Mahoney’s Blog

How "green" are cut trees for Christmas? Turns out, very.

Dec8th 2010

by Guest Blogger Jade L. Blackwater, co-author of Festival of the Trees

While perusing Christmas trees at my local tree farm this season, I heard an ecstatic boy in the next row over scream, “Look Daddy!!  REAL Christmas trees!”  Perhaps he was just an overzealous five-year-old, whose sense of memory ended at three days ago, thereby negating all memories of Christmas past.  Or perhaps this boy truly never had the pleasure of a “real” Christmas tree in his home.

Folks who...

Book Review from Carol Stocker: Paradise Under Glass

Dec7th 2010

by Special Guest Blogger Carol Stocker, Boston Globe Garden Writer
Ruth Kassinger has written my favorite gardening book of the year (so far). This is the story of a homeowner who started with zero gardening knowledge, but built a lush plant conservatory onto her Maryland home that became a center for family life, entertaining, and most importantly her own revitalization after a bout with cancer.

Ruth Kassinger had been hit hard by her sister's cancer death at 45, followed closely by her own...

10 Bragging Points about Mahoney's-Grown Christmas Trees

Dec5th 2010

At our Brighton store everyone's pretty excited about the arrival of the trees!

After 51 years of growing them ourselves, we think we've learned a thing or two.  Here's why we're so proud of them:

  1. We inspect every tree for color, shape, density and health. If it’s not up to Mahoney’s standards, we won’t sell it.
  2. Most retailers have their trees cut in early October, but we wait to harvest until mid November. Our trees are over a month...

Poinsettias - Yes, they come in Blue

Dec3rd 20102 comments

The poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima, has become synonymous with the Christmas holiday.  Since its introduction to the United States in the 1800's by Joel Poinsett, the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, it has evolved from its humble beginnings as a rather rangy plant in basic scarlet red to the wide variety of compact, colorful choices available today at the garden center. 

Poinsettias do contain a milky sap which can be a...

Topiary Artist Pearl Fryar and the Movie He Stars In

Nov29th 20101 comment

First, if you haven’t seen the documentary A Man Named Pearl, you’re in for a treat – even if you’re not (yet) a fan of topiary.  It's "the inspiring story of self-taught topiary artist Pearl Fryar....It offers an upbeat message that speaks to respect for both self and others, and shows what one person can achieve when he allows himself to share the full expression of his humanity."   I have to agree with that PR language from the website because watching the 66-year-old (at the time...

The last color- Rhododendron mucronulatum 'Cornell Pink'

Nov26th 20101 comment

The last bit of color in the garden coincides nicely with the Thanksgiving Day holiday. The landscape is turning shades of gray and brown as the leaves litter the ground and the bare tree branches form outlines against the sky. There is one shrub, the Korean rhododendron, which brightens the back corner of the garden and has been a reliable bit of late color for the past six years. It is worth noting because it's the very last of the shrubs in the border to lose its leaves and also...

Edible Landscaping Update is a Winner!

Nov22nd 20101 comment

Rosalind Creasy is the undisputed high priestess of growing food - beautifully.  Her publisher calls her 1982 Edible Landscaping a "groundbreaking classic" and that's no exaggeration. 

But it's high time for an update, and let's start with Ros herself.  She's taken it upon herself to create and document photographically as many beautiful ways to grow food as she could cram into her front yard after ripping up the lawn.  It's her only sunny spot and she was determinerd...

Meet our Brighton Manager, James Hohmann

Nov17th 2010

James Hohmann is the general manager of our Brighton (formerly Cambridge) store.  He's been with Mahoney’s Garden Centers since 1990, after graduating from Cornell University, where he studied landscape architecture and horticulture. His expertise is in perennials, annuals, trees, shrubs, and design.

His garden designs have won many Massachusetts Horticultural Society awards and gold medals, Allen Haskell awards, Arnold Arboretum awards, and...