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A Garden’s View

Holiday 2008 Issue

9868 East M-89

Richland, MI 49083



Holiday Garden Center Hours

Beginning November 28, 2008- Christmas

Monday through Friday 9 am until 6 pm

Saturday 9-3 Sunday 11-4

What if I still want a shrub or tree?

Ask Bruce and he’ll tell you, “You can plant anytime you can get a shovel in the ground”. It is not too late for that last minute addition to your landscape. If you arrive at the garden center to find all of our plants put away in the poly house, we will be happy to help you find what you are looking for, or special order any items that are still available. Please feel free to ask!

Custom wreaths

We pride ourselves on our custom hand made wreaths. Each wreath is made special with local greens and /or boxwood. You are welcome to choose from a provided selection of wreaths, or custom order a wreath specific to your needs and tastes. There are pictures on our website to view some of our wreaths from 2007. Stop by and talk to Ron or Sherri about what you need to make your holiday decorating unique and special. You can view pictures of our wreaths by clicking on the Christmas Store tab at the left

Holiday Availability

This year Gull Lake Landscape will be offering a wide selection of fresh cut Christmas trees including Balsam Fir, Concolor Fir and Frasier Fir. Cut tree sizes range from 6’ to 12/14’. Live potted trees include Frasier Fir, Norway Spruce and Colorado Blue Spruce.

Fresh garland/roping, swags, fresh boughs and branches for decorating, as well as other seasonal items will also be available. We also provide a holiday pot decorating service. Bring in the measurements of your decorative planters, and we will fill a nursery pot with seasonal branches and greens for you to slip into your pots. Stop by and check out our selection, or to discuss your specific needs.

Open House

Our Holiday Open House will be Saturday, December 13, and Sunday December 14, 2006. Stop by for a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate and some snacks while you shop for your tree, wreath or other holiday decorations. We will have special discounts on items during this weekend.

Holiday Classes

We are offering our popular holiday hands-on classes again this year. Home-made wreaths and arrangements are easy and fun to make, and provide for a fun evening for yourself or with a friend. If you have a minimum of 5 people, you can schedule a class on a day or time that may better fit your schedule. Bringing a pair of pruners is recommended, but not required.

Mixed Evergreen Wreath- Create a beautiful fresh wreath with your choice of acccessories and bow

Thursday, December 11th 6:30-8pm cost:$25.00*

Holiday Arrangement-Elegant or simple, create a centerpiece for your home with matching accessories and flowers for yourself, or to give as a gift

Monday, December 22nd 6:30-8pm cost:$25.00*

*classes must be pre-paid and are non refundable

Preparing landscapes for winter

Bert Cregg, Horticulture and Forestry

Published in the CAT Alert Vol 23 No 18 9-19-08

With football season in full swing and leaves about to turn color, we come to the sad realization that snow will be flying before too long. Landscape plants in Michigan face an array of environmental challenges, but it’s safe to say that winter is the toughest season for environmental, or abiotic, injuries. This is largely because there are so many different ways that winter conditions can injure plants.

Types of winter injury
Freezing injury: When cold temperatures drop below the hardiness level of plants, freezing injury may occur. In the middle of winter (mid-January to mid-February) plants reach their maximum hardiness and can usually withstand even the most bitter cold. Where we encounter problems is during the winter acclimation and de-acclimation phases. So if we get a record cold night in late November or, more commonly, extremely cold temperatures following a late winter warm-up, we can see freezing injury. Freezing injury usually appears as die-back in the spring. Depending on the plant, die-back may be limited to branch tips or the entire tree or shrub may die-back to the ground-line. When thinking about freezing injury, it is important to remember that roots are much less cold hardy than the above-ground portion of the plant. If you are over-wintering container or B and B material, make sure plants are properly heeled-in to protect the roots for the winter.

Salt damage: Last winter’s heavy snowfall forced road crews to use large amounts of de-icing salt. As a result we had lots of reports of salt damage to plants. Sodium chloride is the most common de-icing material and can damage plants in a variety of ways. Alternative de-icing materials that also contain chloride, such as calcium chloride, also have the potential to cause damage. For small-scale de-icing, consider alternative materials that do not contain chloride such as calcium magnesium acetate. Where exposure to conventional de-icing salt is unavoidable, use burlap or canvas to shield plants from salt spray or splash. Yes, I realize this isn’t always an aesthetically pleasing look, but it the most effective way to keep plants healthy through the winter.

Snow and ice breakage: Heavy snow and ice can wreak havoc on trees with weak branches. Once trees have dropped their leaves it’s an excellent time to inspect the branch architecture of your trees. Look for large limbs with evidence of decay and narrow crotch angles. People that work with hazard tree evaluation think in terms of targets; if a branch failed what would it hit. A questionable branch overhanging your carport or your kid’s bedroom should be inspected by a professional arborist.

Winter desiccation: As the name implies winter desiccation is actually a form of drought stress. It occurs on conifers and evergreen broadleaved plants when temperatures begin to warm, usually in late winter, but the ground is still frozen. As leaves begin to lose water through transpiration, the plant cannot absorb water since the ground is frozen and the plant desiccates. As with salt injury, protecting plants is the best remedy, especially for evergreens on exposed sites.
For more information on these and other environmental plant injuries, please see MSU Extension Bulletin E-2996 Abiotic Plant Disorders- Symptoms, Signs and Solutions-A Diagnostic Guide to Problem Solving. 

Looking for firewood?

Wood is an abundant, renewable, inexpensive heating source. Bruce will deliver a face cord, or a full cord of seasoned, split hardwood. Stacking service is also available. Call him at (269) 720-9328 to schedule your firewood delivery.

Planning a Wedding?

Are you looking for a personal touch for your wedding flowers? We’ll let you in on a little secret- Sherri does wedding flowers. She’ll help you customize your flowers to reflect your personality and style of the event. Call to set up your consultation today.


Wassailing is an annual event held the first Thursday of December in the village of Richland. Sponsored by the Richland Area Business Association, it is designed to gather the community together to celebrate the holidays and showcase local business and service organizations. Many of the shops and offices will be open, offering refreshments, entertainment, etc from 5:30 until 8 pm. There will be transportation to locations outside the village, including Gull Lake Landscape. We will be offering a drawing for a free custom landscape design, refreshments and cookie decorating.

Ask Olivia

Dear Olivia-I am an avid reader of yours and enjoy learning about all different types of gardening. You seem to love talking about it! I heard my great-grandparents talking about having a victory garden when they were younger. What is that?

Dear reader-

Victories, something MSU knows all about, but I digress. Your grandparents were talking about a very popular program during WWI and WWII where Americans were encouraged to grow a garden. Much of the food grown in the US was being shipped overseas to feed the troops, and the thought was, if citizens could grow some of their own food, that would help offset shortages we would experience at home. One thing that was so great about this program, is it involved people in villages, towns and cities who might not otherwise have a garden, to raise their own fruits and vegetables. I believe it is very important for people to be educated about their food system, and this was a great project for families to do together. Home gardening has become so popular once again, that my parents have decided to sell seeds at the garden center next spring. Here are some suggestions for small spaces and beginners:

-pole beans -bush cucumbers

-summer squash -zucchini

-tomatoes -potatoes

Notes from our field editor and my sister, Madilyn

At our house, we eat what we can, and what we can’t, we can (get it?) But if you have more beans that you could ever eat, consider selling them at the Richland Farmer’s Market. The cost for being a vendor is very low, and it is a great way to meet new friends and see neighbors. If you aren’t able to have a garden, start shopping the market (open May-October) At 2 years old, I won’t touch the stuff, but I hear the fresh, locally grown produce is great!

Signing off until the next issue in 2009.………

Olivia Florence and Madilyn Katherine Snyder