By the fireside of remembrance
We meet on Christmas Day
To exchange old fashioned greetings
In the good of fashioned way
I have quoted the above many times over the years and feel it is a sentiment worth repeating. I found it as a child a great many years ago. It was in a publication called the “Houghton Line” published by the Houghton Mifflin Company. It was during one of the times my family drove from our home in Scarsdale to the home of my aunt and uncle in Easton, PA.
Aunt Sadie was the sister of my father’s mother who died when he was young. She and her husband, Uncle Fred P. Martin, raised him until he graduated from Penn State, as a Mining Engineer, and moved to Bisbee, Arizona to work in Phelps Dodge’s Copper Queen Mine.
He met my mother who had recently graduated from the University of Colorado, and was working in the Library. My older brother, Bill, and I were born in Bisbee, but didn’t spend much time there, as the depression forced the closing of the mine and brought my family back east, where my father, through family connections, was able to get a job with Ingersol Rand.
Uncle Fred spent his entire career working for Ingersol Rand, as did my father’s brother, Horace, who lived next door on Reeder Street.
I always enjoyed those trips made during World War II, with mom, dad, brothers Bill and Art and sister Gail, in our 1940 Chevy.
As we drove through New Jersey farm country we passed many sets of long gone Burma Shave signs, enjoying their humorous messages.
It’s nice that long ago memories can be brought into focus by the memory of a simple greeting.
The warm days in November seemed to prolong the beauty of autumn leaves. The mighty oaks and other deciduous trees were beautiful. Shrubs such as forsythia and many of the understory bushes had leaves almost as bright yellow as the forsythia when in spring flower.
Rule of thumb for grass seed planting has been mid-August through mid-September as the best time; mid-September through mid October as being second best. Seed planted after mid-October had always been a gamble because it could begin to swell and then freezing temperatures could kill it. This year, however, seed planted at what had been the best time had major problems due to the lack of timely rain. If a sprinkler system was not present, good results were sporadic. Seed planted late in October and even into early November had a good chance of developing a good root system. Weather was in the sixty degree range well into November.
SHRUBJACKET “A Winter Cover for Your Plants Replaces Burlap and Frost Blankets. Stops Deer, Winter Burn and Salt Damage. Patented wrap keeps freezing wind, road salt and deer OUT and moisture and nutrients IN.”
“Recommended for arborvitae, azalea, cedars, figs, holly, hydrangea, lilac, larch, roses, rhododendrons, spruce, pine, new plantings and more!”
The light/dark green protectors are available in several sizes and are easy to use.
A FEW MORE THOUGHTS FOR DECEMBER/ JANUARY
Lawns can be LIMED to insure continued activity from root-producing phosphorus.
SOLU-CAL is the most efficient form.
DORMANT SEEDING will fill in bare areas as weather warms in spring. Be sure seed is sprinkled on bare soil so freezing and thawing temperatures will plant it for you.
RAISE LAWN AREAS where water collects. Mix amendments with the added soil and replace the sod.
If you missed the Thanksgiving feeding you need to wait until April. It is illegal to feed lawns between December first and April first.
Problem turf should be treated with a fungicide to prevent snowmold. It also is important that turf be cut short to prevent matting and that leaves are removed or chopped up to prevent smothering.
Be careful using ICE MELTERS. Most will harm plants and grass.
Avoid walking on lawn areas when frozen. Be especially careful not to walk continually in the same path.
GARDENS AND OTHER LATE FALL/EARLY WINTER CHORES
Be sure tender evergreens are protected with burlap and/or an anti-desiccant such as VAPORGARD or WILT-PRUF. ERECT WOOD FRAMES under roofs where falling snow could damage plants underneath.
PROTECT EVERGREENS AGAINST BREAKAGE. TIE loose branches and brush off heavy snow.
MULCH plants after the ground has frozen. The purpose is to minimize fluctuations in soil temperature. SALT HAY is excellent on gardens. PINE BARK is one of the many good ones for use around shrubs. Roses, especially, seem to require winter protection. Spray problem ones with an anti-desiccant and mound soil or bark around the stems.
DECORATE tubs and window boxes by poking evergreen branches into the soil.
DRAIN OUTDOOR FAUCETS, but keep a hose handy should evergreens need water.
CLEAN GUTTERS to be sure leaves aren’t clogging drains.
If you plan to use your own evergreens for HOLIDAY ARRANGEMENTS; cut the branches two weeks before you intend to use them. Place in a cool, dark spot. Sprinkle occasionally with water. This conditions them for the house and prevents the needles and berries from dropping so quickly. Life can also be prolonged by spraying them with an antidesiccant.
As beautiful as they are, deer can be an expensive nuisance. Their favorite meals seem to come from your most valuable plantings. FENCING still is best, but SPRAYS, NETTING and BURLAP help. If spray is used it should be started before eating habits start. Be sure to check plantings on a regular basis to be sure control is effective. Fencing, to, should periodically be checked for breakage from downed trees or heavy branches.
Mill River Supply offers several types of fencing and many sprays and dry products to provide protection against deer. A strip of MILORGANITE around shrubs helps add to other protection methods.
Watching birds enjoying your feeder provides one of the great winter pleasures when much of the landscape is drab and desolate. Continue feeding once you start to prevent birds from starving. Offer a supply of ice-free water and a small pan of grit to help birds digest the food you
give them. In addition to many VARIETIES of WILD BIRD SEED and SUET CAKES, we offer many types of FEEDERS as well as WATER HEATERS. OUR WILD BIRD FEEDING SECTION ALWAYS HAS BEEN AN IMPPORTANT PART OF OUR BUSINESS.
OTHER THOUGHTS FOR LATE FALL AND WINTER
PLANT DAFFODILS and other bulbs for beautiful spring blooms in the garden. START PAPERWHITES and an AMARYLLIS or two and perhaps a few HYACINTHS for indoor beauty. Choose from one of our several styles of COMPOSTERS to make excellent organic matter for your gardens.
GYPSUM helps break up heavy clay soil and allows air and moisture circulate more efficiently. In addition, it helps neutralize road salt and salt from Long Island Sound. Normal rate is 50 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft., but can be applied heavier. SOLU-CAL S is used at lighter rates and is extremely efficient. (Gypsum does not replace lime).
HOUSE PLANTS need tender care during dark winter days. Careful attention to watering, checking for insects and occasional turning to the light will keep them in good condition. Feed very lightly if at all until the longer days and sunshine of late February. Excellent results are attained when you use a mixture of SHULTZ’S HOUSE PLANT FOOD, SUPER THRIVE and QUANTUM GROWTH whenever you water. Super Thrive is an anti-oxidant and Quantum Growth is a bio-stimulant. Neither are fertilizers but, both provide overall health to plants.
RODENTS will be less likely to damage fruit tree bark if you remove all fallen leaves and fruit near the trunks. Perhaps wrap the trunks with TREE WRAP to prevent damage from DEER.
BROWN MAMARORATED STINK BUGS can be controlled in the house with ST. GABRIEL’S
STINK BUG SPRAY.
BED BUGS could hide in your luggage when you leave a vacation hotel or motel. Minimize the possibility by spraying luggage with BED BUG SPRAY before coming home. We offer a small spray bottle which is legal to carry in your luggage. If you do find Bed Bugs in your home, we also have ther products labeled to kill them.
RATS and MICE can be a problem, especially during the cold months when they find their way into our warm premises. We have a wide selection of TRAPS and POISONS to help with their control.
FIREPLACES add a pleasant, cozy atmosphere to long winter nights. Two, three and four hour artificial logs are easy to start if you don’t want to be bother with regular firewood. We also have bundled firewood. Fat Wood for starting the firewood as well as other items for your fireplace.
ICE AND SNOW CONTROL is often necessary here in the northeast. ROCK SALT is the least expensive way of dealing with highway ice, but due to its extensive use, is blamed for damage to roadside vegetation. Towns and professionals who plow are responsible for safe roads and there are no other economical products. Many, however, are using effective, more expensive, less damaging products.
SAND alone helps to some degree, but it does not melt the ice. In this sue happy society, a town, school or other public place is subject to lawsuit by someone whose vehicle skids on ice he feels should have been melted or prevented from forming. The same is true for someone slipping and injuring oneself.
MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE is a highly efficient ice melter and is comparatively safe on vegetation and surfaces.
CALCIUM CHLORIDE pellets are the best melters at very low temperatures and work quickly, making it more practical for private and public walk and drive areas.
COMBO PRODUCTS are becoming more and more numerous. All have their advantages. Check the bags before buying to be sure they are suited to your needs. Generally they are more economical than straight Magnesium and Calcium Chlorides
PRUNE GRAPEVINES and FRUIT TREES in January. Remove crossed or broken branches wherever found. We have a fine selection of pruners for the job.
SERVICE MOWERS AND OTHER EQUIPMENT to be ready for spring. Don’t be caught unprepared when spring springs upon us.
CLEAN and OIL HAND TOOLS.
Take advantage of our HANDLE REPAIR, SHARPENING and KEY MAKING SERVICES.
FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Choose from one of Lee’s DECORATED WREATHS. Let us know if you have a special size or design in mind. You also will find PLAIN WREATHS along with HOLLY BERRIES, PINE CONES, RIBBON and BOWS for your use in decorating them. GREENS and ROPING also are available for your decorating needs.
WE HAVE STOPPED SENDING MAILINGS to those who did not express an interest in receiving them. If your name was inadvertently pulled from the list or if you know someone who would like to have them please let us know. We will be happy to send these “Reminders” to you via “snail-mail” or e-mail.
HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY-HEALTHY NEW YEAR