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The Bruce Company Blog

Winter House Plant Care

February 25th, 2021 | written by Lisa Briggs Thank goodness for this last week as it seems so long since we’d felt the sun’s warmth. We hope that you had a chance to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. And even though, it seems that we’re taking one step...

Late Winter Anticipation

February 25th, 2021 | written by Lisa Briggs We’ve checked all of our favorite weather websites and forecasters seem to agree that March is coming in like a lamb. Finding consensus about past weather events is tricky because our memories can be so subjective. We had a...

A Mid-Winter Gardening Calendar

By: Lisa Briggs | 2/11/2021 If you’ve already started some plants from seed, those baby seedlings may be growing like Jack’s beanstalks. Be sure that you check them every day and observe their progress. Water whenever the soil surface is dry to the touch and feed them...

The Language of Flowers

By: Lisa Briggs | 2/11/2021 Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at the Bruce Company! Have you wondered why red roses are the go-to flower for Valentine’s Day giving? Or why white calla lilies are in so many traditional bridal bouquets? The answers to these questions...

The Pruning Basics

By: Lisa Briggs | 1/28/21 The frantic pace of the holidays has a way of giving in to the quiet contemplation of mid-winter, making it a great time to settle in and nurture some spring projects. And the recent snowy weather certainly lends itself to incubation....

Mid-Winter Gardening Tips!

By: Lisa Briggs | 1/28/21 Even though the short-term forecast is calling for a couple very chilly nights, the 2020-21 winter has been a mild one. And it looks like there is another warming trend on the way. This is perfect weather for crossing a few mid-winter...

A Few Things to Know for Mid-Winter Gardening!

By: Lisa Briggs | 1/14/21 It’s been a quiet winter season here in Lake Wobegon. Oh wait! We’re in Dane county, but the sentiment applies. We’ve had snow. Which we love, by the way. There hasn’t been anything that can remotely be called a Polar Vortex. Other than the...

Early Seed Starting Tips for Any Gardener!

Did you know that the average grocery store’s produce travels nearly 1,500 miles between the farm where it was grown and your refrigerator? That nearly 40% of our fruit is grown or produced in other countries? And that, even though a simple thing like broccoli is...

Fun Ideas for A Little Holiday Gardening!

By: Lisa Briggs | Thursday, Dec. 17th, 2020 Snowstorms have a wonderful way of slowing everything down, forcing us to live in the moment. All of the distracting details of daily life that ordinarily occupy every moment of your time are suddenly moved to the back...

Celebrations, Rituals & The Winter Solstice!

By: Lisa Briggs | Thursday, Dec. 17th, 2020 The term ‘winter solstice’ marks the day when the earth’s axis tips us, and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, the farthest from the sun. The sun appears at its lowest and weakest points in the sky on the 21st. And with...
Lore About Your Favorite Christmas Traditions

Lore About Your Favorite Christmas Traditions

Every family has their own holiday traditions that are practiced, and enjoyed, year after year. We bundle up and head to get to the same place to get the tree. We bake cookies from the same family recipes. We watch the same holiday special on television. There are some time-honored traditions that everyone practices. Have you ever wondered how some of them got started?

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Let’s Talk About Indoor Gardening!

Let’s Talk About Indoor Gardening!

Baby, it’s cold outside, so winter is definitely here. Outside, seeds and buds are slumbering. The earth is still. Inside our homes, we’re warm and happy in rooms sparkling with bright lights, views of any impending storms softened by steamy windows. This time of year we gather together to celebrate family and friends. But don’t forget your indoor gardening chores.

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Choosing The Perfect Christmas Tree

Choosing The Perfect Christmas Tree

Close on the heels of our Thanksgiving celebrations, comes one of the most harrowing of all the winter holiday experiences – the Selection of the Christmas Tree. Luckily, we live smack in the middle of tree central.  Of the 13,000 or so Christmas tree farms in the United States, more than 900 are located in Wisconsin. So we have plenty of choices.

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Let’s Talk About Holiday Houseplants!

Let’s Talk About Holiday Houseplants!

Gardening in late November? Are we crazy? Most everyone we know is consumed with holiday decorating, shopping for gifts, and trying to reconfigure their Thanksgiving dinner traditions. But you can still squeeze in a little winter gardening and satisfy your green thumb. Because beautiful blooming plants make excellent gifts for gardening friends and kids.

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Winter Garden Preparation Tips & Tricks!

Winter Garden Preparation Tips & Tricks!

Wow. It’s November and we’re seeing temps in the 60s. Remember last year? By this time we’d already had 3 measurable snow events. What a difference 12 months can make! The Farmers’ Almanac is predicting average snowfall for the lower Great Lakes region, with cooler than average temperatures

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Tips on Winterizing Your Pond at Home!

Tips on Winterizing Your Pond at Home!

Despite this week’s warm weather, the night temperatures are cooling and last weekend’s wind stripped most of the leaves off our trees. And though the last few days felt like summer, colder weather is on its way. It’s time to get your ponds and water features ready for the frosty temperatures to come. If you still have leaves clinging to trees, your first step is to cover your pond with netting or a floating row cloth. This will keep the falling leaves and other debris out of the water, lessening the work next spring.

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To LED, or Not To LED…

To LED, or Not To LED…

No snow for us yet, though I did see a few flakes around 4:30 on Monday. But there will be plenty of nice November days that are perfect for getting a jump on outdoor holiday decorating. Why not start with hanging your Christmas lights? There’s no rule that says they need to be lit right away and it’s so much easier to put them up in early November than in early December. Be sure to test them first in case you need to replace some strings. And if you need replacements, perhaps it’s time to make the switch from incandescent to LED.

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Late Fall Gardening Tips As November Draws Near

Late Fall Gardening Tips As November Draws Near

At long last. It’s time to take a deep breath because the physical work and often frenetic pace of the growing season is over. Not having a million things to accomplish in the garden may find some folks feeling a bit bereft, but many others are so happy. The Garden Center is emptying of plant material and stocking up on holiday decor. Plants are lined up, ready for frost blankets and mulch piles. All of us here have such mixed emotions about the end of the outdoor gardening season. What about you?

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Answering All Your Questions When Forcing Spring Bulbs!

Answering All Your Questions When Forcing Spring Bulbs!

Forcing spring bulbs into winter bloom was the rage in the 1800s. Hyacinths were especially popular. But there are others to try, too. We love vases of paperwhites and pots of amaryllis. And with a little prep time, you can have pots of tulips and daffodils blooming in your kitchen in late February.

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Putting Your Vegetable Garden to Bed for the Winter

Putting Your Vegetable Garden to Bed for the Winter

October can be such a confusing time for new gardeners. Though the sun certainly isn’t quite as warm, the golden color of autumn light can fool us into thinking that it is still late summer.  Fall is the time of year for two of our favorite garden activities-harvest and reflection. Without harvest, we can’t reap the rewards of a summer well spent. And without reflection, we’ll never learn from our mistakes and successes.

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