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Valentine Roses

Roses are red, Violets are....

Go Beyond Typical Valentine Day sentiments!

We often think of romantic words and fresh roses to show our love. How about taking it up a notch this year for the gardener in your life with a rose lovingly named!

Here are a few of our 2016 roses. They have just arrived in time for you to express your love with a rose bush that will keep on blooming year after year. The name says it all.

Choose a rose with the color your Valentine loves matched with a 'Scentimental' name like this white and pink Miss Congeniality.


RED                                                     MULTI-COLORED
Carefree Spirit Shrub                           Cutie Pie Mini
Lasting Love HT                                   Double Delight HT
Love GF                                               Dream Come True GF
Love’s Promise GF                              Fired Up FL
Smokin’Hot HT                                    Miss Congeniality GF
Take It Easy FL                                    Scentimental FL
                                                             Yabba Dabba Doo Shrub
Big Momma HT                                   PURPLE
Falling in Love HT                               Angel Face FL
First Prize HT                                      Pretty Lady HT
Orchid Romance FL                            Sultry Sangria FL


WHITE                                               ORANGE-APRICOT-SALMON
Brite Eyes CL                                     Over the Moon HT                        
Valentine’s Day CL                             Vavoom FL


YELLOW                                             FL= Floribunda
Eternal Flame HT                                HT= Hybrid Tea
Good as Gold HT                                 CL= Climber
Sunsprite FL                                        GR= Grandiflora

Visit Farmington Gardens for our extensive list of roses available this year.

So, with some gardener's poetic license,

For 'Valentine's Day', you can share 'Love' with your 'Brite Eyes'. Whether she thinks she is a 'Legend' or a simple 'Cutie Pie', there is always a chance to be 'Scentimental'. Let her know you have an 'Eternal Flame' for her 'Angel Face' and 'Carefree Spirit'. This Valentine's Day, you can show your sweetheart that she is truly a 'Dream Come True'.


A Bouquet of Hellebores

Helleborus 'Snow Fever'

A bouquet of winter blossoms!

That's what you will find under last year's leaves.

This is the time of year to get out and cut back the more tattered leaves off your hellebores. They are evergreen and are a wonderful architechtural addition to your garden but they may have taken a beating from the earlier winter storms. New growth will replace them soon.

            Before pruning After pruning ( Click on the photo to see the mass of blooms to come)

Being able to enjoy the blossoms as they open is well worth the effort. On top of that, you will be able to spot any seedlings. Bonus! Move those babies to another bed for more growing space and TLC.

Jacob Pink Frost Cinnamon Snow

When buying new plants, look at the blossom color and shape. Many of the newer varieties also have colorful stems, different leaf color and leaf shape. Their names reflect their hardiness at this time of year.                    

Enjoy them in a planter by your front door for this first season. As long as they don't have strong sun, regular moisture is all that is needed. Move them out to the garden later.  Hellebores prefer part shade making them great understory plantings. Once established, they are drought tolerant.

Microgreens, from Seed to Table in 7-14 Days!

Microgreens for Winter Health & Taste

Unlike sprouts, microgreens are vegetables or herbs that are grown in a shallow container of media (also known as seed-starting mix) by a sunny windowsill or under fluorescent lights. Microgreens are harvested when plants are small and immature, with just their first pair of leaves, called cotyledons. In this tender young stage, nutrients are concentrated, textures are delicate, and you can enjoy the essence of each flavor as an accent to your favorite dish.
If you are repurposing a container, use a shallow one with drainage holes, such as a recycled plastic clamshell container, like those used for berries or cherry tomatoes in the grocery store. Make sure to first wash the container in warm soapy water to remove debris and then sanitize in a 1:9 ratio of bleach to water for 30 minutes. When the containers have finished soaking, rinse them in clean water prior to use.

Fill your container up to a half-inch from the rim with a sterile planting mix. Make sure the soil stays moist, but not soggy. Watering by soaking the tray from below will prevent soil from splashing onto the plants. Frequently misting with a spray bottle will also help to achieve the right germinating conditions, but requires more attention. Most varieties are ready in 7-14 days when seedlings are 1-2 inches tall.

Growing microgreens isn't just practical; it's also fun! This winter, they will not only enhance the flavor of all your meals, but they will also give you that gardening "fix" when it's still cold outside. Liven up the dinner table by adding an interactive element. Think how fun it will be for kids or guests to snip their own microgreen freshness from the tray right onto their plates. Everyone will be saying, "Pass the microgreens, please!"

Try one of these easy to grow Microgreens mixes.

Microgreens Peas for Shoots Organic Heirloom Seeds
Microgreens Red Winter Kale Heirloom Seeds
Microgreens Savory Mix Seeds
Microgreens Sunflower Organic Heirloom Seeds
Microgreens Upland Cress Heirloom Seeds
Microgreens Mild Mix
Microgreens Spicy Mix

Watch them grow!

Sweet Box Lives up to its Name

A much overlooked winter flowering plant is the sarcococca or Sweet Box. The white blossoms along the branches may be tiny, but, oh my, what a perfume they have!

Able to grow in partial or full shade, sarcococca is drought tolerant once established. This is not something you might be thinking about at this time of year but, come summer, you will appreciate it. They do like a rich soil.

Evergreen, the glossiness of the leathery leaves is a year round attraction. These dense plants can be used as a border along a path, as a foundation planting, under tall rhododendrons or camellias, or in containers.  If they are out where they will be battered by the elements, you can trim them back after blooming to remove any damaged growth.  If they are protected somewhere under the eaves, tall shrubs or a front overhang, their lush appearance needs little care. They can produce dark blue-black or red berries.  They take acidic fertilizers like Dr. Earth Acid Lovers.

Wherever you place Sweet Box, make sure it is somewhere you pass by on a winter day. They bloom mid-January through March depending on the weather. You will be enchanted by the perfume.


A decorative pot full of sarcococa right by your front door is not only attractive to the eye, your sense of smell is also brought into the scheme.


For a short time, try using a smaller sized sarcococca as a houseplant – a natural and beautiful way to condition the air in your home.


Sarcococca ruscifolia is taller and upright (4-6 feet) while sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis is more of a low spreader growing to only half that height.