Newsletter for March 2020

The great transition has begun – the roses are happily situated in their pots. The available ones for planting now are in bio-degradable containers so as not to disturb the roots. We have rose trees, hybrid teas, floribundas and climbers. Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are for sale in the black quart pots. We still have lots of asparagus roots for the edible garden. Bareroot trees remain – but not for long, so if you’re interested, hurry over!

You can still plant some cool weather vegetables. We have a very good supply of varieties of kale, Swiss chard, spinach, lettuce, cauliflower and more. New item from Armstrong Growers – edible flowers. You will find calendulas and violas, along with the herbs. Expect to see cilantro, parsley, thyme, sage and other herbs to jazz up your cooking. Although we did not have bareroot artichokes, you can find them in 4″ pots and in 1 and 5 gallon containers – they can be quite ornamental. Another perennial vegetable is rhubarb in 4″ pots.

More dahlia tubers are on the way – they have been popular this year. And no wonder – they are flashy, colorful flowers for the garden and bouquets. Make sure you have some very good soil for them – large pots can be used. Once they begin to leaf out, be sure to pinch them back, at least once, if not more, to obtain a myriad of strong stems.

The first signs of spring – daffodils and following close behind, early blooming shrubs. They include white and peach flowering quince, Coleonema (Breath of Heaven), Sweet Broom and Spanish lavender. It seems the growers are always able to come up with new and different forms of lavender. Euphorbias are also displaying their chartreuse flowers at this time: deer resistant and drought tolerant plants are always useful in the North County!

We always aim to have a good supply of Native California plants. Right now we have some spectacular Salvia apiana in 5 gallon containers. This Salvia is very drought tolerant – the tall white flowers are second to the fragrant, silvery leaves. A few other natives currently in the nursery include Penstemon Margarita bop, Salvia Celestial Blue, many manzanitas, and Rhus ovata – a terrific evergreen shrub that is very drought tolerant.

Seems like everyone has spring fever and wants to brighten up their yard – we’re here to help! In the nursery: pansies, violas, calendulas, English daisies, two types of primroses and cyclamen for the shade. The Illumination variety of vinca is a nice small type of vinca ground cover. Remember to add some organic soil amendment to your plantings and mulch around the base to conserve moisture.

Studios on the Park in Paso Robles is presenting an exciting exhibition featuring orchids beginning on March 5th. There will also be special programs associated with the exhibit. For more details, go to their website, Studios on the Park. Should be a treat for any plant lover.

Salvia “Hot Lips” is probably our most popular Salvia. Get ready for Salvia “Amythest Lips”. It looks like a great contender, especially if you don’t have a place for red in your plan. Also coming this week, Salvia “Mystic Spires”, another very popular perennial with intense blue flowers. And be sure to plant some Garvinias. These are the hybrid garden Gerberas – more cold and heat tolerant with a great range of colors.