2019 is officially underway and already we're getting a decent amount of rainfall and cold weather. This is great for most plants, especially stone fruit trees that require chill hours. This should make for a beautiful spring bloom throughout the county in our gardens and hiking trails. I trust everyone has had a great start to the new year, but now we must get back and tend to the garden!
As the rainy season continues, so will the germination of weed seeds. The best way to control weeds is to stay on top of them and eradicate them before they flower and set more seed. This can be done a number of ways...The easiest way for small gardens is hand pulling or using tools to uproot the weeds which can then be collected and disposed of. Another is using an organic spray such as Burnout or concentrated vinegar. There are also pre-emergent
pellets like Amaze that can be applied before certain seasons that prevent the seeds from germinating in the first place. Mulching can be another effective method but needs to be done in thick layers (8"-12") to have any effect on weeds.
Plants of all kinds benefit from natural rain water. Collect as much as possible if you have the ability to do so and your garden will reap the rewards. Remember to have your irrigation systems turned off or severely cut back this time of the year, no need to waste water. Plants are not so reliant on water for growth throughout winter as most are in a sort of dormant state, plus the periodic rainfall keeps the soil saturated (I haven't had my irrigation on since early November!)
People always ask me if it's okay to plant in the winter, and with the exception of tropical plants I tell them absolutely! You might not notice a lot of top growth throughout the cold season but the roots are growing and with the benefit of rain, your plants will jump to life in the spring time.
We have a great selection of plants in a couple of categories right now, including
indoor plants, succulents and cactus, and
drought resistant/tolerant plants. Let's start with the indoor section...
Start the new year by filling your home with air-filtering, oxygen-producing houseplants. I love the way plants can make an indoor space feel more comfortable and natural. I believe there is a bond between humans and plants, we both need each other!
If you have larger spaces to fill try some of our taller plants such as
Ficus lyrata (fiddle leaf fig) which we have in many different sizes,
Ficus triangularis (more unusual, very unique),
Areca palms (tall palms that are great for air filtration and oxygen), and different varieties of
Dracaena (unique structural plants).
If it's foliage your after, there is lots to choose from. Try one of the many varieties of
Agleonema (white diamond, Maria, Lady Valentine),
Croton (Zanzibar, Oakleaf, Mamey), and also a few
Ficus 'Siam ruby', Pilea peperomiodes, Monstera deliciosa, and
|Lush agleonema at left with dracaena marginata towering over it; cool varieties of croton above.
Many houseplants put on beautiful flowers as well.
Bromeliad blooms last several months and have many shapes and colors.
Anthuriums seem to bloom almost year-round and have a reputation for being easy to grow (check out the dark burgundy colored one below, right!)
One of my favorite categories,
succulents and cacti
, have not stopped growing in popularity. I believe the aspect of low-maintenance, low-water, and when done right, very unique landscapes can come out of a design containing these amazing plants. Our 2" and 4" selection are great year-round (perfect for small projects, planters, gifts, or to experiment with).
I'm particularly excited about
Aloes this time of the year (maybe because they really shine, i.e. bloom in the winter).
Tree varieities include Aloe thraskii, Aloe dichotoma, Aloe africana, and Aloe munchii. Other great varieties include Aloe striata, polyphylla (spiral aloe), distans, lineata, cameronii (red starfish aloe), vanbalenii, Erik the red (has the most beautiful red flower), Moonglow (yellow abundant flowers!) and capitata var. quartzicola (very unusual flower).
Last is a quick list of some drought resistant unusual plants we have in stock at the moment:
- Leucadendron 'Jester' is always a pleaser with its bright colored foliage year-round
- Leucospermums and Proteas are starting to bud up!
- Banksia speciosa and ericafolia compact are great for unusual flower shows.
- Calothamnus 'Spring torch' and Adenanthos 'Silver haze' make beautiful evergreen shrubs with textured foliage.
- Grevillea are really shining right now almost all are in bloom, filoba, 'Peaches and cream', 'Superb', 'Robyn Gordon', 'Magic lanterns', 'Coastal Gem' and 'Long John' (and all Grevillea flowers attract hummingbirds!)
There are of course more but I like to leave a little room for discovery (that's the best part!)
Thank you all for a great year in 2018 and I am looking forward to even more new and exciting things in 2019 and to seeing you at the nursery soon. Ciao for now!