove Gardens for many years but in their spare time they put down their petals and floral knives and trade them for a paintbrush and a palette knife.

The exhibit is currently on display at The Ashmont Grill and will remain up until the 1st week of  July, 555 Talbot Ave in Dorchester, Ma. 02124  If you are available on Monday June 5th at 6:00p.m. head on over there for an opening reception sponsored by the Ashmont Grill.

Tips for Growing Delicious Tomatoes This Season

23 May

On Today’s blog we have the pleasure of posting for guest blogger Jackie Edwards. Though we sell vegetable and herb plants already started in the garden center here at Cedar Grove Gardens  she has written an informative article on starting from seed.  Thank you Jackie!

Growing Tomatoes: Greenhouse Or Outdoors?

Growing tomatoes can be quite fulfilling. If done well, you can yield a bumper crop without having to work too hard. However, your crop’s productivity is greatly influenced by how you choose to go about the entire process. One of the things that you must consider is whether you are going to grow them outside the old fashioned way or whether you are going to use a green house. A lot has been said about both options, but both methods can work when all the proper growing procedures are adhered to in each case.

Things To Consider About Tomatoes

Being tropical plants, tomatoes require at least eight hours of sunlight every day. It is also important to note that tomatoes require soil with a pH of between 6.0 and 6.8, so if the soil in your area does not meet such requirements, you need to determine how much manure or fertilizer you will need to reach these acidity levels. Tomatoes also require at least two inches of water every week.

Growing Tomatoes Outside

If you are planning to grow tomatoes outside, you need to do so in the summer. You also need to do so in an area that gets adequate sunshine throughout the summer. It is important to consider that most tomato varieties have long growing seasons of 70 to 80 days, so it is advisable to plant the seeds 6 to 8 weeks before summer starts, and this needs to be done indoors or in a covered place away from the frost outside. As the warmth of the summer draws near, you should prepare the ground outside with a good deal of garden compost as well as a healthy helping of general purpose fertilizer. For the provision of water, you should place an adequate number of sprinklers to ensure that every plant gets its fair share of water. When transferring the seedlings, you should plant them 18 inches to 24 inches apart. You must also spray the tomatoes with the recommended pesticides. You can get more information on that from your local crop specialists.  In addition, to help to control pests, you would also do well to plant some companion plants that are known to ward off pests alongside the tomatoes. Some ideal companion plants for tomatoes include basil, chives, and mint.

Growing Tomatoes In A Greenhouse

Opting to grow the tomatoes in a greenhouse gives you the freedom to plant the tomatoes at any time because in a greenhouse the light and warmth that the tomatoes require is provided by auxiliary lights and heaters. Tomatoes requires temperatures of 21C – 24C (70F – 75F), so you must count the cost of the electricity or fuel required to keep the plants warm throughout the entire growing season. In addition, for greenhouses, it is advisable to install water lines under the soil surface for the disbursement of water. You must also have sufficient in-greenhouse water storage. It is important to note that you must create sufficient ventilation in the greenhouse because tomatoes require healthy balances of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the air around them. Adequate air circulation also helps to keep off pests and diseases.

Just breathe, breathe in the sweet flowers that is

08 May

by Janet Lee Harrold

Is it just a coincidence that we celebrate our mom’s the most beautiful time of the year? In our hurried and jam  packed schedule, am I the only one that remembers to take a moment and breathe in the beauty and many different fragrances of springtime? Over the years Mother’s day has become like most other holidays- commercialized. As a mother, I can promise you that most mother’s are not looking for expensive gifts, fancy dinners or jewelry. What most moms want to do on their special day is to spend quality time with their children, whether her children are young toddlers or grown adults, the most precious gift that you can give to your mom is something that money just can not buy.  If you live local to Cedar Grove Gardens in the Boston area, one of the most expensive places to live, Mother’s Day  doesn’t have to be expensive at all.

If the weather is in our favor, enjoy taking mom for a  walk in the south end, where a few varieties of red dogwood may still be lining the streets,  this is such a short lived season that you really don’t want to miss it. While you are there why not take a walk through the Boston Public Gardens and enjoy the sights and smells of the first public botanical gardens in America. You can expect to see mid season tulips, swan boats, trees of many colors and varieties like the beautiful chartreuse colored weeping willow trees that surround the lagoon and of course Mrs. mallard and her 8 ducklings, in fact if you time it right, you may just catch the beloved tradition that has been going on for more than 30 years “The Duckling Day Parade”  

 

Maybe you’d rather not travel in town, that’s o.k. instead inhale the perfume in the air of  the Arnold Arboretums “Lilac Sunday”   take the 45 minute tour or browse on your own, the smells are intoxicating and the views are simply breathtaking. In addition they have children’s activities on the Honeywell lawn,  among other activities, children can make a Mother’s Day card and enjoy the many vendors trucks if they get hungry.

I hope that you take the time and enjoy both the beautiful flowers that the springtime has to offer and your Mother’s company on her special day. Keep in mind that Cedar Grove Gardens is always here for you if the commercial route is the way you prefer to go, with flowers that are always fresh, unique gifts that you don’t find in the big lot stores and indoor and outdoor plants that arrive daily.

 

Let them Grow…the benefits of gardening with children

07 Apr

written by Janet Lee Harrold

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the rise of toddlers and young children on  electronics? The other day while visiting the doctors office, I couldn’t help but notice that there were at least 3 children, all from different families that each had their moms cell phone. I am assuming they were playing games to keep themselves busy, maybe they were unaware that there were plenty of children’s books to read on the shelf above them or they somehow missed the cleverly designed Lego station that the other kids were enjoying. I’m not judging and I know there could be a number of reasons, including medical reasons that are not visible to others why they chose to play that afternoon on their phones instead of with the other children. But the fact remains that technology is the way of the world today and it’s o.k. that my 3 year old grandson knows more about the ipad than I do. But, this season I challenge you to take the electronic free challenge approach with your kids…

o.k. maybe electronic FREE is a little ambitious but taking some time to get the kids outside in the garden, digging in the dirt this season, I promise it will have more rewards than I can even mention. A little, sun, a little soil, a little fun and a little kid might be just the right mix for a perfect growing season. Despite the fact that we live in an electronic world, let’s help our kids remain kids and encourage them to get outside more and away from the computers, ipads and smartphones. Teach them the many wonders that mother nature has to offer, it doesn’t have to cost a lot just a bit of old fashioned responsibility and imagination.  Let them reap and sow the rewards of their labor as they watch their very own garden grow. The hidden part  of the equation is that they don’t even realize the valuable lessons that they are learning. The  responsibility, nurturing and knowledge about where their food comes from is only the beginning. Start a vegetable garden and watch the smile on your child’s face when you send them out to pick a cucumber and a couple of cherry tomatoes for the evening dinner salad. If you don’t have the space for a large garden, no worries grab a pot and some cherry tomato seedlings. They’re amazingly easy to grow, and even one plant will bear a steady crop of bite-size fruits all season long!

Why not plant a kid friendly raised bed and plant colorful flowers that attract butterflies, hummingbird and other pollinators? A couple of good choices would be zinneas and marigolds. Use an organic approach-many pesticides are toxic, there is no need to use powerful poisons to protect your garden from insects and diseases.

The garden also provides a great way to teach kids about watering and planting.  Building a fairy garden with objects found around your house and yard is a great way to have fun and bring a little creativity and sense of whimsy to your garden and the kids will love it! The whimsical  addition to your outdoor space makes the perfect family project, it will keep the  kids busy everyday and actively keep their imagination growing. I feel most of the fun is in the hunt, foraging for sticks, stones, pebbles and marbles is an ongoing process, they can even paint their own frog stools or  fairy signs. Choosing a container to sprinkle your fairy dust in can be as simple as a clay pot or saucer as we have done here. On a larger scale, why not have a huge galvanized bucket that they can kneel and play at everyday?

For most children, being outside has many health benefits but actively gardening can also engage all of their senses, touching and feeling the dirt and seeds and smelling the flowers are just a few.  Because the flowers and vegetables take time to grow, watering the garden teaches children patience and responsibility. Gardening also helps to encourage healthy eating and promotes trying new and different foods. It promotes family bonding, fine motor skills and so much more, but the benefit that I like most unlike the instant gratification that our children get from technology, is the wonderment on their little faces they experience the very first time they see the tomato  ripen or that bud bloom!

So get your garden started and get your children involved and don’t forget we carry most of the  fruits and vegetables that were  mentioned right here at Cedar Grove Gardens!

 

 

A new growing season begins

21 Mar

wheelbarrow-523784_960_720pix

Things to begin thinking about…

It’s the time of year when we begin to get motivated about the upcoming spring season. Doing a few early preparations will bring great benefits all year long. So while we wait for mother nature to give us the go ahead, there are a few things that we can be thinking about. One small secret to executing our spring garden is by starting off with a plan. Maybe you would like to plant a vegetable garden this year, maybe a raised bed?  Think about trouble spots from last year and how you can rectify them early this year to make your yard a welcoming environment and a place that you will really enjoy  coming home to after a long days work. If container gardening on your deck is a better prospect  for you, think about investing in a couple of decorative pots that really make a statement. In container gardens, plants are easily transitioned from season to season.

unnamed (56)

Now is the perfect time to get your lawn mower in for service, this way you are ready when the time comes and you will also beat the eager gardening crowd. Turn on your outdoor spigots and attach hoses.

Over the winter leaves and debris gather and  live in drainage areas.  Keep in mind that a  great place to discard your cleared material would be in the compost. Rake out any existing leaves and debris,  pick up small branches and add  them in the compost pile as well.

When planning your garden this spring don’t forget to visit our garden center at Cedar Grove Gardens for great ideas and inspiration.  As well as the best variety of plants in town!

 

 

Newsletter

17 Mar

Just wanted to keep you updated on a few changes here at the shop. You may have recently called the shop to place an order only to learn that we are asking for your patience as we get adjusted to our new computer and phone systems. You may have even received a bill and our monthly statements look different. We have undergone a few  changes with new equipment in the hopes of serving you better in the future. Please know that we appreciate your patience during this brief adjustment period and we look forward to serving you better in the future.

On a high note, we are just as anxious as you may be to for the upcoming spring season! Pansies and spring wreaths are in and we have bulb flowers trickling in here and there, I noted a few hyacinth  plants and tete a tete’s  have made their way into the shop and that my friends are a sure sign that we are gearing up!

 

If you have come into the shop you will notice that we have once again transformed the shop from Christmas trees to spring offerings, the shop is full of unbelievably real, silk and dried flowers, we also have an Easter selection on display, the only thing we need now is for all the snow  to disappear!

…and for those of you who follow us closely and may be wondering, Bubba has adjusted well to his happy home and new surroundings!