Thursday, November 5, 2009

Holiday Open House at Ashcombe

Saturday, November 14th 2009

Make plans to join us for our annual Holiday Open House.  

WHEAT WEAVING BY BEKKA  10-4  with Bekka Rousek


Share train history, trivia and information and  see a 14’x10’ historical model railroad.

THE STATION  10-4.  Share train history and information with members of this New Cumberland based organization

VEGETABLE AND FRUIT GARNISHING  9-4 with caterer Ed Byrem.


CAROL FAIR - MONOGRAMS Beautiful and creative monogrammed products 10-4.

SUSAN BLAIR - 9-4.  Hand made place mats, scarfs, hand towels.  Tote bags made from recycled plastic bags.

SUMMERS ARTWORKS  9-4.  Unique art for unique people. 

CHILDREN’S PROJECT - 10-4.  Trim a tree for the birds!  Make a bird ornament with peanut butter, cardboard, bread and pinecones.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

You've heard, "An apple a day will keep the doctor away."  While it will certainly take more than a daily apple to keep you healthy, it is a step in the right direction.  Apples are delicious, easy to carry for snacking, low in calories, a natural mouth freshener and they are still very inexpensive.

Apples are a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.  Soluble fiber such as pectin actually helps to prevent cholesterol buildup in the lining of blood vessel walls, thus reducing the incident of atherosclerosis and heart disease.  The insoluble fiber in apples provides bulk in the intestinal tract, holding water to cleanse and move food quickly through the digestive system.

It is a good idea to eat apples with their skin.  Almost half of the vitamin C content is just underneath the skin.  Eating the skin also increases the insoluble fiber content.  Most of an apple's fragrance cells are also concentrated in the skin and as they ripen, the skin cells develop more aroma and flavor.

There are hundreds of varieties of apples on the market today, although most people have only tasted one or two of the most popular such as Red Delicious, Gala  or Granny Smith.  Apples can be sweet, tart, soft and smooth or crisp and crunchy.  There is an apple to suit almost everyone's taste, so have an apple today!

Apple nutrition facts for one medium apple - fresh, raw, with skin:
calories 81
carbohydrates  21 grams
dietary fiber  4 grams
soluble fiber  
insoluble fiber
calcium  10 mg
phosphorus  10mg
iron  .25 mg
sodium  0.00 mg
potassium  159 mg
vitamin C  8 mg
vitamin A  73 IU
folate  4 mcg

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fall Is For Planting

Can you believe Autumn is on its way?  Mums, Kale and Pansies make a big splash in the fall garden and are ready now for planting.  These selections offer a great way to spruce up dull, overgrown areas of your garden and will extend your flowering season another month or two.  


are lovely, semi-hardy perennials that bring color to the late summer garden.  Here are a few tips to help insure growing  success.

  Plant early to establish good roots.  Plant garden mums in a spot where they get full sun, in peat moss, per

lite, or organic matter (humus, leaf mold, manures will help to loosen it.)

Plant mums 24 inches apart or more.  You will be surprised at how much growth they put on the second year.  Keep moist throughout the fall so they do not suffer stress and can get well established before winter arrives.

At the holidays, cut the branches off your Christmas tree when you are done with it.  Lay them across the mums about two layers thick.  If you don’t have a tree, many tree lots will give you trees after the holidays free of charge.  A layer of straw can be used if it is not applied too heavily.  The idea is to keep the mums at an even, cold temperature.  Cold doesn’t usually kill mums, heaving from the frost does.  Leave your mums covered until mid March, or about when the crocus bloom.

Ornamental Kale makes a beautiful display in the fall garden.  

Planted in rows, grouped or dotted through the garden, it definitely offers an attraction to talk about.

Another Fall favorite are Pansies.  These colorful beauties add a brilliant splash to the fall garden!  Many times when pansies are planted in the fall, they will come up again in the spring for early season color.  


Thursday, August 27, 2009



Fairy gardens are all the rage this summer.  They are fun, magical and easy to create.  Follow these easy guidelines to make one for your own home or patio.  The only limitation is your imagination!

To design and plant a garden for fairies, begin by thinking small.  You’ll need a small container like a terrarium, box or basket; a selection of small plants that fairies like; and small ornaments and treasures to tempt and please the fairies.

Arrange your plants and ornaments like a natural landscape keeping the tiny fairies in mind.  Create pathways and beaches; even a water feature in your miniature garden.  Fairies love places to hide so be sure to include fairy houses and other hide-a-ways to entice fairies to settle in your enchanted garden.  Fairies will want a place to hide and will tend to make their homes in gardens that provide outlets to quickly disappear from the prying attention of human eyes.

The gardens can be kept inside near a window or outside in a protected area, preferably in partial shade with dancing rays of sun and moonlight.  Water as needed remembering that often the container has no drainage. Fertilizers make plants grow bigger and faster and since we won’t want to over-crowd our fairy friends, we don’t recommend it.  Trim your plants as needed unless the fairies do it first.  

Each fairy garden is unique depending on the person who creates it and the fairies who move into it.

Outdoor Fairy Gardens

Fairies love fragrant flowers like Honeysuckle, Roses, Sweet Peas and Lavender.

Appropriately name ‘Elfin’ Thyme and ‘Baby Tears’ are two fairy favorites and make a great ground cover for your garden.

Foxgloves make nice fairy dresses; Columbine used for bonnets; Lady Slippers for shoes; Lamb’s Ear for soft beds; Milkweed pods for baby fairy cradles, walnut shells make nice little boats for sailing and acorn shells for bowls.  

Fairies love taking rides on butterflies and hummingbirds, so plants that attract these beauties are fairy friendly too!

After you create your magical miniature fairy garden, enjoy taking time to relax in your gardens trying to catch a glimpse of the magical fairies as they pass through your enchanted garden.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Your deck or patio can look great with a giant Elephant Ear Plant or a Baby King Tut Pot of grasses. We have at least two months of frost free weather to enjoy them. They are now 50% off regular price. Be different and tropical plants will do it for you.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Keeping Those Plants Beautiful In Summer Heat

Hello fellow gardeners,

Summer can be a challenging time for growing plants. Whether you have a large garden plot or containers on your porch or patio, they need a little TLC this time of the season.  Although we have been getting a good bit of rain in most local areas this summer, plants grown in containers will still dry out very quickly.  Be sure to check them every day for moisture.  Water when the soil is dry one inch below the surface.  When watering, water the soil, not the leaves as this may cause the plant 
to be susceptible to disease.

Mulch is a great way to keep moisture around plants longer.  Try adding mulch to your containers.  A neat trick is to mass your containers and cover the bottom of the pots with mulch.  This will help to keep them cool and moist.

Hold off on over-fertilizing during the hot summer months.  Many plants will slow their growth during the hot days to fight off heat and shouldn't be encouraged to grow.  

Ashcombe would like to invite you to join us for Dog Days, scheduled for Saturday, August 22nd.  Grab your dog and come enjoy a morning of fun!  We will have visiting rescue organizations, adoption opportunities, hot dog and soda special, flyball relay races for dogs, dress your dog contest and pagent, prizes and more!