Monthly Archives: October 2017


Bring The Garden Indoors with Fragrant Houseplants

Almost everyone has experienced a moment when a certain scent – a freshly baked apple pie or the perfume worn by a favorite aunt – revives a memory and transports us to another place and time. The unique fragrances of many plants remain in our memory for a lifetime too.


Gardenias were very popular during the World War II era. A sweetly scented Gardenia corsage was considered the ultimate romantic gift and as a result, many war veterans still order the plants for their wives. Those vintage corsages may be passé now, but the Gardenia’s perfume and full-petaled white blooms are welcome outdoors in warmer climate gardens, and inside during the winter months.

Lavender 'Goodwin Creek Grey'
Lavender ‘Goodwin Creek Grey’

For centuries, the evocative scent of Lavender has been used to perfume the home, refresh the body, and rejuvenate the spirit. The herb is still a popular indoor favorite today – few people can resist touching the leaves or blossoms to release their soothing aroma. The flowers are easily dried for use in potpourri or sachets, preserving the scent for months.


The heady scent of Paperwhites can rekindle a variety of childhood memories. For many growing these bulbs in nothing more than water and stones was their first successful gardening project. In 2017, they remain a popular choice for forcing indoors as decoration and gifts – particularly during the holiday season. Gardeners of all ages still find them extremely easy to care for and fun to watch grow.

The Works Daffodil Mix

Bulb Planting Time is Here

Most plant growth is obvious, even to the casual observer. In spring and summer, we can see shoots, leaves, and stems burgeoning. By this time of year, that growth appears to slow, even stop. But another cycle of growth is just beginning in preparation for winter. Tucked safely – and invisibly – beneath the soil, bulbs are growing fresh new roots.

Out of sight usually means out of mind. However, you can improve the performance of your bulbs if you take a few moments to fertilize in the fall, even though it feels as though nothing new is happening in the plant world. The ideal bulb fertilizer is slow-release, lower in nitrogen (which supports leaf growth) and higher in phosphorous and potassium (to enhance roots and flowers). For centuries, bone meal was the bulb fertilizer of choice, but it’s not a complete fertilizer and may have the unfortunate consequence of attracting dogs or rodents, who digs around to try to find the tasty “bone,” so we no longer recommend it.

Apply the fertilizer as a top-dressing to your existing bulbs, or after planting new ones. You can do this now, or later in the season after you’ve cleared away spent plants.

With fertilizers, it’s important to follow label directions and apply only as much as directed. Applying more than your plants can absorb doesn’t benefit the plants, and excess nutrients can wash off into waterways, disrupting aquatic life. The best practice is to apply fertilizer with a frugal hand.

Oriental Lilium Mix - The Perfumed Garde

Your Guide to Choosing and Planting Lilies

Lilies grow form bulbs that are easy to plant and offer big rewards for your garden. Lilies add height, distinctive flower shapes, and sometimes perfume, to summer gardens. The season begins with the colorful Asiatic varieties, continues with the delightfully fragrant Orientals, and then the hybrid Orienpets, which combines the best traits of Oriental Lilies and statuesque Trumpet Lilies. To enjoy a long season of blooms, we recommend including some of each type.

Lilium Commander In Chief
Lilium Commander In Chief

Lilies produce their intriguing turk’s-cap or trumpet-shaped flowers on stems that can be graceful and arching, or sturdily upright and an inch thick. Plant heights range from 2 to 6ft or so, depending on the variety. All are elegant in perennial borders, and shorter varieties may be successfully grown in pots. Many Lilies look lovely naturalizing in sweeps, and we offer several mixes ideal for this purpose.

Plant Lilies in a cutting garden or in part of your vegetable garden so you can enjoy magnificent bouquets. A single stem in a vase makes a classic statement and Lilies also lend drama to mixed arrangements. Remove the stamens to avoid contact with the pollen (which can cause stubborn stains) and to prolong the life of the bloom.

 Lilium Arabesque

Lilium Arabesque

Thanks to modern storage facilities, most Lily bulbs are available to plant both in the spring and in the fall. Many Lilies prefer full sun but will flower in partial shade, which may help blooms to retain their color. Some of the species Lilies and their kin prefer afternoon shade, and require it in the hottest climates.

Plant Lilies in well-drained fertilize soil; they will not survive in soils that are poorly drained, especially in winter. Use a layer of mulch to keep their roots cool in summer. Feed plants with a balanced fertilizer in early spring and then again just before they start blooming. Ensure that plants receive regular moisture, especially during drought.

Pastel Shades Asiatic Lily Mix for Naturalizing
Pastel Shades Asiatic Lily Mix for Naturalizing

When all the flowers have passed, cut the stem directly below the blooms, so that as much foliage as possible is left to feed the bulb. Also, when cutting flowers for the house, keep the stems as short as possible for the same reason. Deadheading also makes the plants look neater and shortens the tall stems, so they are less likely to topple in a windstorm. After foliage dies back, cut stems off at ground level, or leave a few inches so you know where the bulbs are if you plan to do fall or spring planting around them.

Annuals Collection

Choose Your Favorite Annual Container Combinations

Dear Gardening Friends,

Every year at the farm, we create new and different combinations of annuals. We pot them up in spring and let them grow. At the end of the season, we select our favorites and offer them to you in our Spring Garden Book and on our website. This year, we thought we’d ask for your help in the selection process. Please click the link below to rate the annual collections you see based on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being your favorite. Thanks for your help!