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A festive holiday welcome from The Plant Farm

A festive holiday welcome from The Plant Farm

Heedless of the wind and weather, it’s time to deck the halls with boughs of holly.  Okay, I promise not to serenade you with any more carols, especially since I’m mixing up the lyrics, but I do want to share with you that the holidays are in full swing at The Plant Farm.   We’re always thrilled about our holiday selection, but this year we have an abundance of plants and products.  We have fantastic ideas for your holiday decorating, beautiful and festively wrapped host/hostess gifts and tons of potential presents for your green-thumbed loved ones.

Are you getting your home ready yet?  The holidays really start to take shape when I get my tree and the last few seasons that means a living Christmas tree.  With a living Christmas tree, you have the beauty and fragrance of a live tree gracing your home and after the ornaments are packed away, you have a lasting, living memory when it takes up residence in your backyard.  A living tree also means you can find a unique tree silhouette.  A friend used a Cloud Pine and being a traditionalist where Christmas trees are concerned, I was skeptical, but once decorated it was lovely and very festive.

Holiday whimsy abounds

Holiday whimsy

If you want to be quirky and traditional at the same time, you could go with one of the adorable Dr. Seuss Christmas trees we brought in from T&L Nursery this year.  They have trained Goldcrest Wilma and Lawson Ellwood Cypresses into a distinctly Grinchy posture, wrapped them in bright red ribbon and adorned the tip with a single ornament.  This is just the right touch of Christmas whimsy.  I don’t know if my gardening skills are up to it, but I’m thinking about trying it with a larger Cypress next year…

Need an idea for a lovely host/hostess gift this season?  Beautiful winter-blooming plants such as Hellebores, Cyclamen and Camellias are bright and cheerful, and they’ll keep blooming through winter.  This year, the Cyclamen and Hellebores have holiday wrapping and cute little Santa or presents tucked inside. Hellebores or Christmas Roses, as they are sometimes called, are deer-resistant winter blooming perennials.  They have delicate, almost Victorian-looking blooms that are lovely in holiday displays and make them a great centerpiece for a holiday table.  The wrapped Cyclamen is going to make a charming and budget-friendly gift for my daughter’s teacher this season.

Speaking of charming, the custom container-gardens at The Plant Farm are a fantastic way to spruce up your front door and could also make a wonderful gift.   We can help with the perfect Custom Planter for you.  We have everything you need to pull together your vision or we have a variety of unique, already planted container-gardens.

Already assembled gift packs make shopping easy!

Already assembled gift packs make shopping easy!

If you’re looking for gift ideas for your gardening friends and loved-ones, this year The Plant Farm elves have outdone themselves.  They’ve created several ready-to-go combos and kits that will make completing your shopping list easy-peasy, and the names alone will delight them.  What gardener wouldn’t love to receive a gift kit called Berry Pancakes? It contains a combination of berry plants, protective netting and soil amendments for successful growing.  Know someone who’s going to make a “get-healthy-this-year” New Year’s resolution?  Then the Growing Salad kit would be perfect.  It’s a seed starting kit filled with all the veggie seeds you need for delicious salads all spring and summer.

Not all the gift packs we’ve created this year have an edible theme, but if edible sounds appealing to you, then the season for Bare Root Fruit Trees is just around the corner.  A fruit tree is a gift that continues to provide delicious treasures season after season.  Right now, you’ll save 10% off the regular price by pre-ordering and we will provide you with an attractive certificate detailing what your loved-one will receive.  I gave a 5-way Apple Combo tree to my husband last year and it was a huge hit.

Mason Bee starter kits make a wonderful gift.

Mason Bee starter kits…a wonderful gift.

Or maybe the recipient of your holiday giving already has fruit trees and you want to get them something to ensure crop success each season.   I was thinking a Mason Bee Guide & Starter Kit would be great follow-up gift for my husband, the aspiring orchardist.  Mason bees are excellent little pollinators and they are very easy to raise.  They are able to pollinate an estimated 97% of the flowers they visit each spring, which make them an excellent gift for those with established fruit trees or as a complement to a gift of Bare Root Fruit Trees.

Another excellent gift idea for gardeners with established landscapes is a Winter Pruning Service certificate.  Pruning is an essential part of promoting plant growth and increasing blooms.  It also keeps your plants attractive and healthy.  The Plant Farm now offers Pruning Services at $40 an hour and when you purchase the service as a gift we’ll provide you with a charming certificate.

Gift Certificates are the perfect solution when you can't find the perfect gift...

Gift Certificates are a perfect solution when you can’t find the perfect gift.

In addition to the pruning service, we now also offer Landscape Design services.  Have a special someone who is considering a yard or landscape makeover in the coming year.  One hour of Landscape Design is valued at $50.  A combination of design services and a gift certificate for the plants they’ll pick later on would be an awesome gift…

Okay, so there are so many more holiday gift ideas The Plant Farm has to offer, but I promised to keep the word count down.  There are many, many more you’ll find when you visit.  But if you’re still having trouble finding that perfect gift, there is a perfect solution – a Plant Farm gift certificate. Now through Christmas gift certificates are on sale [link to page].  Slip a gift certificate into their stocking and let your gardener choose the perfect item.

The Plant Farm is privileged to be rapidly approaching our 30th year of offering quality plants and gardening products to the greater Smokey Point area.  From everyone at The Plant Farm at Smokey Point, we wish you the warmest, happiest of holidays and a hale and hearty new year!

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We’ve got beautiful colors… even in January!

We are beyond thrilled to re-open our doors for the new season here at The Plant Farm. We’re excited about the changes in the garden center, our jam-packed calendar of events and for a new season to play in the garden.  So excited, in fact, that we’ve decided to call this year A Season of Play!

New, colorful signs abound in our store!

There are so many fun changes this season it’s hard to know where to start.  I’m maybe most excited about the fresh color in the store.   You can’t envision spring without bringing in color and that’s just what we’re doing with vibrant winter-blooming plants like Hellebore and Cyclamen.  New informational signs that anticipate the vivid colors of spring and our freshly-painted fixtures add strategic splashes of color throughout the store.  We’re eager for you to see it.

You'll find lots of cool new things on our shelves!

Speaking of the bright new fixtures, we spent our holiday break working hard and redesigned our hardlines department.  Our shopping isles are now wider for easier access and comfort.  When you visit, you’ll also notice the great new garden supplies we’re bringing in for 2012.  Coastal Climate Fertilizer, designed specifically for Northwest gardens, Espoma, a fantastic line of organic garden products, and excellent garden tools, including DeWit handcrafted, hand-forged gardening tools for serious gardeners.

Plant like a pro with our Seed Starting Success Kits!

This year we want you to play in the garden and we want you to succeed in the garden.  We have a packed calendar of free seminars featuring local experts and How-To and garden tip videos on The Plant Farm TV.  In addition, our Gifts for Gardener’s Success Kits were so popular in December, we’re debuting a year-long program of Success Kits this year.  We put together excellent products that will give you the best chance of success with your plants this year.  Look for Success Kits such as Seed Starting, Fruit Trees and Rose Care in the coming months.

Rainbows come out even when the sun is hiding!

Keep an eye out for our second annual Seasons magazine, arriving on April 1st.  Our full-color gardening magazine is not only beautiful, but chock-full of informative, inspirational articles about gardening.  Don’t forget to ask a staff member how you can earn a free copy for yourself!

Finally, and most importantly, you can’t really get in there and start playing in the dirt without the kids.  The launch of the Kids Club in 2011 was so much fun.  The videos of the Pumpkin painting from last October are especially charming. We have a new schedule of garden fun and games this year starting with Valentine Primrose Pots in February.  You can register for individual Kids Club events or sign up for the whole year.

We can't wait to see you! Come in and play with us!

As you can tell, our excitement abounds… we invite you to come play with us in 2012!

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The Koi pond at our new store seems to have been an instant success with Hoover and the other 11 koi we moved because in the last few years the count has gone from this initial 11 to maybe over 60, 70 or more!  I don’t really know because the newest ones aren’t up to the older fish-gang members tricks of crowding to the bridge, begging for the fish food and I have never stood there long enough to count….I don’t really know how you could count them.  You’ll have to come in to try.

A little history of Hoover’s gang…

A couple of the fish were adopted in 1985- Hoover (the biggest fish and a female – a yellow grey mix) and Moby (the next biggest fish, a boy who’s a creamy white).  The rest of the first 11 were adopted in ’87. When we started the nursery at the initial site, back in 1994, we built a pond that was stocked with Moby’s gang and some gold fish. Each year the gold fish population was growing like crazy but we never had any baby koi in over 12 years, just the same 11 koi we started with.  Then, when we moved here in 2006, we brought only the koi with us and gave all the goldfish away.

Imagine the surprise when little tiny baby fish were soon spotted, not long after the move! The koi had spawned a new crop of baby koi for the first time since we had adopted them.  The fish apparently had competition between the two species and as soon as the koi had no goldfish to eat all the eggs they made babies like mad! Although now they seem to be slowing down a bit, thankfully.

It’s fun to bring the family into The Plant Farm for a visit during the summer to early autumn to shop or browse and feed the koi.  We have a fish food vending machine that is set out when the water temperature is warm enough, above 55 F.  In colder water the fish cannot digest the food, so they do not get fed from the end of October until late spring, usually sometime in April. Come out now while they are in a feeding frenzy and bring some quarters! 

 We think the coolest thing, next to the thrill of feeding the fish, is that the quarters you put into Hoover’s fish food vending machine ends up going to feed our neighbors at the Marysville Community Food Bank. This year was the second season we have been able to gift over to the food bank the sum total of all your quarters and the dollar amount this time was $1,400.00!  Hoover says thank you and we say thank you and I know the Marysville Food Bank thanks you.

So grab the family, some quarters and come in for a visit soon! Be sure to say hi to Hoover and her gang and see if you can count them!

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