Monday, June 25, 2018

After the slow start, the whole spring season seemed compressed and really flew by. I can't believe we're at our plant sale already. Although we're out of a number of varieties we still have quite a good selection. Perennials are buy 3, get one free (mix and match.) Annuals are half off.

It's official- this winter was really, really hard on lavenders. We've been out of lavender plants for a month, and that never happened so early before. I've heard various explanations. I think the windy, sub-zero weather at the beginning of the year, along with no snow cover, dried plants out. And plants like lavender, that holds its foliage, would dry out quickly.

With all the wet weather and muddy conditions, our garden work was also slow this spring. Now I think things are finally in pretty good shape. I'm starting to dry culinary herbs and also flowers like yarrow.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

May was a very busy month, even though the weather wasn't too cooperative. Thanks to all who came to the farm, even when it was cloudy or rainy. I think people were anxious to get their plants, so they could quickly plant them when the opportunity presented itself.

And, for the first time in several years, it did not rain either day during the Landis Valley Herb Faire! Lots of our local customers waved or stopped by to say hello and we were happy to see our LV regulars, plus lots of new faces, too.

Since Landis Valley, John and I have been playing catch up. It's been difficult getting the gardens in order and especially, getting plants in. We had a planting marathon this week and made good progress. The established perennials are certainly lush with all this rain. Things are really starting to look nice outside. Stop by and see the gardens and our selection of herbs and old-fashioned plants.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

We've waited a long time for signs of spring this year. After about ten days of indecision, both our forsythia and star magnolia burst into bloom with the recent warm weather.

The forsythia will hold up, but the delicate star magnolia petals will be shed in the upcoming rain and wind. The ground underneath the tree will look like it has snowed when all the petals drop.

One sign of spring still missing has been noted by several customers. We haven't gotten perennials moved out of the greenhouse yet. We had planned to do it the end of last week, but the forecast for rainy, windy weather put that on hold. We'll try again this week. This is one of the latest "move out" dates we've ever had.

There's new growth appearing in the gardens. However, I think woody stemmed plants took a major hit from the extremely cold, windy weather we had in January. Two of my sage plants are dead and so far, I see no signs of new growth on lavender or santolina. Time will tell. None of my outside rosemary plants survived the winter.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Saturday, February 24, 2018

After our brief warm up, I'm starting to see signs of spring. Outside, the pussy willows are showing.

And inside, planting has begun in earnest. This is a flat of newly planted echinacea or purple coneflower seedlings.

John was home so I had help for the first day of transplanting. We did all the first batch of seedlings that were ready and also did a few of the perennial plugs I have ordered. Most of the plugs I order are for specific varieties of plants, like lavender, some sages and rosemary that cannot be grown from seed.

As the winter winds down, it's always exciting to see plants in the greenhouse again.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Some winter weather, a warm up for a few days, more winter weather and another warm up. The February roller coaster is in full swing. Ice can be quite hard on garden plants, but it certainly makes everything look like a glistening fairy land.

When the weather is discouraging, I focus on spring. The number of flats of seedlings in the basement is increasing. The combination of cooler temperatures in the basement and being under the lights produces nice, stocky seedlings.

And I received my spring order of pots and soil. After warming up in the greenhouse, I can start filling flats of pots with soil so they will be ready at transplanting time. The smell of warm soil early in the season is a real treat - another indication that spring is coming.

Winter hours for the shop are Thursday-Saturday from 9am to 5pm.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

I have given up hope that my outside rosemary plants have survived. After the New Year's cold snap, I held out hope for one plant. It still had green leaves at the bottom and the inside of the plant. But after the second round of cold temperatures, it looks completely brown and dead. I've had outside rosemary plants survive two winters fairly regularly, but never had one make it through three winters. I'll just keep trying. Last year, my creeping rosemary made it through the winter and that was a first.

But I have seen some signs of spring when I was out. I saw a few tiny springs of green lemon balm in the garden. Salad burnet still has green foliage. And check out the witch hazel flowers. I know they're small, but you have to love any plant that can bloom in the middle of winter!

I can watch our progression towards spring inside, too. The first batch of seedlings is growing on nicely under lights. The second batch has just germinated. Now, I've reached the point where I start seeds every week. Not a lot at first, but each week the numbers grow. Happiness is seeing seedlings growing in winter!