Friday, April 25, 2008

Mennonite-run Milmont Nursery in Augusta County....

Entrance to Milmont Nursery

Every year I drive to Milmont Nursery in Stuarts Draft to purchase annuals for window boxes, hanging baskets, and terra cotta pots. The plants from Milmont, a Mennonite-owned and operated business, are in excellent shape and I have never had any problems with anything even though they guarantee everything.

Our last frost date in the Valley is around May 15th so anything planted now has to be carefully watched and brought indoors in the event of frost. Today it was warm and sunny and a good day to head down to that part of the county.
Nate (Lance Corporal Nate Salatin, USMC) worked at Milmont when he was in high school. I was in the greenhouse one day about five or six years ago looking at veggie plants when I heard, "Hi Mrs. M," behind me and it was Nate. He had just started with them at that time and worked for them until he graduated.

Milmont offers a huge selection of annuals in the greenhouses in a neat display that is asthetically pleasing as well as practical. Grab a wagon and start filling it with a variety of plants and vegetables.

Outdoors there are perennials, annuals, plants, bushes, and trees as well as potting soil, mulch, and other tools to help with gardening. An extra treat is the sight of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background.

I always buy the tried-and-true petunias, impatiens, alyssum, snapdragons, and lantana ... as well as new varieties that I may have read about or that may be suggested by the gardeners at the nursery. I am anxious to see how they turn out this year.

Milmont is also where I buy our tomato and pepper plants for the garden, sticking with favorites while also trying new selections.

Tomatoes: Big Boy is always a winner. I also decided to try Siberia Tomato, a short-season hearty variety that ripens in 50-60 days and is safe in temps down to 36 degrees; Brandywine, a hearty Amish Heirloom tomato from 1885; Sweet Million cherry tomatoes; and Red Grape tomatoes. Our neighbors' grandsons love cherry tomatoes so they have carte blanche to pick them from our garden each summer.

Peppers: Besides the always trusty Sweet Green, Jalapeno, and Banana peppers, I picked up some Red Knights, a sweet red pepper.

Those will go in the garden with the already-planted Yukon Gold potatoes and onions. SWAC Husband has his own plans for whatever else will be planted.

Thankfully, we have not had a late killer frost this year so we should have fruit from the peach and apple trees. There is something satisfying about growing fruits and vegetables and reaping the rewards of your hard work.

As I drove toward Milmont there were thunderheads forming over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Sure enough ... thunderstorms moved into the Valley Friday evening.

Driving a back road toward Stuarts Draft, these geese caught my attention on Christian's Creek. I stopped, grabbed my camera, and snapped a shot as they flapped and honked at each other. Beside them were Hereford heifers grazing on the green hillside. I lingered and enjoyed the warm weather while watching the stream and the geese ... and then headed back to my vehicle to head on down to Stuarts Draft.

Photos by SWAC Girl

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