Newsletter for November 2020

A new frilly, fragrant viola – ‘Magnifi Scent’. This one is considered to be perennial – we’ll see if it survives our hot summers. There are lots of choices when it comes to violas and pansies. This is their time of year. They’re both great in planters and flower beds. Back again this year is ‘Honey bee’ viola, a real charmer! Other annuals to get you through the winter include stock, calendulas, snapdragons, Iceland poppies and erysimum. Give your flowers a good head start with some healthy organic soil and remember to fertilize throughout the blooming season.

Just arrived – a new shipment of the evergreen grass commonly called ‘Pheasant Grass’ but with two rather non-memorable botanical names – Stipa arunundinacea or Anemanthele lessoniana. But don’t let the names scare you off. This is a great evergreen grass with thin, arching blades that turn from green to shades of copper in the fall and winter. Only moderate irrigation is required. We are also expecting a shipment of Muhlenbergia capillaris, the muhly grass with outstanding pink flowers in fall.

Nandina or “Heavenly Bamboo” is almost always available at the nursery but this is the season we tend to highlight it. The reason is its great fall and winter color. Right now we have four different varieties: ‘Gulf Stream’ is very compact, growing about 3 to 4 feet tall. ‘Plum Passion’ has exceptionally nice fall color and grows 4 to 5 feet tall. ‘Fire Power’, only reaching 2 feet, has the reddest foliage of all. If you’d rather avoid any presence of red in the garden, choose ‘Lemon Lime’. The spring growth is chartreuse turning to green as the season progresses.

Bulbs for forcing. A tip for paperwhites to prevent them from becoming too tall – when the leaves are about 2 inches tall, replace the water with 1 part alcohol and 7 parts water. Rubbing alcohol will do. Save the good stuff. We have received a new shipment of many varieties of daffodil.

Cover up time! This row cover has many uses: protect tender plants including citrus from the frost. Protect young vegetable seedlings from the birds and cover fruit trees to keep the birds away – easier to remove than netting.

It’s still a great time to plant California natives. We have a good selection of manzanitas as well as coffee berries, Ceanothus and many more. Bargain 4″ plants include two varieties of Zauschneria plus Salvia apiana, fasciculatum buckwheat and Eriophyllum lanatum ‘Siskyou’. Manzanita flowers provide an early source of food for hummingbirds.

Cyclamen are one of the stars of the fall/winter season. Colors include red, white, maroon, pink and salmon. They tend to be a bit tender so plant them in a frost protected area. Otherwise cover them when the temperatures dip down. These lovely plants can also be used as house plants – give them good light and a cool spot. You will find English primroses in the same area – great winter color for the shade.

Make a statement! This garden art will delight and amaze. Standing at 4 feet tall it will certainly add character to your landscape. We have other sculptures a bit smaller.

Why not add a bit of color to the vegetable garden? New this year is ‘Purple Lady’ bok choy. The colorful stems belong to ‘Peppermint’ Swiss chard. We have a pretty good supply of winter vegetables – broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and bulb fennel. We sold out of onion and garlic sets but do have burgundy onions and green bunching onions in 6 packs. In 4″ plants look for the garlic ‘Inchelium’. This is a softnecked type with mild flavor. It was discovered on a native American reservation in Inchelium, Washington. A taste test winner it stores well for 6 to 9 months.

These fall colored Poinsettias were very popular last year. We expect them to arrive early this month. We’ll have a variety of others – red, white, marbled and poinsettias with variegated leaves. This variety is ‘Golden Glow’. At the end of the month holiday confers will arrive along with topiaries of green.

The website for our bareroot catalog is We will also have bare root shade trees which are not listed in the online website. You can come to the nursery to see the list.