Monday, October 31, 2011

On the Road again...

  I'm on vacation moving my daughter from Brooklyn, NY to Minneapolis, MN and on the way taking a cat from Vermont to central Illinois to give to my ex.  The topsoil in both Illinois and Minnesota is unbelievable: black and deep and good. 
  The prettiest plants in the tall grass prairies of Illinois are the Silphiums. Prairie Dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum) has interesting leathery leaves, even when they dry up and turn brown.  Compass plant (Silphium laciniatum) has really neat looking, cut leaves.
  The tall grasses themselves are beautiful now.  My favorite tree I'm seeing everywhere in Minnesota is the Burr Oak or Quercus macrocarpa.

Friday, October 28, 2011

punkin chunkin

check out where the Browns and Pomeroys will be from November 2 thru Nov 8th



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Now I lay me down to sleep...

My oh my, what do you do with all these plants?... a question I hear repeated throughout the season, and a question I have probably answered 1000 times. It seems to me that our human nature is to be inquisitive, to relate and understand how things work, even in the ever "so cool" nursery business.
Here goes....we first have to inventory all the plants in the nursery--every single one!!! Then we carefully turn all the plants in containers on their sides, close together and stack them up to 3 pots high. When all the plants are grouped, packed and stacked, we cover the piles with large pieces of overwintering fabric. This fabric is essentially a large woven blanket that is maybe 1/8" thick and helps insulate the plants. After the fabric goes down the pile is then covered with a layer of white plastic. The plastic mustbe white since it reflects the sun...clear or black plastic absorbs the sunlight and heats up the plants too much during the winter. Once layered, the fabric and plastic is secured with small pea stone and tires so that the winter winds and snow does not get inside and blow everything away. All of this takes us about a painstaking month!
After all the plants are "snug as a bug in a rug" under their warm environment...our much needed layoff begins. Our bodies and minds are ready for a 4 month re-energizing so that in the spring we can start up all over again.
The end is in site...only a couple more weeks of this "phun" to be had then off to the slopes for me!!!
See ya in the spring.   **** KELLY***

Monday, October 24, 2011

Apocaliptic warm weather

This fall it's staying warm so late that all sorts of plants are acting different than normal. Lemon Lights Azaleas, Apples and forsythiaq are blooming all blooming in the Upper Valley, Actually some spring flowering plants are being fooled into blooming when there is a dry period followed by a period of plentiful rain--we've certainly had that-- and warm weather.
This year I've also noticed certain very late blooming Cimicifugas'('White Pearl' I beleive) blooming when it normally doesn't because the season is too short...the same can be said for some of the hardy Mums. Heptacodium micronoides, Seven-son flower, is incrediably beautiful this fall because it has not been zapped by the normal September-October frosts, Their sepals (collectively the calyx) turn brilliantly red and are especially ornamental.
Houseplants(that spend the summer outdoors) and annuals are still hanging in there-in certain locations. In West Newbury, where I live, my peas are still blooming and my Aristolochia gigantea (Brazilian Dutchmans Pipe) is budded(it's still outside)!!

Hardy Bartlett Pears?

Since I've never read a "blog"--pardon me if I don't know how they are "meant" to sound.

This week I learned that Bartlett pears, which we have been selling for years, are probably good and hardy for this climate, even though they are not quite as hardy as the rest of the other pears we sell and they may not do in northern Saskatuwon!. Also, they are very poor pollinators for other pears. So when planting pears remember that you can grow Barletts here in most places but do not not use them to pollinate others. When planting with a Bartlett, you need a minimum of 3 pears, the Bartlett and two other different varieties. However, I have seen and tasted plenty of Bartlett Pears growing far from any other pears...go figure!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

we're blogging now!!!!!

good golly miss molly....the wheels are off the rails..... we're on the blogging train to nowhere!!!!