Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stop In For Lunch!













As the cold winter winds start to howl, it's time to get warm and cozy inside. Visit our Gift Shop for lots of winter pampering ideas! Quilted throws & place mats; candles in glorious scents; lotions and soaps; and many beautiful home decor items. While you're here have lunch in our farm kitchen - we have daily lunch specials and 2 great soups every day. Top it off with a sweet treat from our in-store bakery. Check out our daily lunch specials here: December Lunch Specials // January Lunch Specials.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fruit, Gourmet & Gift Baskets - The Perfect Gift!



CREATE YOUR OWN THEME BASKET - Just choose from our wide selection of gourmet foods, fruit and baked goods and let us arrange and package it for you! Great for office parties!

ASHCOMBE CORNUCOPIA - A perfect gift for a family or office staff. A mixture of fruit and bakery goods from our farm kitchen combined with gourmet food and candy.

FRUITS OF PLENTY - Our largest "just fruit" basket. Includes apples, pears, citrus, bananas, grapes and candy.

SNACK BASKET - Great for an all-occasion party or a housewarming gift. Includes salsas, chips, snack mix, pretzels and mustards.

HOME & HEARTH BASKET - Our most popular basket. Includes a 5" fruit pie, muffins, cookies and assorted fruit garnished with candy. This basket is an excellent choice for all gift giving occasions.

BREAKFAST BASKET - This eye opener basket includes pancake mix, syrup, preserves, coffee or tea and a muffin mix.
BAKER'S SPECIAL - Includes a 10" fruit of the season pie surrounded by muffins, cookies and whoopie pies on a wicker tray.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

FRESH GREENS ARE HERE!!



Ahhh...the glorious smell of fresh greens! Get ready to deck your halls because our greens have arrived for this holiday season. We offer a lot of variety including:


• Mix and Match Loose Greens by the pound: Coned Cedar, Douglas Fir, Boxwood, Incense Cedar, Juniper, Noble Fir, White Pine, Princess Pine, Balsam, Red Cedar, Port Orford Cedar, Holly

• 5 varieties of roping: Heavy White Pine, Princess Pine, Douglas Fir, Cedar and Mixed Greens

• Plain & decorated wreaths and swags

• Kissing Balls

• Mistletoe

• Decorated Sugar Cones

• Bundles of mixed greens

• Decorated potted evergreens


And more! Come check out our Gift Department for holiday arrangements, wreaths and swags. Our designers can custom design a piece to fit into your home decor. Enjoy the scents of candles and potpourri and decorate your tree with our complete selection of Old World Ornaments.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

HOLIDAY BAKED GOODS AT ASHCOMBE


If you are looking for the best baked goods in the area - look no further!! Order your holiday cakes, pies, cookies and breads soon - our deadline for Thanksgiving orders is Saturday, November 19th.






CHECK OUT THESE EXCITING UPCOMING EVENTS...

Pine Wreath Workshop & Luncheon ~ Thursday, December 1st , 11am. Enjoy a delicious lunch of

assorted salad sandwiches, chips, macaroni salad, a bakery tray and drinks; then make a

beautiful fresh wreath from assorted greens, pine cones, flowers holiday embellishments and a bow. Pre-registration and payment required. Fee: $35.00


Bow Making Workshop - Monday, December 5th, 11am. Learn how to make fabulous bows with our floral designer, Nedra. Each participant will take home several hand made bows.

Refreshments will be served. Pre-registration and payment required. Fee: $25.00


Pine Wreath Workshop & Luncheon ~ Tuesday, December 6th , 11am. Enjoy a delicious lunch of

assorted salad sandwiches, chips, macaroni salad, a bakery tray and drinks; then make a

beautiful fresh wreath from assorted greens, pine cones, flowers holiday embellishments and a bow. Pre-registration and payment required. Fee: $35.00


Children’s Homeschool Class: Pine & Candy Wreath Workshop ~ Wednesday, December 7th, 10-11am.

Each child will make a pine wreath from scratch and decorate it with candy, pine cones and more. Please wear old clothes. Ages 5 and up. Pre-registration required. Register at

Ashcombe or online at hahaofpa.org. Fee: $8.00


Glass Ornament Workshop (for adults) ~ Wednesday, December 7th, 2pm Each participant will

decorate a set of 6 glass ball ornaments with paints and flowers. Tons of fun! Great gift idea. Refreshments will be served. Pre-registration required. Fee: $25.00


Pine Wreath Workshop ~ Thursday, December 8th, 6pm. Each participant will make a beautiful fresh wreath from assorted greens, pine cones, flowers, holiday embellishments and a bow.

Pre-registration and payment required. Fee: $25.00


Pine Swag Workshop ~ Tuesday, December 13th, 1pm. Hand-craft a beautiful mixed green swag

you’ll be proud to hang. We’ll use assorted fresh greens, large pine cones, berries and ribbon.

Refreshments will be served. Pre-registration and payment required. Fee: $25.00


Children’s Homeschool Class: Glass Ornament Workshop ~ Wednesday, December 14th, 1-2pm.

Each child will decorate a glass ball ornament with paints and flowers. Please wear old clothes. Ages 5 and up. Pre-registration required. Register at Ashcombe or online at hahaofpa.org. Fee: $5.00


Boxwood Tree Workshop ~ Thursday, December 15th, 1pm. Make a beautiful, decorative boxwood

tree to display on a table for the upcoming holidays. Refreshments will be served.

Pre-registration and payment required. Fee: $28.00

Thursday, November 3, 2011

We're Gearing Up For Our Holiday Open House!


I can't believe the holidays are right around the corner!!! Come check out our beautiful displays throughout the store -- they changed rapidly from fall to Christmas the day after Halloween. Saturday, November 12th is our annual Holiday Open House event and we have a great line up this year. Check out our complete schedule...



SPECIAL GUESTS

ADAMS COUNTY WINERY

Samples available, wine and gift certificates for sale.


POZY BEARS SIGNING - Meet Dave Miller - the artist of the country “Pozy Bears”, beautifully crafted bears with tons of character. These resin bears have a hand-carved look of days gone by and make great holiday gifts.


WHEAT WEAVING BY BEKKA

with Bekka Rousek 9-4


THE NATIONAL RAILWAY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Share train history, trivia and information and

see a 14’x10’ historical model railroad. 9-4


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


Vegetable & Fruit Garnishing

with caterer Ed Byrem. 9-4


Michael Larkin garden design

Hypertufa garden containers, concrete leaf art. 9-4


JEWELRY BY JILL

Felted wool flowers, zipper flowers, watch part pins. 9-4


MANAN’S BEADWEAVING by Christine Mann

Hand made beaded Christmas ornaments & Jewelry 9-4


LIGHTS BY J.R. & TOM

Square ice lights with bows, ribbon and glass blocks. 9-4


KNIT HATS

Knit hats by Brenda Albert 9-4


SHADOWBERRY FARM ALPACAS by Nancy Imphona

Felted hats, purses, hand knit caps. 9-4


OH WOW! THE COLORS!

Clay jewelry works by David Fisher. Handcrafted jewelry make of polymer clay. 9-4


Artistic Expressions In Photography by JOann

Photographs of nature


Custom Silk Floral Wreaths & Arrangements

Our floral designer can make the perfect accents for your home!


Christmas Decor At Ashcombe


Mountain Retreat

Pheasant, quail, brown bear and deer combine with rustic pines to bring the majesty of the mountains to life.

The Crimson Peacock

Long sought after as a sign of prestige, these red peacocks are available in a variety of sizes, shades and textures. Make a unique holiday decorating statement.

Vintage Frosty & St. Nick

Classic reproductions of 50’s & 60’s inspired Santas and snowmen are available in a variety of ornaments and holiday decor. Sure to be a nostalgic favorite.

The Hunt Club

Tartan plaids, German pointer dogs, English riding boots, horses and fox bring to life the sophistication of a country estate.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall Harvest Days!


Still 2 more weekends of Fall Harvest activities.
Come join in the fun!!!

Friday, October 21st

Apple Butter Making

Pick-Your-Own Pumpkins & Hayrides

Visiting Nigerian Dwarf Goats

Free games & children’s activities


Saturday, October 22nd

Apple Butter Making

Pick-Your-Own Pumpkins & Hayrides

Kettle Korn

Big Rock Alpaca Farm

Face Painting

Visiting Nigerian Dwarf Goats

Special harvest foods

Free games & children’s activities

Sunday, October 23rd

Pick-Your-Own Pumpkins & Hayrides 11-4

Special harvest foods 11-3

Visiting Nigerian Dwarf Goats

Free games & children’s activities 11-4


Monday, October 24th - Friday, October 28th

Pick-Your-Own Pumpkins & Hayrides

Visiting Nigerian Dwarf Goats

Free games & children’s activities


Saturday, October 29th

Pick-Your-Own Pumpkins & Hayrides

Big Rock Alpaca Farm

Visiting Nigerian Dwarf Goats

Face Painting

Special harvest foods

Free games & children’s activities



Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Harvest Events This Weekend!


Make plans to join us for our Fall Harvest Days, October 7th through 29th daily.
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 9-6
Wednesday 9-5
Sunday 11-4
(weather permitting)
Hayrides: $3
Pick-Your-Own Pumpkins ($3 and up)
Field Games & Hayworld (Free)



ADDITIONAL EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Saturday, October 8th

Fire Safety & Awareness Day ~ Local fire companies and rescue services will be

here to educate children and families on life saving techniques and equipment. Fire and ambulance apparatus will be on display for viewing and demonstrations.

Monroe Fire Dept. Chicken Barbecue

Scarecrow Making 9-3: For $10 we’ll supply the head & straw, for $15 we will

supply everything!

Pick-Your-Own Pumpkins & Hayrides

Big Rock Alpaca Farm

Face Painting

Visiting Nigerian Dwarf Goats

Special harvest foods

Free games & children’s activities


Sunday, October 9th

Pick-Your-Own Pumpkins 11-4

Hayrides 11-4

Special harvest foods 11-3

Visiting Nigerian Dwarf Goats

Free games & children’s activities 11-4


Monday, October 10th

Scarecrow Making 10-4- For $10 we’ll supply the head & straw, for $15 we will

supply everything!

Pick-Your-Own Pumpkins & Hayrides

Visiting Nigerian Dwarf Goats

Free games & children’s activities


Tuesday, October 11th - Friday, October 14th

Pick-Your-Own Pumpkins & Hayrides

Visiting Nigerian Dwarf Goats

Free games & children’s activities

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

UPCOMING EVENTS AT ASHCOMBE




Can you believe summer is coming to a close, the kids have headed back to school and it's already time to start thinking about fall? I can't!!! It just seems like yesterday that we were starting our seeds for the perfect garden (before it was taken over by weeds!) Anyway...fall is just around the corner and so are some great activities at Ashcombe. We have activities for kids and adults -- always something for everyone to enjoy.

Here are some upcoming events for September....

Hypertufa Workshop ~ Saturday, September 10, 10:30-12 noon Host Michael Larkin will guide each

participant to create a round container (made of peat moss, perlite and Portland cement) that can be used on a patio or in the garden year round. Each participant will take home one 14” container and detailed instructions on how to create many more. Please bring a pair of sturdy rubber gloves and dress to get dirty! Pre-registration and payment required. Fee: $30.00




Children’s Homeschool Class: “Garden Bugs” ~ Wednesday, September 14th, 10-11am In this fun class, each child will make adorable decorative bugs from paper, pipe cleaners, beads and magazine pages. Please wear old clothes. Ages 5 and up. Pre-registration required. Register at Ashcombe or online at hahaofpa.org. Fee: $5.00








Basic Orchid Care ~ Thursday, September 15th, 6pm Patti Suhocki will lead this informative program

on orchids. Be sure to bring your questions! Each participant will receive a starter orchid.

Pre-registration and payment required. Fee: $15.00








Birdscaping In Your Backyard - Creating A Habitat ~ Monday, September 19th 6-7:30pm with Michael

Larkin. In this session, we will discuss how to create a bird habitat in your yard. Learn which plants are needed in your landscape to create a place for the entire life-cycle of a species, from fledgling to adult, what foods are necessary, water sources and how to provide a place for raising young. Also learn some helpful hints for winter cover. You will take home instructions on how to create a backyard bird habitat and a recipe to make your own suet. Pre-registration and payment required. Fee: $5.00





“Gardening For All Four Seasons” with George Weigel ~ Satu

rday, September 24th, 10am It takes some planning to have a yard that looks good in all four seasons. This program gives strategies and ideas, then takes a season-by-season closeup look at some of the best plants that peak in each season as well as top plants that give more than one season of interest. Pre-registration and payment required. Fee: $5.00




Children’s Homeschool Class: “Using Herbs In Recipes” ~ Wednesday, September 28th, 1-2m In thistasty class we will whip up some herbal dishes and have fun tasting them. Please wear old clothes. Ages 5 and up. Pre-registration required. Register at Ashcombe or online at hahaofpa.org. Fee: $5.00







Adult Terrarium Workshop ~ Thursday, September 29th, 6pm Learn how to make your own

terrarium from start to finish. Bring your own container or purchase one here. Pre-registration required. Class fee is dependent on supplies used.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

TOMATO FESTIVAL


Tomato Festival
Saturday, August 13th, 9am - 3pm

Due to inclement weather and hail damage, tomato and pepper tasting will be extremely limited. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.

(Programs will be held under the pavillion in the garden area.)

PROGRAMS
Canning Basics with Nina Redding from the Cumberland County Extension
Office 9:00am. FREE. Pre-registration required.

Saucy Salsa Class with Dennis Mawhinney. Learn how to grow tomatoes and make your own salsa. 11:00am. FREE. Pre-registration is required.

Taste test over 30 varieties of tomatoes all day long!

Pepper taste testing all day long!

The Largest Tomato Contest Judging will be at 2pm. Pre-registration
required to compete.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

THE BEAUTY OF BUTTERFLIES - Saturday, August 6th


Remember -- this Saturday is Ashcombe's annual BUTTERFLY DAY! Enjoy great displays, special guests and a long-awaited butterfly release at 12 noon. If you're hungry, support our local fire company...Monroe Fire Company will be here selling their delicious barbecue chicken dinner. Come enjoy all the fun!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

THE BEAUTY OF BUTTERFLIES


Mark your calendars for 'The Beauty Of Butterflies" - our annual butterfly event that is hugely popular and a lot of fun for the entire family. The event will be held this year on Saturday, August 6th from 9am-3pm.

There will be special displays set up throughout the store including displays on:
- PA butterflies and caterpillars
- host plants
- plants for attracting butterflies
- the migratory cycle of the Monarch butterfly
- the differences between moths and butterflies
- the anatomy of a buttery
- our living butterfly house!

We are offering 2 programs as well:
- Tour of our butterfly gardens at 11am and 2pm. These are free tours.
- Book sale and signing with Ron Richael, author of "Attracting Butterflies - A Handbook for Butterfly Gardening"

Our much anticipated butterfly release is scheduled for 12:00 noon

We can't forget the little ones! Our children's activities this year are:
- butterfly and caterpillar crafts
- face painting
- make your own antennae

If you're hungy, Monroe Fire Company will be here serving up their delicious chicken barbecue meal!

YOU CAN RESERVE YOUR OWN BUTTERFLY TO RELEASE (EITHER HERE OR AT HOME) BY CALLING AND ASKING FOR KERRI OR DEB. THEY ARE $10 EACH. DEADLINE TO ORDER IS JULY 16th.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Proper watering techniques for garden plants, shrubs, and trees.


One of the most commonly asked questions, especially during a time of hot temperatures and infrequent rains, is how long and how often should I water my plants? Unfortunately, there is not one simple answer to this question. The correct answer is that it depends on a number of things and will vary depending on them. The one constant is that you want the soil to remain somewhat moist, like a damp paper towel, not crumbly dry and not dripping wet. When watering, you want the plants to receive enough water to replenish the moisture throughout the plant into the root zone. Your answers to the questions below will help determine what constitutes proper watering in your unique situation.

Are the plants in the sun or the shade? If in the sun, is it morning sun or midday and afternoon sun?

Are the plants receiving reflected light and heat from structures, rock mulch, and paved surfaces?

What type of soil are they planted in - poor draining clay, fast draining sand, loamy, highly organic soil?

What type of watering systems are you using – in-ground irrigation set for the lawn; in-ground irrigation with appropriate heads for watering shrubs and perennials and on a separate zone from the lawn; overhead, oscillating sprinklers hooked to a hose; soaker or drip hoses; hand watering?

What type of plants – perennials, trees or shrubs; deciduous or evergreen?

When were they planted (this year, many years ago)?

Do you have mulch down - what type – bark, pine needles, rock, straw, compost?

The same plant in different conditions will require different watering practices. You must tailor your watering to the conditions AND the plant. Obviously, a location that receives afternoon sun and wind (west side) will dry out faster then something that only receives morning sun or no sun. Clay soil holds onto moisture and drains slowly. Sandy soils drain quickly and do not hold onto moisture. Loamy soils have a high concentration of organic material in them, drain appropriately and stay moist longer. If you are uncertain the type of soil you have, dig a hole and fill it with water. If the water does not stay in the hole at all but drains almost as quickly as you fill it, you have sandy soil. If the water stands for a long time in the hole, taking hours to over a day to drain, you have clay soil. Amending clay or sandy soil annually with organic materials such as compost, peat moss, topsoil will help add nutrients as well as change its composition, over time, so it drains more appropriately. Simply amending the hole you plant in does not make a significant enough change to dramatically affect watering technique.
The best way to determine when to water is by checking a few of the plants in each type of condition. Push the mulch away from the base of the plant and dig down a few inches with a trowel. If the soil is crumbly, you need to water. If it is squishy no need to water for awhile. If it is lightly moist, check again in a day or two. You will find you need to water some areas more frequently then other areas – as stated above, there is no “one answer fits all conditions” in terms of watering. Keep in mind too that if you have clay soil, even if the soil near the top of the plant feels dry, the base of the plant may be very wet. It would really help to test how quickly things drain in your yard and utilize that to help you determine the optimal watering schedule.

Plants benefit most from slow, deep watering. This is most effectively achieved via soaker hoses or drip irrigation. Overhead watering is less effective, can promote disease and fungal problems and wastes water. On hot, windy days, you can lose over 50% of the water due to evaporation and runoff before it even gets to your plants. In ground irrigation systems that are set to water your lawn are not appropriate to water most perennials, shrubs and trees. The perennials usually get too much water, and the shrubs and trees usually do not get enough. You run into similar problems with hand watering. You are very likely not giving the trees and shrubs enough water. If your only option is to water by hand, for trees and shrubs it is better to just place the hose at the base of the plant and turn the water down to a trickle, then leave it on each plant for 15-30 minute (depending on the type of soil you have). That will allow the water to fully saturate the plant’s roots. If you are using soaker hoses or a drip system, the type of soil you have will also be important in determining how long to leave them on. If you have well draining soils, several hours is okay; for poorly draining soils 1 hour. If you are using overhead sprinklers, put them on for a set length of time (30 minutes or 1 hour) and check a few plants to determine how deeply watered they are. Use this to set up an appropriate schedule.

Plants that are newly planted require more consistency in watering. It takes about 3 years for perennials and most shrubs to get to their mature size. It takes trees, depending on the species many years. During the initial year(s), the plant is putting a lot of energy into root formation. In order to remain healthy and flourish, they need to be getting adequate water down to the roots. Evergreens require watering until the ground freezes. After the perennials have gone dormant and the leaves dropped off your deciduous trees and shrubs, you will still need to water evergreens. If you have an in-ground system, have a plan in place to get water to your evergreens once the system has been shut off. Because evergreens have needles, they lose moisture through them during the winter. If they do not have an adequate store of water going into the winter, come spring, they will be dead.

Mulching your plants with bark, straws, compost products will help retain moisture and thus reduce the amount of watering you will need to do.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

UPCOMING EVENTS AT ASHCOMBE

Concrete Leaf Workshop ~ Tuesday, July 5th, 6-7:30pm Leaf casting is great fun and easy to do! Join Michael Larkin in creating cement hosta leaves for your garden. Learn the tricks to create a

cement mold of a plant leaf. The leaf’s natural depressions and veins are captured in cement mix. They can be painted and used as art for on a wall, stepping stones or bird baths. In this class we’ll make 2 leaves and discuss ways they can be painted later at home. Please bring a pair of sturdy rubber gloves. Pre-registration and payment required. Fee: $20.00


Wednesday, July 6th ~ Canning - Home Grown Goodness. 1-2:30pm Preserving and canning fresh fruits and vegetables is healthy, gratifying and fun! In this class, we will teach some basic canning techniques as well as some new tricks. Whether you are a beginner or want to brush up on your canning skills...this class is for you! The class will be led by Ashcombe’s own kitchen chefs. Each participant will receive a “Ball Canning Starter Kit”. Pre-registration and payment required. Fee: $30.00


Yard Sale ~ Saturday, July 9th Beginning at 7am. Make plans to join us for this annual event.


Children’s Class: “Make Your Own Bird Bath” ~ Saturday, July 9th, 9-10am Each child will make a bird bath for their patio or garden at home. Please wear old clothes. Ages 5 and up.

Pre-registration required. Fee: $8.00


Herbal Luncheon ~ Thursday, July 21st, 11am Our chef will prepare a delicious lunch using different varieties of herbs. Come hungry! Recipes and handouts will be available. Each participant will receive an herb plant. Pre-registration and payment required. Fee: $15.00


“Gardening with Mother Nature” with George Weigel ~ Saturday, July 23rd, 10am Sometimes we make things harder on ourselves in the garden than necessary. By taking cues from the world’s best gardener – Mother Nature – we can become kinder, gentler and better gardeners and save ourselves unnecessary work. Presented by George Weigel. Pre-registration and payment required. Fee: $5.00

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chocolate In The Garden

Chocolate is the new black, it goes with virtually everything especially in the garden. What makes this color so appealing? Deep maroons and warm browns make bright colors pop. And there’s a primal connection “people Love Chocolate”. The yummy melt in your mouth type! There are literally Hundreds of dark chocolate colored foliages that are ready to excite and comfort the gardener. Combine these plants with earth tones, greens and grays, combined with chocolate “coco bean mulch” and you will either be in heaven or checking yourself back into “chocolates anonymous”!

Here are some of our favorite plants (some of them with mouth watering names) that use rich brown foliage to excite.Center Glow Ninebark

  • 'Summer Wine' Ninebark
  • 'Center Glow' Ninebark
  • 'Grace' Smokebush
  • 'Royal Purple' Smokebush
  • 'Chocolate Swirls' Coral Bell
  • 'Peach Flame' Coral Bell
  • 'Caramel' Coral Bell
  • 'Obsidian' Coral Bell
  • 'Kopper King' Hibiscus
  • 'Black Jack' Sedum
  • 'Chocolate Chip' Ajuga
  • 'Bronze' Sweet Potato Vine
  • Purple Fountain Grass
  • 'Coco Loco' Coleus
Center Glow Ninebark

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Grow Your Own Peanuts!


Ever thought about growing peanuts in your own garden? It's fun for the whole family and relatively simple.

Here are some pointers to get you headed on the right track!




Peanuts are also known as goobers, goober peas, groundpeas, ground nuts, and earth nuts. The peanut is a legume with compound leaves similar to clover and yellow, pea-like flowers. Peanut varieties can be classified by growth habit (bunch or runner) and nut type (Virginia or Spanish). Virginia types are large podded and usually contain 1 or 2 large kernels per pod. Spanish types are smaller podded and contain 2 or 3 small kernels per pod.


Peanuts grow best in loose, well-drained soils. Avoid poorly drained, clay type soils. Plant peanuts after the danger of frost is past. Peanuts require a soil temperature of 65 F for germination. Sow peanut seeds 1 to 1 1/2 inches deep and 6 to 8 inches apart. Row spacing for bunch types should be 24 inches and 36 inches for runner types. Suggested varieties for home gardens include ‘Spanish,’ ‘Early Spanish,’ ‘Virginia Improved,’ and ‘Jumbo Virginia.’ Peanuts are warm-season annuals that require a minimum of 120 frost free days to reach maturity.


The flowering and fruiting of peanuts are unique. Plants flower above ground, but the pods develop below ground. Peanut plants begin to bloom about 30 to 40 days after emergence. The flowers are small, bright yellow, and pea-like in appearance. After pollination and fertilization occurs, the stalk (peg) below the fertilized ovary elongates and curves downward. It takes about 10 days for the peg to penetrate into the soil. A week after soil penetration, the peg tip enlarges and pod and seed development begin. The fruit mature in 9 to 10 weeks with favorable temperatures and moisture conditions. Since the peanut plant flowers over several weeks, all the pods do not mature at the same time. Cultivate the soil around peanut plants to control weeds and to keep the soil loose so the pegs can easily penetrate the soil surface. Cultivate shallowly to prevent damage to the peanut roots. Stop cultivation in the immediate vicinity of the plants when the pegs begin to penetrate into the soil. A 1 or 2 inch layer of mulch can be placed around plants in early June to control weeds. Any weeds that do appear can be hand pulled.


Harvest the peanuts when the foliage begins to yellow in late summer or early fall. Dig up the plants with a spading fork and carefully shake off the loose soil. Cure the peanuts by hanging the plants in a warm, dry shed or garage. Beware of mice. After the plants have dried for 1 or 2 weeks, shake off any remaining soil and pull the peanut pods from the plants. Continue to air dry the peanuts for an additional 1 or 2 weeks. Once dried, place the peanuts in mesh bags and store them in cool, well-ventilated place until roasted.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Tips on When to Mow Your Lawn


It's such a basic question: When should you mow your lawn? Yet people commonly get it wrong. Here are a few pointers:

•Don't mow your grass when it's wet, whether due to weather or watering. That damages the blades and your lawn alike.

•Don't buzz cut an overgrown lawn to "get back on schedule." Instead, cut the grass back in increments, never by more than a third of its current length.

•Do cut your lawn "high", as in about three inches. That length helps limit weed growth, reduces the need for watering and promotes a strong root structures.

•Don't cut your lawn obsessively. Like any plant, grass needs time to recover from being cut. Plus, it's bad for your mower.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Springtime At Ashcombe!

Check out what's happening this spring at Ashcombe!
Our greenhouses are filled with fresh, beautiful blooming annuals, perennials, nursery stock, herbs and vegetable plants. Let us help make your yard and garden a beautiful retreat!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Weeping Plants



Weeping trees and shrubs are great assets in the landscape and can perform different functions.

  • Weeping trees can highlight a particular area of your landscape.
  • Weeping plants add a graceful, soothing tone to your landscape.
  • Weeping forms can complement water features and other boulder landscapes.
  • It's always good to add something fun and different to your home landscape.

The following is a list of beautiful weeping plant specimens:

  • Molten Lava Crabapple - Weeping Crabapple with red buds opening to single white flowers. 12-15' high.
  • Weeping Mulberry - Graceful, small weeping tree with glossy green foliage. 10'h x 15's
  • Weeping Pussy Willow - Beautiful weeping form with traditional pussy willow flowers. 5-6' x 5-6'.
  • Weeping Arctic Blue Willow - Excellent small specimen for patios or water features. 12-15' x 10-12'.
  • Weeping Nishiki Willow - Elegant and different looking features tri-colored leaves. Requires winter protection!
  • Weeping White Spruce - Narrow cone shaped weeper excellent specimen and a good plant for a narrow space. 20'h x 4'w.
  • Pendula Bruns Spruce - A type of serbian spruce with a weeping habit, beautiful foliage, and cones. 35'h x 15'w.
  • Weeping Hemlock 'Gracilis' - A premier evergreen for shade gardens, rockeries, and water features.
  • Weeping Larch - Luminous lime green needles on a weeping form. Yellow fall color. 10-12'h.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Azaleas & Rhododendrons

Rhododendrons are usually evergreen, meaning they retain their leaves throughout the winter, where azaleas are in the genus rhododendron but they are deciduous. They both bloom in early spring and are a vibrant display for that time of year.

Azaleas:

Bloom in spring in a variety of colors. The University of Minnesota developed the lights series for our climate. They are dependable bloomers and have a good fall color. The Weston Hybrid azaleas bloom in June and July and have a great fall color. They are a thicker plant, but needs winter protection. All of these azaleas come in colors of yellow, pink, white, red, orange, and purple.

Care:

Azaleas enjoy full sun or partial sun. They do not have the winter sun issues that the rhododendrons do. They also enjoy an acidic environment and peat moss should be added at planting.

Fertilizer:

Fertilizer in spring like the rhododendrons with an acidic fertilizer.

Insects and Disease:

They have the same possible problems as rhododendrons.

Pruning:

Prune the same as rhododendrons.

Rhododendron:

Rhododendrons come in small leafed varieties and large leafed varieties. The small leafed varieties have a greater tolerance to the winter sun and are more winter hardy than large leafed varieties. They flower in pastels of pinks and purples for the small-leafed varieties, whereas the large-leafed varieties come in white, red, and pink. They keep their leaves all winter which turn a deep purple in the fall. (PJM Rhododendron pictured above).

Care:

Rhododendrons are sensitive to extreme heat therefore they would not do well on the south side up against a building. They are sensitive to winter sun as well as winter winds therefore it is best to place them on an east side. They do enjoy a well-drained soil and need consistent water as their roots are so close to the surface and can dry out faster.

Fertilizer:

At planting it is best to add organic matter such as compost and peat moss, which will raise the soil pH slightly. They enjoy an acidic soil so, fertilize with an acidic fertilizer, such as ammonium sulfate, in spring or early summer. A pH of 4.0-5.5 is optimum for growth.

Insects and Disease:

They can get a root rot fungus if the soil is not well drained. They can also get a powdery mildew if the summer is hot and humid, any general fungicide can be used. If leaves are turning chlorotic, the soil may be too alkaline and further acidification is needed. They do not have many insects. Rabbits and other rodents tend to feed on these plants. It is best to protect them with a deterrent.

Pruning:

Prune in the spring immediately after they are done flowering. Do not prune any more than 1/3 of the plant’s height.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Things To Consider Before Buying A Tree


1. What size and type of tree am I looking for?

Shade Tree:
40-60' x 40-60'
Bur Oak, Hackberry, Siouxland Poplar

Ornamental:
10-30' x 10-30'
Japanese Tree Lilac, Crabapple, Amur Chokecherry

Boulevard
20-40' x 20-40'
Maple, Ash, Linden

Evergreen
All year interest!
Pine, Spruce, Arborvitae

Fruit Trees
10-15' x 10-15'
Apple, Pear, Cherry, etc.

2. What if I have mostly shade?

Trees for wooded or shaded areas: Pagoda Dogwood, Eastern Redbud, Ash, or Hemlock.

3. Is it a very wet or very dry area?

Trees for wet areas: Swamp White Oak, Pagoda Dogwood, Willow, or River Birch.

Trees for dry area: Green Ash, Amur Maple, Theves Poplar, or Pin Oak.

4. Any obstacles in the way of tree growth?

Consider power lines, house, other trees, neighbors property line, fence line, etc.

5. Fall color, fruit, flowering?

Trees for fall color: Red Maple, Sugar Maple, Honey Locust, Pagoda Dogwood, Red Oak.

Trees with ornamental fruit: Serviceberry, Hawthorn, Crabappel, Mountain Ash.

Trees with ornamental flowers: Catalpa, Newport Plum, Eastern Redbud, Amur Chokecherry.

Tree Planting Checklist

  1. Long handled digging shovel
  2. Root stimulator
  3. Peat Moss
  4. Mulch
  5. Hose for watering
  6. Staking Kit for potted trees
  7. Tree wrap for fall

Handling

When moving trees and shrubs, handle the plant by the container or root ball. Never lift plants by the trunk or branches. Never drag plants by the trunk or branches. Do not drop plants.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fun Events For The Whole Family!!



APRIL

“Grow It Right!” Perennial Mini-Seminars ~ Planting Strawberries - Saturday, April 2nd Learn

everything you need to know about planting strawberries. Informal presentations at 10am and 2pm in the Perennial Courtyard. Free!


Learn To Plant A Tree ~ Saturday, April 9th Learn the proper way to plant trees for a long, healthy life. This free demonstration will be held in the Nursery at 11am and 1pm.


“Grow It Right!” Perennial Mini-Seminars ~ Planting Asparagus - Saturday, April 9th ~ Learn

everything you need to know about planting asparagus. Informal presentations at 10am and 2pm in the Perennial Courtyard. Free!


Butterfly Container Garden Seminar ~ Saturday, April 9th, 10:30-12noon You can attract butterflies to your garden, even if you do not have a large backyard. Local landscape designer, Michael Larkin, will show how to create a butterfly container garden (for a yard or patio), with plants that attract all stages of life from larva to adult butterflies. Pre-registration and payment required. Fee: $5.00


Herbal Luncheon ~ Thursday, April 7th, 11am Our chef will prepare a delicious lunch using different varieties of herbs. Come hungry! Recipes and handouts will be available. Each participant will receive an herb plant. Pre-registration and payment required. Fee: $15.00


Children’s Homeschool Class: “Easter Egg Critters” ~ Wednesday, April 13th, 10-11am In this class, we

will make fun Easter egg critters. Please wear old clothes. Ages 5 and up. Pre-registration

required. Register at Ashcombe or online at hahaofpa.org. Fee: $5.00


All About Herbs Series, Class I - Thursday, April 14th This is the first class in a series of four. Get to know some essential herbs and learn how to grow and use them. Discussion for this class include: culinary, craft and ornamental uses of herbs; planting the 10 most popular herbs; introduction of some special favorites. We will learn as we go -- keep in mind that failure can be as educational as success! Pre-registration and payment required. 6pm. Fee: $5.00


Planting A Culinary Herbal Strawberry Jar ~ Saturday, April 16th, 10am Bring your own jar or

purchase one from us - soil is free. Herbs must be purchased at Ashcombe. 10am.

Pre-registration required.


“Grow It Right!” Perennial Mini-Seminars ~ Dividing Perennials ~ Saturday, April 16th Learn

everything you need to know about dividing perennials. Informal presentations at 10am and 2pm in the Perennial Courtyard. Free!


Children’s Class: “Plant An Herb Garden” ~ Saturday, April 16th, 9-10am In this class, each child will

select herbs, plant their container, then make decorative garden markers for the plants. Please wear old clothes. Ages 5 and up. Pre-registration required. Fee: $8.00

Thursday, March 3, 2011

SPRING OPEN HOUSE IS NEAR!

Saturday, March 19th & Saturday, March 26th


SATURDAY, MARCH 19th

How Not To Mess Up Your Landscape with George Weigel ~ Saturday, March 19th, 10am George Weigel will present this program that takes a fun look at some of the common foul-ups that your average person makes in the landscape. The point is to show the right way to care for the yard by looking at the wrong way. About half deals with design and half with maintenance. Includes handouts on “George’s Top 10 Gardening Foul-Ups” and “George’s Top 10 Tips for Better Gardens.” Pre-registration and payment required. Fee: $5.00


Let’s Get Ready For Spring! ~ Saturday, March 19th, 1-2:30pm Horticulturist and landscape designer, Michael Larkin will help you get your landscape ready for spring. Learn how to clean and sharpen your tools, when and how to properly fertilize your plants, how to successfully transplant and correctly plant your trees and shrubs, how to increase the size of your garden

by dividing your perennials and seasonal pruning tips to keep your plants blooming. Bring your questions. Pre-registration and payment are required. Fee: $5.00


“Grow It Right!” Perennial Mini-Seminars ~ Cutting Perennial Grasses ~ Saturday, March 19th Learn everything you need to know about cutting back perennial grasses. Informal presentations at 10am and 2pm in the

Perennial Courtyard. Free!


Children’s Garden Craft - Plant A Pizza Garden - children can plant a pizza garden to take along home. 10am-3pm. Free!



SATURDAY, MARCH 26th

Cutting Edge Plants To Try In Your 2011 Gardens with George Weigel ~ Saturday, March 26th, 10am Are you still planting the same old bug-prone, boring plants year after year? George will help you to get out of your rut and try some of the latest, greatest newcomers that are light years ahead of yesteryear’s plain-Jane shrubs and flowers. This program takes a look both at some of the best plants debuting in 2011 as well as some super recent introductions. Pre-registration and payment required. Fee: $5.00


“Grow It Right!” Perennial Mini-Seminars ~ Pruning Evergreens ~ Saturday, March 26th Learn everything you need to know about pruning evergreens. Informal

presentations at 10am and 2pm in the Perennial

Courtyard. Free!


Plant Your Own Pansy Strawberry Jar 10am-2pm Bring in your own jar or purchase one from us. Soil is free. Must purchase pansies at Ashcombe.


Children’s Garden Craft - Plant A Cat Garden - children can plant a cat garden to take along home. 10am-3pm. Free!