Coastal Current #101 May 2018

Welcome to the luscious, lusty month of May, just released and streaming in high definition through a greenhouse roof near you. We know it sounds a bit bizarre, but at ECG, that’s how conditions are. It’s mad, it’s gay -- a libelous display! Don’t just sit there, go break one of those dreary vows that everyone makes in (ugh) January. Go on, get it out of your system. We’ll wait. 
Florida: Welcome to the Future!
Our spring breaks earlier than yours. We’re not bragging or saying “Nyah, nyah!” Just reminding you that our latitude is your time machine: Our solar-charged starters, especially grasses, can be weeks ahead of the same plants grown farther north. You should see our Miscanthus ! Check Availability and get a head start on the growing cycle. The time machine can be remotely activated from your phone, toll-free, at 877-804-7277.
Pennsylvania: The Shadow Knows Nothing
There they go, taunting us again. Spring in PA has finally evicted a stubborn winter that tried to claim squatter’s rights. Late last month, armed posses were scouring the snowy woods for Octararo Orphie and Punxsutawney Phil, our lying little resident prognosticating groundhogs. If they’re smart, those two will stay underground until warmer weather mellows the Mid-Atlantic mood.
But top-down days are here at last, cabin fever’s fading fast, and our inaugural crop of TrayMates gets prettier by the day. Is your selection at a stalemate? Get TrayMates!
Anna Graham, our resident Queen of Conundrums, bids you unscramble seven mixed-up Latin names, then match them with their corresponding mixed-up common names. Three appear in our catalog’s Grasses section, two in Perennials , and two in Succulents . Hint: Three are not described where their names first appear.
Correct answers will be entered in a random drawing* for a prize so cool, Anna won’t identify it online because, you know, Russian hackers. Ask her in person, and she’ll whisper it in your ear – if you can find her. Pencils up! Duck logo!**
   GENUS                                                                   COMMON NAME
A. Hot Rum Grass                                                   1. Riper Diaper Dose
B. Mad Balance                                                      2. Best Lite Mullet
C. Sour Bloops                                                        3. Tin Place
D. I Saw Eli                                                              4. CB Kelly Library
E. Spare Model                                                       5. Wool Fencer
F. A Nice Ache                                                        6. I Snag Drains
G. Rich Hazy Music                                                7. Trite Robot
Pencils down! Send your answers to . Anna, firm but fair, will cast her appraising gaze across all entries and anoint the winner or winners. As always, I hang forty planks!***
*Void where prohibited. May violate community standards south of USDA Zone 7. ECG employees and Russian hackers not eligible.
**Good luck.
***Thanks for playing.
Flame on! Keep sales stoked with red-hot perennials and grasses, like: 
Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’ : It’s hard to beat ‘Autumn Joy’, but this one’s a worthy foe.
Panicum ‘Hot Rod’ : Our very own intro revs up into the red zone in record time.
Phlox ‘Scarlet Flame’ : The classic low-growing spring harbinger in a sizzling hue.
Pennisetum ‘Sky Rocket’ & ‘Cherry Sparkler’ : Smokin’ hot P . ‘Rubrum’ offspring.
It’s not just the names that are hot. Put some sizzle on your shelves with easy-planting, fast-finishing liners from ECG!
ISN’T THAT PRECIOUS? Birthstone of the Month
Buying jewelry for a loved one this lovely month? The traditional gem of choice for May: Emerald! To rock hounds, emerald is a type of beryl tinted green by traces of chromium, the stuff that makes bumpers gleam and renders stainless steel stainless.
Call us biased, but at Emerald Coast Growers we think emerald should be every grower’s touchstone every month. You can give us a ring any time, hot stuff.
TRAY BON! Native Grasses
For decades, indigenous species were the Rodney Dangerfield of horticulture: They didn’t get much respect. Thankfully, that’s changed. Natives, grasses included, are not just politically and environmentally correct, they’re downright chic.
Current Availability shows over 20 different grasses that call North America their home turf. They’ll make themselves right at home in your containers and landscapes, too. We won’t pummel you with all of them, just a few faves that you can have this month:
Andropogon : Historically a workhorse, “Big bluestem” has a whole new ornamental attitude thanks to innovative breeding. Try ‘Dancing Wind’ and ‘Rain Dance’ .
Bouteloua : “Grama grass” is a compact southwestern genus just coming into its own. B. gracilis is a low-maintenance natural for naturalizing in masses.
Sporobolus : Those in the know call “Prairie dropseed” one of the most handsome grasses you can grow. Despite the name, it’s not a rampant spreader. Birds love its tiny seeds.
Panicum : “Switchgrass” almost doesn’t belong in this list. Many growers offered varieties like ‘Northwind’ , a past Perennial Plant of the Year, before they knew it was a native. We’re especially fond of ‘Hot Rod’ , as you know if you read What’s Hot! above.
EPILOGUE: Mother, May I?
Welcome back from your walk on the wild side of Camelot – or, more likely, from getting ready for a mad, gay, and (we hope) insanely profitable Mother’s Day weekend. Sorry, but we had to go ahead without you. Just hit Replay and start over.
If you’ve got a mother to call or visit, please do so. Take her some flowers! It’s good for the industry, and y’know, it’s never too early, but one day it will be too late.
John Friel
Marketing Manager