The warm days of summer are fast approaching – best to prepare! Load up on the wide selection of plants we offer to make your garden a lovely oasis. One can easily dwell on Salvias. This diverse group of plants finds a welcome spot in the North County. “Hot Lips” probably tops the popularity list; it’s hard to keep in stock. This Greggii-type has lots of cousins – shades of purple, pink, yellow and white. These showy perennials need just a bit of care to look their best. Cut them back rather severely after flowering, add some fertilizer and watch them re-bloom.
Here’s a small list of some of the many very different salvias you can plant. These particular varieties totally disappear in the winter but come back stronger every spring: Salvia darcyi, “Scarlet Spires”, “Mystic Spires”, “Amistad”, and “Black and Bloom”. The latter has black stems and vivid bright blue flowers.
We can’t forget the natives! Salvia leucophylla is extremely durable and drought tolerant and has several different species. Another type with gray leaves is “Bee’s Bliss” which makes an excellent ground cover. Salvias of the species ‘Clevelandii’ are very popular for their lavender-blue whorls; these are shrubby types and benefit from yearly pruning to prevent woody growth. Salvia apiana is very drought tolerant; it is still used by Native Americans for it’s pungent odor. This week we are expecting some plants of Salvia pachyphylla, a hard to find one that is quite lovely – does best with regular water.
It’s inevitable – the vegetable season is nearing the end! This week will still be seeing some tomato plants, lemon cucumber, Persian cucumbers, lettuce and pumpkin starts arriving. Also look for artichokes and strawberries including a white alpine variety. We will continue to stock a wide array of herbs. We’re happy to welcome back our most popular soil amendment – “Bumper Crop” It’s absence was due to a change in producers.
A couple of grasses to add to your collection. They come from very different parts of the world. The first is new this year and quite unusual. Harpochloa falx has the common name of “Caterpillar grass” and you can see the flowers that give it this name. This evergreen grass originates in South Africa. Height is 12 – 18″ and it is cold hardy in our area. We also have the Peruvian feather grass, Stipa ichu. This 2 to 3 foot grass sports fluffy, creamy flowers in summer and is also quite at home in our climate.
Flowers are wonderful, but sometimes you want a simple input of color in your landscape without having to deal with dead-heading, etc. Enter these plants with burgundy hues. They are generally deciduous but well worth it Cotinus coggygria, the Smoke Bush, has become extremely popular. It has great color and needs almost no water once established. The Berberis family is also in great demand. “Orange Rocket” is perhaps the most spectacular, growing about 4 feet with great color. But others, “Rose Glow”, and “Crimson Pygmy” also have many uses in the garden. The succulent Sedum “Touchdown Teak” can also add a burgundy accent.
We are expecting three varieties of sunflowers in 4″ containers – just in time for summer planting! Mammoth, Shock-a Lot and Sunsation Flame. Zinnias are also great summer flowers; you can choose the size and color to suit your needs. There are a whole lot of annuals and perennials to plant. And don’t forget the shade house – fuchsias, geraniums, begonias, coleus and more. We’ll hope to see you in the month of June!