The theme of this year's Philadelphia Flower Show is U K . 

Triple Oaks Nursery & Herb Garden Newsletter
Flower Show and Spring in the Nursery
Come see us this weekend for a peek at spring!
March 2013
In this issue
Flower show booth and more
Lorraine at Flower show
Sweet Peas if you please! contest too!
Garden Glasses
Seasonal classes
Herb Society / Revolutionary tea
Dear Friends, 
This is a very exciting and busy time for us.  Joe is all set up in teh marketplace at the flower show and had the first half day of members only today. We are also getting set up at the nursery here in Franklinville. The barn is packed with blooming camellia, 
hellebores, witch hazel, edgeworthia, and a few other great plants. If you are not going to the show, please stop by here and choose from the great plants. Remember the edgeworthia  were gone in a week last year.( they smell so good and bloom for months from February on.

I will be here at the nursery Saturday and Sunday , but will do presentations at the show Monday and Thursday.  Say hi if you visit.

Please page down to read all about how to start sweet peas one of the loveliest of spring fragrant blooms. enter our sweet pea contest.

Also take a look at our 6 week Gloucester County gardening and herb classes that are held here at the nursery.  Page down for flyers.

See coupon for 10 % off organic soil for the week of flower show only.

And last but not least, start cold weather seeds soon.  I have already planted all kinds of poppies. WE have seeds for them all, especially the red legion of honor poppies that grow in 
front of our shop. Last May there were over 5000 blooms greeting the patriots marching in thepoppy1  Memorial day parade. Check out article on culture of these for poppies

Join in on garden discussions on our web site 
forum,click here for forum. add your two cents!

'magical plant '


Edgeworthia chrysantha & Edgeworthia 'Snow Cream'! The barn smells great, these are the Flower Show Plants we're offering at our booth. Last year we sold out and if you want first dibs and surefire availability come in this week and get yours. If you want to buy it and have us hold it until you are ready that is fine, but you should take it so you can enjoy the fragrance!  This is an easy to grow but hard to find plant. I have them growing in full sun, part sun and semi shade.  When it is hot out they like a slow running hose for a few hours. Pretty green foliage covers the plant. From early January some years to l mid spring this o

Our barn, the greenhouse, and our booth at the flower show all sport an absolute  fantastic selection of camellia.
The beautiful shiny evergreens will thrive under tall evergreens like white pines, in borders under trees, or in any woodsy or even semi or sunny area where you have humous 

booth flower show

Lorraine tells about Shakespeare's flowers and herbs.

Floral designer and garden writer, Lorraine Kiefer will do two presentations at the Philadelphia flower show. She will show and tell about the flowers and herbs used by Shakespeare. An example is  from Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 5

Ophelia:  'There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray,

love, remember: and there is pansies. That's for thoughts.'


Founder and past chairman of the South Jersey Unit, Lorraine Kiefer, will speak about the herbs Shakespeare mentioned in his plays. There are quite a few - the Bard knew his herbs. Lorraine's program at the Philadelphia Flower Show is on Thursday, March 7th at 2:00 PM on the main floor. Joe Kiefer, owner/manager of Triple Oaks Nursery, will have a booth in the Market Place highlighting hardy camellias and a few other unusual plants.  


Lorraine will also particiapte in a pot competition on Monday at noon in the garden studio.



Sweet Peas If you please ( wish you could smell these!)

sweet peas

( Sweet pea contest)

Triple Oaks has many types of seeds, start some soon.

click here to see how  


I love fragrant sweet peas.  They are a real challenge to grow here in southern New Jersey, but it can be done. I am having a contest for people who can get sweet peas to bloom! We have a couple of kinds of Renee's seeds in now and it is almost time to plant. Although it is just a tad bit early some folks start them now in pots of compost in unheated but protected cold frames or cloased  in proches. But if you have not planted your sweet peas you can do so until the end of March. Some folks do so directly in the garden on March 17 Saint Patty's day or March 19 St.Joseph's day. These planting dates are found in old garden legends.


I love the neon colors of these intensely fragrant flowers, but they also come in many pastel shades. The Sweet Pea or Lathyrus odoratus is a highly scented annual of the Leguminosae family.  An individual bloom consists of three or four flowers (or florets) on a stem.


Almost all seed companies have some sweet peas from which to choose. Many heirlooms, heat resistant and cutting sweet peas are found in the Renee's Garden seed line.   Just keep in mind these wonderfully sweet posies need a cool time in which to grow and bloom. They can be planted in our area any time from late March to the middle of April. Good mulch, frequent watering and soil rich with compost will help insure bloom for a much longer time.If you go on this webiste there are good directions from Renee's Garden Seeds that we carry. 


In cool climates like New England, and northern European countries these flowers bloom all summer. In our area they often die out when it gets very hot in July and August, but a good soil and adequate watering, as well as picking the dead blooms off  will lengthen their bloom time. If you manage to get them through the summer they will continue to bloom in fall as long as they are deadheaded, watered and fed.  I love their bright colors and sweet fragrance and try to keep them blooming in my garden as long as possible.


They were one of the first bouquets I was given on our initial trip to Poland in 1990. Imagine my surprise and delight when my cousins met us at the airport with sweet pea bouquets in mid summer!  On our second trip to
Poland , Ted and I biked around the forest area of Bialowieza. Here we saw beautiful, quaint little cottages built of rustic wood where the gardens were an absolute riot of colors. The cool summer in this northern region allowed flowers such as sweet peas and poppies that bloom only in the spring here in the Delaware Valley to blossom all summer there.


Most noticeable to me were the sweet pea vines on fences, trellises and porch railings. The colors were almost neon and the fragrances sweet and spicy. They were just everywhere along with poppies, hollyhocks, roses and also a great variety of other annual and perennial plants. 


I have always tried to grow garden peas for eating and sweet peas for cutting flowers. Some years I don't get them in the ground early enough, but this year will do so soon.  Although it is said by some to soak the seeds before planting, others say this stresses the seed, especially if left in water too long. Just plant and be sure the soil is kept moist and they will sprout well. 


Next is good watering and food. I now use osmocote on most of my plants for continuous feeding (organic matter is also of utmost importance with sweet peas).  This is an easy to apply, time release granular fertilizer that is applied in small amounts to the top of the soil. Being a time-release fertilizer, it   allows food to be released each time the plant is watered. Water often-in warm weather and mulch to keep roots cool. Pick often to keep blooms from going to seed, as well as to enjoy as a fragrant cut flower.


Please email us if you would like an information sheet on our sweet pea contest. Gift certificate prizes will be awarded at our annaul herb weekend the last weekend in May.


Try to find old fashion seeds for the best fragrance. Seeds named Cupani are said to be one of the oldest varieties. Father Francis Cupani, an Italian monk in the 1600's,  was a botanist who discovered them and first collected the seeds. They soon became a favorite with the royalty. To this day sweet peas are very popular as a cut flower in Europe. There are many sweet pea seeds available in England and people grow them for entry in  flower shows. Folklore suggests to plant sweet peas before sunrise on St. Patrick's Day, but any time soon will do. Just be sure to do it soon or the warm weather will zap the plants before they get a chance to bloom.

Email garden questions to Lorraine or visit You are invited to Garden  talk , March 24  , Starting the Garden Naturally. 1 pm. Dress for garden demo outdoors.  Please RSVP 856-694-4272




Garden Classes
garden naturally

plant naturally pansy party vioets
stacy roth
Herb Society Presentation

The Herb Society of America (South Jersey Unit) will meet on Wednesday  March 13  at  6:30 PM  at the Gloucester County Building, 1200 N. Delsea Dr., Clayton, NJ  08328. Members will gather at 6:30 and the preserntaion "Revolutionary Tea" will begin proptly at 7. A short business meeting will follow at 8 after refreshments. Meeting is free and open to the public


"REVOLUTIONARY TEA:" Why was tea so important in the lives of 18th century people that fashion-conscious families posed for portraits with their tea sets? Did Great Britain lose her American Colonies over "the cup that cheers?" Find out in this unusual costumed presentation of tea lore, history, songs, poetry, living history display and demonstration." 

The  program on Revolutionary Tea  will be given by  Stacy Roth.  Roth is a freelance museum educator, public speaker, vocalist, and performance artist who specializes in educational presentations on themes in American History


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 Flower Show Special 
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