Winterberry Farm Primitives

This blog is now devoted to gardening with native plants with a focus on those species native to the east coast of the United States. With an MS in Agricultural Science from the University of Delaware and my love of native plants, I hope to help folks see the beauty and necessity of using native plants in your garden instead of exotic plants. Did you know that our native song birds and native insects are disappearing as our local environments continue to change?
For those who come to this page to see my 'Winterberry Farm Primitives' blog can now be found at where I will post new additions to my online antiques shop at and discuss various subjects about primitive antiques.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Flower Show Display Update!

Hello everyone!
Today the roads are much better here in Delaware and I was able to get down to the University of Delaware where I have been growing my plants for our Miniature Setting display. The picture to the left shows some of the plants, including some American elm seedlings. These elms do not have the gene for resistance and I will not be putting them out in the garden but they are great for the display!
I am putting in most of the plants today to give them a couple of weeks to get used to the lower light of the display box and to grow a bit in place. They will also orient themselves so their leaves are going in the correct directions. There is enough fertilizer in the soilless mix I am using to get them through the show without outside fertilizer. After the plants are in the box for a while, I will continue to move the vine on the barn up and over the top of the roof, but I do not want to force it up until it acclimates itself a bit and its roots start to grip and spread out. As the vine settles in, I will be moving it further over the front of the barn so most of the right window is obscured. The leaves on the trees will continue to emerge but they will not get so big that they look out of place or too big for the rest of the display.
The next step will be to add peat moss to the top of the soilless mix and then some crushed up leaves on top of the peat moss. The last step in the planting of the box will be to add some more grass seed so there is more grass coming up through the peat moss and the crushed leaves at the time of the show. The very, very last step is to add the little accessories and animals to the display to make the visitors (and the judges) take a second and third look to see everything hidden in the little cracks and crevices!
Wish us luck - there are only two more weeks (14 days!) until install day!!!!


  1. How wonderful to get a behind the scenes peek at the magic of the flower show. My ticket is in my wallet - I'm so excited. I'll be looking for your display. I hope the next two weeks go well. Kelly

  2. Hi Kelly,
    My husband and my dad also have an entry in the Windowbox and Lamp Post division, so we will have two entries this year. They have been in the competition for about 3 years now and love every minute of it! I will also be posting pics of the craziness of the install week before the Flower Show opens. When I say crazy, I really mean CRAZY!