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4/5/2011 12:00

Contact: Margret
(860) 496-9624 x6220


"Don't Jump Right In...Yet..."

After a long, long winter in Connecticut, the gardeners at White Flower Farm ( find themselves wishing for spring with an intensity that leads to scratching around in bare soil to check for early signs of life. They offer these few restraining concepts for their customers who may be experiencing the same urgency, while encouraging them not to sacrifice their enthusiasm.

FIRST - Take a fresh look around your property before you do anything. You will be amazed at all the things that will occur to you once the ground is before your eyes. There may be repairs or replacements to be noted, or design enhancements to be worked out, or even new gardens seeking to emerge from your unconscious. Both you and the land are different every year, and the possibilities for self-expression are limitless.

SECOND - Review whatever written records you keep, including plans, purchases, photos, even weather data. Again, the goal is to refresh and stimulate your brain, recreating the reactions you had while the gardens were in bloom last year. If your borders were perfect, perhaps you would consider coming to work with White Flower Farm.

THIRD - Make a list of all the ideas that occur to you as possibilities, then rank them:

  • Most pleasing, interesting, or potentially important
  • Most expensive, including a rough dollar figure
  • Time required to create and maintain, including a rough estimate of hours for each
  • When they need to be implemented, either by drafting plans, or ordering plants, or creating structures, or improving the soil, or even removing existing elements in the landscape.

FOURTH - Turn the list from number 3 into an action plan that fits with your calendar, and your budget and your space, and your energy. Doing a few things well is vastly more satisfying than doing a lot of things poorly, and will produce a garden that is a joy, not a burden. There may be an experienced gardener somewhere who has not learned the hard way about over-committing, but he or she would be an exception.

FIFTH - Take some time to peruse catalogs, including White Flower Farm's, visit Web sites (, and your local gardening center. Make purchases that you are truly excited about, and know will work in your space. Doing your homework first will get you through the dreary early spring weather (which is not ideal for gardening anyway).

Save these dates for upcoming White Flower Farm events:
Plan a trip to the 6th annual Tomatomania! event at White Flower Farm on Friday through Sunday, May 20-22, 2011. More than 125 varieties of tomatoes, peppers, other vegetables and herbs will be available. Talk to expert growers, tour the display gardens, and shop for your garden. See details at:

May 22, 2011 -- White Flower Farm presents the First Annual Tomatomania! at Elm Bank in Boston. In cooperation with the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, White Flower Farm will offer over 75 varieties of Tomatoes from heirlooms to hybrids. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For directions:

White Flower Farm's annual Open House is scheduled for Saturday, June 25, 2011. Staff and family will welcome old and new friends and serve iced tea and cucumber sandwiches on the lawn, starting at 2:30 p.m. It's also the occasion for the annual Best Garden Chapeau contest, which is judged by White Flower Farm family members on an entirely subjective basis. The prize is a $100 White Flower Farm gift certificate plus a year's worth of bragging rights and an appearance on their Web site, value beyond measure. For directions:

Barb Pierson, the nursery manager at White Flower Farm, is available for interviews upon request, as are other experts.

Become a Facebook fan of White Flower Farm at

White Flower Farm is a family-owned nursery located in northwest Connecticut. Since 1950, they have been gathering, evaluating, growing, and selling a wide range of annuals, perennials, shrubs, vines, bulbs, and houseplants representing the very best varieties from around the world. Plants shipped are true to name, free of disease, and in prime condition for growing. While in the area, stop by White Flower Farm with its five acres of display gardens, or visit, where you will also find helpful gardening information including a how-to video library. Join our E-mail list for gardening advice and tips, From the Farm monthly newsletter, announcement of events at the White Flower Farm Store, and special offers not in our catalogues or on our Web site. White Flower Farm -- we make your garden grow.

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