Your Success is Guaranteed.
We're here to help! Contact Us |

Questions? Try Live Chat


| Catalog Quick Order | View Order View Cart
Send me a
catalog!

Shop All Online
Catalogs:
Fall 2014   

Fall 2014   

Join Our Email:   

You'll enjoy gardening advice, email offers & more

The Perfect Gift:
A White Flower Farm
Gift Certificate
Search our Products:
 

Home


Please note that some of the links have been removed.

Down on the Farm - A Seriour Cold Snap
 

Dear Gardening Friend,

On the stony hill in northwest Connecticut where our nursery is located, January 2010 has been a reminder of years gone by. In the 70s and early 80s, when we first sat at this desk, January and February normally produced several days of minus 20°F, a 3-5 day stretch when the daytime temperature didn't top zero, and one especially memorable Christmas Eve during which the temperature dropped from plus 40 to minus 30 in 18 hours, with heavy winds to make the impact worse. This year, we didn't have the extreme temperatures but did have day after day of bright, biting cold with lots of wind, just the kind of weather that drives frost quickly and deeply into exposed ground and kills otherwise hardy plants by heaving their roots out of the ground as it quickly freezes.

Our salvation, aside from a sheepskin coat and a big woodpile, has been a series of intervening snowfalls that blanketed our fields and gardens. This kind of thermal insulation has the additional benefit of delivering "time-release" water when temperatures moderate so exposed plant tissue does not entirely desiccate. Because we went into winter with plenty of rain and steady chilling, we hope damage will be limited. From what we can gather, most of the continental U.S. has had much the same weather, and if your area does not hold snow, you would do well to check the garden and reseat or mulch plants that have heaved. Until spring comes, it's impossible to tell where the damage may fall, but we are mighty glad for the sturdy, double-skinned greenhouses and freezers that house our spring crops. Some folks believe that certain insect and bacterial pests may be reduced or eliminated by this kind of weather, but we will plan otherwise and hope for a pleasant surprise.

  Wisteria vines in bloom at the Chicago Botanic Garden  
 


You can't beat our Amaryllis for large, colorful blooms all winter.
You can't beat our Amaryllis for large, colorful blooms all winter.



Enjoy the perfume of Lily-of-the-Valley indoors with pips prepared for forcing.
Enjoy the perfume of Lily-of-the-Valley indoors with pips prepared for forcing.



From mid-May to mid-June, there's a rainbow of Iris at the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens.
From mid-May to mid-June, there's a rainbow of Iris at the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens.



Calamondin Orange is part of the Citrus collection at Tower Hill Botanic Garden.
Calamondin Orange is part of the Citrus collection at Tower Hill Botanic Garden.



BOTANIC GARDENS BELONG IN YOUR FUTURE


Our need for color during the gray days of winter leads us to focus on bulbs and houseplants that can tolerate the dry heat of modern homes. We have lots of Amaryllis and pots of forcing bulbs around the house, and several dozen bulbs still in the ice box crisper for future bowls. If you have overlooked this pleasant and inexpensive antidote to winter's gloom, we can still deliver Amaryllis bulbs at your convenience. Please click here to make your selections.

For us, indoor gardening happens mostly in our head. Over many years, we have accumulated a lot of gardening books filled with ideas that always seem new when encountered for the first time. We also have a shelf filled with shaggy notebooks recording the successes and disappointments of prior year's gardens, and these make instructive reading, especially as our memory becomes less reliable. More recently, we've enjoyed exploring the gardening community that exists on the Internet and have found some plants, and made some friends, we would not otherwise have encountered. This medium offers, as you surely know, a vast amount of information provided by an abundance of unnamed "experts," some who are truly superb practitioners and others of whom are more or less making it up as they go. Like anything else that is free, this particular lunch needs to be treated with caution.

In this apparently homogenous medium, the most valuable and reliable resources for information are, of course, the network of botanical gardens that operate in almost every region of the country. These organizations exist for the purpose of acquiring and distributing horticultural knowledge and a membership in the one nearest to you is the best investment you can possibly make in your gardening future. You will generally find that they offer information, instruction, display gardens, plant sales, and a community of like-minded souls, a combination that can move you up the local knowledge curve faster than any other path.

We are pleased to maintain active collaborations with 14 botanic gardens, all of which participate in a program under which their members earn a 10% rebate on purchases made from White Flower Farm. This rebate is paid to the botanic gardens, thus providing funds to support their operations at no cost to you. You'll find a list below of the botanic gardens currently in the program, and we strongly encourage you to join the one nearest you. Click on any one of the names to go directly to their Web site. If you are a member of an organization that doesn't appear on this list but should, please let us know whom we should contact to offer this program. As our offering of annual, half-hardy, and tender plants continues to grow, we are especially keen to link up with horticultural organizations in the mid-to-deep South from whom we may learn how better to serve gardeners in those areas.

Botanic Garden of Western Pennsylvania
   (Pittsburgh, PA)
Chicago Botanic Garden (Glencoe, IL)
Heritage Museums & Gardens (Sandwich, MA)
The Horticultural Society of New York
   (New York, NY)
Massachusetts Horticultural Society
   (Wellesley, MA)
Minnesota State Horticultural Society
   (Falcon Heights, MN)
Missouri Botanical Garden (St Louis, MO)
New England Wild Flower Society
   (Framingham, MA)
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
   (Philadelphia, PA)
Pine Tree State Arboretum (Augusta, ME)
Planting Fields Arboretum (Oyster Bay, NY)
Polly Hill Arboretum (West Tisbury, MA)
Presby Memorial Iris Gardens
   (Upper Montclair, NJ)
Tower Hill Botanic Gardens (Boylston, MA)

   
 
The Perfumed Garden Lily Bouquet
 
 

LILIES 'TIL SPRING

Our freshly cut, locally grown Lilies have now been on offer for about a year and the results have exceeded our most optimistic imaginings. No, we're not referring to revenue, but rather to the performance of the flowers themselves. Our arrangement with the grower stipulates that the stems, in full bud but NOT open, will be cut at dawn and on the UPS truck by late morning. This means they normally arrive at your home roughly 36 hours after harvesting, compared to 3-5 days for most commercial channels. The result is blooms that open after 24 hours in fresh water and maintain their beauty and fragrance (superb for 'Casa Blanca' and other Oriental Lilies, absent in the Asiatics) for two full weeks. We have tested this hypothesis in our own home for the entire year and have recently been instructed by higher authority to convert this test process into a firm order to be received every two weeks year round.

If you reach the same conclusion we have, perhaps you will be attracted by the following proposal, conceived this morning under the influence of strong coffee and very cold outside temperatures. Order our Perfumed Garden bouquet for delivery every other week until Easter (5 bouquets) for a total of $345 including shipping. Place your order by 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 24 and your first Liles 'Til Spring bouquet will arrive within days. If you check the math, you'll find that we are offering a nice discount because regular demand makes life easy for the grower and for us. As measured by flowers per dollar per day, it's hard to imagine a better buy, or a better boost to mid-winter morale.

   
  The Lloyd Border at our retail store  
 

Our Tuberous Begonias come from Blackmore & Langdon in England. We advise early orders.
Our Tuberous Begonias come from Blackmore & Langdon in England. We advise early orders.


'The Works' Daffodils for naturalizing makes a deer-proof spring display for you and your heirs ($49 for 100 bulbs, until July 1).
'The Works' Daffodils for naturalizing makes a deer-proof spring display for you and your heirs ($49 for 100 bulbs, until July 1).


Shop from the widest selection of Tomato plants on the East Coast at this year's Tomatomania!
Shop from the widest selection of Tomato plants on the East Coast at this year's Tomatomania!

Wear your best bonnet and join us for some chat and refreshments on the lawn.
Wear your best bonnet and join us for some chat and refreshments on the lawn.


We raked hay for 4,000 bales last summer using real horsepower.
We raked hay for 4,000 bales last summer using real horsepower.


Nursery Manager Barb Pierson has tips for planting a new veggie garden. Click here to watch our video.
Nursery Manager Barb Pierson has tips for planting a new veggie garden. Click here to watch our video.
 
IN OUR OWN GARDENS AND STORE


We welcome visitors to the nursery from early April until mid-November, and you will find a well-stocked garden center with most of the varieties offered in our spring catalogue plus a considerable list of other plants that didn't make the book for one reason or another. Equally important, we maintain several acres of display gardens plus a greenhouse full of the world's best Tuberous Begonias, all under the direction of Ms. Cheryl Whalen. We hope to be forgiven for bragging that the Lloyd Border, 280 feet of mixed annuals, perennials, shrubs, bulbs, vines, and small trees, is among the best of its kind in this country and is remarkably beautiful from the beginning of the season until the first substantial snowfall. A note from Cheryl landed on our desk last week reporting that she had installed more than 13,000 spring-flowering bulbs in our borders this fall, thus offering the best possible way for enthusiasts to get to know these marvelous plants without the expense of a trip to Holland. The show generally begins in mid-April with some 10,000 white Daffodils on the slope along the road (our "White Welcome" Narcissus mix).

We also host two major events, which we mention now so they will find a place on your calendar:

Tomatomania! from May 21-May 23, where we provide an abundant stock of over 130 varieties of heirloom and hybrid Tomatoes, including some not offered in our catalogue. These well-rooted, sturdy plants will give you a fast start on the season, leading to abundant harvests for salads, sauces, or eating fresh off the vine. There is, to our knowledge, no comparable offering anywhere in this country and we recommend early arrival if you have varieties you especially want. For those who ran into weather and disease problems with their Tomatoes last year, please be reminded that the weather issue was temporary and that the disease problems arose with Tomato plants grown in the South and shipped in by mass retailers. The starts we offer are grown in our greenhouses from our seed sources and are guaranteed to be pest free and in ideal condition for planting.

OPEN HOUSE DAY- June 26 is the day we welcome old friends and new to visit the nursery and enjoy cucumber sandwiches and iced tea served by our family on the lawn in front of our house. Absent divine intervention, the gardens will be in good nick and the Begonia display will just be getting under way. This will be the third year ladies are encouraged to participate in the BEST GARDEN HAT competition, first prize being a White Flower Farm gift certificate and one year of local bragging rights. If the hay is in and they are thus unemployed, our Shire horses will drop in for a cameo appearance. We still get a kick from watching 4,000 pounds of horses respond to a 110-pound woman to whom we happen to be married. You might enjoy it too. Of course, our two drooly, brown Labrador Retrievers will be on hand to assure that no spring frock goes unsullied.

ONE FINAL WORD

If you have been paying attention for the last 60 years, you may have noted that our spring 2010 catalogue is the second in our history that is not a horizontal rectangle. The change to a nearly square format was required by our friends at the U.S. Post Office, whose new sorting equipment could not deal with the "floppiness" of the larger format. This change gave us a significant twinge of regret, though we are adjusting. Maybe no one besides ourselves cares that this change was NOT an economy measure or a design epiphany. It was a force majeure, which we hope you will forgive and eventually embrace.

Sincerely,
Amos Pettingill

   


TELL US WHAT YOU THINK!
Look for the product review and 5-star rating feature. You can comment on every product we offer and read what other gardeners have to say. To tell us what you like and don't like, click the "Write a Review" link on any product page, located just under the item's photo and also at the bottom of the page.

White Flower Farm
P.O. Box 50
Litchfield, CT 06759
1-800-503-9624
(c)2009 White Flower Farm, Inc.




 
 
About Us:
Our Story
Our Guarantee
Store
Events
Videos
Media Room
Down On The Farm
Testimonials
Sitemap
Ordering Info:
Shipping Info
Customer Service
GARDENING HELP

Zone Map
Contact Us
Privacy Policy
Indoor Favorites:
Amaryllis
Forced Bulbs
Houseplants
Jasmine
Lavender
Paperwhites
Perennial Favorites:
Clematis
Coneflowers
Daylilies
Hostas
Hydrangea
Lilies
Peonies
Roses
Product Ideas
Fall Favorites:
Allium
Bearded Iris
Crocus
Daffodils
Hyacinth
Oriental Poppy
Tulips
Our Partners:
Botanic Gardens/Hort Societies
Better Homes and Gardens
Midwest Living
Family Circle
Traditional Home®
Garden Center Partners
 


Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover
SSL

White Flower Farm Home Better Homes and Gardens Ladies Home Journal Midwest Living Family Circle Traditional Hpme