Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Manza Family Farm a Gardener's Paradise

I learned the joy found in gardening early on in my life, planting marigolds in the front of our house in Jeffersonville Indiana, carefully putting them in the holes my Mom had pre-dug for them, her following behind me righting whatever I did not get quite right. I remember with fondness going out with the hose to water her flower beds, feeling so grown up when she praised her little gardening man. All these decades later, looking back, gardening has been one of those constants in my life, a touchstone that has kept me grounded even when my life seemed scattered and in disarray. There is something magical about digging one's hands into the soil, a purity found in the simple pleasure of digging holes and planting seedlings that will grow up into beautiful plants with beautiful blooms that could have only been designed in the heavens above.

It is the life long love affair with gardening that has me serving as this year's Committee Chair for the "Mountaindale Community Development Project's" beautification project for Sullivan Renaissance, and that responsibility comes with certain rewards that one cannot put a value on. One of those rewards occurred this past Saturday when Barb Schmitt and I loaded into her mini van and headed East on Route 17 as we made our way to the Manza Family Farm in Montgomery, NY.

If you are into gardening, landscaping, if you love trees, bushes, shrubs and a rainbow of beautiful flowers, you have GOT TO PLAN A VISIT to this spectacular gardening center. The staff is there to serve you. They are friendly, knowledgeable, helpful, and PATIENT...trust me, me in a gardening center of this quality is like letting a kid loose in a candy store, and patience is an important attribute to possess, as I was jumping from pillar to post as this flower and that would capture my attention, my mind whirling at the possibilities, while another part of my brain was trying to get everything I wanted, while at the same time staying WITHIN MY BUDGET!

The employees took my enthusiasm in stride, traveled with me on my journey of joy through their stock, one of them making of list of everything I choose, while another one pulled out the plants, tagging each and every one, all the while, giving me the time I needed to see everything they had, answering my questions when they popped into my head. Imagine Barb and I in "Alice's Wonderland," each of us asking the other almost simultaneously, "Did you see this" or "Oh look at the colors of these Delphiniums" as we wrestled with important decisions, trying to find the perfect plants to give us that winning WOW FACTOR for our little project in Mountaindale.

We left the Manza Farm tired, happy, knowing our choices will be cared for until Friday when we can pick them up. As a man who has done professional landscaping, I left impressed for several reasons. First, I was impressed with the staff, appreciated them letting me think as I strode about their beautiful kingdom being dazzled at one of the best inventories of planting stock I have seen in years...not since I worked for Scarff's Nursery in New Carlisle, Ohio some three plus decades ago have I seen such a wide variety. Secondly, their stock is healthy, vibrant, lush, ready to make a statement in your garden this year, and for years to come.

If you and your family are planning a garden, or just looking for a few statement pieces to enhance what you already have, encourage you to take a drive over to Manza's Family Farm. You will be happy you did!

730 Route 211
Montgomery, NY 12549
Phone: (845)692-4364
Fax: (845)692-4109