One of my favorite places

Every gardener has their favorite online shop. I have several. Today I’d like to introduce you to Klehm’s Song Sparrow Perennial Farm and Nursery.

Local greenhouses let you see the plants, talk to an expert and have the immediate gratification of taking the plant home with you. I use online shops to find the unique and unusual. Also electronic catalogues let me shop off-season but have the plants arrive during the correct planting season for my zone.

Klehm’s is located in Avalon in southern Wisconsin, which means their plants are already acclimated to our climate of very hot summers and very cold winters. I’ve purchased from them several times and the plants are generous in size, healthy and arrive in a very timely manner.

Icarus’ (Son Daedalus, First Man to Fly)

The nursery is famous for peonies and tree peonies. Charles Klehm, the farm’s founding father, was a charter member of the American Peony Society formed in 1903. Klehm’s website allows you to sort options for peony flower type: bomb, double, hybrid, Japanese, semi-double and single. You can also sort by bloom time, fragrance and blossom color, which makes it so much easier to decide what you want. Klehm’s will also provide planting guides and videos and a free peony care guide.  Currently I’m being tempted by Icarus’ “Son Daedalus, First Man to Fly,” a tree peony.

My favorite are the junior and miniature conifers. According to Klehm’s literature this is a collectible group of evergreens with unique characteristics to enrich areas such as rock gardens, troughs, containers, raised beds, and outdoor railroad gardens. Oh, yes, I’ve been collecting.

Picea Glauca “Pixie Dust”

My first purchase was Picea Glauca “Pixie Dust,” a dwarf white spruce that is a nice dark green but it’s spring new growth is a bright lemon-yellow. My next was a weeping, yellow shrub I can’t remember the name of but it looks like Cousin Itt from the Addams Family. And my latest great buy was Picea Pungens “Sester Dwarf,” which is a blue spruce that will only grow to 5 feet tall at most. I’m nestling these little guys between my full sized Colorado blue spruce to add color and texture to what will eventually be a natural wind and snow block.

All garden sites have their new for 2012 section and Klehm’s is no different with one huge exception – their new is really unusual. Check out the black bachelor’s buttons or the deep purple bee balm. Coneflowers grow well in my heavy clay soil so I’m pretty excited about the Echinacea “Solar Flare.”

It’s a great site. Check it out.



About Kary Beck

Mother and wife, gardener, wine enthusiast, avid online bargain hunter, and owner of two black-and-tan cocker spaniels.
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