Thursday, June 26, 2008


Our girl Alley is a counter potato. She has been known to plop herself down in a box of cuttings, a flat of grasses being weeded or even right in the middle of a customer's order. Our customers all love her though. Last weekend I had the nicest conversation with one of those customers. I was talking to her, she was talking to me and we were both talking to Alley. We talked about Alley's weight problem and the fact that she has been on "diet" food for a couple of years and still looks "big boned" as Peggy likes to refer to her. I mentioned to the customer that Alley gets teased about her weight on occasion and the customer looked at me and then she looked right at Alley and said, "Honey, you tell them its your Hormones". We all got a good laugh out of that.

Today after rolling around in the catmint Alley thought it would be a good idea if she "slept it off" in her favorite place. In a box, on our counter.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


We carry about eleven different kinds of stokesia here at Big Bloomers. I walk past them nearly every day in the greenhouses. Each time I walk past them I think I really should like them more. We brought in a new one this spring called 'color wheel'. Its plant tag has taken to calling my name now whenever I walk past it. So far I have been able to resist, though I feel compelled somehow to make it my plant of the moment. I think I know where this is going.....but anyway, stokesias are easy to grow, their one requirement being a well-drained soil. I think in all but the very wettest soils they would be fine though. They don't like to be wet but they do like to have a moist soil though I have also read that they are drought tolerant. I planted three castoffs last year in the drought and was surprised this spring when one came back very strongly. 'Color wheel' is a real head turner with three inch flowers that start out white, change to lavender and eventually turn to a darker purple. These last two color stages have a white center which only adds to the effect. Because of its long bloom time and branched bloom stalks you will have those three colors as well as colors varying between the three at one time on the same plant. Planted in mass it has a lovely tapestry effect. Even while typing this I am still wondering why I have never brought one home. Thinking about it I tend to be drawn to tall plants and they dominate all my gardens. The only conclusion I can come to is that I am tall and have had very poor eyesight all my life and the stokesias top out at about two feet in flower though the foliage which is semi-evergreen in zone 7 is held much closer to the ground. In conclusions I am still uncertain if I will bring one home but the plant tag is right here on my desk and its still calling out my name. I wonder who will win..... and for this reason Stokesia laevis 'Color Wheel' is my plant of the moment.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Where's Alley?

I am posting this picture under protest. Alley was not pleased to be put in the position that the picture found her in and she most certainly will not be pleased to find out I have posted it for all her fans to see (so don't mention it to her if you see her here or there).

Monday, June 2, 2008

BBFF, you are my new BFF!

I'd like to share an email we received a little while ago from a first time customer who had just recently visited us here at Big Bloomers. As nursery's go I think that we must be unsurpassed in the amount of varieties of plants we carry, everything from agave to zephyranthes, with everything in between. This is quite rare if not unique in a nursery that is family-owned and operated and is not in the mail-order business. The owners have worked extremely hard over the years to bring to the home gardener all things rare and wonderful. Its a lovely place to work and a wonderous place to visit and so I am always pleased when their hard work is appreciated by a first time customer. So without further adieu.

Customer's Message Subject: Lovely Lavender

Customer's Message: I love your Big Bloomers (Flower Farm!). In my 30 years or more of gardening I have always wanted to plant a variety of LAVENDER plants. I'd find one or two here and there, but never the scope and variety you carry. It was like Christmas for me! Thank you BBFF, you are my new BFF!


Fuchsia triphylla 'Gartenmeister Bonstedt' can take the heat and the sun and is literally covered in blooms all summer until frost. Earlier this spring my PIC Peggy and I were heartbroken when we found out that we would not be offering them . When we asked about them, John (the owner) told us he could not find them when he was placing orders for the spring. I can't tell you how happy we both were when John told us he had later found them (we are both easily pleased aren't we). They are now a couple of inches tall and are already blooming. One this size will reach about two feet by summer's end. Last year I grew Gartenmeister in a pot on my southern facing back deck. Of everything I grew last year this is the one plant that was constantly blooming all summer. I placed it on a plant stand so it would sit high and attract hummingbirds. Who needs a hummingbird feeder with a Gartenmeister around.