Thursday, March 27, 2008


I am so tardy on posting my purchases. With it being spring I am a little busy and tired from both my own yard and work....PLUS, the purchases this time of year can be a little difficult to confess right here in front of

Here are some from the past few weeks:

Tomatoes!! I am going to try and control myself this year! So far: Aunt Rubys German Green, Green Grape, German Striped, Black Krim, Giuseppes Bigga Boy, Caspian Pink, Brandywine, Sungold, Mortgage Lifter, and one mystery....must...control...myself.........
This Armeria.....I love it because it is large enough to hold is own place in the flower bed.

The Oxalis on the left I actually bought in the fall but I bought the golden feverfew a couple of weeks ago and I love the way the two look together.
This is a variegated Photinia. I never thought much of this shrub but I like not only this variety but the dwarf "Fireball" very much too.
A couple of Salvias for the front yard. A peachy Greggii named "caviar" and then a tutti fruiti sage (S. dorisiana), love the way the leaves smell, similar to pineapple sage but leave are much larger and flower is hot pink.
Euphorbia "Jessie".
Euphorbia "Excalibur".
A bunch of succulents form various places. Most from the nursery, some purchases and some that needed some TLC.

Today I went out to DJs Growing Place here in Napa. Its not a competitor really because it is a different type of nursery. They propagate most of their stuff themselves and its fun to search the place for treasures, which they do these 3 succulents above! They have good prices too. I remember when they started...gosh about 20years ago. DJ was their son who they lost to a childhood illness.

We have had this one at the nursery before, it is a Salvia with odd orange-brown flowers. I have seen this before in books and always thought I should try it because my oldest son is Russell....this is Russelia. I have a plant for almost every kid now....even got a David Austin rose named for my son, Braeden (different spelling).
Ok, here is a 1 gallon climbing rose named "Lavender Falls". I am a sucker for climbing roses, and this is just my size (price). Havent found anything on the internet about it yet. To the right is a climbing Hops vine. We had these but these soldbefore I could get one and the price was great. In the back is Campanula punctata "Wedding Bells" I just ordered some seeds for the pink ones.
Here is one I have never seen or heard of, but did find it online after I bought it. Devils Tobacco. Lobelia tupa. 6ft tall, full sun, red flowers. Looks cool!
And finally a Iochroma cyaneum "salmon". They start out kinda orangey but the blossoms fade to a very nice peachy-salmon.

So there you have it, confessions are out. I also pickedup 3 climbing roses just before bareroot was over: Colette, Night Owl and Red Eden. Also bought some more seeds: mainly red and yellow alpine strawberries. And a few little odds and ends...6 pack of pink forget me nots, a gold marjoram...dont jusdge me harshly! Its hard to work in a nursery this time a yea when hundreds of plants are ariving...heck thousands...daily!
Next I hope to update my growing challenge!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Elizabeth Magnolia

I said no more Magnolia posts UNLESS the yellow one at work bloomed. Not only did it blossom but so did one a few houses down from me. The fact that I do not ever remember seeing the one in my own neighborhood before is proof to how dim I had been allowing the horticultural part of my brain to grow over the past several years. "sigh" (I am shaking my head in disgust)

Anyhow, here are two of thee baby one at work:

And the one up the street that is just beautiful:

Friday, March 14, 2008

A whole bunch of Ranunculi candy

These came in today....

And will be gone by tomorrows end......

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Melianthus major aka Honey Bush

I snapped these pictures in a tiny front yard I spied on my way to work Monday. I like this plant, bt do not own any at this time. Not sure if I will either. Its very tropical looking even though it is hardy into the 20s. The leaves stink but the flowers almost drip with nectar for the hummers. For that reason it MAY find its way into my yard at some point. It grows rapidly upward to 6-8 feet and slowly forms a clump. For the best appearance it should be cut back harshly every year or two.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spring! WoW!

OK, Spring is here. Full force. There is no picture because I have no time to take any at work. I wore my pedometer yesterday that measures steps and I was right about at 13,000. They say 10,000 is approximately 5 miles.

Here is what working in a nursery in spring is like:

You are out helping customer and need to find an answer inside. You head in and 3 people ask for help and you tell them you will come back to them...inside the lines are clogging registers so you grab trays and quickly put prices and tallies on paper for customers to help line move quicker, then tell cashier to call for customer service, then go get answer for your original question. Cashier asks you to tag XXXX and put in sold block. While getting answer you are closest to phone...answer it take number to check on plant stock. Head out with answer, phone number, sold tag and try to remember what your customer looked like. Make mental note to water those one gallon Euryops...again. Ask wrong man with same goatee and baseball cap. Get stopped and direct two more people to correct area. Find your customer and momentarily blank out on what in the heck you are doing!!! LOLOL! Love it though......

Pictures tonight....

Its tonight. I am tired. And just as I was ready to head home and sit down I go to my car and....tire is flat. As a pancake. Boss Jake looked at it and says its actually in bad shape and so is other front one, so I am thankful for no accidents and that all my babies are safe.
Being the nice guy he is, he let me take the work truck home and I will deal with tires tomorrow.

We got our first really significant shipment of bedding and vegetables today. Here is a picture: 230 flats.

Thats not really that many, as tomorrow and Friday we will have MANY deliveries. While spring is alot of hard work, its alot of fun too. During the winter months we are all there, planting strawberries (in the rain), making signs, puttering around (in the cold)(and the rain)....talking to our co workers for 8 hours a day about every detail in each others lives because thats just what you end up doing. A few customers come in and we all rush them, if you have been out in January I hope you werent annoyed by every single employee asking you if you needed assistance. We are all working toward one goal during those cold, wet months: getting ready for SPRING!
And then one day the sun shines, and BOOM. Everyone is coming to see us! Its like a giant open house.....long time customers, new faces, gardeners of every age and even people who hate gardening but have the spring bug...they are all out to the nursery. If you are reading this blog then you must be a gardener, have you been out to see your local nursery yet? :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Missing Time....

Its dark here and its 7 am.....has anyone seen an hour laying around because I seem to have lost it. Ugh!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Lynch Canyon

This isn't really gardening related but after seeing the snow in the Midwest on the TV, I thought maybe someone out there would appreciate Spring in California.
I picked up a copy of Sunset magazine last week and it had a quick blurb about "Lynch Canyon", a 1,039 acre open space that was slated to become a land-fill in the 1980's, but was instead purchased by Solano County and Solano Land Trust. I looked at the map and realized these are the hills right across from the nursery. The hills I have seen, and yet ignored, nearly every day for most of my life, as I grew up in American Canyon.

What intrigued me about them most was the fact that I had never been there, or really thought about going there before...I didn't even know you could. We Californians have all these hills. Usually brown, dry hills with (maybe) a few oaks on them. We drive through them, over them, around them....but never really walk them. The places where I go for some 'nature time' usually involve redwoods, or rivers, or the least some manzanitas and madrone...something besides these hills.

It said in the article it was wildflower friend Mel said not yet.

She was right. But Look! I found this one. I should have put a penny next to it so you could see the size.

Here are a couple of lone mustard's. Living in Napa, where it seems every empty field and certainly every vineyard, is GLOWING with these little yellow fellows right now...well we weren't super impressed but still....there they are!

And then this thistle, growing up from a cow patty. (I stepped in a fresh one later, and boy was that funny!) (ha ha, kids...) At least I had on my plastic Sloggers!

After a bit, a familiar smell came to me and I glanced around for the Coyote Brush (Baccharis). I found some growing on the other side of a cattle fence. Whenever I show this plant to a customer at the nursery I always tell them this plant, to me, smells like California. I associate this strong odor with hiking in the scrub. But, does it ever look good? It never really looks good in the wild, I is in the wild so I suppose it looks perfectly fine, but does it look better grown in a more caring environment? Or is it a picky native who just up and dies if you dare to care? I must investigate this more. (BTW, I show the plant occasionally, almost never sell it unless a design calls for the low one on a hill or something).

A brisk wind came up and the kids ran.....and ran....All of a sudden the mighty roar of Hwy 80, that flows all the way to the other side of the continent, ceased. We could hear songbirds, crickets and a few frogs.

Eventually we realized we didnt know which trail we were on, and I sized up the hill as 'pretty darn big to go all the way around', at least with all these little guys and at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. So we headed back....

Back towards our waiting car and Hwy 80...

Being the baby in a large family can be tough at times, but it has its benefits too...

When we got back to our car we met the nicest ranger guy! He told us about the history of the canyon, about how Indian artifacts that were found there pointed to many hardwoods on the hills at one time, before General Vallejo. He also pointed out the other trail...the one that follows a creek, with trees and plants and nice views etc....oh well! Now we have to go back! Its a shame that the parks budgets are cut back so bad. Actually running into a live ranger (as opposed to the iron ranger where you drop your money in if your honest)is rare.

Every parent knows, one of the nicest benefits of some good hard play!

And lastly, as we were back in town....near the new Super(?)Big Box O'Crud we saw these Lupines and mustard....wildflowers!

Growing Challenge Week #3 (for us)

Wow, I can't believe it has been three weeks since we joined in Melinda's 'Growing Challenge', for more information check out her blog:
(ok, how do I get a link in here??)

We did several things this week that I think count towards growing:

I hauled nearly one ton of rocks in the trunk of my Buick, over the course of six trips. I have two more to go....

They have to do with growing challenge because I am using them to line the future herb bed, where at least one citrus is slated to go as well. In the top of the picture you see the CRAB and BERMUDA grass I have been pulling out of this area. Its the only spot in my yard that has it (thankfully) but its a pretty big area, the length of the back of the house and from three to 5 feet wide. I HAVE to control it.

We also planted two persimmon trees. I agonized which two to get. I wanted the Nishimura Wase (Coffee Cake) and a Fuyu. But, the former needs a 'Chocolate' persimmon to pollinate it, so it will be crunchy and sweet. Unpollenized it is more like a 'Hachiya': astringent until soft. I understand the 'Chocolate' is like the Hachiya as well. So, only having space right now for two (we removed a Vitex and a Paulownia for them) I went with the Nishimura Wase and the Chocolate, with plans for a Fuyu to be added after building is tore down.

Then we borrowed the truck from my work again (I am so appreciative to the owners...thank you) and made another dump run and picked up wood to build four more raised beds 4 feet by 12 feet, repair the old ones and build new bean supports.

My husband continued weeding in the existing beds, we have two cleared and repaired.

My eleven and nine year old sons accompanied me to a composting class held by the city Thursday night. We could have gotten a free but small composter but we opted to pay twenty dollars and upgrade to a large "Biostack". Our local "worm lady" (expert!) was there with some great (cheap) examples of worm boxes and we got a coupon for some red worms we are going to get. Im going to let each of the kids have their own box to tend to. We will post pictures of all that when we get them together. But in the meantime here is another picture of my four year old who loves wormies!

Seeds: the ones I ordered are here, and I also ordered some more. Somehow I was struck by the heirloom melon bug. I went a little nuts...will take a picture when they arrive. I decided that instead of planting a billion tomatoes ( I always plant too many) that only I will eat (the rest of my family are crazy) I will plant melons for the kids.

Our goals and plans for this week: have the good dirt delivered, see if I can borrow the dump truck from work to get my free load of compost from dump (coupon from class), get one bed filled with bare root strawberries and rhubarb, get the two apples that are STILL heeled in planted, plant rest of blueberries, get rest of rock home, assemble BioStack composter and start using it!!
This will be interesting to see how much we can do as I plan to work a 6 day week. I do this every once in awhile for the extra $$, I usually only work 4 days. I find it easier to just keep pushing through the week and not take a day off, rather than have split days.

Find the Perfect Plant!

Contact FindMePlants to add this Plant Finder to your website for free!