Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What flowers are good to dry?

The easiest flowers to air dry are those with a papery feel even while growing. Globe amaranth has clover- like flowers in a mix of purple, pink and white and also a red form. Both kinds work well in wreaths and arrangements.

Celosia has either spike or large crested flowers usually in rich colors. We offer two types of yarrow suitable for drying—gold, which adds a bright note to arrangements and ‘The Pearl’ with small clear white flowers excellent as filler.

Annual statice in rose, white, lavender and dark blue is versatile and holds its color very well over time. Fragrant choices include lavender and sweet annie (excellent for wreath bases). Other plants worth drying include eucalyptus and euphorbia (foliage), love-in-a-mist (seedpods), mexican bush sage, kent beauty oregano, zinnia, bells of Ireland, love-lies-bleeding, emilia, cornflower and bee balm (flowers).

Join us for our spring open house Friday and Saturday, April 27 & 28 from 9 to 5. Plant specials, herbal refreshments, prize drawings.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


The herb of the year for 2012 is rose. With hundreds of varieties, plus colors, fragrances and herbal uses, this is certain to be a popular choice.

The attractions of roses are numerous. Climbing roses can cover pergolas or arbors. Beautiful, fragrant roses are the ultimate cut flowers. Their scent can be found in hundreds of fragrant products. Even their hips are ornamental and useful.

Updating new plants from last season:

Achillea: ‘The Pearl’ – A perennial blooming the first year with small, white baby’s breath like flowers, but with the growing ease of yarrow. Flowers are great dried or with cut flowers as airy filler.

Anemone ‘Robustissima’ – A beautiful complement to the white form. Single pink flowers bloom late summer and fall. Produces a clump which increases in size each year.

Basil ‘Thai Magic’ – Attractive and vigorous basil with licorice scent favored in eastern cooking. Attractive purple flower spikes.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Several times each year customers lament, “I can’t grow that, my yard has too much shade.” Starting with a new landscape usually means full sun, making homeowners anxious to plant trees to provide much needed shade. Years pass, trees grow and grow and soon that nice sunny yard is enveloped in shade.

If you have a young landscape and wish to grow herbs, vegetables, roses or sun loving ornamentals, dedicate a portion of your yard to full sun growing. Plant trees and large shrubs far enough away to ensure that this area will receive 6-8 hours of sun per day.

Having a shady yard doesn’t mean having a plain or unattractive yard. There are ornamental, shade-loving plants—some flowering, some fragrant, some with great foliage—but not as many as in the sun loving group. For early spring color, think about bulbs. Most flower before trees leaf out, so they can work in shady areas. Some herbs, like parsley, mints, chervil, cutting celery, feverfew, burnet, tarragon and lovage, will tolerate part shade. If you plant sun loving herbs in containers and move them to follow the sun, even basil, thyme, rosemary and sage can thrive. Remember to fertilize container herbs regularly throughout the growing season. Here are some outstanding ornamental plants for shade:

Bleeding heart – A popular throwback to Grandma’s garden, blooming in early spring with heart-shaped pink blossoms on arching sprays over dark green foliage. Dies back in summer.

Sweet cicely – An herb that prefers shade. Finely cut fern-like foliage with a flat-headed white flower and licorice scent.

Foamflower – Beautiful, dark-marked leaves and pink-white flower spikes in spring. Good coverage for a woodland setting without being invasive.

Foxglove – Foliage only in year one and tall, stately flowers in a spike year two. Allow to reseed for yearly bloom. All parts toxic.

Lady’s mantle – Beautiful scalloped foliage in a mound, with airy yellow-green flowers similar to baby’s breath. Good cut flower filler.

Nicotiana – A reliably reseeding annual with tubular, white flowers, fragrant at night. Plant near a seating area used in the evening.

Sweet woodruff – A shade loving herbal groundcover. Whorls of leaves topped in early spring by small white flowers. Flowers used to flavor May wine.

Anemone – Late season standout, pink or white blooms similar to a single rose on tall, wiry stem. Nice cut flower.

More shade lovers – irish moss, dame’s rocket, angelica, lily-of-the-valley, columbine and forget-me-not.