Video Look: What’s In Store June 6, 2020

June is here and it feels like summer! We’ve received fresh flowering mandevilla and hibiscus to make your patio feel like a tropical oasis! Pair with our beautiful ceramic glazed pottery! Hydrangeas are in bud and bloom, perennials are arriving weekly and our roses look fantastic! Stop in to see all that’s new!

Uncle Mike’s Herbs & Veggies Arriving Weekly!

Our stores are loading up with our very own, locally-grown edibles! Grown in our Woburn, MA greenhouses, our Uncle Mike’s line of herbs, veggies and strawberries are made up of the best performing varieties for New England gardens. Stop in to see cool weather crops, tasty herbs and even a few warm – weather crops like tomatoes! New plants arriving weekly!

Now In: Summer Flowering Bulbs


Summer is arguably the most satisfying time of year for the gardener. Gone are the worries of an impending frost. Departed are spring’s gray skies and torrential downpours. Sunshine is plentiful, the soil is warm and everything wants to grow, grow, grow! And, this year, more than ever, bulbs are sure to be the shining star of the summer garden.

Typically, when bulbs are mentioned, many conjure up visions of spring blooming types like tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. There is, however, an amazing list of summer bloomers that provide an unmatched range of color, form and texture in the landscape, right at the height of the growing season. These beauties bloom all summer long and into the warmth of early autumn.

Most summer flowering bulbs (rhizomes, tubers, corms) are spring planted, after the last frost in our New England climate. There are a couple exceptions like Alliums, which are planted in the fall, and Hybrid Lilies, planted in either the fall or spring. Also, many but not all, summer bulbs are tender. Tender bulbs should either be dug immediately before or after the first frost and stored for the winter, or you may simply replace the following year. With a number of these bulbs being so affordable, they lend themselves to be purchased and planted anew each season.
Here are some of our favorites:
BEGONIAS Tuberous begonias add color to the shadier areas of the garden. Available in both cascading and upright forms, these beauties look fantastic in hanging baskets and in just about any type of container. Make certain, however, that your container is well drained. Begonias like their soil moist but not wet. It can take up to three months for tuberous begonias to bloom after planting.

CALADIUM Another shade loving plant, Caladium is grown primarily for its colorful foliage. Caladiums make a bright, unique and stunning addition to darker sections of the garden with their mottled, heart shaped leaves in green, pink, red and white.

DAHLIAS What can we say about Dahlias? Dahlias are the superstar of the summer garden and they never fail to steal the show. Available in oh-so-many sizes, bloom types and colors, the choice is nearly limitless. If we could grow just one type of summer flowering bulb, it would be Dahlia. Plant tubers in warm soil after all danger of frost has passed. Shorter varieties may be grown in pots. These brilliant beauties will bloom their magnificent heads off until hit with a heavy frost after which the tubers are dug and stored for the winter. Dahlias are, by far, the most diversified and colorful cut flower for summer bouquets. Check out the Dinner Plate series— with GIANT blooms that are sure to impress!

LILIES Hybrid Lilies are winter hardy and may be planted in the spring too. Some are highly fragrant and all varieties make excellent cut flowers!


Video Look: What’s In Store April 23, 2020

We know it doesn’t quite feel like Spring, but here’s a sneak peek of what’s happening in-store! We have many beautiful cold-tolerant annuals to plant now, fresh edibles and herbs, flowering trees and fruit trees, perennials, pottery and more!

Now’s the time to plant cool-season veggies

Cold crop vegetables are varieties of veggies that tolerate, or even love the cold. Broccoli, lettuce, swiss chard, spinach, kale, cabbage, and more are ready to plant now! They thrive in early spring’s cold soil temperatures. If you’ve never grown cool-season crops, or even if you’ve never grown any vegetables, we recommend giving cold crop gardening a try. Keep an eye on the forecast, if temps dip into freezing temperatures, simply cover your veggies with an old sheet or bring them indoors for the night.

Look out for these in-stores! Please note, supplies and selection will vary at each Mahoney’s location.





Blue Lake Bush

Golden Wax

Green & Gold

Kentucky Blue



Bull’s Blood




Green Magic


Brussell Sprouts

Jade Cross



China Express


Red Express



Danvers 126




Collard Greens 





Red Russian





Allstar Gourmet Mix




Red Fire



Wildfire Mix


Pak Choi


Joi Choi



Dwarf Grey Sugar

Sugar Snap

Tall Telephone






Swiss Chard

Bright Lights

Ruby Red

Grown locally in our Woburn, MA greenhouses, you’ll love our Uncle Mike’s herbs and veggies!

Now’s the time to apply your crabgrass preventer

It’s the perfect time to apply the first step of your lawn program: crabgrass preventer. Nature’s indicator is when you see the forsythia shrubs blooming. When it is warm enough for those early-spring blooms to appear, it is warm enough for crabgrass to germinate in your lawn. Stop in to talk to one of our lawn care experts today to help you achieve a beautiful lawn, traditionally or organically. Learn more here:


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 ‘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, 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 ‘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’.



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


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’.



Kwanzan Cherry


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.



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.




When choosing a spot to start your home orchard, it is important to consider three factors – sunshine, soil and spacing.


Sunshine made John Denver happy. It will also make your fruit tree happy. Plant your tree in an location which receives at least a half day of sun. Sunlight helps the tree to produce a prolific crop of fruit. Do not plant your tree in an area of full shade.


Fruit trees prefer well-drained, fertile soils. Most soils drain well enough to keep your trees happy. But if you have a high clay content, work in 1/3 peat to the soil at planting time. This will help increase the drainage for your tree. Full clay soils and poorly drained locations need to be avoided. Fruit trees will not thrive in wet, poorly drained, low spots in your yard. If your soil is very heavy and poorly drained, you can build a mound or berm with trucked-in topsoil to plant your tree or trees on top of.


All of our trees are dwarf or semi-dwarf trees, selected to optimize the use of space and to produce good crops of fruit. Trees should be planted about 12-14′ from each other. If you plant more than one row, the rows should be separated by 18-20′. This will allow plenty of space for the tree to thrive. This space gives the sun the opportunity to shine down on the tree. It also provides good air ventilation, which helps reduce diseases on your tree.

One last consideration; be sure to consider your future plans when siting your orchard. Allow for room to add more trees. Once you get starting growing fruit at home, you will want to add new fruits to increase the variety of your harvest.


Fruit results from the pollination of blossoms. Some trees can set an abundant crop with their own pollen, so they are called self-pollinating. Other trees need pollen from another variety. This cross-pollination is usually done by bees. Some neighborhoods have enough fruit trees to assure plenty of cross-pollination, but you should plant your own “pollination partners” just to be sure. If a variety is not self-pollinating, two trees of the same variety will not cross-pollinate each other.

Generally speaking, most apples, pears, plums and sweet cherries require a pollinator, although there are a few self-pollinating varieties in each of those fruit types. Peaches, nectarines, tart cherries and apricots are almost always self-pollinating.

Look under the various fruit types for detailed guidance on appropriate pollinators for your apples, pears, plums and sweet cherries. And remember, apples can’t pollinate pears, and pears can’t pollinate plums. Pollinators must be from the same fruit type – cats and dogs don’t breed.


We cannot stress enough the importance of regular, annual, aggressive pruning. It is essential to maintain the ongoing vigor of the tree and to maximize the production of fruit.

First year pruning sets the eventual shape of the tree. If your tree is taller than 4-6′ above ground, after it’s planted, trim it down to that height. Thin out the inward growing branches and any branches which are crossing over each other. Trim off the tips of the larger branches to encourage growth. See the illustration below for a before and after look at the branches.

Any shoots or branches which come from BELOW the “bud union” should always be pruned – now and in the future. Brand new stems that grow out of the ground, from the root systems are called suckers. If you see them, simply cut them off at ground level. When the tree matures, suckering usually diminishes.

If your trees set fruit this first year, pick off some of the immature fruits, spacing them about 8″ apart on the branches. This will encourage proper ripening, allow the spray to cover well, and improve vegetative vigor. Fruit thinning in the future is also important for the very same reasons. Less is more. If you don’t thin, you will get many more fruits than the tree can handle, resulting in broken branches and small fruits. So don’t be afraid to thin. The resulting fruits will be fuller and much nicer.

In later years, it is helpful to “shape” your tree. Apple, pear and cherry trees are best trained to a central leader (uppermost upright limb). Peach, nectarine, plum and apricot trees should be trained to a vase shape (no central leader). See the drawings below which show what your mature tree should look like. As you prune, bear this shape in mind and prune accordingly. Don’t be shy; it’s really hard to overprune a fruit tree.

Young Fruit Tree Forms, Before and After Pruning:


Mature Tree Forms:




It is generally best to prune apples and pears when they are dormant. So pick a nice pleasant, sunny winter day and enjoy this part of orcharding. Summer pruning is helpful to retard growth of the tree. So if the tree is growing very aggressively and getting taller than you like, take it back in July to control this growth.


It is generally best to prune cherry trees when the weather is hot. Do not prune in the winter or late fall or early spring. Bacterial diseases are present in all non-arid environments and are particularly detrimental to sweet cherries. These bacteria are most active in cool, wet weather. So wait until the tree has leafed out and the warm late spring weather patterns are well established – usually by the end of May – to prune your cherry trees.


The best time to prune peaches, nectarines and apricots is in the early spring. Try pruning after the last frost date for your area. At this time, most of the winter damage can be trimmed off and you will minimize the effect of late frost damage to your buds and blooms.


As plums are very vigorous growers, you will want to prune aggressively. Bear in mind that summer pruning, when the trees is still growing, will help contain the spreading nature of your plum tree. You cannot over-prune a plum tree. So do clean up pruning in the winter, to get rid of broken and dead branches and shape up the tree. Then in July, prune again to maintain a manageable size.

Reference: Hollybrook Orchards

Visit for specific varieties or more information.