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A COOL Place To Visit!

A COOL Place To Visit!

Thinking of coming over to Alstede Farms for a “Day-cation?” We’ve got a cool solution to beat the summer heat! Your family can sit back and enjoy our famous homemade ice cream out on the sun terrace overlooking the farm or you can wander the nursery and greenhouses where you will find an astounding assortment of flowers, perennials and shrubs displayed in order of habitat preference, deer resistance or garden use.

The summer heat can be rough even up here in the Highlands of northern New Jersey but you can cool right off under our new shade-house, which assimilates the woodland shade of the average tree-lined home landscape. There are themed displays for shade tolerance, deer resistance, drought-tolerance and order of bloom. We have the latest re-blooming hydrangeas including Penny Mac, Quickfire and Invincibelle’s. You can even peruse an enormous alphabetically arranged fruit tree selection while standing under the breezy 50% shade.

Alstede Farms has several greenhouses in which to shop even on drizzly days where we actually grow our own flowers. You’ll be amazed by our wonderful Proven Winner combination hanging baskets displayed in pairs for your convenience. There are literally dozens of combinations you just won’t find anywhere else… because they’re our very own designs.

Up front, in plain view of our new Goat Walk, we have sunny displays of everything in our greenhouses, including Alstede’s famous selection of homegrown flowers and vegetables available now for your home and garden. It’s hard to resist our dozens of colorful patio planters with various themes including hummingbird attraction, modern color impact and traditional patriotism motifs. Here you’ll find scads of interesting  containers chosen to help make your garden unique and for every need. “Strawberry Planters? Yes, we’ve got that!”

While you’re at it, be sure to inspect our birding displays where you’ll find everything you’ll need to succeed in attracting the colorful songbirds to your garden. There are feeding stations, bird nesting houses and hummingbird feeders set up to demonstrate how simple it is to bring our visiting migratory friends into our gardens. Birds surely brighten and lighten the mood of our outdoor living space and fight the local insect populations sure to come.

When you visit please bring us a list of your most vexing garden issues. Alstede’s dedicated garden advisors are here to ensure you leave with the best and latest advice to make your gardening experience the best it can be.

Gardens of the Soul

Gardens of the Soul

Who do you most Remember? In this late yet glorious spring season take a moment to search your soul for the persons most important to you in your life. What makes their memory come to the fore? Perhaps it’s a warm comment or kindness received on a cold difficult day? Maybe it’s the image of a smiling countenance communicated from another beautiful soul to yours. Despite the barrage of data stored in one’s memory banks the ability to recall those who mean the most to us proves the existence, in my humble opinion, of one’s soul.

Beauty has no limits. It has no constraints of time, distance or change. Nature is ever changing indeed yet it is firm and constant. The world’s natural forces may be mild or cataclysmic experiences at any moment regardless of man’s attempts to reign over it. We cannot conquer its force, contain its events or control its superiority over us. We can, however recall and appreciate the powerful and beautiful majesty displayed by nature we may experience in a majestic waterfall in the cool greenness of a late spring forest or in the fluttering colors of a butterflies wings as it lights on an attractive, scented blossom in May.

One thing that makes us uniquely human is a boundless ability to fill the souls of those around us, and thereby expand our own. In life we’ve been touched by some truly wonderful people who enrich the hearts, minds and souls of those around them. Perhaps it’s a family member, friend, community member or group leader you remember? Most of us know someone who’s given their all for their country, either alive or passed on. Have you been meaning to thank someone in particular for making your life or the lives of others a bit better for their actions?

There are indeed ways to say “Thank You” even if you cannot physically or verbally communicate with this special person. You can do it within the connection that’s been made between their soul and your own. Might we suggest planting a memorial tree or flower as a way to “remember” their contribution to your life? Please visit our garden and nursery where you can surely find a wonderful and appropriate remembrance gift to help you make a meaningful connection of gratitude to a life well-lived.

Gardeners- Prepare your gardens!

Gardeners- Prepare your gardens!

Weekly Garden News for Northern New Jersey Highland Gardeners
By Glenn Cheetham
Garden Center Supervisor
Alstede Farms

With the recent light snow, sleet and freezing rain it’s tempting to head for the warmth of the fireplace. This week, however, marks the ‘vernal equinox’- the season of increasing daylight, warming temperatures and the renewed growth of flora and fauna. Signs of spring are everywhere we look. Snowdrops, Wood hyacinths, Crocus and Daffodils are poking up everywhere. Look up into the treetops and you’ll likely spy the red coloration of last year’s branch tips in the maples, which signals the conversion of starches into sugars at the topmost stems and buds. A few more weeks of warming trend and we’ll see temperatures averaging in the 50’s, which begins the flow of sap, the opening of buds and the earliest flowers in shrubs and trees, such as witch hazels, gold forsythia and pink Korean azaleas.

We have a little over one month to go before tender annuals and vegetables can be safely planted outside. It is time to start vegetable and flower seedlings indoors on those sunny porches and windowsills where the temperatures don’t go below about fifty degrees. Using quality seed stock, seed starter soil and greenhouse trays designed to keep seed moist ensures you get the best possible value from your homegrown garden. Alstede’s has what you need to succeed with your seeds.

It’s best to plan your plantings ahead of time, prioritizing your goals for the landscape. Doing so now will reduce costly mistakes and add to your enjoyment of “what can be” on your property. Now is also the ideal time to clean up winter debris and prepare the soil to receive those plants, by adjusting the pH and adding organic compost, soil amendments and fertilizers to increase the soils’ ability to drain and supply nutrients to hungry plant roots. You are always welcome to stop by and visit our garden center to get the information you need to make the most of your plans for a successful garden here in the New Jersey Highlands. Of course, we recommend those needing extensive advice to contact us ahead so we can schedule a little one-on-one meeting to make the most of your time and effort.

Spring is also an excellent time to establish new trees and shrubs, making this the best time to repair your home’s foundation plantings. Visit our outdoor nursery now for a great selection of dormant, hardy ornamental plants that will enhance your enjoyment of the outdoors throughout the season. Doing so now will ensure that you’ll be ready to plant flowers later on, without disturbing them through the remainder of spring and summer.

PrimrosesWe hope you will stop by to see what’s blooming now and continue to visit for seasonal surprises. Don’t forget to check out our great variety of Easter Plants and perhaps see what’s blooming in our tropical greenhouse. We also have blooming Primroses, Hydrangeas and Gardenias available to brighten up any room and they can be moved outside in May for further enjoyment.

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Address: 1 Alstede Farms Lane
Chester, NJ 07930

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