New 2014 Varieties

 

glamis_castle

We are very excited to add some very select, unique, fragrant roses. These are nothing at all like the roses from Columbia. They are just 2 years old this coming season. Blooms will be very limited for another year or so.

Also exciting are our new Clematis. We’ve ordered 30 clematis vines for spring of 2014, in blue,  pink and white. We should see a few blooms this season.

WaltersGardens-LO20674-ClematisMulti-Blue

WaltersGardens-LO20679-ClematisPiilu

WaltersGardens-LO19902-ClematisIsago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tulip_impression_1Spring Bulbs:
Foxtail Lily
Grape Hyacinth
Spanish Bluebells
Tulips – Darwin Giants

Alstroemeria-INCA-ICEPerennials:

Agastache – Apache Sunset
Anemone – Japanese
Baptismia
Chrysanthumum
Cupid’s Dart
Echinops
Ferns – Brillance
Feverfew
Lily – Casa Blanca
Stargazer
Penstemon
Peruvian Lily – Inca Ice
Poppies
Red Hot PokerWaltersGardens-LO1361-Echinops-bannaticusBlue-Glow
Rudbeckia – Triloba
Goldilocks
Cherokee Sunset
Trollius – Golden Globe

aster_china

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Annuals:
Asters
Baby’s Breath
Lace Flower
Safflower
Wheat – Black tipped

babys-breathe

October 2013 – Happy Fall!

It’s been a glorious fall season so far. It was a beautiful growing season over all. We’re expanding our flower selection again this fall and next spring.

New Flower Varieties for the 2014 Season
(Some perennials will take a couple of years to become established)

Agastache
Asters – Annual and perennial
Baby’s Breath – Annual
Clematis – Blue/Lavender, White, Pink
Crimson Clover
Daffodils – Silver Chime, Fragrant Breeze
Echinops – (Globe Thistle)
Feverfew
Foxglove – New Variety – “Foxie”
Foxtail Lily
Grape Hyacinth
Hyacinth Bean
Japanese Anemome –
Lace Flower
Mums
Peruvian Lily
Painted Daisies
Poppies
Red Hot Poker
Rudbeckia – New Varieties: Cherokee Sunset, Gloriosa, Triloba
Spanish Bluebell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 2013 Thank you!

veronica_2013-07-25_018

I just love our customers.  We get to laugh, we sometimes cry, and together we get to enjoy many of the gifts this life has given us.

I am amazed at the sheer joy, compassion and goodness I find in our clients. Flowers must really bring out not only the best in people, but also the best people!

Veronica…… you a very special and classy woman. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed working with you and your wedding party! Thank you for sharing your photos…. like you, they are absolutely stunning! (Please visit mcshanephotography.com)

Alisha and Ben, thank you for spending your first anniversary with us! I already knew you both in my heart…. it was so wonderful to finally meet you in person! God Bless your friend Wayne (from Australia!)  for driving on the wrong side of the road, in thee only monsoon & torrential downpour of 2012, while hauling 150 (4 foot!)  sunflowers, buckets of amaranthus, some misc flowers, all amazingly crammed into a Nissan, to Traverse City! Your wedding photos are just so gorgeous!  You all hold a very special place in my heart. You are one of my most favorite stories! I love you all!

Dave and Janis from Washington! Finally we get to meet! We have been emailing back and forth forever! What a wonderful surprise! Thank you for sending your beautiful son and daughter-in-law and that tiny, precious grand baby to us! Oh, we are going to have fun this summer!

To the wonderful parents of an amazing 4 year old for fostering a swallowtail caterpillar (and many others, too!) and for showing your son the wonders of nature! I hope the caterpillar enjoys the smorgasbord of plants and herbs you chose for him!

To Kathy and Jess, for giving me goose bumps, for making me laugh and cry, for sharing your precious grandbaby and nephew with me, and for all your kind words. I will never tire of hearing “enchanted” and “magical”. That is my goal, and I thank you for making me realize I am already living in an enchanted and magical place that I can share.  You are very special.

To The Holden’s of Sunset Bed and Breakfast in Pinckney. Oh, what amazing people! If you are looking for a wedding venue, you really need to check this place out. http://sunsetcovebedandbreakfast.com . (My dreamland times at least 500!) Karen and her daughter are the kind of people you love instantly and feel you have known forever. Thank you for spreading the word about our farm and for visiting with us!

To Brittany, for bragging about us! I really appreciate that. You are a love! We have had so many people out who saw your flowers and heard about us from you! You are a darling and greatly appreciated!

To Shayla for sharing your beautiful bottled beer photos. Wow, what an art you and your new husband share! I hope the hops (and flowers) worked wonderfully for you and you are enjoying your honeymoon! I can’t wait to meet your mom!

To my beautiful new friend from Austria (who I am so embarrassed to say I cannot remember your name!) I know your voice and your laughter and your wonderful joy that you give so freely! I hope the wedding was perfect!

Lance, your love for your mom brings me so much joy! I look forward to seeing you again this year. You are a dear young man. We will get that ammi growing in your mom’s gardens yet!

Tonylee and Christopher….. I just can’t express how much I enjoyed working with you! Your love of flowers, life, each other. I hope you both got a well deserved break from work! I am excited to watch your new production, “Low Winter Sun” starting 8/11 (on AMC, 10 o’clock, right after Breaking Bad, filmed in Detroit!) I am excited! (I hope I have all this right)

Ruth, thank you for your patience with the lisianthus! I am so happy it bloomed for your wedding! And thank you for sharing your gorgeous bouquet photos with us! I look forward to seeing your wedding photos!

To all who have supported our farm and flower cart. All who have said kind words when the work gets to be a little too much. Because of you, I am blessed. And I thank you so very much!

Oh, so many good people, I am sure I am forgetting to thank someone!

 

 

Karen Dustman’s Self Sown Garden

My friend Karen is one of those dynamic woman we can all learn from and aspire to become. She is a writer, a business owner, a do it yourself-er, a teacher, an attorney, a historian. She has ran for judge and is active in the politics of both her town and county. She volunteers, explores, discovers, learns, and teaches. And in her spare time, she helps find typos in my writing, shares advice, and encourages dreams. She has strong principles; honestly, kindness and fairness being in the forefront. She is one of those women that they “just don’t make anymore” but we desperately need more of. I am honored to have her as my friend.

Below is her wonderful article about gardening by letting Mother Nature do the work for you.

For more information about her books, please visit her website, Clairitage Press.

harvest

 

Enjoying the Self-Sown Garden

by Karen Dustman

It’s the best time of the gardening year: enjoying the fruit of things you never planted.

While my husband is out in the greenhouse toiling away (40 flats of carefully-planted seeds, and counting), I’m already reaping an early harvest from last year’s garden. The spinach is up all over, scattered wide by the wind. Asparagus, too, is ready for picking, with not an ounce of my effort toward this delightful crop. The large tarragon plant that resurrects itself every year has already put out six inches of new growth.

Best find of all: a veritable green carpet of cilantro, trying hard to preempt the spot where the tomatoes will soon go. It’s just two inches high so far, but immune to cold nights and making the most of these the much-warmer days. And if I don’t pick it now it will soon get tilled under, along with the occasional weed sprouting companionably along with it.

And what do to with this first harvest of the season? Spinach and asparagus are easy. There’s not enough of those to last long, anyhow.

For tarragon and other herbs, my dad taught me an easy trick: just wash, pat dry, then pop it in the microwave on a paper towel until the leaves are crispy (roughly a minute). For some reason the color stays much greener with microwave drying, unlike traditional air-dried herbs. I save my tiny harvest in glass jars and use it all winter long, savoring memories of days like today.

Best of all is the early cilantro harvest. Some of it, of course, makes its way into fresh salsa. The microwave trick also works well for drying this aromatic herb, though it’s never quite as flavorful as when fresh-picked.

But even with the small early crop, it’s easy to find yourself with way too much cilantro on your hands. My favorite solution: a frozen cilantro pesto. Plastic ice cube trays make it easy to pop out the right amount for future use. And the flavor stays nearly as good as when fresh. Another wonderful treat from your un-sown garden for the middle of winter!

SIDEBAR/BOX:  *Cilantro Pesto*

Wash cilantro well, and remove the largest stems.  Pat dry.

Place a generous bunch of cilantro in food processor or blender with:

  • ½ c. olive oil
  • 1-2 Tb. lemon juice (to taste)
  • pinch of red pepper
  • ½ tsp. salt

Blend well.

Fill plastic ice cube trays with mixture, using rubber spatula to press into cells.

Freeze until solid, then remove individual cubes. Store in the freezer in plastic freezer bag until ready to use. Defrost as needed.

Serving suggestion:  Top black beans and rice with spoonfuls of Cilantro Pesto; garnish with diced tomatoes.

 

 

 

 

Spring 2013

Spring is finally here! It is so gratifying and wondrous to see all the plants coming back to life after spending the winter asleep. The new growth, the new life, just always amazes me. 

The seedlings are happy, many are planted, many are ready to be planted out, and many need the temperatures to become a little warmer before planting.  I still need to start some flats, but am now down to celosia,  zinnias  and some replacements.  We put over 400 lisianthus plants in during a mild snow storm on the 14th of April, along with the stock and snapdragons.  We’ll plant out another 700 or so lisianthus plants a little later. We were finally able to take the covers off this week from the stock and snapdragons. 

The new peonies are popping up and looking fabulous! We put 60 new plants in last fall. It will take these a few years to become established. We have a small plot on another piece of land and we’ve sold every flower available for 2013, so these will be a wonderful addition! 

Planted so far to date are:

Pansies
Willow
Dahlia ( potted for early blooms)
Obedient Plant
Foxglove (extras from greenhouse)
Tuberose (potted for early blooms)
Ranunculus (new this year and a test) 
Hens & Chicks
Bachelor’s Buttons
Sweet Peas
English Ivy
Columbine
Marigolds (test) 
Stock
Snapdragons
Lisianthus
Bupleurum 
Larkspur
Delphinium (extras from greenhouse)
Blanket Flower (extras from greenhouse)
Chives
Lilies- Stargazer & Casa Blanca
Dusty Miller
Leeks
Valerian 
Hops

Next week we hope to get in more flowers under cover. The first of the sunflowers will go in, along with some globe amaranth, salvia & frosted explosion, all under cover. I might even risk setting out a few ageratum for early blooms. The forecast is finally looking wonderful! 

And in-between, I still need to get new beds done, the new deer fence in (no, I haven’t got to that yet), more conduit bent, plants moved, tilling done, weeding done, mulching done, compost down ….. the list grows faster than the flowers! The season is getting more and more exciting as each day passes. 

We have many perennial plants potted and for sale, most between 3 & 6.00 dollars for generous sized pots. We are also potting up some extra lisianthus for sale. For those of you who love this flower, once it is established it is pretty carefree. Getting it to the “setting out size” is the battle. Once planted out, we support ours and cover them so we have perfect blooms, but covering is not necessary for beautiful flowers. They will be offered for $2.50 a plant, 12 or more for 2.00 each. They are a tender perennial, hardy to zone 7 or 8, but they  can be wintered over here, during a mild winter, with mulch. It is personally one of my favorite flowers. For more information, please contact us.

 

 

April 2013

It’s been a long time coming, but I do believe spring is here! It is so exciting to watch as plants spring up from the ground after a long, cold winter. Every little plant is like an exciting gift.  I hope I never lose that awe and excitement.

The frogs and birds give the first signs; the frogs where late to sing this year! Our barn swallow scouts were scoping the place out already, making sure it is still fit for the flock. We had a pair of bluebirds checking out a hole in the dead tree I left on the windbreak, I sure hope they approve! The cardinal males are bickering and are sure funny to watch.

It’s planting season, and although it’s been cold, planting has begun. We’ve  got over 400 lisianthus plants in so far, the stock and snapdragons. We’ve had to hold off on some of our more tender annuals; even with cover, it’s been a little too risky. Many perennials are going in, being divided, being moved. We’ve potted some dahlias and tuberose for earlier blooms. The ranunculus, an experiment, is up and looks very happy!

We are excited and look forward to a great season!

 

So, What Do You Do In The Winter?

winterSo, what do you do in the winter?

Ahhh, I love this question and all the dreams it conjures. Beaches, good books, cooking, movies, time with loved ones or even just catching up!

The reality is, it never stops.  After the first frost in October, we start cleaning up the flower beds, spreading compost, mulching. The perennials are cut back, some are divided and potted up. I’ve added some new flowering shrubs and 60 new peony plants. This is a good time to review what worked, what didn’t, and why, so it can be corrected.

November brings more clean up, new beds, more mulch and compost, repairs and tucking all our tools and equipment in. Plans for winter projects are finalized.  We winterize our irrigation systems, pull plastic and get plants and critters ready for winter.  The barn and greenhouse get winterized, we get water heaters out, clean pens and bed down ducks, chickens, rabbits and the old wild cat. The perennials I started in the summer need to be tucked in.  We start on winter projects as time permits. This year’s projects are new fence and clearing trees that are old, crowded, blocking too much light, or harboring insects. I would like to add a new hoop house. When the weather gets nasty, the house gets much needed attention.  Beds are planned and plotted, seed lists made. Pat is busy with firewood.

December is busy, as it is for everyone with holidays. I get our books up to date for tax season. This is the month to get started on winter projects. One of this month’s projects was taking down the old deer fence to make way for the new.  The posts will still have to be pulled out. We also started dropping trees around the back flower beds. This is an enormous, long over due project that will continue all winter. Seeds are ordered from various companies. I get the racks, lights, flats, trays and soil ready. The short days get to me, but the solstice comes this month! I get some housework done on the bad days. Pat is always busy with firewood & repairs.

In January the days are finally getting longer! Plugs are ordered. I begin to start seedlings including lisianthus, cutting pansies and several winter sown perennials. Tree removal continues. Critters always take a bit more time and care when the weather is cold. The attic gets cleaned out to prepare for next year’s dried flowers. Taxes are prepared. I would like to do some house repairs, but I haven’t found the time yet. I do get to some housework, after a day or two you’d never know it.  Although Pat has a mountain of firewood cut, the wood rack needs constant filling.  I’m getting tired of wearing 2 tons of clothing and start pining for spring, even though I am months away from being ready. Our January thaw was wonderful, but we all have such a hard time acclimating to 50 degree temperature swings. The indoor critters have immense cabin fever, the outdoor critters don’t know whether to shed out or hibernate. Yes, in January I whine a bit. But the days are noticeably longer, and did you know that summer has four more days than winter? I love that!

February is here now and I’ve started more lisianthus for our late planting, I’ll start our snaps, stock and several more perennials this week.  Although I’m happy with our progress, there are still many more trees to come down.  Reality is setting in, and this project will continue into next winter.  I’m trying to beat the thaw that’s coming… we can’t drop trees on soft flower beds. With the deer fence down, they are tromping through the fields, doing their deer damage.  The woody shrubs and trees need pruning. I need to go over notes and be sure all the flowers have a place to live by planting season; typically they all do not, so more new beds are planned out.  The new fence line needs to be cleared, measured and I need to make a material list. The website needs a lot of attention in preparation for next season.  The house is a wreck, and has too many projects going on for it’s size.  (Really, what woman has a chainsaw that lives on her table?) I need to take a day or two to clean it up before it drives me insane. Snow, mud and sawdust are constantly being tracked in by way too many little and big feet.  I’m still dreaming of that vacation!

March is our huge seed starting month. We need the weather to cooperate so the early seedlings can be moved out. This is always such a gamble as we do not have a heated greenhouse. Weather permitting (Yes, I say that over and over and over again, but it is so true!) there will be over 100 flats started by the end of this month and these babies take several hours of care a day. More seeds will be ordered. Winter projects need to be completed, the deer fence needs to be started. Low tunnels need to be set up for our beds that will be planted out soon with early annuals.  The early annual beds need to be prepared with drip line and plastic so the ground can begin to warm. (yep! weather permitting!) I would like to test a theory that we can have sunflowers for Mother’s Day in a hoop house. Germination is checked for the fall planted annuals…my nose is pressed to the ground constantly, even though it is still too early. If we have poor germination, they will need to be replanted. The irrigation systems need to be set up and/or repaired, which is a constant, ongoing project from now through fall. Customer service  gets busier, questions need to be answered, dates and times set.  Whatever clean up that didn’t get done last fall needs to be done, which includes the entire area in the front and along both sides of the drive. I am hoping Jerid will be able to get to the gazebo project this month. Supplies need to be inventoried and ordered.

April is insanely busy. We start planting in the fields under protection and are still starting seedlings.  Certain cover crops may go in. The growing cycle begins all over. The flower and garden sheds needs cleaning, organizing. Weeding begins in earnest.  More mulch and more compost need to be spread.  The animals need extra grooming as they start doing some serious shedding out.  They’ll get baths if we have a nice warm day.  I would like to build a bucket washing station behind the garden shed and  need to get a new hot water system installed. Everything that hasn’t been completed over the winter still needs completing. (I am a great one for under estimating time). The under growth becomes greener, bulbs start peeking up and we see the glorious signs of spring.

And then May is here in all it’s glory and the season begins once again. I have so many dreams for this season and I am already planning next winter’s projects in my mind, somehow along with that vacation.

And that’s what we do all winter.