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Fred's Garden Blog

After a nearly five year hiatus, Fred's Garden Blog is back! Now you can enjoy and experience the gardening exploits and adventures of Fred in his quest to hybridize brugmansia and keep his jungle and nursery under control.

/ Author: Sommer Gardens / Number of views: 12444 / Comments: / Article rating: No rating

California dreaming

I'm just wrapping up a week long stay in the San Diego area.  The primary reason for the trip was to attend the Triathlon America Conference, a conference geared for the business of triathlon. Seeing how I was going to be so close to California's nursery region, I had to tack on a few extra days to my trip to do some plant collecting.  I only made a few acquisitions the first day, but by late morning on the second day, I already had the back seat of my rental car full.After day two I decided ...
/ Author: Sommer Gardens / Number of views: 10589 / Comments: / Article rating: No rating

Remembering the past - Sommer Gardens circa 1984

We were doing some cleaning in our office and I came across this vintage areal photograph of Sommer Gardens circa 1984.  This photo shows my retail garden center on US hwy 27 just north of Clermont.Note the results of the devastating back to back record breaking freezes in the early eighties. Those freezes killed off thousands of acres of citrus in Central Florida, forever changing the landscape of Florida.The building pictured is the old railroad depot that used to sit in downtown ...
/ Author: Sommer Gardens / Number of views: 10551 / Comments: / Article rating: No rating

Mission Accomplished!

My first holiday project took about a week longer than I had anticipated to finish, but we wrapped it up just in time.  As we were affixing the last piece of poly film to the roof the nighttime temperature had already dropped down to freezing.I still have some cleaning up to do around the structure, but for the most part it is 100% completed.This new shade structure offers just under 9,000 square feet of protection for my brugmansia.  Because it was built on a slight slope, the inside height ...
/ Author: Sommer Gardens / Number of views: 8584 / Comments: / Article rating: No rating

How to deal with a home invader...

It's easy, just catch them with a trap and transport them away to a new location!Recently I started noticing my cat's food was disappearing at an astonishing rate.  My cat is not a big eater so I knew something strange was going on.  Perhaps the half eaten dog biscuit I found in the kitchen sink should have been a tip-off as to who was to blame.I borrowed a small animal trap from a friend and set it up in my kitchen before going to bed.   A few hours later I awoke to a ruckus as this rather ...
/ Author: Sommer Gardens / Number of views: 8023 / Comments: / Article rating: No rating

Up, up and away

As the Friday sun was setting I was out amongst my brugmansia plants looking for blooms to pollinate.  I just happened to glance towards the east and saw a rocket heading skyward.  I'm only about 60 miles from the space center and as long as the sky is clear, launches are easily seen.If you look at the very top of the photo you can see the rocket.  Because this rocket was carrying a spy satellite, there was no advance notice of the launch.  I'm sure going to miss the shuttle launches when ...
/ Author: Sommer Gardens / Number of views: 5309 / Comments: / Article rating: No rating

Gee, I wonder what I'll be doing this weekend......

Take a pick-up truck load of 2 gallon sized pots, 1,500 to be exact.....and add a mountain of fresh potting soil.....along with a never ending row of overgrown brugmansia seedlings in one gallon pots........and throw in a bottle of ibuprofen for my aching back and you are looking at what is shaping up to be one very long weekend.  At first I had a helper lined up, but it looks as if I may be doing this solo...another work till you drop weekend!I'm motivated to get this project finished ...
/ Author: Sommer Gardens / Number of views: 7480 / Comments: / Article rating: No rating

Brugs, brugs, and more brugs....

Our weather finally became the envy of the nation so I decided this weekend would be a great time to tackle a major nursery rejuvenation project. It was time to expand my growing area to accommodate more plants.  The first step was to clear the ground and treat the soil with a weed killer.  I opted to leave a couple of citrus tree stumps remain rather than crank up the chain saw.  I knew if I did that I would spend the day cutting down trees instead of finishing this task. Once the ground ...

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