Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Earthly Delights

Earthly Delights... Cultivating the Gardener

Join Us for New Jersey's Preeminent Horticultural Event


John was recently contacted by Andrea Filippone of AJF Design to be a vendor at Earthly Delights . This was something he had not heard of before and told Andrea he would discuss it with me and get back to her. After checking on what this was all about and asking a few of our customers about it, we have decided to go ahead and appear at this event taking place June 1, 2, and 3. I'm sure it will be quite an experience for us and for any of you who also attend. The estate where Earthly Delights will be held looks breath-taking from the photos we have viewed online and we look forward to walking the grounds.

Have no fear, we will still be open that weekend here at Pittsgrove (we'll work that out one way or another) but look forward to seeing those of you who attend for what promises a quite interesting and informative weekend. 

More and more plants are coming into bloom here and each morning, John and I have another surprise awaiting us in one of the garden beds. Peonies are in full color and tall bearded, Siberian and water iris have been popping one after another.

The bird houses are full and butterflies have started to spread their wings. All is right with the world, at least the world of nature here at Pittsgrove.

Hoping your world is also blossoming,

Friday, May 18, 2012

Butterflies-Welcome Them To Your Garden

 Butterflies on perennial hyssop
When people visit us here at the farm, they often marvel at the number of butterflies seen throughout the gardens.  A Star Ledger article by Ryan Hutchins informed us of a recent visitor to Pittsgrove, the Red Admiral, and we have noticed a number of egg cases on plants throughout the property.

There are a number of plants that you can add to your property to attract these beautiful insects.

John and I have been planting here at Pittsgrove since we've been married (believe me, that's a long time!) so we have a terrific number of plants to bring these beauties of nature our way. No matter the size of your property or your budget, there are plants that may soon make Monarchs, Swallowtails, Skippers, etc. seek out your garden.

Annuals such as zinneas, petunias, impatiens and verbena along with cosmos, nicotiana, and marigolds are all easily found in an abundance of colors at your local garden center or big box store. 

Yellow Swallowtail on hyssop
For long term success in enticing our winged delights to the garden, plant perennials such as yarrow, hyssop, butterfly weed, and peony. Thyme, mint, rosemary, and sage not only attract butterflies, but do double duty in your kitchen.

The butterflies go crazy here for our cone flower (echinacea) and black-eyed Susan (rudebeckia).
Coneflower and Black-eyed Susan
Butterflies like the plants they seek in warm, sunny, wind protected locations. 

It doesn't take a big budget to plant with these flying beauties in mind and they will reward you with a colorful dance of grace enthralling to behold.

Make a butterfly your friend!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dig It-Aggressively Forward-Tall Bearded Iris

Aggressively Forward (Innerst-1994) was aptly named as it was the first tall bearded to bloom in our beds this season. With its very large blossoms and tall stature, there was no overlooking this handsome (in my opinion) iris. Its muddied appearance may be off-putting to those of you who prefer solid colors in your flowers, but I have always been attracted to the unusual. Aggressively Forward also has a nice fragrance making it even more distinctive.

On a personal note, May is GBS/CIDP Awareness Month. Say what??? Exactly. A family member has CIDP and believe me, we went insane with worry before he was properly diagnosed as it mimics so many other conditions. My purpose today is to inform our readers as these are 2 of those "orphan diseases" barely known by the public, but can strike people who had been perfectly healthy dumbfounding them and their physicians alike.
And yes, our family member is now doing quite well, thank you!

Happy Gardening!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Please Stop The Itch!!!

First off, let me be clear this is not a commercial endorsement, since unlike some of my blogger friends, I make $0 from writing. Most of us bloggers just enjoy writing about things close to our hearts and somewhere in the back of our minds lies the "Great American Novel". 

John and I have noticed an overabundance of poison ivy this spring and have decided to completely redo an area next to our driveway rather than contend with the ridiculous amount of it that has infested our rudebeckia and echinacea.Poison ivy is a vine whose leaves grow in clusters of three and every part of it is poisonous, even in winter.

Several years ago, I infected myself miserably while weeding and not realizing that my bare arms were exposed to a ton of poison ivy. The itching was unbearable and I went to our local pharmacist for relief after everything else I tried was futile. He recommended a product, technu, which made me sigh "Ahh".

I have given it to others who were miserable after contact with this wretched weed and they have thanked me profusely for bring an end to their anguish.

technu can be found in your local drug store and believe me for all of you avid gardeners, it is well worth keeping on hand since if you have experienced this rash before, you know how easy it is to contract.

Happy gardening!