New England

December, 2013
Regional Report

Clever Gardening Technique

Green Up Window Boxes
Don't leave your window boxes standing empty in cold weather. Make them a winter focal point with evergreen trimmings and other plant material from your garden. If your boxes are still full of now-frozen soil, bring them inside for a few days to thaw or pour boiling water over the soil in the boxes if they can't be moved. Cut short stems of evergreens such as spruce and boxwood after freezing weather so they don't dry out. Trim off the side twigs at their bases to create a six-inch "stem" to push into the soil in the box. Position some evergreens to cascade out of the box to soften its edges; cedar and pine work well for this. Liven up the evergreens with other garden finds, such as red- and yellow-twig dogwood stems, branches of winterberry and crabapple, dried hydrangea flowerheads, rose hips and coneflower seedheads. When your plant material is arranged, water the soil. When it freezes, it will lock the plant material in place, safe from the winter winds.

Shows & Events

Demystifying Holiday Houseplant Care
Do you hide your Christmas cactus in the closet during the holidays? Does your amaryllis bloom on St. Patrick's Day? Did your cyclamen die suddenly? Do you just feel unlucky when it comes to winter bloomers? On Friday, December 13, from 10-11 a.m., join Gail Read, Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum Gardens Manager, and Kristin Green, Interpretive Horticulturist, in the greenhouse potting shed for an enlightening and fun discussion about the care (light, soil, temperature, watering, timing) that will turn your plant luck around and help you keep your holidays in full bloom. Each participant will take home a decorative potted cyclamen, perfect to try your new skills on in your own home for the holidays, or to give as a gift. Cost is $25 member; $30 non-member. Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum is located at 101 Ferry Road (Rt. 114), Bristol, Rhode Island, 02809. For more information or to register, go to

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