What’s In Store: May 25, 2018

This beautiful sunshine and the long weekend are giving us a taste of the tropics! It’s the perfect time to dress up your patio planters with flowering tropical plants like mandevilla, hibiscus and bougainvillea. With beautiful blooms all summer long, it’s like having a little piece of vacation in the islands in your own back yard. There’s still time to plant your veggies, tomatoes and herbs too! Find the best selection of the season now of our locally-grown line of Uncle Mike’s herbs and veggies!

Winter Moth: What You Need to Know

Originally introduced to North America from Europe, winter moths, and the devastation they bring can be found  throughout New England – especially in areas around Boston and Cape Cod. They seem to prefer apple, blueberry, cherry and crab-apple fruit trees, but they also feed on oaks, maples and ash. There is no gentle way to say this; it’s a very serious problem.

​​Adult moths emerge from soil around late November, and females lay eggs on tree trunks, house siding, and other outdoor surfaces through January. The eggs hatch before spring buds break. The young larvae (tiny inchworms caterpillars) tunnel into buds where they feed – often before the buds even open. After they eat up one bud, the larvae move to the next bud using wind and silk strands, called “ballooning”. The result is partial to significant defoliation. If a tree is defoliated 3 years in a row it’s at a high risk of death!

what you can do

To date, there is no easy solution, nonetheless it’s critical that you do as much as possible or your trees will be at risk.  Here are ways you can combat the problem: In early spring (late March or up until the leaves start to open) spray All Seasons Horticultural Oil from Bonide. It’s an all-natural oil that helps prevent winter moth eggs from hatching. Warning: if you saw adult moths last December, DON’T WAIT to look for them this spring – the larvae do an awful amount of damage as they become visible.
Once the leaves start to open, it’s too late for the Hort Oil – now it’s time to spray either Bonide’s all-natural Thuricide or all-natural Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew. Both will kill winter moth caterpillars, but Capt. Jacks will kill even when they get big. Important notes: To help a defoliated tree or shrub survive the summer, make sure to water deeply once a week. Also, even though all three Bonide products are all-natural, you’ll still want to avoid wet contact with bees. If any tree or shrub attracts bees, do not spray when it is in flower. Any other time of year, even if not in flower, minimize contact with bees by spraying either very early in the morning or after sunset – you want time for sprays to dry while bees are not active.

How To Identify Your Hydrangeas

Laura from Garden Answer shows us the different types of hydrangeas and what makes each so special! Learn bloom time, pruning habits and some great varieties!

What’s In Store: May 11, 2018

It’s Mother’s Day weekend and that means our stores are full of beautiful blooms like dahlias, geraniums, hydrangeas, lilacs, roses and more! Our premium hanging baskets make a fantastic gift for Mom too! Visit our full-service florists in Winchester and Tewksbury for fresh cut flower bouquets, vase arrangements, colorful potted baskets and more! Don’t miss our patio furniture showrooms in Winchester and Falmouth too! For great gift ideas for Mom visit: http://mahoneysgarden.com/great-gifts-for-mom/

It’s not too late for a beautiful lawn!

 

With the slow start to the Spring season and this week’s hot weather, we know many of you might feel you’ve missed the crabgrass preventer application window. The age old adage of ‘apply when the forsythia blooms’, makes many worry they have missed the boat on an application! Fear not! Jonathan Green’s Step 1 contains an ingredient that allows you to apply after your weeds have begun to germinate! 

 

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To prevent crabgrass this summer, it’s important to treat early in the Spring season. Typically the first step, or ‘Step 1‘ of a lawn program consists of a crabgrass preventer that must be applied before the crabgrass has germinated. Even though the crabgrass has already germinated this season, you can still prevent the problem. While it’s too late to apply many of the national brand’s crabgrass preventers, we carry a really unique product with a wider application window.

 

Jonathan Green’s Crabgrass Preventer plus Greenup contains the newest technology with Dimension® Crabgrass Control Herbicide. Despite a late start, you can still apply this for another couple weeks as it prevents crabgrass both BEFORE and AFTER it germinates. We recommend applying as soon as possible! It will also control many other grassy and broadleaf weeds and provides a slow-release nitrogen for a lush, green lawn.

What’s In Store: May 4, 2018

We’re filled to the brim for the weekend! Find lilacs in bud and bloom, early-blooming perennials, colorful annual hanging baskets, locally-grown edibles, beautiful pottery and more!

Now in bud and bloom: Lilacs

The fragrance of lilac is often associated with feelings of “home” or other pleasant memories. We seem able to remember the fragrance even decades later. The clusters of fragrant flowers that adorn the lilac bush in mid to late spring mean that summer is just around the corner.  

Lilac is easily grown in well-drained soil. It will bloom its best in full sun conditions. Choose a location that allows for good air circulation to minimize the potential for mildew on the leaves. Prompt removal of faded flower panicles will help increase the bloom count for the following year. This is also the best time to prune to control the size of the plant, if that is necessary. Pruning is best done by the first week in July. After this time, the plant will be setting next year’s flower buds and pruning will sacrifice next year’s flower show. 

Planting a lilac near the house means that the heady fragrance can waft through open windows. Planted as a hedge, they make an effective, not to mention fragrant, screen. As part of a mixed border planting, they mix beautifully with roses and peonies.  

As a cut flower, they are a delight. Fill a vase with cool water. Using a sharp pair of hand pruners, cut when the lilac panicle (the entire cluster of flowers) is one-quarter to one-half open. Use your pruners to split the stem a couple of inches up the center to allow the stem to take up water. It is not necessary to crush the stem. Crushing the stem will not help the lilac take up water.   

 

Syringa meyeri Palabin 

Also known as Dwarf Korean Lilac, ‘Palabin’ is smaller, denser and more rounded in its habit than traditional lilacs. It typically grows 4’-5’ feet tall and 5’-7’ wide, making it suitable for small gardens. It has very fragrant purple flowers. They are arranged in 4” clusters that are perfectly scaled to the shrub. This variety is particularly resistant to powdery mildew.  

Syringa patula ‘Miss Kim’ 

‘Miss Kim’ is a compact, upright variety which grows 4’-7′ tall with a similar spread. It has deep purple buds that open to reveal clusters of 3” long, highly fragrant, lavender blue flowers. The flowers bloom slightly later than other lilacs, extending that heavenly season of lilac fragrance. Leaves are very resistant to powdery mildew. They are burgundy tinged in the fall, adding to this shrub’s appeal.  

Syringa reticulata ‘Ivory Silk’ (Chinese tree lilac) 

Syringa vulgaris ‘Ivory Silk’ is a small tree or large shrub which grows 20’ tall with a rounded crown.  It has beautiful 12” long, creamy white, fragrant flowers with a captivating fragrance. Blooming later than most other species of lilac, its beautiful show takes place in late May and into the summer.  Its beauty is enhanced by rich green foliage and attractive reddish brown bark. ‘Ivory Silk’ is lovely as a specimen tree in the landscape. It can also be used in the mixed border.  

Syringa vulgaris ‘Charles Joly’ 

Hybridized by the famous French plantsman, Victor Lemoine, in 1896, ‘Charles Joly’ has deep reddish-purple, double flowers that are extremely fragrant. Heart shaped green leaves on upright branches contribute to this handsome shrub. It matures to a height of 10’-12’. An outstanding variety, it was given the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.  

Syringa vulgaris ‘Krasavitsa Moscovy’ 

Perhaps the name of this shrub merits some explanation. Syringa is Latin for lilac and vulgaris is the Latin word meaning “of the common people, commonplace, shared by all”. So this is where the familiar term ‘common lilac’ comes from.  The variety name, ‘Krasavitsa Moscovy’ translates from the Russian to ‘Beauty of Moscow’ or ‘Pride of Moscow’ and refers to the fact it was hybridized in Russia. It dates to 1943. 

A beautiful and very fragrant variety, it has pale pink buds that open to form double white florets, blushed pink at the edges. The flowers are up to 9” long. It is stunning in full bloom. It matures over time to 8’-12’ tall by 6’-7’ wide. Like all common lilacs, it can be pruned immediately after flowering to contain its size.  

Syringa vulgaris ‘Ludwig Spaeth’ 

Lilac ‘French Ludwig Spaeth’

‘Ludwig Spaeth’ offers a display of beautiful, heavily fragrant, dark purple blooms that open from elegant violet flower buds. The flower clusters are up to 12” long. The foliage is bluish-green in color and heart shaped. Useful in the mixed border or in mass plantings, it will grow 8’-10’ in height and 6’-8’ in width.  

Syringa vulgaris ‘Madame Lemoine’ 

‘Madame Lemoine’ is an heirloom French lilac that has dense panicles of marvelously fragrant, double white flowers that open from creamy-white buds. The foliage is heart shaped in form and medium green in color. It grows up to 15’ in height and 12’ in width. This variety was hybridized by the famed French horticulturalist, Victor Lemoine, and named for his wife.  

Syringa vulgaris ‘Monge’ 

Lilac ‘Monge’

Another of Victor Lemoine’s introductions, ‘Monge’ has a depth of color that is striking. The flowers are deep reddish purple and richly fragrant. The flower panicles are up to 9” long and produced in abundance. It’s a dramatic and beautiful sight in the garden. A few branches cut for the house will fill the room with an enchanting fragrance. ‘Monge’ typically matures over time to a height of 8’-12’ and a similar width.  

Syringa vulgaris ’Sensation’ 

‘Sensation’ is unusual in that its flowers are bi-colored. The clusters of blooms are composed of individual purple flowers, each edged in white. They are sweetly fragrant. The effect is charming. Rich green foliage is held on upright branches. In time it reaches a height of 10’-12’ and a width of 6’. ‘Sensation’ will be a sensation in your garden.  

 

Reblooming Lilacs 

In recent years plant breeders have developed lilacs with the ability to rebloom. After the first flush of springtime bloom, these lilacs take a rest in the heat of summer before flowering again later in the summer and into the fall. The second bloom cycle is not as heavy as the first, but it is still showy. Pruning immediately after the spring bloom will create a fuller shrub with more branches and encourage more flowers. These lilacs display good mildew resistance. Their compact size allows them to fit into smaller landscapes and they make a nice addition to perennial beds, mixed borders and foundation plantings.  The Bloomerang series have large and fragrant flower clusters displayed on a dense and branching shrub which is perfectly sized for the small garden. 

Syringa x ‘Bloomerang Purple’ 

Clusters of lilac purple, sweetly scented flowers cover the branches in spring and continue off and on until frost. It grows 4’-5’ in height and width, making it suitable for small spaces. It is a nice addition to the mixed border and can be used to create a fragrant, low hedge. 

Syringa x ‘Bloomerang Dark Purple’ 

‘Bloomerang Dark Purple’ is slightly larger than others in the series, reaching 6’ in height and width. Its flower clusters are larger and more rounded in form. It has striking deep purple buds which open to classic deep lavender purple flowers. 

Syringa x  Bloomerang Pink Perfume’ 

This latest addition to the Bloomerang series has the same multi-season flower show, only this time in pink. Its dainty spikes of reddish purple buds open to fragrant, soft pink flowers in May. After the first heavy flush of flowers, it takes a short rest, flowering again intermittently until fall. Compact and rounded in shape, it grows 4’-5’ tall and wide. 

Syringa x hyacinthiflora  

Varieties of Syringa x hyacinthiflora are early blooming lilacs, often flowering up to 2 weeks before Syringa vulgaris varieties. They are known for their exceptional fragrance. They were developed as crosses between the common lilac, Syringa vulgaris, and the hardy northern Chinese native, Syringa oblata.  

Syringa x hyacinthiflora ‘Angel White’ 

‘White Angel’ has spectacular clusters of fragrant pure white flowers. It has an open-branched, upright form which makes a great hedge, screen or accent plant. It reaches a height of 12’ and a width of 10’. 

Syringa x hyacinthiflora ‘Declaration’  

Introduced by the U.S. National Arboretum, this outstanding cultivar has large, dramatic clusters of deep reddish-purple blooms that can be 8”-12” in length. It has the wonderful fragrance of the hyacinthiflora hybrids. Maturing at 6’-8’ tall and 5’-6’ wide, it is smaller than traditional lilacs, making it perfect for growing near a patio or in a mixed bed. 

Syringa x hyacinthiflora ‘Mount Baker’ 

Lilac ‘Mount Baker’

‘Mt. Baker’ has intensely fragrant white blossoms in spring. Growing 10’-12’ high and wide, it retains branches close to the ground, giving it a full appearance. The foliage has strong resistance to mildew and remains attractive over a long season.  

Syringa x hyacinthiflora ‘Pocahontas’ 

Lilac ‘Pocahontas’

A profuse and early bloomer, ‘Pocahontas’ features deep violet purple buds that open to fragrant, rich violet flowers. It is an upright and multi-stemmed plant that reaches 10’ tall and wide. The spring and summer foliage is a rich deep green that takes on bronzy red tones in the fall.  

Syringa x hyacinthiflora ‘Purple Glory’ 

‘Purple Glory’ has luxuriant deep purple flowers that are wonderfully fragrant. There is a heavy bloom set even on young plants. New leaves will emerge in spring with a purple blue blush, and in fall these purple highlights return. Dense foliage fills branches low to the ground. Growing 12’ tall and 8’ wide, it makes an attractive specimen plant and can also be massed in a hedge or screen. 

Syringa x ‘Tinkerbelle’ 

‘Tinkerbelle’ is a cross between 3 types of lilac, creating a compact, upright shrub that typically grows 4’-6’ tall and wide. It has lovely wine-colored buds that open to large, sweetly fragrant, pale pink flowers.  

It’s time to put out your hummingbird feeders!

 

info from  Hummingbird Central

Hummingbirds spend the winter in Central America or Mexico, and migrate north to their breeding grounds in the southern U.S. and western states as early as February, and to areas further north later in the spring. This is usually around the end of April for New England. The first arrivals in spring are usually males. Some, however, do not migrate, in areas like California and the upper Pacific coast.

The Migration

Although there are differing views in the birding community as to what triggers the start of migration, it is generally thought that hummingbirds sense changes in daylight duration, and changes in the abundance of flowers, nectar and insects. Instinct also plays a role in making the decision to migrate.

During migration, a hummingbird’s heart beats up to 1,260 times a minute, and its wings flap 15 to 80 times a second. To support this high energy level, a hummingbird will typically gain 25-40% of their body weight before they start migration in order to make the long trek over land, and water.

They fly alone, often on the same path they have flown earlier in their life, and fly low, just above tree tops or water. Young hummingbirds must navigate without parental guidance.

Hummingbirds fly by day when nectar sources such as flowers are more abundant. Flying low allows the birds to see, and stop at, food supplies along the way. They are also experts at using tail winds to help reach their destination faster and by consuming less energy and body fat. Research indicates a hummingbird can travel as much as 23 miles in one day.

The importance of feeding

With sightings in New England already, it’s an important time to make sure your yard is ready to feed the migrating hummingbirds. Stops along the way may be for a few minutes, or a few days at more favorable locations with abundant food supplies. Feeding hummingbirds is an easy, rewarding and inexpensive experience. All you need is a feeder, table sugar and water. We have a variety of feeders specifically designed for hummingbirds that allows easy access, easy filling and easy cleaning. Feeders are usually bright in color to make spotting them from afar easy! Place the feeder in a shady spot so the nectar will last longer, out of reach of pets or other critters. Remember, hummingbirds will not feed if ants, bees or other insects are feeding from. This is why it is imperative to use a feeder specifically designed for hummingbirds. We sell hummingbird feeders that make it difficult for pests like ants to find the nectar. The best placement is in front of a window so you can catch a glimpse of the hummingbirds from inside!

Unlike other birds, hummingbirds feed on nectar, not seed. In nature, they eat flower nectar of energy and insects for protein. They are naturally attracted by a number of flowering plants that allow easy access to the nectar. In early Spring where flowering plants are less available, feeders provide the nutrition hummingbirds require along their migration paths. We sell prepared nectar, or you can do it yourself at home!

 

 

 

Spring Flowering Trees

One of the prettiest sights of the gardening year is the show provided by spring flowering trees. Who can resist the frothy pink flowers of the Kwanzan Cherry or the long-lasting and elegant flowers of the Dogwood? Many spring flowering trees are suitable for the residential landscape and are fully hardy in our area. Not only do they provide an early and welcome burst of color after a long winter, their leaves offer interesting shapes and textures throughout the summer and lovely color in the fall. Their bare branches in winter add structure and a sense of sculpture to the garden, making them four season contributors to the landscape. But at this time of year it is the joy of seeing them in bloom that most endears them to us. Here are some of our favorite options to consider.

 

Eastern Redbud

Cercis canadensis

One of our native trees, the Eastern Redbud is a true harbinger of spring. In late April and early May before the leaves emerge, clusters of magenta buds open to rose pink flowers, offering a breathtaking sweep of color. A small low branching tree, it has a spreading habit and rounded crown, altogether an elegant form. Redbuds are also available in a weeping form. Leaves are distinctly heart shaped, opening in tones of bronze or reddish purple. They become bluish green as the season progresses, turning yellow in the fall. With age, the bark develops exfoliating rust colored patches. Varieties to consider include ‘Appalachian Red’, ‘Ruby Falls’, ‘Pink Heartbreaker’ and ‘Forest Pansy’.

 

FLORIDA DOGWOOD

Florida Dogwood ‘Cherokee Brave’

 

Cornus florida

Cornus florida is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful small ornamental trees. Native to the East Coast of the US, it offers so much to the gardener. It blooms in early spring, usually mid to late April and into May, before the leaves appear. The true dogwood flowers are actually tiny, yellowish green button-like clusters. However, each flower cluster is surrounded by four showy petal-like bracts which open flat, giving the appearance of a single, large, 4-petaled flower. Oval, dark green leaves, turn attractive shades of red in fall and hold that color for a long period of time. An added bonus in late summer and into the fall are the bright red fruits, bitter tasting to us but much loved by the birds. Cornus florida typically grows 15’-20’ tall with a low-branching, broadly-pyramidal habit. Varieties to consider include ‘Cherokee Brave’, ‘Cherokee Princess’ and ‘Rubrum’.

 

KOUSA DOGWOOD

Kousa Dogwood, one of the few flowering trees to bloom in June.

Cornus KOUSA

The leaves of Cornus kousa emerge in spring, followed in early summer by star-shaped white blossoms. One of the few trees to bloom in June! Red fruits form in late summer and have an interesting knobby texture. They attract birds and persist through the autumn. The leaves turn rich colors of red, orange and scarlet in the fall. They eventually drop to reveal the tree’s distinctive horizontal branching pattern and mottled tan/grey bark. Among the many varieties of Cornus kousa are ‘Galilean’, ‘Heart Throb’, ‘Milky Way’, and ‘National’.

 

Cornus x Rutgan ‘Stellar Pink’

Cornus x Rutgan ‘Stellar Pink’

 

The breeding program at Rutgers University has produced Dogwoods which are a cross between Cornus florida and Cornus kousa. They bloom after the Cornus florida varieties, but before the Kousa varieties. The variety ‘Stellar Pink’ has profuse, large, overlapping, blush pink floral bracts. Its dense branching habit provides layers of lush green foliage from bottom to top. This is a vigorous cultivar with an erect habit. The Rutgers hybrids are sterile and thus, do not set fruit.

 

MAGNOLIA

Magnolia ‘Ricki’

Nothing says spring in Boston like the Magnolias that line Commonwealth Avenue. Whether you choose a Saucer-type Magnolia like those on Comm Ave or a Star Magnolia with its multi petaled flowers, you will enjoy a spring show like no other. Some varieties grow in tree form, others as multi-trunked shrubs. All display fat, fuzzy buds through the winter, offering promise of the spring to come. They are best sited in a protected location to avoid a late frost which might damage emerging flowers. No matter what type of Magnolia you choose, it will add a natural grace in the garden.

Magnolia stellata (the Star Magnolia) is distinguished by its showy, fragrant white flowers that have a pink tinge. Each flower has 12 to 18 petals. Seeing them dance in the wind is a delight. The variety that most closely resembles the classic Saucer Magnolia is Magnolia ‘Jane’ with its 8 inch cup shaped flowers. It blooms slightly later than the classic Saucer Magnolia, thereby reducing the possibility of late season frost damage. Flowers bloom sporadically during the summer, extending its season of beauty. Other varieties to consider include ‘Leonard Messel’, ‘Ann’, ‘Butterflies’ ‘, Elizabeth’ and ‘Ricki’.

 

FLOWERING CRABAPPLE

Left: ‘Donald Wyman’, Right: ‘Prairiefire’

MALUS

Flowering Crabapples are beautiful contributors to the landscape in all four seasons of the year. In spring, they offer delicate colors in their emerging leaves and flower buds. While unopened flower buds may hint of one color, other hues are revealed as the flowers open. As flowers fade, the rich foliage offers another subtle contribution to the landscape. Then, as leaves drop in the late autumn, the colorful fruit takes center stage. And with a dusting of snow to accent the fruit and the sculptural qualities of the tree branches, it presents an unrivaled winter picture. Today’s varieties are disease-resistant and easy to grow. Varieties to consider include ‘Camelot’, ‘Donald Wyman’, ‘Prairiefire’ and ‘Royal Raindrops’.

 

FLOWERING CHERRY

Kwanzan Cherry

PRUNUS

Available in upright tree form and weeping varieties, flowering Cherries are some of the loveliest spring flowering trees. Iconic images of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC come to mind when we think of flowering Cherries. Prunus x yedoensis, commonly called Yoshino Cherry, has fragrant flower clusters that emerge pale pink and fade to white, creating a profuse and spectacular early spring show. This hybrid Cherry comes from Japan and is the predominant Cherry tree planted in Washington D.C, enjoyed during the Cherry Blossom Festival each year.

Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’ has particularly pretty, double-pink blossoms which are especially long lasting. It blooms a couple of weeks later than the Yoshino Cherry. Its upright, vase-shaped branching habit makes it a lovely specimen. In addition to these upright growing varieties, flowering Cherries are available in a beautiful weeping form. Look for the weeping Higan Cherry and the weeping Snow Fountain Cherry to add a sense of elegance to the garden.

 

FLOWERING PLUM

Plum ‘Thundercloud’

Prunus cerasifera

Modern cultivars of this tree offer a color palette that set them apart from other trees in the ornamental landscape. The varieties ‘Thundercloud’ (pictured above) and ‘Krauter Vesuvius’ both have a profusion of flowers that blanket the stems in spring and have showy purple toned foliage that retains its color throughout the growing season.

 

FLOWERING PEAR

Pear ‘Chanticleer’

Pyrus calleryana

Flowering pear trees have an attractive narrow and symmetrical pyramidal shape which makes them well suited for smaller sites. Pears offer profuse creamy white blooms in early spring, glossy dark green leaves that dance in the wind, and fall color that ranges from reddish-purple to bronze-red. Consider flowering pear varieties like ‘Chanticleer’ (pictured above), ‘New Bradford’, ‘Cleveland Select’, and ‘Redspire’.