An Annual Tradition

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New Guinea impatiens produce much larger flowers than other varieties of impatiens.

By Marion McParland

Are you looking for a quick and easy way to fill in your flowerbeds or close some gaps in your garden? Annuals come in a colorful mix. With dozens to choose from, you can select the varieties that will work with your sun, shade and soil conditions. They will also add a pop of color to your windowbox plantings and container gardens.

PHS Meadowbrook Farm is having a Father’s Day sale on annuals this weekend, June 13 through 15, with all annuals 25% off. PHS members save an additional 10%. Choose from petunias, calibrachoa, geraniums, sweet potato vines, New Guinea impatiens, coleus, caladium, and many others.

An annual plant is a plant that completes its life cycle, from germination to the production of seed, within one year, and then dies. Summer annuals germinate during spring or early summer and mature by autumn of the same year.

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Ornamental sweet potato vines work well as summer ground cover. They can also be trained to climb a trellis or other support.

Ornamental sweet potato vines are a beautiful and reliable addition to any landscape or container garden. These hardy annuals will thrive in the heat of summer. You will find Ipomoea batatas Illusion® Emerald Lace, Ipomoea batatas Illusion® Midnight Lace and Ipomoea batatas ‘Sweet Caroline Bewitched’ in stock, among others, at Meadowbrook Farm.

Coleus, also known as flame nettle, painted nettle and painted leaf, is excellent as a border in shady areas or interspersed with shade-tolerant perennials that bloom for only a short time. It draws attention with its brightly colored, boldly patterned leaves in shades of red, orange, yellow, green, pink, purple, and white.

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Coleus will add rich, vibrant color to your garden.

Calibrachoa is closely related to the Petunia genus. There are more than two dozen species from South America and parts of the southern United States. While they are evergreen perennials, they are primarily grown as annuals or short-lived perennials. Shaped like a petunia, calibrachoa produces sprawling foliage and thrives in the sun or part-shade. You’ll find them in hanging baskets at Meadowbrook Farm, as well as in 4.5 inch individual pots. These easy keepers are low maintenance because you do not need to dead head, or remove dead flowers, like you do with a petunia.

Visit Meadowbrook Farm this month to find these annuals, as well as veggies, herbs, annual grasses and an assortment of hanging baskets all on sale. Remember, PHS members always save 10% on plants. Become a member on site and enjoy additional savings on your purchases.

PHS Meadowbrook Farm is located at 1633 Washington Lane in Abington Township, Pennsylvania. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information call 215.887.5900 or click here.

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Calibrachoa is on sale this weekend at PHS Meadowbrook Farm. Choose from mixed hanging baskets as well as individual pots.

 

 

 

 

The Grass is Always Greener, Bluer, Blonder

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Lobelia cardinalis, a native cardinal flower, in a bed of Sporobolus heterolepis, or prairie dropseed, at Chanticleer in Wayne. Photo courtesy of Chanticleer.

By Marion McParland

Ornamental grasses add color, texture and interest to any landscape. Ranging from compact plants, or sedges, to tall billowy grasses, they come in many heights, textures, foliage colors and leaf shapes. PHS Meadowbrook Farm has a wide selection of annual grasses to choose from this month. These easy-keepers look great all summer, require little maintenance, and will continue to add beauty and color to your garden into the fall.

These plants require little pruning or maintenance and many varieties billow out to create volume and fill in spaces as they grow. Most ornamental grasses handle heat well and don’t require a lot of watering. They are not subject to diseases or pests and they do not require pesticides. These environmentally friendly plants also grow well on slopes, preventing erosion.

Meadowbrook Farm carries a great selection of ornamental grasses, including the following:

Sporobolus heterolepis, also known as prairie dropseed, is easily grown in a wide range of soils, including heavy clays. Flowers have pink and brown tints, but are known mainly for their coriander-like fragrance. Prairie dropseed is a lovely addition to large rock gardens as well as to foundation plantings and borders.

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Prairie munchkin, another sturdy choice, provides steel blue foliage throughout the summer.

Schizachyrium scoparium, or prairie munchkin, is another sturdy grass. The steel-blue
foliage lasts through the heat of the summer. In the fall, flowers appear and the foliage slowly turns pinkish, then tawny through winter.

Sesleria autumnalis #2, or autumn moor grass, grows narrow stems with silvery-white inflorescences by midsummer and is yellow-green in the cooler seasons. A drought-tolerant choice, it can be planted in full-sun to partially shaded landscapes. Fun fact: Plants in the Sesleria genus are named in honor of Leonardo Sesler, a noteworthy figure in the 18th century botanical world.

Another great choice is Bouteloua gracilis, or blonde ambition, a native grass with an unusual look. Its horizontal eyelash-like chartruse flowers  appear in mid-summer. By fall, they age to blonde seed heads and remain on the plant through winter for added interest.

Carex flacca, or blue zinger #1, is best used as groundcover. Its blue-grey foliage spreads to form a mat and will produce unusual black flowers in March. This drought-tolerant plant thrives in full sun to partial shade.

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Carex oshimensis everillo #1 will add a bright spot to your landscape, living wall or window box.

Bouteloua gracilis Blonde Ambition

Blonde ambition will delight you with its unusual look throughout summer and fall.

Carex oshimensis everillo #1 is another ornamental grass available at Meadowbrook Farm. This dramatic statement plant will brighten up shady spots or add a pop of color as edging along a path. It will also do well in a living wall or window box.

Visit Meadowbrook Farm this month to find these and other great grasses to add to your garden. Remember, PHS members always save 10% on plants. Become a member on site and save on your purchases.

PHS Meadowbrook Farm is located at 1633 Washington Lane in Abington Township, Pennsylvania. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information call 215.887.5900 or click here.

Memorial Day Weekend Sale at PHS Meadowbrook Farm

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By Marion McParland

Take some time out of your busy holiday weekend and stop by PHS Meadowbrook Farm for some fresh air and sunshine. Gather inspiration and advice for your yard and gardening projects as you stroll through the beautiful grounds. Select from an assortment of bountiful  baskets at 30% off to adorn your porch or deck this summer. Also, enjoy 50% off select annuals including pansies, violas and Viola Hip Hop, featured on the PHS Hot List.

You will also be amazed at the assortment of gardening gadgets and gizmos you will find. Stock up on tools of the trade, including PHS custom-made garden tools, hand-forged by the blacksmiths at Red Pig Tools in Oregon;  ergonomically designed pruners and garden scissors by Dramm; and garden hods by L’il Maine.

Dramm garden scissors

Dramm garden scissors

Get your summer veggie garden started with Meadowbrook’s homegrown peppers, eggplant and herbs. Plus find great varieties of tomatoes, including Early Girl, Indigo Rose, Indigo Apple, San Marzano, Sweet 100, Yellow Pear, Hillbilly Potato Leaf, Cherokee Purple, and Blueberry.

Remember, PHS members always save 10% on plants at Meadowbrook Farm. Become a member on site and save on your weekend purchases!

PHS Meadowbrook Farm is located at 1633 Washington Lane in Abington Township, Pennsylvania. Meadowbrook Farm will be closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information call 215.887.5900 or click here.

Tomato Mania!

 

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The new tomato in town, Indigo Rose, is filled with anti-oxidants and is the darkest tomato ever bred.

 

By Marion McParland

You say tomato, I say tomahto….. let’s get to PHS Meadowbrook Farm this weekend and buy our plants! Yes, it is tomato time at Meadowbrook Farm. Our tiny seedlings have grown up and are now healthy young plants ready to settle into your garden. Choose from many varieties, including Early Girl, Indigo Rose, Indigo Apple, San Marzano, Sweet 100, Yellow Pear, Hillbilly Potato Leaf, Cherokee Purple and Blueberry.

No garden is complete without tomato plants. In fact, 93 percent of gardening households in the country grow tomatoes. With more than 25,000 varieties to choose from, tomatoes are not only versatile and delicious, but healthy for us as well — packed with vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, and carotenoid lycopene, which can lower your risk of cancer.

A new variety, Indigo Rose, is the darkest tomato bred to date, making it exceptionally high in anthocyanins.  Anthocyanins are powerful anti-oxidants. In the early stages of development, Indigo Rose develops a dark purple pigment in its skin with exposure to direct sunlight. Green when unripe, purple-red when ripe, these one-to two-ounce, cocktail-sized tomatoes have good flavor with plummy overtones. Indigo Rose was developed by Jim Myers at Oregon State University using traditional plant breeding techniques. Meadowbrook Farm has grown them, and all their tomatoes, organically with seeds from Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

 Early Girl tomato plants are here!

Early Girl tomato plants are here!

Tomatoes are thought to originate in South America. From there, the tomato spread to Mexico where the Aztecs called it xitomati,  meaning “plump thing with a navel.” When the tomato was introduced to Europe in the 1500s, Italian physician and botanist Pietro Andrea Mattioli referred to it as “pomi d’oro” or the “golden apple.” The French called it “the apple of love” and the Germans called it “the apple of paradise.” The scientific term for the common tomato is lycopersicon lycopersicum, meaning “wolf peach.”

And while you are at Meadowbrook, pick up some other plants for your garden, including peppers and watermelon, as well as many herbs.

PHS Meadowbrook Farm is located at 1633 Washington Lane in Abington Township, Pennsylvania. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 215.887.5900 or click here.

Mum’s the Word

Unstoppable  Upright Fire

The new Begonia ‘Unstoppable Fire’ makes a beautiful addition to any garden.

 

By Marion McParland

A box of chocolates, the laundry done, grocery shopping complete, dinner cooked and the dogs walked are all high on the list of Mother’s Day wishes. But what is the number one gift for Mom you ask? Flowers! Stop by PHS Meadowbrook Farm for a huge selection of all her favorites including  beautiful blooming perennials like hydrangeas and azaleas.

Choose from homegrown annuals like Americana geraniums, petunias, begonias and New Guinea impatiens. Or pick up a hanging basket overflowing with a trailing geranium, petunia, lantana, bacopa, calabrachoa, allysum, and a variety of annual favorites.

If you are looking for floral fireworks, pick up the PHS Hot List begonia, ‘Unstoppable Upright Fire.’ With red, flame-like flowers, this plant will illuminate any garden. For something special, choose from Blue Billow, Nikko Blue and Bella Anna hydrangeas.

Stop by gift shop for a colorful vase by Material Good, professional gardening tools MBF 2011SpOpenHs239by Dramm, or the perfect garden hod by L’il Maine. You will find everything on Mom’s list in the gift shop. If you can’t decide, opt for a PHS Meadowbrook Farm gift card.

Remember PHS members save 10% on plants. For more information on PHS Meadowbrook Farm, click here or call 215.887.5900. PHS Meadowbrook Farm is located at 1633 Washington Lane, Abington Township, Pennsylvania. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Happy Mother’s Day!

MaineLilGardenHod

The L’il Maine garden hod is a useful gift for every Mom. It is great for carrying garden bounty, tools, or even knitting supplies.

 

Get Your Garden Started this Saturday at Meadowbrook Farm

 

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By Marion McParland

Great garden shopping? Check. Gourmet cooking demonstrations? Check. Fun crafts and activities for the kids? Check. Special discounts for PHS members? You bet! There is no better way to spend a spring day than at the annual PHS Meadowbrook Farm Spring Fling, this Saturday, May 3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Spring Fling is a day filled with shopping and festivities. Meadowbrook’s nursery is bursting with spring favorites including MBF 2011SpOpenHs140homegrown annuals, veggies and herbs; bountiful hanging baskets to dress up your porch; mixed container gardens for your front steps; plus a great selection of PHS Gold Medal plants, spring blooming perennials and trees. Select from the season’s top trends, including plants from the PHS Hot List, professional gardening tools, and gifts. For gardening tools and other necessities, the gift shop is filled with items including the L’il Maine Garden Hod, vases by Material Good and colorful, compact pruners by Dramm.

Raw foods chef  Natalie Palmer, of “Elegantly Raw,” in partnership with Whole Foods Jenkintown, will be giving raw cuisine demonstrations at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. She will prepare delicious items to sample, including zucchini dill garden soup with nasturtium pine nut cream, fennel and wild arugula Asian pear salad with Asian pear ginger vinaigrette, a zucchini garden wrap with nasturtium pesto, and herbal chocolate mint garden I-scream! Chef Natalie specializes in gourmet and therapeutic raw cuisine. Whole Foods will also offer smoked barbecue pulled pork sandwiches, smoked barbeque chicken leg quarters, vegan barbecued chicken and veggie sandwiches and beverages for sale (cash only).

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Activities for children will include a “Find These Trees” scavenger hunt, free butterfly and kite crafts with the Abington Arts Center, and an obstacle course designed by the Abington YMCA.

PHS members receive a 10% discount on plant purchases. Join on site and save! For more information, click here or call Meadowbrook Farm at 215.887.5900. PHS Meadowbrook Farm is located at 1633 Washington Lane, Meadowbrook, Pennsylvania 19046.

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