Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A great find: Forest's Edge Garden in Hampden

Iris 'Best Bet'

Stunning, isn't it? I was inspired by a recent find, Forest's Edge Garden in Hampden, across from Calkins Farmstand. I'd been directed there by Michael and Gail Zuck, owners of the late, great Everlasting Farm.

The owner, Gretchen, used to work for the Zucks, and it is evident in the glorious collection of plants she has amassed at her greenhouse and nursery.

I had barely started looking around when this little wisp of a woman asked if I had planted kiwi before as I stood admiring the kiwi among the fruiting plants on a table by the greenhouse. I took a leap and asked if she was Gretchen and then introduced myself.

We were off and running. I had been despairing I would ever find another place that would soothe my gardening soul like Everlasting Farm has all these years.

I have. Gretchen is one of those gardener types who knows a lot, but is practical and totally in love with the plants she grows and sells. When she found out I loved salvia, we bonded. When I showed her my plant list, she complimented.

I went away with a car full of goodies - day lilies, salvia, iris, hosta, kiwi, annuals, herbs, and so on -- not the least of which is that stunning iris pictured above. I was stunned by the far-ranging selection of perennials she has, and I was pleased that the prices for many of them were between $5 and $10, which is a steal for such beautiful plants. The iris was a mere $9.95.

Pictured below are a few more finds. And don't hesitate to ask Gretchen. She knows her stuff.

The good news is that she's open through August and will be adding two new greenhouses this year. Rumor has it she is inheriting stock plants from the Zucks. It's a fitting inheritance.

Thanks, Gretchen, for carrying the torch and saving my salvia-starved soul.

Mandevilla Sun Parasol Pretty Pink

Papaver anomalum
Zone 4, 12 inches, full sun, blooms through October (!)
if you deadhead monthly.
Self-seeds if you stop deadheading in August.

Geranium cinereum 'Ballerina'
A well-controlled cranesbill that stays small,
with pink flowers veined with purple

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