More Tips for Winter Lawn & Garden Care

It’s snowing!  Here are a few tips to take care of your lawn, trees and other outdoor plants when it snows.

  • Be careful to avoid spreading salt near shrubs or other plants.  Sand or sawdust are more environmentally-friendly options for curing those slick walkways, providing friction without the addition of chemicals into the ground.
  • If it does snow a lot, try to brush the snow off of any evergreen branches in your yard as the weight of the snow or ice may cause serious damage to your tree.
  • Make sure to brush the snow off of evergreen trees as soon as possible after a big snowstorm as the accumulating snow can cause serious damage to the branches. This can be done easily with a broom.

We hope that these little suggestions will help make taking care of your outdoors a little easier this winter.  Let us know if you have any questions and we’d be happy to help!

Wisteria Sprout Update

Look at my growing wisteria!  Not even two weeks ago today, I posted this about sprouting a wisteria from a seed and look at how quickly it’s growing already.  Sprouting seeds in the winter months is a great way to fend off winter woes and since Mr. Punxsutawney saw his shadow this year, we may have to stay indoors a little longer this year.  (Though today is beautifully sunny, I must say!)

If you’re looking for a way to brighten up your home and your day during the cold winter months, I really recommend getting some seeds and trying this out!  Then when the warm spring months do come (I promise, they will!), you’ll be ready with some beautiful sprouted flowers to put in your backyard.  Look at this wisteria – just over two weeks old!

If you’re wondering what types of flowers/plants are best for you, leave a comment and I’d be happy to give you a few ideas!

Tips for Winter Lawn & Garden Care

The past few days have not felt much like winter here in Chicago, but for as much as we’d like spring to be here soon, we still have some time to go.  With the snow melted and warmer temperatures, it might be a good time for you to do a few of the tasks you may have put off or forgotten about.

Move your garden decorations, such as urns or other containers, into the garage or basement to protect them from damage from the cold.  If they’re too large/heavy, turn them upside down to prevent water collection or cover them with a bag.

To preserve the wood on the handles of your garden tools, paint them a variety of colors.  Using bright colors like red or orange and avoiding greens and browns will also make it easier to locate them when you’re gardening and set them down in the grass.

Start a record of which plants do and do not do well in your garden.  If you’re just getting into gardening, save it for the spring and summer months and jot down your observations.  If you can remember your garden from last year, take some time to jot down your notes.  This will help as you plan your garden for the coming spring and summer.

Finally, don’t wait too late to order your seeds!  Many of the more common varieties can sell out quickly.

Happy gardening!

Caring for your house plants in the winter months

Dry, cracking knuckles, itchy skin, chapped lips – sound familiar? If you’re like me, the winter has wreaked havoc on your skin and it may be doing the same to your plants. If you’ve noticed that your house plants are starting to look a little dry as well, you can try lining trays with small stones and filling them with water to a level just below the base of the pot. Keep your house plant on top of the tray and this will help increase the humidity level.

If you were lucky enough to get a bunch of house plants as gifts over the holidays, you might want to check them over to make sure they’re not the home for any unwanted visitors. Just look over the leaves and blooms closely to make sure there aren’t any insects before putting them with your other plants. That way, if they do have little pests, you can prevent them from spreading to the rest of your plants.

If you’re running out of places to put them, try making room for them on a shelf or window sill instead of putting them on top of the TV. It’s too warm and does not provide a healthy environment for your growing plants.

Poinsettias are a common Christmas plant, but can be hard to maintain. To try to keep them blooming, maintain moderate moisture levels and keep them away from drafts.

We hope these tips were helpful and will keep your plants healthy and growing through these long winter months! If you’d like any advice or have questions about your garden, plants or otherwise, please post a comment and we’d be happy to help.

Wisteria Sprout

If you’re looking for a way to brighten up these dreary winter days, sprouting seeds may be just the cure you’re looking for. What better way to remind yourself that spring is coming than by caring for and cultivating little seedlings of your own.

Here, I have pictures of a Wisteria plant I started sprouting from a seed.

I planted the seed with roots and after only 4 days, already have a little sprout!

I’m looking forward to enjoying the beautiful flower it will grow to be.



photo courtesy of Sperling Nursery

Sweet Pea Seedlings

I happened to have some sweet pea seeds and thought it would be fun to see if I could get them to sprout. Here are some pictures and a little how-to if you want to try it yourself!

I first took the seeds and cut off the tips with a chipper.

Then I laid the seeds out on a wet paper towel and placed them inside a plastic bag. After putting them on my sunniest window ledge, I checked them every week and sure enough …

They started to sprout, and as you can see I was able to plant them. They have since grown into a lovely vine that will hopefully have the beautiful flowers pictured below, courtesy of

I’ll try to update as it continues to grow!