A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Straw Hats Go To Well Sweep Herb Farm

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Well Sweep Herb Farm. I’ve drooled over their catalog. But I also have a tendency to procrastinate. This could very well have turned into one of those situations where I intend to visit a place but never actually get there. Luckily, during one of my visits to their website, I clicked on their Special Events page. They have a Customer Appreciation Day. 20% off all purchases. Plus free admission, free parking, and free tours. They even offer a free lunch.

Calling all Straw Hats! This is right up our alley. Gardens. Tours. Gift Shop. Sale. The Head Hatter had to supervise volunteers at Rutgers Gardens for a Work Day, but "A" was free and eager to accompany me on a Straw Hat Adventure.

I knew we were in for a treat as I parked my car along a gorgeous border.

If the parking lot looks this good, the rest of the place must be spectacular. And it was.

Display gardens are everywhere. Click on this photo to see the blooming Japanese anemones. They were on my wishlist. On a tour we learned that they spread aggressively. My favorite kind of plant! I bought two, a pink and a white.

The tour of the perennial gardens included the sunny garden, the healing garden,

the shade garden and my personal favorite,

The alpine garden. There were also whimsical gardens.

The most impressive was the formal garden.

Now this is a circle of thyme!

The inner circle beds are different varieties of thyme. The outer circles have various rosemarys, sages, and other herbs. In case you are wondering how many plants are pictured, the website says that they carry and display 38 basils, 73 lavenders, 54 rosemarys, 108 thymes and 70 scented-leaf geraniums.

And here’s their version of a knot garden:

Don’t you just love the different colors and heights? How about these topiaries?

Sorry, it was another scorching day with high humidity. My brain was so fried, that I neglected to make a note of the plant material used in the knot garden and topiaries.

And what farm would be complete without livestock? They have sheep and chickens.

I shopped until I dropped. Here’s what I came home with:

Anemone hupehensis ‘Prince Henry’
Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’
Aster novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’
Chelone oblique ‘Alba’ (Turtlehead)
Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman’s Breeches)
Osmunda cinnamomea (Cinnamon fern)
Heucherella ‘Stoplight’
Lavandula augustifolia ‘Jean Davis’
Primula japonica

I bought the anemones and the aster because I am looking for fall color in my garden. I’ve ordered roots of the New England aster many times, but they never came up. I’m hoping that an actual plant will survive the winter. The turtlehead and Dutchman’s Breeches are for a new White Shade Garden inspired by a seed trade. More on that another time. I seem to be collecting ferns without meaning to. I haven’t decided exactly where I want to plant the heuchera and the primrose. I have plenty of shade in my yard so I have a lot of choices. The primrose is the candelabra type that I have been lusting after. I’ve been collecting lavenders for two years now. Lucky for me, they seem to like the Entry Garden. ‘Jean Davis’ is a pink lavender. I had also wanted a white, but they were out of the one on my list. Guess that means I’ll have to go back next year.

Isn’t that too bad?


At 11:25 AM, Blogger Connie said...

What an adventure....would have loved to tag along on your tour! It looks like a great place for inspiration.


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