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Fall 2015


Holiday 2015


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Down on the Farm: In the Belt of Summer

Cherry 'Sungold' is a customer favorite, and one of ours, too.
Cherry 'Sungold' is a customer
favorite, and one of ours, too.

Turn kale into a crispy snack by tossing pieces with olive oil, baking, then salting lightly.
Turn kale into a crispy snack by tossing
pieces with olive oil, baking,
then salting lightly.

Dear Gardening Friends,

The fullness of summer is here, and after last year's fiasco with late blight brought on by cold, rainy New England weather, we will never again complain of having too many tomatoes in the garden. There have been scattered reports of the disease this season, but things are fine here. We're delighted to see tomato plants going gangbusters, weighing down their support structures to lean and spill in all directions. The colorful cherries are most prolific, with the Italian drying variety 'Principe Borghese' and tiny currant types close behind.

Elsewhere in the kitchen garden, our staff has been hard pressed to keep up with the Swiss chard, zucchini, and broccoli thanks to a generous helping of shrimp and seaweed compost worked into the soil in May. Three varieties of kale are on trial, too, but their foliage and form are so attractive that we're inclined to enjoy them as ornamentals. Our favorite is Tuscan Kale, Nero di Toscana, also known as Black Palm for its dark color in cool weather and overall shape, and as Dinosaur Kale for the bumpy, fanciful texture of its leaves.

  Raspberry bushes by a neighbor's potting shed  
Some of you are old enough to remember World War II era victory gardens and the back-to-the-land movement of the 1970s, or the gardening revival brought on by the oil shock of 1983. The wheel has turned round, and what we eat and where it comes from has captured this country's attention again, this time, with a focus on lifestyle. A recent article in the New York Times reports that even botanical gardens are using food and celebrity chefs to lure in visitors. And for those with busy lives and limited time for details, there is author Michael Pollan's concise book of Food Rules (Rule #36: Don't eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk.) We hope the attention to a healthy body and a healthy planet is not a passing fad, and that most of us are now willing to make a long-term, focused effort.

Locally grown food always has made sense, and if you're ready to commit to your own landscape, we're offering potted Blueberry and Raspberry bushes, as well as 'Mara des Bois' Strawberries this fall. For your information, a pint of Blueberries currently sell for $4.50 to $5 at the local farmer's market. Put your plants in this fall, and they will become established before cold weather sets in and get off to a fast start next spring.

  Reserve your bulbs now, and we'll deliver them for fall planting!  

May is Tulip time in our display gardens -- plan a visit!
May is Tulip time in our display
gardens -- plan a visit!

Once properly cured, Dutch bulbs are packed into crates for shipping.
Once properly cured, Dutch bulbs are packed into crates for shipping.

Our shipping season usually begins around Labor Day, and the warehouse staff is organizing pick locations for orders, cardboard boxes for packing stations, and coolers for weekly deliveries of spring-blooming bulbs from Holland. The bulbs are carefully harvested and cured by our Dutch partners before making the sea passage in temperature-controlled, refrigerated containers (called "reefers" in the trade), and finish the final miles here by tractor trailer.

This time of year, we also receive new bulb varieties to plant at the nursery for evaluation next spring. Our long-standing practice is to see for ourselves how they perform in our climate, with only the absolute best being then photographed and added to our list. You can browse our complete bulb offering online, and we've created a special photo album below, sorted into helpful categories by garden use or specific features.

Amos Pettingill

P.S. An expert plantsman and garden designer, Adrian Bloom will be on this side of the pond on Saturday, September 25 to present two talks at Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia, NY, an event we are proud to co-sponsor. Please click here for more information or to register (a $45 fee per person includes the three-hour program, continental breakfast, and handouts).


Deer-Resistant Bulbs
Daffodils (Narcissus) Colchicum Fritillaria Grape Hyacinths (Muscari) Hyacinths
Allium Camassia Scilla Snowdrops (Galanthus) Eranthis
Bulbs for Large Plantings
Professional's Mix 100 bulbs for $55 The Works Daffodils 100 bulbs for $59
New Bulbs for Fall Planting
Allium 'White Giant' -- 3 for $17.95 Iris 'Discovery' -- 25 for $16.95 Lily 'Eurydice' -- $14.95 each
Fragrant Bulbs
Lily 'Silk Road' -- $15.95 each Scent of Spring Daffodil Mixture -- 25 bulbs for $29 Muscari armeniacum -- 50 bulbs for $16.95
Bulb & Perennial Partners
As Time Goes By -- $72 Allium & Poppy Collection -- $58 each Daffodils & Daylilies Collaboration -- $148 each
Bulb Planting Essentials Bulbs for Indoor Forcing
Gifts for Fall Occasions

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)2010 White Flower Farm, Inc.

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