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Keukenhof Garden

Keukenhof Garden Display

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Sunglo welcomes our new general Manager Henri, who recently visited his home country the Netherlands and took some amazing photographs of the magical Keukenhof garden for us to display.

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Keukenhof garden. The world’s second largest flower garden following the Dubai miracle garden is a stunning display of flowers located in Lisse, a small town in P1000718South Holland. It is also called the Garden of Europe. The garden designs and flower combinations will leave you in awe.

Rows of colorful foliage and delicate spring blooms are beautifully placed along pathways for guests to roam. The bulbs are donated by the large local growers, who only display the finest of the crop, with a plack or sign showing off their hard work.

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A wide range of flowers are used in the outdoor designs from lavender to tulips and daffodils to daisies. This magical dutch garden is definitely a sight for “green eyes” to see. Approximately 30 gardeners help design the land to a landscape architects plans. Every year the design changes. Keukenhof is open annually from March to May. After the prime visiting season the bulbs and flowers are actually thrown out.

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To see the collection of pictures Henri took click here.

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To plan your trip to Keukenhof visit their website.

Seattle Area Recycling Tips

Recycling Yard Debris – & Everything Else!

Recycling yard debris

Here in the Northwest it’s the season for yard work! Cutting, trimming, pruning – Endless branches and debris are piling up. What are you going to do!?

Here are a few ways for recycling yard debris:

  1. Self-haul: Load up a truck or trailer and haul your branches to the closest recycling station. Click here to find a recycling center near you.
  2. Curbside Pick-up: Have your debris and yard waste picked up curbside by Waste management. They provide a variety of collection services. Call 1-800-592-9995 for details.
  3. Chipping: Rent or use a friends chipper and create your own mulch!
  4. Tree Service: There are local tree services that will trim your trees and chip or haul away yard debris for you.

Here are a few tips for recycling yard debris:

  • Plastic wrap or bags and any food containers should NOT be included with your yard debris
  • Only tree/shrub debris and natural waste not including food is considered “yard debris”
  • When landscaping or doing yard work cut your branches small so they are easier to dispose of
  • If doing any digging in your yard – Like planting trees or shrubs be sure to call 811 for free marking of your utility lines

 

Recycling yard debrisTo recycle other items such as styrofoam, mattresses, TV’s and chemicals there certain recycling centers that will take items for free.

FREE styrofoam recycling at rndrecycling in Fife, WA. Click here for info.

FREE laptop, computer, ink cartridge, cell phone etc. recycling at PC Recycle. Click here to find a location near you.

FREE vehicle, refrigerator, washer/dryer etc. recycling with 1 Green Planet in Renton, WA. Click here to view their website.

 

For more detailed info and to ask questions you can contact the Washington State Recycling Database at 1-800-RECYCLE(732-9253).

Ladybug pest control

Ladybugs – Your best ally in the fight with aphids!

Ladybug

Ladybugs –

 Let’s learn a little bit about these pest eaters. Ladybugs have many names. Such as lady beetle, Asian lady beetle, multicolored Asian lady beetle, ladybird and many more. They are actually not bugs but are beetles. Ladybird Beetle is the correct name but I still like “ladybug” There are about 5,000 species of ladybugs worldwide, only 400 are native to North America. The convergent lady beetle is the most common species.

Ladybugs are widely used as a form of natural pest control. Aphids seem to be the top food choice for them but they also eat scale insects, mealy bugs, mites, white fly and other soft insects. A fully grown hungry ladybug can eat 50 aphids a day! They could eat 5,000 aphids in their lifetime in both larvae and adult stages.

 

LadybugsAphids-

Aphids are the most common garden pest insect and they feed on almost every type of plant. There are many different species of aphids but they all seem to have the same goal in mind… destroying you’re garden! They feed in colonies which is why they are so destructive and fast.

Signs of aphids are dried and colorless leaves and curled leaf tips. Aphids usually can be found on the underside of leaves and close to the top where the most nutrients can be sucked from the plant. They are savage little things and need to be dealt with as fast as possible.

LadybugsPest control-

Here at our Kent, WA. Sunglo office and warehouse we have a few greenhouses on display and like to grow plants and veggies ourselves, so we take advantage of the opportunity by growing a few things here and there. We bought a few herb plants from a home and garden depot only to find aphids on them!

We decided to try ladybugs for pest control. And boy let me tell you… it was awesome! We were able to purchase 1500 bugs online and they arrived within 5 days, let them free in our small lean-to greenhouse and within 15 minutes almost every aphid had disappeared! Overall I would 100% recommend ladybugs to get rid you of your pest nuisance! They are cute, inexpensive and best of all non-toxic! We freed most of them by keeping the doors wide open but a few are still around, stalking their next aphid meal.

Ladybugs

To learn about another common pest; thrips – click here.

2014 Garden Shows

Upcoming 2014 Garden Shows

Garden showPortland Home & Garden Show – Portland, OR.

The 67th annual Portland Home & Garden Show is Feb. 20th – 23rd. It’s being held at the Portland Expo Center. Adult ticket prices are to be determined but children under 12 get in for free. This garden show will be showcasing new garden designs and colors, flowers and plants will be for sale and hundreds of vendors who are experienced in landscape and garden design will be available for any questions you have. For more info click here.

 

Yard, Garden & Patio Show – Portland, OR.

This show is in Portland, OR. too. It will be held at the Oregon Convention Center Feb. 28th – Mar. 2nd. The show, typically held in late February, has long been recognized as the unofficial launch of spring in the Portland area. It features the latest ideas in plant material, landscaping and related outdoor accessories from more than 300 exhibiting companies and organizations. A series of showcase gardens adds colorful pizzazz to the show floor and provides visitors with a wealth of ideas on how they can enhance their own personal landscapes. For more info about this show click here.

 

Philadelphia Flower Show – Philadelphia, PA.

Yes, I know this one is a bit far away but it has been known to be awesome! – The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is an annual event at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from Mar. 1st to 9th.  It’s the world’s oldest and largest indoor flower show, attracting more than 260,000 people annually. The Show features large-scale gardens, elaborate landscapes, and over-the-top floral creations. This is one show that will be a sight to see! The theme this year seems to be ARTiculture, you definitely don’t want to miss this one! Visit there website by clicking here.

 

San Fransciso Flower and Garden Show – San Fransisco, CA.

The San Francisco Flower and Garden Show is back! The show will be held at the San Mateo Event Center Mar. 19th – 23rd with exciting new exhibits and vendors added each day! This year more than ever, it is important to learn tips and tricks on how to keep your garden healthy and beautiful. The SF Flower and Garden Show will include speakers, seminar, and workshops from a variety of gardening perspectives. There will be world class designers, brand new garden gadgets, fun activities for kids, and more! Click here for more information about this show.

 

Boise Flower and Garden Show – Boise, ID.

The 18th annual Boise Flower & Garden Show, March 21-23, 2014 at the Boise Centre will spring to life with everything you need to make your garden beautiful! Shop for the latest in landscape design, garden art and decor, yard furniture, plants, decks, greenhouse, and more. You will also enjoy spectacular display gardens; educational and fun gardening seminars; orchid and bonsai displays; a silent auction of beautiful and unique container gardens and much more. This one is worth the drive! Check out there website here.

 

Southern California Spring Garden Show – Costa Mesa, CA.

This is the 25th year for the California Spring Garden Show. It is being held from Apr. 24th – 27th. Landscape gardens designed by leading landscape architects and designers will be on display, as well as Over 75 specialty garden vendors offering exotic plants, unique garden accessories, and much more! This is a smaller garden show but it is a wonderous sight! Click here for more information.

 

Garden Expo 2014 – Spokane, WA.

On May 10th Spokane Community College is hosting the 15th annual garden expo from 9am to 5pm. This is a free event and will have 250 booths displaying a variety of garden art, gardening decorations and lots of unique garden themed items. There will be one of a kind garden art, children’s activities, and a group of speakers. For more info click here.

This is not a complete list of garden shows for 2014 but definitely some of the best! If you ever have any gardening questions or need greenhouse advice please contact us anytime!

Top 5 Greenhouse Gardening Books

Are you a greenhouse gardener? As most gardeners know there is always more to learn! Check out these top selling greenhouse gardening books and improve on your own gardening skills!

The Greenhouse Expert – Author: Dr. D.G. Hessayon

My personal favorite: Whether you already own a greenhouse or you’re thinking about buying or building one, greenhouse gardener hessayonhere’s the vital information in full color you need to get the most from your money, effort and time. “The Greenhouse Expert offers data on structure and equipment (including installation instructions on floors, gutters, doors, lighting, ventilators, blinds, shelving, insulation, glazing, and heating); greenhouse plants (a list covering 58 pages) and care (of both structure and plants). There is a chapter dealing with pests and diseases and a month-by-month calendar on when to do what.”

 

 

Greenhouse Gardening – Made Easy – Author: Simon Marlow

This book will lead you through the complete process of purchasing, setting up and greenhouse gardening bookmaintaining your greenhouse. Once you have a functioning greenhouse you then need to understand what makes your plants grow. Heat, soil and water are critical to your growing success. This guide describes how best to optimize these parameters so that you are able to grow the plants you want not only in spring and summer but also through fall and winter. This ebook shows you how to get the best from your greenhouse by taking the next step to great growing of all types of plants vegetables and flowers at anytime of the year.

 

 

Organic Gardening – Author: Geoff Hamilton

A classic guide to growing flowers, fruit, and vegetables the natural, chemical-free way has been fully revised and updated to reflect the latest thinking and techniques. Written by one of the UK’s best-loved gardening personalities and a keen advocate of the greenhouse gardening bookorganic approach, this book will be appreciated by the novice and the experienced gardener alike. Whether you want to grow better-tasting fruit and vegetables untainted by chemicals, find natural methods of pest and weed control, or create a garden that is safer for your children, pets and wildlife this book is your practical, easy-to-follow guide to gardening.With practical advice and instructions and step-by-step photographs and artworks, the author explains how to grow delicious, healthy produce as well as how to turn your garden into a safe haven for children, pets, and wildlife. Contents include: soil improvement; organic pest & disease control; weed control; hedges, trees & shrubs; containers; the vegetable garden and more!

 

How to Garden – Greenhouse Gardening – Author: Alan Titchmarsh

The ultimate guide to greenhouse planting—the ideal place to propagate seedlings, greenhouse gardening booknurture young plants, experiment with exotic planting, and hide from the rain. The greenhouse is one of the most useful tools a gardener can have, and this book provides all the information and advice any gardener needs to set up a greenhouse and get their planting going. The advice offered includes guidance on selecting, installing, and maintaining a greenhouse; recommended vegetables, fruit, herbs, and ornamental plants for growing under cover; practical advice on general care, harvesting, storage, propagation, and pest control; a seasonal management guide etc.

 

The Greenhouse Gardener – Author: Anne Swithinbank

A greenhouse can be a garden’s greatest asset: its nucleus and powerhouse. There are many ways of using it and a gardener can adopt one or all of them. In spring, you can greenhouse gardening bookstart young plants from seed; raise tender perennials to fill gaps in the garden; give young vegetable plants a head start; sow early lettuce while the soil is too sticky to work outdoors. During spring and summer, you can raise greenhouse crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines and chillis. You’ll be able to overwinter tender plants such as bananas and cannas. And the greenhouse can be a showcase full of beautiful, unusual and exotic plants.Trained at Kew and for many years Glasshouse Supervisor at the RHS Garden at Wisley, Anne Swithinbank is the expert on greenhouse gardening.

 

All of these books can be found for sale at the Google Store.

 

 

 

School Grants and Greenhouses

School Grants & Greenhouses

Gardening is a valuable tool for children of all ages. Learning about plants, how things grow and how to nurture and care for living organisms. Caring for plants introduces

2100 School Greenhouse
            SCC – 2100 Model

many other topics such as the role insects play and the importance of light, water and maintenance.  Gardening has been known to also improves children’s environmental attitudes, their social skills and nutritional attitudes.  The National Gardening Association has provided grant funding for the past 29 years to support youth garden programs. They have awarded over 9,000 grants throughout the years and provided beneficial education to our nation’s children. The benefits from school gardens reach everyone including the parents, teachers and administrators. To view a list of grants available and valuable resources visit this website.

2100 School Greenhouse
          SCC – 2100 Model

Sunglo has been a proud resource for school greenhouses for many years. Providing a covered, safe area for children to learn about gardening and all the beautiful life lessons along with it. Working with faculty and administrative staff to achieve their horticultural goals has been a humbling experience for all of us here at Sunglo and we feel honored to be apart of it. We also offer an educational discount to help relieve some of the financial stress. Our office team and warehouse/assembly team are knowledgeable and will see your project through to the finish. From the time the greenhouse is ordered we are here to answer any questions from shipping to construction. We can give you advice on permitting, the foundation and which size would benefit your school. Replacement parts are always available too, so in the future just give us a call! If you or someone you know is interested in a school greenhouse please contact us with any questions or for a free quote.

Sunglo greenhouses are all over the US and Alaska. If you would like to speak with another school that is using a Sunglo brand greenhouse please give us a call at 800-647-0606 with your request and we’ll be happy to help find one for you to connect with!

 

For another post about school greenhouses click here.

 

 

 

 

Recipes – Prime Soup Season!

I love food! So I have decided to mix it up a bit and start a monthly recipe blog post series! Showcasing my favorite recipes and copycat recipes from my recipe book and from around the web! SO here is the very first recipe post: Top 5 winter soup recipes!

Who doesn’t love a hearty chili or a classic chicken soup? Winter time is prime soup season. And I have traveled the web and through my recipe books to find my favorite recipes, that I know you will enjoy! So please pick 1 or pick them all and get your soup on!

 

French Onion SoupFrench Onion

Oh baby, I love onions! I could eat them raw, baked, blanched, battered, fried, grilled, barbecued you name it. But French onion soup is at the top of my list of onion recipes. The warm gooey cheese sinking the crusty bread into the savory, beefy, oniony flavored broth … MMM! This is my favorite winter soup!

Roasted Cauliflower SoupRoasted Cauliflower Soup

Don’t be afraid, I know it sounds fancy but this was a hard one to put at 2nd place. This soup changed my mind about cauliflower. Every other time I have eaten cauliflower I just did not enjoy it. This soup is absolutely delicious. I omitted the prosciutto for bacon and left out the almonds and it was perfect for my taste buds. This is a crowd pleaser and if you want to impress someone with your cooking skills this winter but with little effort and big reward this is the recipe to use!

Butternut Squash SoupButternut Squash Soup

Squash is kind of a foreign food to me. I have not experimented much with squash but acorn and butternut are the ones I always go for. The first time I had butternut squash soup was when my mother brought home a store bought container of it on a “no cook” night. It was amazing! This recipe is delicious. If you have never tried butternut soup this is the one to try. It’s easy and will warm your belly right up!

White ChiliWhite Chicken Chili

Chicken chili doesn’t sound very hearty. At least that’s what my boyfriend thought before this recipe. When people think of chili they almost always think of beef chili. But boy I’ll tell you this white chicken chili will change your mind! It is superfast and the left overs are just as good as the first day. This is a must try recipe!

Cocunut Chicken SoupCoconut Chicken Curry Soup

I don’t know about you but my boyfriend and I are in love with Thai food. I mean we have been to probably all of the Thai restaurants around our town. This soup has a creamy coconut flavor that just doesn’t get any better than paired with rice and a few lime wedges! I use curry paste instead of powder and microwaved some carrots, chopped them and threw them in to add some more color and crunchy. Superb!

Baked Potato SoupBacked Potato Soup

I had to put this recipe on the list because it is just the best winter soup to eat curled up under a blanket with your honey. We love this recipe because its hearty and cheesy and we always have the best night sleep after a huge serving! Try this recipe please, it will become a favorite, I just know it!

NWFGS 2014 – Sunglo Booth

NWFG ColorIt’s January in Washington and you know what that means! We’re counting down the days to the 2014 NWFGS! Sunglo will be hosting a booth this year so get your walking shoes on and get ready for gardening paradise!

NWFGS 2014This year the theme is  “Art In Bloom”. There’s a little garden in all of us is the slogan. And boy is that true! There will be a ton of free seminars and lots of expert speakers this year. Plus a garden to table cooking series. Speakers will give you ideas, advice and inspiration for creating gracious outdoor living spaces and luscious, sustainable gardens. It’s pure entertainment and invaluable education!

Stop by the Sunglo booth #701 to a greenhouse on display, learn about our products and take advantage of our NWFGS specials!

To view a list of activities and speakers or to buy tickets click here.

 

Let’s dabble in APPLE!

Mix applesAn apple a day keeps the doctor away. Haven’t we all heard that saying? Well obviously apple is a fruit and fruit is healthy for you. But they seem to be one of those fruits that have super powers! They can be made into hundreds if not thousands of dishes. And I don’t think I know 1 person that doesn’t like a dish that has apple in it. So let’s go on an adventure..  and dabble in apple!

It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus. Apples grow on small, deciduous trees. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, can still be found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe. They were brought to North America by European colonists in the 17th century. The first apple orchard was planted in Boston in 1695. A long time ago! Apples have been present in mythology and religions of many cultures, including Greek and Christian traditions. There are more than 7,500 known types of apples. Different strains are bred for various tastes and uses.

Here are a few wacky apple facts:

  • Apples are a member of the rose family.
  • Apples are grown in all 50 states.
  • The science of apple growing is called pomology.
  • India ranks 3rd in the worlds apple producing leaders.
  • Peach allergies are similar to apple allergies and usually go hand in hand.
  • The average person eats 65 apples per year.
  • Apples became the official state fruit for Washington in 1989.
  • Apple trees can only bear fruit after its first 5 years.
  • The McIntosh apple is the national apple of Canada.
  • It takes about 35 apples to produce 1 gallon of apple cider.
  • Apples were considered “luxury fruit” in ancient Rome.
  • Fear of apples is known as Malusdomesticaphobia.
  • Apples contain Boron which has been known to enhance brain power.
  • The Roman Goddess Pomona is the goddess of apples.
  • Children who drink apple juice regularly have less of a chance of developing asthma.

 

Apples - treeAbout 69 million tons of apples were grown worldwide in 2010, and China produced almost half of this total. The US is the second leading producer with more than 5% of world production. Many beneficial health effects can come from eating these babies too. A few health benefits are:

  • Research shows that the dietary fibers found in apples battle further growth of lung, colon and breast cancer.
  • Pyridoxine is a nutrient in apples that is useful in treating heart disease, diabetes and seizures.
  • They help fight off free oxygen-radicals that cause diabetes.
  • Studies have shown that people who eat more apples have a lower risk for stroke.

 

Apples are amazing in that they can be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.  There are so many dishes that are apple-tastic including pastries, salads, cakes, even burgers! Check out these apple-licious recipes:

Apples baked Baked Apple Recipe!

Apples - burgerChicken Burger Recipe!

Apples - popsiclesApple Popsicle Recipe!

I hope you had fun on our apple-venture and learned some new things! For more interesting info on apples click here. 

Or if you want to see a whole list of apple recipes click here.