Newsletter for September 2021

Fall is on the radar and Bay Laurel Garden Center is preparing for its entrance. Petunias are rather passe at this point with a few exceptions. ‘Indian Summer’, aptly named, is a trailing variety with changing hues of yellow to orange to coral. The perennial fall standby, Chrysanthemum, is available in 4″ and gallon containers. We’ll have some 6 packs of Calendulas plus Primula for the shade to get your fall/winter garden started.

Grasses that embellish the season include: Pennisetum rubrum – “Purple Fountain Grass”. Although it may not survive the winters in the North County it’s showy enough to shine as an annual. Pennisetum ‘First Knight’ is a cold hardy, deciduous grass with blades reaching 4 to 5 feet in dark, almost black shades. And last, Anemanthele lessoniana , “Pheasant Grass”. The evergreen blades grow to about 3 feet and are green in summer changing to coppery tones in fall and winter.

Nepeta is a very popular genus here at Bay Laurel Garden Center. Nepeta cataria is the variety greatly enjoyed by our feline friends (cat mint). Ornamental varieties including ‘Six Hills Giant’ and ‘Walker’s Low’ are great garden plants – long bloom and low water needs. And now – Nepeta ‘Neptune’. This deciduous plant is more upright with darker flowers growing 12″ x 12″. Originally discovered in the Caucasus mountains of Russia as Nepeta kubanica, it underwent many years of selection to be come this garden worthy variety.

What could be more appropriate than a new Manzanita in these times? This one appears to be quite exceptional. It has the largest leaves of any low growing Manzanita. The rather long name is Arctostaphylos x media ‘Peter Ehrlich’. The growth habit is 2 to 3 feet tall and at lest 6 feet wide. Our selection of California natives at Bay Laurel Garden Center is always changing. Fall is a great time to plant them.

Fall bulbs are arriving slowly at Bay Laurel Garden Center: some Iris, Tulips and Daffodils. More should arrive soon. If you have Iris that are 3 or 4 years old, this is the time to separate them. Dig and divide the clumps by either pulling apart or cutting. Save the largest rhizome with healthy leaves. Trim the roots and leaves to about 6″. Allow the cuts to heal for a day or so. If replanting in the same area, be sure to replenish the soil with a good amendment.

Our bareroot website Fruit Trees Online is now open for orders that will ship in January, February & March next year. See what new this year at

Tomato plants starting to look a bit bedraggled? Get ready for the fall vegetable planting. Beef up your soil with the great organic amendments we offer at Bay Laurel Garden Center. Arriving this week: broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, lettuce, kale and more. We offer a new pea called “Snak Hero”. The slender 4″ long pods look like an ordinary green bean, but the taste and texture resemble a sugar snap pea. We’d love to hear how your summer vegetable garden performed – any great performers or any disappointments.

Two more additions to your fall garden. Rudbeckias are always popular, especially ‘Indian Summer’. The autumn shades are also extremely showy and great for the fall garden. A perennial we haven’t seen for many years is Aster ericoides ‘Monte Cassino’. This is a great filler for flower arranging – the tiny daisy flowers last a very long time. It’s also quite charming in the fall perennial garden.