September Color

This is such a beautiful and exciting time of year! Summer and Fall merge, in a glorious display of color.

You can find pumpkins, strawbales, gourds, apples, and apple cider at Kirby's. A great start to the Fall season!

 We love growing a variety of pumpkins and gourds...

This giant gourd variety grows into some very interesting shapes and colors.

 

Little orange and white pumpkins are adorable, in just as many shapes and sizes.


Our large Mums are exploding with color!

And there are a lot of colors to choose from. Complement your mums with some interesting foliage plants from our perennial area. Perennials are all 25% off!

Produce Update

Tomatoes are at their peak, while peaches are beginning to come to a close. Right now we have Cresthaven peaches, which are a freestone variety that's excellent for baking, eating, freezing, and canning. We also Babygold, a clingstone variety that is our personal favorite for canning. They have excellent flavor, you don't have to peel them, and their firm flesh holds up well in a jar.

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Apple Varieties Available now:

Honeycrisp, Autumn Crisp, Gingergold, McIntosh, Paula Red, and Jonamac

Other homegrown produce in season:

Sweet and Hot Peppers, Eggplant, Lettuce, Kale, Beets, Broccoli, Garlic, Cauliflower, Plums, Pluots, and Nectarines.

Locally grown produce in season:

Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, Parsnips, and Shiitake Mushrooms

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50% off Select Perennials

A Perennial sale this big is a rare occasion at Kirby's, but we're ready to move out our older plants to make room for new and interesting perennials! Wander around in our perennial area and you'll find dozens and dozens of pots with bright orange or pink stickers on them. If the pot has a sticker, it's 50% off! Our Perennial of the month is also 50% off, Amsonia hubrichtii! This beautiful and graceful perennial is a native plant. Long lived, bug and pest free, it’s flowers emerge in May and June with clusters of steel blue. The long narrow leaves give the plant a look of a bottle brush that turns to a golden yellow in the fall.

If you're looking for deals, be sure to check out the clearance perennials, found in the last row in our perennial area.

Perennial Talk at Kirby's

Finding the perfect plant for your garden can be overwhelming, when faced with hundreds of choices at a garden center.

This season we're inviting you to join our Perennial experts, Jaime and Judy, for an informative stroll around our perennials. They'll highlight some of their favorite plants, give helpful hints on how to navigate our perennial area, answer questions, and give suggestions for your garden.

Come by every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday in May, at 10:30am or 2pm, and learn about beautiful perennials for your garden!

NEW Gift Shop Items, & Mother's Day Gift Ideas

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May is here! Our doors are open and the market is ready for a new season. Everything is cleaned and polished, out on display, and waiting for you to visit! Just in time for an important holiday...

We have a bunch of new things in our gift shop this Spring, and so many perfect Mother's Day gifts.

These rustic bottle vases are a lot of fun, and we ordered a huge variety. Single double or triple, tall or short. They're perfect to add a little cheer to any corner of the house, with a single flower or a small bouquet.

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Or, if you'd like to take a break from the usual flower arrangement, just pick out a container (shiny, rustic, or wooden) and plunk a beautiful plant or two inside. Our greenhouse is full of pretty and interesting plants, with lots of color and texture to choose from.  You've made a little bit of instant beauty that Mom can  enjoy as a centerpiece, and then plant in her garden to enjoy all year.

We also have tools and gardening gloves for the avid gardener. If you really know your gardener Mom's taste in plants, there are some gorgeous perennials in bloom right now. Bleeding Heart, Garden Phlox, Tiarella, and Brunnera are a few colorful examples. Or you could go with green and pick out a hosta or fern from our collection.

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Are there just too many choices? Gift Certificates from Kirby's are a very popular Mother's Day gift.

It's a lot of fun seeing them come back through the rest of the year, exchanged for plants, fruits and veggies, baked goods, jams, or a fun home accessory.

A few more gift ideas for Mother's Day: Dishes and bowls from local potter Rose Vantyne; battery powered candles; pretty mugs and bowls; or votive holders with a locally made soy candle from Sandy Creek!

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Growing in the Greenhouse

This time of year, when Spring has barely made it's presence known, the greenhouse is an inspiring place. Warm sunshine falls on thriving green plants, and flats of sprouting seeds.

One small seed placed in the soil, one of thousands transforming into tiny, tender sprouts breaking through and unfurling in the light... after a long, cold, snowy winter like the one we've had, we're all waiting for a chance to branch out in the warmth!

We start our plants by seed, plug, or bare root transplant depending on the type of plant. Vegetables destined for the field are started from seed (tomatoes, peppers, brcooli, etc), as well as enthusiastic annuals (marigolds, allyssum, lobelia, for example) and perennials.

The photos below in the center and on the right show our broccoli seedings. Every two weeks, another crop will be transplanted into the field, giving us a constant supply of broccoli from June until November. 

Most perennials that come in as plugs (young plants growing in trays) are planted in smaller quart pots. Delphinum, Columbine,  and Dianthus are pictured below on the right, growing happily in quart containers. Look at that green!

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All bare root transplants are put in gallon pots to give these large root masses plenty of room for an equally large plant. Some particularly vigorous plugs like hosta and helleborous are planted in larger gallon pots as well. Pictured to the left, for example, is Heleborous Ivory Prince with striking red stems and graceful, blue-green leaves.

Below on the left and in the center is Hosta Sum and Substance, one of the largest hostas on the market. It grew so well in the tray that they were impossible to pull out and we had to cut the tray to pieces! Look at all those roots. To keep them from becoming root bound, we sliced off a layer of the bottom of the roots. On the right is Pineapple Lilly, an exotic looking plant with  long pointed leaves and a tall flower stalk.

July Blooms in the Perennials

I ran outside to capture these beautiful flowers yesterday, when the sun finally peeked through the rain clouds. So many gorgeous varieties of lilies are in full bloom right now, along with butterfly bush, lavender, hydrangea... and many more!

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Perennial Sale Tables!

The plants on our perennial sale tables will change throughout the year, but you're sure to find some bargains! Most plants are in very good condition, and a few just need a little love.

Everything on the last row of perennial benches is 50% off . Right now there are some nice peonies, crested iris, and anemones (just to name just a few of my favorites).

 

 

There's also a sale table in the display area where everything is 25% off. A few plants you'll find on this table: baptisia, iris, campanula and  several ground covers.

Nothing stays on the table for too long, so stop in frequently to see what's new!

 

September Perennial of the Month: Solidago

Autumn!

Cool evenings, damp and dewey mornings, the first sweet -tart bite of an early apple, and all the intense color that Fall brings. Purples, oranges, rusts, reds and gold. Even the air smells golden as leaves slowly change and fall to the ground.

Get out the woolly sweaters, bundle up by the last bonfires of the season, and add a flare of sparkling gold to your garden with this month's feature perennial; goldenrod!

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Perennial Manager Jaime Brennan tells us about Solidago (Golden Rod), the perennial of the month here at Kirby’s:

"You might be surprised that I have chosen Golden Rod for my plant this month. I am hoping to shed some light on this beautiful native plant and clear it's name from those who blame it for their fall time allergies. Most know that pollen is a major allergy trigger, and that airborne pollens affect sufferers the most.

Something that most people are not aware of is that the pollen from the Golden Rod plant is very heavy and it falls to the ground. It is not light enough to be caught by the wind to tickle and irritate your nose.

However, there is another plant lurking close by, blooming alongside Golden Rod - Ragweed!  Ragweed does not have attractive flowers, and it's pollen is light enough to be carried by the wind.

As you drive through the countryside, notice the fields full of beautiful golden color. While wild varieties of Goldenrod can spread aggressively, the cultivars we offer at the market are much easier to control - you can have that amazing color in your gardens at home. Don't be afraid to let this bright, graceful and cheery plant add some light into your fall garden."

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We have a great selection of fall blooming perennials at the market right now! Several varieties of Rudbekia, Gaillardia, Anemone, perennial Chrysanthemum, and lots more. Mix in a traditional Mum or two for a beautiful Fall display.

All of our Perennials are 25% off for the rest of the 2012 season, so stop by Kirby's for great deals on some really neat plants.

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August Perennial of the Month : Echinacea

 

The Echinacea (Coneflower) at the market is putting on quite a show right now! These tough, enthusiastic plants are easy to grow in most gardens. Stop by and enjoy all the summer color in our perennial area and display gardens!

Perennial Manager Jaime Brennan tells us about Echinacea, the perennial of the month here at Kirby's:

"Echinacea has been around for a long time (North American Plains Indians used it for a variety of medicinal purposes. They learned about it by watching injured or sick elk that sought out the plant!) and is a plant that is shared between many gardeners.

"It is always fun to see where it wants to be in your garden. You may have planted it in one garden the year before and have found it chose a new location the following year, maybe with the help of a winged friend. You can find a large array of Echinaceas from purpurea to newer varieties like 'Hot Papaya'. They are all striking and provide a food source for butterflies when they are in bloom and for birds when they have gone to seed."

  • In 1998, the Perennial Plant Association chose Echinacea purpurea "Magnus" as the perennial of the year.
  • Some varieties are fragrant
  • Echinaceas are considered deer resistant.
  • Echinacea makes a great cut flower for bouquets, lasting up to two weeks in a vase.
  • The spiky brown seedheads are also great for dried arrangements.
  • Echinacea is well known for it's medicinal benefits.  For a scientific look, go here.

We carry 16 different kinds of Echinacea at Kirby's: Echinacea purpurea; 'After Midnight'; 'Double Decker'; 'Fatal Attraction'; 'Fragrant Angel'; 'Green Envy'; 'Green Jewel'; 'Hot Papaya'; 'Magnus'; 'Pink Double Delight'; 'Ruby Giant'; 'Ruby Star';'Virgin', 'Big Sky', 'Sombrero Hot Pink', and 'Sunrise'. There is a color and a style for everyone!

 

 

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August Snapshots

August is a beautiful month at the market.  Produce, perennials, and great food! Mouse over for captions, click for larger images, and enjoy!

 

Helenium "Copelia"

Hot peppers, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, and sweet pepper combine for a beautiful palette of summer color!

Gentian "True Blue" and Heuchera "Obsidian" are a beautiful summer perennial pairing for your garden!Ratatouille, ready to go in the oven! Eggplant slices alternate with zucchini, tossed with garlic, olive oil and sea salt.Every year we grow a a rainbow of gladiolas in the field. They are usually available right up to Fall!Fresh, Kirbygrown sweetcorn, a summertime essential.Another planting of homegrown beets are here.Sungold yellow cherry tomatoes and Sweet 100's cherry tomato are like a little bowl of sunshine!Rudebekia triloba, an adorable little black eyed susan, frames the entry next to a stationary display.Gladiolas are one of the best flowers we can grow for arrangements. Every bud will open, even the tightest one. Just keep trimming from the bottom as the older blooms die, and keep the water fresh.

A reminder that Fall is right around the corner! Every tree in our orchards is loaded with apples, some of them nearly ready for picking!

Does this cool weather make you think about Fall? It will be here before you know it! Make sure you take full advantage of the wonderful summer produce filling the market throughout August and September!

JULY Perennial of the Month

Hostas Perennial Manager Jaime Brennan tells us about a plant with leaves of endless variety, Hostas, the July perennial of the month here at Kirby's:

"What is a shade garden without a Hosta or two? They come in so many shapes, sizes and colors. My biggest challenge every year is selecting just a few new varieties.

One of our new varieties this year includes possibly the largest known Hosta, 'Empress Wu', growing up to three to four feet high and wide with leaves measuring more than 1 ½ feet wide and long.

It has a strong upright habit with pale reddish violet flowers starting in early summer.I only wish we had more shade to plant one. At the other end of the scale we have 'Love Pat' a 14” Hosta with intense blue, deeply cupped and puckered leaves. White trumpet shaped flowers bloom from mid to late summer.

When I first started gardening I used to challenge myself to design shade gardens without any Hostas. They were too common for me at the time, but now I have come to appreciate the gracefulness of their leaves, the texture and variety of color that help to brighten any shade garden. It is also a joy to watch the hummingbirds dance from blossom to blossom.

We carry 24 varieties of Hostas: Hosta plantaginea; 'Blue Angel'; 'Blue Mammoth'; 'Dancing in the Rain'; 'Elegans'; 'Empress Wu'; 'Francee'; 'Frances Williams'; 'Ginkgo Craig'; 'Gold Standard';  'Hadspen Blue'; 'Honeybells'; 'Love Pat'; 'Niagara Falls'; 'Northern Exposure'; 'Pauls Glory'; 'Peanut'; 'Remember Me'; 'Robert Frost'; 'Sagae'; 'Sum and Substance'; 'Thunderbolt'; 'Tokudama Flavocircinalis'; and 'Wolverine'.

 

Plant Sale!

I know a lot of our customers have been waiting for this moment. Our greenhouse still has plenty of beauitful plants in it,  including big hanging baskets, geraniums... and lots more.

Starting Sunday, July 3rd, all Hanging Baskets will be 25% off and all other annuals will be 50% off!

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Perennial of the Month for June: Baptisia

Talking about getting in under the wire....! There are still a few days left in June, plenty of time to talk about this star of the Spring, Baptisia. We have several plantings in our display garden, some paired with classic orange poppies, and they are attention grabbers.

>>> And as a special bonus, a selection of Spring Blooming perennials is on sale NOW, including some Baptisia! Follow the signs to our "Back Mat" (where we keep our extra perennials) to find a stash of bargain Spring Bloomers.

And now, a few words about Baptisia from our perennial manager Jaime Brennan:

"Baptisia is one of my absolute favorite perennials, being a native plant is one of the reasons why. I only wish it bloomed all summer, but it does produce attractive seedpods that last all fall and through the winter. There are some newer varieties that have longer bloom time.  Baptisia australis is growing in the garden bordering the west side of our parking lot. They have become large beautiful bushes that have attractive light blue green leaves. Right now (June) you can see what a wonderful combination they make with oriental poppies. We have one beautiful plant of Baptisia alba located in the east garden at the edge of the road. There have been many requests for this plant that has dark stems with contrasting white flowers. My fingers are crossed that we will be able to offer them this year (several years ago I ordered Baptisia alba but they all bloomed blue).

Baptisia has a very large taproot that helps it tolerate the heat and drought we can experience here in NY at least once a summer. Their tall spikes have flowers that resemble that of a pea flower, which is not surprising because it is a member of the pea family. One interesting function that pea family plants can do is make their own nitrogen. If you've ever wondered what those small nodules on the roots were for – now you know."

MAY Perennial of the Month

It's too cold out there for planting annuals, but stop by the market this weekend (our displays will be complete by Saturday, May 7th) and find a gorgeous spring blooming perennial for your garden! These hardy plants will survive a WNY winter so you know they won't mind a little Spring chill in the air.

Perennial Manager Jaime Brennan tells us about Amsonia hubrichtii, Thread-leaf Blue Star, the perennial of the month here at Kirby's:

"The Perennial Plant Association has chosen Amsonia hubrichtii, Thread-leaf Blue Star to be recognized  for 2011. This beautiful and graceful perennial is also a native plant. Long lived, bug and pest free, it's flowers emerge in May and June with clusters of steel blue. The long narrow leaves give the plant a look of a bottle brush that turns to a golden yellow in the fall.

Amsonia is a beautiful addition to any garden. It keeps a nice bush shape and I have seen many early butterflies enjoying it's blooms in our garden along the east side of the greenhouse. Stop by to meet Amsonia today!"

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Some examples of perennials that are blooming in our displays right now:

(Mouseover for the name of each plant. Click for a larger image)

Marsh Marigold - a native plant that loves wet areas.Helleborus - one of the very first perennials to bloom. This plant comes in many colors, including a rich purple-red.Crested Iris - a short iris with great flowers in a gorgeous blue.Dicentra (Bleeding Heart) - a unique flower with fern-like foliage.Lewisia - a hardy alpine plant that is great for walls and rock gardens!Pulsatilla - large purple flowers appear in early Spring among soft, fernlike foliage.    Cimmicifuga (chocolate colored foliage), white Bleeding Heart, and a Hosta in the background create a unique Spring arrangement.Virgina Bluebells! A medium-tall plant with large clusters of blue flowersColumbine - comes in a wide variety of colors, some short and some tall. We have a very prretty double pink this year, along with classic colored single blooms.