Friday, December 27, 2019

New Year's Resolutions for Gardeners

Thank you to all of our customers, and all of the people who worked at Valley View Farms, for a successful and memorable 2019.
 The New Year is upon us and gardeners are busy plying through stacks of seed catalogs that have already arrived. We have a little time to sit and think about our gardens too. What should we resolve to do this year? Here is a suggested list garnered from friends and coworkers for 2020.

  • Visit Longwood Gardens. They're open all year, and, while spring and Christmas are the favorite times to visit, the quiet of winter in the gardens and in the conservatory allow us to slow down and look closely at individual plants and displays. Its the perfect stress reliever. 
  • Buy seeds for heirloom plants. 
  • Ask parents and grandparents what they planted in the garden. 
  • Visit your favorite garden center before the spring rush. 
  • Learn. Take in some seminars. Look for them here, Ladew Gardens, local Master Garden classes, Longwood Gardens, Cylburn Arboretum, and Horticulture Society of Maryland.
  • Invite a garden speaker to lunch at your business. 
  • Start a gardening journal. 
  • Join (or start) a garden club.  Reach out to Federated Garden Club of Maryland for clubs in your area. 
  • Add a compost bin to collect kitchen scraps to add to an outdoor compost pile later.
  • Exercise. Getting ready now will make gardening more enjoyable.

  • Plant one native plant. The National Wildlife Federation has a downloadable list for our region. 
  • Design and plant a container garden for vegetables. 
  • Buy one good pair of pruners and/or loppers. 
  • Plant blueberries for the fruit and fall color.
  • Have extra space? Plant perennial edibles like asparagus, horseradish, and rhubarb.
  • Try summer bulbs, like dahlias, gladiolus, and calla lilies.
  • Plant disease-resistant Beacon Impatiens and Imara impatiens in shady areas.
  • Try organic weed controls in the lawn and garden. 
  • Plant milkweed and other butterfly-attracting plants.
  • Plant some flowers for cutting. 
  • Get the GrowIt! app for sharing plant information on social media.

  • Install a rain barrel or two.
  • Water vegetable beds with drip irrigation.
  • Take some photos of your garden and those of your friends.
  • Try organic weed control in the lawn and garden.
  • Have a picnic out near your garden...vow to eat outside once a week. 
  • Manage the garden with a walk around it before or after work each day.
  • Cut flowers and put some in a vase.
  • Throw a garden party!
  • Plant some annuals for late summer and fall color.
  • Plant cool-weather vegetables in late summer for fall harvest. 

  • Seed and feed the lawn. The combination of warm soil temperatures and cool air temperatures make fall the perfect time to work on the lawn.
  • Compost the leaves or use the mower to shred them and leave them on the lawn. 
  • Plant trees and shrubs now. Consider plants to attract birds and other wildlife. 
  • Wait until the first frost, then plant bulbs like daffodils, hyacinths, alliums, frittalarias, and others that are deer resistant. 
  • Get the soil tested for pH (free at our store).
  • Put away shovels and other tools after cleaning them.
  • Evaluate your garden to see where improvements may be made. 
  • Rework the container plants with mums, pansies, ornamental cabbage and kale for fall color.
  • Add a birdfeeder to the garden.
  • Collect seed from flowers and vegetables for next year's garden. 
Okay, those are some resolutions for this year. We also resolve to have the best plants, from the best growers, with the best information available, for all of our customers. 
We at Valley View Farms wish everyone a Happy New Year. Thank you for allowing us to provide the products and advice to make gardening fun!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Gifts for Gardeners 2019 Edition

We're gardeners at Valley View Farms. All ages, types, interests; some of us like container gardening, others have beautiful landscapes, some shaded, some not. A few do mash-ups of potted plants, fun sculptures, water gardens, and traditional landscaping. What we all have in common is that we love tools, gadgets, apparel, more plants and cool stuff for our garden. We're easy to shop for, but we've put a few things together that might make the perfect gift for your gardening friend.

  • Christmas ornaments----personalized. We love these! Plants, wheelbarrows, greenhouses, you name it!
  • Pruners and gloves; I'm always leaving them somewhere. Gloves have such cute patterns! Buying for a man?
    Every gardener needs pruners and gloves

  • Birding things, like feeders, cool birdbaths, and bat houses, are great add-ins to the garden to attract pollinators.
How about a bat house? Natures own insect control 

  • Gardening aids are used by this blogger who has bad knees, to say the least. Kneelers, seats, and ergonomic tools are very useful as we age.
Flip it over and it's a garden seat!
  • Bulbs, like amaryllis, are fun and a great way to instill confidence in a new gardener. Huge bulbs yield huge, gorgeous blooms in 4-8 weeks. Pair with a container for a lovely gift. 
  • Lights to grow all year long are wonderful gifts. Seed starting, propagating plants, and keeping existing plants happy are some useful ways to use lights!
Houseplant enthusiasts need these!
  • Garden apparel is always welcome. Keeping healthy by shielding oneself from the hot, summer sun is always a good idea. Pair with some Sloggers gardening shoes. Just hose them off after a day of gardening. 
  • Garden art, including fountains, statuary and wall hangings, are fun add-ons to the garden. Some are quirky, others, like the Japanese style pagoda, are classics. 
    Classic garden art
  • I love books about gardening. Timber Press offers a wide variety of gardening publications. 
  • Last, but certainly not least, gardeners love plants. This time of year, houseplants and holiday plants are the stars of the greenhouse. Our crew can help with selection, potting and customizing the perfect plant for a home or office. Or, consider a Valley View Farms Gift Card to give your favorite gardener one more reason to anticipate spring. 

Enjoy gift-giving this holiday season. And stop in to browse our Christmas Shop and all of our other departments for a fun, relaxing outing. We're open every day from 7am-9pm.