My gardening group takes a field trip

I have a couple of posts on the gardening section of my blog featuring a beautiful garden where I volunteer about walking distance from home.  If you did not catch the actual history behind this hidden gem, do please click on the link and read all about it.  Typically Goodstay Gardens open around March and is probably the busiest time of the year.  The garden comes alive in the spring.  We have a group of about six volunteers with a leader who is pretty savvy with the horticultural scene and just an amazing person to work with.  We volunteer once a week on a Wednesday from about 8.45am-2pm.  I love working here and look forward to Wednesdays with much anticipation.  Our peony patch is a sight to see, we’ve just staked them all and in a few short weeks, it will be a profusion of color and scents.

This year our leader decided that we should take a couple of field trips and what better way to acquaint ourselves with the horticultural scene, this was a perfect opportunity to learn and grow.  We set out about 2 weeks ago to Groff’s Plant Farm, a family-owned greenhouse and nursery business in Southern Lancaster County.  The 45 minute drive from Wilmington, Delaware is picturesque, driving through Amish farm country.  You can actually see the Amish working on the farms, we saw a couple of horses and buggies and a schoolhouse. When we arrived, we were greeted by the family dogs and very soon a few of the helpers said hello and showed us the way.  What a beautiful facility spread out  with all types of flowers, I had a heady feeling as I strolled through these aisles upon aisles of various plants and shrubs.  All the plants are grown right here on the farm, and as a result the prices are pretty reasonable compared to the suburban nurseries.  They carry an extensive collection of annuals, perennials, shrubs and vegetable starts.  They also specialize in garden-worthy native plants.

All the plants are tagged and labelled with a description of each.  How can you possibly go wrong?

 

I’m pretty partial to these shade-loving beauties and there was quite an array of coleus to choose from.  We had just experienced a couple of frosty mornings and cooler nights, so some of the annuals and perennials were only just making it outdoors.

 

IMG_7085We bought quite a few items for the gardens, but we also helped ourselves to a few annuals and perennials for our gardens at home.  Thankfully Beth brought a trailer along to haul away all our purchases.  It was a wonderful outing, we got to meet a lot of knowledgeable people at the site.  We stopped for a wee picnic on our way home, what a wonderful end to the day!  My plants are happy in their new environment, and I was happy to have had this opportunity to learn and grow (literally).

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35 comments

  1. Oh, I too love my afternoons of gardening at home, kids help to dig holes for little lavender planta and herbs, watering everything excessively (putting everything under water) and right now we´re hoping for our cherry tomatoes to grow….Sabine

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    1. I hope you’re enjoying the spring just as we are over here Elaine……Some days the temps have hit 80’s and I haven’t been happy about that, but so far beautiful days spent out in the garden instead of in the kitchen. 🙂

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      1. It’s crazy here! We’ve had beautiful spring sunshine, interspersed with rain showers, hailstones and attempts at snow!!!! Back to minus C temperatures in the mornings 😦

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  2. Now that looks like a fun day, Loretta! Walking through a nursery or greenhouse brings me so much joy…I imagine you had a blast on your field trip. The best part?? A trailer to bring the bounty home!! Now that’s planning ahead. 🙂

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    1. Thanks Nancy, it really is so therapeutic being outdoors and digging in the dirt right? Nothing brings me more joy than walking through a garden center too, there’s something about the birds, bees and butterflies that are also out there to inspect the bounty 🙂

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    1. I love coleus too Johanne, I bought a pot of assorted ones that I’ve since planted. The chard as I found out last year grows and grows till the cold weather arrives. So I’m sure I’ll be featuring a few chard recipes on the blog. Ha ha, yes, thanks to Beth our leader, that trailer worked a charm 🙂

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  3. What a wonderful field trip Loretta! It sounds like you have a great group to work with. Those plants looked gorgeous. I just love all of the coleus varieties. I actually got some pots planted today. I hope mother nature is good to me even though I’ve probably rushed to get planting.

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    1. Thanks Julie. These group of volunteers are just wonderful. 4 women and 2 men and this year I believe we will be getting an able-bodied intern to work through the summer. Yeah!! We had some serious hail last night which we weren’t even expecting and 85deg predicted today….spring can be so unpredictable, I hope your plants survive. I too get so anxious to get out there and start digging 🙂

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    1. Thank you Linda… I’d really love to see some of your garden in your next few posts. I’m always curious as to how things grow in sand? Dubai is relentless in the summer with it’s 40+ degree heat and humidity I’m sure. Your flowers looked just lovely in your last post though.

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  4. That sounds like such a fun field trip, Loretta! I would love to do something like that. The coleus is so pretty. That is one plant that does pretty well here in Arizona. I wish I could see the peonies when they bloom in the garden you volunteer at. We rarely see those around here. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful pictures. I really enjoyed looking at them!

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    1. Thank you Shari. I love field trips, and this one certainly taught us a lot. I will definitely do a post when the peonies are up, so keep a look out for it in June 🙂 I just love those plants, but it’s a shame they are so short lived. Oh by the way, keep a look out for my next post “banana bread with that mystery ingredient” It was absolutely amazing! I did make the one with less sugar though and I’m glad you forewarned me about the different ingredients. Thanks for stopping by, enjoy the rest of your week 🙂

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      1. Yes Loretta! Hyderabad has been reeling under a heat wave the whole of April.The roads are all deserted during the day. People are cooped up indoors in the comfort of airconditions. but thankfully it is a bit cooler today after a night of thunder and showers 🙂 Thank you for asking dear ❤ ❤ The best part is it is vacation time and kids are home which means lot of fun and frolic.

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  5. Loretta,
    This post did not show up in my reader for some reason, so I checked your site. So glad I read this post! what a perfect field trip.
    I need to learn so much more about gardening. I admire your gardening skills.
    The photos are so gorgeous. I like the spring season and its colors.
    Cant wait to see pics of your garden!

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    1. So wierd eh Sandhya? I wonder why it didn’t show? Anyway, with FB and now having jumped on the Instagram bandwagon, I’m sure you’ll see it somewhere other than the Reader. 🙂 The field trip was just great, I learned so much, and found it so informative. Yes, I’m now working on a post from my own garden as we speak, it should be out sometime next week for sure. I’d love to see a post from your own garden too. It would be great to compare seasons and what is growing in the New England area. Thanks as always, you’re such a dear! xo

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  6. Oh, Loretta! Groff’s Plant Farm looks like such a wonderful place, set in an area that I have always dreamed of visiting! I followed the link to read more about the historic Goodstay Gardens. What a lovely place to volunteer, sharing your talents and learning new garden skills! What an exciting time of year for garden lovers everywhere! ♡

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    1. Thanks Judi, it is just about my most favorite thing to do too. But I do have to stop the temptation every so often from making more purchases. However, sometimes it is just nice to visit these nurseries to get ideas.

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