Coastal Current Turns # 100 !
April 2018

We’ve hit the century mark: You’re reading the one-hundredth issue of Coastal Current, our Pulitzer-winning, Oscar-nominated, gluten-free, dolphin-safe, locally sourced, non-GMO, unbleached e-newsletter, American-made from at least 85% post-consumer-recycled free-range organic pixels. Use as directed. Not sold in stores.
Some years, we celebrate April 1 with a bogus bonus edition followed by the real thing. But we didn’t want a #100a and a #100b, so this time, dear reader, it’s up to you to distinguish fact from fiction. It won’t be hard, as we’ve largely eschewed obfuscation. We have faith in you.
Flor ida
■ When Al Mueller, our snowbird Vice-President At Large, said he ran a 5K in Pensacola last month, we asked for evidence. Al’s a fit fellow, but hardly a hardcore runner. Ah, but then we read the small print: the finish line was an Irish brewpub. Sorry we doubted you, big guy! Your next Guinness is on us.
■ Archaeologists recently dug up further proof that Pensacola is Florida’s oldest settlement: a Spanish-language sign carbon-dated to 1559, the year Tristan de Luna planted Spain’s flag on the Gulf Coast, advertising Florida’s first retirement home. In your face, Saint Augustine!
■ We got over a foot of snow on the alleged first two days of spring, so we’re leery, but winter’s clearly waning. Sprouted or blooming outdoors: Perovskia , Phlox , naked ladies, tulips, daffodils, lilacs, Helleborus , crocus, witch hazel and all the other usual suspects. Indoors, we’re pleased with the looks of Festuca Beyond Blue and ‘Cool as Ice’ , Arizona series Agastache , classic Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ , Carex Eversheen , and many more.
■ To honor our Lancaster County home, we’re introducing a special “Pennsylvania Dutch” series of grasses and perennials. Watch for ‘Whoopie’ Pyracantha , Hosta ‘Horse ‘n’ Buggy’, Pennisetum ‘Pig Stomach’ and ‘Shoo-Fly’ Pyrethrum . Each tray comes with a free, fresh 20-10-20 pasture pie fertilizer packet so you, too, can smell our dairy air!

True or False?
a)     Baptisia australis , blue false indigo, is native to Australia.
b)     Swedish ivy ( Plectranthus australis ) is native to Sweden and Australia.
c)     French marigolds ( Tagetes patula ) are native to Europe, oui?
d)     African marigolds ( Tagetes erecta ) are native to Africa.
e)     Canadian thistle ( Cirsium arvense ) is native to Canada, eh?
f ) English lavender ( Lavandula angustifolia ) is native to England.
Sometimes half a loaf is better than one
TrayMates™ are trays of 72 cells split down the middle, so you can order just 36 each of the perennial and grass varieties you need. It’s a great way to expand your selection without expanding your space!
TrayMates™ starters are grown in Ellepot ACT liners for uniform rooting and quick, clean transplanting. Some varieties are sold out, but there’s still good availability on many favorites.
When even 72 is too much of a good thing, broaden your offering with TrayMates™. We’ll meet you half way!*
*Minimum order: Two (2) strips, one (1) tray.
HORTISCOPE: Who’s a Good Boy? Who’s a Good Boy?
Chinese astrologers celebrate 2018 as the Year of the Dog . Those born in dog years (1958, ’70, ’82, ’94) are known for loyalty, dependability, drooling and sticking their heads out of the car window at high speed. But they CAN learn new tricks. Sit! Roll over! Stick cuttings! Fetch us a beer! 

Hot & New? Or Tried & True?

Why choose? Here are two items, NEW! to our current catalog, that check both boxes:

Pennisetum Etouffee™ : From the Infertile Collection of fountain grasses from University of Georgia, extensively trialed in multiple zones. Persistent pink foxtail plumes rise above gracefully arching bright green foliage. Got self-sowing issues with other varieties? Here’s your solution. 42” tall, hardy in Zones 5 – 9.

Coreopsis Satin & Lace ‘Ice Wine’ : Breeder Darrell Probst puts potential intros through the wringer of harsh New England winters, so they hit the ground running. ‘Ice Wine’ features clean, linen-white petals with pretty mulberry bases. Standing 16-22”, it’s hardy in Zones 5 – 9.
The very first issue of this newsletter hit the industry’s inboxes in March, 2010. A few folks immediately changed their email addresses or upgraded their junk filters, but most of you have stuck with us and even turned your colleagues on to the joys of Coastal Current. Thanks! We’ve enjoyed your company – and your comments.
Here are a few feedback samples, all verified by Snopes.

Backtalk: Our Readers Speak

“An exceptionally witty and informative newsletter.”
– Veronica Rachel Hoover, Bill Moore & Co.

"Just wanted to take a brief moment to tell you how much I enjoy reading the Current. You crack me up."
– Anna M. Pipes, AVP

“Stop making these so danged funny! I can’t drink my coffee while reading... I’m afraid I’ll slop it all over my keyboard!”
– Beth Engle, Griffin Greenhouse Supplies

“Like the lightbug your writing bring light in my early morning thought. Happy Monday!”
– Chantal De Menezes, LA

“Most newsletters, I simply glance at and delete. Yours, I read."
– Ken Brown, Terra Nova Nurseries

"Um... are you responsible for this?"
– Judy Laushman, ASCFG
It’s become a running gag for Yours Truly to occasionally sign off either in costume or via a doctored image. Here are a few you may recognize; some have been used more than once.
And here’s our blooper reel of pics that didn’t make the cut. Suggestions for future personae are hereby solicited.
Ask your doctor if Coastal Current is right for you. Not to be taken internally, or seriously, unless you are a single taxpayer filing jointly with men on base and less than two outs. Common side effects include marginal horticultural enlightenment, mild levity and transient telekinesis. If you believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
We strive to make this monthly missive (a) informative enough to be of practical use to our grower & broker audience, and (b) entertaining enough that you actually read and enjoy it. It’s a delicate balance, and if we occasionally tilt too far one way or the other, well, tough. Get your own newsletter.
But seriously: To those of you who’ve joined us on the ride for all 100 issues, or any part thereof, Thank you! No fooling. Happy Easter.

JF and all of us at ECG
John Friel
Marketing Manager