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Acer's Florist & Garden Center
Edition 15.35 Acer's Florist & Garden Center August 2015


Quotation of the Week:
"Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains."
— Diane Ackerman

Farm Stand
Long Island's largest selection of chimineas! Keep the bugs away and roast marshmallows with the kids this summer!

"If you would be happy for a lifetime, grow chrysanthemums." Chinese Proverb

The chrysanthemum was first cultivated in China as a flowering herb and is described in writings as early as the 15th Century B.C. In fact, Chinese pottery depicted the chrysanthemum much as we know it today.

As an herb, it was believed to have the power of life. Legend has it that the boiled roots were used as a headache remedy; young sprouts and petals were eaten in salads; and leaves were brewed for a festive drink. The ancient Chinese name for chrysanthemum is "Chu." The Chinese city of Chu-Hsien (which means Chrysanthemum City) was named in honor of the flower.

Around the 8th century A.D., the chrysanthemum appeared in Japan. So taken were the Japanese with this flower that they adopted a single-flowered chrysanthemum as the crest and the official seal of the Emperor. The chrysanthemum in the crest is a 16-floret variety called "Ichimonjiginu."

Family seals for many prominent Japanese families also contain some type of chrysanthemum. This is called a Kikumon — "Kiku" means chrysanthemum and "Mon" means crest. In Japan, the Imperial Order of the Chrysanthemum is the highest Order of Chivalry. Japan also has a National Chrysanthemum Day, which is called the Festival of Happiness.

The chrysanthemum was first introduced into the Western world during the 17th Century. In 1753, Karl Linnaeus, the reknowned Swedish botanist, combined the Greek words chrysos (gold) with anthemon, (flower). Linnaeus was the founder of that branch of taxonomy dealing with plants and including the science of classification and identification. Experts say this is probably an accurate description of the ancient species, as it also points out the mum's need for sunlight.

The earliest illustrations of mums show them as small, yellow, daisy-like flowers.

Source: National Chrysanthemum Society USA

For more on the history of chrysanthemums, click here.

healthy garden

The recent string of high temperatures has taken a toll on gardens and gardeners alike! The lush green leaves of weeks past now have a yellow...or worse, brown and crispy appearance.

Bringing healthy life back into the garden is pretty basic: Increase water, cut out the dead stuff and feed! Mid-summer feeding is essential for ensuring a healthy and productive garden. Roses, citrus and evergreens tend to suffer from iron and nitrogen deficiency this time of year but with the proper food plants will green up very quickly. A rangy pile of petunias can be cut back and fed and within a couple weeks will explode with color again!

Most garden plants, including shrubs and assorted annuals will benefit from a trim, a good drink of H2O and food. Organic sources of food are always better as they not only give the soil the nutrients necessary for supporting plant life, they also add essential bacteria. Meal or liquid form may be used. Meal is slower release and longer lasting; liquid, giving a quick fix, will result in faster results but require a more frequent feeding schedule.

Since organic solutions feed the soil rather than the plant there is no danger of chemical burn. Plants will feed themselves directly from the soil, as they need it. A little extra effort today will give you lasting results!

Let's face it, working in your garden or watering your lawn is not easy while yellowjackets are buzzing around you. The yellowjacket could be searching for food or trying to protect the nest it carefully constructed during the past season.

Although wasps are helpful in pollination, and some varieties actually feed on insects such as caterpillars and other crop-destroying bugs, their venom can be harmful to those who are allergic to stings.

There are several ways to protect your garden visitors from the yellowjacket. The most natural way is by prevention. Wasps are attracted to food sources by smell, so eliminating any type of food such as soda or protein will keep these critters away. Do not squish a wasp, as the bug releases a pheromone that attracts others of its kind. Even worse, if you swat at the yellowjacket and miss, it will only defend itself by trying to sting you.

The easiest way to remove yellowjackets from your garden is by using a trap. The yellowjackets will enter the trap and get stuck. When using a trap, be sure to empty it weekly. We suggest placing a few strategically in different parts of the garden (away from entertaining areas) for best results. You can also spray the nest, if it is not near any vegetables or herbs. Note that spraying does put you in danger of being stung.


What You'll Need:

  • 3 to 4 unripened tomatoes, cut into approximately 1/4 inch slices.
  • Vegetable oil, butter, or bacon grease for frying.
  • 1 cup flour or fine-ground cornmeal.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Step by Step:

  1. Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet over medium-high heat.
    Dredge the tomato slices in the flour to coat both sides; shake off excess.
    Place in hot pan and brown quickly until golden (tomatoes should be slightly softened but not mushy).
  2. Adjust heat as needed. Add more oil as needed between batches.
  3. Place briefly on paper towels to remove excess oil, then on a large platter in a single layer.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. You can also use coarse-ground cornmeal or breadcrumbs; if you do, you'll need to first dip the tomato slices into beaten egg.

Yield: 4-6 servings.


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