Newsletter for May 2020

May is exploding in the colors of spring! There are myriad choices to make amongst annual and perennial flowers. Starting with perennials, Salvia is a great one for our area – choose Salvia greggii (many colors), Salvia ‘Black and Bloom’, Salvia ‘Amistad’, and more. Yarrows? There’s ‘Moonshine’, ‘Paprika’, the natives millefolium and Island pink. We have to include the three hardy Lantanas – ‘Miss Huff’, ‘Chapel Hill’ and ‘Mary Ann’. These durable perennials take a while to return from winter dormancy but will then bloom summer into fall. Soon to be available in 4″ containers.

The lowly Euphorbia has lately gained in stature Once considered a pesky weed, it has lots of use in the modern landscape. Euphorbias are not known for their showy flowers, although in early spring they make quite a statement. Rather it’s their foliage that makes them so useful. Shades of green to nearly black with others sporting various forms of variegation. Add to this deer resistance plus it is one of the few plants gophers tend to avoid.

And then there’s the lowly petunia – soaring to great heights with numerous and incredible varieties! Six packs of petunias are still to be found, but if you want the newest and latest, go for the 4″ containers. Favorites include ‘Night Sky’, ‘Black Mambo’ and ‘Cinnamon.’ Calibrachoas were developed from the petunias – they are much smaller and are great for hanging baskets. Colors abound, including star shapes and double varieties.

Here’s an example of fruit thinning – leaving the fruit approximately a handful apart. It takes time but the result is well worth it! No more scrawny little peaches or apples. Grit your teeth and prepare for a mountain of tiny fruits under foot.

Vegetable growers are showing up in unprecedented numbers! This is the last really good month to get the crops in. The supply is still good. Everyone plants ‘Early Girl’ and ‘Sungold’ tomato, but be a little courageous and try something unusual like the ‘Pineapple’ tomato or ‘Brad’s Atomic Grape’. Popular again are the small “Lunch box” peppers: the small ‘Shishito’ peppers are also in demand. The ‘Ghost’ pepper has a limited fan base. Lemon cucumbers continue to trend as they seem to avoid bitterness in the warm summer months. We have been able to secure plants of the highly touted Italian squash ‘Rampicante’. Be sure to keep up with your fertilization – recommendations vary from every week to every month.

The desire for herbs persists! Mint may not be on the top of your list. A Mint Julep or Mint Mojito of course but why not try some mint pesto? How about snap peas with Meyer lemon and mint? Strawberry mint ice cream anyone? Basil IS definitely on the top of everyone’s list. ‘Mrs. Burns Lemon Basil’ has a wonderful aroma – should be lots of uses for it!

The ubiquitous rock rose, Cistus. This is its time to shine and it can be a great addition to the landscape. Toughness and durability alongside its many forms make it an essential North County shrub. Plant ‘Blanche’ – this tallest of rock roses will grow over 5 feet and produce large white flowers in spring. The variegated form, ‘+Mickie’ adds a nice dimension to to the garden even when its out of bloom.

Mother’s Day is May 8th!

Newsletter for April 2022

It sure is spring! Our vegetable gardeners are out en masse. And we have lots of plants to fill the containers and beds. You can purchase tomatoes in 6 packs, 4″ pots and even 1 gallons. Everyone has their favorite – Ace, Celebrity, Early Girl, Juliet and of course, Sun Gold. Heirloom varieties are here as well – Kellogg’s Breakfast, Costoluto Genovese, and Black Krim to name just a few. Many of you choose to plant tomatoes in containers. Be sure your container is large enough – fill it with some really good soil – and fertilize throughout the season.

Right now we have a good supply of lemon cucumbers, popular because they seem to produce even in hot conditions. Pickling cucumbers also have a following. English and Japanese have similar qualities – both are long and narrow with thin skins and tiny seeds. They are considered to be the sweetest. We have hot and sweet peppers – sweet peppers in colors of green, red, yellow and orange plus the “Lunch box” varieties. Plenty of heat in Ghost and Habanero and Jalapeno. We recommend that you pinch back your peppers for more branching and a bigger crop.

Easing into summer with some bright annuals – marigolds, petunias, lobelia. Here are a few annuals for the cut flower enthusiast – Queen Anne’s Lace, annual statice and Bells of Ireland. A substantial addition to your arrangement might include a bouquet of roses. We just received a new shipment of roses which add to the varieties we potted up from the bareroot season. Shasta daisies and dianthus varieties are also prospects for your bouquet. Clip some greenery of Laurus nobilis, leather fern or Myrtis communis.

Perennials are arriving weekly. Don’t be dismayed if your perennials don’t look like the ones arriving here – we tend to be a bit behind many of the growers. Our popular Salvias are just beginning to take off. Lantana ‘Chapel Hill’ appears to be quite dormant at this point – don’t give up on it!! We recently obtained Verbascum ‘Southern Charm’. According to “Annie’s Annuals”, regular dead heading will keep the plant in bloom for a very long time – it’s worth a try! Also considered deer resistant. A new Greggii Salvia, ‘Pink Bi-color’ looks very attractive.

The native Salvia apiana is in stock. It’s one of the most drought tolerant of the native Salvias. In time it will grow to about 3 feet – the flower wands much taller. The pungent leaves are its most attractive feature. It’s a nice accent in a natural garden and also deer proof! Also in the native department, some great 15 gallon ‘Dr.Hurd’ manzanitas. This is one of the tallest of the genus with dark, mahogany bark.

Just arrived lots of iron planters, benches, trellises and more. And, finally, bird baths, stepping stones and other concrete items.

Some very tall house plants for some very tall ceilings.

This year we have a record number of Peonies. These herbaceous perennials have truly spectacular blooms! They require a rich soil and prefer afternoon shade in our area. We are fortunate to have enough winter chill for their survival. Fertilize after bloom and again in the fall.

We really try to keep lavender plants in stock – but they keep disappearing in large numbers! Next week we expect 4″ plants of Grosso, Hidcote and Provence. We do have the Spanish type in stock; the blooms are stockier and they bloom earlier in the season. The English type lavenders bloom later in the summer with longer, fragrant blossoms.

Newsletter for March 2022

You can grow your own delicious, juicy, sweet strawberries. These plants are just starting to arrive in the nursery. At present, we have Sequoia – large, spring bearing berries and Seascape, a large everbearing variety. Other varieties will soon be arriving. Additionally, we have the small Alpine variety, Regina. This is a red alpine type advertised to be the sweetest of its type.

Onion sets are gone – 6 packs are here. We have packages of two varieties of shallots plus California and elephant garlic. The more exotic garlic, Spanish roja is available in 4″ pots. Arriving later this month – seed potatoes. We sold out earlier types but expect more including German Butterball.

It won’t be long before those small fruits will shrug off their blossoms and become edible fruits. But these fruits can use a little help. Peaches and nectarines in particular are subjected to the tarnished plant bug (Lygus lineolaris). The effect is called cat facing, the skin having an unhealthy, scratched look. It’s important to treat this insect very early, when the blossoms have just dropped. Captain Jack and Take Down insecticides are both effective. The only caveat is the possibility in harming the bee population. Please read the instructions; it will advise spraying when there are no bees in the vicinity. Insecticidal soap and horticultural oil are also recommended. And don’t forget to thin the fruit to get a full size crop.

An early arrival is the very popular Salvia ‘Hot Lips’. It’s available in three sizes – 4″ pots, 1 gallon and 5 gallon. Many other varieties are due in the coming days. The popularity of this genus lies with its ability to stand up to hot weather, produce a long bloom period, and avoid the jaws of the deer.

Another very popular plant last year was the fuzzy, white ‘Angel Wings’. This member of the genus Senecio is also available now. The plant seemed to endure our cold temperatures this winter.

It’s about time to begin fertilizing your plants. Choices abound. There are organic and organic based formulas for specific types of plants including fruit trees, vegetables, flowers, etc. You can also choose an all purpose type. Other available soil nutrients include iron, kelp meal, sulfur, fish emulsion and lots more.

Osteospermum is the name of several flowers considered to be African daisies. New varieties are added each season with single and double flowers, in shades of white, pink, orange and blue. ‘Voltage Yellow’ is one of the oldest but perhaps one of the most durable. Keep dead heading and it will bloom and bloom.

A great selection of pottery has arrived.

A charming flowering house plant – Kalanchoe blossfeldiana with double flowers. These plants will bloom for a long time indoors. When the weather warms up, place outdoors in a semi-shady spot. Cut back all the older flowers, apply a mild fertilizer and wait for another bloom.

And so we bid farewell to another bare root season. There’s a smattering of fruit and shade trees for sale, the roses are safely housed in containers – mostly in bio-degradable pots so as not to disturb the roots when planting. We have a select group of blueberries and blackberries. Available are artichokes and lots of cool weather vegetables and herbs.

Newsletter for February 2022

Asparagus lovers wait no longer! We have very large bareroot plants to satisfy your passion. And we have lots of other vegetables to plant in the winter garden. Check out Sugar Snap and Chinese peas, many types of lettuce, Swiss chard, Kale, Broccoli and a most unusual red turnip. Bronze fennel is ornamental as well as edible. Do not forget the herbs for your gourmet cooking! Parsley, Chives, Thyme, and Oregano among others.

It’s time to bid farewell to the bareroot roses. This is the week they are transplanted to bio-degradable containers. But if you hurry, you might be able to save a few from the hands of the transplantors! Many lovely varieties remain.

In spite of the very cold morning temperatures, we’re trying to restock the shelves. The perennial, Silene, seems to perform admirably under these conditions. We’ve previously brought in Silene, ‘Druett’s Yarigated’, and now we are adding Silene ‘Clifford Moor’. Both of these varieties are great small ground covers, performing well in the front of a perennial border as well. ‘Druett’s’ has unusual small white puff ball flowers and white variegation. ‘Clifford Moor’ exhibits pink flowers and the variegation is yellow on green.

How about a bit of color for your indoor living? These two examples do not rival the flashy Reiger Begonia, but they endure! The Anthurium has very attractive leaves and if you are somewhat conscientious in applying a high bloom fertilizer, you should be able to encourage more blooms in the future.

The Croton, however, depends solely on the color of its leaves. Place it in a light location, water when dry and fertilize a couple times a year.

Bulbs for summer bloom will arrive early this month. Lots of choices – dahlias, gladiolas, lilies and more. In addition to these lovelies, we’ll have potato starts as well as garlic. We also have actual garlic plants of more unusual types – Spanish Roja and Early Italian Purple.

Winter persists but we need some cheer in the garden. What better than these cold hardy annuals? ‘Touch of Red’ Calendula adds a strong spot of color. The more diminutive violas have old fashioned charm. The varieties ‘Coppertone’, ‘Tiger Eyes’ and ‘Honeybee’ and the Jump-up series are prime examples.

A favorite from last season returns – Senecio ‘Angel Wings’. It’s a very eye-catching plant in the garden and seems to handle the cold well. The genus Senecio is quite diverse – it includes many succulents and also indoor plants including ‘String of Pearls’ as well as Dusty Miller and Cinerarea.

A couple of plants that enjoy this winter weather are the large family of Hellebores (shown here) and the Grevilleas. We’re just beginning to stock these durable plants. Helleborus has colors of white, pink and dark rose – single and double petals. This handsome perennial prefers afternoon shade in our area. Grevilleas (sturdy shrubs from Australia) can take heat and a fair amount of drought. Varieties include low growing ground covers and shrubs growing to 8 to 10 feet.

Newsletter for January 2022

Start off the new year with a fruit tree planting at our bare root website ! Begin small with just one tree or plant an entire home orchard. We have a lot of choices. Some of the tried and true standards include the all time favorite apple, Fuji. Another popular variety is Pink Lady. Elberta peaches are always delicious. Santa Rosa and Burgundy plums are notable for their flavor as well as their pollinating capabilities. You can also visit us at at the nursery to check on what’s currently available. As was true of last year, we have sold out of many varieties but many desirable selections remain.

Time to prune! Winter is the prime season for this important task. We have an inexpensive book here at the nursery to guide you through the pruning of fruit trees and roses. Reasons to undertake this annual task include stimulating new fruiting wood, removing broken and diseased wood, allowing for good air circulation and sunlight to penetrate the canopy.

One more chore to ensure the health of your peach and nectarine trees. Avoid or mitigate the fungal disease ‘Peach Leaf Curl’. We recommend spraying the product ‘Liqui-Cop’. Do this 2 or 3 times during the dormant season. The most important application is right before the buds open. Some customers recommend adding neem oil to the spray.

Last chance for spring blooming bulbs – they are now on sale 40% off. We still have a good supply of Tete-a-tete daffodils, charming dwarf plants. They are particularly suited to container planting. We still have some tulips, hyacinth and ranunculus bulbs, among others. Don’t wait until you see them blooming in your neighbors yard! Gophers do not care for daffodils.

A whimsical windswept sun for your wall!

This is one of the latest varieties in the Philodendron family – named Neon for the bright, chartreuse leaves. Philodendrons have been some of the most popular house plants over the years. Most require minimum care – moderate water and light. The genus is quite diverse including many cascading types and other upright varieties with extremely large leaves, such as the Monstera delisiosa.

The African violet shown here is probably one of the most unusual – note the ruffled petals. These small, flowering house plants usually thrive in good light, an eastern window preferred.

Here’s an unusual bench for the weary gardener to rest upon. It is surrounded by all sorts of evergreen shapes and sizes – conifers, boxwoods and cedars. We have the very best selection of these varieties at this time of the year. You can still find many trees, shrubs and native plants to add to the garden right now.

Newsletter for December 2021

Greenery! And what diversity you will find. We have handsome Nordmann firs and Colorado spruce for living Christmas trees and more. For the formal garden you will find rounded and sculpted evergreens.

Inside our main building the holiday offerings include several varieties of colorful Poinsettias plus 4″ and 6″ Christmas cactus. We have a rather decent assortment of house plants including the variegated form of ‘String of Hearts’ (Ceropegia woodii), a rather rare house plant. Additionally, red Amaryllis bulbs are still available plus several Amaryllis bulbs in containers.

A few of the many products you might choose as gifts, not to mention gloves, pruners and gift certificates.

Let’s call it “The pre-bareroot season without the bareroot”. We have rows and rows of berries, figs, grapes and pomegranates in quart containers ready for planting. Be sure to check the availability by coming to the nursery or going to our online order website We will have many of these varieties available in bareroot in January. The advantage of planting from these containers is a larger, more developed root system. Don’t forget the organic amendment and gopher protection to give your plants a proper start.

The star of the winter blooming shrubs – the camellia ‘Yuletide’. The Sasanqua camellias are always the first to bloom. This is just one among many gorgeous varieties. Included in our collection: ‘Pink-a-Boo’, a charming pink bloomer, ‘Setsugekka’, a single Sasanqua with bi-colored flowers, ‘Tom Knudsen’ a Japonica variety with large, bright red flowers. Camellias are quite adaptable but adequate drainage is preferred. We recommend acidic soil, but it is not crucial. Camellias need regular water but not they are not considered “thirsty plants”.

Chondropetalum belongs to a genus of plants named Restio. These originated in Australia and South Africa. The two varieties of Chondropetalums, tectorum and elephantinum, both do very well here. They are great for the landscape and do equally well as container plants. They are evergreen. We also have an assortment of evergreen grasses – Seslaria, Muhlenbergia, Juncus and blue fescue. A reminder to cut back your deciduous grasses at this time. Don’t wait too long or you will see new growth with squared off tips.

Two very different winter flowering shrubs – but both prefer part shade. The Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ has bold, dark green, sharp edged leaves. It is a striking specimen growing 10 to 15 feet tall. The bright yellow flowers in winter transform into black berries in spring.

The Correa reflexa ‘Kangaroo Island’ (origin obvious) is a much more delicate plant. Small, colorful flowers adorn this Correa which attains a height of about 4 feet and 4 feet wide. Another attribute they both have in common is their low water requirement.

It’s great weather for planting. Our shelves are filled with all sorts of temptations. We still have many vegetables including onion sets. The flowering annual selections include Iceland poppies, Calendulas, pansies, violas, English primroses and Cyclamen. The bright orange Diascia will continue on in the winter. No shortage of California natives. The early flowering manzanitas are a favorite of hummingbirds.

Newsletter for November 2021

The colors of fall are on display! Trees we normally associate with fall color include Liquidamber, Raywood Ash, Chinese Pistache, all manner of Maples. To be included – Crape myrtle, Cotinus (Smoke Bush) Oak leaf Hydrangea, Nandina and yellow-leaved Pomegranates. Don’t delay ordering your bareroot fruit trees – we’re running out of plants quite early this year. To check on current availability go to

The demand for vegetables and herbs is ongoing. Presently in stock many types of lettuce, sugar snap peas, red bok choy and Swiss chard to name a few. We expect more garlic, onion sets and shallots. The Spanish roja garlic will be available in 4″ plants. You can plant Calendulas and Violas to add a festive touch to your holiday meals.

The Salvia ‘Amistad’ has been extremely popular this year. We now have its relative ‘Amante’. This Salvia has bright dark pink flowers in contrast to the purple of ‘Amistad’. These varieties are among some of the taller Salvias and do best with some afternoon shade. A close relative of the ever-popular ‘Hot Lips” is ‘Amethyst Lips’.

A couple of reminders: it’s that time of year to plan the protection of your tender plants from the cold. We have row cover 10′ x 12′ which can be cut down to size. We also have a large roll if you need something really sizable. The deer are really hungry! We suggest spraying new plants with Liquid Fence even though they may be advertised as deer resistant. It’s good insurance.

The tables are filled with lots of color for the fall and winter season. We currently have 3 varieties of sweet peas in 6 packs – ‘Bijou Dwarf’, ‘Mammoth’ and ‘Incense’. In full bloom right now are 6 packs of Linaria. The multi-colored flowers resemble tiny snapdragons. Ornamental cabbages and kale can be found in various sizes.

The Senior Nutrition program (“Meals on wheels”) is a service providing meals to the senior and infirm in our community. At this time there is a serious shortage of drivers to provide this service. You can volunteer for as little as one day a month – the route usually take no longer than two hours. If you’re able to help out with this important community service, please call Liz at 805-466-2317.

Who is Wilma Goldcrest? And why should we care? I fail to find such a person, but this very attractive cypress has such a name. This dwarf variety of the lemon cypress is perfect for containers and small gardens. In five years it will only grow 8 to 10 feet tall. The chartreuse color makes a lovely accent among darker green plants.

Succulent planters make great gifts. But if you’re a creative sort you’ll find a very good selection of succulents and containers so you can design your own. Arriving this week is a new variety “Chocolate Ball”. I have not seen the plant yet – the pictures vary quite drastically so we’ll just wait and see! The flowers are yellow.

We had a rather serious shortage of ground covers earlier this year, but Armstrong Growers has stepped up to the plate and provided a much needed supply. We hope to fulfill your requests. Gaillardias have been around for a long time – but the red variety has just recently entered the scene. The plant is extremely vigorous – it thrives in heat and survives in frost. Arriving soon – large containers of Salvia ‘Mystic Spires’ and Dianthus ‘Rockin’ Red’, also some 8″ foxglove and snapdragons and in 4″ pots – Digiplexis – a rather splendid hybrid with a foxglove parentage.

Newsletter for October 2021

You can now hold an actual 2022 Bareroot Catalog in your hands and peruse it at your leisure! There are just a few items that are unavailable – either because of pre-ordering or shortages from the grower. As always, we have a great selection, in part due to our mail order business. Feel free to order at any time. The tree roses are not included in the catalog since we do not ship them, but you can find the list here at the nursery.

Prime time for planting California natives is now! Choices include the Matilija Poppy (Romneya coulteri) – a very popular and stunning native perennial. Check out the manzanitas – the 15 gallon Dr. Hurd and Mt. St. Helena are expensive but impressive. We almost always have Howard McMinn on hand; the leaves are a bright shade of green and it’s considered one of the most garden tolerant varieties. Howard will grow about 4 or 5 feet tall.

Let’s hear a warm welcome for the annuals of fall and winter. The cast includes pansies, violas, Calendulas, snapdragons, stock, as well as our own native California poppies. The poppies are available in both 4″ and jumbo packs. The 4″ poppies are Copper Pot, exhibiting a darker shade of orange. You can wait till the prospects of rain are imminent and throw out lots of seeds as well. We’ll have a greater selection of fall seeds later in the season.

Check out the tables with 4 ” perennials. Some of the great bargains include the native Salvia, Salvia apiana (White sage) and a charming small Silene, Druett’s uniflora variegata. This plant has unusual white flowers in spring that appear to be encased in little balloons. The Silene grows about 2 to 4″ tall and 8 to 12″ wide. If you see any green shoots appear, be sure to remove them. As with many variegated plants the green can overtake the variegation.

Guaranteed – these deer will NOT eat your plants!

And not a strict guarantee, but it seems most plants in the sage family are also left alone. We just received this beauty – ‘Pink pong’. the plant will grow 2 – 3 ft. tall and wide. Bright pink flowers adorn this vigorous and free flowering Salvia. Other Salvia are available including the all time favorite, ‘Hot Lips’.

We just received some exquisite vases made in Nicaragua. They vary in size and design – would make great gifts – if you can bear to part with them!

Most all of the fall bulbs have arrived. New this year is the “Spider Lily”, Lycoris radiata. They are native to China and Japan. 1 1/2 foot tall stalks bear flowers in late summer or early fall. Plant in an area that will stay dry during the summer months or plant in containers and with-hold water in summer. Another new bulb is the daffodil ‘White Petticoat’ with an unusual open form in pure white.

Two varieties of strawberries are available in jumbo packs – Eversweet and Quinalt. In the vegetable department the hybrid Brokali returns. Asparagus plants are here in 4″ and 1 gallon pots. You can still plant lots of herbs including French tarragon.

Newsletter for September 2021

Fall is on the radar and Bay Laurel Garden Center is preparing for its entrance. Petunias are rather passe at this point with a few exceptions. ‘Indian Summer’, aptly named, is a trailing variety with changing hues of yellow to orange to coral. The perennial fall standby, Chrysanthemum, is available in 4″ and gallon containers. We’ll have some 6 packs of Calendulas plus Primula for the shade to get your fall/winter garden started.

Grasses that embellish the season include: Pennisetum rubrum – “Purple Fountain Grass”. Although it may not survive the winters in the North County it’s showy enough to shine as an annual. Pennisetum ‘First Knight’ is a cold hardy, deciduous grass with blades reaching 4 to 5 feet in dark, almost black shades. And last, Anemanthele lessoniana , “Pheasant Grass”. The evergreen blades grow to about 3 feet and are green in summer changing to coppery tones in fall and winter.

Nepeta is a very popular genus here at Bay Laurel Garden Center. Nepeta cataria is the variety greatly enjoyed by our feline friends (cat mint). Ornamental varieties including ‘Six Hills Giant’ and ‘Walker’s Low’ are great garden plants – long bloom and low water needs. And now – Nepeta ‘Neptune’. This deciduous plant is more upright with darker flowers growing 12″ x 12″. Originally discovered in the Caucasus mountains of Russia as Nepeta kubanica, it underwent many years of selection to be come this garden worthy variety.

What could be more appropriate than a new Manzanita in these times? This one appears to be quite exceptional. It has the largest leaves of any low growing Manzanita. The rather long name is Arctostaphylos x media ‘Peter Ehrlich’. The growth habit is 2 to 3 feet tall and at lest 6 feet wide. Our selection of California natives at Bay Laurel Garden Center is always changing. Fall is a great time to plant them.

Fall bulbs are arriving slowly at Bay Laurel Garden Center: some Iris, Tulips and Daffodils. More should arrive soon. If you have Iris that are 3 or 4 years old, this is the time to separate them. Dig and divide the clumps by either pulling apart or cutting. Save the largest rhizome with healthy leaves. Trim the roots and leaves to about 6″. Allow the cuts to heal for a day or so. If replanting in the same area, be sure to replenish the soil with a good amendment.

Our bareroot website Fruit Trees Online is now open for orders that will ship in January, February & March next year. See what new this year at

Tomato plants starting to look a bit bedraggled? Get ready for the fall vegetable planting. Beef up your soil with the great organic amendments we offer at Bay Laurel Garden Center. Arriving this week: broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, lettuce, kale and more. We offer a new pea called “Snak Hero”. The slender 4″ long pods look like an ordinary green bean, but the taste and texture resemble a sugar snap pea. We’d love to hear how your summer vegetable garden performed – any great performers or any disappointments.

Two more additions to your fall garden. Rudbeckias are always popular, especially ‘Indian Summer’. The autumn shades are also extremely showy and great for the fall garden. A perennial we haven’t seen for many years is Aster ericoides ‘Monte Cassino’. This is a great filler for flower arranging – the tiny daisy flowers last a very long time. It’s also quite charming in the fall perennial garden.

Newsletter for August 2021

Add this stunning perennial shrub to your collection for mid-summer to late fall bloom. This variety of hardy Hibiscus moscheutos is ‘Blackberry Merlot’. The dark red flowers can be as large as 8″ wide. The plant will die down completely in the winter but makes a quick recovery in late spring. For the largest flowers, it is recommended feeding the plants every 6 to 8 weeks during the growing season. Other varieties of hardy Hibiscus are called “Rose of Sharon”. These plants are deciduous but maintain their structure. The flowers are not as large and many can grow to 6 or 8 feet.

A rather exotic perennial is this ‘Angel Wings’ Senecio. Use it as an accent in a container or find a place for it in the garden. There’s no shortage of blooming plants at Bay Laurel! he Buddlejas (Butterfly Bush) have amazingly vivid colors. Check out the many types of Salvia. ‘Chapel Hill’ Lantana with its soft yellow flowers will bloom for many months. Lavenders, Yarrows, Gazanias etc. etc. etc.

Some of our most popular ground covers will be arriving soon. We expect Elfin, Woolly and Red Thyme. These are excellent choices for relatively small areas, including between stepping stones. Herniaria repens is also a great low growing plant that can take some abuse. For shady spots we have Vinca major and Vinca minor in both green and variegated forms. Erigeron (Santa Barbara daisy) was not available in full flats but it’s arriving in 6 packs.

Angelonia is one of the showiest annuals – sure to brighten up some spots downed by intense heat. They are available in dark purple, lavender and raspberry, also white and pink which are out of stock right now. Plants are in 4″ pots and 1 gallon sizes. They’re effective in containers as well as in garden beds. They’re often referred to as “summer snapdragons”. Height is about 18″. Deadhead to keep the blooms coming.

The shade house has some pretty cool offerings as well. A fancy Geranium, ‘Mrs. Pollock’, has interesting leaf markings and bright orange flowers. A spectacular annual is Strobilanthes (“Persian Shield”). Scented Geraniums have a following – the current variety here is Citriodorum.

A few tips to help reduce your water usage. Mulch! You can put down at least 4″ of mulch to help maintain soil moisture. We have 3 choices here – medium and micro bark and shredded cedar. If you have a lot of ground to cover you can order truck loads from a local seller or tree trimmer. The product “Soil Moist” is great for containers. We have a new product, EZ Wet. When the ground is extremely dry it can resist water. This product will enhance soil penetration.

An example of the colorful containers we recently received from Spain and Mexico. New tiles are in stock as well.

The latest in soil improvement, Jeff has begun producing “Black Diamond Veri-Compost Tea” with a state of the art machine. The tea works to add beneficial microbes and fungal matter to the soil very quickly. The product will be available this month the week of August 6th and August 20th. The tea must be ordered and paid for in advance. Cost is $10 per gallon. It is necessary to apply the tea within just a few days of purchase.

Conifer lovers take note – Oriental spruce for sale! These evergreen trees make excellent specimen trees. The needles are a rich, dark green. The tree produces purplish cones which appear as berries. Plant growth is moderate and form is pyramidal. The plants are very cold hardy and take a minimum amount of care.