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May 2018 Newsletter

Plant of the Month
Artemesia stelleriana ‘Silver Bullet’
A Proven Winners Selection

silver-bullet

Fancy yet unfussy describes this variety of Wormwood. They are deer resistant, heat tolerant and drought tolerant. Its habit is mounding from 6-10 inches tall and 10-14 inches wide. These grow in full sun and the beautiful silver foliage is a perfect offset and highlight among other foliage and flowers. It looks good mixed with burgundies, pinks, purples, and blues especially. Perfect for the moon garden. Although Artemesia stelleriana is very cold hardy they are rating this variety as perennial to 25 degrees and Zones 7-9, which we are. Make sure it has good drainage. Plant high if your drainage is poor or add as an accent plant to your containers.

May Specials

(while supplies last…)

  • 4-inch pots of Silver Bullet Artemesia-$1.00 off
  • 4-inch pots of assorted Lantana-$1.00 off
  • Cranberry Bush, Viburnum trilobum, $5.00 off
    (use the berries in preserves and jellies)
  • Green-All 2 cf Organic Potting Soil- Buy 3, 4th Free
    (last month of this special)

Newsletter May 2018

veggie-starts

I am declaring spring officially here. The night temperatures at the nursery are staying above 40 and the daytime temps are warm enough for warm season annuals. We have vegetable starts and most of the summer annuals sans portulaca and vinca. Those are just a tad later. So now is the month to get your tomatoes, peppers and eggplant starts if you have not already, and it is probably safe to plant basil, cukes, and melons. Don’t forget that squash, pumpkins, beans, and corn are easily started from seed or buy starts. We have a lot of organically grown starts as well as the more conventionally grown. What I mean by conventional is the growers use fertigation. Fertigation is where the water used to irrigate the plants is infused with a water-soluble fertilizer and the ones they use are not organic. The good news is that once here with frequent watering it can be flushed out of the soil. The other good news is we have talked to our suppliers and they have assured us they use no GMO seeds, just like all of the seeds we have here.

On to the annuals. Seed out cosmos, marigolds, zinnias, sunflowers and morning glories now. We also have starts of some of these but not all. For a shadier plot use impatiens, begonias and coleus. We will be getting in 6 packs of these next week if we have not already done so. There are also good perennials for the shade garden. Look for them in the shade section which is located in the shadiest part of the nursery.

flowers

As the weather dries out the irrigation must come on. Time to get to those timers, change batteries and run through the irrigation to make sure everything is working properly and that no valves and fittings need replacing. Better to do it before things start drying up and you don’t have time to make the repairs the day you need to turn it on.

We have lots of roses for Mothers Day and beyond, including a selection of David Austin that we buy in. We are monitoring for aphids but be warned we only hose them off here and release ladybugs. Keeps them from getting out of hand but not completely aphid free. The deciduous Viburnums, like Cranberry Bush and Snowball, are starting their show. These are easy to grow handsome shrubs that give you spring flowers and colorful fall foliage. I think they are best in morning sun here but will tolerate full sun if given regular water. They are also on the deer resistant list but protect to start with. Plenty of fruit trees left as we really stocked up. It would be a good year to buy as we are expecting shortages of fruit and shade trees for a few years since a major supplier quit the business this year.

hanging baskets

Our hanging baskets are prime right now along with the supertunias, callies, lantanas, scaevolas and a few others that we grew from plugs ourselves in our greenhouse. These beauties will give you color all summer with little maintenance required other than water and a little food every month or two. If you have not grown the scaevola yet you owe it to yourself to try these Australian natives, named after a Roman hero. We grew the white and blue ones but they come in pink also. If your micro-climate is warmer than the nursery you might get them to come back next year. These work great in containers and baskets but could be used as an annual ground cover as they are low growing, very heat and sun tolerant and spreading. Of course, we have favorites like butterfly bushes, black-eyed Susans, coneflowers, and salvias for color from the beginning of bloom through summer. There is a nice selection of 4-inch lavender right now.

IMG_1952

Speaking of lavender, there is a lot of what I would call mislabeling going on. A lot of the hybrid English style lavenders are being given the common name French Lavender. These include favorites like Provence and Grosso. Just because it has a French name does not mean it is a French lavender. And just because it is called Spanish or English lavender does not mean it is native to that country either. French lavender is Lavandula dentata, so named for the toothed, serrated leaves it has. These are not as cold hardy as the English and Spanish varieties but we do sell the straight French along with one of the french crosses called Goodwin Creek. The plus side to these is that they are very long blooming. These are not the lavenders used for fragrance. Those are the cold hardy English ones, Lavandula vera or angustifolia, along with hybrids with English characteristics, like Grosso, Phenomenal, and Provence. Then we have the Spanish lavender, Lavandula stoechys, also cold hardy, with the purple pineapple shaped flowers in spring. We usually have the Quasti and Anouk varieties of these.

So disappointing that our fairy garden order has not arrived yet. First shipping was delayed as we had asked for a February ship date. It finally shipped and according to tracking has now been sitting in Hayward for almost two weeks and was due to get here today. But alas it did not. GRRR. Deb has made numerous calls to the company and we are not happy campers about this whole delay. (Deb was ready to cancel the order.)
Hopefully, by the time you get this newsletter, we will have it!