Bob Wollam from Wollam Gardens stopped by this afternoon with a variety of beautiful flowers and branches he had grown.
He delivered beautiful curly willow that I plan to use to cover the poles on a chuppah for a March wedding and gifted me all sorts of beautiful and interesting flowers and foliage...a delicate spray variety of pussy willow, some almond branches that should bloom shortly, a fat variety of pussy willow, the most beautiful tall lavender colored sweet pea, an orange ranunculus (hopiong these will be available for my wedding in a couple weeks) and two pulsatillas also known as pasque flowers that I have seen before and Bob is growing for the first time this year.
In addition to what he brought the farm is bursting with early season offerings including faciated willow, anemone and calancho. I am so happy to have local flowers again after missing them for the last few months.
This month he will be planting temptress poppies, stock, sweet peas, freesia, lilies, delphinium, snaps and queen annes lace. All of these flowers can be planted in unheated areas with just row covers to protect them until it gets a bit warmer. Bob promised to bring me some of the fabric for row covers so I can start planting salad greens under them right now.
He said the first heavy snow in December collapsed 2 temporary hoop houses because it fell so quickly and was so heavy. But the later big snow actually has been helpful. The snow acts as an insulator almost like a big blanket keeping what it is underneath it at a steady 32 degrees even if the air temperature falls way below freezing. I also learned that snow is full of nitrogen and therefore acts as a natural fertilizer.
Many of the flowers he has planted especially peonies and other tubers need the cold in order to develop properly...on the other hand if the temperature of the soil goes below 20 degrees many crops will be damaged. Extreme cold uses lots of energy which is both expensive and wasteful. With the cold temperatures lately the snow has helped with keeping some things warm and it has not been necessary to use as much energy as it otherwise would have been.
In the next week or so he expects Dutch iris and freesia to be available.
Tonight I am enjoying my two pulsatilla flowers. Sounds like he will have something new every week and he will be bringing it to sell at the Dupont Fresh Farm Market.