Thursday, February 28, 2008

See You at Dave's

I passed along as a tool for you to winnow down which garden catalogs are most likely to keep you a happy gardener as you place your orders for spring planting. When I told our son, Garrett, about that he decided to add us to the site since we aim to provide locally the unusual and hard to find iris, peony, and daylily plants one would normally find only in catalogs. You can check us out here. Along with quality we strive to educate through friendly, reputable service to our customers, which we hope will be enhanced by becoming a part of Dave's community.

Yesterday I received a phone call from someone who heard about us from a friend of ours who owns a local garden center. Lee, of Kingwood Gardens in Frenchtown, NJ told the woman about our iris and the gal was anxious to come visit. I obviously had to put her off until spring since it was 11 degrees this morning and we still have snow on the ground! But in turn I would like to put in a good word for Kingwood Gardens (which you also would want to visit in the spring!). There you will find quality annuals, planters, and hanging baskets, etc. along with friendly, knowledgeable service.

So let us all in the gardening world try to keep high standards, educate, and support each other. And take heart--the first day of spring is just 3 weeks away!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Watching Out for You

We were among those in New Jersey walloped by a winter storm that dumped about 6" of snow on us. Since I had no reason to take to the treacherous roads, I wasn't adversely affected by the storm that caused hundreds of fender-benders and horrendous airport delays. To the contrary, I embrace winter snowfall and actually enjoy the physical workout provided by a sturdy snow shovel. Some may think I'm crazy, but I have loved shoveling since I was a kid and I usually start while snow is still falling heavily. There is something about the tranquility and fresh clean air that for me can only be experienced at that moment.
Many of you though are like John, content to remain warm indoors poring over the ever increasing stack of garden catalogs arriving almost daily.

Last year our son, Garrett, came across a website which provides a wealth of information for gardeners. Then, an article in the Home & Garden section of our copy of The Star Ledger on February 21, 2008 prompted me to pass the site along to those of you who may not know about it. The article specifically refers to the Garden Watchdog section of Dave's

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Whee doggie, we're ready for a hayride!

With his hat, droopy mustache, and tusseled hair, if John continues to lose weight he'll resemble Jed Clampett. He is certainly acting more "country" especially after his recent purchase of a Kubota tractor complete with brush hog and pull behind wagon.

Some of you may recall my November 15, 2007 posting as I recounted his joy in discovering a great deal on red wagons. Well John had that same gleam in his eye when he showed me pictures of the tractor he found on line. I must add that our sons are stunned by his new found interest in things mechanical since their mother was the one more likely to pull out a tool box or get under the hood of the car during their growing up years. It amazes them that during the past year he has purchased a high brush mower, a rototiller, and now the tractor.

John took the tractor out for a test drive in our field after it was delivered, but soon had to bring it back to the driveway after discovering the field was too wet. With our high water table here in Franklin Township, our property remains very wet after heavy rains. In fact, instead of growing perennials perhaps we should try water farming like someone else in Hunterdon County is attempting to do. Really-and no, I had never heard of that either!

I took pictures of the tractor and wagon and emailed them to our west coast family knowing our grandchildren would be thrilled. My daughter-in-law sent the following reactions of our 3 year old grand daughter and her 2 year old brother:
Olivia says "maybe when we come visit Pop can drive the tractor and take us for a ride in the wagon. That would be fun". Zach says "Pop show me drive it" "Livi go in wagon by herself. Mimi pull her."

I have to go now-John wants to measure me for my harness!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

For the Birds

Yellow Finch Fever

Something John and I discovered when we ran the garden center and continued to realize with the new folks we met here at the farm is many gardeners are also avid birders who, like us, look for ways to attract as many birds as possible to their landscapes. We have done so with many of our plantings and are delighted to discover that something we put in the ground is likely to attract another song bird.

Rather than the jewelry or candy some of you may receive on your anniversary, this year much to my delight, John gave me three new birdhouses. Don't scoff--to me that was quite romantic and I have dear friends who recently admitted to the romantic side of washing dishes together! We will now have several birdhouses scattered throughout the property along with a number of bird feeders.

Baby Birds

Each year we watch our regulars-chickadees, cardinals, downy woodpeckers, etc., as they flit about the property. And each year we seem to have some new bird discover us, sometimes just passing through like the Harris hawk yesterday, or looking for a new home like the blue birds a couple of years ago, or escapees like the pheasants from a nearby gun club.

Over my morning coffee I read in today's Star Ledger that all of you can join me and fellow birders February 15-18 for The Great Backyard Bird Count sponsored by Cornell University. Go to or for details, but basically you are reporting on birds in your immediate area. You can be as ambitious or lazy as you please. You can don those hiking boots with binoculars, bird guide and pen and paper in hand, or lazily sip your coffee, tea or glass of Pinot as you take note of your feathered friends passing by your window then send your findings to the web site. Who knows, you may even be lucky enough to win one of the prizes they are offering. In any case you will have something to pass the time until spring arrives and we are all back again "playing in the dirt"!