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Down on the Farm - Get Ready -- There Will Be a Spring
 


A simple cedar tuteur gives the garden interest in winter, too.
A simple cedar tuteur gives the
garden interest in winter, too.


The Rainbow Coneflower Collection is one of over 300 new items.
The Rainbow Coneflower Collection
is one of over 300 new items.


Reserve The Works Daffodils for fall delivery. 100 bulbs, $49
Reserve The Works Daffodils for fall delivery. 100 bulbs, $49



Dear Gardening Friend,

From what we read and hear, winter has been long and deep in most of the continental U.S., just as it has in Litchfield. A friend in the investment business is fond of saying "It's always darkest just before the bottom drops out," but that cheery insight does not apply to the seasons. No matter how much snow is in your yard today, the sun is higher and stronger, the days are longer, and the back of winter broken. It's time to gather your wits, check the sell-by date on your sun block, and make ready for the best 90 days of the year, those being SPRING.

WHAT TO DO NOW?


There is a simple answer --
visit whiteflowerfarm.com. For many years, our printed catalogues sought to strike a balance between impulse and foresight, and we spent a lot of your money (printing and mailing costs are, of course, included in the price of plants) mailing catalogues that presented only part of our offering for only part of the year. That process, which continues, is a cost-driven compromise that is gradually being made obsolete by the miracle of the Internet. At the moment this is written, there are more than 1,000 varieties of annuals, perennials, bulbs, trees, shrubs, vines, and edible plants available for your convenience, any of which can be delivered to your door at the right time for planting, with just the click of a mouse on your part. On or about March 1, this offering will increase by roughly 400 items, these comprising the full range of our bulb offering for fall delivery. Please click BULBS 2010 at the top of any page on our Web site to see this selection. This arrangement allows you to look in your neighbor’s garden, or your own, as the spring-flowering bulbs start to bloom, and make your selections NOW, for delivery later. This kind of thinking ahead is central to the way we garden, and has the added advantage of allowing us to forget how much we spent in March so we can spend some more without remorse in May. Please note that if you are a regular customer, your summer edition of our catalogue will arrive in your mailbox in late March, and the fall edition in late August. Think of these as aides-memoire for the over-committed, but remember that the real action, including almost daily additions to the offering, takes place at our Web site. This is where we can serve you best, which is our goal.

   
  Dine and Dance with Flowers and Vegetables  
 

Place Lavender and herbs at the front of a border.
Place Lavender and herbs
at the front of a border.


Add cutting flowers, such as Rudbeckia 'Prairie Sun', to your kitchen garden.
Add cutting flowers, such as Rudbeckia 'Prairie Sun', to your kitchen garden.


Edge paths in the veggies garden with colorful Zinnias and other annuals.
Edge paths in the veggie garden
with colorful Zinnias
and other annuals.


Short on space? Mix your vegetables and herbs in containers.
Short on space?
Mix your vegetables
and herbs in containers.


A raised bed has many advantages -- watch our video.
A raised bed has
many advantages--
watch our video.

 
DINE AND DANCE WITH FLOWERS AND VEGETABLES


In an era long past, the opportunity to dine and dance at the same venue was considered a compelling proposition. As we faintly recall, some of these establishments actually served alcohol, which served slightly to enhance the pleasure of separating the courses of a fine meal with a tango or a fox trot. That model is now obsolete (we are told) and our culture is diminished by its passing.

In modern gardening, there seems to be a division between flower and vegetable enthusiasts, a gap we'd like to discourage in favor of the "dine and dance" approach. If you will accept the premise than any flower garden has the space and conditions for a few vegetables, you will likely accept the reverse as well. Once the barrier is breached, there is no end of fun to be had by blending the two pursuits into the same garden. Yes, there are design challenges, since not all vegetables are beautiful in conventional ways, nor do "row crops" blend easily into the blowsy informality of cottage gardens. All of that being said, there are many ways to integrate the two, including but surely not limited to the following:

-- Edging formal borders or herb and vegetable gardens with Fraises des Bois

-- Installing containers of tomatoes, peppers, or herbs along sunny walks and terraces

-- Circling flowering annuals in containers with salad greens

-- Adding herbs with interesting texture or color, like Golden Sage or 'Hi-Ho' Silver Thyme, to the front of borders

-- Placing pots of mint near paths or doorways where the plants can be pinched and sniffed by passersby

-- Creating a hedge from blueberry bushes to enjoy their fruit as well as fall color

-- Adding a rhubarb plant to a perennial bed

We will be pleased to enable this experiment in creativity by delivering healthy, vigorous plants of vegetables, herbs, and small fruits at whatever time and place you choose. With 130 varieties of mostly heirloom Tomatoes and 40 varieties of Peppers, our list provides options that are not available elsewhere.

OUR CUSTOMER SERVICE STAFF

The men and women who answer the phone when you call 800-503-9624 are good natured, intelligent, and patient folks, mostly gardeners themselves, and they are happy to answer questions, solve problems, and explain the various nuances of buying live plants through the mail. They have access to our current inventory and our expected shipping schedules (subject to the vagaries of weather), and have the absolute authority to make appropriate corrections or adjustments in cases where we have failed to meet your expectations. It is our view, in which we suspect you will concur, that a well-organized Web site is a useful resource but is not, and will not soon be, a substitute for the attention of a thoughtful and experienced professional. Our customer service staff averages 12 years of service, and it’s pretty unusual for them to encounter an issue they haven’t seen before. So don’t be shy about calling them. That’s why they are here, and they genuinely enjoy the process of making your garden a success.

Sincerely,
Amos Pettingill

P.S. For information on growing plants, please visit the Gardening Help section of our Web site for how-to videos, articles and tips, and an A-Z list of Growing Guides.

   


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)2010 White Flower Farm, Inc.





 
 
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