Coastal Current #103 July 2018
What’s on your July agenda? Ours includes some well-earned vacation time, a slowdown at the nursery, summer trade shows, and of course fireworks on the Fourth. But this multitasking month offers more esoteric calendar highlights, like Bastille Day and National Nude Day, both on the 14 th . Keep the sunscreen handy. There’s also the 2d, World UFO Day, which is simply out of this world. You have to believe it to see it.
In 1984, July was officially declared National Ice Cream Month. Oddly, National Pie Day is in January, but ignore that and enjoy yours a la mode . Just don’t confuse Pie Day with Pi Day (March 14), because Pi goes on forever, math pairs poorly with ice cream, and calories? Who’s counting? It’s Ice Cream Month!

Our latest addition, a new products trialing greenhouse at our Milton, FL grass farm, is almost online. When complete, this modern facility will allow us to better evaluate new introduction candidates for all product lines, not just grasses.
Elsewhere, we’ve got fresh batches of favorites like Acorus ‘Oborozuki’ , Pennisetum ‘Rubrum’ , Ajuga ‘Black Scallop’ and many more, including four brand-new Coreopsis varieties from Darrell Probst: You can book liners of Li’l Bang™ ‘Goldilocks’ and ‘Darling Clementine', plus PermaThread™ ‘Butter Rum’ and ‘Sweet Tart’ even before they make their debut in our new catalog! See “What’s Hot” below for more info.


A sincere “ Dank je --Thanks for stopping!” to Gary Vanburen of Concept Plants, who swung by late last month to visit some Concept genetics like Festuca Beyond Blue and Senecio Angel Wings , in production and in trials. A fine time was had by all.
Speaking of production, we’re cranking out your faves, too. Coming due this month: Eight kinds of Aquilegia , Gaillardia Arizona series and ‘Goblin’ , Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ and ‘Melting Fire’ , Carex pensylvanica , ‘Silver Sceptre’ , and Prairie Fire™ , two kinds of Digitalis and last year’s Perennial Plant of the Year, Asclepias tuberosa (see Tray Bon! below for more!)
Puzzlemeistress Anna Graham is back from a month of meditation at a cloistered conundrum clinic with more posers to inflict on you, and more often, too. So far, it’s all been plant names, in Latin and/or English. This month’s theme: Plant Attributes .
Each of the following five nonsense phrases, when unscrambled, forms a word or phrase you might find in a plant description. For example, if Anna says “Brush by,” you say “Shrubby.” Pencils up!

  1. Asian side streets
  2. Renew frog life
  3. Truant sisters
  4. Falling scene
  5. Trap bee in gloom

Send your best guesses to Correct answers will be screened for pests and drawn, seemingly at random, to determine the winner of the latest, coolest ECG swag. Have fun! Duck logo! 
It’s a tradition: The hottest lick in horticulture every July is (drum roll, please)

As always, 2018-19’s Fresh Picks section features a slew of newcomers. How many is a “slew?” In this case, 72, representing every category: Perennials, Succulents and Ornamental Grasses. Some are new not just to our lineup but to the industry. Some are available exclusively from ECG!
This folio of fabulous flora opens soon, in living color, at a mailbox near you. Can’t wait? Come to Columbus, OH, where a whole trade show, Cultivate ’18 , has sprung up around our catalog launch. Join 10,000 of your friends, peers and rivals, and pick up your very own copy, warm from the oven. It’ll be waiting just for you in Booth #2313.

Besides Cultivate , which runs July 15-17, we’ll also be exhibiting at:

Raleigh, NC,
July 31-August 2

Portland, OR,
August 22-24

Griffin Expo ,
Lancaster, PA,
September 26-27
So much has been written about our imperiled pollinators, we scarcely need add more. Suffice it to say that butterflies love Asclepias tuberosa (2017’s Perennial Plant of the Year) and Aster ‘Purple Dome’ . So will your customers! These two natives get along swimmingly in the border, and ‘Purple Dome’ makes impressive containers. Pot now for late-season sales, or overwinter for a fast start in spring 2019. Your friendly neighborhood Lepidoptera , including the magnificent monarch, will thank you.
Back to holidays: The venerable Fourth, Independence Day, does double duty in Arizona as Sidewalk Egg Frying Day. Yum, cholesterol and concrete! Anna Graham’s favorite observance, predictably, is the 22 nd , Doonerism Spay, honoring Rev. William Spooner’s famous swapped syllables. His greatest hits, spoonerisms, include “Let me sew you to another sheet” and “The Lord is a shoving leopard.” Historians say they’re mostly misattributed; the good Rev really only uttered one or two of his eponymous tongue-twisters – not unlike another popular apocryphal prophet, Yogi Berra, who really did say, “I never said most of the things I said.”
And having said that, we’ll say, until next time, happy Fourth, happy Ice Cream Month, and happy trails. See you in Columbus! And/or Raleigh, Portland, or Lancaster! You can quote us on that.
John Friel
Marketing Manager