Friday, January 27, 2012

January Gardening Tasks

Hello again,

 Here are a few tasks for most January gardeners in Skillin's Country. They are numbered in no special order. I am meaning to be brief here, let us know at or at our Facebook page if you have any questions! Or you can also call us at 781-3860 or 1-800-244-3860.

1. Be vigilant about checking your plants for pests. It is at this time of year that plants, pets, and even us are at pretty close quarters in our homes. And insect pests love close quarters. First of all, spray your plants with water in the sink fairly regularly. This will keep the leaves clean (plant pests love dusty leaves!). Moist leaves also are a good humidity source for your plants in our dry homes! If you do have some pests, chances are they are fresh insects clustered around new growth. Check this link for more detail on plant pests and how to safely deal with them!

2. Start planning your garden this year! Using a notebook, bulletin board think about what you would like to do. Think about what you would like to grow this year. Make some notes. And keep an eye on our many classes this Spring!

3. If you want to get outside, these are great conditions to prune your fruit trees to shape. I have a leaning flowering crab that may get a little trim soon!

4. Keep your bird feeders full, but make sure the food is dry! Birds do not like wet and soggy food! We have good quality food at very nice prices here at Skillin's!

Mike Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses
January 26, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Skillin’s 1st Annual Garden Social!!!

Skillin’s 1st Annual Garden Social!!!


We are looking for a few great gardeners to join us during our Spring Open Houses for Skillin’s 1st Annual Garden Social. And this is not just any Social event. No, this event will be featuring the “Triple E”: Expertise, Experience and Enthusiasm! We are looking for a few volunteers among our Skillin’s Country friends to join us for the day—sharing your Expertise, Experiences and Enthusiasm! So if this is you please contact ASAP as we have limited space.

We are looking for experienced gardeners in—houseplants, specialty plants, vegetable gardening, trees, shrubs, perennials, bonsai or roses. Maybe you are a mushroom grower, beekeeper, a home orchardist or you want to share your canning recipes. You name it we want to talk to you! If you wish to learn more and become a part of this 1st Annual Garden Social Event please contact:

Sally Bolstridge, Falmouth 781-3860 or 1-800-244-3860  Falmouth date is March 17

Terry Skillin, Cumberland 829-5619 or 1-800-348-8498    Cumberland date is March 24

Gordon Merrill Brunswick 442-8111 or 1-800-339-8111   Brunswick date is March 24

Gardening with Triple E is VERY exciting and we would love have you share it!!


Hello again,

Good gardening friend Paul Parent of the Paul Parent Garden Club sends out a great newsletter every week with pertinent gardening topics. I encourage you to go to his website to sign up for his newsletter. Paul can also be heard every Sunday morning from 6 AM to 10 AM at his website or at WBACH (104.7 FM) every Sunday morning from 6 AM to 9 AM.

We love this multi season plant at Skillin's! Right now we are featuring many, many "cute as a button" Skillin grown primroses. They make a terrific windowsill or table plant and their bright, cheery colors are just the ticket for this time of year. Later the primroses can be planted outdoors in a shady spot to become a very reliable perennial. Two plants for the price of one! Who knew?? Well, Paul Parent does and I will let him tell you much, much more:

"If you are looking for a flowering plant for the house that can be transplanted outside later, look at the primrose. The primrose is a perennial flowering plant that is among a handful of flowers that bloom early in the spring gardens outside. Its Latin name, Primula vulgaris, implies earliness and means "early." Because it flowers early naturally, the primrose can be forced to bloom even earlier in the greenhouse for your enjoyment in your home at this time of the year.

The foliage is a ground-hugging rosette of shinny green leaves that are medium to dark green in color. The leaves are 4 to 6 inches long and only about an inch wide. The leaves have a rough look to them, as they seem wrinkled or puckered, with small teeth on the edges of the leaf--and a bit hairy. Once you see the rosette growth habit, you will always be able to distinguish this plant from all the rest of the perennials in your garden.

As soon as the frost is out of the ground, the leaves begin to emerge from the ground, and before you know it the flowers pop out of the center of the foliage. The plant will grow 4 to 6 inches tall and spread to about 8 to 10 inches wide. Growth will start in most gardens during March if the snow has melted and the weather has begun to warm up. The flowers come on short stems, 3 to 4 inches tall, and hold clusters of flowers. Each flower has five petals and the bloom resembles a shallow trumpet. The flower colors are BRIGHT, in shades of yellow, red, blue, purple and white. All the flowers have a bright yellow center, like a "bull's eye." The flowers will last from March to May in the garden outdoors and for 4 to 6 weeks indoors, if you can keep them cool. The best temperature indoors is 50 to 60 degrees; keep them out of south-facing windows where they get sun all day.

The primrose will grow best in a soil that is well-drained, and rich in organic matter like compost and peat moss. Grow them in your garden as a border plant up front and in groups of 3 to 5 for the best show of color. Primroses also will grow well in shaded gardens, rock gardens and wall plantings. If you have a woodland or shaded wildflower garden, this plant is a must. Remember the primrose flowers early; if you are looking for early color to motivate you to get you out in the garden early, this is the plant with all the excitement!

As a houseplant, the primrose makes a great potted plant, all by itself. You can mix it with other flowering or foliage plants. I pick the faded flowers from the stems as they fade; when the stem has no more buds I remove the entire stem right above the foliage at the base of the plant. This prevents the plant from making seeds and the energy stays in the plant, so you can transplant it into the garden in mid to late April.

No fertilizer is needed in the house, but once you plant in the garden, use compost and a product like Flower Thrive, Bio-Tone or Dr. Earth Starter Fertilizer, as they contain microbes and mycorrhizae for a quick start to the root system. The new garden technology in fertilizer will astound you because it is a reproduction of what lives in your soil already--and plants love it. Treated with this technology, plants grow better, faster, healthier, bloom more and need less care. Enjoy indoors now and plant outside for years of enjoyment in your garden outside."

Thanks to Paul Parent!

Mike Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses
January 23, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January and February 2012 Classes and Events

Hello again,

And Happy New Year to all of you in Skillin's Country.

Here are Skillin’s January and February 2012 Classes and Events

Brunswick 442-8111 or 1-800-339-8111

Cumberland 829-5619 or 1-800-348-8498

Falmouth 781-3860 or 1-800-244-3860

Our FREE classes will be held Saturdays at all three locations (unless otherwise stated) at 10 AM. Space is limited so reserve today for the classes of your choice! Just give us a call at any of the above numbers or drop us a note at Class participants receive a special Skillin’s 10% discount coupon for use on the weekend of your class.



14th -Growing Healthy Houseplants– (10 AM)

Time to learn how to make your houseplants green and clean! We kick off another exciting series of classes by talking indoor gardening. Houseplants bring cleaner healthier air to the home and office, indoor dish gardens can be fun—even without loads of sun! We will show some of the tricks of the trade and maybe a few family secrets! Come one, come all! We’ll help you Plant for the Planet by giving all class goers a free 4” potted plant of your choice. Free

Note: Falmouth is sold out!!

21st -Orchids and Their Care (10 AM) 

Special guest instruction from the Maine Orchid Society! Orchids are one of the most rewarding houseplants you could ever have. Let us show you how to easily care for them in your home.  This is a great class and one that we REALLY hope you can make! Free

 Note: Cumberland and Falmouth are sold out!!

28th –Fresh Flower Arranging! (10 AM and 2 PM) We’ve got the flowers, have you got the time? Create your own colorful fresh floral masterpiece to brighten your home. This limited space class is our most popular Skillin’s class. It is no wonder; we are consistently voted as Maine’s Favorite Florist. $15.00 fee

Note: Cumberland and Falmouth is sold out; there are openings in Brunswick.


1-Spring Bonds Go On Sale!

2012 is the 22nd year of selling our pre-season SPRING BONDS. When you purchase a $50 bond you pay only $37.50!!! This 25% off coupon can be used anytime after April 1 for almost all regularly priced items. Supplies are limited so buy your SPRING BONDS before they run out! Purchase your bonds at any Skillin’s location OR!

AND: For the month of February ONLY, any purchase of a Skillin's Spring Bond entitles you to 25% off all regularly priced merchandise in the same purchase. This great idea by Terry Skillin was HUGELY popular in it's first year last year--take advantage; we will love it!!

4th-Indoor Gardening (10 AM Brunswick and Cumberland, 2 PM Falmouth)

Hydroponics is not new but options we offer for easy growing is definitely new and improved! Come see! Free

Falmouth is sold out for this class

4th-Landscape Design Principles (10 AM Falmouth, 2 PM Brunswick and Cumberland)

Join Chad (5th generation) Skillin as he discusses landscape design principles. Chad is Skillin’s Landscape Designer and has great experience with landscaping and practical landscape designs. Let Chad educate you on some good solid landscape design practices as well as giving you some informal help with your yard design. This is also a great opportunity to schedule time with Chad to visit your yard and create an effective plan for your yard. We will have guest instruction for our Cumberland class. Free

Falmouth is sold out for this class

11th-Terrariums (10 AM) (Also 2 PM in Falmouth)Plants in something like an Aquarium; Growing in Your Solarium; Performing so Well, You Get an Honorarium! Okay this rhyme time leaves your stomach churning but come to this new class for some really really good learning!! $30 fee--you get to make your own planted 8" terrarium!

Falmouth both classes and Cumberland morning class is sold out

14th-Valentine’s Day at Skillin’s! We are Maine’s Favorite Florist. For generations we have carried the message of love to so many. Make the call—we will deliver. Or come in and see us—we will give you the “can’t miss” message to take home!

18th -Windowsill Gardening (10 AM) (ALSO a 2 PM CLASS in Falmouth!)

The sun is getting warmer--oooh feels nice-- and the days longer. We have the containers and the color. Let us show you how easy it is to bring it all to your home or apartment! We will also show you how to grow some great herbs to spice up your life! Free

Note: Both Falmouth classes are sold out!!

25th—The Edible Landscape (10 AM Brunswick, 2 PM Falmouth and 2:30 Cumberland)

A good landscape makes perfect sense—and what is more sensible and useful than an edible landscape! Let us show you how to grow berries that are blue and red, cherries that are sweet and apples and pears that can’t be beat! Bring a bib; you will be drooling over the possibilities! Free

Note: The 2 PM Falmouth class is sold out

25th—The Garden Journal (9 AM Falmouth, Noon Cumberland, 3 PM Brunswick)

Gardening seasons are behind us and more lie just ahead. Learn some neat ways to record what we have done and what we have dreamed; Let’s plan on what we will do and on what we want to see! Join celebrity writer and gardener KCB of Skillin’s Garden Log fame and let’s learn together about how to be impulsively organized. It’s time! Free

29th--Newly Scheduled Class: Hydroponic Gardening (10 AM Falmouth only)

Hear an expert from Fox Farms talk about plants to grow and ways to grow them that right now we can only imagine! Free

Special Four Part Hands on Landscape Design Class





What a great chance to get a jump start on plotting how to landscape your home the right way! Class fee is $40 to cover materials—you will have a great landscape plan at the finish; this is a class that you will learn from; fun will be had but homework will be required! You will be drawing your own landscape design plan!