Sunday, December 16, 2018

Thanks to everyone who came out for our recent holiday open house. Turnout was great and the twentieth anniversary sale was a big success. We were happy to show our appreciation to all the loyal customers who have supported us for the last twenty years.

The greenhouse and shop are open Tuesday-Saturday from 9am to 5pm through December 22. After a holiday break, the shop will reopen January 10 and will be open Thursday,  Friday, and Saturday from 9am to 5pm during January, February and March.

Happy holidays to everyone!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Since summer was a wash out, it's been nice to enjoy some pleasant fall days. The leaves finally changed, although most of the color came in November, rather than October.

There are also some late season plants to still enjoy in the garden. One of my favorites is Mexican bush sage. It's not hardy here in zone 6, but is worth planting each year. The flowers come in late summer and bloom until frost. They are a lovely, purple color, with a fuzzy texture and are long lasting in the garden. The flowers also dry well.

Other than final fall clean up, I've turned to inside pursuits. The shop is restocked and I've been working on holiday arrangements. All this is in anticipation of our holiday open house on Friday and Saturday, November 30 and December 1 from 9am to 5pm. The shop will be filled with herbal and gift items and we will offer live topiaries and a few potted culinary herbs in the greenhouse. During our open house, our 20th anniversary sale will offer a 20% discount on purchases over $20.
Hope you can join us then!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

I think we have finally recovered from our incredibly wet summer. The gardens dried out and wound up looking pretty good at the end of the season. It seemed strange to be doing work in October that should have been done in August or September.

Some plants thrived and others struggled. The hyacinth bean vines outside the shop were luxuriant from all the moisture.

After producing just a huge mound of foliage throughout most of the summer, nasturtiums burst into bloom late in the season.

Some lavenders look fine, but others have struggled. Hopefully, the winter weather will not be too drastic and will give them a chance to recover.

Now, I'm turning my attention inside and preparing the shop for the holidays and working on the fall newsletter, which will be out in the first part of November.

No plants at the present, but we will have a few varieties of potted culinary herbs between Thanksgiving and Christmas , along with live topiaries.

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!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

With the extremely cold weather, I'm glad there's some snow to provide insulation to the plants in the gardens and the stock plants that are buried in what serves as our vegetable garden in the summer. Cold temperatures and high winds without any type of protection are very hard on plants, particularly those that hold their foliage in the winter.

I'm preparing myself to lose my large outside rosemary plant. It has survived two winters, but I'm afraid this cold snap will do it in. The larger the plant, the larger the root systems, which gives it a better chance of survival. But an extended period of cold, like this one, usually means the end of the plant.

On a springy note, my first batch of pansy seeds have germinated. So spring is just around the corner!

Due to the extremely cold weather, we have delayed the opening of the shop. Beginning January 11, the shop will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9am to 5pm.