Wednesday, September 15th, 2010...12:00 am

Coleus Plants at Atlock Farm

Smallwood’s Driveway by eskinola

Yesterday was a gloriously beautiful day, so TheGardenLady and her friends decided to visit Atlock Farm, an outstanding nursery at 545 Weston Canal Road in Somerset, NJ.  If you see a house surrounded by topiaried or sculpted trees, you know you are next door to this wonderful nursery.

Besides selling really excellent and unusual plants, Atlock Farm also has one of the largest displays of topiary trained plants that are for sale. Among all the plants, they sell a lot of coleus (see photo above), one of the easiest to care for and most decorative plants to add to your garden or your container garden. Coleus need little maintenance besides watering and has few pest problems. This plant can be raised easily from seed, though most people prefer to buy the plants so that they can choose from the amazing variety of leaf coloration and decorative leaf shapes. Coleus is an annual but you can take snips of leaves and root them in water and when they root can keep them over winter in a container to plant outdoors the following spring. Atlock Farm has many coleus to choose from and they even make topiary out of coleus.  See here.  Besides the plants for sale, Atlock Farm has a small show garden and this year they have lots of vegetables, all which seem to be heirloom vegetables, growing in their show garden. They sell these vegetables plus some wonderful gifts for plant people.

When I visited, I just learned that Atlock Farm has special events at the nursery. On September 18th Atlock Farm is having an excellent program that is called Harvest Show/Coleus Day Program. The Atlock Farm owner and the people who work there will display, label and informally talk about all the heirloom varieties of vegetables they have – they have 100 varieties of heirloom tomatoes. The owner and others will not only show off their heirloom vegetables and wonderful plants, they will answer any questions you have about any vegetable or plant and about topiaries- how to create them or keep them looking their best. Come prepared with questions.

Also Atlock Farm will have Ray Rogers who will give a presentation on coleus and container plants. Mr. Rogers is one of the leading writers and lecturer on coleus and container plants. Ray Rogers has raised coleus for many years and has written and lectured on the coleus plant as well as container plants. Rogers’ books are “Coleus :Rainbow Foliage for Containers and Gardens” and “Pots in the Garden” which is on container gardens. His most recent book, just published, is “The Encyclopedia of Container Plants.” Ray Rogers will be bringing his books for anyone who wants to buy them and I am sure he will autograph them for you.

If you are anywhere in the area, this Sept. 18th program is one free program that you won’t want to miss. The program starts at 11am and lasts until 4pm. Directions are here.

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