Issue #133 January 2021
January 2021
A year ago today, This Space gave no hint of the massive amount of organic fertilizer that was poised to impact the air-circulation device.

We opened with a nod to the passing of the torch from old year to new, and signed off with a cheery riff on Auld Lang Syne. The next two issues were equally clueless. But it soon became obvious that 2020 had… well, you know.
Florida Sorry, not this year.
We won’t see y’all at Gulf States Horticultural Expo (GSHE) in Mobile after all. The organizers held out as long as possible, but finally canceled the show last month, calling it “the least regrettable decision.” Amen to that. Put January 20-21, 2022 in your calendar.

But y’know who IS getting together under a big roof? Our farm machines finally have a protected place to lay their weary heads. A dry tractor is a happy tractor! Soon there will be walls, and an upgraded grass production facility. 
Pennsylvania On a related note…
The Perennial Plant Association goes hybrid in 2021. The National Symposium, scheduled for Lancaster, PA got bumped twice, but there will be a virtual national shindig and live regional pop-up events. Watch for up-to-date info. Tell Siri or Alexa to get you to Lancaster August 1-5, 2022! Yes, they can do that.
Our northern range is home to fresh crops of Nassella, Achillea and a decent block of Carex pensylvanica. The trial garden is asleep, but spring will bring expanded shaded space to compare Carex species. Check it out when you come for your order.
Carex pensylvanica
Our Rock Star award honors ECG employees who demonstrate a sustained high level of performance and inspire others. This month, let’s hear it for Ryan Marsee, our Soil Barn Supervisor.

“The soil barn crew are our hidden heroes,” said President Paul Babikow. Why ‘hidden?’ Because when customers look at our products, they see the plants. But what lies below is no less important.

The right mix in the right tray, delivered to the right place at the right time, keeps production running smoothly and makes everything else possible. “It takes a lot of work behind the scenes to make that happen,” said Paul. “It can get pretty hectic at times. Ryan handles those times admirably.”

Ryan’s co-workers agree. Here are a few of their many supporting comments.

“Ryan is a great role model for his coworkers. He’s a stand-up guy with a great character & work ethic. He puts in extra hours on weekends to stay ahead of schedule, while maintaining a positive attitude – which is half the battle.”

“He has a can-do attitude. He’s a great example of the saying, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going.’ I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even know the word “no.” 

“Ryan has really outdone himself. The units-per-hour efficiencies are probably the best since the soil barn was created. I throw him curve balls, and he knocks them out of the park. November was a busy month, but Ryan was able to keep us ALL busy.”

Thank you, Ryan, for all the above and for what another co-worker called “your reliable high-volume, high-quality output.” You rock!
ERYSIMUM Glow™ series
Their Latin name changed from Cheiranthus to Erysimum years ago, but gardeners still call them “wallflower.” By any name, they’ve adorned our borders for decades.
The Glow™ series updates the genus with its compact, ground-hugging shrubby habit and extended bloom time. Once established, they like their soil on the dry side – perfect for water-conscious areas and for reduced maintenance everywhere. Terrific for containers, too, alone or in combination. And they play well with Illuminating (Pantone 13-0647), the cheerful yellow hue that’s one of two 2021 Color of the Year choices.
Get a load of their glowing honey-scented flowers in a range of gold/citrus hues: ‘Bright Gold’, ‘Coral’, ‘Golden’, ‘Mango’ and ‘Orange’.
They keep a low profile (just 6 – 8”), but these wallflowers are ready to strut their stuff. Add them to your dance card for 2021, and get your Glow™ on with fast-finishing 72s from Emerald Coast Growers – the easy choice!
‘Bright Gold’
As promised, Puzzleprincess Anna Graham has cooked up a new word search. Fifteen plant-related words, some English, some Latin, are cunningly concealed in the matrix below. Can you find them? Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya?

Words run every which way: Forward, backward, horizontally, diagonally and vertically. 
5.   CAREX
No, it’s not interactive. Anna’s maiden name is Logg. Print it, solve it and send a scan or a snap of your solution to All correctly decoded Griddles will be entered in a drawing for cool ECG swag.


“None are more likely to have seen what we do not see, than those who do not see what we see.”

~ John Stuart Mill
ROSEMARY: It’s a trip!
Nothing evokes dreams of a sun-soaked Mediterranean sojourn like rosemary. A glance at that familiar glaucous pine-needly foliage, a noseful of its inimitable fragrance, and you’re transported to southern France or the cliffs of Crete. Put your nose right HERE* for a whiff of our four varieties.
Named for an agricultural town in Texas, this one was selected for grey-green foliage, persistent blue fall flowers, and somewhat better winter tolerance. Height 2 - 4’. Hardy in Zones 6-9 
Bolt upright habit is ideal for topiaries or as a hedge. Lavender/blue flowers in late summer/fall. Height 3 - 4’. Hardy in Zones 7-9
As the name implies, like ‘Arp’, it’s marginally more winter-hardy than most. Dense, dark green and intensely aromatic. Height 4 - 5’. Hardy in Zones 6b-9
Unusually wide blue-green leaves on thick stems for a formal columnar appearance. Height 4 - 7’. Hardy in Zones 7-9
Fun Fact: Those frisky taxonomists recently decided that Rosmarinus officinalis is more accurately called Salvia rosmarinus, thus demoting the erstwhile genus name to specific epithet status. We don’t expect this change to catch on anytime soon, in common use or in our listings.
By any name, savvy designers know where rosemary belongs. Like other aromatic herbs and shrubs, it’s best placed strategically beside a path, where you’ll brush against it in passing for a quick fix of that exquisite, evocative scent.
Note: Our starters are grown for ornamental, not culinary, use.
*Sniffable pixel technology still in beta testing. Let us know if it worked for you. 
Where were we? Ah yes... the late unlamented 2020. Baby New Year seized the torch by the wrong end, and we all got burned. Here's hoping we get a grip on the right side of life again, and soon. Here’s to midnight kisses, stupid hats and champagne. Here’s to open bars, shops, restaurants, stadiums and – especially – arms.

From all of us at Emerald Coast Growers, Happy New Year!
John Friel
Marketing Manager