Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Siberians (and we ain't talking about chilly Russians)

Today we added a few new Siberian iris to the Pittsgrove Farms website.

Siberian iris are great additions to any perennial garden. They are one of the easiest types of iris to grow as they are tolerant to disease and insects. During their first year of growth they require moist soil; however after the first year they become more drought hardy.

Siberian iris are native to central Europe and Asia but can now be found in many backyard gardens in zones 3-9. This beardless type tends to bloom in the mid-season after tall bearded iris. They love the sun but will tolerate light shade.

We carry roughly 40 varieties of Siberian irises at the farm. We will be continually adding more to the website but for now, here are a few standouts.

Butter and Sugar

This Siberian that sounds like it is straight from a baker's kitchen is an award winner worth checking out. It is a sweet addition to the garden with sugar white standards and buttery yellow falls - both etched with greenish yellow veins. White styles with yellow midribs make it one not to be missed.

Color: White & Yellow---Style: Amoena---Year: 1986
Height: 27"---Bloom Season: Mid
Awards: Morgan Medal '81, Morgan-Wood Medal '86

Baby Sister

Baby is right - this one is tiny at a maximum height of about a foot. Baby Sister is a dwarf known for being one of the shortest Siberian iris varieties. It has a violet blue self with darker veins on the falls.

Color: Violet Blue---Style: Diploid---Year: 1986
Height: 12"---Bloom Season: Early-Mid
Awards: HM '91

Bridal Jig

Bridal Jig is as white and elegant as a wedding dress, beautifully accented with yellow. The small crescent-shaped deep yellow signal compliments the brilliance of white.

Color: White---Style: Self---Year: 1993
Height: 35"---Bloom Season: Mid

Monday, April 28, 2008 Goes Live

Hello Garden Heads!

We have officially done it. We have launched a website! We are really excited to plant another seed (or should we say rhizome) in the online world.

We have done our best to put forth an informational site that we will continue to grow hopefully as quickly as we grow the farm. We have included a small selection of the Louisiana, Japanese, Siberian, tall, intermediate, and dwarf bearded iris as well as some peonies and daylilies. We have more than a hundred varieties of iris alone and are continually adding new ones so it might take some time before we have all the varieties online.

Eventually, we plan on providing e-commerce capabilities but for now, our goal is to create a great resource for plant information, growing tips, useful tools, etc. Please let us know what you would like to see and we will work to bring it online.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

John's Revenge

Spring has finally sprung and the glorious weather has kept us in full swing with cleaning up the iris and peony beds, potting, and planting, which brings me to my latest and newest gardening experience.

At this time of year, John and I get starter plants arriving on a regular basis, so I was eager to see what the FedEx guy had for us when he pulled up. That's when John informed me that while I was in Washington he had ordered some water lilies(are you starting to envision what's in store for me?). He had purchased Albida,Texas Dawn, and several other varieties from Maryland Aquatic Nurseries and said that Kelly whom he had spoken with was very nice and extremely knowledgeable. He also let me know that while I was gone, he took a vote, I won, and therefore had the "honor" of planting the water lilies in the big pond. He, on the other hand, would be left to plant the others in the small pond that we built last fall.

I don't know how much of an "honor" this was---I think it was his way of getting back at me for the broken coffee maker!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Daffodils & Gremlins

Sorry for the big gap in my writing, I've recently returned from visiting with our West Coast family leaving poor John to fend for himself. It was the longest we have been apart in 37 years of marriage and ladies, there is still hope for your significant others! While I was away, John learned how to operate the washer and dryer,dish washer, and coffee maker! However, the house gremlins conspired against him after a few days and the coffee maker refused to drip into the pot and a bathroom shelf that has been hanging for over 20 years fell to the floor when he wasn't home. (When I returned the coffee maker worked for me good as new and the shelf appears to be set for another 20 years!)

While in Washington, I took part in the Junior Daffodil Parade in Tacoma with our grandchildren, but missed last weekend's Daffodil Parade which spans 4 different cities in Pierce County, Washington and has been a huge event and celebrated its 75th anniversary this year. The Puyallup valley in Pierce County produces over 200 varieties of daffodils . It was fun handing out daffodils along the parade route and seeing people get so excited over flowers.

I guess John missed me a little since freshly picked daffodils greeted my return. That was probably to offset the mile long "To Do" list he also had waiting for me.

I was delighted to see that the insulation blanket worked wonderfully for the potted peonies which are all in various stages of growth depending on variety.

Our bearded iris survived well despite some heaving that we had to deal with over the winter. So now that spring has officially kicked off for us, we'll have plenty to keep us busy and John has informed me that I get no more time off. I'll keep you posted on what my task master has
in store for me.