December 12, 2014

The latest from Amador Flower Farm in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley
In this issue:

  • What’s up at the Farm? Santa’s Visit!
  • Cyber Shopping and Specials
  • What’s Blooming?
  • Timely Tip
  • Plant of the Month
  • Manager’s Special

Our event information is always available on our website HERE.

What’s up at the Farm?
Hot cider, cookies and gifts…all the fun of the holiday season!
Visit with Santa at the farm this Sunday, December 14th! You and the kids or grandkids (sorry, no pets) will enjoy a ride on the Candy Cane Tram, check out the local wildlife, sip hot cider, and enjoy a gingerbread cookie.
Grab a can of soup from the pantry for the kids to donate to our annual food drive for the Interfaith Food Bank. We’ll be collecting non-perishable food throughout the month.
Santa will be here one day only, Sunday, December 14th, from 11am-3pm.
The Candy Cane Tram will be running on Sunday, Dec 14th ONLY (weather permitting).
Bring your camera. There is no charge for this event and the food donation is voluntary. Don’t miss the fun!

Cyber Shopping and Specials!

Many of your favorite small businesses have shop-able websites- we do! If you can’t get out or just prefer to shop online, spending your holiday gift dollars with small businesses supports families and communities and keeps folks working!
We’ve created gift baskets that are fun, tasty mementos from the farm and they’re very affordable. Take a look, follow the links to our shop-able secure website and let our crew help you wrap up your holiday shopping!
Let us do the work. We will gift-wrap, enclose your holiday message, and ship your gift directly to the recipient.  Santa’s helpers are ready to help you with your holiday gift list. Take a look HERE. Call us Thu-Sun if you’d rather order by phone(209)245-6660.

Gift certificates to Amador Flower Farm are the perfect gift! Daylilies grow everywhere - planters, pots, dry areas, even water gardens! They’re edible flowers so your foodie friends need them too. We ship all over the country. And, we do all the work- just order online HERE or give us a call (209)245-6660, we’ll send a catalog and SHIPPING IS FREE for gift certificates!

What’s Bloomin’?
Use our website’s Bloom page to stay informed about the blooming seasons of our gardens and if you live close enough- we recommend more than one visit each year!HERE

Timely Tip

Preventing Cold Weather Damage in Your Garden
January is historically when some of the lowest temperatures are recorded during the entire year.  Let’s take the time NOW to look at solutions that will prevent costly freeze damage.
Let’s view the topic from a couple of perspectives:
1. Choosing appropriate plant material for your specific climate and its proper location in your garden.
2. Protecting at risk plants that you already have in your garden.
Are you in the zone?
When choosing cold hardy plants, determine which climate zone you’re located in.  Sunset Western Garden has created thirty-two different zones that reflect detailed microclimates that are found in the west. They also have zones for the rest of the US. If you’re a gardener in the western states or western Canada, the Sunset Western Garden zone rating is the gold standard and is referred to by most western gardeners.  To find your zone, look HERE.
The USDA rating system is the national guide used by growers and nursery professionals throughout the country and is the standard for most non-westerners. To find your USDA zone look HERE.
Do not confuse the two rating systems. The reason that the distinction is important is, for example, if you’re located in Sunset Zone 7, average minimum winter temperatures range between 25 to 30 degrees.  Zone 7 in USDA ratings has an average minimum temperature range of 0 to 10 degrees.
When trying to select appropriate plant material at the nursery, know that the plant growth information on the label refers to the USDA zones not Sunset. Knowing which climate zone you’re located in will help you make correct plant selections for your garden. 
It’s time for “The Freeze Patrol”
What do you do if like most of us you’ve selected some plants that are marginal at best? They’re part of your landscape and you want them to survive the next freeze. There are a number of weapons in the Patrol’s arsenal to fight freezing temps:

  1. THE most important rule is to make sure that all plants have adequate moisture in their root ball.  Plant tissue is more vulnerable to damage when stressed due to dryness.

  2. Can you move container plants under a covered porch or garage during a freeze event?

  3. Physical protection using frost cloth, burlap, or even bed sheets can help raise the temperature by several degrees.  A string of Christmas lights placed underneath the cover will add several more degrees.  One word of caution is to avoid using plastic sheeting since the cold will go right through and damage foliage that it touches.  Plastic must also be removed during the day to prevent a greenhouse effect that might cook the covered plants.

  4. Chemical protection is also available.  Anti-transpirant products such as Cloud Cover are also effective. It forms a thin “skin” on the foliage to seal in moisture and prevents desiccation.

  5. Location can play a big role in your success level.  For example, south-facing walls can help radiate heat back towards nearby plants.  Also consider air drainage as an important factor.  Cold air sinks so plants on a hill or grade will be less affected than those located at the bottom of a valley or swale where cold air becomes trapped.  Locate the “Banana Belts” on your property and use them to your advantage.

Good luck this winter!

Plant of the Month
A History Lesson: The Most Beautiful Euphorbia
The plant we know today as the poinsettia has a long and interesting history. That lovely plant in your home during the holiday was once used as a fever medicine!
Native to Central America, the plant flourished in an area of southern Mexico known as Taxco del Alarcon. The ancient Aztecs had a name for this plant found blooming in the tropical highlands during the short days of winter: cuetlaxochitl. Not merely decorative, the Aztecs put the plant to practical use. From its bracts they extracted a purplish dye for use in textiles and cosmetics. The milky white sap, today called latex, was made into a preparation to treat fevers.

The poinsettia may have remained a regional plant for many years to come had it not been for the efforts of Joel Roberts Poinsett (1779-1851).The son of a French physician, Poinsett was appointed as the first United States Ambassador to Mexico (1825-1829) by President Adams. Poinsett had attended medical school himself, but his real love in the scientific field was botany. (Mr. Poinsett later founded the institution which we know today as the Smithsonian Institution).

Poinsett maintained his own hothouses on his Greenville, South Carolina plantations, and while visiting the Taxco area in 1828, he became enchanted by the brilliant red blooms he saw there. He immediately sent some of the plants back to South Carolina, where he began propagating the plants and sending them to friends and botanical gardens.

Among the recipients of Poinsett’s work was John Bartram of Philadelphia, who in turn gave the plant over to another friend, Robert Buist, a Pennsylvania nurseryman. Mr. Buist is thought to be the first person to have sold the plant under its botanical name, Euphorbia pulcherrima (literally, “the most beautiful Euphorbia”). Though it is thought to have become known by its more popular name of poinsettia around 1836, the origin of the name is certainly clear!

Winter Schedule at the Farm
Remember that our Winter Hours are in effect now through February. We are OPEN THURSDAY – SUNDAY, 9am-4pm, closed Mon-Wed.
We’ll be closed on these Thursdays: December 25th and January 1st for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Manager’s Weekly Specials
You can see what this week’s “Manager’s Special” is HERE. The specials begin Thursday mornings and last through Sunday.


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Amador Flower Farm · 22001 Shenandoah School Road · Plymouth, CA. 95669
209.245.6660 · www.amadorflowerfarm.com

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