Category Archives: Uncategorized

#Springopenhouse at #Bayportflowerhouses

#Springopenhouse at #Bayportflowerhouses is this weekend! Saturday and Sunday, March 23-24 2013. We look forward to a beautiful day in the greenhouses even if the weather outside is still seasonally cool. Bring your friends and family! We have music, lectures, greenhouse tours, refreshments and LOTS of beautiful plant material and merchandise! We will be here to answer all of your gardening questions and would love to assist you with a beautiful floral arrangement! Don’t forget to add your name to our email list so that you will receive future newsletters! http://ow.ly/i/1I4V5

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Impatient With #Impatiens Join us Saturd

Impatient With #Impatiens Join us Saturday, March 2 at 10 am and see what’s new this year! #Coffee&Donuts http://ow.ly/i/1BiHW

Porch Pots

Porch Pots are easy care plantings that “color pop” your patio, front porch, or garden. The combinations are endless and can showcase your personality through color, texture and scent.

It’s an adventure worth taking! Here’s some tips on an creating your own edible container garden. If you’ve got some free time, we are offering Edible Porch Pots, as a class this June. It’s $38 per person and we’ll guide you on your own porch pot adventure.

General Guidelines
When growing an edible garden container, there are a few rules that differ from decorative gardens. Caution is needed when treating plants for insects and diseases. These poisonous chemicals can enter the plants and wind up on your plate. It is best to choose natural solutions to remedy the problem. Try methods such as planting oregano in with your vegetables to get rid of insects. Pruning the affected areas or washing the plant with a mild soap and water solution will often eliminate a variety of bugs and diseases.
Managing the fertility of the container gardening needs a bit more management. You can use compost teas, fish emulsion and other earth friendly fertilizers. Because of the absence of microbial life in the container soil, we recommend that you use fertilizers that have a great proportion of water soluble nitrogen. One of the easiest and earth friendly ways of fertilizing is with Osmocote. This is a time release fertilizer that releases fertilizer every time it rains or you water…thereby maintaining a constant flow of nutrients and mitigating the leaching of excess nitrogen.
There also needs to be sufficient room in the pot for food production. Harvesting the produce at the right time is also important. Picking the vegetables or fruit as it matures will give you the best quality food while eliminating the chance of it dropping off the plant. Picking the produce at the right time also allows the plant to focus more on new food production rather than wasting nutrients and time on over-ripening.
If you have shied away from gardening because of a lack of space for poor soil in which to grow plants, an edible container garden is the perfect solution. Produce can be grown in any sunny spot in your home and all you need is a pot, plants, and some soil to get started.

Feel free to email me at karl@bayportflower.com for any questions or feedback.
Happy Gardening!!!

Parsley! from the National Garden Bureau

Parsley, (Petroselinum crispum) a member of the carrot family, is a lot more than just a decorative green on of a plate. In fact, it is one of the most nutritious of all herbs. An excellent source of vitamins A and C, it also contains niacin, riboflavin and calcium. Rich in chlorophyll, parsley is also a breath freshener.

Parsley’s taste appeal is world-wide. The Japanese deep fry it, Greeks mix large amounts with tomato sauce to create moussaka flavoring and Spaniards use parsley as the prime ingredient in salsa verde. Both the common, (curly), and Italian (flat-leaved) parsleys are ideal for garnishes and for flavoring soups, stews, salad dressings, and sauces, but Italian parsley reportedly has the best flavor. 

 Parsley as Ornamental  Parsley is so attractive that it also integrates easily into ornamental plantings. Its fine-textured foliage is attractive as neat edging or foliage fillers in flower beds, its rich green color setting off the bright blooms of pansies, petunias and other annuals.

Recognizing Parsley  Parsley leaves are comprised of 3 leaflets on short stems, that branch in threes at the tips of 8 inch long bare stalks. Leaves of common parsley are dark green with divided tips which curl tightly. Those of Italian parsley are a lighter green and more deeply divided and feathery, resembling celery foliage. A common parsley plant typically grows 9 to 18 inches tall and spreads about 6 to 9 inches. An Italian type may grow to 3 feet tall.

 Although parsley is a biennial–its life spanning two seasons–it is usually treated as an annual and is pulled up at the end of the first season. That is why its flowers, which appear in early summer of its second year, are seldom seen. They are flat clusters composed of tiny, greenish yellow florets, and resemble Queen Anne’s lace. As with most herbs, flowering tends to make the foliage bitter and less useful for cooking. However, parsley flowers host many beneficial insects, including butterfly larvae, so it may be worth allowing some plants to overwinter and flower the next season.

 Starting Parsley Seedlings Indoors  Soak seeds overnight prior to planting to improve germination and use moistened seed starter mix or other sterile, soilless medium. Sow seeds about an inch apart and cover with a ¼-inch layer of the moist medium. Keep evenly moist and maintain soil temperature of about 70F. Expect sprouts in 14 to 21 days. Set fluorescent lights two inches above the newly opened leaves, adjusting them to maintain this distance above the top leaves of the seedlings as they grow for 4 to 6 weeks.

 

Growing Parsley  Parsley grows best in all day sun in cooler areas of the country, but appreciates some afternoon shade in warmer climates. The ideal soil is moderately rich, moist, and well-drained, although parsley plants tolerate poorer soils having less organic matter as long as drainage is adequate. Soil should be loose to accommodate parsley’s taproot and mildly acidic (pH 6.0 to 7.0).

To direct sow, dribble the seeds into indented rows ¼ to ½ an inch deep. After 3 or 4 weeks, when sprouts are a few inches tall and show their first true leaves, thin them to allow 8 to 10 inches of space between the remaining ones so they can grow freely. Depending on the variety, parsley plants will grow to maturity and set seed in about 70 to 90 days.

Plant seedlings on an overcast day or late in the day to minimize transplant stress. Dig holes about 10 to 12 inches apart and about the size of the containers the seedlings are growing in. Gently pop each seedling from its container and set each one in a hole. Firm the soil over the rootball and water immediately. If you have added granular slow-acting fertilizer to the soil, do not feed the plants further. Shield newly planted seedlings from bright sun the first day or so while they adjust to the shock of transplanting.

 Planting Parsley in Containers  Parsley grows happily in a container alone, with other herbs or with flowers, as long as it gets enough sun. Use one that is 12 inches or deeper. Fill with moistened soilless potting mix to within 2 inches of its top. Mix in some granular slow-acting fertilizer or plan to water plants once a month with a dilute general purpose liquid fertilizer. Water often to prevent container plants from drying out during hot summer days.

Harvesting & Storing Parsley  Begin harvesting parsley when it produces leaf stems with three segments. Harvest the larger leaves at the outside of the plant first, leaving the new, interior shoots to mature. To encourage bushier parsley plants pick only the middle leaf segment of each main leaf stem.

Store freshly picked, moistened sprigs in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for 2 weeks. Chop leaves and blend with water or stock then freeze in an ice cube tray for up to 6 months. Parsley also dries well in a regular or microwave oven, although it loses some flavor. Store dried parsley in an air-tight jar for up to a year.

Lastly, enjoy your freshly harvested parsley in any number of homemade culinary delights. Here are a few recipes from the Food Network to inspire some ideas!

Founded in 1920, the National Garden Bureau is a non-profit organization whose mission is to disseminate basic instructions for home gardeners. NGB publishes and sponsors “Year Of The” fact sheets annually featuring flowers and vegetables, including new introductions, which are especially suited to home gardens. 

Birds

In searching for some fun facts on birds I came upon the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and their fantastic library of recordings and videos…http://macaulaylibrary.org/    The home of the Lab at Sapsucker Woods is a favorite visit for our family when we visit Ithaca.   Their website is also a treasure of knowledge about birds, birding and our natural world – check them out at http://www.birds.cornell.edu

Rose Trivia

ImageFor centuries, roses have inspired love and brought beauty to those who have received them. In fact, the rose’s rich heritage dates back thousands of years. The Society of American Florists compiled this list of interesting rose facts from a variety of sources:

  • People have been passionate about roses since the beginning of time. In fact, it is said that the floors of Cleopatra’s palace were carpeted with delicate rose petals, and that the wise and knowing Confucius had a 600 book library specifically on how to care for roses.
  • Wherefore art thou rose? In the readings of Shakespeare, of course. He refers to roses more than 50 times throughout his writings.
  • 1,000 years old. That’s the age the world’s oldest living rose is thought to be. Today it continues to flourish on the wall of the Hildesheim Cathedral of Germany.
  • Why white roses are so special is no mystery – it’s a myth. Perhaps it started with the Romans who believed white roses grew where the tears of Venus fell as she mourned the loss of her beloved Adonis. Myth also has it that Venus’ son Cupid accidentally shot arrows into the rose garden when a bee stung him, and it was the “sting” of the arrows that caused the roses to grow thorns. And when Venus walked through the garden and pricked her foot on a thorn, it was the droplets of her blood which turned the roses red.
  • It’s official – the rose is New York’s state flower.
  • The rose is a legend in it’s own. The story goes that during the Roman empire, there was an incredibly beautiful maiden named Rhodanthe. Her beauty drew many zealous suitors who pursued her relentlessly. Exhausted by their pursuit, Rhodanthe was forced to take refuge from her suitors in the temple of her friend Diana. Unfortunately, Diana became jealous. And when the suitors broke down her temple gates to get near their beloved Rhodanthe she also became angry, turning Rhodanthe into a rose and her suitors into thorns.
  • Dolly Parton may be known for her music and theme park. But rose lovers know her for the orange red variety bearing her name.
  • A rose by any other name… according to Greek Mythology, it was Aphrodite who gave the rose its name.
  • While the rose may bear no fruit, the rose hips (the part left on the plant after a rose is done blooming) contain more Vitamin C than almost any other fruit or vegetable.
  • The rose is a symbol of times. In fact, it’s the official National Floral Emblem of the United States.
  • Leave it to the romantic French to be the ones to first deliver roses. It was in the seventeenth century that French explorer Samuel deChamplain brought the first cultivated roses to North America.
  • Roses are truly ageless. Recently, archaeologists discovered the fossilized remains of wild roses over 40 million years old.
  • The people of ancient Greece used roses to accessorize. On festive occasions they would adorn themselves with garlands of roses, and splash themselves with rose-scented oil.
  • Napoleon’s wife Josephine so adored roses, she grew more than 250 varieties.
  • For the past 30 years and counting, June has been the National Rose Month in the United States.

Christmas

Melissa started planting the poinsettia crop yesterday !@#$%^&* While I love the holiday season – thinking about shopping, lines, icy sidewalks makes me crazy! But then as I itch my recent sunburn, I look forward to the beautiful snow covered trees, the twinkling lights, the generally good mood of my family and I smile. It’s great to live here on Long Island where things change to allow the pros to out number the cons of the seasons. Just remember to stay in the moment, beautiful sunny days is where it’s at right now. As the tiny poinsettia plants grow so will my love for the cold. Just not right now.

The Garden Girls…

We’re not really sure how they want to refer to themselves but our two youngest Bayport Flower House-ers have started a garden.   We’ll call them the Garden Girls, until I get the usual, “Mom, that’s so baby-ish, we’re the Garden Chicks, or something more clever that I cannot wrap my older head around right now.

Anywho, they’ve worked hard since April getting things cleaned, planted, weeded, mulched.   Audrey’s been working hard pulling weeds and her efforts have paid off, the vegetables, flowers, and herbs are growing strong.  Elizabeth’s mulching with Sweet Peet is an added bonus. 

They’re even thinking big – Farmstand, they tell me.  Of course, the nine year olds that they are, they are most concerned with the creation of the sign.  Forget the weeding, Elizabeth tells me, it’s the sign that matters most!  I watched the two of them drag a huge piece of plywood into the shop and attempt to wash it with soap, water and a rag.  They accepted a little guidance and brought it outside for a wash down with a hose.   I haven’t had a change to see how far they’ve gotten with the sign but will update when I do.

The Epic Journey of the Monster Plant

OK, Elizabeth’s Monster Plant has been transferred to her father’s caring hands for transplanting out of the alien tube.

Monster Plant

This tiny little container (1 3/4″ in long) was bought by Elizabeth at the Philadelphia Flower Show in 2010. It was filled with pink gel – then for a year, it turned black. As a somewhat kind-hearted mom, but not confident gardener, I consoled her that sometimes seeds just don’t sprout. Sometimes, I told her, they rot and it’s OK. But with our busy lives, I forgot all about the little pink container in her windowsill. It’s now June 2011, over a year later, and look what we found. Karl says it’s an orchid! And Abigail’s is growing too after a year of black, and he thinks that one is a cactus! Got to love nature. We’ll let you know how the replanting goes…