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Let The Dirty Worm beautify your spring garden

Jamie Di Filippe and his family are pleased to welcome everyone to their 40th year of operations at The Dirty Worm Greenhouses in New Hampton where annuals, perennials, vegetables, fruit trees and more are all available. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
April 25, 2019
NEW HAMPTON As Old Man Winter slowly releases his grip on New Hampshire, it's time to get outside and experience the joys of gardening, something The Dirty Worm Greenhouses in New Hampton has had in mind since last fall.

"We grow most of our stock from seed, and start it all in late October or the first of November for the next year," owner Jamie Di Filippe said.

A plumber by trade, in 1979, Di Filippe said he and his family decide to build a small greenhouse. They originally got the idea from Jamie's brother who opened a greenhouse business in Sandwich back then, but they started out with just a 12-by-14-foot structure to grow some produce.

"It was something I thought I would just do after work, but then it grew into more," said Di Filippe.

Over time, that one small greenhouse was expanded and eventually there were five large greenhouses and a full-time business for the family to manage. Besides Jamie, who has now retired from plumbing, his wife Helen and sons Eric, Anthony and Adam have all had a part in The Dirty Worm Greenhouses; from planting, landscape work, maintenance, sales and advertising, there have been contributions from them all.

This week, the family opened for their 40th season, and Di Filippe said they once again have plenty of great selections available for all types of gardening and home beautification projects.

Their annual flowering plants fill two of the five greenhouses on the property and are now ready for spring. Pansies, petunias, marigolds and geraniums are just a few of the most common varieties but there are plenty of other great selections as well.

"Another thing we grow from seed each year is Million Bells (a brightly coloerd, tubular shaped flower). They're pretty popular and look great in hanging baskets," he said. "Really, we have pretty much anything you want when it comes to annuals, both in flats, hanging baskets or pots."

Di Filippe said people seem to prefer potted plants now however, so in one day alone this winter he potted 880 of his seedlings to ready them for the spring.

His wife Helen is in charge of the perennials they grow and one entire greenhouse is dedicated to all types of plants that provide pleasure year after year. There are many varieties of lilies available but customers can also choose from other hardy yet beautiful plants like liatrus, columbine, mint catnip (Nepata), lavender, ornamental grasses and dozens of other garden favorites.

Plants from The Dirty Worm aren't all just intended for ornamentation, though. Yet another greenhouse is dedicated to vegetables. Tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, squash- you name it and The Dirty Worm has it ready for the backyard garden. They also have a selection of seeds on hand as well as a supply of potting soils and other gardening needs.

Finally, taking things to the next level of gardening are their rose bushes, blueberry bushes, grapes, raspberries and even fruit trees that are suitable for this climate.

Di Filippe said that while he has young apple, pear and plum trees for sale, people might be surprised to find he sells peach trees as well. Often thought of as a southern fruit, he said that's not true.

"Peaches do very well up here. You aren't going to get very big peaches from them; they're small, but they're incredibly good to eat," he said.

And while many fruit trees need others nearby to cross-pollinate and produce their fruit, the apple and peach trees he sells are self-pollinating and do well all on their own.

The Dirty Worm Greenhouses are located at 819 Dana Hill Rd. in New Hampton, just one mile off Winona Road in Ashland, and a short four-and-a-half-mile drive from Route 104 in New Hampton. Through July they are open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. seven days a week as supplies last, then reopen from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. once again in early fall. People are invited to follow them on Facebook and Instagram, check out their Web site, thedirtywormgreenhouses.com, or contact them at 968-3636 for more information. Gift certificates for The Dirty Worm Greenhouses are also available year round.

Matin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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