Eternal Spring in Alabama

Eternal Spring in Alabama –
one of Carolyn’s favorites, ‘Thalia’

A hand-written letter arrived here earlier this spring from our good customer Carolyn Brown of Creola, Alabama, and it was so joyful and inspiring, we wanted to share it with you:

“How I wish you could see your beauties in my colonial garden,” Carolyn writes. “My breath catches as I gaze upon the beauty. Why so few people here in the South have bulbs, I’ll never understand. As the daffies sway in the wind I’m reminded of Wordsworth’s poem” Daffodils. “How excellent a description it is.

“In your eighties, each day is more joyful than the day before, and the daffodils are prettier each day. I do hope God has daffies in heaven and I can plant acres and acres of them.

“My husband, Bob, has always said vintage roses are his favorite flower. He has around 150 this year. However he said my bulbs are getting to be his favorite, and they are far less work. In fact, he urged me to make this order. I try your smallest amount first and see how they do here, and then I go for a larger amount. I’m going to start on hyacinths next.

“Give your little dog a pat and a rub for me. Keep up your good work, and save as many bulbs as you can. And thank you all for giving an 80+ gal a wonderful life and joy with the beautiful — as my husband calls them – ‘daffy-down-dillies.’

“Your Garden Pal, Carolyn B.”


Another Glad Convert:
From Childhood Trauma to Summer Smiles

Another Glad Convert: From Childhood Trauma to Summer Smiles –
pint-sized ‘Atom’

“In my garden? No way.” That’s what our good customer Susan Stauber of Beacon, NY, had to say about glads — until she took a chance on our small-flowered, best-selling ‘Atom’. She writes:

“I grew up in a part of the country where the huge hybrid gladiolus were grown in fields. Great for funeral arrangements and corporate office lobbies, but in my garden? No way.

“But there was something tantalizing about those little ‘Atom’ glads of yours. So I bought a few. And when they bloomed — wow! They made me chuckle every time I saw them.

“So last year, I bought a few more ‘Atom’ and some ‘Lucky Star’. This time I planted them in groups here and there, and I planted the groups at different times so I was smiling at blooms all summer long. (I even dug and stored them successfully last fall.)

“I never could have predicted that I’d be ordering more gladiolus for this year, but I am – ‘Boone’ and ‘Starface’. I can’t wait for the ground to finally defrost so I can plant them. It is possible to recover from childhood traumas.

“P.S. Everyone who walks by wants to know what those wonderful red flowers are. They can’t believe they’re gladiolus!”


The Results Are In: You Call It the Tree Lawn, Parkway, Skirt, Berm, Devil Strip, & More!

A rose may be a rose whether you live in Maine, Georgia, Kansas, or Oregon, but when we asked our newsletter readers and Facebook fans, “What do you call that space between the sidewalk and the street,” you replied with 41 different names – yes, 41! – from banquette and curb strip to outlawn and verge.

Although I’ve been asking people that question ever since I left home for college and was shocked to discover that most people don’t call it the boulevard, even I had no idea that this humble space had such a rich abundance of names.

No matter what you call it — or don’t — I hope you’ll enjoy my full report here.


Country Gardens Spotlights OHG
and “New Generation of Sustainable Farmers”

As we told you last month, our Ann Arbor micro-farms are featured in the summer 2014 issue of Country Gardens. What we didn’t know then, since we hadn’t seen the entire magazine yet, is that editor James Baggett had some very kind words to say about us in his editor’s letter at the front of the magazine:

“We talk a lot about farmer’s markets,” he writes, “and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), urban gardens and handcrafted food. Something that doesn’t get talked about all that much is the changing face of the American farmer. It turns out there are some pretty wonderful folks out there taking up the reins with skill and intelligence. Their enthusiasm is infectious.

“My friend Scott Kunst is one of those people. Twenty years ago, he started selling heirloom bulbs out of his 1889 Queen Anne home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (He named his new venture, appropriately enough, Old House Gardens.) But a few years ago, Scott and his crew realized they needed to grow some of the bulbs in their mail-order catalog. . . . So Scott starting turning neglected lots around town into microfarms, where today old-fashioned varieties of bearded iris and daylilies bloom their heads off in empty backyards and alongside railroad tracks. Not only do these microfarms beautify the streets of Ann Arbor, they also provide nectar and cover for wildlife. Check out our story . . . and join our celebration of this new generation of sustainable farmers.”