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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall Update

The Fall season always brings a flurry of activity around the nursery.  In addition to an array of plant propagation tasks, we will continue to have regular open hours through October until cold weather and rain close us down for the season.   You can always check our website for our current open hours.

The late season flower of Crinum 'Ellen Bosanquet'
We will also continue mail order shipping into early November.  We rely on our mail order customers to determine their best local planting season and instruct us when to ship.  Some plants such as Meconopsis and Arisaema can only be safely shipped in Spring and Fall when they are nearly dormant.   We put the “Add To Cart” button on the plant detail page in our online mail order catalog when those plants are ready to ship.

Primula allionii 'Airmist' growing in tufa
 Fall is an ideal time to add new plants to the garden for those of us who live on the West Coast and we have several garden projects underway.  We built a tufa rock garden this summer and will be adding many more plants to it in the coming weeks.

This beautiful Pacific Coast Iris will be available
at the nursery next spring
 We are also increasing our growing area for garden testing our newly propagated Pacific Coast Hybrid Irises.  PCI’s are typical of many Western native plants and prefer to be kept drier during the summer months, so fall is a great time to plant them.  Winter rains will help them become established and they will need much less care next season.

When we take a few minutes to look around, we see that we have many late season garden companions.   We still have hummingbirds at the Penstemon and Agastache plants.  Honeybees and other pollinators congregate around any available flower.  And recently, while adding water to the pond, I noticed an enterprising frog perched in the pitcher of a carnivorous plant, Sarracenia sp.

Notice that its patience appears to be paying off as the frog spies a fly attracted by the pitcher plant’s nectar.

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