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All posts by Georgi Atanasov

Weddings

Couples usually choose Door County as the site for their wedding because of its beauty, the memories it holds, or family ties. Many couples come back to Door County to celebrate anniversaries after their original vows. I’ve been counseling brides about their wedding flowers for 44 years, and I think I can say I’ve seen it all!

Two weddings stand out in my mind, one because of the difficulty of the request and another for its poignancy. The first couple wanted to marry on a boat off Rock Island. They loved tropical flowers and wanted a 200-foot garland strung around the boat, including exotic flowers spilling out of conch shells they provided. I did elaborate drawings in color to help the bride visualize what it would look like, and I explained that flowers such as anthuriums and ginger would have to be imported from Hawaii. Then she mentioned that her budget for flowers was just $500! Needless to say, we made a change of plans. We chose flowers with lots of color that gave the effect of the tropics, and the couple was very happy!

Another wedding was especially touching because the bride and groom were 85 years old. Neither had children, and all their friends were gone. They had a small ceremony at Bjorklunden with only their best friends—their Dalmatians—as witnesses. We fashioned the dogs’ collars from red roses!

Door County-style weddings are different from those in the city. Many of the couples are from out of town, so they use a wedding planner while I consult with the brides about flowers. Most brides want their bouquets to be casual and composed of garden flowers. The style is often a round or freestyle European bouquet with the stems showing, hand-tied with beautiful ribbons. If a bride’s favorite flower is lily of the valley—a trend that Martha Stewart started—it’s my job to explain the price of having them flown in if they’re out of season. We can accomplish just about anything someone requests and have had flowers flown in from Holland, South Africa, Israel …it’s just a matter of cost. A good motto is “less is more,” and even for city weddings, formal bouquets with the tiny carnations and roses are no longer the trend. Some brides customize their bouquets by including an heirloom handkerchief or piece of jewelry such as a locket. Depending upon the request, bouquets can range from  $25 to $200+.

In addition to the bridal bouquet, there are the groom’s boutonniere, wrist corsages for bridesmaids, flowers for the moms, and so on. For the reception, we have done everything from formal weddings with $100 table arrangements down to very modest, but beautiful, table décor.

Popular venues for weddings and receptions include hotels like Gordon Lodge, Maxwelton Braes or The Landmark Resort . Bjorklunden’s chapel is an interesting backdrop — with the wedding in the garden — since the building itself holds barely more than a dozen people. Another unique wedding location is the Woodwalk Gallery, a rustic venue that is a Door County Landmark. I’ve also seen ceremonies on Eagle Terrace and on the 17th hole of a golf course! Many people have summer homes here, so the wedding vows are taken on the lawn under a tent or even on their boats.  Below is just one example of a wedding done at the Country House Inn, right down the road from Jerry’s.

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A Door County wedding is memorable for many reasons, but I enjoy helping to create some new memories with the beauty of flowers!

Preparing Your Soil

Preparing soilIt’s the time of year to start preparing your garden, whether you’re planting flowers or looking forward to a bountiful vegetable harvest. Many gardeners don’t like the preparation part of gardening. I can understand that – we’d all rather skip directly to the part where we see green shoots coming up from the ground and becoming full-grown plants.

But once you have a full appreciation of this beautiful peninsula where we live, the subject of soil gets much more interesting. For example, did you know that there are 75 different soil types and sub-types identified in Door County? We have everything from Alpena gravelly sandy loam to Markey muck to Summerville loam. All of our soil comes from glacial or lake material, because between 1.8 million years ago and 10,000 years ago, glacial sheets advanced and retreated several times over our section of the Midwest – sheets that were sometimes two miles thick! Green Bay’s glacial events were responsible for our peninsula’s unique features: the carving out of Green Bay, Lake Michigan, the Niagara escarpment, and forming drumlins (those mounds in the shape of “smooth inverted spoons” you see throughout the county, especially in Liberty Grove, where the glacial deposits are the oldest).

Because of our rocky underlay–that beautiful escarpment–much of our soil is very shallow, especially in Northern Door. In fact, 22% of the soil in the entire county is less than 18” in depth, and another 17% is just 18 to 36 inches in depth. When you think about the challenges involved in Door County gardening, it’s amazing we can grow anything at all!

Door County soil sometimes needs our help to give plants their best chance, which often means amending the soil with minerals or other substances. Yes, there are plenty of minerals in Door County – calcite, dolomite, fluorite, gypsum, hydrocarbons, marcasite, pyrite, and quartz – but they’re all in the rock formations and in quarry digs, not directly in the soil.

Soil studies often talk about our cherries and apples, but the principles of soil fertility also apply to your own backyard plots and flowerbeds. Having fertile soil depends on the soil’s capacity to hold water, its workability, and its natural chemical composition. If you’ve been a gardener for a while, you already know the texture of your soil just by rubbing it between your thumb and fingers. With experience, you’ll become an even better judge. For instance, a coarse sandy soil won’t retain moisture as long as a loam soil or clay loam. The seven types of soils in Door County are classified as clay, silt, very fine sand, fine sand, medium sand, coarse sand, and fine gravel (although “Door County potatoes” have to classify as No. 8!).

Amendments
Here are some quick tips about adding amendments to your soil. You can always come into Jerry’s Flowers with a small soil sample, and we can help you choose just the right additions. One of our favorite suppliers is Dr. Earth. Their additives and fertilizers have been consistently high quality. Pre-mixed formulas such as this don’t require any guesswork on the amount of minerals or other supplements. Dr. Earth is all organic, tailored to the type of vegetable or flowers you’re planting, and even contain beneficial soil microbes. Here’s a quick checklist of soil amendments dos and don’ts:
• Amendments are materials you mix into the soil; mulches go on top of the soil.
• Soil amendments are meant to aerate soil, give it better water-holding power, and improve nutrition. For instance, a clay-like soil is very compact and needs additives that loosen the soil, leaving room for roots to branch out and grow.
• Wood products are not the best idea for amendments or soil; they can tie up the nitrogen in soil, and when used on top of soil, they are a big attraction to pests like termites.
• Soil amendments can be organic or inorganic. Organic amendments include grass clippings, straw, compost, manure, biosolids, and sphagnum peat. Inorganic amendments include vermiculite, perlite, pea gravel and sand. We prefer organic amendments that increase contain plant nutrients and also act as an energy source for bacteria, fungi, and earthworms that live in the soil.
• Some forms of compost can be high in salts. Raspberry, strawberry, bean, carrot, onion, viburnum and many other landscape plants are salt sensitive.

Above all, ask us! We’ll be glad to evaluate your soil and the challenges you’re having, and then recommend the best solution for your garden.

Half Hoop Plant Support

For long-stemmed plant management
$3.99 – $6.99

The Half Hoop Plant Support is great for all long-stemmed plants and it can be used at any stage of a plant’s development. Its unique design means it can be used on its own as a hoop or in pairs, back to back, to form a complete circle.

Sluggo® Organic Snail and Slug Bait

$25 (2-lb.)

Monterey’s Sluggo® snail and slug bait is now OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) Listed for use in organic gardening. Sluggo contains naturally occurring iron and phosphate and is safe to use around pets and wildlife.

• Kills Snails & Slugs
• Can be used around pets & wildlife
• Iron phosphate occurs naturally in soil
• Easy-to-use granular formulation
• Remains effective after rain or sprinkling
• May be used up to & including day of harvest

Gator Grabber Clean-Up Tool

Gator Grabber$35

The Gator Grabber is the ultimate back-saving clean-up tool that helps lift almost anything without bending or straining.

The telescoping steel handles adjust to any user and any task. Great for grabbing leaves, brush, rubbish, stones or logs. Use it in stables, too! The Gator Grabber features durable and powerful poly-fiber jaws with serrated inner ribs and close-fitting teeth that will grab any material.



Pond Shark, the all-in-one pond cleaning tool

Pond Shark$35

The Pond Shark is the ultimate 3-in-1 water gardening tool. It includes net, rake and scraper, and has a telescoping steel handle that adjusts to any user and any job.

The Pond Shark tears through unwanted pond scum, debris, and string algae and features a sturdy net as well as a tough and durable poly-fiber head.

FreezePruf Frost Protector

$16.99 (quart size)

FreezePruf is a water-based, eco-safe spray that enhances the plant’s natural mechanisms to resist freeze damage, shielding it from ice crystal damage, and increasing its ability to survive cold temperatures by reducing the freezing point of water inside the tissues of the plant.

A scientific-breakthrough – this non-toxic spray actually improves plants’ natural cold tolerance up to 9.4 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the variety of plant. Developed by botanists, FreezePruf™ protects the plant externally and systemically (throughout the plant) by enhancing both its natural “anti-freeze” like properties and its ability to survive ice crystal damage.

Simply spray liberally to the entire plant. The biodegradable formula is designed to resist washing away by rain or snow and one application lasts up to six weeks. For added protection, reapply as new growth appears.

Dr. Earth® Organic Fertilizers

$10.99 (4-lb.)

The nutrient content in each Dr. Earth product is formulated to provide the perfect nutrient ratio based on a plant’s needs. Nitrogen is derived from fish meal, cottonseed meal, alfalfa meal, fish bone meal and feather meal. Phosphorous comes from fish bone meal, cottonseed meal, alfalfa meal and soft rock phosphate. Potassium from kelp meal, cottonseed meal, alfalfa meal and mined potassium sulphate. The nutrients are released quickly as the beneficial soil microbes, present both in your soil and in the product, digest the ingredients. Dr. Earth works with the natural cycle of growth feeding plants steadily, the way nature intended it.

Dr. Earth fertilizer blends include both the nutrients your plants need and also Pro-Biotic™, seven champion strains of beneficial soil microbes plus Ecto and Endo-Mycorrhizae that provide a wide range of functions. These beneficial soil microbes help to breakdown organic material, making it more readily available for absorption by the plant roots.

As the organic material is broken down, humus is created. Humus increases the soils ability to absorb and retain water, reduce fertilizer loss caused by wind and water erosion. Humus helps to build a friable, workable and productive soil that is home to an abundance of macro and microorganisms.

Liquid Fence® Deer & Rabbit Repellent

$16.99 (quart)
$35 (gal.)
Concentrates available!

Fight back and protect your investment with Liquid Fence® Deer & Rabbit Repellent. Our all natural repellent will stop deer and rabbits from eating your flowers, shrubs, plants, trees and vines.

Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent is the environmentally safe and biodegradable solution to all your deer and rabbit problems. Best of all, this easy-to-use, long lasting spray is family and pet friendly so you can use it worry-free. And because it’s all natural, it doesn’t hurt the deer or rabbits!

• Safe for your plants and family – Environmentally safe and biodegradable
• Proven effective at repelling deer and rabbits – USDA field tested
• Easy-to-use – Just spray and your problems go away
• Long lasting and rain resistant – Finally, a hassle-free solution to deer and rabbit damage
• Worry-free deer and rabbit protection – Family and pet friendly
• Guaranteed – 100% Money-back Guarantee
• Member tested and recommended by the National Home Gardening Club!

Click the play button below to see The Liquid Fence Company commercial.
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Choosing The Right Wedding Flowers

Set the stage for a sunny summer wedding with vibrant colors and inspirations from the great outdoors…

Color palette: Bright and bold – hot pink and deep red or mango and fuschia; nautical – navy and white is a clean summer classic, accent with touches of yellow, red or gold; seaside – combine aqua with beige, peach or white.

Go casual – Summer weddings lend themselves to a casual décor scheme, fitting of a backyard barbecue. Think checked table clothes, benches, and picnic tables.

Go natural – Incorporate natural décor elements like fruits, vegetables, even insects (like ladybugs or dragonflies, not necessarily roaches!).

Get lit – Light up an outdoor evening reception with lanterns or torches.
Fruits – Fruits like lemons and limes look whimsical and chic when filled in tall clear vases.

For a beach look – Incorporate shells, sand, and sea glass in your arrangements.  Below is a gallery with some ideas what we can do with flowers!

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Summer Flowers In Season — Abundant flowers are always in style at a summer wedding. Use bright and cheerful blooms like sunflowers, peonies, hydrangea, mums, daisies, dahlias, zinnias, and roses. Or create a breezy, airy look with white on white – using roses, stephanotis, calla lilies, snowball mums and daisies – and incorporate a touch of blue – like blue hydrangea. Here is a top 10 Wedding flower list to help! Or Check this link @ theknot for a more in depth list of flowers. There are many resources on the internet that can help you figure out what will work for you!