How are you finding JOY in the garden this week? Russ and I have been working on a project with our girls to create a Morning Glory house. It was inspired by the Pinterest image below. I showed it to Russ and instead of using bamboo poles, he got out a metal grid that he had used in the past to create a gourd tunnel. The structure is in place, the plants have been planted, and we’re excited to watch it grow. We are all sold out of morning glories, so I went to Bahr Hardware in Canonsburg to buy some seeds. Other plants that can be used for a project like this are black-eyed susan vine (thunbergia), passion flower vine, gourds or cucumbers.
What are you working on in your garden this season? Isn’t it nice when you get to show off your labor of love? Inspire us with your plantings! I am genuinely interested and would love to visit you, and then share photos in future newsletters. If you’re open to giving me a VIP garden tour at your home, contact me here and we’ll set a date!
Here’s what’s new this week–
fruit trees are on sale! We have cherry, apple, plum, and peach trees.
wonder how many Bedner Bucks you’ll have to spend starting July 1? You can use our mobile app to check your balance, as long as we have your email address on file. Bedner Bucks details can be found here.
we’ll be harvesting fresh lettuce and zucchini any day now, and other crops growing in the fields include sweet corn, beets, cucumber, yellow squash, eggplant and peppers.
a series of weekly workshops and seminars is in the works! The schedule will be released next week. Is there something particular that you want to learn about or make at the greenhouse? Let me know here.
we’ll be celebrating National Pollinator Week with a visit from Doug Oster on Sunday, June 28 at 2pm. RSVP at the link below to reserve your seat.
we are joining Heaven Sent Farms on July 7 for a monthly farmer’s market that will take place at their beautiful event barn. It takes place the first Tuesday of every month from 4-7pm. We’ll have our fresh produce there, plus other vendors will be offering meat, honey, eggs, flowers, wine, beer and there will be a food truck. Learn more here.
there are just a few days left to pre-order your peaches for the June 28 Peach Truck visit. Reminder that the location has MOVED to the Original Farmers’ Market in South Fayette.
Thank you for reading, and have a great rest of the week!
Take care, Melanie
Make a Pollinator Puddler!
Provide water for butterflies without letting it become a mosquito breeding area. Refill containers daily or bury a shallow plant saucer to its rim in a sunny area, fill it with coarse pine bark or stones and fill to overflowing with water.
Phipp’s Conservatory is already open to the public with a beautiful summer show called “Back in Bloom”. Tickets must be pre-purchased for a specific time. Visit their website to learn more.
Phipp’s is accepting applications for their Sustainable Garden Awards. The five categories include Native Plantings and Wildlife Gardens – gardens featuring native plants that provide habitat for wildlife; Gardens that Manage Stormwater – gardens that feature rain gardens, rain barrels, swales, etc.; Micro-Gardens – container gardens, vertical gardens, gardens that make the best of very small spaces; Abundant Edible Gardens – gardens that feature annual and perennial edibles, vegetables, fruits, nuts and herbs; Gardens for Personal Retreat – gardens that have seating, birdbaths, garden art, and other distinctive items that create a garden refuge.The last date to enter is June 30. Check it out here!
The Allegheny Land Trust is hosting a series of Storywalks this summer. A StoryWalk® places pages from a children’s picture book along a walking path so kids and their caregivers may enjoy nature and reading together, outdoors. The books will be posted along the path at the locations and dates below.
Pollination occurs when pollen grains are moved between two flowers of the same species, or within a single flower, by wind or animals that are pollinators. Successful pollination, which may require visits by multiple pollinators to a single flower, results in healthy fruit and fertile seeds, allowing plants to reproduce. Without pollinators, we simply wouldn’t have many crops!
About 75% of all flowering plants rely on animal pollinators and over 200,000 species of animals act as pollinators. Of those, about 1,000 are hummingbirds, bats, and small mammals. The rest are insects such as beetles, bees, ants, wasps, butterflies, and moths.
Why are pollinators important to us?
Worldwide, approximately 1,000 plants grown for food, beverages, fibers, spices, and medicines need to be pollinated by animals in order to produce the goods on which we depend.
Foods and beverages produced with the help of pollinators include blueberries, chocolate, coffee, melons, peaches, pumpkins, vanilla, and almonds. Plants that depend on a single pollinator species, and likewise, pollinators that depend on a single type of plant for food are interdependent. If one disappears, so will the other.
What about bees that sting? What about allergies?
Most species of bees don’t sting. Although all female bees are physically capable of stinging, most bee species native to the U.S. are “solitary bees,” that is, not living in colonies and don’t sting unless they are physically threatened or injured. Only honey bees are defensive and may chase someone who disturbs their hive.
It is wise, though, to avoid disturbing any bee or insect nest. For instance, if you spot an underground nest of ground-nesting bees, you might want to mark it with a stick so that it can be easily avoided.
Some people are allergic to pollen of various flowering trees, plants and grasses, but not to all pollen. A common misunderstanding is that hay fever is caused by goldenrod pollen. It isn’t! Ragweed is the main offender and should be avoided.
How have you found rest and recuperation lately? Russ and I ventured out with our girls to explore a couple of hiking/biking trails that we’ve never visited before. We found Roaring Run Trailhead in Apollo and Cedar Creek Park in Belle Vernon. Both trails are along a river with nice views, and worth the hour (or so) drive!
Thanks to those who volunteered to help the Cecil Friends of the Montour Trail volunteers with their trail beautification work! Here is Mary Ellen’s contact info again, in case you missed it last week. She can put you on their volunteer list to be invited to their trail work parties. If you have some time to give, consider helping them. You can email Mary Ellen here, or call her at 412-445-0185. It’s a great way to get out, make a difference, and interact with some great people in a safe, socially distanced way.
I love the quote below about service. Ultimately, life isn’t about me, but about what I can do for others. We all have a unique part to play and give. Your time, talents and contributions to society matter. We recently heard from a local woman who is cleaning up and planting several raised beds at a high rise in Hazelwood. Her work will be sure to bring a lot of JOY to others. Stay tuned to hear about her project in a future newsletter.
How are you or someone you know helping others through nature, plants and/or gardening? Let me know here, so that I can share the Good Gardening News.
Here’s the good word this week–
we like to keep it fresh and interesting around here, so new and upcoming plant arrivals include the perennials allium, ice plant, iris, lavender, pennisetum grass ‘Karl Forester’, salvia ‘caradonna’ and ‘may night’, hens & chicks, stokesia ‘color wheel’, and more.
shrub arrivals this week include dappled willow, butterfly bush ‘black knight’, Quickfire hydrangea, some hydrangea ‘Limelight’ trees, and more.
our homegrown tomatoes are now available! We planted them early in our high tunnel greenhouse, and have them available for sale at the greenhouse.
Russ will have bottles of wine available for sale at the greenhouse again this weekend, 9-5pm. Blackberry Merlot was just bottled today, made from berries handpicked by Russ’ Aunt Cathy.
next time you visit us, check out the flower beds at the front of the greenhouse. Our Retail Manager, Tristan, designed and planted them last year. Stay tuned for some highlights about what he planted and why in upcoming newsletters.
be sure to check out Russ’ weekly recommendations below. This week he talks about a fresh crop of summer annuals that are available now.
Thanks so much for supporting your local, family businesses!
Take care, Melanie
Start planning for next year’s garden NOW! We often get questions at the greenhouse like, “I had a flower last year that was so pretty. It was pink with green leaves, and about this high. What was it?” Well, it could be a whole lot of things and seriously, we are stumped! So, to prevent this from happening next season, here’s what you need to do:As you are planting, be sure to save your plant tags. That way, if you end up really loving something this season and want more next year, you will remember what it was. Take photos of individual plants, groupings, and container gardens that you planted and are really pleased with. That will also help you to make sure to get the right plants next spring.Keep a gardening journal. It could be as simple as a notebook from the dollar store. Write down what you planted and when, and keep notes as the season goes on. The garden is always a work in progress.Is there something that you really wanted this season, but didn’t get either because we didn’t have it or it was sold out? Let us know now, as we start planning and ordering for spring 2021 soon, believe it or not. While we continously get some things in through the whole spring, summer and fall, the bulk of it is planned ahead and ordered the previous July, August and September. For example, do you always like to have six flower pouches with tradescantia, or 10 white ivy geranium hanging baskets, or 8 flats of rose wax begonias? Or did you have your heart set on specific evergreens that are shipped from the west coast only once in the spring?Send us your 2021 plant requests now, and we will do our best to have them ready for you next spring.
We are always trying to get better at what we do. If you have time, we would appreciate you leaving your honest review for Bedner’s Farm & Greenhouse by clicking the link below:
I love this story from Connie Orient about her inspiration for an English cottage garden that was inspired by her grade school pen pal. Read on to see what she had to say about it, and view some photos by clicking here or the image below. Thank you for sharing this Connie!
“The background story behind the idea is this: As a grade school project way back in the late ‘60’s (and I am dating myself!), our class was to choose a pen pal from a list given us by our teacher and to write to that person for the school term. I chose Christine from Essex, England and we are STILL communicating after 50+ years! We’ve gone from snail mail, to e-mail, to phone texting (via What’s App) and have covered not only world events and different customs but our lives as we graduated from high school and college, married, had children and now grandchildren. I have been to England several times and have visited and travelled with her and her husband and over the years. She has gifted me a bird house that looks like an English post box and a bird feeder that looks like an English phone booth! With those in mind, I decided to create my English cottage garden with garden phlox, delphiniums, peonies, foxglove, catmint, hollyhocks and lavender. Plants were purchased this past weekend and I hope to have everything in the ground by this weekend and the feeder and birdhouse hung. It is my own personal tribute to a beautiful friendship that has survived and thrived over many years and hundreds of miles!”
There is joy, peace, and healing in the garden. Nurturing plants at our home is a way that I can restore my soul, as well as find clarity and inspiration. As I dig and plant, my mind processes the emotions of the day. Grief? Just keep digging. Hurt? Just keep digging. Confusion? Just keep digging. Life isn’t always easy. We all inevitably have seasons of pain. The world is evil and unfair. It makes me think of the song from Frozen 2, “The Next Right Thing.” I think we all have points in our life here and there, when the darkness is so great that all we can do is the next right thing. But there is hope. I keep digging. Then, when I stand up and zoom out, I can see it. The overall view of the garden. And maybe a little better perspective on what was weighing me down.
I hope that you find that in your garden too. When I’m not digging this summer, I plan to sit a lot on my porch with my cup of coffee, and enjoy the little bit of beauty I created. For that I am grateful!
Another place that I love to go for the same rejuvenation is the Montour Trail. From what I am hearing, just like gardening, hiking and biking on the trails has been a recent favorite activity of many. Each year we donate some plants to the Cecil Friend of the trail group for the planters at the Cecil-Hendersonville Road access point as well as at Tandem Connection. They do a wonderful job, but could use some help. Do any of you green thumbs out there have some extra time to help them out? If so, contact Mary Ellen McKenna by email here or call her at 412-445-0185. Thank you to Cecil Friends for all you do!
Here’s what’s happening–
more tropicals and houseplants have arrived, including maidenhair and other ferns, passion vine trellis 10″, assorted cacti 4″, Hollywood hibiscus in 6″ and 10″, pitcher plant hanging baskets and red cordyline 10″.
fresh arrivals Thursday morning include Abelia “Kaleidoscope’, Barberry ‘Sunjoy Mini Maroon’, Butterfly Bush ‘Summer Skies’, Boxwood ‘Chicagoland’ and ‘Little Missy’, Clethra ‘Ruby Spice’, six varieties of Roses, 3 varieties of Weigela, 3 varieties of Clematis, and 5 varieties of Hosta.
summer is just getting started, but our fall chrysanthemum cuttings arrived this week. They get planted now and will be tended to all summer so that they will be ready for your fall enjoyment.
our greenhouse production manager is also getting ready to plant another crop of fresh perennials. Stay tuned for details on what to look forward to!
Russ will have bottles of wine available for sale at the greenhouse this Saturday, June 6 from 10am-12pm, including Kiwi Pear, Blueberry, Peach, and more.
thanks to all of you, we delivered 261 non-perishable food items to the Bridgeville Community Food Bank, along with a check from us for $500. Last month they served 125 families that included 56 children, 100 adults and 95 elderly. Thank you for partnering with us to make a difference!
remember pen pals? Next week I’ll share with you a garden that was inspired by someone’s pen pal. Stay tuned…