Monday, September 30, 2013

Mums - Winding Down in Vermont - and a History of Chrysanthemums

The “mum season” is almost finished for me.  In fact, I close for the year Oct. 1, but I still have plants around, so anyone needing something can call.

I already have most of my orders in for next year, although I have not dealt with seed orders yet.

When Danny and I started growing mums 20 + years ago, we planted the rooted cuttings in 4” pots and then transplanted them into the gardens.  In the fall we would dig them back out and pot them.  All they offered then were solid colors.  

I grow them in pots now and some of my favorites include bicolors.


"Dazzling Stacy"

Meanwhile, I wanted to share an interesting piece by Heleigh Bostwick from about the history of mums - from their origins in China in the 15th century to their arrival in America during the colonial period.

Chrysanthemums were first cultivated as a flowering herb. The Chinese felt that these chrysanthemum herbs held the power of life and it is believed that the boiled roots were used as a headache remedy, young sprouts and petals were eaten in salads, and the leaves were brewed for a festive drink. Chrysanthemums made their way to Japan next where the people were similarly enamored of this beautiful flower. So much so that the Japanese have a National Chrysanthemum Day, known as the Festival of Happiness. 

During the 17th century these flowers were introduced to the Western world where the botanist Karl Linnaeus combined the Greek words chrysos, meaning gold with anthemon, meaning flower, to arrive at the modern day name chrysanthemum. The colonists in turn, introduced chrysanthemums to America where to this day, it is one of the most popular fall flowers, synonymous with the cool crisp, sunny days of autumn.  

Above is a bouquet made with mums, sanguisorbia canidense ("bottle brush") and some small sunflowers.  I used scented geranium foliage as a base.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

More Bouquets

These were for the Sept. 8 Farmers' Market in St. Johnsbury.  I sold every one of my mums, but I brought one of the bouquets home.  And they only cost $6 at market!  That's fine, I'm enjoying that bouquet here.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Fall Bouquets in Vermont

I enjoy making centerpiece bouquets for my stand at Saturday's St. Johnsbury Farmers' Market.  Typically I place a hunk of oasis in a container, drench it with water treated with plant food and an anti-bacterial agent  I then make a framework of foliage and put  in whatever flowers are on hand that seem to combine nicely.

Here are the five bouquets I made for Saturday's market.

This bouquet (Above, and close up below) features pink lavatera, purple ('Laura ') phlox, Pink Delight butterfly bush,  and even some allium.


This bouquet, above and below,  is more of a "wild" arrangement with golden rod and the white flowers of artemesia lactiflora.  The blue is a cutting ageratum, the rest are all perennials.


The above bouquet has hydrangea as a white highlight.  I find that the Pee Gee and Annabelle hydrangea blooms do not last long in bouquets, however for some reason the blooms from the grafted tree hydrangea (which is what I have used here) are long lasting.  


This bouquet (above and below) has the white flowers from cimicfugia (actaea) which are highly fragrant.  The other pink spikes are from butterfly weed.  The open pink flowers are Joe Pye weed and the darker pink/purple flowers are ironweed.


And finally a true summer bouquet with white phlox, double click cosmos, golden rod, verbena bonarienses, and rudbeckia laciniata, known around here as 'Golden Glow' or 'the outhouse plant.'

Monday, July 29, 2013

Yet More Daylilies

The daylily season is winding down and my brother has returned to California after spending a week with me.  Thank heavens the weather was not as hot and humid as it had been.  

To the left above is 'Ferengi's Gold.'  It's not gold at all, but more of a lovely light yellow.  To the right is 'Barbara Mitchell.'  I had forgotten how fragrant this daylily is.

'Smokey Mountain Autumn' (above) has long been one of my favorites.  We are sold out of this cultivar!

I have mislaid the name of the above flower.  It's a pretty eyed double, for what that's worth!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Daylily Sale - Buy Three or More - $6 each

And these are all large clumps in gallon pots...


'Ruby Spider' is a show stopper and has won many awards.  The bloom is huge (9") and very open, almost like a "spider" daylily.


Once planted, 'Right On' is one of the heaviest blooming varieties I have.


'Moses Fire' has a  5" double cherry red bloom.


The bloom on this pretty daylily measures 8" across

Monday, July 15, 2013

Daylily (Day Lily) SALE - Three or more - $6 each

Daylily IS one word, but spell check does not agree ... so for those searching, I'll use both approaches.

Once you catch the daylily bug and realize the vast choice of colors and forms, you start to have favorite hybridizers. One of my favorites is Pauline Henry of Siloam Springs, Arkansas.  Her daylilies do wonderfully in northern Vermont.  She registered 490 plants during a period of 37 years and she died in September, 2000, at the age of 92.

I sell ten different 'Siloam' daylilies and have more growing in the fields for future sales.  Here are four of them.

Siloam Double Classic (above) won the 1993 Stout Award, 
the highest honor given to any daylily. 

Siloam Paul Watts

Siloam Baby Talk

Siloam JeromePillow

I have hundreds of different daylilies,  all large clumps in gallon pots and now all offered at $6 a pot, if you purchase three or more.  And if you want just one, they are still on sale at $6.99 each.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Heirloom Tomatoes for 2013

Despite the fact that we had 28 degrees for six hours the other night, the tomato house is full and it will soon be time to plant.

Because this is THE busiest time of the year for me, I will simply post the list of single tomatoes I have available as I write...  As I sell out I will be updating the list on my web site.

BOBCAT - 65 Days.  Fedco recommends as a replacement for Big Beef. (NOT from Monsanto) Det.

BOX CAR WILLIE - 80 Days.  Old-fashioned acidic tomato flavor. Ind.

BRANDYWINE - 85 Days.  Classic Heirloom. Excellent balanced taste.  1 - 2 pounds!
BRUNK  - 75 Days.  Large pink, juicy and flavorful.  Ind. I liked the name!

BLACK CHERRY - 65 days. Clusters of 1” dark dark red fruits.  Ind.

CABOT - 70 Days.  4 - 6 oz. Above average yield.  Semi determinate.

CHEROKEE PURPLE - 80 Days deep purple/red beefsteak. Ind.

COSMONAUT VOLKOV - 72 Days.  “Sweet and tangy” 4 inch fruits.  

DANA - 60 Days.  Bright red, 6 oz, acidic/tart.  Det.

DEFIANT - 70 Days  Late blight resistant.  6-8 oz globe shaped.  High yielder.  Det.

DELICIOUS - 76 Days.  8 - 16 oz. globe fruits, can get really big!. Ind .

EARLY GLEE - 60 Days.  16 oz. Fruits, above average yields.  Ind.

EARL of EDGECOMB - 73 Days. Orange globes, 2 - 3” fruits.  

GABRIELLE - 60 days - High Yielding 3/4 ounce grape tomato. Ind.

HONEY BUNCH - 45 Days.  Grape tomato with great sweetness.  Ind.  

HUGHS -  73 Days. Light Yellow 1 pound beefsteak. Ind.

JULIET -- 60 Days.  Indeterminte. Cross between a grape and a Roma.  Ind.

KORALIK - (spelled on tags - Koralas)  “Bodacious cherry tomato from Russia.”  Early det. 

MANITOBA - 65 Days.  6 oz. Excellent yield. Det .

MEDOVAJA KAPYLA --  65 Days.  “Superb tasting” Yellow pear.  Ind .  

MOUNTAIN GOLD  - 71 Days.  Large harvests, 8 - 12 oz.  Round Golden Yellow fruit.  Det .

MOUNTAIN MERIT- Late blight resistant slicer from Johnny’s seeds. Larger than Defiant.  Det.

LUCIA GRAPE - 54 Days.  “Tastes like a red Sun Gold.”  Ind.

NOVOGOSHARY   - 70 Days.  Stuffing tomato (four lobes) semi det. 

OREGON SPRING - 75 Days.  Large slicer.  The first fruits are seedless. Semi-det.

PORTER - 75 Days.  Deep pink, oblong, large cherry.  Ind.  Sweet and Productive.

POTENTATE - 72 Days.  4 oz fruits. Blemish free. Semi det.

PREMIO - Clusters of 4 - 6 oz tomatoes.  Ind.

PRUDENS PURPLE - 77 Days.  Like an early Brandywine.  Large flattened fruits.  Excellentflavor.  Ind. 

RED ROBIN - 55 Days.  Super dwarf 1 1/4 inch cherry tomatoes. Det.

REIF RED HEART - 75 Days.  Large red heart-shaped tomatoes, “super taste.” Ind.

SOLDACKI - 75 Days.  High Yield of Dark Pink beefsteaks.  Ind.

SUN GOLD - 65 Days.  Popular sweet tangerine orange cherry tomato.  Ind.

SUN SUGAR - 62 Days.  Golden yellow super sweet cherry tomato.  Ind.

SPRING SHINE - 71 Days. Ind.  Replaces Early Cascade.

SWEET 100 - 65 Days.  Cherry Tomato and it is super sweet.  Clusters.  Ind.

SWEET HOME  - 75 Days.  Oblate heavy producer, 16 - 24 oz. red fruits. Ind.

SWEET N’ NEAT - 50 Days.  Good container tomato.  Large cherry tomatoes. Det.

TAXI - 65 days.  Heavy yields mild yellow,  nonacid tomatoes.   Det.

TIGERELLA - 59 Days.  Bicolored 2 - 4 oz. Juicy and Tart. semi Det.

TOMATILLO - They grow like weeds.  Use for salsa.

ULTRA BOY - 68 Days.  14 oz dark red fruits, Indeterminate.  

WHIPPER SNAPPER -60 Days. Det. Pink red cherry loaded with fruits.

YELLOW BRANDYWINE - 78 Days.  “Complex wonderful taste.”  Ind .

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New Petunias at Amanda's Greenhouses

The "big" greenhouse is filling up and it's always fun to try out new plants.  The Proven Winners series have come up with some good varieties over the years, and I am looking forward to seeing how 'Lemon Slice' calibrachoa performs.  It is new to the industry and has already won all kinds of awards.
(Photos courtesy 'Proven Winners')

LEMON SLICE Calibrachoa

There are several Proven Winner 'supertunias' I always grow, and this year I am adding the following to my selection:



From the Danziger Company I am growing one of the Cascadias series which is also an award winner.


All of the above petunias are grown from cuttings, not seed.   They don't need deadheading and they stand up to poor weather better than 'seed' petunias.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

New Daylilies for 2013

The first perennial I ever planted was a daylily.  Like most beginners, I didn't know about the variety of shapes, heights and colors offered.  Also, this was so long ago that most of those choices probably didn't exist.  There are now more than 60,000 registered cultivars from which to choose.

My customers are much more sophisticated now as well.  Double flowers are very popular, and folks like the off-white as well.  I tend to like anything that's different from what I already have growing.   "Moses Fire" is a new double red we will carry.  I can't resist mentioning - White Flower Farm offers this plant for $27.00 (plus shipping).  All of my daylilies are $6.99 in a gallon pot.


I have a number of tall daylilies I like.  'Golden Chimes' has a yellow bloom and is 46 inches tall.   The smaller blooms face outward at a 90 degree angle giving the plant an airy, delicate appearance. 'Autumn Daffodil' is another fine tall yellow daylily.  'Challenger' is among the tallest with a red bloom  at 48 inches and it has been around since 1949.

I am adding 'Steeple Jackie' to my offerings of tall daylilies this year.  It is definitely a back-of-the-border plant, as it can can reach five feet.  The flowers are 2.5 inches and the plant is loaded with buds.  The color is a nice light yellow without the orange cast often seen in other yellow daylilies.  

STEEPLE JACKIE (Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens Inc.)

Probably the whitest daylily I offer is the lovely 'Gentle Shepherd.'  The problem with this bloom is the pedals are thin and delicate.  I like 'Joan Senior' and 'Sunday Gloves.'  This year I am adding 'Early Snow' to the white daylily repertoire.  The flowers are seven inches across and have more substance than other white daylilies.

EARLY SNOW (Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens Inc.)

I like 'Moonlight Masquerade' which is a cream colored daylily with a purple eye.  This year I am offering 'Blackthorne' which offers a picotee edge and ruffled pedals and a more prominent purple eye.  

BLACKTHORNE (Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens Inc.)

It is snowing outside, but we are hooking up the water to the greenhouse and seeds are sprouting in the house.  And so the 2013 growing season has begun for Amanda's Greenhouse.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Gardeners - NOW is the time ...

... to tell me what you want.

I have done a lot of my ordering for the spring already,  but I have about 15 seed catalog orders waiting to be finalized.  

For example - Black and Blue salvia -

This one was great the first half of summer, but then kind of wimped out towards the end of the season, and I was going to drop it.  But one customer said it was fabulous in her garden until the very end, so it will be available again.

If more than one customer (or often just one) asks for a certain plant, I will do my best to grow it.

If you have any special varieties of heirloom tomatoes you want to try, I’m your grower.  Hard to find flowers?  Get in touch with me with anything on your garden wish list  and I’ll see if I can help.