Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Plant Sources, Plant Societies

 January 27, 2016

The temperature is hanging at 31° this morning but I expect more change in the weather soon as the wind has increased to 5 mph in just an hour. I am pulling a few things together here at the house before heading to Essex to the Vermont Farm Show that continues today and tomorrow. I have been going to this show  "forever" and although farmers and farming have changed in Vermont in recent years, the show always introduces me to something new I should consider at the flower farm.

Before I head out I want to mention plant societies because during winter months, and starting in mid-January, we receive almost daily inquiries that begin with "Where'd you get that?" Gardeners see plants we add to this blog or our other social media formats or they notice things in the abundant seed and plant catalogs that have been arriving. We always try to answer all the questions but if you are serious about a plant, the associated plant society membership is the way to go.

There was a time when we belonged to about 15 plant societies. Each membership comes with  journals  and often with regional associations and annual meetings and then some sort of national event. The most useful part of the membership is the resource info which includes lists of growers.
Here are three examples.

We grow several hundred hosta, have a wonderful display garden and have thousands of potted hosta ready for sale and displayed in 2500 square feet of shade houses. If you are interested in hosta, we don't believe there  is a better society than the American Hosta Society. The Hosta Library is a special compliment to the society. It's a public pictorial library of about every hosta in the world and it includes registration information. Take a look.

The American Primrose Society is not as large as the hosta society but if you enjoy primroses, a membership is a must. Currently they are sponsoring their annual seed exchange. Obviously members have first choice with members who contributed seeds having the priority but if you want to try growing primroses from seed or just want to find places that sell plants, you will be pleased with a membership. Vermont has some talented primrose collectors and growers and just ten miles from our flower farm is one of the most incredible primrose gardens on the east coast. 

The American Hemerocallis Society represents the 75,000 registered daylilies and offers good connections to the half million unregistered daylilies on the market or growing in gardens around the world. Daylilies have always been the number two most popular perennial flower (second to hosta) but the numbers and the plants sure are impressive. It's a great society with instant connections to growers. (Some of our daylilies pictured up top here).

During those rainy or snowy days that remain between now and your planting time, give plant societies a try. I know you will ask yourself why you waited so long.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where an irruption of Evening Grosbeaks just arrived at the feeders. About 30 birds cover the ground with a dozen or so more in nearby crab apples pecking out seeds. Nice!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
On Facebook as George Africa and as a Like Page Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens
On Twitter as vtflowerfarm
Writing on various other garden related social media

And always here to help you grow your green thumb!

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