New for 2020
2020 is the year of the Pollinator Attracting Plant (PAP) at Foster Hill Farm. Pollinators are so important for the ecosystem and plant reproduction. A bee, hummingbird or butterfly will land on a flower and feast on the nectar from the flower. While they are there the pollen produced by the plant transfers to the insect. Then when that insect lands on another flower it leaves some of the pollen and the second plant can reproduce by forming more flowers, and then nuts, fruit and seeds. Healthy reproduction of plants is important from trees to bushes to all small plants not only for their reproduction but for food and habitats for animals as well. Even our wooden furniture was impacted by pollinators in the growth of the wood.
Globally the number of pollinators has been on the decline. Possible reasons for this include increase use of pesticides, habitat destruction and global warming. We can do our part by adding plants that attract and promote population growth of pollinators.
What plants attract the pollinators?
Brightly-colored flowers that are tubular hold the most nectar, and are particularly attractive to hummingbirds. These include perennials such as bee balms, columbines, daylilies, and lupines; biennials such as foxgloves and hollyhocks; and many annuals, including cleomes, impatiens, and petunias. Bees and butterflies are smaller and will cover a borage or chive flower. The list below contains plants that we offer that would be great PAPs (Pollinator Attracting Plants) to add to your garden.
Japanese Morning Glories
We are offering the unique and magnificent Japanese Morning Glory that we introduced in 2019 in 2020. In Japan the Morning Glory is celebrated at the Iriya Morning Glory Festival. Morning Glories are very popular with the Japanese people with rare varieties that are uncommon here. They are planted and admired by many on their balconies. Children grow a morning glory from seed in school like we grow a pole bean plant here.
Morning glories are PAPs and will be offered individually and in patio pots. Try one of these magical plants. It will stand out and everyone will want to know about this stunner!
Star of India
Image by JMG Vineyard
Unique, Rare and Beautiful Vines
Climbing, flowering vines are often the focal point or backdrop of an English garden. We have found some interesting varieties to try in your garden this year on a fence, trellis, arbor patio pot or trailing dramatically from a hanging basket.
We offer 4 types of Thunbergia, Common and Japanese Morning Glories, lush and tropical Mandevillas and Moon Flower. New this year are Rhodochiton or Purple Bells, Ruby Moon Hyacinth Vine and Vigna Caracalla Vine. We are incorporating several of these plants into custom hanger combinations for a trailing impressive hanging basket.
Heirloom and Specialty Peppers and Tomatoes
The biggest change in our starter plant selection this year is in the specialty peppers. We now offer 40 varieties. Most that have been added for 2020 are hot peppers including Habanero Chocolate, Carolina Reaper (currently the world's hottest pepper), Dorset Naga from Great Britain, Scorpion, Tabasco, Utri, Atomic Hybrid, Bulgarian Carrot and the Golden Ghost.
For low heat and sweet peppers try Tennessee Cheese which is an adorable lobed, red sweet pepper perfect for stuffing or try your hand at Mole' sauce made with Mexican chocolate and Mole' peppers. Mole' sauce makes a hearty Mexican comfort dish for the fall and winter.
Last year we grew several types of ground cherries and tomatillos. Wow! They are amazing, sugary little bite-sized treats. Eat them fresh or make muffins, tarts, chutney, salsa or bread with them. A friend was visiting with his young granddaughter who did not like tomatoes at all. We stopped at the Pineapple Tomatillo plants and we had a hard time getting her to stop eating them! They are ripe when they fall to the ground and are covered in a papery husk that needs to be removed before eating. They keep for a couple weeks in these husks. Tomatillos and ground cherries are one of the best kept secrets.
We offer 100 varieties of tomatoes in 2020. Two interesting new patio type tomatoes are the Bush Beefsteak and the Celano. Celano is an AAS Winners (ALL American Selections) for 2020. Celano is a compact (4') plant bearing sweet, grape style tomatos. The Bush Beefsteak is also a compact, determinate plant that produces 8 oz. red, beefsteak style tomatoes. Both are ideal for pots and small growing areas.