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Down on the Farm -- High Summer
The Lloyd Border in July
 


Colorful and rugged, Daylilies are in full glory this month.
Colorful and rugged, Daylilies are in
full glory this month.

We let Verbascum (Mullein) self-sow in the garden for its dramatic yellow spires.
We let Verbascum (Mullein) self-sow in the garden for its dramatic yellow spires.

For summer color from shrubs, look to Hydrangeas, such as new, pink-flowered Invincibelle™ Spirit.
For summer color from shrubs, look to Hydrangeas, such as new, pink-flowered Invincibelle™ Spirit.


Dear Gardening Friend,

The long, lazy days of summer offer the chance to savor every detail of your garden without being consumed by its care. Planting is more or less over (see comments about annuals below), the first rush of weeds has been dispatched and, we hope, mulch applied to the open spaces in the border. Deadheading (the removal of spent flowers) is a light, pleasant task that keeps things neat and guarantees more bloom this year and next. It can usually be performed with one hand, leaving the other hand free for iced tea or perhaps something stronger. We make it a point to amble through most of our gardens twice a day, once near dawn and again in late afternoon. That's when temperatures are pleasant, the light is softer, and we are less apt to have company, which leaves the mind free to plan and dream.

Like many of you, we rely on a mix of annuals, perennials, bulbs, and even shrubs to build our borders, thus avoiding the unsightly slumps that are inevitable when bloom is concentrated among a few genera. A broad view, with plenty of exceptions, indicates that hardy bulbs (Daffodils, Tulips, Alliums, etc) are strong in April and May while shrubs are mostly at their peak in May and June. Perennials can be selected to bloom in almost any month from April through August, though the pale blues, pinks, yellows, and whites of spring are largely replaced by stronger shades of gold, orange, purple, and red as the season wears on. Once the air and soil warm up, it's time to start adding annuals and tender plants, among which groups are found some of the longest blooming and most extravagant personalities in the plant world. We are heavy users of both to sustain the excitement in all of our gardens, a technique we learned primarily from the now legendary Christopher Lloyd, and our largest garden, named in his honor, provides a splendid example of what can be accomplished using this method. It requires a little planning, and a period of re-shuffling in mid- to late June as holes open up, but as these pictures show, the rewards are enormous. You may wish to make a few notes from the captions below these photos to jog your memory next January. That's the way to make sure you have everything you need next spring and we will, of course, be pleased to fill your requests on the schedule you desire.

If, by the way, you have not seen the Lloyd Border here at the nursery, it is well worth the trip anytime from now until mid-October. Our store's garden advisors will be on hand to answer any questions you may have as well.


   
The Lloyd Border in May
 



AND NOW FALL

By the time you receive this note, our fall catalogue will be available online (click here) for your convenience. The printed version will be mailed in mid-August, but there is no reason to postpone some self-indulgence, otherwise described as foresight. The variety and quality of bulbs coming out of Holland is astonishing and recent reports on the harvest are encouraging as to quantity. As many of you know, the $US has recovered some ground against the Euro and our bulb prices reflect this improvement in our, and your, buying power. That said, the value in plants is measured by success rather than by price. The key point, of course, is that the very best early bloom can be had with spring-flowering bulbs, all of which MUST be planted in the fall, so your timely attention to this matter is encouraged.

 
   
 


Adrian Bloom has spent a lifetime showing the art of the possible, with plants.
Adrian Bloom has spent a lifetime showing the art of the possible,
with plants.

Top performers for North American gardens, with photos that will inspire you to take up a shovel.
Top performers for North American gardens, with photos that will inspire you to take up a shovel. Available here.


You can reach our call center during business hours at 1-800-503-9624.
You can reach our call center during business hours at 1-800-503-9624.

Click here to browse bulbs, perennials, shrubs, and gifts in our online Fall Catalogue.
Click here to browse bulbs, perennials, shrubs, and gifts in our
online Fall Catalogue.

AN OLD FRIEND'S SON RETURNS

One of the greatest modern plantsmen was a Brit named Alan Bloom (his wife was named Flora, which is hard to believe, but true) and Bressingham Gardens, the nursery he created, was an extraordinary resource for gardeners everywhere. Indeed our nursery acquired dozens of remarkable plants from Mr. Bloom's collection, and we learned about their use and care while wandering the Dell Garden he created on his property in Norfolk, England. We visited so often, and talked so much, that eventually his daughter Anthea was persuaded to spend a year with our family in Litchfield and we correspond with her to this day. Alan Bloom's son Adrian (Anthea's brother) inherited the same genes and has emerged every bit his father's equal as a plantsman and garden designer. We are, of course, delighted to co-sponsor two talks Adrian will deliver at Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia, NY, on Saturday, September 25: "Expert Plant Choices and Dramatic Combinations for Year-Round Gardens" and "Creating Drama Across Continents." Please click here for more information or to register (a $45 fee per person includes the three-hour program, continental breakfast, and handouts). See you there.

A WORD ABOUT TECHNOLOGY AND HUMANISM

While we fancy ourselves to be plantsmen first, merchants second, we are subject to the same rapid pace of technological change as every other business. Our goal is to use the Internet to deliver a broader line of plants, more and better photos, more and better information, more and better service, while saving expense so as to keep our prices lower. All of that is good, but there is a downside. Customers corresponded regularly with us by mail in the 60s and 70s, then began calling us on the phone in the 80s and 90s, and are now communicating mainly by micro-voltaic messages called E-mails. While the business gets done, the chat that we so much enjoyed is lost. For that reason, we take this opportunity to remind you that we DO have a staff of smart, cheerful, well-informed customer service agents who are very pleased to assist you on the telephone. In addition, we are happy to receive E-mail messages on matters of mutual interest, especially when they pertain to ways we can serve you better. Because our business is highly seasonal and we don't have a lot of extra hands, we cannot promise instantaneous response when the subject is not urgent, but we will read what you write, and will pay attention to what you have to say. Please address your thoughts to custserv@whiteflowerfarm.com. This nursery exists, as you surely understand, to serve you, and we can do a better job when we know exactly what you need.


Sincerely,
Amos Pettingill

P.S. Follow White Flower Farm on Facebook! You can ask us gardening questions there and hear from gardeners across the country. See photos of our display gardens and activities at the nursery each week, and get announcements of special events.

   


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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)2010 White Flower Farm, Inc.





Tulip 'Norma Major' Tulip 'Flashback' Bicolor Beauties Tulip Collection Sweet Iris Collection Tulip 'Blue Diamond' Allium and Poppy Collection Tulip 'Jacqueline'
 
 
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