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Fall 2015


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Down on the Farm -- Looking Forward to Spring
Winter time at White Flower Farm

Enjoy early bird savings on a select group of spring bulbs right now.
Enjoy early bird savings on a select group of spring bulbs right now.

You'll find the unusual at Tomatomania! -- from 'Amish Paste' to 'Zapotec'.
You'll find the unusual at Tomatomania! -- from 'Amish Paste' to 'Zapotec'.

Our Shire horses, Blackmore and Langdon, earning their keep.
Our Shire horses, Blackmore and Langdon, earning their keep.

Donna Ferri in last year's prize-winning creation.
Donna Ferri in last year's
prize-winning creation.

Meet Nursery Manager Barbara Pierson at upcoming events.
Meet Nursery Manager Barbara
Pierson at upcoming events.

Dear Gardening Friend,

Here at the nursery, the snow is deep and is now encapsulated under a heavy crust of ice. In combination with hard cold, these conditions keep us indoors and serve to focus our attention on activities that will take place as the season progresses, a number of which we hope will be of interest to you. Please open your calendar and consider making plans to include some or all of the following.

March 15 - Our spring bulb catalogue goes live on our Web site, allowing you to make selections all during the spring, while you are encountering these glorious plants in your neighborhood.

April 1-2 - 8th Annual Great Gardens and Landscaping Symposium at Equinox Resort in Manchester, Vermont, sponsored in part by White Flower Farm. Click here for details.

April 1 - Our retail store and display gardens open for the season. Crocus and Daffodils usually at or near peak. Click here for directions.

May 20-22 - Tomatomania! at the White Flower Farm Store, with 125+ varieties of modern and heirloom Tomato plants, plus 20+ varieties of Peppers and our usual expansive offering of ornamental and edible plants available fresh from our greenhouses at the nursery.

May 22 – Tomatomania! Boston Style - In cooperation with the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, we will present the first annual Tomatomania! at Elm Bank featuring over 75 varieties of Tomatoes from heirlooms to hybrids. Click here for directions.

June 10 (estimated) - First cutting of hay - Roughly 4,000 bales are hauled out of our fields and stacked in our barns as winter provender for the cattle and horses. Always bright, dry weather, work always heavy, hard, and hot, rewards exclusively psychic, volunteers welcome. As the navy says, all hands will be pleased to attend.

June 25 - Open House Day at the nursery, when we offer cucumber sandwiches and iced tea to visitors from near and far. Our now legendary display of Blackmore and Langdon Tuberous Begonias will just be hitting its stride. Also the occasion for our annual Best Garden Chapeau contest, which is judged by family members on an entirely subjective basis. Donna Ferri returns to defend her title won in two of the last three years (please see photo). The prize is a $100 White Flower Farm gift certificate plus local bragging rights and an appearance on our Web site, value beyond measure. Click here for directions.

July 9 - Litchfield Open House Day, when some of the town's magnificent Colonial and Federal houses are open to visitors in support of a local charity. Tickets required - for details click here.

Our Nursery Manager, Barbara Pierson, will be a guest speaker at the following organizations in the next few months. For more information, please click on the name of the host group, or check back frequently at for updated information.

March 16 -- Greenwich, CT, Garden Education Center of Greenwich, sponsored by the Greenwich Dahlia Society.

March 17 -- Boston, MA, Boston Garden Show, "Container Gardening." Free with flower show admission.

May 3 -- Roseville, MN, Minnesota State Horticultural Society

August 20 - Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge - hear about "Hot Hydrangeas". For more information please contact the Garden at

Our Store opens April 1

"The Works" Daffodil Mix is a 5-star customer favorite.
"The Works" Daffodil Mix is a 5-star customer favorite.

We take great pleasure in actually meeting our customers and believe you will find our gardens, and our staff, and the shopping well worth the trip. In addition, Litchfield County is filled with marvelous restaurants, a substantial community of excellent antique dealers, and some of the most beautiful countryside to be found anywhere. There are countless miles of hiking trails including our particular favorite, the White Memorial Foundation, whose 4,000 acres abut us on three sides. Fly fisherman recognize the Housatonic and the Farmington rivers plus their many tributaries as among the best fishing waters in the East, and the present snow cover indicates a long season. The drive from greater Boston or New York is pleasant and easy, and if you choose to stay overnight, which we recommend, the lodging options are abundant in every price range. For details about this area, please click here. We look forward to seeing you.


Our annual discussions with the family nurseries in Holland from whom we buy our premium Amaryllis produced a good idea and a potential bargain. These experts have for some time been advancing the idea that Amaryllis, and especially the smaller-flowered varieties, make excellent garden plants for warmer zones where they are reliable perennials and may even naturalize in conditions they like. Amaryllis are, of course, tender plants native to a frost free-climate. But they can and do prosper in climates that get an occasional light frost if the proprietor exercises some discretion in their placement and, as needed, on their protection. Specifically, south-facing locations, especially those sheltered by hedges, fences, or walls, tend to be significantly warmer than the surrounding neighborhood. It is also possible to provide some protection by raking up leaves or pine straw around the crowns of the bulbs and we have one acquaintance who covers her bulbs with black plastic flowerpots when severe weather is in prospect. Is it worth the trouble? Perhaps the photo above of Amaryllis 'Valentino' with Oriental Poppies will prove instructive.

If you are persuaded, please hear this. One of our grower friends has a modest supply of medium-size bulbs of Amaryllis 'White Nymph', an excellent double variety and an ideal grade for outdoor use, which remained unsold at the end of the season. He has offered them to us for a song, and we are pleased to pass the tune along to you at the nominal price of $46.95 for 6 bulbs. His bulbs are in transit to us as this note is written, and we will get them out to you as soon as we possibly can. To repeat, the quantity is limited and the schedule is tight, so if you are interested, please let us hear from you immediately. We would, incidentally, be very grateful for your detailed reports on your success, as this practice is not possible in our gardens. With your help, we will refine our knowledge and thus our service.

In this space last month, we apologized for some weather-related delivery delays on holiday gifts and delivered a confident assurance that we would shortly be caught up. Unfortunately, the assurance was a fiction, not because we were not willing and able, but because we have been living with a patch of winter weather unlike any previously known here. There simply has been no break through which we could safely ship tender plants, and a good many very handsome plants are still preening themselves in our greenhouses while waiting to make your acquaintance. We hope and believe that our communications have been clear and honest, but we, like you, are disappointed and wish to offer our sincere apologies. The weather did break and we are shipping today. We appreciate your understanding and trust you won't be disappointed.

Amos Pettingill


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
(c)2011 White Flower Farm, Inc.

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