Friday, August 31, 2012

Share your Bounty

Woodbridge Greenhouses is collecting donations of extra garden produce.
We deliver it to the Trinity Episcopal Church Food Closet.
Woodbridge is open and accepts donations every day from 9 to 5 .
Thank you for sharing your bounty with those in need.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

"The moon is at her full, and riding high,
Floods the calm fields with light.
The airs that hover in the summer sky
Are all asleep to-night."
- William C. Bryant

(1794 - 1878)

American romantic poet, journalist,

and New York Evening Post editor.

"There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart."

- Celia Thaxter

(1835 - 1894)

American writer and poet
"In August, the large masses of berries,
which, when in flower,
had attracted many wild bees,
gradually assumed their bright velvety crimson hue,
and by their weight again
bent down and broke their tender limbs."
- Henry David Thoreau
(1817 - 1862)
American author, poet, philosopher

Not so lush Hosta?

A new plant?
Last week my dear hubby asked about the new plant in the garden bed behind the house. With a closer look, it wasn't a new plant, but a bare plant. The next morning, we found a clear set of hoof prints near the plants, we identified the culprit.
One of my favorite plant groupings in our garden is a varigated hosta next to a giant blue hosta. We planted this garden bed about three years ago, and it's really doing well. In front of the bed is a large area of crushed stone.
Woodbridge carries many different variegated varieties and currently has these BIG Hostas in stock:
  • Frances William,
  • Big Daddy (blue) and
  • Elegans.
Crushed Stone...a deer deterent?
Occassionally, hungry deer wander into our yard from the woods. Most often, they graze their way across the lawn and meander back into the woods. I felt really lucky that they weren't attracted to our garden beds. I had been told that our paths of crushed stones are a good deterrent, since walking on it is too noisy for the stealthy deer.

When deer are hungry enough, so I've been told, they will eat anything and take unusal risks.They must be hungry now. They discovered that by circumventing the crushed stone, they could approach our hosta from the back of the garden.

It was time to apply on my most-reliable deer deterent, Plantskyd. It is a bit smelly for a day, then the smell fades, but it's strength lasts for months. Luckily, Debbie sells it at Woodbridge Greenhouses. I sprayed it that night on the hostas and around our vegetable garden. We haven't seen any deer since.
Thank you, Debbie for the great plants in the garden. 
Thank you, Plantskyd for protecting the plants in my garden.

~ R.C.B.

Black Eyed Susans

Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia)

are some of the most useful perennial landscape plants of them all.  

Susans are North America's most popular native plant. Their assets are many and their liabilities are few.
Rudbeckia flowers are clear, golden yellow, and a bit larger than the wildflower, but very much the same.  Each mature plant will produce a long-lasting bouquet of about two dozen of these beautiful flowers, even in the heat of mid-summer.

What's not to love? Her assets include...
  • Great flowers for naturalizing in a meadow garden,
  • Lovely planted in drifts, in formal beds or alone.
  • Perfect with variegated ornamental grasses
  • Excellent for cutting.
  • Black Eyed Susans are deer resistant (but remember a hungry deer will eat almost anything).
  • Plant in a border with marigolds around your garden for colorful, protective border (unfortunately, the groundhogs devoured our marigolds this year).

Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' is the variety of Black Eyed Susans sold at Woodbridge Greenhouses. Goldsturm was voted Perennial Plant of the Year for 1999 by the Perennial Plant Association.
Goldsturm could be the king of perennials. It is one of the most popular and widely-planted flowering plants in America. Developed in Germany in the 1930's, it's name is German for “gold storm”.
A storm of great features:
  • Grows to about 2-1/2 to 3 feet high
  • Blooms profusely from mid-July to October
  • Lush, dark-green foliage fills your garden until the blooms pop open in July.
  • Blossoms last several weeks
  • Flowers attract butterflies
  • Thrives in full sun, but can tolerate afternoon shade.
  • Does well planted in containers.
  • Brown, button-like seed pods add interest to winter gardens and attract birds in the fall.  
  • Will self seed if flower heads left to seed. 

Carefree Susans with few liabilities:
  • She is easy to grow and very low maintenance.
  • Let her branch out, give her about 2 feet from neighboring plants.
  • She enjoys an even layer of light mulch
  • Snip the fading flowers from her crown to encourage more blossoms
  • Once established, she can tolerate drought conditions
  • Few disease and insect will bother her.
  • Spread her joy and divide her after three years (optional).
My lovely groundhogs enjoyed a light snack of this Black Eyed Susan.

Poetic Name...
Legend says this flower's name comes from an OldEnglish, post-Elizabethan era poem called, “Black-Eyed Susan,” written by the poet, John Gay (1685-1732).  The poem tells a “Legend of Love” that these two wildflowers re-enact each summer.
"All in the downs, the fleet was moored,
Banners waving in the wind.
When Black-Eyed Susan came aboard,
and eyed the burly men.
'Tell me ye sailors, tell me true
Does my Sweet William sail with you?'"
Several stanzas follows and describe how Susan's William was “high upon the yardarm”, and descended for a fond farewell with his lady love.  He promised ardently to be safe and true and return from his trip on the high seas.
"Though battle call me from thy arms
Let not my pretty Susan mourn;
Though cannons roar, yet safe from harms
William shall to his Dear return.
Love turns aside the balls that round me fly
Lest precious tears should drop from Susan’s eye."
Enjoy Sweet William and Black-Eyed Susan planted together when they bloom together.