Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Elderberry wine anyone.

Now for the boring part. Sambucus is a genus of between 5 and 30 species of shrubs or small trees in the moschatel family, Adoxaceae. It was formerly placed in the honeysuckle family, Caprifoliaceae, but was reclassified due to genetic evidence.
The genus is native in temperate-to-subtropical regions of both the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. It is more widespread in the Northern Hemisphere. Thank you Wikipedia.

Now let's get this show in the road.

When you think of elderberry most likely you conjure up thoughts of homemade wine or some large, white flowered shrub growing in the road as you drive around the mountains. Few of us think of elderberry as a ornamental plant for the landscape. Or maybe you have seen one in someones garden and it didn't dawn on you to think about what that shrub was.

Sambucus nigra - European Elderberry
S. n. BLACK BEAUTY This plant has outstanding satiny purple-black leaves and is the first elder I ever saw that has pink flowers. Black Beauty is perhaps a plant best reserved for cooler climates, but I grow it out here in the high desert. I have one when you first walk into the nursery that is only a couple years old. Let me say-it gets noticed. The blossoms are scented and smell of grapefruit.

S. n. BLACK LACE is in my opinion the most unique ornamental shrub that stands out in my mind. This beauty has velvet-black leaves that are finely cut and lacy. At first glance moat people mistake this plant for a Japanese maple, but it's not and the big pink flowers prove it.
It is an exciting new plant that comes by way of the breeding program at East Malling Research Station in England.

S. n. MADONNA This selection brightens up the garden having green leaves splashed with gold. Or is it gold leaves splashed with green? This is a slightly slower growing form, good to brighten up the shade garden, though mine is in full sun.

Red-berried , Sambucus racemosa, is native to Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Medium sized, this shrub grows 8 to 12 feet in height. This is a very hardy plant (zone 3).
S. r. 'Sutherland Gold' is a colorful shrub with beautiful, deeply cut, acid yellow foliage, the new foliage has a slight amber tint and if you grow it in the shade it is more lime-yellow. Red berries are quickly eaten by the birds.

There are a few other varieties I will mention, though I do not sell them at the moment.

Sambucus canadensis 'Aurea' There are fewer cultivars of Sambucus canadensis, this one is gold and should be in production at the nursery in 2011.

S. nigra 'Laciniata' A beautiful cut leaf elderberry. Unique, finely dissected deep green foliage. Large flat topped sprays of white flowers. Will grow easily to 10 feet.

S. nigra 'Linearis' Lacy, twisted leaves that are almost threadlike add an interesting texture to this smaller form. I would say 5 feet tall and maybe 5 feet wide. Definitely an interesting texture.

S. racemosa 'Tenuifolia' This is a small, compact, deciduous shrub with finely dissected leaves. In spring, it bears sparse amounts of small, cream flowers, followed by red berries in summer.

Blooming it's little head off

Leptodermis oblonga? Have you ever heard of it? I hadn't till about four years ago.

Here is a shrub that doesn't get to big, 24 inches maybe, and blooms from the heat in June till frost in October! I really like the size and look of this little charmer. Lavender purple star shaped blossoms that are lightly fragrant just really shine for summer. To me the blossoms look like daphne to me.

Placing this shrub along a walkway or in the front of the border is where I would recommend it.

This is a zone 5 plant and needs to be watered well the fist few season, then I would allow it to acclimate.

Monday, January 18, 2010

anitique and vintage roses

I tend to say I am not much of a rose person. This is sort of false statement.
I don't care for most hybrid teas (notice I didn't say all) and the slew of contemporary roses that they keep flooding the market with.

I am not a fan of the grafted rose. I have read far too much disease is associated with what the rose is grafted to. So there is tendency to like 'own root' roses. These are just roses grown from cuttings and allowed to develop their own roots, and are usually more healthy and more vigorous. Some I do here at the nursery and some I get from sources depending on the situation.

The few roses on the market that I tend to use and sell are Rosa 'Knockout', otherwise it is older forms that are in the rugosa, polyantha, and antiques such as the bourbon roses.

<,Rugosa,the wild roses- Flamingo (pictured) is one of the rogosa roses I really feel is stunning. Give it lots of room because it a big rose that demands space, but it returns the favor by flowering tirelessly all summer.
Purple Pavement, Frau Dagmar Hastrup, Robusta, Rosa a Parfum , Roseraie de l’Hay, Therese Bugnet, Blanc Double de Coubert, Rugosa sp.

The Polyanthas - Seafoam, The Fairy, Ballerina, Red Ballerina

Bourbon and Antique roses- Rose de Rescht Crested Moss 1827 Charles de Mills 1746 Tuscany Superb Pre- 1837

And wonderful species roses such as Rosa glauca though it may only bloom once a season, it is stunning in the border or in a shrubbery display.

Rosa moyesii 'Geranium' is a my folly. I have tried to take cuttings of this rose several times and failed...though I thought I had a small batch take root, but it rotted away. I will be buying this treasure this year. I love the red flowers, that last two I bought turned out to be pink-off they went to the burn pile. And it is the hips that I love. Yes, yes, the pink had the hips, but I want the red flower. Fickle, fickle, fickle.

moving things in/cleaning up

Today was a bit of a work day around the nursery. A couple of other able bodies souls and I worked diligently to bring in all the hardy Hibiscus, Hibiscus 'Fire Ball'pictured, then we brought in a good portion of Hydrangeas, as well as Sambucus and a smattering of other shrubs that I can be getting ready for the few shows I do in April and May.
Also brought in were several roses that I had made from those old garden roses and antiques and several lovely perennials that I like to jump start and that were in 3.5" pots and not will be moved to gallon were brought in as well.

Outside it got to be an unheard of 54 degrees and inside was in the 60s as the doors were open. There will be trimming to do, get things in shape. I am chomping at the bit already. Cleanup time is always exciting and if this weather keeps up I may have to have a few early bird sales.

I like to start the hibiscus early as it is, they tend to be bushy for so long and are quite the whores when it comes to the fertilizer. I will let them set up and them lightly give them a little weak tea this month. Re potting them all into gallons will be the next step, some into #2s, and then a good dose of slow release mixed with topping mix, alfalfa, and tipple meal blend.

One of the nursery workers worked on cleaning my van. Yes, I drive a mini van. Think about how many plants you can get into one if you remove the back seats? Anyhow, he worked diligently cleaning gathering-slowly he removed 5 five gallon buckets of soil. No laughing Linda Beutler, you have ridden with me several times, but yes, there was a lit of dirt in there. It's remarkable how much better it looks, his goal is the front two seats later on this week.

Clean up will continue around the nursery. Fencing will be going in next month if things remain the same, so should the water and electrical lines for the house, and the new graved sales area north of the pump house. I might be ready for my opening in the middle of April.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

OH, I can't stay away from them

Lush leaved and responding so well to our hot summers. I just cant water them enough and adding the extra manure around them sure seems to help.
Cannas are not for the demure gardener. They are bold and sometimes flashy with leaves that I would classify under HUGE and LUSH. The flowers sometimes range in the smaller side but there are those that are large and frilly.
With a tendency to like those with colored leaves myself, I take pride in having them in containers. Smokey or striped, amber, plum, or chartreuse just love to see them grow.

Plant your cannas in hot spot. Here we have to dig them every fall as we freeze rather hard being zone 5b. It is like trying to shuck clams though when you plant them in containers. They fill the container in a season and then hold firm. Having to hack and pry them out more than once is enough to discourage the timid gardener, but be brave.

Canna 'Intrigue' Lovely leaved smoked purple to perfection. Apricot orange flowers add so much, Both are colors of copper to me and really set a mood.

Canna Australia Mahogany leaves with hot red flowers make people stop and turn their heads. Good height and the color is always strong.

Canna Bengal Tiger You see this one under trademark names now. Its a shame about that...but also a completely different subject.

Canna Phaison (Tropicanna)Hey, this canna looks so familiar. I know the look, but I it's not the same, or maybe it is? Debates amongst gardeners continue. 'Tropicanna' says it's not the same, but are we going to have to call in a big gun to find out?

Canna Pink Dawn Looks sort of like a mini 'Tropicanna' but the flowers sure do set it apart. Great for containers. Personally I like this variety in front of Australia.

Canna Tropicanna Have I said anything about this one yet? Does it need repeating?

I have a few others but I don't have enough of them to sell as of yet.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hardy Geraniums..not those red things in window boxes

Geranium Rozanne - Perennial Plant of the Year 2008

OK, aside from that I had my doubts.
I have never been one to use a lot of hardy geraniums, though I have the few I like, but those were varieties that required some shade.

I was amazed that this was not some obnoxious rambler and had to see it in a few gardens before I myself was ordering in plugs and liners of this garden-worthy hardy Geranium that anyone can grow. Large 2½" saucer-shaped flowers just never quit. Glowing violet-blue blooms with white centers flower profusely from late spring until frost. Unlike many Geraniums, 'Rozanne' has great heat tolerance as well.
Plant this wonderful plant in the front of borders. Use it around daylilies and shrubs. I have a design I am working on right now where I want to use it inside boxwood hedges in a more commercial application. Think about it, I can plant thousands of bulbs. These bulbs will fill in the framework of the boxwood for a couple of months and then what do I do? Plant! I will fill these in with Geranium 'Rozanna' and still have the great fall foliage to appreciate as well.

I just can't emphasise how usefull this plant is. I have even mixed it in with summer pots and let it fill in and bloom its little heads off.

Try it in your garden, or along a front walk. I am going to also try it at a clients house around their pool patio just for the greate amount of summer bloom as well.

When smokebush gets in your eyes

There is nothing like the look of Cotinus. Most people are familiar with the purple form because that is what they think of when they see into their minds eye. Silver dollar sized (the type of silver dollars we had when I was growing with President Eisenhower in the the face) foliage that looks like suede or painters velvet.

Cotinus coggygria 'Purpureus' was probably the most common form found in garden ceters for decades. It is nice, deep wine-like leaves with a plum cast. Not really something that gets me going, but a good background plant.

Cotinus c. 'Velvet Cloak' is a deep, dark, and lush variety that I use to stand out and create that darkspot with a garden. I like to use it next to Cornus a. 'Variegata' and creata a bit of mystery. Its not a plant I hide in the back thats for sure.

Cotinus c 'Grace' is such a unique for. the leaves are more translucant, it has great fall color, and it also seems to have some sort of metalic caast to it at times. No, not metalic in the fact that it is shiny, but next to something like Rosa glauca or Picea pungens 'Glauca Globosa' it shows some sort of highlight there that the blue colors emphasizes. It's just wonderful. Cotinus Grace adn Rosa glauca are also a standard planting in most gardens in England it seems. Linda Beutler seemed to point this out when I was there with her a few summers back.

Cotinus c. 'Golden Spirit' syn. 'Ancot' with the yellow or acidy-chartreuse leaves with a touch of amber peaking through. Slower growing in my area, but I do put it out in full sun. I would like to plant a few more in an all gold area. The texture it gives is nothing short of incredible. Its also great in the mid boarder plantings because it is slower and to me a tad more dense. I was also told that this form does not flower- they lied. Soft pink infloresence that aren't as frothy, but do add to the unique look of the shrub.

Cotinus coggygria 'Pink Champagne' is a sweet form. Green leaved with a froth of pink that seems to fade cream. And froth doesn't quite cut what I am trying to express. The other unique feature I enjoy about this green leaved variety is the fact that it has an almost mauve color margin to the leaves, especially the new growth. The other thing I like about it is a nice display of fall foliage more in the amber and orange spectrum.

Here in high desert Cotinus make a wonderful addition to garden. They are heat resistant, do will in our winds, and after they are established they are moderately drought resistant (though will have smaller foliage.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

the garden- what I want it to do for me, say about me, how it makes another person feel.

Let me start right off by saying I am building a new garden on the same 2.5 acres that I have my nursery on. I have not started to build a house, but know in the general area where I want it.
To the south of the house site I have placed a double row, alle, of flowering pear trees, Pyrus calleryana 'Whitehouse'. This alle at over 200 feet long, is parallel to the south side of the house hoping to provide shade for the house. Or at least filtered shade. I also am using this alle as an area to divide the house from the nursery, so a buffer zone in some sort of way. Plans are in the works to fill the alle with spring bulbs and a small growing collections of Hydrangea paniculata, Hydrangea quercifolia, Hydragea arborescens, plus a wide variety of Viburnums.

The garden area I have divided into the area where there lawn or meadow, tree and shrub planting, and the vegetable/cutting garden. In front of the house site there is a tight circular drive with a rondel. These are things I think the garden needs, but I have also been thinking about the chicken coupe and yard, smokehouse, tool shed, small barn. The pump house is in the middle of the nursery sales yard. At present there is one 100'x30'greenhouse, and I have plans on adding two 20'x40' smaller greenhouses this year. One of these will be heated for overwintering tender thiing and tropicals. Between them maybe small potting area that is enclosed?

Alright, so what to I want my garden to do for me. Not in any order really.
1. Needs to feel tranqil and calm even though it may be under construction.
2. Have plenty of interest going on in it and not be full of plants that that just create static. i.e No treelines of Geijera parviflora or Populus deltoides.
3. The garden has year around interest. Bloom, bark, friut, structure, leaves....
4. Be a personal showcase.
5. Draw in birdlife and plenty of other small creatures that are benificial.
6. Have formal aspects, but be comfortable and cassual to anyone that enters.
7. Provide food and flowers for the myself and entertaining.
8. Be an oasis. -I live in the desert and don't need to be reminded of that in my garden. Denial is a healthy part of anything isn't it?
9. Want people to feel that they are at home in my garden.
10.That it feels big, but has cozy spots in it as well.
11. It must be dog friendly...anything around my place should be dog friendly. I have dogs, my friends have dogs.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What is it? is it ...? or?

Here is a great antique for your garden. I should say species shouldn't I?

I just couldn't resist when I was first given this lovely shrub in a 2" liner pot.

I like the name. We know it is a honeysuckle (Lonicera), but then we see lilac (syringantha)? So this lilac blooming honeysuckle is a true sweety.
Being once told that the species Lonicera syringantha was introduced around the turn of the century and people went gaga. I can also tell you from personal experience that it is a rapid grower in a pot and the nursery trade probably couldn't move it into larger pots fast enough.

Sweet scented, not the recognizable form of flower we associate with honeysuckle, but small sweet trumpets or lilac rose. It is moderate in size.
Well, moderate I guess.
This shrub is zone 4 hardy, reaches 5 feet tall, though I have read reports of 10 feet so no-one can make up their mind. Mine and the few others planted in clients gardens have rebloomed during the season.The initial flush is in late May/early June and then sporadically during the summer. It just always seems like there is bloom on its branches.

If you have had any experience with this sweet shrub please let me know.

Your Grandmother's Salt Cedar

Now some of you are going to love this shrub while other claim that it is a noxious weed.

Tamarix ramosissima 'Pink Cascade'

I personally love the softness in texture and the hardiness (zone 3a.)
I also like the fact that they can be rather rapid growers.

Pink masses blooming along the stem give what is refered to by most an ostrich 'plume' effect. Its a rather open and airy shrub and I would almost call it cloud like when in in bloom-a cloud made of cotton candy that is.

Spectacular when in bloom! Foliage is soft and feathery to the touch.
I have been asked at times what type of Juniper this is? Or what type of evergreen is it?

I have seen trunks on this shrub that make it look like old trees, maybe 18 inches in diameter. I would recommend letting it grow for three to five years after you plant it and then coppice the shrub in late winter every other year after that initial coppicing. This should improve the flowering display and keep the growth habit in check. An interesting addition in the perennial border for sure.

I don't seem to see this shrub around in many nurseries. I have sold this in the past and it went pretty fast even in the #1 pots it was in.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Philadephus 'Belle Etoile'

The English seem to love this American Native.
Philadelphus lewisii is a great native plant here in Washington state. You can find it on both sides of Washington, we are divided by the Cascade Range. I think the idea of bringing native plants into the garden is a viable thing and where applicable it should be encouraged.

The hybrid I fell in love with several years ago is the much sought after true ‘Belle Etoile.’ Abundant or profuse flowering can't even start to describe the cloaking of this shrub when in full bloom. White flowers with a burgundy center inside highlighting the soft gold stamen.

P. 'Aurea' This lovely golden leaved variety is sometimes prone to summer burn but will be fine if you water it through that hot spell.

P. 'Innocense' Very fragrant white flowers appear in late June. Leaves mottled and splashed cream, more of a painterly look. Height and Spread about 5-6 feet.

P. 'Variegatus' Very fragrant, single flowers that are creamy-white, again blooming in June. The leaves are broadly edged in creamy-white. About 6 feet tall but it seems a bit tighter than 'Innocence.'

These next two varieties I do not have in the nursery, but hope to obtain them in the near future.

P. ‘Virginal’ Clusters of double highly scented white flowers in mid to late June. I tad larger at 7-10 feet tall and wide.

P. ‘Frosty Morn’ Fragrant clusters of double, almost fringy looking flowers that are highly scented. Blooming in June through July. Shorter at 4 feet tall and can reach up to 6 feet wide.

I just had to get these out as my last posting I had mentioned Philadelphus and knew that there was information I wanted to share.

In my garden I am thinking how to arrange them with Hydrangeas and Viburnums. True that is a lot of summer blossom, even heavy on the cream side here with my soil type, but I feel that it could create a spectacular view.

Calycanthus, not like any other shrub you grow

Calycanthus a great shrub, hardy, and a wonderful addition to any home garden landscape.
Calycanthus Venus. Sweetshrub I believe is a common name, this one lives up to that name without being common at all. Orchid or magnolia-like blossoms of white with a heart of purple and gold have a wonderfully sweet fragrance, I have been told that the blossoms can get up to five inches across, but I have only seem them about three myself.
In our hot summers it might be best to plant this one with a break from the sun in the afternoon.
Another great variety is Calycanthus 'Hartlage Wine', or Sinocalycalycanthus 'Hartlage Wine'. This one is lovely. I was amazed a few years ago when I grew them in one gallon pots that it bloomed the first year and the blossoms were almost two inches across. This variety has a more subtle fragrance not like its parents- C. sinensis and our American native C. florida ( and just to more technical-Sinocalycanthus chinensis (Chinese Sweetshrub or Wax Plant) and Calycanthus floridus (Carolina Allspice or Sweetshrub) to produce what was considered a new bigeneric hybrid that was later named ×Sinocalycalycanthus raulstonii ‘Hartlage Wine’) A lot of information just for one shrub but I don't want to insult anyone in the mean time.

Both are great as specimen plantings, but they do differ in size. I have been in a nursery in the Bellevue, WA area ,not dropping names, and have seen eight foot tall specimens of 'Hartlage Wine' but have been told it may reach fifteen feet all and ten feet wide. It has been mentioned that Venus will only reach about eight feet tall and ten feet wide. I am unsure but either here in Central/Easter Washington. I guess it would depend on your growing conditions.

I do like the fact they are both summer blooming, and can be sporadic, but a few blossoms that linger are better than no blossom at all.

Another thing one might concider doing from a design pount of view is to echo the blossom color in the garden, or punctuate that echo.
To echo the blossom color you would want to plant somewhere in your garden, mainly in the same viewing area a plant that has some like charteristic. I might plant Philadelphus 'Belle Etoile' in the same garden area ad Calycanthus 'Venus'. Both have creamy white blossoms with a darker eye. But maybe to punctuate that echo I might plant a Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' next to Venus to make that dark eye sing and stand out when it is blooming. I might use Physocarpus opulifolius 'Diabolo' to make 'Hartlage Wine' even more wine and less rust in color. But those are just my thoughts, you can invent your own combinations.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Syringa 'Bloomerang Purple'

I am excite this year to have many new and interesting flowering shrubs. One of them is is Syringa 'Bloomerang Purple'. This new variety promises to bloom not just once, but twice or more per season if treated properly and taken care of.

There are many shrubs I will talk about. I do not carry many Syringa as I think they are a bit to pushy in the pot. I have a few Syringa 'Sensation' and am on the look out for some antique and properly labeled varieties.

The one strange shrub that I have that crosses over this direction is Lonicera syringantha, but that is a separate posting altogether.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Daylilies-my top picks

Daylilies, I just like them. You can abuse and neglect them as much as you want and they still bounce back.

I am making a list of what varieties I would like to sell in the nursery this year. In my zone 5/6a its not always about hardiness. Where I live is also high mountain desert, open, and sunny hot summers that fade flowers. Pastels are not first choice.

Hemerocallis flava- A good species and a top notch plant. Sweet citrus scented blooms in a nice shade of yellow. Though not a repeat bloomer they tend to sway me.

Strutters Ball- Deep, luscious purple, big blossoms, with a chartreuse throat.

Elain Strutt- Cantaloupe, melon, large and surprisingly a nice large blossom as well.

Hyperion- Classic yellow, clear, and a great bloomer.

Outrageous- Mango with a huge red eye...just huge!

Christmas Is- I can't believe I was asked why they named it 'Christmas Is?'
The name says it all. Red with a very green/chartreuse eye. it repeats and is just a good, good, daylily. See image.

Sunday Gloves- A good white, softly fragrant and just a sweet sounding name.

Green Flutter- A clean yellow with an apple green fading throat. Really shines in the landscape.

Chicago Apache- Here is a good red. These are large blooms, full and tall. It really looks nice with other perennials. An easy 30 inches or taller.

Spider Miracle- Yellow, huge and floppy. It reminds me of big Easter hats or big summer straw hats that ladies wear. I just couldn't believe when it got almost three feet tall.

Tigerling- A smaller echo of 'Outrageous' and not as mango in the outer edges.

Corky- Wire like stems that are darkish brown, hold a continual flower wand of golden yellow. The outside of these small beauties are bronzed. Short foliage. I like this variety near the front of the boarder.

Alabama Julbilee- Reddish Orange huge blossoms that have hints of gold toward the throat.

Hemerocallis 'Barbary Corsair'- Though small it has a wonderful blossom with lots of punch. Wine with a green throat.

I am looking for suggestions and I am looking for intense color, good form. Repeat bloom, size of blossom are also good factors.

Again, there are so many great daylies out there and we all have favorties, I am trying to create a list of varieties that I think will stand up to our desert summers.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Do the gods think this Seattle?

Rain, rain, and more rain.
Since I woke up this morning it has been nothing but rain. No, this is not the sweet mist of early spring, but a continual driving drizzle that that creates little likes in shallow depressions, streams in the gutters till they plug because they are frozen, and wet dog that want to climb onto your lap!

This is rain that keep paint from drying indoors, and makes your cars windshield wipers work overtime. (Honestly too happy that I do not live in a metropolitan area where this is the type of rain that causes accidents.)

I should have kept my big mouth shut when I said this was going to be a wet winter.

O gosh, big wet clumpy flakes of snow in the mix- Are they sticking?

Am going through the catalogs and I made a choice to raise and offer Lagerstroemia indica Dynamite. I have put a few into the gardens of a client and though they do not bloom till August or September I might as well offer them to people here. Don't I actively sell Xanthoceras sorbifolia? Interest people in Hibiscus moscheutos and tell them to screw the rules and just try things?

Starting to sketch how I want to display plants around the nursery this year and thinking about the ease of watering them as well. I know I don't like walking into a nursery and having everything in the same exact spot as last year. If you are a nursery and can move things around, then by all means please do.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Post AVATAR, work to do

Alright, the movie visually was a feast. The Botany, though familiar was individual as well.I think if you are a closet Treckie, sci-fi film nut, like the aspect of good CGI, and a first for me 3D, then you might might like this film though it has a very predictable storyline.

I am heading out to the nursery to start bringing in the hardy hibiscus. I am have about 400 of them potted up and need to have another 300+ for my HOT FOR HIBISCUS weekends. Color varieties are amazing now and they have ceme so far from thier basic couple.Thank goodness for people like the Flemming brothers and their passion for Hibiscus. July 30&31, August 6&7.

Colors, or named cultivars include MOY GRANDE, FIREBALL, FANTASIA, ROBERT FLEMMING, KOPPER KING, BLUE RIVER II, PLUM CRAZY, PEPPERMINT SCHNOPPS, SWEET CAROLINE, TORCHY, LUNA RED, PART FAVOR, SUMMER STORM, TURN OF THE CENTURY, SULTRY KISS, CRANBERRY CRUSH, PINK ELEPHANT , and maybe OLD YELLA. There might be some seedlings on dislay if not for pre-sale next year. So this should be a great event. The Friday and Saturday evening of the first weekend should also hold promiss of a class or presentation. More details as I develope them.

Have a good rest of the day!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Jan 2- recovered and dinking around

Forty degrees- and though the ground is still frozen I am have taken a little walk around the nursery and ranch to see what is really going on.

My mother would like me to replace the small Pinus nigra with a more substantial Picea pungens. I think the Pinus is a much better choice, but she is being insistant.

As I walk around the nursery I am choosing a site for the shop/potting shed and I already know that it will be on the west side of the sales area. I am unsure if I will paint the building chartreuse with red trim, or paint it barn red and put chartreuse trim onto it. Suggestions have been made to change my building color, but I do like the bright (almost electric) look of things around here.

I have received confirmation of Proven Winners shrubs, and am combing through the Select Seeds catalog looking for fragrant annuals that would make good cut flowers.

As some of you have known me for several years, and others not long at all, you may or may not know that I am involved with the local farmers market here in Moses Lake. I vend as well as serve on the board for the past five years. Actually our farmers market board is made up of the people who vend at the market. Quite different from some of the other farmers markets I have visited. This year instead of just selling plants I am also thinking about selling cut flowers- people can brighten the inside of their homes, not just the outside.

I am starting to plan out an event calendar for the year and though I have a couple strong events for the nursery I am trying to think of a couple more that might be equally as strong.

Mothers day weekend I am ususally out of town for Garden Expo, but I think I am going to try to have some large baskets brought in and doing some sort of container class.

Sometime in June I would love to have a two weekend, though it might be two day class (this also might work better) 'Building a Better Boarder' -Designing and installing a colorful boarder that you can enjoy all year.

July 30 and August 6 will be a two weekend event-Hot for Hibiscus Weekends

Late September I would like to try a 'Thinking of Fall' container class

Late November- Creating arrangements for your front steps. How to use cut greens and the containers you have as welcoming arrangement outside your door. I know a couple friends of mine have had success with this in other areas and I should as well.

Off to see Avatar! -will let you know about the plants.