Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Time Out

Taking in the view:

Ah, spring.  No one knows when it's flower season better than Donny the goat!  Thanks to his (deserved) reputation for enjoying the flowers a little too much, each spring he finds himself restricted to the barn.  Maybe next year he'll figure it out!

-Anna Mary

Outstanding: Mighty 'Matos!

Each season there's something new that tries to catch our attention. Actually, there's usually so many new plants that we get a little overwhelmed!  In the sea of all things new for 2013, there are two plants that have managed to stand out from the rest:  Lavender Phenomenal (more to come on that later!) and Mighty 'Mato grafted tomatoes.

We are super excited for the Mighty 'Matos and have very high expectations for these little guys.  They have a great reputation for their productivity and flavor- that's where the grafting comes in.  A grafted tomato begins as two plants:   one which will be used as the rootstock (the bottom or root system of the plant) and one to be used as the scion (the fruit-bearing top of the plant).  In the case of Mighty 'Mato, the rootstock comes from their trademarked SuperNatural rootstock.  The rootstock and scion are then grafted together and are able to fuse and heal into one plant.

The benefits of these grafted vegetables allow growers to get the best of both worlds:  A strong, disease-resistant root system combined with exceptionally productive plants and sizeable, tasty tomatoes!  Who could ask for more?

Most importantly:  In order reap the benefits of the graft, its integrity needs to be maintained!  When planting, the graft CANNOT be buried.  But don't stress out too much, each plant comes with easy instructions!

We're so excited to try some of the unique types of Mighty 'Matos! Each of the types we have chosen to grow are known for their excellent flavor:

Grafted Brandywine:  An heirloom type.  Expected to produce one to two pound beefsteaks.

Grafted Chocolate Stripes:  Add some color to your salads!  Striped skin in green and scarlet.

Grafted Amish Paste:  An heirloom type.  Great for cooking, sauce and canning.

Grafted Bumblebee Purple:  A unique striped cherry type tomato with a great name, too!

Grafted Mortgage Lifter:  An heirloom type.  Known for it's productivity.

Also!  Grafted Big Bertha Pepper:  Will produce bell peppers up to seven inches long!

If you're curious to read more go to:  So as you're contemplating your summer garden, don't forget to ask yourself... "To graft, or not to graft?"  This year, that is the question!

-Anna Mary

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Is It Time Yet?

Spring is here and we're all itching to get planting!  The greenhouse is open for retail, the plants have doubled in size, the weather has been (mostly) warm, and we just feel ready.   

But is it time yet?  


... And yes!

While many plants will not tolerate the lower temperatures of early spring, there are plenty that will.  Some of our favorite "cold-tolerant" plants are also sun-lovers that will stick with you through the summer heat. Take a look:

This basket is made up of two pots of Confetti Mix Kir Royal:  a trio of Callibrachoa Aloha Pink, Verbena Empress Flair Violet Blue, and Potunia Blackberry Ice Petunia.   The Confetti concept itself is pretty neat, three plants in one!  More importantly, this combo can take the cooler weather AND a sunny summer afternoon.

One of my personal picks, our own combo of Potunia Neon Petunia, Frosty Knight Lobularia, and Goldilocks Lysmachia (Creeping Jenny). It can tolerate the varying temperatures from spring through summer.  No need to replace anything here!

Favorite Cold Tolerant & Heat Tolerant Plants:

Callibrachoa- So many colors to choose from!  Superbells Cherry Star and Lemon slice are especially fun.
Gaura- The best of both worlds: pretty and durable.
Lobelia- Beautiful blues!
Lobularia (alyssum)- Proven Winner has added two new lobularias this year: Blushing Princess and Frosty Knight.
Lysmachia Goldilocks (Creeping Jenny)- A great pop of color!  Can you ever go wrong with chartreuse?
Nemesia- Full of dainty flowers!
Petunias- We especially love the "Potunias" and Supertunias.
Phlox- Intensia Cabernet gives you great electric color.
Sedum Lemon Coral- A fun way to add some texture.
Verbena- In a rainbow of colors.  Twister Pink is almost irresistible.

We've seen these plants span the seasons!  Remember, the traditional "frost-free" date is Mother's Day.  While these particular plants are able to tolerate cooler weather, they are in no way frost- or freeze-tolerant.  Keep an eye on the weather and protect your plants if the forecast indicates a chance of frost.

Oh, and wait until Mother's Day to plant your coleus!

-Anna Mary

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Here We Go Again!

It's begun- we're officially open for Spring 2013 Retail!  A huge "Thank You!" to everyone who made it out for our first-ever Garden Party this morning.  Hopefully you enjoyed it as much as we did!  

A few of my favorite things today:

We rarely take group shots and even this one is incomplete.  We're missing the guys and we're missing Miriam.  The guys don't have a great excuse for their absence, they were looking on.  Miriam, however, does- she's studying abroad in Chile!

A ladle dripping with a tiny sedum.

Some of our featured plants from the Garden Gallery:   Lobularia Frosty Knight and Blushing Princess.

One of Stacey's beautiful creations.  Who can resist that green?

In between baking muffins to serve this morning and working in the greenhouse, Aunt Cin was able to stamp out some adorable herb markers!

"It didn't occur to me that gardening, like music, could demand practice, patience, a willingness to make mistakes."  -Amy Stewart.  

Love that piano!

-Anna Mary

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Everything's Coming Up Roses!

Well, almost.  "Everything's Coming Up Ranunculus" doesn't quite have that ring to it...

Friday, April 5, 2013

Taking It All In

"Greenhouse #1", or "Number One" but, usually just "One" is the name of this greenhouse.  It was the first greenhouse built on the farm, is always the first to be planted and is always the first full of color.  And right now there's quite a hodge-podge of plants.  Cold-tolerant annuals are coming into prime, the first of the Gerberas are blooming, hanging baskets are filling out, and the back of the greenhouse is packed full of perennials.  So much to take in!

In the middle of this colorful wonderland a few things especially caught my eye this morning:

The first of the Gerberas!  The first few flowers are a cheerful sight in a sea of green foliage.

Wow!  The how perfect is this color combo?  And the names of these Heuchera are just as great as their colors:  Lime Rickey, Georgia Peach, and Midnight Rose.  Hard to resist!

Speaking of color AND great names, Superbells Cherry Star is impossible to ignore right now.  And this is only a tiny piece of one greenhouse- so much to see!

-Anna Mary

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Get In Touch

Whew!  It's greenhouse season, and in our vocabulary that's synonymous with BUSY.  You may have noticed that we are no longer including our phone number on our postcards and that we have taken it off of this blog.  Why?  To be honest, we just get too busy to answer the phone and return calls.  My apologies if you've ever tried to get in touch with us and couldn't.  (And if you could?  Luck was on your side!)

So here's our solution:  email!  If you've got something to ask or tell us, this is the best way to do it:

You can count on a response from me ASARP (As Soon As Reasonably Possible).  If that changes for any reason, I'll update it here.  

Happy emailing!

-Anna Mary

P.S.  A fun way to keep tabs on what we're up to is to "subscribe" to this blog.  It's easy!  Just enter your email address in the box to the right.  You'll receive an automatic update whenever there's a new post.  (Please note that subscribing to the blog is different than joining the mailing list.)  Thanks for reading!