Sun Shiny Summer Days on the Farm

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The sun has actually shown on us a bit between all the bouts of summer rain here at the farm and it has allowed the perennials are really start showing off there best faces. We still have lots of plants in bloom now to fill up any empty spots that have been haunting you in your garden.


This Filipendula purpurea ‘Elegans’ has been the favorite new addition at home in my garden.

It is thriving in the back of my shade garden and is tall enough to stand out back there with it’s long lasting blooms. The flowers are really pretty, white with flecks of pink, and look very delicate against the green broad leaves.

Here is a great view of an established day lily planting. These ones are Hemerocallis ‘Big Bird’, a great lemony yellow and a steady summer bloomer. We have many different heights and colors to choose from at the farm, not just your general tall orange garden variety. They are always a reliable choice and can be established quickly even in an unreliable place like here by the side of the road.

We also still have shrubs and trees galore if you want to take advantage of the all the rain and do some serious planting. The Buddhas are happily watching over these lovely climbing hydrangeas, a great choice for planting on a stone wall.


And here is the ever popular Hydrangea ‘Endless Summer’, the loveliest steady blooming large leaf blue variety. If it starts to turn pink on you, try giving it a little acidic fertilizer. Come and get them while they last!

So, I promise to do another posting soon. Feel free to let me know what you want to hear about in the comments. I apologize that it took me so long to get this post together. I need to start making a habit of getting out of the greenhouse for a few minutes every few days and get into the office to post more regularly. It is just so hard to pull myself away!

Passionflowers For Instant Summer Opulence

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This week many of our visitors seem to be noticing the passionflower vines that are blooming furiously at the farm. We always have a variety of hanging baskets available, but currently these are the ones stealing the show. Passionflowers, although not at all winter hardy here in Maine, are very vigorous growers and bloomers, even if just for the summer season. You can bring them in for the winter and keep them as a houseplant as well, if you are so inclined. They are always satisfying to grow, wherever you choose to put them.

Just have a look at the size of them already, and this is just in an 8 inch pot!

You can let them hang wild like you see here, or you can transplant them out of the hanging pots we grow them in and easily train them to grow up a trellis or fence. When given some blooming fertilizer regularly, they should bloom all summer in full or even part sun.

Of course, it’s these spectacular flowers that usually stop people in there tracks. Here are a few of the varieties we grow right at the farm.

This one is Passiflora ‘Purple Haze’. It is a lovely P. caerulea hybrid that has large showy flowers with white and pale purple petals, a dark purple center, and a white and purple corolla.

This one is Passiflora ‘Inspiration’. It is truly stunning with a very large frilly flower with lavender and purple petals, a lavender center, and a white and dark purple corolla.


As if that wasn’t enough, here is one of the few true red passionflowers we have found to be as prolific a bloomer as the purple ones. This Passiflora ‘Lady Margaret’ has large flowers with crimson red petals, a white center, and dark red corona with white tips.

I know. Wow, right?

An Endless Summer of Potted Succulents

By | General | One Comment

The summer here in Maine has slipped by all too quickly and the autumn air is creeping in. But we are managing to still keep ourselves quite busy at the farm preparing the hardy stock for the colder weather to come and planning, planting, and pruning with abandon in the greenhouses in anticipation of next season. If you haven’t visited in the off-season you really should. The greenhouses are open year round and can be a retreat of tropical lush greenery much appreciated on a blustery cold New England day.

Most recently we have become very excited about our ever-expanding inventory of potted succulents. They are possibly the lowest maintenance of all our greenhouse plants and are just as easy to keep as houseplants as long as you have a bit of direct sun. They generally thrive on a windowsill in well drained soil when watered just once or twice a month through the winter. It really doesn’t get much easier than that! The color and shape variations available are practically endless and almost sculptural. Here’s a taste of what we currently have in stock to get you salivating.

A varigated aloe variety

An echeveria hybrid

An unusual sedum variety
Sedum ‘Hens and Chicks
Agave ‘Retro Choke
Agave ‘Sharkskin
A small leafed jade

Sedum hispanicum ‘Blue Carpet’

An assortment in our own hypetufa pots

Kalanchoe ‘Flapjack’

An assortment of potted echeveria varieties

A closer look

A profile view

And our HUGE varigated agave
Well it’s pretty large for around these parts, anyway.

Feel free to comment if you know any of the horticultural names I have missed.

Autumn Colors Abound in The Shop!

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The days may be getting darker but warm festive colors are still aplenty in The Shop here at the Snug Harbor Farm. We are excitedly stocking up on many new seasonal items for both indoors and out. Come by and have a look!


Hope to see you soon!

A Cornocopia of Interesting Houseplants

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While the temperatures outside begin to dip, we will all be spending more and more time indoors. We have an interesting selection of houseplants in the greenhouse that make for lovely greenery to be enjoyed in your home through the holidays and beyond.

Of course we always have topiaries. Besides the myrtle shown in the previous post, we have some unusual coleus standards(shown below) and some bright lemon cypress pruned into classical shapes(shown left).

We have easy to care for ivy, a variety of different ferns and some adorable mini fushia standards in bloom.


We have a lot of blooming begonias and ferns that do well in pots even with low light conditions.


Come in and find out what’s in bloom today!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

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That’s right, we are open and ready to serve all your holiday needs this season.

We have everything from the tree to the trimmings as well as gifts and holiday greenery galore.

We’ve been busy in our wreath making area making you fresh and unique holiday decorations.

Potted plants from the greenhouse and locally crafted ceramic vegetables make great gifts for gardeners of all types.

We also have these great lightweight tabletop greenhouses and terrariums and an assortment of unique plants with which to fill them.

Paper whites always make a great gift. We have ones that are already potted and blooming for instant gratification as well as ones that are sprouting and ready to be planted for enjoyment later on in the winter.

The shop is overflowing with holiday gift ideas.


Here are some garden critters in cement and iron as well as some St. Francis statuary to watch over them.

Here are some more topiaries ready for your holiday table.

And did I mention wreaths?
We have an ever changing supply made fresh on site right here at the farm!


Even the gargoyles are getting in the spirit!


We have potted evergreens of all shapes and sizes, great for holiday decorating now and planting later. Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving!

And we still have some Maine grown and cut trees, greenery, and berries for your traditional indoor and outdoor decorating as well.

Happy holidays from all of us at the farm.
We look forward to seeing you soon!

Myrtle Topiaries Demystified!

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One of the most common questions I seem to get from both novice and experienced gardeners alike this time of the year is “How do I keep my myrtle topiary alive indoors through the winter?”. I will admit they can seem a bit finicky, but just like any houseplant, all they need is the right balance of sunlight and water to sustain their growth. Well, that’s the short answer, anyway.

The long answer is that myrtle (we grow myrtus communis compacta, a small leaf variety) has been kept clipped this way as topiary for hundreds of years because it responds so well to being clipped into shapes, even if grown in a pot indoors.

We grow our topiaries on sight in the greenhouses at the farm. This requires practice and patience but also allow us to supply you with a well established plant that you will only need to maintain without too much trouble. Most of the topiaries we sell are already 1 1/2 to 2 years old and already well formed.

Most people find there myrtle plants thrive in the summer months. This is because myrtle prefers full direct sun. They can take a large amount of water in these conditions, especially for an established potted plant and so do best with regular, maybe even daily, watering in the summer. It is also best to clip your topiary often during it’s high growing season. This will not only make it easier to keep sufficiently watered, it will also keep the growth looking full and the shape well formed.

As the days get shorter in the fall and into the winter, the growth is likely to slow down considerably on your myrtle topiary. So should the amount of water and clipping necessary to maintain it. This means you won’t have to water or trim it as often! This is good, right? Just water it generously when the soil has dried out, you don’t have to soak it or mist it and the soil doesn’t want to be wet all of the time, watering approximately one to three times a week depending on how warm and dry your home is in the winter should do it, and just give it a quick trim when it starts to look shaggy, maybe once or twice a month.

Move your potted topiaries around inside if you don’t have a lot of light where you want to keep them. For instance, they look great on a mantle or tabletop but don’t get much sunlight, so once a week or so move them to a sunny windowsill for the day and give them a little water. This can be enough to keep them looking great through the winter months and ready to be enjoyed for years to come!

If you have had your topiary for some time or it’s growth has become much larger than the diameter of the pot that it is in, or if your New England home is drier than the sahara in the winter (I’m looking at you woodstoves and radiant heat) and you are finding it difficult to keep your topiary watered (i.e. I water it all the time and the damn thing is always dry!) it is time to transplant it into a larger pot. Pick a pot just slightly larger so the proportions will still be right, we have a great selection of terra cotta at the farm, and if it is particularly pot-bound you may want to loosen the roots a bit when transplanting. Always use a pot with a hole in the bottom and put something for drainage in the bottom of the pot like gravel or some broken pottery pieces. Myrtle requires good drainage. And make sure to stake and tie your topiary to support it’s shape, we use bamboo and raffia for this and both are readily available (bamboo stakes at most hardware stores, raffia at most craft or floral supply stores), inexpensive and have a natural appeal.

If you live nearby and want us to re-pot a topiary you got from us, we would love to have you bring it by. If you are not local or can’t stop in, you can email us at info@dev.snugharborfarm.com with any questions you may have about something you got from us that I haven’t covered here.

Mark Your Calendar!

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Happy New Year!

Our resolution this year is to be better organized and to keep you better updated with our goings-on. So, while we work out the organizing business I thought I could give you a quick update on our seasonal New England garden show migration tour. Every spring we bring the plants to you by setting up a retail booth at a number of regional events.

Here’s what we have on the calendar so far for 2010.

The Connecticut Flower & Garden Show will be held February 18-21 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut.

The Portland Flower Show is March 10-14 at the Portland Company Complex on Fore Street in Portland, Maine.

The Boston Flower & Garden Show is March 24-28 hosted by MassHort at Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

We will also make our annual trek to the Trade Secrets Antiques and Garden Show in Sharon Connecticut hosted by Bunny Williams on May 15 2010.

I’ve included some pictures from one of our past shows to give you a taste of what we have in store for you.


Hope to see you in the near future!


Easy Potted Houseplants

By | General | One Comment

If you brave the slippery walk to the greenhouses this time of the year, you will be rewarded with a plethora of obliviously blooming begonias.
These make great houseplants in most climates as they prefer bright indirect sun and regular watering and will bloom throughout the year. In our northern climate, sometimes they do best with a bit of direct sun through the winter months.


We currently have two different types of Begonia Fuchioides with flowers either in pink or red. These both look great in pots as they are upright in habit and can be prolific with blooms. You can see here why we like them so much. With there striking contrasting stem, bright green foliage, and abundant fuchsia-like blooms they are very appealing.

For something really striking we have Begonia ‘Bandit’. This dark leaf variety has gorgeous red stems and undersides and tall white blooms that open to pink.

Spectacular!

As if that weren’t enough, we have another larger leaf variety called ‘Art Hodes’. This one has wide green, grape-like, fuzzy foliage and contrasting tall white flowers.

Finally, here is a furiously blooming Begonia ‘Ulmifolia’ with it’s white flowers against the bright green leaves reminding us spring is certainly on it’s way.

Spring has Sprung at Snug Harbor!

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With the flowers blooming and the warm sun shining, a hustle and a bustle of spring energy has started to stir things up at the farm.


The show in Connecticut was a great success for us last month and today we are busily preparing to set up our booth at the Portland Flower Show taking place this weekend.

We will have our current best selection of topiaries and other houseplants available for you to purchase there. Here’s a link for more details about the scheduled events. http://www.portlandcompany.com/flower/events.html

And here’s a little of what you can look forward too!


We will see you there!