mother's day

Mothers' Day

We are loaded with great gift ideas for Mothers' Day this year. We have added so many new succulents, sempervivum and sedums that make great planters, houseplants or can be added to the landscape. Succulents are generally grown in containers in our climate, and come in many textures, colors and forms. They can make great houseplants in the winter and love spending the summer outside in a pot. Sempervivum are also known as hens and chicks....they are those cute rosette shaped plants that grow in rock gardens or along stone paths and in patios. We have about 7 kinds of those and it is fun to pick and choose for funky designs. And we have about 12 kinds of sedums this year. These come in a vast array of sizes and shapes from little 2 inch tall rock garden plants to huge 3 foot tall perennials that make a statement in the garden May through November. For the mom who wants to homestead or grow more of the family's food, we have berry patches and fruit orchards waiting to happen - peach, pear, plum trees; raspberry plants that produce in summer and fall; 8 kinds of blueberries; blackberries; hazelnuts; hops; grapes; currants; and gooseberries. And strawberries too, including a really nice French one called 'Mara des Bois' - it has been bred in France for the past 30 years or so to have extraordinarily sweet and fragrant strawberry flavor. It produces fruit all summer long, and can be grown in a big pot on the deck or in a strawberry patch. We also have strawberries growing in hanging baskets for a fun surprise snack all summer long.

For the mom who likes to be adventurous in the kitchen, we can help put together a delicious selection of herbs that will make cooking easier and full of flavor. We can even recommend a variety of mints (we grow 8 kinds) for making interesting cocktails, teas, or using in desserts.

For the traditional mom, we have lots and lots of lovely hanging baskets that will brighten the entryway and bring a splash of color to the home all summer long. We also have the right fertilizer and plant care tips to keep the plants looking good in the heat and straight through fall.

For the mom without much gardening space, we have really nice cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes that are in big 3 gallon pots with a bamboo trellis. With the right compost based fertilizer, they can keep growing and producing all summer long right in their pots on the deck or balcony.

For the choosy mom, we can always provide you with a gift card that will make her happy every time she comes in.

Gifts for Mom

Here at Red Wagon all of us know what it's like to be a mother - we have thousands of tiny baby plants that need feeding, cleaning, and protection from the harshness of life. But our babies grow up and move away in just a few short months, whereas real mothers are tasked with many years of care. It is time to celebrate the amazing mothers in our lives, and so we offer you our labor of love - gorgeous hanging baskets, hardy perennials, fruits and shrubs, vibrant flowers, high quality tools, and much more. Spring-blooming perennials, with their delicate flowers and unique foliage, help bring some early beauty into the landscape.

And then we also have a whole new selection of shrubs and perennials.

Hanging baskets are a classic choice for Mother's day - they'll bloom all summer just outside your door and require almost no maintenance.

Trees and shrubs make great long-lasting gifts and add appeal to any property.

What Can I Plant for a Little Early Color Around the House?

It's been a pretty cold spring in Vermont this year. I cannot remember a spring like this in recent memory, with night temperatures dipping into the twenties in mid-April and day time temperatures hovering in the low 40's. Many of our customers are ready for some color around the house, and it's still not safe to put out hanging baskets, or most annuals for that matter.

What I suggest for early spring containers is a selection of cold hardy plants, especially the ones that seem unusual in containers, but will feed the need for signs of life around the yard!

The following plants are just great for a year like this and look really cute mixed together.

  • Violas and pansies
  • Allysum
  • Cold hardy herbs such as parsley, chervil, mint (ginger mint cascades down the side of the container), cilantro, dill. The textures and different greens at dimension to the arrangements. Plus you can snip at them and bring them into the kitchen for some spring time flavor boosts.
  • Colorful kales such as Redbor and Red Russian.
  • Fennel - the bulb kind or the bronze herb kind
  • Lettuces - especially the green oak, red oak, and cherokee red batavian
  • Frisee endive - it has a lovely frilled edge, and an unusual lime green color.

The beauty of this kind of planter is that it is multi-purpose. The violas and pansies and their "companion" foliage are all edible. What a nice gift for someone special, or a treat for yourself to celebrate the slow unfurling of spring.

Hat Knitting and Creature Crochet Classes at Red Wagon Plants

Our friends at Lincoln Peak Vineyard have been holding knitting nights at their winery all winter long and have told us what a fun event it has been for them. I have been thinking about this all winter and imagining a group of people sitting around the cozy wood stove, sipping wine, and eating the famous flour-less chocolate cake. We often have customers, friends, and neighbors who want to come by the greenhouse and just hang out in the warmth and the greenery while winter still blows outside, so when I heard about Lincoln Peak's knitting nights, I thought wouldn't it be nice to offer people a chance to do something they love in a setting that is so special during these end-of winter days. I told my friend Meghan O'rourke about this and she very kindly offered to teach two classes in the greenhouses. Meghan is a very talented artist and craft person who will teach you to make something completely unique and full of your own personal touches. And you'll get to do it in the beauty of a greenhouse full of green, green life. Here is a description of the two classes:

Sunday, March 20th. 10 am to noon at Red Wagon Plants

Design and start a vertical ribbed cap

Knowledge of basic knit and purl stiches needed and a willingness to finish up the hat on your own. Learn how to size and pattern this classic, stylish and fitting cap for the cool spring days.  You need to bring 5 size 7 double pointed needles and at least two colors of the yarn of your choice, preferably a worsted weight.

Please call 482-4060 to register. $15 fee per participant. We will provide coffee, tea, and snacks. Space is limited, so please be sure to register

Meghan will be teaching a second class - a really exciting one. Check out what you will learn to make:

Saturday, March 26th, 10 am to noon at Red Wagon Plants

Crochet Your Own Creature

Learn the art of amigirumi, the Japanese art of creating cute crocheted creatures.  A basic knowledge of simple chain stitching is helpful (many tutorials are available online!!) Bring your own crochet hook and a favorite color of cotton yarn.  I will supply the eyes and stuffing!  Bonus: if you took the hat making class feel free to bring your project along for some finishing tips after we bring our cute creatures to life. Again, you will have a chance to relax in the Red Wagon Plants greenhouses.

Please call 482-4060 to register. $15 fee per participant. We will provide coffee, tea, and snacks. Space is limited, please preregister.

Mother' Day at Red Wagon Plants

Did you know that Mother's Day was founded as a protest to war and violence?  This is the powerful original proclamation made by Julia Ward Howe in 1870.  Sometimes when I look around at the weird commercial venture that the holiday has become, it just makes me shake my head. But we're a business and the day is still a great one to honor those marvelous mothers of ours.  And it's true that we've got some great things around for the mothers in your life if you're looking for a gift.

We've still got these amazing ever-bearing strawberries in hanging baskets.  A few are just dripping with ripe  berries even.

strawberry basket
strawberry basket

And the flowering baskets really are just breathtaking.

For something a little different, why not a cookbook to go along with the plants you buy?  We're so happy to be selling Cooking Close to Home by Fletcher Allen Health Care's Diane Imrie and Richard Jarmusz.  It's a beautiful book that features a year's worth of recipes that rely on ingredients we can get in Vermont and throughout the northeast.  A copy of this, and a couple of herb plants would be a terrific gift.  (We'll tell you more about the very exciting project we're working on with FAHC in an upcoming post.)

We've got a ton of beautiful things for you to give, or for your own enjoyment of your garden and food.   Hope we'll see you this weekend, and we invite you and your families to join in honoring the original intent of this day by going to the Peace & Justice Center's Mothers for Peace Celebration in Burlington.

Plants for Mom

We just have the most amazing and beautiful plants for Mother's Day, which you know is coming right up on May 9.  (That's next weekend if you can believe it.) Though pictures hardly do them justice, here are a few to tempt you.

How about hanging baskets filled with outrageous color?

Or maybe something edible like an ever-bearing strawberry ...

... or trellised cucumber

... or gorgeous zucchini?

A hanging pot, some Vermont Compost Company Compost Plus, and your mom will have beautiful and productive plants all season long.  (Quantities are extremely limited, so make sure to get out here early before we sell out!)