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The Bruce Company Blog

to prune or not to prune

We get a lot of questions at the Garden Center’s Plant Information Desk about when to trim what. So let’s help you take some of the mystery out of pruning. First things first. Make sure that you have the proper tools for specific jobs and that they’re sharp and in...

the ins-and-outs of starting seeds

There are good reasons to grow vegetables from seed. There are so many more choices when you’re buying seeds. Ordinarily, the Garden Center has 50 varieties of tomato seedlings on order. If you look at seeds though, you can chose from 100-plus cherries, currants,...

outdoor furniture care 101

After a few seasons on you deck or patio, your outdoor furniture may begin to show some wear and tear. Especially if you aren’t doing regular maintenance. No matter the material, good quality pieces are manufactured with outdoor use in mind, but remember that...

mid-spring gardening

Remember March 1st? Blustery. Damp. High of 29 and low of 14. Definitely lion weather! And the forecast for the 31st looks particularly lion-ish. So the old adage is holding true this year! Early spring weather is fickle, but we count on April to be a more golden...

Form Follows Function

A beautiful vase of flowers is a perfect remedy for chasing away the late winter blues. All we really want is to see is the light of spring at the end of winter’s tunnel. So how can you add the color and fragrance of flowers to your home without breaking the bank?...

Ready, Set, Spring!

As winter recedes, each sign of spring seems more symbolic than the last. And the season’s teasing tone always makes us a little crazy. We’re longing for thunderstorms instead of snow showers. The sandhill crane’s raspy call or the melodious song of a redwing...

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...
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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Fall Houseplant Care Tips!

Fall Houseplant Care Tips!

October is such a transitional time, especially for gardeners.  Our borders and beds teeter on the edge of a climatic cliff. Colors change as deep green foliage morphs into mellow butter yellow or fiery scarlet. Forms change as plants drop their leafy garb to expose the structure of bare bones.

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Planting Fall Bulbs in Late September

Planting Fall Bulbs in Late September

We call them all bulbs, but bulbs, rhizomes and tubers are essentially storage organs that contain flower buds. The bulb feeds the developing flower as it grows to maturity and blooms. All it takes is water and time. Figuring out how to plant bulbs is simple as most are planted using the same rules.

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The Beautiful Color In The Autumn Garden

The Beautiful Color In The Autumn Garden

As summer wanes and autumn approaches, birds congregate in the trees and on overhead wires. The air is sweetly scented with ripening fruit. The light changes, becoming more golden. Everything seems ready to burst. Not in the tender, life-is-beginning way of spring, but in a more poignant manner that hints life in the garden is starting to fade.

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Your Fall Gardening Checklist!

Your Fall Gardening Checklist!

For many gardeners, Labor Day marks the end of summer and the beginning of the autumn lawn care season. Cooler temperatures and more regular rainfall make this an excellent time to start a new lawn or repair an existing one. The still-warm soil speeds up seed germination while the cooler air aids growth and development. The 30-day forecast for the Madison area isn’t predicting that temperatures will drop lower than the high-40s until the end of the month, so you have some time. But you’ll want to get your seed down soon to decrease winter damage.

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