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.
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.