Newsletter for April 2019

The many colors of spring! Here’s a new Calibrachoa (relative of the petunia). This somewhat new addition to the annual palette blooms longer and better than petunias. It is great in hanging baskets and in containers. This newest variety is named “Bumblebee Pink”. Many others include blue, yellow, red and white. They should be available all summer. We have ready-to-plant hanging baskets as well as cocoa liners.

Here’s a new and very fragrant scented geranium “Golden Lemon”. And then there’s Lemon Verbena, Lemon Thyme, Lemon Grass and Lemon Balm! Not to mention the actual lemon – Meyer Lemon – probably the most sought after citrus tree we offer. It’s one of the more cold hardy citrus and is not commonly sold in the grocery store. We currently have a good supply.

Flowering trees are one of the joys of spring! Here’s a Chinese redbud, ‘Avalon’. The native redbuds are also in bloom now. We have some gorgeous weeping cherries with double flowers as well. Popular for our area include the ornamental plum and pear. Check them out in your drive around town.

The intense season for vegetable planting has begun! There are about two prime months for planting. A sampling of the choices include beets, chard, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, peppers, squash and tomatoes. Here’s a picture of “Black Krim”, an heirloom tomato considered by many to be the best. We’ll have lots of heirlooms as well as the standard – “Early Girl”, “Better Boy”, “Ace” and “Celebrity” to name a few.

The squash you see is “Bossa Nova”, a new variety said to produce earlier and later than the typical Zucchini. Also, flavor is sweet and mild. Jeff, who’s had great success growing container vegetables at the nursery has these suggestions: Use a premium type potting soil, add “Vermicompost” to start and fertilize with “Dr. Earth”. He uses the “Dr. Earth” more often than the directions and reduces the amount accordingly.

Here’s a lovely Heuchera (Coral Bells). There are many varieties of this genus which do a great job in the shade garden. Other species have lime green leaves, dark chocolate leaves and plain green ones. The native variety, Heuchera maxima is perhaps the toughest with ivory bells in spring. Another great addition to the shade garden is Helleborus with very large, divided leaves and nodding flowers in many hues.

Two very popular early blooming shrubs are Genista (Sweet Broom) and Coleonema (Breath of Heaven). Genista is a tough, evergreen shrub that can reach 6 or 8 feet. Be on the look out for a particular caterpillar that munches the leaves. It’s quite easy to control with a number of safe insecticides. There are three forms of Coleonema: the tallest variety, C pulchrum, the compact form C. compacta and the lowest growing one, ‘Sunset Gold’with chartreuse leaves.

Loropetalum is a rather unique shrub. This variety has dark burgundy leaves with cerise flowers. The flowers appear in spring and fall. Loropetalulm prefers afternoon shade in the North County. Featured here are a pair of patio trees. Some other patio trees we have on hand are Photinia, Feijoa (Pineapple Guava) and Callistemon (Bottlebrush). Twisted junipers are also great for container accents.

Can’t close without mentioning the native California plant inventory – It’s definitely building up. We have Toyon, many Coffee Berries, Matilija poppies, Margarita Bop penstemon and more.