Newsletter for July 2019

We’ve managed to keep the heat down so far – isn’t it perfect for gardening! We still have lots of great plants for your summer planting. A perennial favorite is the “Cone flower” – Echinacea. We have gallons of yellow, gold and red and in 4″ plants, the original rose plus white and “Cheyenne Spirit” (a mixture of colors) and also some six packs. You can see a lovely display of this perennial in the raised bed planter at the nursery.

Native California plants are always one of our priorities. Here’s a sample of some offerings: The tree-like manzanita Dr. Hurd is very popular and we have some handsome 7 gallon specimens. We have other varieties as well. An under-appreciated plant – Rhus ovata (“Sugar Bush”) is also in stock with some of the nicest 5 gallon plants we have had. Native Indians found several uses for the small fruits of these shrubs. This is a very durable shrub and extremely drought tolerant. It can grow 15 to 20 feet and has attractive flower buds in winter.

That knock-out Matilija poppy (Romneya coulteri) is blooming now and we have them on hand. It is known to be a difficult plant to establish but once situated it can travel vast distances!

In the Ceanothus department we have some large 5 gallon Yankee Point plants. This variety has bright blue flowers and makes a handsome ground cover, growing to about 2 or 3 feet.

Customers are looking for ways to discourage mosquitoes during the warm summer months. These suggestions were found on another website and might help alleviate their presence. Mosquitoes tend to avoid basil; plant some near a water feature to deter them from laying eggs there. A combination of crushed basil and lemon balm leaves might help. Mosquitoes would rather avoid rosemary; you can toss it in a campfire for an aromatic insect repellent or apply its oils to the skin. Peppermint oil is effective as a repellent when rubbed on the skin. A leaf rubbed on a mosquito bite can give some relief as well. We also carry “Mosquito Dunks” at the nursery which can be placed in standing water.

Here’s a refreshing addition to the perennial garden – Kniphofia “Mango Popsicle”. A most fitting description! Kniphofias have long been planted in California gardens. They are commonly called Red Hot Pokers, but as you see, the new varieties do not fit that title any longer. There are shorted and taller types in shades of yellow, orange and red. All stand up to the heat and cold of our climate and survive for many years. Since the plants are in the Lily family,we recommend you plant them in gopher baskets.

We have a great selection of Japanese maples at this time, especially the red-leaved varieties. Japanese gardens are usually extremely restful so it’s no wonder there’s a strong appeal to design one of your own. Other plants that are compatible with this theme include Nandinas, Azaleas, Bamboo and Japanese Black Pines. A water feature is a pleasant and appropriate addition as well.

A whimsical addition to the Bay Laurel menagerie.

A trio of Euphorbias – popular and durable plants for the perennial garden. The first is “Ascot Rainbow”, perhaps the most colorful. Most of the Euphorbias have greenish flowers. After blooming, the stems are removed and new growth resumes. Euphorbia myrsinites is a very useful ground cover; it blooms very early before most plants have recovered from the frost. Lastly, “Tasmanian Tiger” adds brightness to the landscape with its white variegation. Deer and gophers tend to avoid these plants. Be careful not get the milky sap near your eyes.

Here’s a two for one – African Blue Basil. A very colorful annual that attracts lots of bees. And you can make some tasty pesto as well! The flowers should keep coming until frost as the plant does not set seeds. If you wish to propagate it, you must do so with cuttings. Available now in 4″ containers. We stock many other varieties of basil including Thai and Spicy Globe.