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The English Lady Landscape & Home

PO Box 335

Old Lyme CT 06371

Phone:  860-390-6070



232 Responses to Contact Us

  1. Pat says:

    Hi Maureen,

    My daughter, Valentine the Clown, Diana Sheard and I, so enjoyed last Wednesday evening with you in Cheshire, at the Senior Center. So Great!!!!

    I learned more, of course, and wish you a day late belated Birthday. Enjoy!

    I just came from having lunch with a friend at Whole Foods in W. Htfd, and grabbed my Thyme plant, Swiss Chard, Sage, and a cardinal plant that I am going to place in my one big hanging basket on my back porch. Is that a good idea?

    Pat Senich

  2. admin says:

    Nancy, your sister’s junipers and Leyland Cypress have cedar apple rust which is an airborne disease and needs the junipers, cedars, apple trees and Amelanchiers to take hold. If she checks this website under ‘what to use in the garden’ she will find an organic remedy for this problem, if this fungus has not gone too far. If it has infected over 50% of the tree then she needs to remove them and if the state allows, burn them in the fall. If she decides to plant others of the same species then she can expect the same problem within two years, as that is the life cycle of this disease, especially as there seems to be apple trees and Amelanchiers, host trees in the area. This disease can travel by wind up to ten miles.


  3. admin says:

    No Karen, I did not get it. Send it again please. Maureen

  4. Nancy says:

    My sister lives in South Carolina and is having a problem with brown spots on her Leland Cedars and Junipers. She said that it was from bag worms. She had heard on the radio about people having problems with bag worms and that there was something natural to get rid of them but did not catch the name. I beleve that she said that it was some kind of bacteria that attacks the bag worms. I told her that I listen to you on the radio and that you might know of something that would be natural or might know what the radio station there may have been referring to. Your help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

  5. Karen says:

    We planted a pear seedling two years ago and now it is about five feet high. Should we snip a foot off the top so that the botton trunk will grow more branches and fill out?

  6. admin says:

    Dianne, chopping the forsythia down to the ground, is not the answer, to keep it in control, prune out the oldest branches and the weakest of the new shoots. You are very lucky to have lily of the valley, which was my grandmother’s favorite. It takes about ten years for these plants to do well, and I suggest that any extras donate to other gardeners, I’m sure they will be delighted with this delicate fragrant gift. Maureen

  7. Dianne says:

    Help…..I am trying to control a 30 year old forsthia …I chopped it down to the ground and of course it is sprouting back up…in lieu of digging out the roots…is there a killer like Brush-Be-Gone.,I would be successful with? Similar situation w/ invasive lily of the valley.
    Thanks in advance, Dianne

  8. admin says:

    Robin, we have had plenty of rain so far this season, so you do not need to add extra water. The wind of last winter played havoc with the broad leaf evergreens, but they will bounce back. Just put some manure and peat around the base and mulch with a fine bark mulch around them to protect the roots (these plants are shallow rooted) and the mulch will also keep warmth and moisture in the soil. Maureen

  9. Robin says:

    Dear Maureen,
    I planted beautiful mountain laurel plants last year and right from the start , some leaves
    turned yellow and had brown spots on them. My question is, is this a watering problem? Too much or too little?, or something else altogether? Can you help?

  10. admin says:

    Kathleen, get a gallon sprayer, fill with water, a dash of dish soap, two teaspoons of vegetable oil and three cloves of crushed garlic and spray on the hostas to keep the munchies away. Maureen

  11. kathleen says:

    Enjoyed your program at
    the Plainville Woman’s Club. I have a couple of questions When do I prune a holly bush? And what can I use on my hostas. Every year something eats them. Thanks.

  12. admin says:

    Joseph, on the home page of the website click on ‘what to use in the garden’ and you will see what you need. Our company is organic and my family’s landscape philosophy for four hundred years has always been organic, so glad you are doing the same. Maureen

  13. admin says:

    Charlotte, all the following are the old fashioned plants. Magnolia tree, crab apple and pear trees, serviceberry, native tree for early spring bloom, pieris, peonies (which should only be planted in September), lavender, roses,hydrangeas, viburnums, lilac. Hope you like some of them. Maureen

  14. admin says:

    Beth, Prune the lilacs after they have finished blooming immediately before they set their buds for next year, by removing a few of the oldest stems a few inches above ground level each year. Remove spent blooms by pinching off or flower formation for the next year may be inhibited by seeds forming. Maureen

  15. Virginia says:

    I enjoy listening to you on 100.5. I also enjoy the Friday Photos.
    I have a patch of rhubarb in my garden that has been healthy for at least the last five years and when I cut one section of it the stalks were hollow. Any insight you could give as to the problem would be appreciated.

  16. Beth says:

    I missed what you said about pruning lilacs on Thursday. We have lilacs that my husband has been pruning by taking out the large branches (low to the ground) to promote growth. We had a lot of new growth, but they didn’t seem to bloom this year. Any suggestions?

  17. Charlotte says:

    This winter we had 8 pine trees cut down from our front yard. Now we have sun light and a clean slate for landscaping. We have a historic house and I would like to have plants that would reflect that time period of 1840. What plants would should I look into for planting?

  18. Joseph says:

    Hi, I heard you speak on 100.5 while I was in my car. I thought that I heard you say that there was an organic treatment for lawn grubs. I do not like to use chemicals because my small grandchildren play on the lawn and I also have a small puppy. Could you help me with this problem?

  19. Mary says:

    I am renting a lovely little house that has a lot of yard. I have been reading about your “garden not a yard” and found it very informative. However, I do have a problem I cannot get rid of. Grubs, and the moles that come along with them. I have tried putting non-pesticide solutions on the lawn, but to no avail. I have animals, and I cannot stand any type of pesticide (no matter how “harmless” ). Do you have any suggestions on how to get rid of these creatures for good?

    A lot of back yard is “sinking” due to the lack of roots in the grass. Most disturbing!

    Thanks so much.

    Mary Crotty

  20. admin says:

    Sara, keep spreading the manure and you will have the best gardens ever. Maureen

  21. admin says:

    Carole, call Prides Corner nursery in Lebanon. Its a wholesale nursery that has Girard’s Hot Shot an azalea that has orange flowers. Ask them to whom they retail this plant.

    Move the hydrangea now into the sun, and do not plant it any deeper than it is in the earth now and mix manure in the planting mix and keep the plant well watered. Maureen

  22. admin says:

    Beth, why did you cut the top off? Just curious. Lilacs need full sun and lime and manure around them in early Spring and fall and the spent flowers should be pinched off immediately after blooming. You could also give them a root pruning when the bloom is over. About a foot from the trunk base, take a sharp spade and dig into the roots sharply which often encourages better growth and bloom. Good luck

  23. Beth says:

    hi. I have Lilac trees in my yard. They used to get tons of blossoms, but as the years go on I get less and less. I had my husband cut off about 1 ft off the top of each last year, and still not many blossoms! What can I do???

  24. admin says:

    Richard, Buy Safer solution (sulphur) from the garden center and after running water through the soil in the bath tub for about ten minutes, spray the soil and the leaves and then repeat as suggested on this organic product until the furry substance disappears.

  25. admin says:

    Dawn, You can use the cedar mulch but as with low nitrogen mulches like wood chips the nitrogen level is temporarily depleted from the soil, so make sure you first lay down a two inch layer of manure, mixed with blood meal first to boost the soil nitrogen levels. You need to only put down one two inch layer of mulch in the spring and then again when you put the garden to bed in fall.

  26. Dawn says:

    Two months ago we had to remove a cedar tree from our ‘garden’. I asked the company to leave the wood chips for me so I could use them as mulch. I’m ready to use it now but recently heard conflicting thoughts about. Can you tell me if it’s safe to use these untreated wood chips in all our gardens, even up against our house (we have a stone foundation)? Will bugs or termites be attracted to it? Also, how thick should I spread the mulch? I was thinking 1-2″ now, then add 1-2″ more when the weather really warms up in late June.
    Thank you in advance for your advice and I love listening to you on WRCH every month!
    Dawn in Prospect, CT

  27. Richard says:

    I have had a palm tree plant for years. We put it o0utside in the summer. It is now early May and I noticed it is sickly and has a furry like substans on it. Maybe some kind of bug. We keep it in the bathroom and there are no other plants in there with it. What can I do to save it?

  28. admin says:

    Marilyn, a hand full of lime around the base and manure and hopefully the lilac is in full sun. Remove spent blossoms and remove the suckers from the base in November. Maureen

  29. admin says:

    Marge, glad Ian was able to help yesterday. Hope all is well at the Church and I know Pastor Steven and Sandra are enjoying their retirement, I get the news from Don Robertson. Enjoy your garden. Maureen

  30. Marge says:

    Hi Maureen,
    Your son was very helpful yesterday. We are adding on to our outside deck, .. in front are many flowers that need to be moved until our new deck is complete. We had to dig up Iris’, Bleeding hearts bush, and a few others.
    I hope to see you again one of these days, thought about you often. We met when you came to Fellowship church many years ago. A lot has happened since then.
    So happy your business is doing well.

  31. Marilyn says:

    Hi Maureen, I love listening to you on Lite 100.5. I try not too miss a show. I need help with my lilac tree. I’m really not sure about the maintenance. When and how to trim. I have some blossoms this year but it seems fewer than last.. Help!!


  32. admin says:

    Sue, It’s a lunch at 12 noon and I suggest you get in touch with Katelyn M. McShane at the American Lung Association at 860-838-4363 as she is dealing with that aspect of the event. Maureen

  33. admin says:

    Lucille, never plant any plant any deeper than it was in its pot. The Lily as all Lilies need sun or partial shade in deep, humus rich soil with manure, well drained and out of strong winds. Mulch with compost or a fine bark mulch to keep the soil cool. Water during dry spells and feed with manure tea, or fish emulsion from late spring to early fall. Stake tall lilies and deadhead after blooming. After the tops die cut the stems to a few inches from the ground. Deer, woodchucks and moles relish lilies. For deer and mole control check the website under what to use in the garden. Good luck Maureen

  34. admin says:

    Gail, prune the forsythia when its finished blooming by cutting old wood and each year remove about one third of the stems at ground level. Maureen

  35. admin says:

    Elaine, avoid pruning the Japanese maple as it is leafing out now in spring. Late winter such as in March is the best time to prune this tree, the tree is without leaves and its easy to see plant form so that it could be pruned to good effect. Prune the bridal wreath after it finished blooming so it will have time to grow and set buds during the summer and hopefully fill in the bottom branches. Put manure around the base of all plants. Maureen

  36. Gail in Manchester says:

    Greetings Dear English Lady,
    I love listening to you on WRCH and have had to be careful to not be late getting into work by doing so!
    We have forsythia that have grown at least six feet high and drape beautifully, but they are not very full inside – should we prune them more than just the trimming we usually do? If so, how much of a “hair cut” do we give them?
    Thanks for bringing such pleasure to the morning airwaves.
    Gail in Manchester

  37. Sue says:

    We are interested in the lecture on Fri-June 18th at Apricots(Farmington) with the American Lung Assoc. Is there a tea or lunch and what is the cost? Looking forward to it. Thank you. Sue

  38. Lucille says:

    I have a calla lily plant that I planted outside, the problem is, it is falling over, do I need to plant it deeper in the ground? I would appreciate any advice you can give me.

    Thank You

  39. admin says:

    Mary Lou, Use organic Neem oil on the beetles. If you cannot get it in a local store, click on this website ‘what to use in the garden’ and click there. Maureen

  40. admin says:

    Laurie, if the tree was pruned too much the only remedy is ‘time’ and wait for it to regrow. Cherry trees should never be pruned in fall when their leaves are falling, late winter is the best time for deciduous trees when they are dormant to be pruned, which stimulates growth and the results are delayed until spring. I suggest you take a wait and see attitude. Put manure in the soil around the base of the tree for to replenish soil structure, do not fertilize. Call an arborist for a consultation to check if there is any disease in the tree that may have entered the new cuts after pruning. Good luck Maureen

  41. Laurie says:

    Hello, I have a weeping cherry that did not look good at the end of the summer, most of it turned brown and looked like it was dead. Don’t know if we trimmed to early or to much. This year only 1/2 of the tree bloomed. What should I do?? and will the other 1/2 come back?? When and how do you trim a weeping cherry?
    thanks for your help

  42. Mary Lou says:

    Hi, Do you have something to kill Lily beetles? I bought some sprays in the store and it lasts for a little while and then the beetles are back…They eat all the leaves on my Lillies..would appreciate any info you can give me.

  43. admin says:

    Deb, a carton of unflavored yogurt, buried up to the rim in the soil where the slugs congregate will draw them to their fate. Maureen

  44. admin says:

    Kathleen, on this website under ‘what to use in the garden’ click there for all organic products for the garden. Maureen

  45. admin says:

    Kathy, unfortunately you have a fast growing problem. And wet weather does not improve it with regard to invasive bamboo. Chemicals do not work and I would not want you to use them. I suggest you cut the bamboo down in areas where it is most encroaching and you could also dry it and sell it as it is a valuable commodity for many constructural uses. Sorry there is not an easy answer. Maureen

  46. admin says:

    Jackie, Neem oil is the solution to the red lily beetle. Maureen

  47. admin says:

    Stacy, check under garden tips and in the April tips you will find info on solarization to help remedy the tomato blight. Maureen

  48. admin says:

    Ellen, the only organic way, which is our philosophy, is to cut down the vines to keep them in check. By the way the bittersweet oil is also beneficial to counteract the effects of poison ivy, so at least it has some good points. Maureen

  49. admin says:

    Vic, that’s wonderful, however, it can happen. Your branch obviously had buds ready to bloom when you cut the branch and put it in the right environment for it to continue to put forth bloom. Definitely try the rooting medium although you may have to wait quite a few years for it to become the mightly magnolia, but well worth the experiment. Thanks for sharing. Maureen

  50. admin says:

    Joanne, We do not sell toad houses but they are easy to make. I’m sure you have a cracked terracotta pot around with a large enough crack for the toad to enter. Turn the pot upside down on a shallow lid or saucer with rocks on the saucer, which need to be kept moist and place the ‘homemade’ toad house in a shady less traveled area of the garden to encourage the toad to set up residence. They eat about 200 of the ‘bad’ bugs each day. Maureen

  51. admin says:

    Susan, unfortunately the only way to remove the debris is to cut it down and then dig out the roots. I have a stream in the moist shade on my property and enjoy moss along the banks, together with some fallen tree trunks, great habitats for wildlife and some fragrant honeysuckle and summer sweet which keeps bad bugs at bay and encourages birds and butterflies. Maureen

  52. Susan says:

    Hi. We have a stream running along the side of our property which has dense brush in moist soil. Is there a way to get rid of all the junk (without the use of chemicals), and create a natural and pretty habitat for wildlife?

  53. Joanne says:

    A friend of mine told me that you sell toad houses?

  54. Vic says:

    I live in Avon, CT and had an unusual discovery today. Last fall, I pruned one of my Magnolia trees that was crowding our walkway. I made a clean cut of at least four inches across the base of a twenty foot branch. The branch was then thrown near a then dry, small riverbed, which runs through the woods on our property.

    This morning, while walking down the driveway I noticed pinkish white blossoms peeking out from behind the trees alongside the riverbed It looked to me like a Magnolia tree was growing right out of the ground. To my amazement, the same Magnolia branch was lying just where I had tossed it, but now it was covered with beautiful blossoms.

    There were no roots coming out of the branch and the thick end was just resting on the damp soil. I thought I would share experience with everyone and wondered how unusual it really is.

    I just returned from my local nursery with a container of rooting hormone as I intend to try to give this MIGHTY MAGNOLIA another chance at becoming a tree to behold. I owe it at least that much!

  55. Jackie says:

    You gave a presentation at the Enfield Garden Club on March24th and told us about some non toxic sprays to use on the plants to keep insects off them. Could you please send me the directions to make this solution? I am hoping it works against red lilly beetles which are now trying to eat the lillies that are just coming up.

  56. Stacy says:

    I can’t find the place in the wbsite where it tells you how to cure the tomato problem from last year. What do I do to kill the diseased soil. Thanks, Stacy

  57. kathy says:

    My husband and I have lived in our home for 19 years. When we moved into the home (built in 1860), we found this bamboo.

    We have tried EVERYTHING to get rid of this dreadful plant. When it rains, it grows bigger and bigger. The neighbor has been complaining since it is now on her land. We have dug it up, put bleach on it, cut it down and many other things to no avail.



  58. kathleen says:

    Hi Maureen,

    I heard your comment on Miracle Grow while listening to WRCH on April 15th. What other plant food should I use?

    Thank you so much,

  59. Deb says:

    Last summer I planted some perennials (black-eyed susans) & slugs began to eat away! I did the beer traps which worked but I want to stop them early before the flowers bloom. Any suggestions? I need pet friendly ideas please!!!
    Thank you!

  60. admin says:

    Suzanne, you can use the American Arborvitae that tolerates wet or dry soil, sun or partial shade, which grows quickly and has a narrow, upright form that will not outgrow its space. It is also has dense foliage which will help to absorb traffic noise Good luck Maureen

  61. Suzanne says:

    Hello! I love to listen to your show on 100.9! I live in Western Mass, and have recently bought my first house. The street I live on has times of brisk traffic, and I would like some suggestions for both noise and sight blocking plantings that won’t be too costly. The area is east facing and has full sun. Please let me know what you think.



  62. admin says:

    Stephanie, use any of the following as sprays: a drop of rosemary oil in water, garlic oil in water, Neem oil or Safer solution from the garden center – all of these are organic. I also love my African Violets and use Safer solution myself if I spot a problem, which happens often in a closed up house after the winter. Good luck Maureen

  63. Stephanie says:

    I have an African Violet which has grown to just over a foot in diameter. It flowers for a long time (a dark purple blossom) and is very beautiful. Recently, some small flies (I believe to be fruit flies) have decided to nest there. Is there anything can I do to get rid of the fruit flies without harming my African Violet?


  64. admin says:

    Rose, Impatiens enjoy shade and Fuchsia like partial shade, morning sun is best. Both need fertile, moist well drained soil with plenty of manure. Fertilize with organic fertilizer and water often in summer. Before frost take Fuchsia indoors, reduce watering, and allow leaves to drop. Water lightly until spring and then cut stems back to a few inches and in May repot if root bound. Good luck Maureen

  65. admin says:

    Nancy, prune now and remove all dead shoots and trim vines back to the first pair of buds. Glad you reminded me to today prune my clematis paniculata on the milk shed. Good luck Maureen

  66. Nancy says:

    I have a Clematis Paniculata and thought I read somewhere that this variety of Clematis should be pruned each year. Is this correct and if so when should this be done and how much should be pruned?
    Many Thanks!

  67. Rose says:

    I have a campsie in Niantic CT. I would like to know what kind of hanging plants I could put there as it has very little sun. Mostly shade and everything I have put there has died. can you suggest something.

  68. admin says:

    Joyce, the red lily beetle is a real pest and I suggest the best organic way to control the larvae is to spray with organic Neem oil and when you see them you can also pick them off and squash them and throw them into the garbage. Maureen

  69. admin says:

    Jan, you can prune it now to shape it and lift it up from the ground, as the pruning cuts will be covered with the new foliage growth. So pleased you enjoyed the talk. Maureen

  70. admin says:

    Hello Jean, I’m so glad you enjoyed the lecture and was happy to see everyone. The plant that will help erosion is Willow leaf cotoneaster. Maureen

  71. admin says:

    Bernie, up in Maine the frost stays in the ground longer so transplant the small blue spruce as the soil warms in May. Put manure and peat in the planting mix. A little wood ash but very little is good in the veg garden for potassium but I suggest you test the soil to see if you have a potassium deficiency and if not do not use the potash especially if it came from trees that were chemically treated. Maureen

  72. admin says:

    Jen, try hot sauce and garlic oil with water or as the farmers used an egg-water mixture. Mix 4 eggs with 1 gallon of water, spray plant thoroughly and repeat after rain. Good luck Maureen

  73. admin says:

    Rosemary, put manure around the roses and on all the borders now and also in July and October – everyone needs to build up the soil with this wonderful organic matter. Manure is not a fertilizer it builds soil structures, retains nutrients for when the plants need it and is a wonderful all around great natural bi-product. Maureen

  74. JOYCE says:

    Red Lily Beattle devoured all my lilies last year. I heard that black pepper would
    prevent them from doing it again. I already have several this year in the garden.
    How much pepper do I use? Should the pepper be combined with anything else?Do I have to see the beattle and pour the pepper on the beattle or is simply pouring it on the ground good enough? How often do I treat the garden — once
    a week or daily? I sure hope you can help.

  75. Jan says:

    Loved your talk in Ridgefield tonight! I have a Japanese maple whose branches are dragging on the ground. Is it safe to prune them now, or should I wait till fall?

    Thanks so much

  76. jean says:

    Great lecture this evening at the Ridgefield Public Library! You mentioned a good hill grower, willow leaf I believe, but I did not catch the full name of the plant. Could you please pass on the full name? Thank you.

  77. bernie from maine says:

    I saw you on Washington County (maine) TV. You were very informative.
    When is the best time in spring to transplant 12-18″ blue spruce trees &
    are they affected by wood stove ash in the soil?

  78. Lisa says:

    Maureen, Last year total amount of bucket was 72 five gallon buckets and 45 totes heres the list from last season, Tomatos, Cucumbers, Green beans, Egg plant, Broccolli, Califlower, Yellow squash, Zuccinni, Kolarabi, Corn, Lettuce 4 kinds, Onions, Beets, Turnip, Carrots, Bussel sprouts, Cabbage, Radish, Cantalope, Honeydew, Water melon, Acorn, Butternut squash, Potatos, Sweet peas, Bell pepers, about 6 different types of hot peper, and lots of herbs. This year its will be cut by about half I am just getting ready to get started spring is comming soon have lots to do thanks for the info.

  79. Jen says:

    I was referred by a friend and am hoping you can help. I recently planted some winter Daphne and spread mulch around it. I came home to find that my greyhound had created a big hole where one of them had been. I planted my garden in a raised garden, so that is protected. Any tips to keep dogs from digging around plantings? I tried sprinkling cayenne pepper and that was not effective.

  80. Rosemary says:

    Can I put manure on my double knockout rose bushes to give them a boost?

  81. admin says:

    Jean, it seems that you have a poppy that only blooms every two years and is called a bi-ennial. If they have been in the ground for a few years you may want to divide them in spring or summer after the leaves disappear. Good luck Maureen

  82. admin says:

    Lisa, Whatever works for you, carry on using it – buckets galore! For the slugs put a rock or log near your buckets so the ground beetle can hide under it and they eat lots of slugs. Also around the buckets put a copper wire, you will find the slugs will not cross the wire. For the tomato blight – when the sun comes out in a few days put a sheet of plastic over the soil and leave it there until you are ready to prepare the soil for planting, this method will suffocate the spores of the blight. Good luck and let me know how many buckets you get to produce. Regards, Maureen

  83. admin says:

    carolann, transplant the hydrangea at the beginning of May and do not plant it any deeper in the new hole than it is now, add manure to the planting mix and keep it well watered.

    No the black spot is not mildew but is a fungus. Prune off the affected leaves and spray with a sulphur solution from the garden center, either under the name of fungicidal soap or a sulphur or copper spray.
    Good luck Maureen

  84. admin says:

    Yola, on the home (front page) of the website look at ‘recent posts” for wisteria and click on that – it should help solve your situation. Maureen

  85. admin says:

    Gale, put the manure all over the beds about two to three inches thick and leave it there, it will gradually seep into the soil and help soil structure and awaken nutrients down below. Add manure now, July and October and you can cover with a two inch layer of brown fine bark mulch in late April. Maureen

  86. admin says:

    Donna, the following are a few ideas for the shade – not too large in size for the rock garden:
    To anchor the rear of the rock – plant a serviceberry tree, a native tree, with smooth gray bark, early cream blossom and pink berries in summer that the birds love.
    Azaleas, Clethra or summersweet – a lovely shrub fragrant, white in mid summer. native mountain laurel.
    Perennials – anemone, aruncus, astilbe (so many lovely colors in this one, with early, mid season and late blooming varieties with foliage that stays attractive), campanula, lily of the valley, bleeding heart, foxglove, day lily, heuchera, iris cristata and iris siberica, creeping phlox, veronica, viola. This should make a lovely garden for you. Good luck Maureen

  87. Donna says:

    I am looking to make a rock garden could you please help me in choosing the right plants. There is not direct sun where I am looking to plant, so I will need plants that will do well in the shade. Thank you for any help you can give me.

  88. Gale says:

    I am new to gardening. I have listened to you on the radio and read your column. I hope this isn’t a silly question but you mention using manure all the time and for March you said to not disturb soil around the roots but dress your garden beds with manure. Does this mean just put on a covering of manure all over the beds? If so how deep should it be? And then you just leave it there?

    Thanks for your help and I really do enjoy listening to you on the radio.

  89. Yola says:

    I like to listen to your advice on NPR radio and now I need your advice regarding wisteria. We have 2 nice bushes growing along the fence and when we bought it 4 years ago it bloomed only once, the first year and never since. I tried to trimmed as much as possible what else I can do to force it to bloom? Thank you.

  90. carolann says:


  91. Lisa says:

    I listen to WRCH everyday while I am at work I pay more attention when your on the air, because I need to hear what you have to say about todays gardens. For the last two years I have had a container garden using five gallon buckets and also decided to try 18 gallon totes without covers of course to try root vegies. I have to say IT WORKED I had beets and tunip radishes and potatos I thought that was pretty good. I have tried just about every imaginable vegie if it didn’t work I didn’t do it the following year. I did a LOT of test buckets just to see if I could do it most worked I tried things that people said I would never grow in a bucket the biggest challange was corn to find a way so that it would produce and guess what we had corn last year there was not much but it was enough I will be doing it again this year. I do have questions because I had a big problem with slugs last year could not get rid of them to save my life is there something that can be used thats safe around kids and animals?? The other is what is your opinion about the blight we had last year do you think we will have the same problems this year and what do you feel can help prevent it best? I lost a lot of tomatos from that. Also powder mildew on my cucumber leaves, yellow squash, and zuccinni leaves, any suggestions? I do know that the rain did us no justice last year. I think anyone who wants fresh vegies can grow a garden no matter how little space they have, the topsy turvvy and other products like that seem to do well I know folks that it worked for and some that it didn’t. I think buckets are best. A garden can be done with a little creativity and a green thumb. The cutest thing was when my neighbor tried growing pepers two years ago and couldn’t I decided to grow them for her we had hot pepers comming out our ears. I will be waiting to hear you on the radio..

  92. admin says:

    Jill, the name of the natural veterinarian is Dr. John Oulette, 1260 Durham Road, Madison and his phone number is 203-421-3300. Good luck Maureen

  93. admin says:

    Jean, Poppies require full sun and nutritious (which means manure) evenly moist and well drained soil. All poppies need a site protected from wind and morning sun and afternoon shade is the best location. Poppies are happy if left undisturbed but they can be divided every five years or so. Divide in late summer as the new leaves are appearing from summer dormancy. Poppies make great cut flowers and should be cut when the buds begin to open. Recut the stems in the house and dip an inch or two in boiling water for a few seconds to sear the ends, stand the flowers in cold water for several hours before arranging. Sear the end again if you cut them while arranging. Good luck and enjoy the poppies which I hope will bloom this year. Maureen

  94. admin says:

    Mary, 1 cup of white vinegar in a gallon of water in a sprayer. Good luck Happy you were there on Wednesday. Maureen

  95. admin says:

    Sandie, prune the sweet autumn clematis hard now before growth begins, by cutting them down to just above a healthy pair of buds eight to twelve inches above the ground. I have three of the against my milk shed and this weekend will prune them. The flowers and fragrance are so beautiful in late summer.

    In the shade plant azaleas which are shallow rooted and mountain laurel as well as perennials, astilbes. trillium, sweet woodruff,lamium, lady’s mantle, anemone, aruncus, campanula, helleborus, for late winter color, day lily, iris cristata and siberian iris, beebalm veronica and vinca minor as a ground cover. These are just a few suggestions for which you need only a few inches of top soil.

    Sandie with regard to the dog problem, you have to water the area to help wash away the urine and try a spray of water, a little cayenne pepper and garlic in a gallon spray container, won’t the grass or the dog but sometimes deters animals. Good luck Maureen

  96. Sandie says:

    Sweet Autumn Clematis – I’ve read it self-seeds to the point of annoyance. Of course I’ve already planted 2 of them. Any suggestions? (I have no problem digging them out.)

    Woodland Gardens – I have beautiful woodlands behind my house, but it’s almost impossible to plant anything because of all the tree roots. Where we could get a shovel in, I was able to plant a couple rhodies and hostas. I can’t berm because of drainage issues. I thought of just throwing down a little garden soil and placing some more hostas on top which I’m pretty sure would grow down into the soil. Any ideas for me?

    Grass burned by dog urine – Anything you can do to treat grass that is burned by urine from our female dog?

    Thank you so much for all your help – Sandie

    P.S. Do you have a nursery in Essex?

  97. Mary says:

    Hi Maureen,
    I was at your lecture last evening in Enfield. Someone asked you about getting rid of clumps of moss on roof tops. I thought I heard you say “white vinegar”. How should I go about this? Thanks

  98. Jean says:

    Hi Maureen,
    I’m confident you can answer this question for me.
    My orange poppy perennial plan did not bloom last year – Just the greenery. It had bloomed in prior years. What can I do??
    Thanks, Jean

  99. admin says:

    Linda, you do not need to cover the hydrangeas, they will be fine. Have a great gardening season and continue to listen to the show, for more gardening advice. Regards, Maureen

  100. Linda says:

    Just had an immediate question on my hydrangeas which are beginning to have buds on them……with the upcoming cold snap predicted for next week, should I cover them so buds won’t be damaged? I have five different ones in my yard and they look like they will all bloom this year. What should I cover with, if needed?
    I listen regularly to you on the Wednesday morning radio show with Mike and Alison. Great tips! Thanks!

  101. Jill says:

    Dear Maureen,

    I was so sorry to miss your lecture today in Canton. A good friend of mine was able to be there and enjoyed it very much! In telling me about your talk he mentioned there was a brief conversation about your dog’s diet and veterinarian. I have struggled for years with my labrador’s grain allergy and would love to know what resources you mentioned.

    Happy Spring… Jill

  102. admin says:

    Catherine, from April on prune it every two weeks, this will keep it under control and very likely produce more bloom. Good luck Maureen

  103. admin says:

    Alice, start plants from root cuttings in moist, rich soil. Horseradish roots can grow to several feet deep, good soil prep will encourage thick, straight roots. Plant root pieces in early spring with small ends down and the large ends two to four inches below soil level, space them one foot apart. To control the plant either plant it in an out of the way area or dig up completely each year and replant. Water when needed particularly in late summer and fall, when the plants do most of their growing. Pick a few spring leaves for salads and use a spading fork to dig roots in mid fall. I also enjoy horseradish especially with some roast beef and yorkshire pudding. Good luck Maureen

  104. admin says:

    Sandie, immediately after the lilacs have bloomed, but do not wait as they set their new buds quite quickly. Maureen

  105. admin says:

    Charlotte, on the home page of the website type in the search box ‘Hydrangeas” and in amongst the articles you will find info on complete care of the plant. Good luck Maureen

  106. Charlotte says:

    How and when do I cut back the hydrangeas? I had a couple of flowers last year, now on 3/19/10 there are a lot of very dry 2-3 foot dry stalks coming out. Prune or not?

    Thanking you in advance,

    C. Pasterczyk, So. Hadley, MA

  107. sandie says:


  108. alice says:

    can i find out how to grow horse radish?? sun, part sun. can i use the horse radish root i can but in the supermarket?? and i’m sure there’s a lot more information i would need. thank you.

  109. admin says:

    Rose, Impatiens grow very well in the shade and there are some lovely colors in this plant. add some variegated vinca vine to hang over the edge of the planter and enjoy. Maureen

  110. admin says:

    Sarah, now is the time to cut back the butterfly bushes to about one foot from the ground, add some manure and mulch around the base. No other fertilizer is needed if you add a two inch depth of manure to all the borders. Maureen

  111. Catherine says:

    Hi Maureen,
    I have a Wisteria that has taken off and continues to send runners all over, even in places that I don’t want. Is there anyway to stop this plant from over taking my patio? Thanks for your help! Catherine

  112. admin says:

    Isabelle, Please ask your husband to put away the pruning shears. Lilacs should only be pruned about one third immediately after they have bloomed otherwise you are pruning the buds which flower next season. Hope you do not have to wait too long for bloom. Maureen

  113. admin says:

    Katrin, use the fine bark brown mulch, not the red, it has chemical coloring. Try to only use organic products in the garden. Take a look at the front page of the website under ‘lectures’ and I invite you to come to one that I am giving in your area, that will help you with organic gardening including the vegetable garden. I am sure you will find one as I am lecturing throughout the state. Maureen

  114. Katrin says:

    I was listening to you today (and I always try to listen 100.5) and you mentioned not the red stuff today (assuming dyed red cedar mulch) please tell me if it is detremental to my food plants. I put it around apple trees, blackberries, blueberries, hazelnut shrubs and a cherry tree. Any other plants I should be worried about.

    Best Reguards,
    Katrin Wood

  115. isabelle says:

    We have several lilac bushes, one older one, rather large (10 feet tall, about 10+ feet around). My husband pruned them (from the top) when we moved into our house 10 years ago. We didn’t get blooms again until 2 years ago. This week, he’s been pruning again, and I’m wondering if I’ll have to wait another 8 years for blooms. I do trust him when he tells me he needs to thin out the vines underneath, but he’s also an artist and sculptor, and the lilacs now look like lovely, minimalist sculptures! He’s left a generous gaps between each stalk of several inches, and it looks quite sparse. Is this the right thing to do? Obviously, it’s too late to discuss now, but …. Thanks in advance.

  116. Sarah B. says:

    I have two butterfly bushes in my backyard. I did not trim them back last Fall – my question is when is it best to trim them back this Spring? Also what type of fertilizer or supplement would enhance their growth? Thanks, Sarah

  117. Rose says:

    My husband and I go camping in the summer. We have a place in Niantic CT. We spend our weekends there starting the end of April. The problem that I have is every hanging plant I have bought or any type of flowers I put there dies. There is very little sun, mostly shade. Would you know what kind of plant I could get there. I can’t put anything in the ground as the squils or chipmunks eat them, so I try to use a hanging plant. Thank you so much.

    Rose Brown

  118. admin says:

    Luann, Do not cut the shoots and it will continue to develop, albeit slowly as that is how it grows into the wonderful contorted shape over the years. Just add some composted manure and mulch around the base but not touching the trunk which only encourages small creatures to gnaw on the wood. Good luck Maureen

  119. Luann says:

    I have a Harry Lauder walking stick that doesn’t seem to be growing. It gets new shoots that grow straight. Two years ago my husband cut the shoots but I told him that I would ask you before he cuts it again. I sent an e-mail but didn’t receive a response. Cutting or not cutting it is about the same size as when we purchased it, approximately 4-5 years ago. It is in direct sunlight. I have not fertilized it with anything. Any suggestions? Thanks, Luann

  120. admin says:

    Donna, grapes need rich soil in the form of compost and manure with a ph between 5 and 6. Test the soil, it may be deficient in nitrogen, potassium and magnesium resulting in the stunted growth. Use soaker hoses for watering and from May through August, keep the ground damp but not soggy. During spring through July position the grapes on the trellises so light penetrates through the foliage. Pick off leaves and small shoots near flower clusters to let in light. Remove or thin clusters to increase berry size and improve quality. Good luck Maureen
    in February or March

  121. admin says:

    Virginia, do not put the wood ash around the roses. Quite often people put altogether too much wood ash on the gardens. Around the roses, dig some cut up banana peels into the soil for potassium and calcium in the forms of egg shells. Maureen

  122. Virginia says:

    Can you tell me if it is harmful to put wood ashes from a wood stove around roses. Don’t want to kill them. Also if you have any magical way to get chipmonks out of the yard I would be very happy. I love to listen to you when you are on 100.5 in the morning.

  123. Donna says:

    Hi English Dady, my question is, why has may purple grape vine grapes stop growing half way through the season. I used to get great full grapes in late Aug to Sept. Am I not doing something wrong? the vine is about 9 years old. Thanks, Donna

  124. admin says:

    Debbie, Johnny and Doby, the recipe for manure tea is on my February gardening tips which will be up shortly. Manure tea is the best stuff. Regards, Maureen

  125. Johnny says:

    Very well done site. Huge amount of information. Ian, trying to find the recipe for manure tea. Your organic fertilizer. Thanks Johnny and Debbie and Doby

  126. admin says:

    Cindi, sounds like white fly. Buy some Safer solution, its of course organic, wash the plant in the sink and spray with the solution then repot the plant in new potting soil after cleaning the pot well with white vinegar and water. Good luck Maureen

  127. Cindi says:

    My Christmas Cactus has tiny white bugs in the soil. They hop around whenever I water it. It has never been outside so I am stumped. I have had this plant for over 10 years without problems. Please help.


  128. admin says:

    Diane, the squirrels will not bother daffodils but if you are planting tulips or other bulbs, they do enjoy those, so buy an organic liquid deer repellent either from the website on what to use in the garden or from the garden center,soak the bulbs then allow them to dry in the sun and the squirrels will be deterred by this product. Good luck Maureen

  129. Diane says:

    I am planting my spring bulbs and I would like to know what the best way is to deter squirrels, etc. from digging them up.

  130. admin says:

    Carole, transplant the Iris this weekend with manure in the planting mix, but do not plant them deep, only enough soil to cover the horizontal roots to prevent them from falling over. Plant the rose of sharon next May. Maureen

  131. Julie says:

    We have 2 intertwined clematis plants growing up a trellis, one that is supposed to bloom early and one that is supposed to bloom late in the season. Neither has bloomed for about 4 years. They face southwest and get plenty of sun during the summer. We get a tremendous amount of foliage, but no blooms. I tried adding lime early in the spring, but still no blooms this year. The greenery completely takes over the trellis, so it seems healthy. They are about 8 years old, could they be too old to bloom? What do you suggest to get blooms? Thanks for your help!

  132. Carole says:

    I want to plant rose of sharon. When is the best time to do so. I also want to dig up and move my Iris, when is that a good time.


  133. admin says:

    Lorraine, trumpet vines take a while to bloom rather like the climbing hydrangea, which can take about four years (like mine on the barn wall, but well worth waiting for). However, in the meantime, prune the vine now, removing it from the structure it is attached to and see if the main shoots are very old. If so, cut them back to the strong young shoots at the bases of the stems. Then tie the pruned vine back into position on its supports and I think you will get bloom next year and attract the humming birds, this vine is one of their favorites. Put some manure and mulch around the base. Good luck Maureen

  134. admin says:

    Fran, the hibiscus needs to be pruned in the spring by taking out the old wood by a third. Keep it watered in the winter when the top four inches of soil are dry to the touch, do not feed it and a sunny window away from drafts and direct heat is advisable. Maureen

  135. Fran says:

    I have a hibiscus plant that does not look good; I bring it in every year in Oct. and
    keep it in a not too bright room and pretty much leave it alone except for water about every week or thereabouts. Right now, it got a bunch of yellow leaves which I pulled off and it has two buds at the top. It is very scrawny looking. Should it get cut back and if so, how far? After the two buds come out? Should it be getting lots of light all winter indoors? I go to Fl for 4 mos. in Jan. but my son takes care of my plants as he lives here.

    Thank you

  136. Nancy says:

    Where would I find on your web site ,the information on Hydrangeas that you mention the other day on the radio the other day.

  137. Lorraine says:

    I planted a trumpet vine about 5 years ago, it is full and still sending shoots however it has not one single flower on it – never even a bud. Is there anything I can do to hasten the blooms along ?

  138. admin says:

    Kathy, yes the Duranta is a tropical plant with lovely racemes or panicles in summer. The problem could be that it is being over watered which can cause root rot. Check the soil and if it is still moist four inches down then wait to water again. Do not fertilize at this time of year or when a plant seems to be in distress like this one. Good luck and keep me informed of what happens. Maureen

  139. admin says:

    Dear Glenda and Brian, I’m so glad you enjoyed my talk last evening; it a pleasure to partake in an evening where so many garden lovers are on the same page as myself. Thank you for being a part of it and I and my ancestors sincerely appreciate your tender loving of this earth. Warm regards, Maureen

  140. admin says:

    Toni, go into the search box on the website and type in Hydrangeas – an article I wrote on the care and pruning of Hydrangeas will come up to help you. Good luck Maureen

  141. Maureen,
    We truly enjoyed you presentation at the Rowayton Community Center last evening. We left after your lecture only because we both need to get to work early.
    What a truly enjoyable and informative talk you gave last weekend. So glad we came. We love our Garden and now will tend it even more lovingly after hearing your comments. Thank you ever so much. You and your ancestors are truly treasures to a needy earth. Sincerely,Brian K

  142. admin says:

    Nancy, all the perennials, grew tall this season because of all the rain, next season hopefully we should be back to normal and you will not have to stake the plants. Maureen

  143. admin says:

    Dear Heather, thank you for your comments and drawing my attention to the article I was not aware was being printed. I wrote that article many years ago before this non native plant became the trouble maker it is today. I am writing a retraction with my next article. Again thank you and I am indeed passionate about healing the planet and not allowing any creature to over take others or the environment. Maureen

  144. admin says:

    Linda, the right time is as soon as the rhododendron has finished blooming to control size and shape. Cut the branches to the shape and size you want, making clean cuts with sharp tools , cut just above small green buds on young plants and for straggly old shrubs cut back in early spring to within three feet from the ground . A rhododendron can also be relocated as it is shallow rooted and is amongst the easiest plant to transplant, but no deeper than it is in the ground now and with manure and peat in the planting hole mix and keep it well watered. Good luck Maureen

  145. admin says:

    Kay, Clematis does not need to be pruned to promote flowering , in fact pruning can reduce flowering; however, plants may need to be cut back to prevent an untidy tangle of shoots. The large flowering hybrids can be cut back in late winter to 12 inches from the ground and the small flowering species can be cut back immediately after flowering to keep them within their space. Good luck Maureen

  146. Kay says:

    Dear Maureen:
    Thanks for the opportunity to ask questions…I have 3 different types of Clamatis. I don’t know their names, but one blooms extra large saucer size white flowers, another blooms the same type of white flowers, but they are about half the size; the 3rd one is a more common purple flower. Right now they are all out of bloom and look like they are dead (all dead leaves with some green). My husband insist that I cut them back, but I think I will kill the plants if I do. Please tell me how to trim the dead leaves/stems without affecting the plant. Thanks so much!

  147. linda says:

    Maureen, I have a huge rhodendron on the side of my house, I want to cut it back, when it the right time? How do I do it?

  148. Heather Crawford says:

    Hello –

    I hope I will not be the only person writing to you about this column, but I was heartbroken that someone whose business promotes healing the earth one garden at a time would write an entire column promoting winged euonymus for fall color. For almost a decade now, the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group (CIPWG) has been working to make state residents aware of the environmental damage caused by non-native invasive plant species. A list of the top ten worst invasives always includes the winged euonymus, precisely for the reasons you pormoted it in your column, self-fertility, large fruit set, and adaptability to diverse growing conditions.

    I hope you will take a look at the materials put together by the Connecticut Invasive Plant Council and CIPWG and will consider writing a retraction of your recommendation in a future column.

    Thank you.

    Heather Crawford
    former member CIPWG
    Madison Conservation Commission

  149. Nancy says:

    My black eyed susans look beautiful at first, but they grow so tall they just fall over. What can be done so this won’t happen next year?
    Thank you

  150. Toni says:

    Hi, I have 3 hydrangea plants, which are huge, the blue ones flower all summer but the pink, purple on only had one bloom this summer. Now my question is: I do not cut the old twigs on the plant until Aug., read that somewhere, but how can I downsize my bushes. They are over 4 feet tall and around 8 feet in circumference. They are overtaking my other bushes. My husband wants to cut them down real low and I’m afraid they will not do good again. Any help you can give me. I tried going on your website search engine but I can’t find it, I’m computer illiterate on these things.
    Thank you,


  151. admin says:

    Lynne, check the website “what to use in the garden” and click on the site and check the organic deer repellent, it will also work on squirrels. For a home remedy try cayenne pepper at the base of the tree or put a mesh screen around the trunk or wrap with burlap. Maureen

  152. admin says:

    Kathy, I think your friend may be over watering the Duranta, which is a member of the Verbena family. Only water when the top four inches of the soil are dry and do not fertilize it now while it is in a shocky condition. Take it inside for the winter in a sunny room away from temperature changes and draughts. Maureen

  153. Kathy says:

    I think my first message got lost.
    Hello Maureen, I have a friend with a Duranta plant. It is very beauful. The problem is that the leaves are falling off. The leaves a green. I could understand if they were yellow. I know that the plant is tropical. And she has it in in sunny warm place. She waters it regular. Can you help with this problem? Kathy

  154. Kathy says:

    Hi Maureen, I have a friend who has a Duranta. It is very beautiful. She says all the leave are falling off now. They are still green. Not yellow. She has it in a sunny spot. I know it is a tropical plant so Sunny and water is good. Do have any idea why the leaves are dropping off?

  155. lynne says:

    Hopefully, you will be able to advise me what to do in keeping squirrels from chewing the bark off my Japanese Maples. It appears the branches are beginning to die off, and eventually I’m afraid I will lose the trees. Lynne

  156. admin says:

    Helen, I will be in touch with you shortly, when my feet touch ground. As you know during the season there are not enough hours in the day. Maureen

  157. admin says:

    Barbara, I’ve passed the message on to the office and they will call you to set up an appointment. I’m sure we can sort out your mess. Maureen

  158. admin says:

    Wayne, its powdery mildew. Buy a gallon sprayer – fill with water, add 2 teaspoons of baking soda and one teaspoons of vegetable oil. Spray in the morning but only if the heat and humidity combined do not total 160 degrees. Probably waiting until next week when the weather will be kinder is the best idea. Good luck Maureen

  159. wayne says:

    white powder on hydrangeas.

  160. Barbara says:

    I recently e-mailed a ? about my dogwood – bust since then I’ve been reading your comments on your website and realized I would like for you to come out and look @ mu to look @ my “disaster” of a garden and give me a quote on ripping it all out and revamping it – there is no “rhyme or reason” to the “things”” groving in it

    Please call me at 860-627-5229
    However – I work crazy hours so the best time to reach me is Wednesday’s anytime or after 5:30 on Tuesday or Friday

    I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

  161. Helen says:

    Hi Maureen

    I just thought I’d drop you a line . I am an english lady ha ha , and came across your site whilst doing some research on landscaping companies ran by women .
    I live in the North East of England and am currently keen to branch off from my fathers small company (based 200 miles from me ) .
    Have you any tips with regards to my quest ? I feel even more eager having looked at your wonderfull site and work .
    Many Thanks

  162. admin says:

    Karen, take off the green tomatoes and bring them into the house. Put them in a sunny window to finish ripening or in a brown paper bag to ripen. Enjoy Maureen

  163. Karen says:

    My tomatoes have been struck by the blight. I’m really sad about ripping them all out and throwing away all of the full size green tomatoes. Is there anyway I can salvage the green ones that haven’t gotten spots or grown mold?

  164. admin says:

    Paula, prune the rhododendron, right after it has finished blooming in the spring, prune from the bottom up and from the inside out, but only by a third each season.
    Tiger lilies, plant in September in full to part sun in deep fertile but well drained soil. out of strong winds. Mulch with manure or compost or fine bark mulch to keep the soil cool. Deadhead after blooming and after the tops die, cut the stems to a few inches above ground. Maureen

  165. Debbie says:

    Help1 the voles are still active and destroying my perennial bed. I’ve tried mole/volex, used cat liter, smoke bombs, the water bottle to create a vibration and flushing out the tunnels by running water from my hose through their tunnels.
    What else can I do?

  166. Paula says:

    Maureen, I love to listen to you in the morning on 100.5. As a result, I am getting interested in putting flowers and shrubs outside and looking for lots of color. A couple of questions….my rhododendron bushes are very large. Can they be pruned back? Right now there is lots of new growth — if we prune that off and reshape the bush some, will it flower in the spring? What is the best time and how low should we go??

    Second — I would love to add some Tiger Lilies to my rock garden. When is the best time to plant them? Do they come in a pot or do I need to plant bulbs for next year?

    p.s. My Hydrangeas are beautiful!!

  167. admin says:

    Karen, check the website, “what to use in the garden” and click on for an organic deer repellent. The deer have started on my summer phlox and I need to go out and spray this morning before it gets too warm. Good luck Maureen

  168. admin says:

    All roses are having trouble because of lack of sun and too much moisture. Keep the ground clean around them, pick up any diseased leaves, and adapt a “wait and see attitude” until the sun comes out. Do not feed. Maureen

  169. admin says:

    Rose, This season is very hard on all plants. Beginning last winter, the cold drying winds played havoc with the evergreens and all the rain and lack of sun is not helping any trees, shrubs or perennials. Be patient and hopefully August and September will bring good nourishing sunshine and all the plants will rebound. In August, apply an inch of aged manure from the garden around in all the borders and around the trees. Keep the garden clean, deadhead and re-edge the borders for a crisp look. Good luck Maureen

  170. Lynda B**** says:

    Ian – here is the recipe for Bannana Nut Bread (my grandmother Cameron’s)
    1/4c shortening, 3/4c white sugar, 3/4c sour milk (dollop of vinegar in room temp. milk), 2c flour, 1 egg, 1/2tsp soda, 1/2tsp baking powder, 1/4tsp salt, 1/2cnuts, 2 bannanas, mashed. Cream shortening and sugar, add egg, then milk slowly with flour,soda, powder and salt, then nuts and bannanas, folding just enough to mix. Bake in loaf pan 1 hour. Enjoy! George nixed the idea of the hammock, so thanks, but not just yet. The tap is still leaking and the grass is not growing! I think the rain drowned it~ Lynda

  171. rose says:

    I” appreciate some help for my trees, first summer they did very good. This summer not so good. dry looking burned, and more. I have follows the instructions since day one but no luck. it the {blue point juniper} ever green. thankyou.

  172. Patricia says:

    I have violets overtaking my stone patio. How do you get rid of them?

  173. Patricia says:

    Maureen: I have many stella diorio lillys, they bloom for a few weeks and then go to seed. I am dead-heading all the time. how can I prevent them from seeding too soon.

  174. Radhika says:


    I enjoy listening to you over the radio. I do have a problem with my rose plants. They flowered beautifully last month but now i see the leaves disappearing on the rose bushes and they seem to be dying. Can you help!!!

  175. Karen says:

    Hi Maureen
    Help!! The deer have munched my day lily buds and I believe they have started on my tall phlox. Any suggestions? Thank you

  176. Brenda K says:

    Maureen, I really enjoyed you at st. mary’s Church in Manchester, CT. I have a really large Bleeding Heart. When Is the best time to split it and how do I do it safely?
    Brenda Knickerbocker

  177. Kyle says:

    Love your radio and one of these days I’ll get to a show that’s not sold out.
    Had this cherry looking tree, grew wild, nice for three years that suddenly died. Dug below the surface and found a circular knot like those apples trees in “The Wizard of Oz.”
    Sound like disease to you?
    Could someone who hates your trees feed it something like anti-freeze or something else to kill it without killing surrounding fauna?


  178. Claudia says:

    HELP! I have these VERY fine-stemmed vines growing EVERYWHERE in my garden! How do I get ride of them? I keep pulling them, but they come back even worse! (Thanks!!)

  179. admin says:

    Dolores, it definitely sounds like slugs. Slugs love moist surroundings and we’ve certainly got that with all the rain.
    1. armed with a flashlight, handpick slugs at night and drop them in a bucket of soapy water.
    2. Sink shallow containers like tuna fish cans of beer in soil near plants, put a cover with holes so that beer will not be diluted by rain or other animals drinking it.
    3. Put spoilt yogurt in cans for the same effect
    4. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the stem bases of your plants.
    5. Repel them with an oak leaf mulch or drench the soil with wormwood tea.

    Try any one of the above and I hope it helps. Good luck Maureen

  180. Delores Y says:

    I just planted a garden with hosta, bleeding heart, brunnera, ferns and virginia bluebell. Most of the plants are doing fine, but something is eating the virginia bluebell. It has round holes in the leaves and much of the leaf is disappearing!!!
    Any thoughts? Slugs?

    Thanks, Delores

  181. admin says:

    Debbie, chewed with a little flavor left in it is good and also try exlax (because we all know what exlax does). Moles certainly really epidemic. You can also check on my website “what to use in the garden” and click there for an organic mole repellent. Good luck Maureen

  182. Debbie T says:

    Dear Maureen,

    I very much enjoy your talks on WRCH 100.5 and I always learn so much from you. Last week you mentioned using chewing gum in mole tunnels. I have moles in epidemic proportions and have tried various methods to rid them from my yard, but never heard of chewing gum. I am willing to give this a try and hopefully choke all the moles I can!! Is this chewed or unchewed gum?

    Thanks so much


  183. admin says:

    Jane, obtain a one gallon sprayer and fill with water, add two teaspoons of baking soda and two teaspoons of vegetable oil. Only spray in the morning when the temperature is low. The 160 rule for spraying applies because if the temp is 80 and the humidity is 80 = 160 its too hot to spray. Good luck Maureen

  184. admin says:

    Karen, I thoroughly enjoyed being with all of you. Call my office at 860 767-7319 and speak with Nancy and she will give you all the info.

  185. admin says:

    Sue, the weather this spring is not being kind to vegetables especially tomatoes that need an abundance of sunshine to do well. I hope you put manure in the soil and I suggest you add some organic fertilizer that you can get from the garden center. Make sure you keep them well watered while they are growing as tomatoes are made up mostly of water. Good luck Maureen

  186. Sue says:

    I put tomatoe plants in about 3 weeks ago, and out of the 10 plants , 4 plants have come up with curly leaves in the middle. I have used a weak solution of miricle grow 2 times, and don’t understand why this is happening, the same thing happened to me last year but I had problem with more plants. Any suggestions as to why this is happening and maybe how I can stop it. Thank you so much in advance. Sue

  187. Karen J says:

    Maureen, I attended your lecture in Manchester, Ct., 6/14/09, at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and enjoyed it very much. I am a member of the East Hartford Garden Club and in a month or so we will be planning next years programs. I would like very much to suggest having you come to our club and give one of your lectures. Would you please tell me the cost for your lecture and requirements? Thank You, Karen Johnson

  188. Jane says:

    I missed your “recipe” this morning on WRCH for powdery mildew. Would you email it to me? Thank you

  189. Deb says:

    I enjoyed this afternoon’s program at St. Mary’s in Manchester. What do you recommend for a compost bin? Commercial ones seem small and expensive. I have seen instructions for building your own, but since we are not particularly handy, I just have a designated spot in the woods for compost…not very efficient!

  190. admin says:

    Kate, I know the feeling that primrose called the evening primrose is really rampant and the only way to get rid of it organically is to pull it up and throw it away in the garbage. Good luck Maureen

  191. admin says:

    John, on the website click on what to use in the garden and you will find an organic product to help with the tree. Rose of Sharon must have full sun, good drainage and steady moisture to do well. Good luck Maureen

  192. admin says:

    Joyce, on the website click on “what to use in the garden” and click on that site for Pyola spray, that should send off the scavengers.

    Green giant arbs should be planted so they are six feet apart, mix manure, peat and kelp meal (which promotes root growth) in with the soil. Do not plant the shrubs any deeper than they are in their container and water deeply and thoroughly through the season for their roots to establish. Good luck Maureen

  193. admin says:

    Irene, try putting some cayenne pepper in the area where the cats do their business. Good luck Maureen

  194. admin says:

    Dear Tammy, on the website click on what to use in the garden and then click again to order Pyola organic spray, that should do the trick. Good luck Maureen

  195. admin says:

    Deborah, go to the eco shoppe on the website and click on for the product for the goose problem. Good luck Maureen

  196. admin says:

    Joann, put some small sticks on the edge container and loop black cotton around them and across the middle so that it forms an invisible covering. Good luck Maureen

  197. admin says:

    Be sure to use manure when you dig up the plants and move them to an area where they have room to grow. Once planted give them plenty of water. Good luck.

  198. Joyce H says:

    Can you tell me when and how to move Iris and Hosta. Thank you.

  199. admin says:

    Please click on the link at the top of the page that says The Eco Shop and you will see a natural product to deter geese and other waterfowl
    Thank you
    The English Lady

  200. The English Lady says:

    Moving a tree of that size requires many strong bodies. Your husband will need to trench around the base of the tree to create a 3′ diameter rootball that is at least 20″ deep and then burlap and tie the ball with sisal twine. This is something that needs to be done properly or you will lose the tree. If you are able to get the tree moved then plant it with lots of manure and be sure to water it. Another thought is to create a planting bed around the Maple and create this area as a focal point in the front lawn.
    Best of luck

  201. Joann N says:

    How do you keep birds from building a nest in potted flowers?

  202. Deborah Y***** says:

    We live on lakefront property and having trouble with the messy Canadian geese.
    Do you have any suggestions?

  203. Tammy says:

    Hello! I have something eating my Blue Muffin shrub. The leaves have lots of wholes all over them, some eaten completly. I also notice some brown/black specks along the backs of the uneaten portions of the leaves. I do not like to use chemicals…is there a natural remedy to save my plants? Thank you!!

  204. Irene says:

    I absolutely love you and all that you have done to help me with my gardening. My question and problem is that I have cats that love to leave me presents in my new garden and I have no clue as to what to use to make them do there business elsewhere….HELP……Irene

  205. Joyce says:

    I just bought a beautiful lollipop gerbera with one beautiful flower. There are a couple
    of buds in the process of blooming. This morning, I discovered that one of the flower buds was eaten by “something”. I’ve had the same problem with sunflower buds. I keep the flowers on my 2nd-story deck. What is eating them, and is there a way to prevent this?
    I also have questions about planting a green giant arborvitae. How far apart must they be planted for a privacy screen, do I have to amend the soil, and what is required for watering?

    Thank you…happy summer!

  206. john l says:

    My Rose of Sharon bush has black, they look like some kind of insect eggs, on the end of the stems at the buds. What is it and how do I get rid of it?

    Thank you,

  207. Kate says:

    I was wondering if you could give me any advise on how to get rid of the primrose that is overtaking my yard. It is full of prickers so it is hard to pull up and there are shoots coming up everywhere!

  208. Jeff says:

    I planted early this year. March 15. Beets, radishes, turnips and swiss chard. Followed advice to plant as soon as gorund can be worked before last frost. There were no frosts, however it has been cold and wet. Radishes (already one harvest) and turnips seem to be prospering, although I am concerned there are no signs of turnip root bulbs and they are going to flower! Beets sufferig and dieing off. Swiss chard never germinated, and what did is week. I know beets and swiss chard are related (both doing poorly) and turnips and radishes doign well (both have similar needs). Does this appear to be more of a nutrient problem (high nitrogen, low phosphourous/pottasium) or damping off due to wet/cool weather? HELP!

  209. Linda says:

    Maureen – I heard on light 100.5 this morning that you have an article about orchids on this site, however I cannot find it. Can you please tell me where its located?

    Thank you!!

  210. Carrie A says:

    Every year we get grey mold/mildew on our squash plants. We’ve tried different chemicals, the latest of them being captan. None of which seems to help or get rid of it. Is there anything else we can try or do??? Thank you.

    Carrie Albrecht

  211. Carmela says:

    Hi Maureen,
    I enjoy listening to you on your monthly show on WRCH. I hope to attend one of your lectures soon. I have a couple of questions for you. First, regarding my Black Eyed Susans (the large perennial variety) – for the past couple of years they have been getting black spots on the leaves. The flowers are healthy and there are plenty of blooms, but the leaves look terrible. They are in my front garden and get full sun all day. What can I do to eliminate the black spots? Secondly, my summer phlox get the white mold on their leaves – what can I do to get rid of/control the growth of the white mold? They are in a location that gets full afternoon sun. Thank you very much for your help. Also, I heard that you were publishing a book. Is it out yet? If so, where may I get a copy.

  212. The English Lady says:

    Thank you for your kind words. I look forward to your note cards.- Maureen

  213. Renya C******* says:

    English Lady, Everywhere I look, I see read your wonderful articles and see your amazing love for nature’s precious gifts. This is simply a note to say THANK YOU for all that you spread and share in love. I know that all of us and nature herself are in gratitude.
    I was inspired some time back to create inspirational note cards and one particular I am feeling inspired to gift you in honor of your passion in the world. I do not yet have a website for you to review my cards just yet, although with a mailing address it would be my honor and pleasure to send you my card.
    Spring re-birthing blessings,

  214. MARCIA says:

    Can A large angel trumpet tree be planted outside this year and make it through the winter? This plant has spent the summers outside and brought inside (after being cut back)for the winter. The plant is old and in a large pot about 30 inches in diameter and about 30 inches deep.

  215. Kevin says:

    Hi Maureen, Thanks for the info on my butterfly bush. I bought tulip’s at Easter
    time, now I would like to put them in the ground anything I should be aware of
    so they will bloom next year ???
    Thanks for all your advice,


  216. The English Lady says:

    Your butterfly bush should be cut back to two feet from the ground and add aged manure around the base. Happy gardening. Please feel free to contact our office for any design help you might need. Maureen

  217. th says:

    Dear Sandra, Make sure the cactus is in a sunny spot, away from drafts and water it well once a month. Do not feed it. Let me know how its doing. Maureen

  218. The English Lady says:

    Dear Sherry,
    Ornamental grasses, Shasta daisy, Lobelia Cardinalis, Liatris, Daylilies, Russian Sage, Peony, Ligularia, Summer phlox, Hollyhocks, The chocolate leafed plant was Eupatorium Chocolate (its a hybrid of Joe Pye weed). Good luck Maureen and I do remember you.

  219. Kevin says:

    Hello Maureen, I bought a house last fall, It has a rather large What I’m told is a
    Butterfly bush. Should it be cut back and if so how far ? also love your show on WRCH very helpful and enjoyable.


  220. Maureen,
    We enjoy listening to you on WRCH. Thanks for all your tips. What perennial plant/shrub can be planted in a partial sun area by the north side of my house. I want something that wil grow to approx. 2-3′ and, if possible, bloom. Thanks. Mary Ann

  221. The English Lady says:

    I am glad we had the chance to meet. Maureen and I look forward to working with you and George to create your garden in Manchester.- Ian

  222. Sherry K****** from Chaplin Library lecture says:

    Hi Maureen: I spoke with you regarding that lovely pic with birdhouse and all the bright cottage flowers. What were they again? Oramental grasses? Shasta’s. Can you give me a list of bright cottage flowers for along my stockage fence. sun all day. I like the flowers with that white bird house picture. What is that choc. leaf one as well. I appreciate yourhelp with a list of flowers so I can do something with that empty plot I hate looking at. thanks Sherry p.s. I was sitting with the other English lady in the back. I was the first one to come to the lecture. i think you will remember me ha ha

  223. Sandra says:

    Hi Maureen, First of all I love listening to you when you are on WRCH 100.5. You helped me figure out how to keep the squirrels out of my patio containers (cayenne pepper) – Thanks! Now I need help again. I have a christmas cactus from my husband’s grandmother – probably about 20 years old. It was doing fine and now the segments are starting to turn yellow and are falling off. It is not looking healthy at all. What can I do?

  224. Lynda B says:

    Do you travel as far as Manchester to help plan a backyard garden? Also, do you plan in stages (do some this year and some next – to spread out the cost/work?) Thanks! Lynda

  225. Linda says:

    What a delightful presentation at the Sprague Library thursday. Thank you so much. I am looking forward to a long and fruitful friendship.
    Linda, Sprague Garden Club

  226. The English Lady says:

    Please read my article about the Hydrangea by clicking the tab at the left titled Read This , Enjoy and happy gardening. – Maureen

  227. deena says:

    Dear English Lady….can you tell me how far to cut back hydrangeas? or does one leave them alone? thank you so much…Deena

  228. The English Lady says:

    Dear Bettie, Thank you the birthday wishes and so glad you enjoy the newspaper articles. Take a look at the website and come to one of my Garden Earth lectures so we can reconnect. Maureen

  229. Karen G***** says:

    First I would like to say that I enjoyed your visit with the Kensington Garden Club 3/26/09. I could have listened to you for hours. Second I wanted to know if you had a wonderful birthday celebration over the weekend. I did. Dinner and cake twice. I hope to be able to catch more of your lectures and have visited the web site frequently since Thursday. Keep in touch.


  230. Jay G******* says:

    I am hoping you can tell me when I should uncover my raspberry color Hydrangea in Killingworth? I decided to cover my Hydrangea with burlap this winter to help protect it. (which I have never done before) I also put lots of leaves around and inside the burlap covering as well. I figured this might help winter it over. I plan on getting some manure to spread around it. How much should I use and when should I apply it? Plant is about six or seven years old and hasn’t been moved. I am hoping for some blooms on this bush this year as I only get one or two a year. It is in full sun. Am I on the right track? I don’t understand why I have trouble getting them to bloom, but they bloom all over cape cod. Oh Yes, this bush has never been trimmed as I have heard to say before on the radio.
    I figured that the winters have been freezing the blossoms that were formed in the previous season. Do you agree?
    Thank you

    Jay, remove the burlap now, spread some aged manure around the plant about an inch in depth and it should do well in full sun. The buds should be just fine. I am putting an article which I wrote on Hydrangeas on my website shortly if you need more information. Good luck Maureen

  231. Debbi W***** says:

    Hi Maureen et. al. and Happy Day After your Birthday to Maureen. I attended the program today in Berlin and enjoyed it very much. I’m also one of three proud winners of the drawing. Because I was in conversation at the time, I missed what the drawing was for. You asked me to indicate sun or shade, I have lots of both and wrote sun, then shade though I don’t know why. What’s true is that I plan to put in a bed that gets mostly sun. If you can, please change my preference to “sun”. If you can’t, I do understand. Again, I enjoyed the program and your delightful humor and fun. Enjoy the coming months and the little miracles each day brings.
    Debbi W*****

  232. Bettie P******** says:

    Hello, Maureen –
    I’ve been following your column in the local weekly newspaper and enjoy both the information and your perspective on life. Today seemed like a good time to tell you that (finally) and also to, if my memory is correct, wish you a very Happy Birthday. Many years ago in one of our conversations I think you said something that had me realize that you and my sister share the day. At any rate, hope all is well with you and yours – and may your birthday be a very special day leading into a great year.
    Best regards,

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