Newsletter for May 2017

Newsletter-201705-01Once again, lavender tops the list for most desirable perennial of the North County! There is a contest between Spain and England – which country’s genus will win out? Shown here is Spanish lavender, ‘Silver Anouk’.

The Spanish varieties are first to bloom – silver or green foliage with various shades of lavender flowers. The English types bloom later. The many varieties include Provence, Grosso, Hidcote and Munstead. A newer variety is ‘Super Blue’, growing about 18″ tall with a longer bloom period.

One very important requirement, in addition to excellent drainage, is to prune back the flowering stems after bloom. You will have better success if you do this before fall or winter. Cut above the woody portion of the plant. With good drainage and proper pruning, your plants should thrive for many years.

Newsletter-201705-02Perennials are the most sensible plants for the garden, but sometimes we need a bit of pizazz! There are some very flashy annuals to liven things up a bit. How about some of the new petunias, ‘Starlight Blue’ and ‘Night Sky’? The Calibrachoas also have some dazzling colors. All of these annuals look great in containers. Don’t forget to add some slow-release fertilizer to keep the show going.

Newsletter-201705-03Gerberas are one of the favorite South African daisies, but they are extremely difficult to grow as garden plants. Enter the Garvinea. This hybrid Gerbera is a perfect fit for the garden. It can withstand both heat and cold, has a very long bloom period and is advertised to be deer resistant. Flower colors vary from pink to yellow, orange, purple and red. It’s also a great cutting flower.

Newsletter-201705-04These Mexican containers leave the premises quickly! They’re moderately priced and add a southwestern touch to your garden.

Mother’s Day is May 14th – and many great gifts at Bay Laurel!

Newsletter-201705-05Roses abound! We have a great selection of roses right now. Tree roses are available in varying heights and colors. We also have bush types of hybrid teas, floribundas and climbers.

Spring time seems particularly amendable to aphids! We have various solutions such as safe-to-use sprays and lady bugs! You don’t have to limit the use of ladybugs to roses – sprinkle them on your vegetables as well.

Newsletter-201705-06This charming, single flowered rose is a member of the ‘Knockout’ series. ‘Rainbow Knockout’ seems to be always in bloom and is a carefree addition to the rose garden.

Newsletter-201705-08We have a new supply of African violet pots in many colors.

Newsletter-201705-09A new item to add to aid the diligent gardener – “Raised Bed and Potting Soil” from E.B. Stone. This product can be used by itself in raised beds or containers. Next to it is the new five pound bag of Black Diamond Vermicompost – highly recommended by all who use it!

Newsletter-201705-10On a warm sunny afternoon, you might want to step inside the shade house. You’ll discover a variety of shade plants commonly called coral bells.

The botanical name is Heuchera and you probably aren’t aware that the plant is named after Johann Heinrich von Heuchera. Therefore the correct pronunciation should be HOW-ker-uh, but no one ever says that! It’s either HEW-ker-uh or even hoo-CHAIR-uh.

It is nonetheless a great shade plant. ‘Southern Comfort’ has, perhaps, the largest leaves. ‘Green Spice’ has very interesting markings on the leaves. A much more diminutive species is ‘Canyon Duet’, sporting delicate wands of pink and white bells on stems 12 to 18″. The tough native variety, Heuchera maxima, has taller, cream colored flowers and needs only minimal water.

Newsletter-201705-11We’re expecting more vegetables this week, including lemon cucumbers and Painted Serpent cucumbers. We’ll also receive some one gallon tomatoes for those of you who just can’t wait!

Red tomato cages are all the rage.