I’ve been a compulsive gardener for decades. I didn’t have a grandmother with a garden, but I house sat for two summers at an historic estate with beautiful gardens and a full-time gardener. After that I first grew vegetables. I germinated tomato seeds under lights in the bedroom of our suburban house. I have a very accommodating husband. I’m convinced that growing tomatoes- easy and rewarding – is a pathway drug to flower gardens.
Eventually we moved to our 1881 farm house with its flower gardens and near perfect soil. “For sale by Owner,” ninety-three year old widow Anne Patterson was moving 2000 miles to live with her daughter. She beamed as she showed me the Fern-leaved bleeding hearts under the Bur oaks, a patch of pink lily-of-the-valley and her Lemon lilies. We still grow these plus Anne’s irises. She triggered my interest in heirloom flowers.
Heritage Flower Farm started really, really small. Every year the nursery “grows.” A greenhouse, a hoop house or two, a parking lot, more land, a John Deere tractor, a chicken yard, a big compost operation, more gardens, better gardens and every year we try out 20+ more heritage plants and maybe discontinue one or two. We find out their height, bloom time, water and sun needs, soil acidity or alkalinity, ability to stand without staking, disease problems, how fast they spread, how they survive our Zone 5 winters and what we like about their aesthetics – leaves, movement, flower color, shape & flower placement. You can get some of this with research but it’s like the difference between reading about raising your two year old son and actually raising him.
Aside from filling my passion for plants I’m grateful for the most fun, hard-working, plant-loving workers anywhere, bar none. Our customers have become friends and we treasure many. Heritage Flower Farm gives the opportunity to discover anew some of nature’s forgotten wonders, honor their place in history, and pass them on to other gardens and other garden friends.
We couldn’t do it without you,
Thanks for it all.