Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012


POINSETTIA CARE



It’s that time of the year when you’ll find lovely Poinsettias to brighten the Holidays. A question often arises how do I keep my plant looking nice throughout the Holiday season and on into Spring?

Poinsettias are tropical warm loving plants that like good light. Place it near a sunny window. South, east or west facing windows are preferable to a north facing window. Water the plant whenever the surface feels dry to the touch. Water until it drains out the bottom, but don’t let the plant sit in water. Wilting is another common cause of leaf drop. A wilted plant can be revived and salvaged, but it will take another season to improve its appearance. Fertilizer is not necessary until the days lengthen in February. Keep them from drafty areas such as doorways.

Humidity- Lack of humidity during dry seasons, in particular winter, is an ongoing houseplant problem. If your home tends to be dry and your poinsettia is in direct light, you will find yourself watering frequently, possibly every day.

When you purchase your Poinsettia be sure you keep it warm until you get home with it. Make it your last purchase before going home so it doesn’t sit in an unheated car while you shop.

To Rebloom for the next season:
During winter, continue to follow holiday upkeep tips.
March 17 (St. Patrick's Day): When bracts fade, cut stems back to eight inches above soil line.  Continue to water regularly.

Lightly fertilize with a good, balanced all-purpose fertilizer every three to four weeks.
When temperatures are warm, place plant outdoors; first in indirect, then direct sunlight. Avoid temperatures below 50 degrees throughout the summer.

July 4 (Independence Day): Cut back new growth stems. Repot if needed.
Early September (Labor Day): Move plant inside. Provide six or more hours of direct light.
October 1 through mid-December: Confine plant to complete darkness for 14 hours, giving it 10 hours of natural light daily. This will set the buds and cause bracts to color.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why Do We Decorate With Fresh Greenery At Christmas?




Decorating the house with fresh greenery is one of the oldest winter holiday traditions. Evergreens have been a part of winter festivals since ancient times. Evergreens are used to represent everlasting life and hope for the return of spring.

Decorated trees were used in winter celebrations long before the advent of Christianity. Plants and trees that remained green all year had a special significance for people who lived in cold-winter climates.


Ancient people hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. Some believed they kept witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness away. Romans decorated trees with trinkets and topped them with an image of their sun god. Druid sorcerers hung golden apples and lit candles on oak trees to celebrate the winter solstice.
It is believed that the use of an evergreen tree as part of a Christian Christmas started some 400 years ago in Germany and eventually spread across Europe and to America.


Gathering Greenery

The first and often the best place to look for holiday greenery may be in your own landscape. Greenery gathered from your own garden will be far fresher than any that you can buy. You may also have a variety of unusual greenery that would be difficult to find for purchase.
When gathering live greenery from your shrubs and trees, remember that you are actually pruning the plants. Consider carefully which branches to cut and which ones to leave. Distribute the cuts evenly around the plant in order to preserve its natural form.

Types of Greenery

Many different kinds of greenery can be used for holiday decorations. Pines, firs and cedars are good to use for indoor decoration since they dry out slowly and hold their needles best at warm interior temperatures. They may last for several weeks if properly treated and cared for. Hemlock, spruces and most broadleaf evergreens will last longer if used outdoors.
Below are some suggested varieties to use in holiday decorating.
White Pine: This soft, bluish-green, long-needled pine has excellent needle retention but wilts visibly if dry. It is readily available as premade garland and wreaths.
Virginia Pine: This native pine has shorter, coarser needles, and is long-lasting, with excellent needle retention. Virginia pine is readily available.
Junipers: Fragrant, short, green or silver-blue foliage that may be adorned with small blue berries. The needles are often sticky. Red cedar is a native juniper and is readily available.
True Cedars: Deodar cedar, blue atlas cedar, and cedar-of-Lebanon all have a wonderful fragrance. If small male cones are present, spray them with lacquer or acrylic to prevent the messy release of pollen at room temperature.
Firs: All firs have wonderful scent and good tolerance of hot, dry indoor conditions. The needles are short and flat with excellent color and needle retention. Fraser fir wreaths and swags are commonly available from commercial sources.
Spruce: Wreaths are the main use for spruce greens. The branches are stiff with short, sharp needles. Blue spruce is especially attractive because of its color, and it holds its needles better than other spruce. Needle retention is poorer on spruce than on other conifer greens.
Ivy: This vigorous vine is readily available in many yards. It makes an excellent green for holiday arrangements. The cut ends must be kept in water, or the ivy will quickly wilt.
Holly: This most traditional holiday green comes in several forms, both green and variegated. Female plants display bright red berries. Make sure that holly does not freeze after cutting, or the leaves and berries may blacken.
Mountain Laurel: This is a traditional evergreen in the South for wreaths and garlands. As with other broad-leaved evergreens, however, laurel holds up best when used outdoors.
Boxwood: This small-leafed shrub is a longtime favorite for fine-textured wreaths and garland. It has an aroma that is either loved or hated. Be sure of your reaction before using it indoors.
Magnolia: The large leaves are a glossy, dark green that contrast well with the velvety, brown undersides. Magnolia leaves make stunning wreaths and bases for large decorations. The leaves hold up very well even without water.
Some other excellent evergreens that can be used for holiday greenery include:
  • Arborvitae
  • Ligustrum
  • Pittosporum
  • Podocarpus
  • Viburnum
  • Leyland Cypress
  • Nandina
  • Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica)
  • Hemlock
NOTE: Ground pine, also known as princess pine or creeping cedar, is often used for Christmas decorations. This beautiful native plant is very slow-growing and local populations can be destroyed after only a few years of harvesting for Christmas decorations.

Decorating Safely

Dried evergreens can become flammable when in contact with a heat source such as a candle flame. Make sure that any wreaths, roping and garlands that you bring indoors are as fresh as possible. Check needles by bending them. They should be flexible and not break. Avoid greenery that are shedding or that have brown, dry tips.
Before bringing the greenery inside, soak them in water overnight to rehydrate them. Commercial sprays are available that can be used to provide some fire resistance.
Never place fresh greenery near heat sources, such as space heaters, heater vents or sunny windows. Be careful of wreaths used on the front door, if there is a glass outer door that receives direct sunlight. Keep greenery away from candles and fireplaces. If you use lights near your green arrangements, make sure that they stay cool, and if outside, that they are rated for exterior use.
Check your decorations every couple of days for freshness. If greenery are becoming dry, either replace or remove the dry portions. Make sure to discard dry greenery away from the house or garage to prevent a further fire hazard.

Safety for Children & Pets

Some popular plants used in holiday decorating can present poisoning hazards for small children or pets. Poisonous berries are found on holly plants, yews, mistletoe, ivy plants, Jerusalem cherry, bittersweet and crown of thorns. The pearly white berries of mistletoe are particularly toxic. Keep all these plants out of the reach of children and curious pets.

Keeping Greenery Fresh

  • Use clean, sharp cutters to cut branches and immediately put cut ends into water until ready to use.
  • Crush the ends of woody stems to allow the cutting to take in more water.
  • Keep greenery out of sunlight.
  • Immerse greenery in water overnight before arranging. This allows the cuttings to absorb the maximum amount of moisture.
  • Allow the foliage to dry and then spray it with an anti-transpirant, such as Wilt-pruf, to help seal in moisture. Note: Do not use antitranspirants on juniper berries, cedar or blue spruce. The product can damage the wax coating that gives these plants their distinctive color.
  • Keep completed wreaths, garlands and arrangements in a cool location until use.
  • Display fresh greenery and fruits out of the sun and away from heat.
  • Plan to replace greenery and fruits throughout the holiday season if they become less than fresh.

Decorating With Greens

Many different types of decorations can be made with fresh greenery. Some traditional types are garlands, swags and wreaths. A number of different types of forms can be stuffed with sprigs or branches to create topiaries. Kissing balls are an unusual alternative to the usual mistletoe sprig.
A variety of wreaths and garlands are readily available commercially. Most are plain and unadorned, but can be dressed up with contrasting live greenery from the yard for a personal look.


Part of this information was prepared by Clemson Cooperative Extension, Clemson UniversityPrepared by Karen Russ, HGIC Horticulture Specialist; George D. Kessler, Extension Forester; and Bob Polomski Extension Consumer Horticulturist, Clemson University. 







Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Black Friday Events at Ashcombe!

Can you believe Christmas is just around the corner?
After the frenzy of early morning door busters, come to Ashcombe to relax! 
We're offering a lunch special in our deli:

BUY 1 LUNCH, GET 1 LUNCH AT HALF THE PRICE

The first 50 customers with a $25 purchase on Friday, November 23rd will receive a FREE votive candle.

On Friday, November 23rd and Saturday, November 24th - Buy $50 worth of Old World Ornaments and receive a $10 store coupon good until December 24th, 2012.

There are so many things to see this holiday season at Ashcombe.  Visit our beautiful displays, our fragrant greens and candle areas, exquisite floral designs in our Gift Shop, flowering holiday favorites in our Plant Shop and Springtime Greenhouse.  

At Ashcombe there is always something growing on!  Come see what's new!!



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Holiday Open House This Weekend!


Our annual Holiday Open House will be held this Saturday.  Make plans to join us for this fun filled day!  Visit with our visiting craftsmen, try some delicious food samples and get great ideas for holiday decorating, entertaining and gift giving.

There's ALWAYS Something Growing On - and something for everyone!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Come see what's growing on at Ashcombe this week!

Our Fall Harvest Days are winding down for another season.  This will be the last weekend but you can still come out for a hayride, a pumpkin or to play on all the field games through Wednesday, October 31st.

Our displays will soon be turning from fall themes to the upcoming holidays.  Be sure to check out our amazing selection of holiday decor items for Thanksgiving, Christmas and more!  We have an extensive line of artificial greens to enhance your decorating themes.  We will also have fresh greens arriving the week of Thanksgiving.


And remember - if you need a little help in the kitchen this season, our bakery offers homemade pies, cakes, cookies, muffins, breads and more!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall Harvest Time!

Fall Harvest Days are underway at Ashcombe...there are still so many fun things to do this month!  

SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND!
•  Fire Safety & Awareness Day - we'll have several local fire companies visiting with their trucks, life saving equipment, demonstrations and more!
•  Scarecrow Making
•  Joan & Jack's Kettle Korn
•  Big Rock Alpaca Farm
•  Special Harvest Foods on Saturday and Sunday (available in the field)


Fall Harvest Days are happening through the 31st including Sundays (weather permitting)

Hours:  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 9am-6pm  Wednesday 9am-5pm /  Sunday 11am-4pm

Every day enjoy great family fun:  
Hayworld Play Area For Children w/Hay Slides & Jumps • Field Games & Activities Pick-Your-Own Pumpkins • Hayrides • Special Harvest Foods (Saturday/Sunday only)





Wednesday, October 3, 2012

FALL HARVEST DAYS AT ASHCOMBE!

FALL HARVEST DAYS

October 5th through the 31st including Sundays 
(weather permitting)
Hours:  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 
9am-6pm
Wednesday 9am-5pm // Sunday 11am-4pm


Every day enjoy great family fun:  
Hayworld Play Area For Children w/Hay Slides & Jumps * Field Games & Activities * Pick-Your-Own Pumpkins * Hayrides Special Harvest Foods (Saturday/Sunday only)
 

Visit us for these other exciting events happening 
throughout the month...
 
Scarecrow Making Saturday, October 6th, Monday October 8th & Saturday, October 13th:  Bring your own clothes and the cost is $5.  For $10 we'll take care of everything!

Jack & Joan's Kettle Corn Saturday, October 6th, Sunday October 7th, Monday October 8th, Saturday October 13th & Sunday October 14th.

Big Rock Alpaca Farm will be here with their beautiful alpacas Saturdays, October 6th, 13th & 20th.

Fire Safety & Awareness Day Saturday, October 13th.  

Apple Butter Boil Friday October 19th & Saturday October 20th. 

Face Painting  October 6th, 7th, 8th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st

Visiting Nigerian Dwarf Goats the entire month!
  
AVAILABLE NOW:  
Apples, Corn Shocks, Gourds, Pumpkins & All Your Fall Decorating Items!



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Home Made Pot Pie Meals

Isn't it great when you don't have to cook dinner but can still get home made goodness?  Ashcombe has the solution every Wednesday through December (excluding October 3rd)

WEDNESDAY NIGHT HOME MADE POT PIE DINNERSServing from 4-7pmPot Pie, Applesauce & Roll for $6.50Eat In or Take Out



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Homeschool Garden Craft Classes at Ashcombe

Did you know that we offer homeschool garden craft classes two times a month at Ashcombe?  These crafts are great fun and are all garden themed.  Here are the classes scheduled for this fall.  We hope you join us!




Make Your Own Scarecrow ~ Wednesday, September 26th, 1-2pm For this class, each child should bring a pair of pants and shirt (in their size) from home. We will make scarecrows to display for the fall season. (If you need clothes, we will have clothes available for $3/set). Fee: $5.00

Make A Wreath For The Birds ~ Wednesday, October 10th, 10-11am. In this class, each child will make a beautiful wreath to hang for the birds to enjoy. Fee: $5.00


Pressed Flower and Leaf Picture ~ Wednesday, October 24th, 1-2pm In this fun class, each child will make a beautiful picture using pressed flowers and leaves. Please wear old clothes. Ages 5 and up. Pre-registration and payment is required. Fee: $5.00

The Basics Of Soap Making Part 1 ~ Wednesday, November 7th, 10-11am In this first class of a 2-part series, we will make simple soaps using assorted scents, dyes and floral additives. Each child will make several bars of soap. Fee: $8.00

The Basics Of Soap Making Part 2 ~ Wednesday, November 14th, 1-2pm In this second class of a 2-part series, we will finish the soaps we made by decorating and packaging them with a creative flair for gift giving. Fee: $8.00

Pine Cone Christmas Trees ~ Wednesday, December 5th, 10-11am Each child will make an adorable Christmas tree with a large pine cone. . Fee: $5.00

Cupcake Candles ~ Wednesday, December 19th, 1-2pm In this class we will make candles that look just like yummy cupcakes - but they are to burn, not eat! Fee: $5.00

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Get To Know Your Cucurbits


Pumpkins and Squash and Gourds are known as cucurbits (cucumber family) that includes cantaloupe, watermelon and most vine growing ‘characters’. Here are few of the ones we carry to decorate that front door, porch or patio for this special time of year. If you have some colored leaves or a scarecrow you can make it very interesting and colorful. Here we go!

(Pumpkin) One Too Many

 
 (Gourd) Gooseneck

 (Gourd) Mexican

(Squash) Spaghetti 

( Pumpkin) Golden Cushaw 

(Pumpkin) Mystic

(Pumpkin) Prizewinner

 ( Gourd) Apple 

(Pumpkin) Baby Boo














Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012


The Old Days

You’ve probably heard the expression back in the old days we did so and so. Well those old days were teachers that helped us through the days ahead. Here at Ashcombe, perhaps forty years ago we used a lot of chemicals on our crops to prevent disease and keep down the insect pests that plagued them. My bro. Bob and I shared a very small office in a concrete block building that served as a warehouse, boiler room, packing shed, and maintenance building.

Often times when we could catch a minute or two from our many tasks we would discuss how we farmed our vegetables. The farm, previous to us, had been share cropped and the farmers had allowed the soil to be depleted of nutrients. We took regular soil tests and added the recommended amounts of commercial fertilizer to keep our crops growing and put in cover crops over winter that added organic matter to the soil. We thought we were doing all the right things to increase yields of our crops but really didn’t see a great difference.

Both Bob and I were, could you say, innovative, and wanted to go beyond the accepted practices of farming at that time. Organics were not yet come of age but having had an uncle who farmed with no irrigation only manure and raised nice crops of vegetables for his roadside market we thought that there must be a way without manure which we didn’t have to accomplish the same thing.

We learned of a company that made a product that was all natural but the ratios of fertilizer did not meet what our soil tests called for. It was a risk at that time to put on an untried product but we felt it would be worth the risk. After that decision was made, no commercial fertilizers were put on our fields and we scouted out crops for insects and only used low toxicity sprays when damage was evident.


We saw little difference in yields initially and felt better that we could say no commercial fertilizers were spread on our fields. Sometime later perhaps five or six years we tried a one half acre plot completely organic and separated them in our store marking the organic as such. At that that time there wasn’t a concern for lesser use of chemicals and we didn’t continue the half acre. But we could feel good that our veggies were probably as healthful or more so than many grown in the area. And were we to have continued to grow in later years it probably would have been organically.




Story by Glenn Gross co-founder of Ashcombe Farm and Green house

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Upcoming Events For The Whole Family!

At Ashcombe there is always something growing on!  We have wonderful events the whole family will enjoy.  Check out what's happening this month and next...

AUGUST
Dog Days ~ Saturday, August 25th, 8am-12noon  Bring your pooch for this morning of fun!  We’ll have various organizations on hand offering dog adoption opportunities, vendors selling dog products, a dog wash, dog pagent and more!  Check out this link for more: www.ashcombe.com/dogdays2012.htm

Cement Leaf Birdbath Workshop ~ Saturday, August 25th 10:30-12noon and Monday, August 27th 6:30-7:30pm  Join Michael Larkin in this 2 session class to create a bird bath for your garden.  Using a large 12” leaf, each participant will create a unique bird bath.  In the first class we will make the birdbath.  In the second, we will unmold and finish the project.  All material and instructions are included in the price of the workshop.  Please bring a pair of sturdy rubber gloves.    Pre-registration and payment required.  Fee:  $30.00

Advanced Hypertufa Workshop ~ Saturday, August 25th, 1-2:30  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.  In this advanced class we will add concrete dye and embellish the containers with polished stones, creating a very artistic container for your plants.  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:  $35.00



SEPTEMBER
Tomato Fest ~ Saturday, September 1st, 9am - 3pm   Join us for this fun day of taste testing tomatoes and tomato recipes.  Tour our tomato field!  Click here for more information:  www.ashcombe.com/2012tomatofest.htm

Children’s Garden Craft Class:  “Pressed Flower and Leaf Pictures” ~ 
Saturday, September 8th, 9-10am  In this fun class, each child will make a beautiful picture using pressed flowers and leaves.  Please wear old clothes.  Ages 5 and up.  Pre-registration and payment is required.  Fee:  $5.00

Homeschool Garden Craft Club:  “Corn Leaf Wreath Workshop” ~ Wednesday, September 12th, 10-11am  In this class, each child will hand craft a beautiful wreath using fresh corn leaves.  These leaves will dry in about a week for a beautiful wreath for the door or a centerpiece for the table. Please wear old clothes.  Ages 5 and up. Pre-registration and payment is required. Fee: $5.00

Basic Orchid Care ~ Thursday, September 13th, 6pm  Join us for 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



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Is Your Garden Looking Tired?


Are Things looking Tired in your Garden?

Iron Deficiency in Tomatoes

lack of Potassium


 Magnesium Deficiency

Has the heat of recent weeks made your garden look like it needs a little help? Well if you’ve been watering regularly and still think that things are not up to par, you could be missing a nutrient that keeps the plants healthy just like our food nourishes us; plants need regular feeding when they are growing rapidly. This can be accomplished by using a slow release fertilizer like Osmocote or regular feedings of a liquid fertilizer like Miracle Gro.

Or if you’re an organic gardener we have Espoma Potassium, Phosphorus and Iron as well liquid Alaska Fish Oil, and Tiger Bloom that are completely natural along with a number of other safe products.

Our goal is to make your plants shine so that you are the envy of your neighbors, but more importantly so that you can enjoy the wonders of nature. And if your plants are properly fertilized and healthy bug pests will be less of a problem. Plants like humans have an immune system which if kept healthy will keep the plant at its best.

So give your plants a boost as well as yourself by stopping by our garden center today and talking to our knowledgeable staff about how to do it. While you’re here take a stroll through our gardens which can give you ideas for your garden.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Plants For Dry Conditions

Summer is only half over and there is still lots of time to plant! This summer has been very dry and hot so far... a perfect time to consider adding some drought tolerant plants to your landscape.
Below I have included a list of plants that thrive in hot, dry conditions.
HAPPY PLANTING!!


ANNUALS

Alyssum
Ageratum
Begonias (Wax)
Cannas
Celosia
Geraniums
Gazania
Gomphrena
Lantana
Nierembergia
Petunia
Portulaca
Salvia
Statice sinuata
Senecio
Dusty Miller
Verbena
Vinca

HERBS
Basil
Borage
Caraway
Chamomile
Comfrey
Feverfew
Pennyroyal
Thyme
Tansy

PERENNIALS
Achillea (Yarrow)
Amsonia (Blue Stars)
Anthemis (Marguerite Daisy)
Antennaria (Pussy Toes)
Arabis (Rock Cress)
Armeria (Sea Thrift)
Artemesia (All Kinds)
Asclepsis (Butterfly Flower)
Belamcanda (Blackberry Lily)
Briza (Quaking Grass)
Cerastium
Coreopsis
Dicentra
Echinacea (Rudbeckia)
Echinops
Eryngium (Sea Holly)
Euphorbia
Festuca (Blue Fescue)
Geranium sanguineum
Guara
Gypsophila
Helianthemum (Sun Rose)
Helianthus (Sunflower)
Helenium
Hemerocallis (Daylily)
Hibiscus
Hypericum
Iris siberica
Lamium (in shade or partial sun)
Linum (Blue Flax)
Lirope
Malva
Oenethera (Ozark Sundrop)
Opuntia
Physostegia
Rudbeckia
Salvia Superba
Sedum (All Kinds)
Stachys (Lamb’s Ear)
Yucca

SHRUBS
Barberry
Caragana
Cotinus
Cotoneaster
Cytisus
Ganista
Hypericum
Juniper
Lagerstromia
Myrica Pennsylvania
Potentilla

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Taking Care of Your Plants During A Drought





The lack of rain in conjunction with excessive heat tends to take a quick toll on our beautiful, hard-earned landscapes.  Take heart...there are some simple tips that can help get us through the heat.  Using one or several of these tips can help preserve our precious water.



STEP ONE:  CHOOSE WHICH PLANTS WILL GET WATER
With severe droughts, you may have to abandon some plants to their own devices.  First choose plants that are most likely to survive with little water such as drought tolerant plants.  If there still is not enough water to go around, you may have to choose between the plants that are most important to you (those you can’t do without) and the ones you are indifferent to.  Newly planted trees, especially those put in this spring, must have water, so make them a priority.

STEP TWO:  CUT BACK DROOPING PERENNIALS
Cut back any perennial plant that shows signs of losing its leaves, or any that are shriveling.  Plants lose moisture through their leaves.  Eliminating a lot of leafy surface will also help cut down on moisture loss.  This will work for many perennials, especially when they are past bloom.

STEP THREE:  SPRAY TREES WITH AN ANTI-TRANSPIRANT
Do not cut back trees and shrubs.  This will only encourage a growth spurt, which takes energy that drought-stressed shrubs and trees cannot afford.  Instead spray the leaves of trees with an antitranspirant or anti-desiccant to help leaves retain what moisture they have.  This will form a thin film over the leaf and slow transpiration or water loss from the foliage.

STEP FOUR:  WATER EARLY
Morning temperatures are cooler and with reduced solar radiation, there is far less loss of moisture due to evaporation.  Plus water trapped in the foliage will have a chance to dry out during the day thus minimizing the chance of fungal infection, especially during humid weather.

STEP FIVE:  WATER SLOWLY AND DEEPLY
Roots grow below the surface.  Watering slowly will allow the moisture to penetrate more deeply into the soil where the roots are rather than running off the surface.  Creating depressions or water traps around larger plants that require lots of water will help to hold the water where you want it so it can saturate the soil.  Remember to water trees at the drip line and not just at the trunk.  Most active roots of a tree are further away from the trunk.

STEP SIX:  WATER THE SOIL, NOT THE LEAVES
Plants take up water through their roots.  Water landing on foliage will be lost to evaporation. 

STEP SEVEN:  CONSERVE PRECIOUS WATER
Connect a rain barrel (decorative too!)  To downspouts to collect rainwater.  Wash the car on the lawn rather than on the driveway.  Redirect gray water such as bathtub or dishwater, into holding thanks to be used in your garden.

USING THESE WATER-WISE GARDENING TIPS

STEP ONE:  THE SOIL
Think of soil as a sponge that holds and releases all the ingredients that your plants need to live.  Soils that drain moisture quickly (such as sandy or rocky soils), will compound the effects of a drought.  The best way to amend your soil is with organic matter.  The more organic matter you add, the better moisture retention you will get.  There are many sources:  composted manure, composted leaf mold, mushroom soil, decayed grass clippings and other plant material, or your own compost generated from plant wastes.


STEP TWO:  CHOOSE DROUGHT TOLERANT PLANTS
Drought tolerant plants are specially adapted to grow well in regions that get little amounts of normal rain.  These plants require less water to live.  Plants best adapted to dry conditions include the following:  Plants with deep taproots that find their way down to moisture and store it.  For example, yucca, butterfly weed and balloon flower.

Gray leaved plants covered with hairs that will; help trap moisture. 
For example:  lambs ear and artemesias

Tiny leaved plants, which do not lost moisture as rapidly as their larger leaved counterparts.
For example:  lavender catmint

Succulent plants, which carry their own moisture supply.
For example:  sedum and hens and chicks

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DROUGHT EMERGENCY RESTRICTIONS
You can water under emergency drought restrictions - but only between the hours of 5pm and 9am, using one of the following methods:
1)  Hand held container
2)  Hand held hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle
3)  Irrigation system designed and operated
- to restrict the application to specific plantings
- to restrict timing or total volume
- that ensures effective conservation

CHECK WITH YOUR LOCAL WATER AUTHORITY, AS OTHER RESTRICTIONS MAY APPLY.

Monday, July 2, 2012

There's always so many exciting things to do at Ashcombe and this weekend is no exception!  Make plans to join us on Saturday for our annual YARD SALE.  It begins at 7am promptly (no early birds) it's held in the grassy area beside the parking lot and it sure is popular...so don't be late!  We'll have items from every department including lots of deals on annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs and so much more!  Cash or check only.  All sales are final.


Another exciting event coming soon is our annual butterfly day event.  It is called 'The Beauty of Butterflies' and will be held on Saturday, August 4th from 9am-3pm.  There are so many great things to do during this event that focuses on all things butterflies!  We'll have displays, guests, children's activities, a chicken barbecue from Monroe Fire Company and a long-awaited butterfly release at 12:00noon!!

If you would like to reserve your own butterfly to release - the deadline is July 15th.  Here is the info...


Saturday, August 4th is Ashcombe’s annual 
“Beauty of Butterflies,” featuring all things related 
to butterflies.  Our butterfly release is so popular that many participants like to sponsor their own butterfly to release on that day.  We are offering 
our customers the opportunity to purchase a 
butterfly for $10.00 per Monarch Butterfly.  These butterflies will be shipped directly to Ashcombe 
and will be reserved in the names of all paid sponsors.  On August 4th, you may pick up your butterfly and release it here or take it home to enjoy its beauty in your own backyard.  
Deadline for reserving your butterfly is July 15th.

See Kerri in the greenhouse to order your butterfly.