Nothing beats a toasty fire to chase away those cold Winter blahs!

Hi Everybody,

Nothing beats a toasty fire to chase away those cold Winter blahs!

When you’re stocking up on firewood, be aware that you may be getting more than just a stack of wood for the fireplace. Since most trees that are cut for firewood are already stressed by disease, they may harbor contagious organisms or dangerous insect pests. The USDA has launched a campaign to raise awareness and slow the transport of insect pests and diseases that may be lurking in firewood. Interstate shipments of wood may unwittingly carry some dangerous pests from one locale to another far away location. Hitching a ride allows the insect and disease to infest new areas quickly.

A good rule of thumb: be wary of any firewood that originates more than 50 miles from the point of sale.

This is a great time to buy local!

One of these pests, the Emerald Ash Borer, is already devastating forests in the Northeast.

The Asian Long Horned Beetle caused dramatic losses of trees in the urban parks of Hudson County and nearby areas.

Down south, in the Pine Barrens, the Southern Pine Beetle has been documented as the cause of the destruction of 14,000 acres of woodlands.

Similar outbreaks in the past caused the Chestnut Blight, and Dutch Elm Disease which wiped out both of those tree populations.

Here’s a link to a great resource to read about this topic and others that concern our environment.

The Philadelphia Flower Show”

Springtime in Paris” March 6 – 13

The Philadelphia Flower Show, started in 1829, is the largest indoor flower exhibit in the world.

The Horticultural Therapy Exhibit will be present for the second year in a row. Its first appearance in 2010, was sponsored by the Mid Atlantic Regional Horticultural Therapy Network (MAHTN) and won 2 awards:

The Award of Distinction for first-time presence by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

The Herb display by the Pennsylvania Herb Society.

The pilot program of Horticultural Therapy that I initiated at the Anderson House for women in recovery was selected to be included in the Power Point broadcast, “Passport to Healing”.

This year the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA) has taken full sponsorship of the exhibit, which will transform a Paris backyard into a barrier-free, accessible, Horticultural Therapy garden.Horticultural Therapy uses plants as tools for rehabilitation of the broad spectrum of special-needs populations under the direction of a certified horticultural therapist.

Look for my article about the HT exhibit in the February edition of the Gardener News. AHTA Executive Director, Martha Heinz granted me an interview for the column, on New Years Eve!

For help with your plantscape or garden questions, please contact me.

You can reach me by phone at 908 872-8387, by e-mail at, or stop by the website,

Warm Thoughts for a Happy Winter!

LauraFinal Touch Plantscaping, LLC is a certified member of the New Jersey Small Business Development Council

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