New England

February, 2007
Regional Report

Give Fragrant Bouquets

Although roses are considered the classic for a Valentine's Day bouquet, many long-stemmed roses have little or no fragrance. Instead of roses, consider fragrant flowers, such as freesias, tuberose, or Oriental lilies (especially white 'Casablanca' or pink 'Stargazer'). These long-lasting flowers are not only beautiful, they will also perfume the room with their heady fragrance. Even one stem of lilies provides several flowers and plenty of perfume.

Start Leeks

Long-season alliums, such as leeks and onions, should be started from seed now. They need 10 to 12 weeks of growth indoors before they go in the garden. Sprinkle the seed on top of seed-starting mix, keep it moist, and as soon as the seedlings emerge, place the flats under grow lights so they grow strong.

Move Houseplants Away From Cold Windows

Although a sunny windowsill is an ideal spot for sun-loving houseplants, be sure the plants aren't too close to the glass or they could be damaged by the cold. Also, since heating vents are often located underneath windows, plants are prone to drying out quickly. You may want to move plants to a different location until the weather moderates.

Check Gardening Notes

If you keep any kind of gardening journal, dig it out now and refresh your memory about what worked and what didn't work last year. Read notes you took at garden visits and gardening workshops to give you ideas of plants and techniques you may want to try this year. If you don't have a gardening journal, just designate a small notebook as a place to collect your thoughts and wish lists.

Place Plant Orders

If you want to have the best selection of plants right ready to go into the ground when you're ready to plant, place plant orders early. The selection dwindles the longer you wait.

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