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Ask The Expert - Brock Farms
Ed Brock, Jr.
35 State Route 34 N.
Colts Neck, NJ 07722
4189 Route 9 N.
Freehold, NJ 07728
Brock Farms started more than 60 years ago by Ed Brock, Sr., at the age of 8, in Colts Neck.This family business has evolved into home and garden mega stores, with more than 700 acres of growing facilities throughout the state. They offer the largest selection of trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials, plus a large array of garden supplies. Each location also has a specialty: Freehold offers a Home Décor & Gift Center, and Colts Neck is a leader for fish pond/aquatics for over 20 years.*
How much would a pond cost? What is involved in installation and getting it in working order?
The price on a pond varies depending on the size, whether or not you want a waterfall… The size of the pond also determines the size of the filter and pump, which fluctuates in price.Abasic pond using about 800 gallons of water would be roughly 7’ x 7’ at a 2’ depth. Basic equipment would include a 15’ x 15’ liner, a filter with ultraviolet light, and a 900 GPH pump (about $550). That’s what you need to get started. Anything after that is an individual decision. As far as the end result, first determine the area where you want it installed (try to put it in an area where you spend a lot of time). Pick a place close to a window if you can, so you can hear the sound of the trickling water when the windows are open. Then figure out the shape and position by drawing an outline. Find out what size liner you’ll need; it’s important to know how much water you’ll need to determine your filter and pump size, as this will ultimately dictate your cost. Once that’s done, the next part is digging. Then you lay down your liner, install your filter and pump, and build your waterfall, if that’s what you want in your design. There are several other features that are optional (e.g., skimmer, bottom drains, and if you want a fish pond, water garden, or a combination). I recommend getting as much information as you can beforehand, or checking out local seminars – there are many free seminars at local garden centers.
In today’s landscape design, color has become an important year ’round element? What are the keys to maintaining a colorful landscape for today’s home?
First, there is endless color available, whether it is in the foliage, fruit, or the flower itself. There are also perennials and annuals. Perennial means the flower/plant will come up every year; however, normally it will only bloom for a couple of weeks. Annual means it will live in the spring and summer, until the first frost; most will provide constant color during that time, but they have to be replanted every year. The best advice for keeping color all season is to frequent your local garden center and ask questions, but notice colors and purchase what you like, keeping in mind your planting preferences. There are several plants that bloom all summer long and also come up every year, such as knockout roses and endless summer hydrangea. Also keep in mind that there are countless varieties of beautiful flowering plants. Again, check out local seminars.
For someone just embarking on improving their outdoors, what key criteria should they use to select one garden center over another?
Go where you can find great service and a knowledgeable staff that is eager to help you and is interested in what you want for your yard. You also want a large selection to choose from…not just standard plants, but also unusual ones. You’ll also want to go where stock arrives daily, so your product is not only fresh, but the selection constantly changes. Plants, just like anything else, have different levels of quality. It doesn’t matter if it is an arborvitae, hibiscus, azalea, or a flat of impatiens; there are different levels of quality, so keep in mind that the best price is not always the bargain.
What emerging trends are you seeing with our “new economy“?
In this business, as in any business, there are constant changes and challenges. It is important in a community like ours that we do the best we can to help our customers get through these tough times. So far this season we have seen new trends; most obvious was the increase in the purchase of vegetable plants. I think that’s because there is a whole new organic movement, which is great. Overall, though, I think the economy has made us think more about our purchases in a more calculated way. Gardens and yards have become more of a family function; I see a lot more children with their parents, helping decide what vegetable plants they want, etc. It can be a fun and educational day for all. Remember that the family that gardens together grows together!
*Both locations have unique Halloween merchandise and events. The Freehold store is a must-see for Christmas displays. Brock Farm provides unmatched experience and service. Check out the free upcoming seminars on ponds, July 25th.
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