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2018, The Year of the Dog. We are well into the first month and all signs lead to dog energy. Our pack of poodles teach us every day about being loyal, warm hearted, good listeners. Now is the time to turn those insights inward and nurture ourselves so that we can go out into the world better people.

We are so fortunate to be in the company of plants and animals at Snug Harbor Farm. They require a lot of care but give back all the love poured into them one hundred times over. Feeding them the best quality food at the optimum time of day, regularly, is all part of it. Wintertime in New England is an endurance race, especially for growers of plant material. Our eye is always on the dicy weather conditions and checking in on systems that keep everything alive. We are constant witnesses to the life cycles of many different varieties on the farm. It does help us appreciate the many gifts we share that nurture us. In order to do our best by the plants and animals, we must treat ourselves with the same care and conscience.

We are offering a new workshop in a couple of weeks, How to Build and Use an Apothecary Planter, in an effort to bring the many benefits of herbs to the student’s attention. We will be highlighting the simple pleasure of growing them, in addition to being able to ingest them, apply them topically and even clean with them. The whole process contributes to the health and well being of the gardener. Herbs are an amazing, multifunctional group of plants. (Disclaimer: participants will need a sunny spot for the planter to live for best results. Herbs are full sun plants.)

Prior to getting our health on, we will be celebrating all that is romantic with our third annual Build a Bouquet for your Valentine workshop. Show the one you love your creative side and play with a gorgeous collection of stems to create a bouquet that reflects all that is beautiful about your feelings! They pack a powerful message that transcend words (and doesn’t that contribute to one’s emotional well being well?) If your time, energy or interest don’t align with our workshop opportunity we would be happy to design a special floral offering for your Valentine. Just let us know how we can help.

These activities, along with some quality time outdoors, even in the coldest of temperatures, help us appreciate the world we live in and the possibilities for growth at any time of year. The cold isn’t all bad, in fact there are many benefits if applied properly. Whether you want to go deep internally or want to push your limits externally, we wish you a happy and healthy, frosty season and hope we will have a chance to connect over the coming weeks. Take good care of yourself, and your animals, plants and people.

More info about the Year of the Dog:

Barreling Headlong into Holiday Season

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When does it really start? Is it a year round endeavor that one needs to keep on a slow simmer, then turn it up to boil as the sun starts to dip in the sky? Do you have your ducks so neatly in a row that holiday magic flows like sweet caramel sauce with seemingly little effort? For us, it’s starting now for next year. We are in it and beyond it and always trying to hold on to the magical, mystical fizz that goes on at this time of year.

We are so fortunate here at Snug Harbor Farm to be surrounded by the natural goodness of the season in the town of Kennebunk. Our chores shift with a natural rhythm dictated by the plants, animals, seasons and the weather. Kennebunk and Kennebunkport established the Prelude celebration in 1981. The planners wanted to kick start the holiday season by celebrating the charm of our little seaside villages in winter. It worked. It took off to national acclaim and grows bigger every year. Now, thirty six years later, it has become one of the most HOLIDAY of all holiday spots in the country during the first week in December. Santa arrives in a lobster boat and both towns are decked out with activities planned by local shop owners and organizations.

For our part, we relish the homecoming of so many families that we celebrate and decorate  from Thanksgiving through The New Year (and beyond for so many happy occasions). We develop a visual vocabulary with friends and family. We help them utilize treasures passed down and those that might be new to their collections. Our buying reflects love of the land and the comforts of home. Every one enjoys a good laugh, especially when stress sets in so look to the shop for ornaments that have a personality. There’s always room for another narwhal or yeti on the tree!

We acknowledge those who have gone before us and those who may not be so lucky with friends, family and shelter. It is a time to open our hearts to the harsh reality of what others may face at a time when so many are in party mode. It can be the most isolating time for some of our neighbors. Remember them. Acknowledge them and try to bring a little beauty and light into their lives. A small gesture can literally be a lifesaver. Channel Clarence. Couldn’t we all approach our day with more kindness in our hearts?

As we barrel headlong into Prelude present, we pay hommage to Preludes past and plan for the Preludes of the future with lessons of the season marking time and showing us the many wonders that happen in the cold still of winter in Maine. It’s just the beginning. We need to hold onto this magic for the next four months when the light of Spring cracks the horizon of Summer.

Warm Up Winter at Our Succulent Workshop

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Join us at Snug Harbor Farm for our Midwinter Succulent Workshop being held on Saturday, January 28th to learn about all things succulent and build your own mixed container to take home. We will provide all the material you will need to create a gorgeous little garden. The fee for the workshop is $45.00. You can sign up using the form below.

1:00pm Workshop SOLD OUT

11:00am Workshop has been added. Sign-up Below!

Houseplant Workshop

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Join us on Saturday, September 12th from 12-2 to learn all about caring for plants in your home. Learn about various house plants and their needs. We will discuss the art of topiaries and learn about pruning and propagating. The workshop is free. Students are welcome to purchase plants and practice principles being discussed. Anthony Elliott will share his vast knowledge with the first twenty people to sign up.

Seasonal Centerpieces

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Snug Harbor Farm will be offering centerpieces this Thanksgiving, and throughout the holidays, incorporating the best flowers the season has to offer alongside harvested local material. Minimum order $75.00. Please fill out the form below and one of our talented designers will be in touch soon or call the shop at 207-967-2414 to place your order today. We are taking custom orders through November 17th for delivery prior to Thanksgiving.

Welcome to Snug Harbor Farm!

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Hello modern world! Welcome to the first post of our new blog about all things Snug Harbor Farm!

After years of talk about a possible website for our Kennebunk, Maine plant nursery, we have decided to get our feet wet and set up this blog. As you can imagine, the difficultly involved in shipping live plants is innumerable, so we won’t be posting things for mail order here. I do, however, think it will be a great way for us to keep you plant geeks up to date on all the exciting going-on’s at the farm, to share plant care knowledge, and to share some great pictures of our ever-growing nursery.

This June had been a bit of a wet one. It has rained almost everyday here, leaving the nursery on the soggy side, to say the least. If you are coming to shop for perennials, we have lots to choose from but I would suggest you wear your boots.

Rain or shine, it is a great time to come visit our newest retail addition to the farm, The Shop. Inside the 1750’s house on the property we have put together an eclectic collection of gifts, home decor items, potted houseplants and gardening tools and supplies for you to peruse.

Here’s a peek at what we have put together for you!

Seeds, terra-cotta pot feet and cloches, fertilizers, glazed plant pots, colorful paper mums and some handy long necked watering cans.

Garden twine in these great retro tin’s and in different festive colors, and some more fun little watering cans.

We have terrariums! We put these together ourselves right here at the farm.

An assortment of bundles of fresh cut foliage for decorating and arrangements.

An assortment of concrete garden ornaments and small cast iron urns, with or without something green growing inside!

Some more concrete garden ornaments and a fern from the greenhouse.

An assortment of birdhouses for your garden in all shapes and sizes.

Hope to see you soon!

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.