Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Choosing Color for your Wedding

While I'm partial to the flowers in bloom at the moment. We'll work with any color pallet. Here's an excellent website to help you choose. Also check our suggested color combinations using our local flowers, at our website. Suggested flower combinations by season

'Ordering in' pewter colored Dusty Miller in the spring for example will add to your cost. So keep seasonal availability in mind when putting your wedding together.
blossom hues
underwater brights

Monday, December 12, 2011

Early Winter Work

Dahlia 'Lagoon' 

Dahlias in the field
People often ask what we do in the winter. I try not to reply like they assume we take it easy. Yet the list is overwhelming. We start with fall clean up, perennials are put to bed, greenhouse tightened plants covered, more perennials and bulbs planted, the 1st  ranunculus are sprouted, all the dahlias must either be dug and divided or in protection for overwintering, the tulips to be planted this year ~ 1000.

My short version. I won't mention catching up on paperwork or house cleaning so not to bore you. I've added a handful the dahlia work photos. We try to grow ~ 500 each year to have a good selection for our customers.
After Dahlias are dug, they are washed and dried in preparation for division
We stack the dahlias in crates, before and after division, they must cure before storage
Dahlia tubers after division, some years they freeze before we can dig them all
Many are compost, sad but true
Our Calla lilies are stored in the work room too

What we hope they will look like next season

We make dried wreaths for the Holidays, each needs to be carefully stored
In December we are still enjoying our sweet peppers

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gina and Richard August 13,

We grew these callas just for Gina. Happily it all came together on schedule. The blue viburnums had peaked in late July so I used blue dogwood instead and you will see blue Elderberry in the vases arrangements. Beautiful photos Gina! Thanks for sharing.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall Planting Specials

Seeds and Bare root Plants can be delivered to ASCFG Meeting November 8-10, 2011

  • Ironweed plants large plants ~ 2gal size $10
  • Ironweed seed - pill bottle full
  •   Upland Ironweed - earlier blooms, shorter @ 4’  $5   
  • Alstromeria ‘Laura’ yellow/gold (Sweet Laura) 30”, spreading will require netting,  gal. Size BR clump $5
  • Giant Solomons Seal - rhizomes like an Iris, small-medium size pieces, more than 2-4 eyes $3
  • Giant Solomons Seal - berries (seed) by the 1/3 cup-$6                         
  • Red Rugosa Rose- Red Pavement, large suckering shrub, rooted suckers, many blooms throughout the summer -$5
  • Kerria japonica 'Pleniflora - double yellow blooms very early, dug divisions, green twigs for Autumn/ Winter - $5
  • Dahlia Duet- standard division or larger, two tubers or more, Red and white 2-tone -$2
  • Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ clear yellow perennial sunflower 5’ spreads, does require foliar care, gal. size div.  $3
  • Baptisia ‘Solar Flare‘
  •   nice yellow, spring, with handsome foliage -  $6
  • Aster novae angliae ‘Alma Poetschke’
  •   hot pink New England Aster,  3-4‘ ht. Large clump BR $6
  • Filenpendula rubra ‘Venusta’ Queen of the Prairie, rhizome like roots 4’ ht. Spreading, light pink- $2
  • Phlox paniculata ‘David’ pure white mildew resistant, gal. Size clumps BR  - $5
  • Shasta ‘Becky’ tall 3’ standard shasta for cutting, spreads, disease free, 1 gal. Size clumps - $4
Sweet Laura Alstroemeria

Astilbe 'Bridal Veil' - white, 28" smaller divisions suitable for qt. pots or a nursery bed 1.25 each
Astilbe 'August Light' - red, 28" smaller divisions suitable for qt. pots or a nursery bed 1.25 each

Little Lamb
& Limelight Hydrangea

Advantages of planting in the fall include: larger plants, plant sales and less stress on the plant itself. Your memory will also be fresh about those pesky holes in the perennial border or the period of summer you don't have flowers. So to make it easier we are offering a rare sale on some of our plants at the nursery. For those of you going to the ASCFG Conference we will bring orders to you!

1/2 Price on the following pot grown shrubs and perennials 
Boltonia asteroides
Boltonia asteroides 1 gal.  now 3.50
Shasta Becky with Echinacea
Shasta 'Becky'        1 gal.  now 3.50
Scabiosa Butterfly Blue
Scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue' 1 gal. now 3.50
Lilac purple            2 gal.  now 7.50
Lilac Hungarian     2 gal.  now 7.50
Hydrangea 'Little Lamb' 1 gal.  now 7.00, 2 gal. now 8.00
Hydrangea 'PeeGee'       2 gal.  now 7.00- 3 year plants
Thermopsis Sophia
Thermopsis 'Sophia'       1 gal.  now 3.50
Red Currant          2 gal.  now  7.00
Black Currant       2 gal.  now  7.00
Elderberry             1 gal.  now 3.50

Also Available in pots @ some discount:
Limelight Hydrangea                     2gal. now 12.00
Achillea 'Strawberry Seduction' yarrow deep red   Qt. - now 5.00

Alostroemeria ‘Inca Ice’ pale pink, new in 3” pots,  $8 (5) available                                                                   

Aruncus 'Misty Lace' Dwarf Goat's Beard             2Qt.- now 5.00
Anemone 'Honorine Jobert'
Anemone 'Honorine Jobert'  Qt.    6.00
Anemone robustisima
Anemone 'Robustissima'      Qt.    6.00
Peppermint                           Qt.    4.00
Chocolate Mint                     Qt.   4.00 (2 available)
Muhly Grass
Muhly Grass -native           5"pot  5.00
Bartzella Peony
Itoh Peony 'Bartzella- bare-root 36.00 large roots (8 available) tags available
Herbaceous Peony 'Kansas' bareroot 10.00 2-3 eye

Hypericum 'Jacqueline'
Hypericum 'Jacqueline'      1 gal. now 9.00 red berries hardy to at least zone 6 from Aris inc.
Lemon Thyme                   1 gal. 7.00 - variegated leaf now 6.00
Lavender 'Munstead'         1 gal. 7.00 now $6.00
Lavender ' Hidcote'             Qt. 6.00 now  $5.00
Rosemary 'Arp'               2 Qt.  7.00 now  $6.00
Eryngium 'Blue Glitter'       Qt. 5.00
Chrysanthemum ' Rhumba'  salmon very hardy 24-30"ht. 1 gal pot 7.00, now $5.00 -2 years old
Chrysanthemum 'Venus'  very tall very hardy single pink daisy mum October bloom 1gal. now 5.00
Clematis ternifolia Sweet Autumn Clematis 1 gal. 10.00 now 7.00
Clematis ternifolia

Clethra a. 'Vanilla Spice' taller with a larger flower than 'Hummingbird' 2 years old 1gal. plants  15.00 now 9.00. Proven Winner with tag, of course.
Garlic Chives - white bloom mid summer 3" pots 5.00
Garlic Chives
  Winterberry Holly: Female - Winter Red 2Qt. pot 2 years old 7.00 (3)
                                 Male for Winter Red Southern Gentleman 2 Qt. 7.00
                                 Male for 'Nice Berry' etc. 'Jim Dandy'       2 Qt. 7.00
Lathyrus latifolius Perennial Sweet Pea 'Eversweet mix'  4" pot 1 y.o. from seed 4.00

Monarda didyma 'Raspberry Wine' 2 year plants 1 gal. pots 7.00 now 6.00

Rosa rugosa from seed- 2 year old, 2 Qt. pots should be heirloom reds/ magenta 8.00, now 6.00 
Symphoricarpos - Snowberry 'Amethyst' - proven winner 2 qt. pot,  2 year plants  15.00, now 10.00
Symphoricarpos alba- White Snowberry 8"mum pot, 1 year plants, 15.00, now 12.00
Viburnum opulus sterile 1gal. now 8.00
Viburnum trilobum American Cranberry to 10'ht  1 gal. now 8.00
More recently potted: not fully rooted in the pots, but hardy perennials to try, for cut flowers:
Linaria alba ''Springside White' 6" 5.00- blooming size
Physostegia virginiana 'Crystal Peak White', spreads,  6" pot, now 5.00

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bridal Bouquets and Peonies

Bridal Bouquet early June
If you want lovely luxurious peonies for your bridal bouquet plan a June wedding in the High Country. While we do offer peonies in July you cost will almost double to cover care, storage and losses. Peak season for Peonies here are the first 2 weeks in June. Please note- this is weeks later than the Piedmont.

Peonies were originally sought-after for their medicinal value. The roots, seed, and flowers were believed to have healing properties, and were used extensively throughout the Far East and Europe.

These showy flowers originate Siberia and Mongolia. The large, striking blooms and exquisite sweet scent make them the perfect choice for weddings.

To me, peonies symbolize abundance, there is no need to mix them with more than a few carefully chosen sprigs of green. But an individual bloom floating in a bowl by itself is a bit skimpy for your wedding reception. Multiple vases or peonies are the way to go. Five full blooms are just about perfect for most round tables. Add the personal touch of collected glassware and you are set.

Peony Hybrid late May
The soft ice cream colors of most peonies make any venue feminine and inviting. Peonies work massed in statement pieces as well as for pomanders and girlie corsages.

Peonies photograph well.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Garlic Chives

A simple and easy addition to your herb garden.


Current Facts
Garlic chives are also known as Chinese chives, which is their more recognizable name. They are grown for culinary and ornamental purposes. Both leaves and the flowers are used as a flavoring similarly to standard chives.

Garlic chives may be of the same vernacular as common chives, but appearance and flavor-wise they impose different values and characteristics. Garlic chives have flat strap-like stems versus hallow thin spherical stems and their flavor is richer and more intense, much like their aroma.

Nutritional Value
Garlic chives are rich in vitamin C, contain carotene, vitamin B1 and B2, calcium and iron.

Garlic chives are most often used in Asian cuisine. Traditionally they are a classic element of pad Thai but they may also be used as a substitute for standard chives. Use minced garlic chives to finish meat, poultry or seafood dishes. Pair with other fresh herbs, cheeses, mushrooms, noodles and chiles. The color and slight onion flavor or chives may be used to lighten as well as enhance the flavors in a dish. Refrigerate to store, making sure chives are kept dry until ready to use.

Ethnic/Cultural Info
Garlic chives have been used as culinary herbs for thousands of years and were probably used first by the Chinese and ancient Greeks.

Garlic chives are native to Asia and Central and Northern Europe. They do not have incredible commercial economic value and are most often found in Asian markets, home gardens and small organic farms where crop rotation and natural pest repellants are prevalent.


Spaghetti with Sweet 100 Tomatoes, Garlic Chives, and Lemon Basil

Epicurious  | April 2002
by Mario Batali

Read More
yield: Makes 4 servings
This pasta celebrates the month of September, when tomatoes are truly in full season and just exploding. It's our favorite take on pasta al pomodoro.
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint Sweet 100 tomatoes or other tiny tomatoes
  • 1/2 bunch of garlic chives, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 12 fresh lemon basil leaves, finely shredded
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound spaghetti
print a shopping list for this recipe


1 Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt.
2 In a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan, heat the olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Lower the heat to medium-high and add the garlic cloves. Cook for 2 minutes, or until softened and slightly browned. Add the tomatoes, chives, and basil and cook over high heat until the tomatoes are just beginning to burst. Season with salt and pepper.
3 Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in the boiling water according to package directions until it is tender yet al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the tomatoes. Toss over high heat for 1 minute, then divide evenly among four warmed pasta bowls and serve immediately.

About Garlic Chives

Garlic chives growingGarlic chive is not a cultivar of ordinary chives but a distinct species of plant. It is commonly regarded as a major kitchen herb, tasting--as its name suggests--like chives with a mild addition of garlic flavor. It looks like and is grown very much like ordinary chives.
One source says that "garlic chives tends to go dormant during the winter, [so] potting for indoor use is not recommended." Fortunately, no one told our garlic chives about that, and they go merrily along through winter growing abundantly. (We think they don't go dormant unless the ambient temperature falls below about 40° F.)
Note that in Chinese cuisine, the flowerheads of garlic chives are considered a delicacy.


There are at least some recognized cultivars, though few or none are identified as such in seedsmen's catalogues (one is a variant with pink, instead of white, flowers). You pretty much get "garlic chives" and that's all she wrote.


Garlic chives sprout easily from seed, after which they can easily be propagated vegetatively by clump division--or you can cut the cackle and just buy a plant (theyare Perennials). They are said to prefer a sunny position in a rich, moist, but well-drained soil, but are also said to be quite forgiving of adverse conditions.
If you're considering growing them in-ground, beware: they are invasive, and pulling them can become quite a tedious chore. Indoors in a pot is best.


Garlic chives generally like moist (but not soggy) soil. During their first season, hold down watering to encourage root growth.
Garlic chives tolerate heavy harvesting. You can treat it like ordinary chives, pinching off any flower buds that appear, or you can let it flower in the autumn, as the buds and flowers are every bit as tasty and edible as the leaves. Harvest leaves by cutting some, or even all, being sure though to cut close to the soil level, so the plant "knows" to send up new leaves. If your garlic chives plant seems to be getting woody, prune it all down to about an inch above the soil level.
A little balanced organic fertilizer every season would not go amiss.
It is wise to re-divide one's garlic chives every few years, to maintain plant vigor. Division can be done almost anytime, but is probably best done in spring.