Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Happy New Year

Victoria Gardens would like to thank you for your support and enthusiasm – we are proud to be a part of your gardening success. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

We are now closed for the winter.

We will be open by appointment through the winter and reopen for regular hours March 2011.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dec 21st is the Shortest Day of the Year Sale

Bring some light into your life as the days get darker - join us Dec. 21 – on the winter solstice for the shortest day of the year sale.

Our Holiday hours are 10 am to 7pm.

We have Christmas trees, ornaments, holiday gifts, and indoor plants. Brighten your door with a custom wreath – designed and handmade by Victoria.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Science Fiction Themed "Tree" at Victoria Gardens

Not into traditional holiday decorating? Or maybe you just want something different and fun for your kid's room or the TV room this holiday season. You don't need a "tree" to display a fun collection of ornaments.

For our Science Fiction Tree, Victoria used out-of this world bright green twigs and choke cherry cuttings in a big chartreuse planter of red geraniums to display colorful planet, atoms, ray gun, spaceship and robot ornaments.

Visit and be inspired by other holiday gift and decoration ideas.
December hours are Monday - Saturday 10 am - 7 pm and Sundays 10 am -4pm.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hudson Valley Seed Library Guest Blog

As the leaves fall and we put our gardens to bed, seeds keep next year's garden alive in our imaginations. They grow in our dreams.

And as you gear up for the fast approaching holiday season, everyone here at Victoria Gardens wants to encourage you to forgo the usual mall picks, and give everyone on your list the promise of spring.

What better way to do that than with Hudson Valley Seed Library Art Packs? Here are some fun gift pairings we put together for everyone on your lists:

The carnivorous plant theme is a great gift for kids of all ages. The Venus Fly Trap lures insects into its clutches with a sweet smell, and when the unfortunate victim lands, the open jaws snap shut! (What entertainment!) A good match for these Muncher Cucumbers with teeth!

For the dreamer on your list, this fairytale-inspired grouping matches mercury glass mushrooms with Tiny Tim Tomatoes and stain glass inspired hummingbirds and butterflies. The colorful insects are on clips for your tree or suction cups for anywhere!

For the introspective thinker on your list, give the gift of Zen with beautiful glazed Buddha heads and an assortment of seeds. (They have all winter to contemplate which ones they’ll plant.)

Just like the lady you love, Orchids have an elegant and long-lasting bloom. A sure winner for moms, sisters, daughters, and granddaughters alike, by the time the flower fades; it will be time to start her favorite seeds inside.

For the gardener who has everything, we recommend this pair of garden defenders. The praying mantis garden stake is more of a talisman, where as the packet of Good Bug Blooms will bring real insect predators to the garden to eat aphids and other destructive garden pests.

And for every Secret Santa in the office, we recommend pairing Hudson Valley Seed Library Art Packs with these animal ornaments for a very affordable, adorable gift.

You can find these and other great gift ideas, indoor plants, and gift certificates at Victoria Gardens on Rt. 213 and Cottekill Rd between Rosendale and High Falls. Now that Rt. 213 is open, it’s easy to get to us. For directions, hours, and more gift ideas, visit our website

*Of all the reasons we at Victoria Gardens love Hudson Valley Seed Library, and there are many, (they help maintain food diversity with heirloom varieties, their regional seeds are accessible and affordable, plus Ken and Doug are just so gosh darn cute!) the reason we love HVSL the most is their fun and fabulous art packs.

Local artists and local seeds are only the beginning of what has become a network of people and local small businesses cultivating a different kind of consumption. In the spring we carry organic, heirloom vegetable starts, which are grown at Regeneration Farm on Clove Valley Rd. in High Falls (3.5 miles away). Many of the vegetable starts are from HVSL seeds (Ken and Doug are only a couple miles away from Regeneration). So from seeds to our greenhouses, your baby veggies have traveled less than 5 miles! Talk about shopping local!*

Saturday, December 11, 2010

More Locally Hand-crafted Jewelry

Handmade in the Hudson Valley: silk flower rings by local artist Iris Rivera ($22 each).

Friday, December 10, 2010

Locally Handcrafted Jewelry at Victoria Gardens

Designs by Local Jewelry Artist Linda Stella. Beautiful hand-crafted necklaces and earrings make the perfect holiday gift. Prices range from $18 -$84.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Live Evergreens For Your Doorstep And Winter Planters

Still want to put together festive planters for your stoop or doorway? It's not too late!

We still have a selection of plants available for your porch or festive planter:

Dwarf Alberta Spruce Doorstep Planter with Gold-thread Cypress under planting in red holiday pot.

Berryific Blue Holly (male and female) in red holiday pot.

Blue Maid Holly (Pyramidal Shape)

'Goshiki' Variegated False Holly in red holiday pot.

Honey Maid Holly in red holiday pot.

Blue ice Arizona Cypress with red holiday pot.

Blue feathers Cypress in red holiday pot.

Cripps False Cypress in red holiday pot.

Elegantissima Variegated boxwood in red holiday pot.

Flaming Silver Japanese Andromeda in red holiday pot.

Red Sprite Winterberry with red holiday pot.

Baby Blue Blue Spruce in 2# and 5#.

Korean Fir in 2# and 5#.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Trees at Victoria Gardens

We have Christmas trees for sale!

Victoria Gardens
1 Cottekill Road Rosendale, NY

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Poinsettias: Keep them Warm!

Poinsettias cannot be cold! You should even shield them from the cold on your way home from the store. When you get them home, they will last longest in bright light. If you keep them in low light, they will drop their leaves.

Poinsettias are a holiday favorite, but many people ask how to make their poinsettia rebloom. BUT the regimen you need to follow to rebloom poinsettias is so strict we don’t recommend it. Just toss your spent poinsettia on the compost pile and call it a day. If you really, really want to try to rebloom your poinsettia you will need three things: a warm house, a dark closet, and dedication!

Read on for the full directions and timetable:

April 1st: Cut your poinsettia back to about 8" in height. Water regularly and fertilize with Neptune’s Harvest Fish and Seaweed Fertilizer, or another organic, balanced fertilizer.

May 15th (Or after all chance of frost has passed and night temperatures average 55° F or above): Place your poinsettia outside in indirect light, on a porch, or in dappled sunlight, and continue regular watering. Fertilize with the fish and seaweed emulsion every 2 to 3 weeks.

June 1st: You may transplant your poinsettia into a larger pot. Select a pot no more than 4 inches larger than the original pot. Keep up the fertilizing!

July 1st: Pruning may be required during the summer to keep plants bushy and compact. (You could do it later in the summer, but do not prune later than September 1.) Keep the plants in indirect sun and water regularly.

Here’s the tricky part:

October 1st: Your poinsettia must be kept in complete darkness for 14 continuous hours each night! Stray light of any kind, such as from a streetlight or household lamps, could delay or entirely halt the re-flowering process. Avoid stray light by moving the plant to a totally dark closet at six o’clock each evening and take it out at seven o’clock each morning.

During October, November and early December, poinsettias require 6 - 8 hours of bright sunlight daily, with night temperatures between 60 - 70° F. Temperatures outside of this range could delay flowering.

Continue the normal watering and fertilizer program. Carefully following this regime for 8 to 10 weeks should result in a colorful display of bracts and blooms for the holiday season!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Cactus

Christmas cacti are among the easiest, showiest, holiday houseplants you can grow and rebloom easily. Keep the cactus in a cool room away from the fireplace!

Care must be taken not to underwater it, as a Christmas cactus is in origin a
tropical plant, not a true cactus. Unlike many cacti, this variety cannot tolerate completely dry soil. If the soil gets too dry, the flowers buds will drop, and the plant will wilt. Feel the soil with your fingers; if it feels dry, it's time to water.

Don’t keep the soil sopping-wet all the time, however! Too much watering will cause spots from white rot to appear on the leaves, and the leaves will likely fall off. The soil should be evenly moist for best growth. Mist leaves as well as
watering the soil, and fertilize with a low nitrogen fertilizer, like Earth Juice Bloom.

They do well in bright indirect sunlight, but they also do just as well in florescent light in a windowless office. Direct sunlight can stunt growth and burn the leaves. When you move the plant outdoors in summer place it in a shady location.

And yes, despite its succulent appearance and lack of spines, it is a cactus, and it does bear their sparkly, iridescent flowers during Christmas.

What’s more, they’ll live for years. Certain specimens are said to be 75 to 100 years old. So start a new family tradition. Instead of exchanging a much-maligned heirloom fruitcake, give a Christmas cactus that will last from one generation to the next.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Reminder: Start Paper Whites Now For Christmas

Start paper whites inside now to have blooms for Christmas. (This is a repeat of the growing instructions in case you need a "how-to" reminder!)

"A surefire way to chase away the winter blues is to fill your home with fragrant flowers. And nothing is easier to grow than the sweet smelling paperwhite (Narcissus papyraceus), a bulb plant that can be coaxed into bloom with very little effort.

The correct term is actually "forcing" as you are forcing the spring-flowering bulbs to fast-forward their natural growth cycles and bloom in winter instead. Many bulbs can be forced--grape hyacinths, tulips, daffodils, and crocuses, for example--but paperwhites are probably the easiest as they don't require a long cold storage period to root.

Paperwhites produce small, star-shaped flowers that will last for several weeks. Some varieties have pure white flowers, others have white perianths (outer petals) with pale yellow "cups" in the center. Paperwhites, which come from the Mediterranean, are tender bulbs and not suitable for outdoor growing in Vermont. However, most garden centers and seed catalogs sell bulbs for indoor forcing.

If purchasing locally, choose healthy bulbs with no soft spots or signs of discoloration. Store in a cool, dry place until time to plant.

Paperwhites will bloom about four to six weeks after planting, so plan accordingly if you want flowers for the holidays or other special occasions. For continuous bloom throughout the winter, plant bulbs every two weeks from late fall through February.

Use shallow containers, about three to four inches deep, without drainage holes. You can find these specially designed containers for forcing at many garden centers. Add about two inches of washed pebbles in the bottom of the container. Gently place the bulbs, pointed side up on the gravel. They should be close, but not touching. (Five bulbs will fit nicely in a six-inch pot.) Then add enough pebbles around the bulbs to hold them in place. You can also use decorative marbles or stones if you prefer.

The tricky part is watering the bulbs. You want to add just enough water so it reaches the base of the bulbs. You don't want the bulbs to sit in water as this will cause rot. Maintain this level of water throughout the growing period. You'll probably need to replenish the water every two or three days. Don't fertilize.

Place the container in a cool, dark place (about 50 degrees F) for a few weeks until green shoots appear. Then move to full, bright light (generally, a window with southern exposure). Too little light, and the plants will grow leggy as they stretch to reach the light. Initially, room temperature should be 60 to 65 degrees F.

To prolong bloom, after the plants begin to flower, remove them from direct sunlight and place in a cooler, less sunny part of your home. Since paperwhites require zone 8 to 11 conditions, they can't be planted successfully outdoors. Discard the bulbs after flowering.

Prepotted paperwhites can be purchased at many garden stores. All you do is add water! These potted bulbs also make a nice gift, or a fun activity for your kids."

-By Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor
University of Vermont

Victoria Gardens has paper white bulbs, Christmas trees, ornaments, holiday gifts, and indoor plants. Organic, all-natural wilt-stop solution will extend the life of your tree and other fresh greens.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Open House November 26th, 27th and 28th

Join us for refreshments and early Christmas shopping this weekend. Friday, Saturday and Sunday - our holiday hours are now Monday through Saturday 10 am to 7pm Sundays 10 am to 4pm.

These very popular woodland ornaments are adorable! We have a wide selection of Christmas gifts and ornaments, Christmas trees and indoor plants.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Brighten Your Holiday Table With Cyclamen or Orchids

Brighten your holiday table with cyclamen or orchids. Bring your Thanksgiving host or hostess an orchid and they will feel so appreciated! We also have winter ferns, goldcrest cypress, rosemary topiaries, and more easy care houseplants. They come in decorative pots and they all make great gifts.

(And don't forget join us Nov. 26th, 27th and 28th for our Christmas Open House - We are serving up refreshments and stress-free holiday shopping!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Victoria Gardens' Gift Guide: Future Flora Lighting

Designed by Studio Tord Boontje. Available at Victoria Gardens.

As well as paper star lanterns, Victoria Gardens is also carrying these amazing sculptural Future Fauna Lanterns as well. Future Fauna are precision-etched metal sheets that transform into three exotic bloom-shaped forms. Future Flora inhabits the intersection of nature and technology. The contoured openings, fine details, and silver matte surface all conspire to illuminate space by casting poignant radiance.

Packaged flat, Future Flora are easily assembled by connecting intricate metal sheets that comprise each design.

“ Although I started by looking very closely at flowers, it became a project from memory, to imagine shapes which are like flowers but not exactly, a new kind of species – a flower and light hybrid.” — Tord Boontje

Friday, November 12, 2010

Victoria Gardens' Gift Guide: Star Lanterns

These beautiful stained glass-like paper lanterns are one of our favorite gift picks. They come with a power cord for the light bulb and they pack up flat, so it is a great gift to ship to your loved ones far, far, away. They will illuminate the festive spirit in your dinning room or your daughter's dorm room. A great gift for all those November birthdays leading up to the holidays.