Saturday, February 13, 2010

Primula Season!!!

Tis time for the primulas to come along. Perhaps one of the earliest to bloom in the greenhouse and one of the most stunning. This opinion only coming from one year's experience working with the little guys. We started many Primula varieties from seed many months ago and for the longest time I was hesitant to even think they would make it. However after a real rough first three week in their plug trays they perked up to be one of my favorites. I think deep down they are my current favorites because for once all the work paid off. The photos below are of Primula 'You and Me Maroon' and Primula 'You and Me Golden'.

There is another in the series, Primula 'You and Me Cream' but he isn't blooming yet. I can't wait until I see some kind of bloomin' action, the Cream was the trickiest of the three to get going. In fact I think I can pick out the frown line on my face that is from the trying Primula 'You and Me Cream'. Hopefully I'll see some to them bloom soon and I'll be sure to post.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Well for anybody not in the Northeast just wanted to inform you that we got hammered with snow overnight. Central Pennsylvania got 14-20 inches depending on where you are. The fun part comes next when the wind blows for the next day. Huge drifts coming our way. After all the shoveling is done it makes it a fun day to spend time in the greenhouse. Here is what is going on in my greenhouse.

The above is a picture of a succulent that I am not entirely sure what it is. When babies were given to me they called it burro's ears. Anybody out there know what its Latin name is. It blooms every winter in the greenhouse and then dies. Then I replant one of it hundreds of babies and start the process all over again.

Below we have my collection of amaryllis. Every year I buy a few after season when they go on sale and you can get them for a buck a piece at Lowe's. A few years ago I potted them up to see what would happen. Looking back I wish I would have picked a prettier pot, maybe I'll repot this year. Now every year they bloom profusely and every year I am amazed that they came back and some of the first bulbs are like 7 inches in diameter. It's ridiculously awesome. I'm not usually a bulb grower but it is quite rewarding.

There is plenty more but that is all for now. I have to go clean up snow!!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

First Transplanting of the Season

Tis the season for transplanting my babies into there new home and the start of a love, hate relationship with lisianthus. Until about two years ago I never heard of lisianthus before. Since then we've entered into a love, hate relationship. Every year they are my problem child and I end up spending 50% of my annual headaches over them. Are they warm enough? Are they too warm? Are they getting the right food? Are they catching something? I fuss and I fuss and I fuss over them and then I feel bad because I don't want the other annuals to get jealous. Anyway they have the longest production time of all of our annuals. So back in October we started our lisianthus from seed and two weeks ago they finally got transplanted. They will sit in their 6 pack until they go to their new home at the end of March. Sometimes I feel like a proud parent when they are sold but other times I feel like the parent that finally got their 30 year old to move out of the house. Here are some pictures of my babies and the first transplanting of the season.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What's Happening?

We have a few things starting to bloom in the greenhouse. It gets me so excited for spring. First we have Viburnum obovatium 'Reifler's Dwarf' and then two pictures of Camellia 'Winter's Fancy'.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Finally the weather broke on a weekend and I could get out and about. For so long here in Central Pennsylvania the weekends have been full of wind, rain, gloom, and doom, but today we got sun, no wind, and 40 degree weather. It was great. I was able to get out and do some cleaning up in the garden.

For weeks I've been doing quick checks on my Hellebores, watching all the new growth and soon to be flowers. I got the chance to clean all the old foliage and tree debris from around the little guys. Ahh, it felt like I was normal again after being stuck to just thinking about the garden all winter.

Cleaning up my Hellebore bed is an especially great experience for me because I just made this bed last summer, so this will be the first year to see what it can really do. Prior to this new bed I only had one Hellebore in my main garden. I will be sure to post pictures when they all flower. There are about 40 plants in this area so it should be quite beautiful.

My garden at home has been gloomy with no new growth (except the Hellebores) while my "garden" at work has started to grow and flower. I'll hopefully post pictures tomorrow of some of the new happenings.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I Challenge You...

With the dawn of the new year comes the arrival of all the updated seed and plant catalogs. Planning what your vegetable garden will look like or seeing the latest perennial you want to try or even debating whether to take the plunge into the fruit tree world. All these thoughts always get me out of the winter blues. I usually turn to my Bluestone, Johnny's, Burpee, Heronswood, and Kitchen Garden catalogs first. Now I'm hearing about this Plant Delights Nursery so I'll have to check them out too.

And I'm hearing about PDN because anti-Heronswood buyers have moved their business there, which brings me to my next point. I understand all you having some hate towards the Burpee/Heronswood situation, but give it another chance. I too disagree with Heronswood going to a flimsy catalog and leaning toward the internet to do its marketing, but I know the people running the show there are trying to turn it around. Not the big-wig, "experts" that were brought in from other large companies from states all over the map, but the people who are getting paid poverty salaries and are getting their hands dirty, caring for the plants. So I challenge you, Heronswood/Burpee haters and more specifically the bloggers out there like Mr. Garden Rant, to watch, listen, and just see if you don't see some changes for the better.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A New Beginning

Ah the start of the new year and the start of many bloggers who will inevitably never post past February. This is something I've been wanting to do for years. I've stalked others who are great now, but if you look at when they started, their posts were no better than this one is (and probably the next 20).

As a plant geek by nature and a horticulturalist by profession I have a few things that I would like to get out there, but not all will be posted right away. I also hate bloggers that just babble on and on about boring insignificant facts. That will not be me. If my writing bores you to tears look at my pretty pictures. Such as these, including my profile picture. I had a difficult time trying to decide what to put there, I really did not want a picture of myself. While scrolling through my collection of photos I came across this beautiful weed and knew that is what I had to use. Many years ago, when I was a teenager, I spotted a beautiful fern like plant growing in my garden. I watched it and took care of it and it wasn't until it bloomed that I realized it was Daucus carota, or at that time I disappointingly thought, Oh Queen Anne's Lace, and ripped it out. However, that was not the end, it came back the following year with many, many cousins. I took digging it out and some roundup to rid my garden of it, but before I could say goodbye photos were taken. At one point this was a treasure to me and then became a nuisance. One gardener's weed is another gardener's treasure.