Garden Lifestyle

Willow Oak Flower & Herb Farm

A delightful herbal luncheon served al fresco alongside a pond with fountain, surrounded by numerous theme gardens was part of our IHA pre-conference tour to Willow Oak Flower & Herb Farm.

  • Willow Oak Flower & Herb Farm is an organic farm, family-run business located on six acres in Severn, Maryland. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.
    Photo/Illustration: Susan Belsinger
  • Herbal proprietess Maria Price-Nowakowski with herbalist Pat Kenny.
    Photo/Illustration: Susan Belsinger
  • We enjoyed lunch under the pavilion alongside this pond surrounded by all varieties of native trees and plants; it was abuzz with dragonflies and seemed mosquito free.
    Photo/Illustration: Susan Belsinger
  • All sorts of fairy gardens, both in plots and pots, can be found at Willow Oak.
    Photo/Illustration: Susan Belsinger
  • A green door in a tree trunk appears to be a portal for the weefolk.
    Photo/Illustration: Susan Belsinger
  • Inviting garden benches are placed on meandering paths.
    Photo/Illustration: Susan Belsinger
  • Sunny, brick path lined with zinnias and dill leads to a shade garden in the woods.
    Photo/Illustration: Susan Belsinger
  • There are both full sun and shade gardens on the farm with annuals, perennials and evberlastings, culinary and medicinal herbs.
    Photo/Illustration: Susan Belsinger
  • Tool and potting sheds are some of my favorite places when visiting herb garden nurseries.
    Photo/Illustration: Susan Belsinger
  • Showy dill umbels are grown for the floral arrangements, for culinary purposes and for seed saving.
    Photo/Illustration: Susan Belsinger
  • The gift barn is full of dried floral bouquets as well as bunches of many herbs and everlastings so you can dyi. There is a fun, eclectic mix of herb-related items--a little something for every one.
    Photo/Illustration: Susan Belsinger
  • A large number of classes and workshops are given throughout the year--look online for all of the fun events--or sign up to create your own fairy garden!
    Photo/Illustration: Susan Belsinger

A delightful herbal luncheon served al fresco in a lovely pavilion alongside a pond with fountain, surrounded by numerous theme gardens was part of our IHA pre-conference tour to Willow Oak Flower & Herb Farm. Enjoy a tour of this small family farm owned and operated by Maria Price-Nowakowski and her husband Martin, her daughter Heather does flower design.

I’ve known Maria for nearly 20 years when we met as members of the Potomac Unit of the Herb Society of America. Her herb farm has changed a lot over the years, with more gardens, more outbuildings, a nature trail, a bio-diverse pond, a flock of ducks and geese (they help to keep insects out of the gardens), a gazebo and a garden pavilion.

There are many large old trees, native shrubs and vines, along with all varieties of herbs and many beds of cutting flowers since Willow Oak is not only a plant nursery, it also is a full-service florist. In fact you can stop by for their flowers of the week by bouquet or subscribe to their weekly flower bucket program.

The family farm thinks green: “Willow Oak is proud to produce pesticide & herbicide free plants and cut flowers. We raise our plants in an environmentally friendly, organic manner that lessens our footprint on the earth. We strive to be a green organization because it is the right thing to do. We also specialize in native plants that naturalize well in our area and help to feed our native wildlife. Our farm is not only a nursery but also a preserve for our ecosystem.”

Willow Oak offers all sort of hands-on classes and workshops from March through December. Check out the selection of classes ranging from Mother’s Day Tea Party or Seasonal English Teas to all sorts of wreath-making, flower arrangements for seasonal celebrations and fairy garden workshops. www.willowoakherbs.com

Besides the outdoor nursery plants and the shed full of every type of soil amendments, fertilizer, etc., the gift barn is full of all sorts of delightful herb-related goodies from dried arrangements and bundles of dried herbs, teas, honey, books, essential oils, and a large array of accoutrements for fairy gardens. In the fridge there are fresh flower arrangements made from the homegrown herbs and flowers and a basket of fresh chicken and duck eggs for sale.

If you are in the area, put Willow Oak Flower & Herb Farm on your list of places to visit–whether you just stop to see the gardens or visit the shop–or sign up for an event. You’ll be glad you did. It is important that we support our local farmers, who are doing good work and are conscientous about our environment.

 

 

 

 

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