Crop 298 of Flowering Shrub Farm Subscriber Only Picture Newsletter;

March 26, 2015

I take pictures of what we are doing and the plants we grow for my free monthly newsletter. Click on the picture and it may open a larger version with more detail. You tell me what plants you want in an email (scroll down below the pictures where I have made notes), if I see the plants you want I may place pictures in the newsletter with comments.

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Above pictures of the coldframe in March. You can see our coldframe pictured above during other months of the year by clicking on the link below (in winter plants are stored in boxes on each side but as it warms up we will open the boxes and start taking the roses out). The front porch where I often sit in summer sipping a coffee I bought next door (you can see the weather proof box that has a handout inside). We rent the apartments to tenants that like being surrounded by the nursery.

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Above you can see our access to the field, If its blocked with snow then we probably have limited access to many of our larger plants. The Plant sale begins on May 15 and we first send mail-order the last week of May (mostly lilacs and liners). I plan to buy some liners of Aronia (Chokeberry) this spring that I may sell for $5 each three inch liner (later I will repot them into 1 gallons for sale at $10 or $15). Through the red door is our break room, opening to the left of it is where we have our mist propagation bench and to the right in the barn is the work shop and storage.


In winter plants we take cuttings from are stored here with their roots surrounded by mulch.

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Opened the cold boxes and found nothing badly damaged, some poison baits gone. Pulled out a few of the plastic bags with cuttings inside and they look good so far (one bag had been chewed but the plant inside was OK). The white paper coffee cups you might see in the pictures have poison baits inside. When we open the boxes permanently we will pick up all the cups, stack them and store them in the barn until next fall. Click the picture for a larger image.

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Last years cuttings were all inserted in plastic bags before being overwintered in the coldbox. Even though its not warm enough yet we took several out to see how they are doing and 100% of those we examined had rooted. Soon, on a warm day, I will take pictures, then later restore them to their bags and the box probably til next month. On the right, this picture of Ispahan cuttings that I have pealed down the bag to see how its doing (we look for active growth).


On the left, this picture of La Belle Sultane cuttings that I have pealed down the bag to see how its doing (we look for active growth). At least if the stems are green its an indication the cutting is still viable (we will just have to wait for a while to see if it will come out of dormancy). I cant get anymore out as of the 14th because I need help reaching across without taking to many out of the box (I expect lots of freezing temperatures this next week).

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This storage area is being cleaned out so we can install a new mist propagating bench to use in June, July and August. Dave emailed me asking about 'Harisons Yellow' (march picture below) and I added a picture of the stool layered rose last fall at I may go up in the Heldebergs and look for a Harisons Yellow beside the road that I can get a sucker from (I would offer the owners a few dollars for each sucker I collected). Above right shows a line of espalier trained fruit trees and layered roses in 45 gallon pots.

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People ask me via phone or email about a particular variety, I make a note of it in the newsletter beneath the pictures. Whenever I take more pictures I look for varieties that have been mentioned and if I find them take a picture (later I add a comment beneath telling how many people I have to email back and ask if they still want it). If you see the picture you might email me back and ask about it.

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I espalier train a few trees every year in 45 gallon pots to be sold some future day when they start producing flowers and fruit. I carry a Kindle Fire with me wherever I go and use it to check my emails at least ten times a day. The on screen keyboard is hard for me to operate but I usually send a short reply followed by a longer reply from the computer when I get home.

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Alba Rose 'Celeste' in a 45 gallon pot that we use for propagation from cuttings. Agnes Hybrid rugosa rose in a 45 gallon pot that we use to propagate cuttings from and to layer (note the little rootlets indicating that it started producing roots into the snow so it should also have produced some further down where it was intended to).

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This Kazanlik in a 45 gallon pot has obviously been over pruned. But it should provide at least 4 cuttings this year. The company that provided us with pinxterbloom azalea seedlings every year seems to have gone out of business so I will have to keep those I have and grow some from seed and others from cuttings.

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We will have to take the raised bed for 'Fantin Latour' apart to remove these maple trees that have grown up through it. Our source of 'Felicite Parmentier cuttings.

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Leda has a large multiflora growing next to it and so we will probably transplant it sometime. This Monge that we took cuttings from last year will have more taken this year while we neaten it up a bit.


Note the yellow labels marking those that flowered (some of these get cut back while others are divided).

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I took this picture looking over the orchard at the Heldeberg Escarpment. Where we divide Lilacs, then pot the divisions in the basement then place the new 1 gallons alongside the foundation.

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Lilacs that flowered last year but have 3 or fewer stems are cut back to around four inches, especially those that have not been requested mail order. If we get a thicket of upright stems some will be transplanted into larger pots while others may be divided next year.

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Lilacs are divided into 1 gallon pots and cut back to four inches. We use a sawzall to cut the root in half and sometimes into thirds or quarters. Those that come out of dormancy and grow vigorously may be sold mail order or get transplanted into a larger pot and returned to the field. Wouldn't you know that the one I take pictures of to demonstrate with would give us a hard time (frozen). We will continue next week and maybe I'll get additional pictures.

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We are arranging the lilac divisions near the foundation with their pots pushed together. Griffy is an old Chow that we rescued (chows have a bad reputation, and when he came to us was afraid of walking through doors, was very furtive etc. today he has come out of his shell, rolls on the floor like a puppy but he still has problems with doors).

Contact me if you have any questions.