Although the Shasta daisy is a staple in the perennial garden ‘Betsy’ is a standout. The flowers on ‘Betsy’ are the largest by far. Flowers can reach 5 to 7″ across and the plant grows 30″ tall. In contrast, we have ‘Carpet Angel Daisy’, the first Shasta ground cover, growing 6 to 8″ tall and 20″ wide. Be sure to take advantage of the 4′ Dicliptera plants (Uruguayan Firecracker). This unusual perennial with its bright orange-red flowers blooms summer into fall.
Summer annuals bring life into the garden. Great examples include zinnias (‘State Fair’ is an all time favorite) vinca in shades of white, light pink, red and more, defying the heat very well, and of course, marigolds. Many interesting new varieties of petunias also add to the color pallet. Pentas are great in containers – they bloom all summer. Don’t forget the “summer snapdragons” – Angelonia.
Two brand new raspberries! Vintage was developed by the breeding program in Corvallis, Oregon. This high-yielding variety has extra large, conical, bright red berries. The berries contain a high sugar content making them super sweet. ‘Vintage’ has better fruit quality than some of the older varieties such as Heritage and Autumn Bliss. The other new variety is Encore. This is a vigorous, sturdy plant, growing about 5′ tall and 2′ wide. The plant is nearly spineless with high yields of large berries in late July to August. Both are available in 1 gallon containers.
Another delicious arrival – Eversweet pomegranate. These pomegranates are, as their name would suggest, much sweeter than the standard Wonderful. The bright orange-red flowers appear and are followed by pink colored fruits. The plants grow naturally as multi-stemmed shrubs but can be trained into standard trees. They are quite vigorous and need to be pruned to maintain the desired shape and size.
California native plants are always in stock. We have some nice ‘Howard McMinn’ manzanitas right now. This variety grows to about 5 feet with some of the brightest green leaves of its species. ‘Howard’ plants are also one of the most adaptable to different conditions. A great ground cover also in stock is the Salvia ‘Bee’s Bliss’. This tough sage needs only minimum water and has lavender flowers in spring. Growing only about 2 feet tall it can cover at least 4 feet of ground.
Last chance for vegetables! Ready for your garden – lemon and Persian cucumbers, Sun Gold tomatoes, peppers, winter squash and lettuce for starters. More basil is on the way as well. We should have herbs for most of the summer. French tarragon expected next week. A reminder that those hungry earwigs are on the prowl. Sluggo Plus seems to be the easiest and most effective way to eliminate the creatures.
There are 150 varieties of Miscanthus sinensis! Latest to arrive at Bay Laurel is ‘Red Cloud’. This grass is smaller than most Miscanthus, only reaching 40″. Its outstanding feature is the showy red plumes in summer. ‘Red Cloud’ is adaptable to most soils and requires moderate irrigation. This Miscanthus is deciduous and should be cut back in late autumn or early winter.