Looking Ahead to Spring & Summer of 2012

If you are a gardener, you are an optimist – always looking forward to the better growing year ahead – AND you have great plans on how to do it better! That’s us in a nutshell.

We had a wonderful flower season in 2011 and are very excited about all the possibilities ahead in 2012.

We doubled our number of peony plants for 2012 – adding another bed of fully double whites and dark pinks. The roots have been in the ground since mid-October and we anticipate peonies in bloom this year by May 10. 

 

The Calla lilies were ordered from our supplier January 6 – we plan to have them crated up and started in the sunroom by Valentine’s Day – first bloom is projected to be mid-May.

We loved our oriental lilies in 2011; our favorite of all the varieties we had last year was a very unusual double lily, and it is our pick for 2012. This beautiful flower, “Bella Rosa,” is lightly scented and pollen-free (a plus for many of our customers!). As the flower opens, it transitions from white with green speckles to a beautiful bright white and pastel pink. First bloom – May 15 or thereabouts.

The tuberoses should be in bloom by August – gardenia-like scent and so delicate in appearance.

Dahlias!  Our most favorite flower. We traditionally start planting in the field Mother’s Day weekend and hope for blooms by mid-July continuing until the first hard frost (or first snow, if it’s a year like 2011!).

Hydrangeas are a new endeavor for us – we installed deer fencing and put 86 plants into the ground in the fall of 2011. The plants are 3 years old and we should have some blooms available for fall of 2012.

We will have dahlia plants available for sale at the Leesburg Farmer’s Market the first 3 weeks of May and thereafter will be at the market with our fresh cut flowers every Saturday through the end of October. 

Honey from our beehives should be available after August 1. Beeswax skin creams, propolis soothing salve, and other small-batch, hand-crafted products of our beehives will be for sale at the market and will soon be available for purchase online.

New residents in the garden

a double-blooming asiatic lilyOur first year for growing oriental lilies has been an adventure! Don grew them in crates — 25 to 30 to a crate — starting them in our sunroom back on March 26. They were moved outside under shade cloth as the weather warmed, and now the last 20 lilies are blooming. It takes almost 15 weeks for them to mature into 36-42″ stems with as many as six  flowers to a stem. They are so elegant and long-lasting in a vase — wonderful flowers!

Regarding some of our other new additions: Tuberoses are just starting to blossom now, and calla lilies are coming up.

Our most favorite flower — the DAHLIA! — is coming on strong. The plants got a good start because the weather was overcast many of the days right after planting, and we have been cutting and taking them to the market for the last three weeks, which is very early for us.

Wishing everyone a relaxing summer; we hope to see you at the market!

Dahlia Workshop at Pharsalia

Pharsalia workshop, April 2011At an April 16 workshop at the lovely Pharsalia — a former plantation and national historic landmark in Nelson County, Virginia — Don discussed “how to grow dahlias from start to finish”: starting plants, taking cuttings, proper care of plants to produce the best blooms, harvest and post-harvest care, and digging and storing tubers.

Take a look at some photos from the event

Photo courtesy of Pharsalia