Thursday, September 8, 2011

Good Night, Irene!

Deb in the beautiful display garden
Dear Friends,

I hope this newsletter finds you with electricity and living life as you did before Irene came to visit.
The Nursery came through the storm without any major destruction and we are up and running once again. We finally got our power back last Friday afternoon. Thank goodness for generators and good neighbors!

Now that the clean-up is complete, start filling those empty spots in your garden. There are still plenty of choices here at the Nursery.

Warm Regards,


"The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze. "

- John Updike, September
We ONLY lost power for 5 1/2 days. When friends and neighbors are without electricity for six, seven, even eight days, anything less feels like a gift.

Before I met Irene, my hurricane preparations consisted of stowing the patio furniture and outside toys. Needless to say the list has grown substantially and now includes:  
  • Clean and refill the hummingbird feeders. Our family was amazed to watch these fantastic flyers almost unphased by Irene's strongest gusts.Wish I had charged the camera battery.

  • Charge the camera battery to capture Mother Nature at her wildest.
  • Buy a thermometer for the refrigerator - wouldn't it be great if they came with one?
  • Freeze drinks (like opened jugs of milk and juice) and juice tanks. Move the frozen blocks to refrigerator to keep the temp down.
  • Buy more glow sticks. Nothing takes the scary out of a dark night better than hanging colorful, glowing bracelets on door knobs throughout the house.
  • Wash and dry all dirty laundry. Having just returned from a week-long camping trip with a mountain of dirty laundry, I regretted not getting it done for days.
Now, a quick post-hurricane checklist:

  • Call someone to help clear downed trees and limbs that are not near electrical lines. My dear husband heard the call, clearing our driveway of three trees. Soon he'll get to the blowdowns in the woods. Our wood pile thanks Irene.
  • Clean up windblown debris. Like everyone else, we raked the driveway and lawn to remove hundreds of hickory nuts, thousands of acorns and millions of leaves. We also spotted several toads hopping around. 
  • Locate a trusted friend or relative with electricity. By day 3 power was back at work, but not at home or preschool. We shipped the kiddos off to Aunty's house for the night and their first sleep-over at their cousins' house. Definitely a win-win situation.
  • Ask anyone you know who has electricity to freeze blocks of ice (empty gallon jugs and zipper freezer bags.) Pack them in the refrigerator. Even running the generator frequently, our fridge didn't stay cold enough.
In the garden...
  • Cleanly cut branches that are partially broken to prevent disease and rot.
  • Inspect garden structures like arbors and trellises for damage. Ours were all toppled in the gusts.
  • Stand up plants that are laying down. Stake them and pack soil around base and reset the roots. A fresh layer of topsoil will give your plants a little boost.
  • Stems that are bent should be clipped. Plants that were heavily damaged, may need to be replaced. We have a lovely selection of plants for you.
  • Remove damaged branches and leaves.
  • Find recipes for green tomatoes.
  • Many people in the Ocean State live close enough to the ocean that the wind may have driven salty water onto your plants.
    • Once you have running water, rinse plants thoroughly.
    • Apply fast acting gypsum to your plants to repair salt damage, promote healthy root growth, loosen clay soils and maximize fertilizers.
  • If Irene's rains washed out your mulch, you may need to rake it back and fluff it out.
  • Discourage mosquitos from breeding by draining any standing water, even the smallest of puddles.
  • Turn your compost pile to mix in your recent additions.
Hopefully you won't need to put this advice to use for a very, very long time.
Thank you, Irene, for sparing us your full fury.
by Renee C, Brannigan

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Equal dark, equal light
Flow in Circle, deep insight
Blessed Be, Blessed Be
The transformation of energy!

So it flows, out it goes
Three-fold back it shall be
Blessed Be, Blessed Be
The transformation of energy!"

- Night An'Fey
   Transformation of Energy

It's September. Is it too late to plant?

Of course you can plant and transplant in the fall. Autumn is perfect planting weather. The hottest days of summer are replaced by cool fall temperatures. The veggie garden requires little tending. The lawn has yet to be covered by a blanket of leaves.
FALL is the perfect time to plant (and transplant) perennials, trees and shrubs, renovate lawns and revamp your home's curb appeal and landscaping. Woodbridge Greenhouses is stocked with ,many beautiful fall blooms that will revive any tired, sun-scorched container garden and flowerbeds.

Interested in growing the best lettuce of the year? Read this article and learn about: Perfect weather to grow lettuce.

"Smoke hangs like haze over harvested fields,

The gold of stubble, the brown of turned earth

And you walk under the red light of fall

The scent of fallen apples, the dust of threshed grain

The sharp, gentle chill of fall.

Here as we move into the shadows of autumn

The night that brings the morning of spring

Come to us, Lord of Harvest

Teach us to be thankful for the gifts you bring us ..."

Thursday, September 1, 2011