Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Wildflowers

I noticed today at the nursery that we sell almost all my favorite wildflowers.  We have quite a good selection of "Spring Emphemerals" @ $6.95-$8.95.We have both kinds of spring beauties--Claytonia caroliniana and virginica.  We have 4 species of Trillium: our native common T. erectum (red Trillium) , the showier T. grandiflorum (my personal favorite), and T. recurvatum and cuneatum.  We have the native bellwort: Uvularia sessilifolia and I belive we still have U. grandiflorum.  We have bloodroot--Sanguniaria canadensis (and the double from!).  We have lots of Hepatica acutiloba which is already starting to bloom in our greenhouse.  We have the native Soloman's Seal, Polygonatum biflorum, as well as 2 giant ones: P. commutatum and P. multiflorum 'Giganteum', not to mention variegated  and the miniature ground cover, P. humile.  We just potted (this week) some beautiful wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis).  Our Dodecatheon meadia (shooting star) is coming up  as is out Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells).  We have quite alot of wild geraniums (and some cultivated varieties of Geranium maculatum) and good numbers of mayapples (Podophyllum petatum).  I noticed the bunchberry :Cornus canadensis in the greenhouse and I believe we have plenty of Heuchera and Tiarella when we uncover it.  Hopefully we have plenty of false Soloman's seal- if not, I can bring some in.  We have nice looking Jeffersonia which I have not ever seen in the wild.  We also have our native Pachysandra procumbens - native to the Southern mountains, that is.  We have regular Iris cristata and 'Alba'.  That seems like alot of wildflowers to me- I love them all

Monday, March 18, 2013


We sponsered a very well attended lecture by Lee Reich entitled "Fearless Pruning".  I already had 2 of his books and bought another.   We all found him a delightful, charming,  funny speaker.  He presented a solid introduction to pruning- if anyone wants to learn more, contact me and I'll let you help prune at my house (or stop by the nursery).  After making sure things went well at the talk Saturday, which happened
without me doing anything,  I showed my daughter, Kady, and her boyfriend my method of pruning and they helped me for most of Sunday afternoon.

Lee Reich is addicted to black currants (my favorite fruit).   He is possitive about seaberries (Hippophae) and negative about Aronia, two fruit I am trying to grow and harvest but don't know that much about the fruit yet.   I haven't had enough Aronia to cook into juice and my male seaberry is not doing it yet so I haven't had pollination let alone usable fruit.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Back to Work!

This was my first day this "Spring" back at the nursery- the snow drops here are out of the ground with visable swollen buds just about to bend down and unfurl.  Also, re-wing blackbirds are back and singing.

At the farm we have long since tapped all 4000 plus sugar maples and this weekend had some good runs.  Harold Carleton (of Maple Grove Farm, West Newbury, where I live) made 62 gallons of syrup Saturday and 50 some gallons yesterday.  I don't know how the sap has run today but even if it didn't we have sap to boil.  I'll miss the cows and the woods where I spend alot of time in the winter but the season has progressed.

Last week, my wife Dana and I went to Pennsylvania to visit relatives and friends.  The snow drops were blooming there as were winter aconites, snow crocus, and various witch hazels.  The only horticultural excursion we made was to Longwood Gardens which has one of the largest conservatories in the country.  I'm hoping to put my photos on face book (the nursery's facebook page) tomorrow.