Monday, March 29, 2010

NEW plants for 2010

Kent Beauty oregano
Origanum rotundifolium ‘Kent Beauty’
Like oregano ‘Herrenhausen’, this plant is ornamental rather than culinary and is grown particularly for its attractive flowers. The blooms resemble hops strobiles, and ripen from green to pinky-purple. Replaces dittany of crete, with similar flowers, but ‘Kent Beauty’ is perennial in Zone 6. (18” P)

Paris rosemaryRosmarinus officinalis ‘Paris’
It’s not often that I try a plant based on one line in a catalog, but here’s an example. The supplier claims ‘Paris’ is the most frost hardy variety yet. I’ve had many conversations about rosemary’s hardiness and I believe it depends primarily on weather. Extended winter cold will kill off even the hardier varieties. However, here’s another choice (along with ‘Arp’ and ‘Hill Hardy’)—if you want to try maintaining a rosemary outside for more than one season. (up to 48” TP)

Bitter Lemon scented geraniumPelargonium x citronellum ‘Bitter Lemon’
This fragrant variety is a descendent of the cultivar ‘Mabel Grey’ with an upright habit, large toothed leaf and pinkish-purple blooms. Popular fragrance in a form different from most lemon geraniums. (24”+ TP)

Cosmos ‘Rose Bonbon’
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Rose Bonbon’
A very showy variety of an old garden favorite. Cosmos are tall, easy to grow and bloom abundantly. This double form produces rose pink flowers that more closely resemble an English rose or peony. Great cut flowers and attracts butterflies, too. (24”-36” A)

DianthusDianthus superbus ‘Crimsonia’
Many of you know of my passion for the old-fashioned perennial dianthus or clove pinks. Their spicy-sweet fragrance is heavenly. Here’s a new color which is reported to be equally fragrant. Rich crimson color with deeply cut, fringed petals. (15”-20” P)

Friday, March 26, 2010


Lemon grass is an attractive and useful plant native to southeast Asia. It’s often paired with meat and fish in Thai cooking. It forms a large, grassy clump that’s an attractive addition to the garden. The blades have sharp edges and should be used only for tea. As the season progresses, the base of the stalks become bulbous. Break off a stalk at ground level and slice the rounded base for use in cooking.

Lemon grass is not winter hardy in temperate areas, but is easy to overwinter in a pot. Plant in a 10”-12” diameter pot with lightweight potting soil. Maintain throughout the summer. Before frost, cut back foliage in a fan shape. The plant goes dormant for the winter. It requires little light and just enough water to keep the roots alive. (water every 3-4 weeks.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010



There’s an old song with the lyrics “Some days are diamonds, some days are stones.” The same could be said about winter seasons. Some slide by quickly, without much inclement weather and produce occasional spring-like days. Others are a cold, hard, snowy slog toward spring. This winter was definitely the latter. Luckily starting seeds helps me maintain my sanity throughout the winter. Seeding flats, waiting for them to germinate and watching them grow under lights is proof positive that spring is approaching. Tending the seedlings as the inventory grows eases me into the spring routine. Before I know it, the greenhouses are full and another spring season is underway. Won’t we be thankful for that this year!

Each spring sees the arrival of some new varieties and this year happily, the return of some favorites that were temporarily out of stock.

Our spring open house will be held Friday and Saturday, April 23 & 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nearly all plant varieties are available by then and we’ll have open house specials in both the shop and greenhouse. Don’t forget to mark May 7 & 8 on your calendar for the Landis Valley Herb Faire.

Also, check out our spring class schedule. I bet there’s at least one topic that interests you. Bring a friend and spend an enjoyable, informative evening with us.

Class Schedule

AROMATHERAPY: Thursday, April 15, 7 p.m. $20.00
Learn about the therapeutic properties of essential oils; for example, oils to energize, relax or to balance your mood. Easy ways to incorporate essential oils in your life. Includes samples of 2 oils.

WILDLIFE IN YOUR GARDEN: Thursday, May 13, 7 p.m. $15.00
In times of shrinking habitat, your garden can support butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds. Learn about host and nectar plants, butterfly life cycles and garden maintenance that encourages pollinators to visit. Free plant included.

COOKING WITH DILL, BASIL AND THYME: Thursday, June 3, 7 p.m. $20.00
Learn to grow, maintain and use the herb of the year and two more culinary favorites. Growing and cooking tips, lots of recipes plus make an herb butter to enjoy at home. Choose one of the highlighted plants for your garden.

LEAF PRINTING: Thursday, June 17, 7 p.m. $20.00
Use simple materials—a variety of leaves and acrylic paints to create a unique printed treasure. Print a small bag and a notecard—all materials provided. Bring an additional prewashed 50% cotton item to print if you like.

Classes are limited in size, so please register early. Your payment is your reservation and is due in full when registering. If you’re unable to attend, you may send a substitute in your place. Complete the attached registration form.

Make checks payable and mail to: Cloverleaf Herb Farm, 1532 Cloverleaf Road, Mount Joy, PA 17552