Friday, April 26, 2013

Spring is Here! Open House!

We waited and waited - spring has finally sprung - and quickly!

After out-waiting what seemed to be an endless winter, a few really warm days have blasted us into spring.

Both our star magnolia and forsythia went from barely showing any color to fully blooming in about four days! Even John commented on the magnolia~it was like a magician threw a magic scarf over it, repeated a few magic words and when he whipped the scarf off, Ta~Da - a tree in full bloom. The same thing in the gardens. I've been looking for weeks for signs of new growth and saw a few, but coming along very slowly. Then the warm weather and when we starting cleaning up the gardens, all kinds of new growth had emerged.

I finally got our perennial plants moved outside on april 3. That‘s fairly late~usually we try to have them moved outside by the time the greenhouse opens. But since we were still having nighttime temps in the 20's the first week of April, we had to wait.  I’m still working on potting the later crops of annuals. The first ones are sizing up nicely and should look good in May.

l'm so impressed with our customers. Those that came during the warm spell all said, "l know it’s too early to plant a lot of things, but” and most picked out a few perennials to have something to get them started. Some customers like to just come, get a plant list and stroll around to give them ideas and tide themselves over till the weather moderates. It used to drive me nuts when I worked in garden centers and they‘d have stuff out for sale 2 months before you could safely plant it.

l caught myself thinking I was behind schedule when the Warm weather hit. Then I remembered it was just the beginning of April, no matter what the temperature said. I thought some of the plants in the greenhouse were small, but all it takes is a few warm and sunny days and everything just pops.

Our Open House will he held Friday & Saturday April 26 and 27 from 9am to 5pm.

Landis Valley Herb Faire is May 10 & 11.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Weather (?)

l laughed while reading the weather section in the newspaper. It talked about a cold snap damaging peach buds down south. The funny part was the ending -"Most people look forward to spring mildness as soon as the season begins." That‘s an understatement. The calendar says spring and it feels like spring workwise, but the weather certainly isn’t cooperating this year. Even John is complaining about the continued cold weather. I asked if he wanted to put down the skids next to the greenhouse and he said no, too early, He was right, since we had that couple inches of snow and we had to shovel by the greenhouses.

But inside, it's really looking like spring. The greenhouses are rapidly filling up. l’m potting each new batch of seedlings as they mature, and dividing perennial stock plants. They say cool nights make for sturdy, stocky plants so that‘s a benefit.

I see a few things pushing new growth in the gardens, but not as much as I would generally see. Chives have had new, green shoots for about a month. l see new growth on burnet and sorrel and snaps. Our star magnolia has big, fuzzy buds. The flowers usually bloom in April. I'm hoping they don't start too early this year. Magnolia flowers are always susceptible to spring freezes. There's not much sadder, horticulturally speaking, than a magnolia full of blooms blackened by a late freeze. Keeping my fingers crossed.

The continued cold weather has reminded people that's it*s too early for planting yet. I had to discourage a few people who came in mid-March and Wanted to buy plants that had just been potted. They're happy in the greenhouse for now. Sometimes, people want to take home baby plants and keep them inside a month or so. I always point out that they*ll size up much better in the greenhouse‘s ideal conditions. Not only are baby animals irresistible, baby plants are too!

Greenhouse officially opens TOMORROW - April 2. 

Think spring?