Spring is here… technically
Spring is here… technically anyway. As we have mentioned before, this past winter in Southern California was so warm the plants never truly stopped growing. Now that spring is official though, there will be many of you looking to stock up. Word on the grapevine is there are a great many nurseries starting to gear up on production but as of right now there is not much up to size. The abnormally short supply of plant material has caused many to take what they can get. In fact, we have heard multiple horror stories of installers popping off 5g cans to find soil crumbling away to expose a 1g root ball. The truth of the matter is that some customers insist on taking plant material, rooted or not. We here are constantly asking this group of customers, “Are you sure you want those?” It seems the people that are taking what they can get would rather have it now than not have it at all. It is worth noting that we do our very best to make sure you know if something is not up to par.
It is also worth noting that we do our very best to make sure you know what is looking tip top every month… hence the monthly newsletter. So with that said, here is what is looking prime for April:
Ajuga reptans – We started growing Carpet Bugle last year. We have not been able to gauge as to whether or not it is a good seller yet… it is too early to say. However, it is very easy to grow and shows promise to be a good spring color item as the flower spikes appear in spring. For sun or shade, but in hotter climates does best in shade. Also worth noting is the foliage holds the bronze color best in the sun. Cold hardy to Zone 3.
Aptenia cordifolia – Commonly known as Hearts and Flowers in the Midwest, this ice plant is native to South Africa and is widely used in rock gardens or planted en masse 2 ft. apart for a solid groundcover. Fleshy green leaves contrast well with the bright red flowers. Cold hardy to Zone 9.
Cistus x purpureus – You know spring is here when Orchid Rockrose goes into bloom. While the bloom season is very short, the gray-green foliage can add a nice contrast to one’s landscape throughout the rest of the year. Rockrose is a very versatile plant. Native to the Mediterranean, so it does well in arid climates but can also handle salt spray along the coast. Tolerant of poor soil so long as it has good drainage and has been reported to handle the desert heat. Cold hardy to Zone 8.
Cotoneaster dammeri ‘Lowfast’ – Lowfast Cotoneaster is a good choice for a quick growing groundcover. It grows vigorously to 1 ft. tall and 10 ft. wide with minimal maintenance. A profusion of white flowers appear in spring and which are followed showy berries in the fall and winter. Semi-evergreen and cold hardy to Zone 6
Juniperus chinensis ‘Sea Green’ – A true landscape staple for regions subject to extreme cold. Sea Green Juniper is hands down the best selling shrub form Juniper we sell. Grows 4-5 ft. tall and wide with arching branches and dark green foliage. Best in full sun but needs partial shade in desert climates. Not picky on soil so long as drainage is good. Cold hardy to Zone 4.
Juniperus sabina ‘Tamariscifolia’ – Tam Juniper is next in line on the shrub form Juniper best sellers… right below Sea Green. It can grow up to 3 ft. tall and 10 ft. wide and some would consider it a groundcover Juniper due to its mature width. Horizontal branches sport blue green foliage. Cold hardy to Zone 4.
Ligustrum sinensis – Variegated Chinese Privet is another landscape staple for the southern regions of the midwest. A semi-evergreen shrub commonly used for hedges. Small, oval shaped leaves have a green center with a cream margin. Best in full sun as the creamy edges fade to green when planted in shade. Grows 4-6 ft. high and wide. Cold hardy to Zone 7.
Rhaphiolepis indica ‘Clara’ – Generally speaking, Indian Hawthorn is one of the top selling shrubs we grow. The Clara variety however, is by far the best selling of the species. Grows 4-5 ft. tall and wide. Drought tolerant once established, but does best with supplemental irrigation in hotter climates. The abundant white flowers in early spring contrast well with the bronzy new leaves. Cold hardy to Zone 8.
Rhaphiolepis indica ‘Pink Lady’ – Pink Lady Hawthorn has ranked #2 in regards to sales on the species. Native to China, this evergreen shrub has an upright growth habit reaching 4-6 ft. high and wide. A profusion of pink flowers in early spring. Widely used as a background plant or informal hedge. Cold hardy to Zone 8.
Rhaphiolepis indica ‘Pinkie’ – Pinkie Hawthorn is a compact dwarf form growing only 3-4 ft. tall and wide. Pink flowers appear at the same time as the rest of the species. The tight, neat growth habit make this variety particularly useful as a foreground plant or even as a groundcover when planted en masse. Cold hardy to Zone 8.
Senecio mandraliscae – This succulent groundcover is commonly referred to as Blue Chalk Sticks, one look at the plant and you can tell why. Grows to 1½ ft. tall and 2 ft. wide, broken stems can take root. A unique groundcover in that it breaks away from the common green tones of traditional groundcover. Prefers partial shade in desert climates, full sun elsewhere. Drought tolerant but can handle regular irrigation. Cold hardy to Zone 8.
Based on the national weather forecast, it seems the rest of the country is finally on its way to thawing out… excluding the upper Midwest. The drought here in the southwest remains unchanged despite the miniscule amount of rain we received last week. Regardless of the weather, we are looking forward to another prosperous season. We hope you all do the same. Happy spring all… Cheers!