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NEW ROSES AT Red Bluff Garden Center
FOR 2008
Abraham Darby David Austin Rose Candy Land
April in Paris JR Rose of the Year Flutterbye
Barbara Bush Full Moon Rising Star Romantica Series
Carefree Celebration New from Star Roses Morning Magic New from Star
Catalina Royal Gold
Cherry Parfait Winner's Circle New from Star
Citrus Splash
Classic Woman Star Romantica Series 24" PATIO TREE ROSES
Double Knockout Black Cherry
Dream Come True AARS Winner 2008 Double Knock Out
Elizabeth Taylor Happy Chappy
Fair Bianca David Austin Rose Livin' Easy
Falling in Love New from Weeks Lovestruck
Fire and Ice Passionate Kisses
Frankly Scarlet Preference
Geoff Hamilton David Austin Rose Sun Flare
Glamis Castle David Austin Rose
Golden Celebration David Austin Rose 36" TREE ROSES
Heaven on Earth Brandy
Heritage David Austin Rose Elle
Julio Iglesias New from Star Just Joey
Knockout Lovestruck
Lovestruck JP 2008 Floribunda of the Year Purple Passion
Morden Fireglow Radiant Perfume
Oranges 'n Lemons The Fairy
Perfume Delight
Pope John Paul II
Red Drift Star groundcover rose
Squire, The David Austin Rose
The Fairy
The Imposter New from Star
(Featured on Garden Compass Planting Guide cover)
The Prince David Austin Rose
Toulouse-Lautrec Star Romatica Series
Wild Thing
The Osage Orange - A Strange Green Fruit
by George Winter and Linda Linhart
We have recently had several customers inquire as to the origin of an odd green, grapefruit- sized orb they have been finding along some backwoods roads in Shasta County that look similar to “brains”. This strange fruit certainly got us scratching our heads wanting to know more. We did a little research and found out some very interesting information on this oddity of the plant world - The Osage-orange.

The Osage-orange has a variety of names: Hedge-apple, Horse-apple, Hedge-ball, Bois d’arc, Bodark, Bow wood, Brain Fruit, Monkey Brain, Monkey Orange, and our favorite, Monkey Balls.

The Osage-orange (Maclura pomifera) is a plant in the mulberry family, Moraceae. It is a small deciduous tree or a large shrub, typically growing 6 to 60 feet tall and up to 40 feet wide. The leaves are oval shaped with a pointed end, dark green on top and a lighter green underneath. In autumn, the leaves turn beautiful bright yellow. The trees have one-inch thorns growing similar to true citrus, which gave the plants value as fences. There are now a few thorn-less varieties available. The trunk has yellow-orange wood covered by bark. The plants are either male or female, with the female producing fruit from insignificant flowers. The fruit is a large, yellow-green wrinkled ball up to 6 inches in diameter, which ripens in late fall. The fruit contains about 200 seeds covered by a sticky white latex sap, which can be irritating to the skin. The fruit is inedible to humans, but squirrels love the nuts, which are smaller than sunflower seeds. The plant is easily propagated from stem cuttings, root cuttings and from seed. It is also easy to transplant. Osage-orange is useful as a tall hedge or a background plant and can be grown as a beautiful shade tree.

Osage-orange is native to the central United States - primarily found in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, southeastern Oklahoma, and eastern Texas. The Osage-orange was named after the Osage Indian tribe, which lived near the tree’s home range, and from the orange-like aroma of the ripened fruit. The wood from the tree was used for centuries by Native Americans for war clubs and bows, some traveling hundreds of miles for the precious wood.

Before the invention of barbed wire in the 1880’s, thousands of miles of Osage-orange trees were planted closely together forming a hedge that was “horse high, bull strong and hog tight. Tall enough that a horse couldn’t jump it, stout enough that a bull would not push through it and woven so tightly that even a hog couldn’t find his way through!” After barbed wire was introduced, the trees were still used as fence posts.

The yellow-orange wood is very dense, also making it ideal for railroad ties and tool handles. It lasts for decades without succumbing to insect damage or rot. It is considered good “tone” wood for makers of duck and goose calls and musical instruments such as harps. When dried, the wood makes excellent firewood, with a rating almost as high as coal in producing heat.

Many people believe that the fruit of the Osage-orange will keep insects out of the house by gathering and placing the fruit around basement windows and other likely openings where bugs might venture, to discourage entry. This seems to be more of a myth than fact, but as someone once said, “One method that definitely works is to pick up the hedge apple and smash the offending bug with it. That is a sure thing!”

There is a vast amount of information on this tree, more so than ever imagined, more than we ever wanted to know. So, for some entertaining reading and more history on this rather odd yet versatile tree, look up hedge apples or Osage-oranges on the internet and be entertained by the stories written on www.hedgeapple.com (guest book section), by people who have a fondness for this unusual tree. There are many other sites with information, just sit back when you have an hour or so to spare and be prepared to laugh a little and learn something about the history of this amazing strange green fruit.

By George Winter and Sherrie Weigel
As the temperatures drop, and gardeners work on their annual winter clean up, they should also allow some time and energy for putting their water gardens to bed for the winter. Staff water garden expert Sherrie Weigel (former owner of Sherrie’s Water Gardens in Anderson) has been promoting water gardening for over 25 years, and we picked her brain for suggestions.

As with the regular garden, it is most important to clean up around all plants in the water and surrounding areas, removing dead leaves, stems and debris, so that it doesn’t fall to the bottom of the pond and create more debris.

Cold-hardy water plants can be left to over-winter in the pond, while tropical water plants, such as tropical water lilies, should be taken out of the pond, cleaned up, and moved into a greenhouse or other sunny shelter, where temperatures don’t drop below 60 degrees. (see sidebar) Plants already in containers can remain in their pots, and floating plants should be placed into pots of moist aquatic soil, such as PondCard Aquatic Planting Media. Smaller floating plants can be placed in home aquariums until spring.

Avoid the temptation to turn off pond filters. Keeping the filter active not only helps keep the water clean, but will also keep pond water from freezing. Placing a few blocks of wood in the water will also help keep water moving, thus avoiding ice build-up.

Fish naturally hibernate as water temperature drops. Keep a thermometer in the water, and when water temperatures drop down to 55 degrees, slow feeding to once a week. Cold water fish food, such as PondCare Spring and Autumn Premium Pellet Cool Water Koi & Goldfish Food with vitamins and minerals is the best nourishment for fish during the winter. Fish will hibernate at the bottom of the pond in cold water, stressing the importance of having the bottom of the pond as clean as possible.

If ice does form, it is best to spread a few inches of rock salt around the perimeter of the ice. The rock salt will help melt ice and will not hurt fish or vegetation. Don’t break up the ice, as it is very hard on the fish. If a hard frost threatens, winter-hardy plants should be placed in the deepest part of the pond, where they will probably sink to the bottom.

Winter is a good time to transplant all varieties of water plants using soil specially formulated for water gardens. Lotus plants should be divided at this time. As plants are dormant during the cold, fertilizing should be held off until spring. It is a good time, however, to add Barley Straw extract to pond water. This product gives off an enzyme which inhibits algae formation, and actually works better in colder weather.

The first signs of spring regeneration will be new growth on the Water Lilies. Fish will come to the surface as they get hungry. This is the time to once again begin cleaning up, repotting, and fertilizing your pond and its contents.

If you have questions about your pond and its care, please contact us by coming into the nursery, located at 8026 Airport Rd, Redding, calling (530) 365-2256, or sending an e-mail to us. Red Bluff Garden Center carries the products mentioned in this article as part of their selection of products for year-round pond care. They also have a large supply of water plants, especially during the warmer months. When spring arrives, we will revisit this topic for the loyal readers of InsideOut.

Arrowhead (var. species) Saggitaria latifolia
Hardy Water Canna Thalia dealbata
Hardy Water Lily Nymphaea
Lotus Fabaceae
Pickerel Weed Pontederia cordata
Umbrella Palm Papyrus
Yellow or Blue Flag Iris louisiana
Sensitive Plant Egyptian Papyrus
Taro Colocasia
Tropical Water Lilies Nymphea
Tropical Canna Thalia dealbata
Water Hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes
Water Poppies Hydrocleys nymphoides
Great Gardening Books
Now for Sale at Red Bluff Garden Center
Sunset Western Garden Book
The most referenced book at Red Bluff Garden Center, the Sunset Western Garden Book is a definite staff favorite. This gardening encyclopedia from Sunset Magazine explains everything a gardener needs to know about over 8,000 plants inhabiting the Western United States.
This ultimate gardening manual includes a general gardening encyclopedia as well as a glossary. A plant selection guide is included for special gardening situations. The index makes it invaluable. The new 2007 Master Nursery special-edition is a must for any gardener and contains a valuable coupon book with savings on many Master Nursery products. 768 pages. $34.95.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Calendar
This stunning calendar is jam packed with advice, folklore and gardening secrets from the Old Farmer’s Almanac. The months are beautifully illustrated and include astronomy, monthly garden chores and an outdoor planting guide. This is another wonderful gift for both gardeners and naturalists. $8.99.
Perfect Partners
The Old Farmer's Almanac
All-Seasons Garden Journal
A wonderful garden journal, which includes weather lore and garden tips. Divided by seasons with monthly garden chores, frost and planting infor- mation, this book will keep you busy year round. It covers herbs, vegetables, annuals, perennials and shrubs. Check out the seed starting and seed saving tips and records. Learn how to store and preserve your bounty. Record all your garden activities and refer back as the years go on. This journal is a real workbook for the serious gardener.
80 pages. $13.95.
How to Prune Fruit Trees
By R.Sanford Martin

Written in 1944, this book is a winter staple here at Red Bluff Garden Center. It is a sensible, straight-forward tree pruning manual, complete with easy to understand diagrams. Information is specific and covers fruit and nut varieties from almonds to walnuts, including grapes and berries. You will also find information on planting and training young trees. This book is a great text in conjunction with our Fruit Tree Pruning Classes taught by Rico Montenegro during January 2008. See our Schedule of Events for more information on these very popular classes. 90 pages. $6.99.

Dave Wilson Nursery Variety and Rootstock
Description Pocket Book

This handy little booklet lists descriptions of most of the bare root fruit, nut, and shade trees that Red Bluff Garden Center will have in stock this winter, and all of the fruit tree varieties grown by the Dave Wilson Nursery. It is complete with fruit color, size and shape; necessary chill hours and pollinators if needed. The flowering shrub sections list the color, shape and size of the bloom of pomegranate, quince and lilacs that will also be available, and includes cultural requirements. The Fruit & Nut Harvest Guide in the center gives orchardists the information they need for a continuous harvest. Find descriptions of the different rootstocks - from standard to dwarf, for all varieties, with pros and cons, if applicable. 36 pages. $4.00.

Complete Trees, Shrubs and Hedges
By Jacqueline Heriteau

With over 550 photographs and 165 illustrations, this new addition to the Red Bluff Garden Center’ bookshelves provides all the information you need to create a landscape of interest and beauty for all seasons. It shows you how to add privacy, shade, color and texture by selecting the right plants for your specific growing conditions. Descriptions of over 1,000 plants are highlighted with information on care, pruning and training. 238 pages. $19.95.

The Powerful Pomegranate
by George Winter and Linda Linhart
The Pomegranate is one of the earliest cultivated fruits, along with olives, grapes, figs and dates. Throughout history, this richly-colored and delicious fruit has been revered as a symbol of health, fertility, and rebirth. The irresistible appeal and legendary medicinal properties have also made the pomegranate the subject of countless myths, epics and works of art, from Raphael and Cezanne to Homer and Shakespeare. Some cultures also believed the pomegranate held profound and mystical healing powers. Others chose to use the fruit in a more practical way, as in dyes and as decoration.

Today, pomegranates are not just for decoration. Considered the new antioxidant super food, pomegranate juice boasts three times the antioxidant activity of both green tea and red wine. The high level of antioxidants found in pomegranate juice is effective in combating free radicals that may cause a number of afflictions, including heart disease, stroke, hypertension, premature aging, Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer. Research has found that one glass of pomegranate juice a day could improve blood flow to the heart by more than a third. The antioxidant properties prevent bad cholesterol from forming, which keeps the arteries clear and reduces the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes. A single pomegranate provides 40 percent of an adult’s recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, and is a rich source of folic acid and vitamins A and E.

Pomegranates can be ornamental or fruit bearing, and grown as either a bushy shrub or trained as a small tree. The pomegranate tree is deciduous and hardy to 10 degrees F. when dormant, but is frost sensitive in early fall before it reaches full dormancy and in the spring after the buds have begun to swell. Pomegranate trees are long lived; some have been reported to be over 200 years old.

Pomegranates grow best in deep loam, but are adaptable to a wide range of soil types as long as they have good drainage. Trees grow 15 to 20 feet tall and wide but are easily kept to a bush of 6 to 12 feet. Plant the trees 12 to 20 feet apart unless you want them to grow into hedges or border rows. Though drought tolerant, pomegranates need an adequate water supply to have good quality fruit, especially in late summer and early fall.

There are many different varieties of fruiting pomegranates. One of the most popular is Wonderful, used commercially because of its large red-purple fruit and the fact that it ships and keeps well. Eversweet is virtually seedless, has red skin and clear non-staining juice. Pink Satin, a newer variety, has fruit-punch flavored fruit. Other new varieties which will be available this spring are: Garnet Sash, Kashmir Blend, Red Silk and Sharp Velvet. All pomegranates are self-fruitful.

Pomegranates are not only rich in antioxidants but also delicious used in a variety of ways, including juice, jellies, sauces, tossed in salads and eaten fresh. The easiest method of separating the seeds from the white papery skin is to begin by quartering the fruit and removing the rind, submerging the remaining skin and seeds in a bowl of cool water and gently separating the seeds from the skin.

No matter how you enjoy your pomegranates, they are a fruit tree well worth growing and would be a wonderful addition to your home garden.

FOR 2008
Pink Satin. Medium to large size, medium pink to dark red fruit with medium to large, light-pink edible seeds. Wonderful refreshing light-colored juice is non-staining, with a sweet, fruit-punch flavor. Plant is vigorous and can be grown as a shrub or tree and kept any height by summer pruning. East fresh, juice or use in salads. Excellent source of antioxidants. Chill requirement 150-200 hours. Self fruitful.

Garnet Sash. Vigorous tree sets big crops of large, dark red fruit with deep-red, partially edible sweet-tart seeds. Can be grown as a shrub or tree and kept any height by summer pruning. Eat fresh or use in cooking. Excellent source of antioxidants. Requires 150-200 chill hours. Self fruitful.

Red Silk. Medium to large size fruit with a brilliant red silky exterior. Large firm yet edible seeds have a sweet berry flavor and a great acid/sugar balance. Naturally semi-dwarf tree has a slightly-spreading grown habit and sets large crops. Grow as a tree or shrub and keep any height by summer pruning. Excellent source of antioxidants. Eat fresh or use in cooking. 150-200 hours. Self fruitful.

Kashmir Blend. Medium size pomegranate with light pink-red exterior. Ruby red seeds have intense flavor with no overbearing acidic taste. Plant has a slightly spreading growth habit and can also be grown as a tree. Keep any height with summer pruning. Excellent source of antioxidants. Eat fresh or use in cooking. Requires 150-200 chill hours. Self fruitful.

Sharp Velvet. Large sized pomegranate with a very appealing, uniquely refreshing flavor. Fruit has a dark red exterior and dark seeds, the color of crushed-red velvet. Upright growing plant sets huge crops of highly ornamental fruit and can be kept any height with summer pruning. Eat fresh or use in cooking. An excellent source of antioxidants. Requires 150-200 chill hours. Self-fruitful.

A Love of Lavender
By George Winter and Linda Linhart
Lavender has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy and was once considered essential to have on hand for medicinal and herbal use. In ancient Egypt, lavender was used for embalming, perfume and cosmetics. The Romans used lavender both medicinally and as a perfume. During the Middle Ages lavender was used primarily by monks and nuns in monasteries, where they preserved the knowledge of herbal lore and kept large herb gardens. When the monasteries were dissolved, lavender moved back to domestic gardens and was used by the ladies of the manors to scent their homes and laundry and was an effective insect repellant for lice and fleas. During World Wars I and II, when surgical supplies became scarce, lavender oil was used as an antiseptic to dress wounds. Today lavender is also used for aromatherapy, health and beauty aids, culinary seasoning, crafts and landscaping.

Lavender belongs to the mint family, which also includes sages, thymes, rosemary, and oregano. Some lavender varieties have particularly beautiful flowers while others are noted for their foliage and/or their wonderful aroma.

There are four basic types of lavender:
English Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia),which includes English, Munstead and Hidcote varieties, has barrel shaped flower spikes and is the sweetest smelling and strongest flavored of all lavenders. Use for essential oil, crafts, cooking, cosmetics and landscaping. English Lavender blooms in early summer and possibly again in the fall.

Lavandins (L. x intermediate) are a hybrid of English (L. angustifolia) and Spike lavender (L. latifolia). These plants usually produce sterile seeds and all new lavandin plants are obtained from cuttings. Varieties include Provence, Grosso and Fred Boutin. Lavandins have long spikes of highly fragrant flowers, from dark violet to white, and yield up to ten times the essential oil of L. angustifolia. Use for essential oil, crafts and landscaping, not for cooking. Lavandin blooms mid to late summer.

French Lavender (L. dentata) and Spanish Lavender (L. stoechas) have pineapple shaped blooms with little rabbit-ear type bracts. Spanish varieties include Helmsdale, Otto Quast and Tickled Pink. The fragrance is piney. Spanish lavender is best used as an ornamental landscape plant. French varieties include Goodwin Creek, Linda Ligon and Dentata var dentate. French lavender flowers nearly all year. Both are best used as an ornamental landscape plant.

Lavender is very easy to grow given the right conditions. Plants need well drained slightly acidic soil in full sun. The plants thrive on neglect. Water only when dry and seldom fertilize. Plant in hills for optimum drainage. Plants need to be pruned back every year after flowering to one-third to one-half their size, being careful not to cut into the older woody stems. If older stems are cut back too far the plants may not survive.

Harvest flowers just before blooms open, in the morning when flowers are dry. The flowers will look best with long stems. If you would like to preserve your lavender, spread it out to dry on a table or hang upside down in bundles. Once dry, wrap bundles in tissue paper and store them in a drawer or chest and use as needed.

Use dried lavender for sachets to put in drawers or toss a packet in your dryer for a pleasant laundry experience. Layer Epsom salt and dried lavender flowers in pretty jars with a few drops of essential oil for a soothing bath treatment. Sprinkle some crushed flower heads onto your carpet before vacuuming for a fresh smelling carpet and room deodorizer. Toss last year’s stems or flowers into the fireplace for a relaxing aroma on cold winter nights. Lavender is used to add color, texture and scent to soap, and is used as a flavoring for food and drinks, including lavender lemonade, lavender ice cream, and lavender honey. Lavender is also the key ingredient in a Mediterranean herbal blend called Herbes de Provence, used to season soups, vegetables and meats.

Whether used in crafts or grown as a landscape plant, lavender is a very valuable asset to your garden and with a little care should continue giving for years to come. Lavender is so popular there are lavender festivals held nationwide to celebrate this special perennial that has been with us for over 2,500 years. Check the internet for some fabulous web sites and pictures of lavender farms. Some of the best sites we have found are: www.lavenderenchantment.com, www.tuscanheights.net and shastalavender.com.

Starting Seeds Indoors

During these short, cold, wet days, a gardener might need to find inspiration indoors. This is the perfect time to plan a spring garden and start seeds indoors. There is something about the simple, small miracle of tiny seedlings popping from the soil that puts the world right for many gardeners. Seed starting allows you to grow many annual flowers and vegetables that may not be available from local plant growers, as well as get a jump-start on the coming season.

When planning your garden and purchasing seeds, keep in mind that the seeds of some plants are best sown directly outdoors when the weather warms up. As a general rule these are root crops such as carrots, radishes and parsnips. Flowers that are difficult to transplant, and thus prefer to be direct seeded include: larkspur, lupine, sweet pea and cornflower. Seed packets contain a great deal of information, and should indicate growing requirements such as light, temperature and seed depth. Some seeds have hard outer coats and will need to be nicked or soaked to ensure germination. Pay attention to germination lengths, as you do no want to start your seedlings too far in advance of the frost-free date in your area. In the north valley, the frost-free date is around April 15. At higher elevations, the frost-free date is later.

Give some thought to the area in which you will start your seeds, as they will need water and moderate temperatures. A bright window with indirect sun is a simple and appropriate place to keep your seeds warm and provide them light and water. Artificial light and heat can be provided if your space is less than optimal. Seed starting kits with trays and plastic domes are readily available and maintain a warm, moist environment to provide ideal conditions for flower, vegetable and herb germination.

It is not the air temperature, but the soil temperature that controls seed germination. Seedling heat mats, such as the Seedling Heat Mat by HydroFarm, will heat your soil ten to twenty degrees above ambient air temperature. Generally, soil temperature should be around 70 degrees, but this is a time when you want to check seed packets for exact information. In many cases germination can take place in cooler soil temperatures, but the process will take longer.

Containers for sowing seeds should be clean, strong and conveniently fit into your indoor growing place. Plastic trays or pots, peat pots and compressed peat pellets that expand upon watering, are all acceptable containers for sowing seeds. Seeds will start in anything that has drainage holes and at least two inches of soil depth.

The secret to healthy seedlings is to use the correct soil mix. Gardeners should purchase a sterilized seed-starting mix at their independently owned and operated garden center. These soils are sterilized to prevent disease to your sensitive seedlings. Seed starting soils also have Vermiculite and/or Perlite mixed with standard potting soil for optimal drainage and moisture retention.

Damping off is a fungus that kills seedlings. High temperature, poor light or excess moisture can stimulate the spread of disease by weakening the plants and making them more susceptible. Using sterile soil and cleaning your tools and reused containers will help avoid this problem.

Once your seeds have geminated, a bright south window will provide necessary sunlight. Most annual plants and vegetables prefer night temperatures between 60 and 65 degrees. Now is the time to take off any plastic covers, as the infant seedlings will need good air circulation. Seedlings should be kept moist but not wet. Take care when watering your seedlings so as not to drown or disrupt them. Trays filled with water, placed underneath under the seedlings work well, as they direct moisture to the root zone of the tiny plants.

As soon as your seedlings are large enough to handle, (they should have at least one set of true leaves), they should be transplanted into individual pots or thinned to avoid crowding and aid in proper development. Carefully dig up small plants and let the group of seedlings fall apart. Handle them by their leaves, as delicate stems can break. Take care to not damage the fragile roots. Replant the seedlings at the same depth they were originally growing. Firm the soil around each seedling and water gently.

Seedlings that have been growing indoors need to be hardened-off before planting outdoors. Two weeks before planting in the garden, begin the process of acclimating the plants to the outdoors. Set the plants outside for a few hours each day, starting in the shade, and gradually increasing the amount of time and exposure to the elements. Pick a cloudy day to plant your seedlings outdoors. Take care to keep the ground moist. A windy day can quickly dry out soil and tiny root hairs.

Seed starting can be a fun and rewarding hobby - great for individuals, children and families alike. It can take you out of the winter doldrums and focus your attention on the warmer, prettier days ahead. Plants started indoors flower sooner and produce a harvest earlier. Just one word of caution: seed starting has such benefits that it can become addicting.

Ready for Roses?
by George Winter and Linda McGunagle
The rose is the most celebrated flower in history, it’s beauty being captured in every artistic medium possible. A rose will conger feelings of nostalgia and romance. Roses are used in many of life’s metaphors, becoming a part of our everyday lives. Roses make an excellent garden plant, their many varieties make them valuable to any landscape. January is the time to buy roses for the best selection, especially for popular or new varieties. Roses are sold to nurseries bare-root, when dormant; this guarantees less shock and a healthier plant for your garden. Many Western nurseries find it best to plant roses immediately in good quality soil, before early growth begins in mild winters, ensuring a vigorous plant.

The window to buy and plant bare-root roses is dependant on weather and temperature. Whether you buy bare-root or potted, it is best to get your roses in the ground quickly. Use a good starter fertilizer and high quality planting mix to get your plants established well before Mother’s Day.

There are roses for every landscape situation and the classification of each rose type will give you a clue as to its usefulness. If you are looking for simple old fashioned charm, an Old Garden Rose will suit you well. Sometimes sold as Antique or English, these roses have wonderful fragrance. Old fashioned roses occur naturally in nature and will grow from seed or cutting. This means they are hardy, easy to grow plants. Roses such as Damask, China and Teas, generally fall into this category. From shrub to climbing, these tried and true roses will give much to your landscape.

Other easy care roses are Landscape or Hedge Roses. They are adaptable to many soils, and bloom spring through fall. They are great along property lines or as hedges. Carpet or Groundcover Roses belong in this easy care category as well. They grow two to three feet high, with a vigorous spread.

For a dramatic lift, Climbing Roses are massive plants with arching canes that can be trained along fences or walls. They have been hybridized from the old fashioned climbers and will bear bigger, more modern blooms.

To bring a mass display of color into your landscape, Floribundas offer prolific sprays or clusters of bloom on a shorter shrub. Many grow upright and make a great choice for the border. Polyantha are similar to Floribundas with large clusters of smaller blooms and can be used as edgings and hedges. Floribundas bloom spring until frost.

If you are looking for cut flowers, drama or have a formal garden, nothing says rose like a Hybrid Tea. This bush produces a single large flower on top of one long stem. Grandiflora Roses are similar to Hybrid Teas, but they bloom in clusters rather than one per stem. Hybrid Teas and Grandifloras are the two most popular types of roses. These roses make excellent cut flowers; many have wonderful fragrances, awesome color and enticing names. They bloom in six to seven week cycles. Many of these are trained into tree roses.

Miniature Roses are wonderful for any landscape and they are a great solution for the small, or mostly container garden. Growing no taller than two feet, these roses offer you everything the large shrubs do, in a compact, hardy plant. They are precious in miniature vases and as dried flowers. They are excellent in flower beds, especially effective in rock gardens.

Many of the modern roses are grafted; a root stock is merged with the upper flower-producing stock to provide a sturdy disease resistant plant. Grafted roses are sold based upon American Nursery Standards grades 1, 1&1/2, and 2. Grade 1 plants have three or more canes that are about 3/4 of an inch in diameter and have no more than 3 to 4 inches between the graft union and the top of the roots. They also have a large, well-developed root system. Grade 1 plants must be two years old when harvested. These premium roses have a much better chance at thriving and are worth the extra price. Your locally-owned-and-operated garden center should carry Grade 1 roses, but be sure to check before you buy.

This is also the time of year when you will find rose care and pruning classes offered for your education. Your local independently owned nursery may hold such classes. Link to our schedule of Rose Pruning Classes, taught by Dean and Barbara Davis of the Shasta Rose Society. Local rose societies are always helpful and enthusiastic. There are also a myriad of books and websites providing information to help you take the best care of the roses you purchase.

'Tis the Season for Dormant Spraying
by George Winter and Linda McGunagle
As the temperatures cool and leaves drop, it becomes the safest time to apply a variety of horticulture oils, limes sulfurs, and copper to treat your fruit trees and deciduous shrubs for pest and disease control. When plants lose their leaves, pests and disease are exposed and are easier to treat. You can use these strong, effective sprays during the winter months, since there is no tender green foliage that would otherwise burn. The chemicals will not affect future fruit since the sap is barely flowing through these plants during winter.

Dormant sprays should be applied to those plants which have shown signs of infestation or disease throughout the year. These solutions coat the exposed organisms, cutting off their oxygen supply to suffocate these parasites. Applying these products to your plants will help control various ailments which can harm your plants once the weather grows warm again. Horticultural oil alone will be effective for insects. Coppers and sulfurs are added to horticulture oil, or an alternative Potassium resin, for treatment of diseases. Copper products are more effective in cold winter areas, especially on fruit trees, for the control of fungi such as peach leaf curl, while lime sulfur products perform better in warm winter areas, such as Southern California.

For pest control, such as aphids, whitefly, spider mites, scale and mealy bug, your plants should be sprayed with horticultural oil once a year in December. Thorough coverage, including the undersides of leaves, is necessary since the product must come in contact with the scales and eggs to be effective.

To treat diseases including black spot, peach leaf curl and blight, it is most effective to spray dormant plants three times: Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. This ensures adequate coverage for stubborn afflictions. Multiple applications will also guard against sudden temperature fluctuations or unexpected rain which accelerate break down of the product.

Products should come clearly labeled, usually with a booklet taped on the package. Ensure the product bottle has these instructions with a list of plants the product is intended for. The product you select should be appropriate for each plant that you intend to spray. Mix only what you can use as you cannot save the solution for later use. Some horticulture sprays are used year round in other climates, but that is not the case in our hot summers because the treatment may burn your foliage. Check with your locally owned and operated garden center for appropriate warm weather products.

Spraying should be done on a clear, still day, when the temperature is between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Apply dormant sprays with a hose-end or pump sprayer. It is important to mix products according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Follow all safety instructions such as protective clothing, eyewear and product disposal. Protect decorative surfaces, patios or tender plants from product drift and overspray.

Spray your plants staring from the top, until the solution just starts to drip off the branches. Some pests, such as borers, abandon trees to over-winter in the earth. In these cases it is important to treat the surrounding ground. If you are treating roses, spray the soil around the base of the plant for control of powdery mildew or black spot.

For extra help with dormant spraying there are products that enhance application. Master Nursery Spray Grip mixes in with the dormant solution to help it adhere to branches. Monterey Signal is a colorant to be mixed with sprays so you can see where it has been applied. A list of dormant spray products follows.

Red Bluff Garden Center' Recommended Products for Dormant Spraying
Bayer Advanced Tree & Shrub Insect Control is an easy-to-use, concentrated product that, when used correctly provides 12-month protection from aphids, borers, leaf miners, scale, and other listed pests. It is safe for use on pome fruits, but should not be used on stone fruits or citrus.

Lilly Miller Dormant Spray for Insects is a traditional, time-tested product which contains highly refined horticultural oil. This product comes in a hose-end spray applicator. Simply attach to garden hose. For best results, completely cover all twigs, branches and trunk with spray. Controls insects and smothers pests and their eggs.

Lilly Miller Microcop with Sta-Stuk is a fixed copper spray for use in place of Bordeaux (a mixture of copper sulfate, hydrated lime, and water). Use this product for disease prevention on fruit and nut trees, vegetables, shrubs, and vines.
Sta-Stuk is a potassium resin which adheres product to trees and shrubs through all kinds of weather and extends the effective life of Lilly Miller Microcop by resisting the washing effects of rains.

Lilly Miller Polysul Summer and Dormant Spray is a lime sulfur fungicide. Lime sulfur is effective for treatment of mites, rust and powdery mildew on roses. Though this product is not horticulture oil, prevent burning your plants by applying in cool weather.

Lilly Miller Superior Type Spray Oil contains highly refined horticultural oil which will smother pests and their eggs. A traditional, time-tested product, Superior Type Spray Oil may be combined with Lilly Miller Polysul Summer & Dormant Spray for use as a dormant combination spray.

Master Nursery Pest Fighter Year-Round Spray Oil is an all-natural, fine grade horticultural oil for insect control on fruit trees, vegetables, houseplants, and ornamentals. Pest Fighter Spray Oil is a paraffin oil-based product for fungus control which uses no synthetic chemicals. (Year round use of horticulture oil is not recommended in this area.)

Monterey Saf-T-Side is a petroleum-based insecticidal oil for insect control in citrus, tree and vine crops, ornamentals and vegetable crops. Saf-T-Side is effective as a dormant spray, with no temperature restrictions. It can be used alone or in combination with other insecticides.

Monterey Liqui-Cop Fungicide is a liquid copper fungicide spray for disease prevention on fruit trees, nut crops, citrus, vegetables and ornamentals. Liqui-Cop is an economical replacement for Bordeaux (a mixture of copper sulfate, hydrated lime, and water) with an expanded label. Liqui-Cop is extremely weatherproof and does not require oil or a sticker. Use as a replacement for lime sulfur. Liqui-Cop can be mixed with oils for use as a dormant spray on fruit trees.

Neem Oil is a broad spectrum insecticide, fungicide, and miticide that controls insects and mites including whitefly, aphid and scale. Neem Oil is good for indoor/outdoor use on ornamental plants, flowers, vegetables, trees, shrubs and fruit & nut crops.

Master Nursery Spray Grip helps all herbicides, insecticides and dormant products adhere to plants. Spray Grip is not recommended for use with fungicides.

NOTE: Superior Type Spray Oil (Volk) can be used in combination with Polysul or Liquicop to create an effective all-in-one application.

Designing with Conifers
by George Winter and Linda McGunagle
The popularity of evergreen conifers is growing strong. As a result, nurseries are offering an exciting selection. Winter is a great time to buy evergreen conifers as the cool wet weather is a great time to plant them. Choosing a conifer in December allows you to keep it inside for a week or two as a living Christmas tree, before planting it. In this way you can start a tradition of using a living tree and add a new conifer to your yard every year.

Evergreen conifers are a landscape classic, used for their seasonal consistency to add structure to your garden. Conifers work to compliment deciduous trees as a backdrop to the change of seasons.

Conifers are usually evergreen, with needle-like leaves and almost always bear cones. Evergreen conifers now come in a wide selection of variety and form for every garden situation: miniatures, dwarf, ground-cover, and giants. Conifer shapes range from upright and conical, flat to mounding, weeping and contorted. This versatility makes them useful in every landscaping situation.

Dwarf and contorted conifers make excellent specimen trees. A globular Mugo pine will add mass to a rock garden, brightening the colors of alpine plants without overpowering its sense of scale. A Weeping Spruce would add a dramatic and graceful centerpiece to any landscape. If you would like to catch the eye with a touch of whimsy consider the twist of a Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar. It can be trained as a serpentine center piece or espaliered to drip off a fence.

Juniper is a tough, dependable conifer with varieties that make good selections for hedges, as they are comparatively low growing. Choose a variety that grows from four to ten feet rather than one that will provide instant height now, only to grow into problems later. Several varieties of Chinese Junipers fall into this category.

A row of tall, dense growing spruce or pine will make a more effective windbreak than a wall or fence. The wind will sheer over a solid structure while the branches of trees will dissipate it. Stately rows of Italian Cypress or Thuja Emerald Giant will create a skyline in your landscape and/or distract from unwanted views and noise. If you would like a mountain feel, try a small grove of Deodar Cedar or Redwoods on your property.

There are hundreds of species of conifers, including pine, spruce, cedar, larch, cypress, fir, yew and juniper; so it is important to select varieties appropriate to climate, care and especially growth habit. Your locally owned and operated garden center will offer valuable advice as you make your selections. Your county extension office can advise you as well. The American Conifer Society has an excellent website (www.conifersociety.org) with a variety of photo’s, topics and forums.

With their many valuable design uses, it’s no wonder this classic is enjoying a renaissance. Visit Red Bluff Garden Center this winter and see what the excitement is all about.

Our Bare-Root Season Has Begun

You can buy a lot of things bare-root, from fruit to vegetables, vines and flowers. If you are looking to purchase one of these plants, all you see at your local garden center is a bunch of dormant twigs, don’t be fooled. By spring, if properly planted, these seemingly plain branches will be covered with leaf buds and heavenly scented blooms such as Wisteria or Lilac.

There are many reasons to take this leap of faith from bare root to blossom. Bare-root plants have many advantages over plants in containers:
  • Bare-root plants cost an average of 10 to 40 percent less than plants in containers. This can really add up if you envision a home orchard or a rose garden. Our roses arrive bare root and are promptly planted into 5-gallon containers. If a customer wishes to purchase their roses “bare root”, they may remove them from the pot and save $2.00 off the retail price. Once the root hairs begin to sprout and the roses are no longer dormant, we no longer allow roses to be removed from the pots.

    Note: The rose must be taken out of the pot here at the nursery in order to receive the discount.

  • A larger selection of varieties is available with bare-root plants. For instance, if you have your heart set on a specialty multiple-grafted tree, such as a Fruit Salad tree with four different types of fruit, a three or four-in-one fruit tree combination, it is to your advantage to buy bare root and purchase it early in the season, because bare root fruit trees are very popular and sell out quickly.
  • You also have more choices of the type of root stock your plants are grafted onto, in case you have a special situation, such as wet soil, or height or size limitation.
  • Bare-root plants usually establish themselves more quickly than plants in containers, or balled and burlap. Plants in containers can be root bound or under developed. The machinery used by wholesale nurseries to harvest bare root trees dig bigger and deeper than ball and burlap harvesters. For fruit trees, two to three feet of growth can be expected the first year.
  • Planting trees, vines, and vegetables while they are dormant eliminates transplant shock (which retards growth), and bare root plants haven’t been spoiled by rich potting soils.

    Our bare root trees will be pruned at the time of purchase, and come with our bare-root guarantee, which is valid for one year, as long as you follow our simple instructions on the planting and care of your bare-root purchases. Beware, once you plant bare root fruit trees, shade trees, vine and flowering shrubs you may find yourself hooked.

Designing for Winter Interest
Planning your landscape for year round color and interest can be a challenge. One of the ways to accomplish this design feat more easily is to use plants with three or four season interest. There are many varieties of trees which fall into this category, with branches forming dramatic stark or weeping patterns; abd textured bark often flaking or peeling, adding dramatic color against a winter sky.

Malus ‘Prairefire’ is a wonderful Crabapple with purple new foliage, clear red-pink flowers and small dark red fruit that hangs on well after the leaves drop in autumn. Harry Lauders Walking Stick (Corylus avellana “Contora”) is small tree famous for its gnarled and twisted branches, used all year long in flower arrangements. The leaves of Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick turn golden yellow in fall then drop to reveal its contorted unusual form.

Hawthorns crataegus are graceful street trees with multi-season interest. English Hawthorn C. laevigata ‘Paul’s Scarlet’ is covered in clusters of double red flowers which turn to vivid red berries fall and winter. ‘Carriere’ Hawthorn has open branches, toothed leaves that turn red in fall and big orange red berries in winter.

Evergreen conifers are winter landscape classic. Spruces, pines and junipers can spread good cheer all year long with their classic upright or pendulum and contorted shapes, some with variegated or unusual green color. Dwarf varieties are becoming more available, offering a fit for any landscape. Cedrus deodara 'Snow Sprite' is a dwarf, weeping cedar with icy green-blue needles. Dwarf Norway Spruce (Picea abies ‘Pumila’) has interesting blue-green needles on dense branches.

Many shrubs offer an abundance of seasonal display with flowers, berries, interesting bark and branch structure. Firethorn (Pyracantha) has glossy oval leaves and small fragrant flowers that turn to orange-red berries that last from fall through Christmas. Crape Myrtles (Lagerstroemia) offer a variety of blooming colors through the summer, then drop their leaves to reveal attractive trunks with exfoliating bark. Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina) has cane-like branches and fine-textured foliage that turns purple or crimson in winter, many bearing white or red berries.

With a good backbone of trees and shrubs with multi-season interest, you may find that ornamental grasses or grass-like plants will help provide color and drama in both masses and as accents. These cultivars thrive when most perennials become skeletons. Japanese sweet flag (Acorus) has grassy leaves which smell sweet when crushed. There are different varieties for different uses from ground cover to containers to around ponds. Variegated sweet flag has vertical yellow-white stripes. Blue Oat Grass Helictotrichon (Avena) semperrivrens is a cool season true grass with clumps of blue foliage. Its flowers bloom early, starting bluish white and dry to a golden wheat color. ‘Karl Foerster’ Feather Reed Grass, calamagrostis acutifloia ‘stricta’ was named Perennial Plant of the Year in 2001. It is a versatile, attractive, and a low maintenance grass with loose feathery flowers that last into winter.

Some plants are so special they will carry their own in the garden for their winter display alone. Many Camellias bloom in the winter. 'Yuletide' has single, glowing red flowers with prominent yellow stamens for a blaze of holiday color. The classic evergreen Hollies, (Ilex) are a diverse group of holiday classics that range in size from 6- inches to 70-feet-tall. Leaves may be a rich glossy green, or variegated. Berries can be red, orange, yellow, or black.

Don’t forget winter annuals such as Snapdragons, pansies, violas, cyclamen and primula, to add instant beauty in a wide variety of situations. Winter vegetables such as kale, cabbage, Swiss card and lettuce will offer both color and flavor to your winter garden. Fortunately the winter climate here in Northern California offers an occasional sunny afternoon to get out of the house and add a treasure or two to our gardens when the ground is nice and soft. Here at Red Bluff Garden Center we have an abundance of interesting plants from trees to annuals, all in their winter glory.
Recommended Products for Fruit Tree & Rose Care
When using any recommended product, it is extremely important
to read and follow the directions carefully.

Products for Planting:
Master Nursery Master Start -or- E.B. Stone Organics Sure Start
Master Nursery Eureka Planting Mix
Paydirt and Bumper Crop
(Note: These are soil amendments, and must be mixed with existing soil.)
(Breaks up clay soil. Comes in granular, palletized and powder forms.)
Stakes/Ties: V.I.T. Products Hose & Wire Supports

For Fertilizing Established Plants:
Master Nursery Fruit Tree & Vine food -or- E.B. Stone Organics Citrus and Fruit Tree Food
(be sure to follow directions carefully)
Master Nursery Rose & Flower Food -or- E.B. Stone Organics Rose & Flower Food
Master Nursery Bud & Bloom
(water soluble for foliar feeding)

For Pruning Established Trees:
Felco Bypass Pruners and Pruning Saws
Corona Bypass Pruners
Diamond-lap Sharpeners
For sterilizing pruning shears: Alcohol, peroxide or bleach, diluted in water 50%/50%
For sealing large cuts: Doc Farwell’s Seal & Heal
To prevent sunburn: Frazee Tree Trunk Paint

For All Gardening Chores:
Master Nursery Nitrile Grip ATLAS Gloves
Master Nursery Master Grip Therma Fit ATLAS Gloves
(Insulated model. These gloves are great for cold weather!)

Especially for Pruning Roses:
American Beauty Leather Gauntlet Gloves
(These gloves are the finest quality available. Own a pair, you will never need another!)
Boss THORNgard-Plus vinyl Gauntlet Gloves with leather palms
(More reasonably priced, and still work darn well.)

Recommended Publications:
Sunset Western Garden Book
How to Prune Fruit Trees
by Sanford Martin
Bareroot Fruit, Nut & Shade Trees
from the Dave Wilson Nursery

Instructions for Planting Bare Root Trees

New bare root trees should be planted as soon as they are brought home, though they can be ‘healed in’ in a shallow trench filled with soil or sawdust for up to two weeks. Be sure to soak its roots for one hour or more (no longer than 24 hours) in a bucket of water or a solution of SUPERthrive and water before planting.

When planting new bare root trees, dig a hole twice as large than the root mass and no deeper than it was in the growing field. This is indicated by the dirt line on the trunk. Mix the native soil removed from the hole with 50% Master Nursery Eureka Planting Mix or Master Nursery Pay Dirt. Fertilize with a high-phosphorus fertilizer such as Master Nursery Master Start to get the root system growing.

Make a mound of soil/fertilizer mixture in the bottom of the planting hole. Place the tree in the hole, with the cut section of the graft area facing to the northeast, for additional protection against sunburn and insect infestation. Fan out the roots around the top of the mound.

Refill the hole with one-half of the soil mixture. Water thoroughly with a water/SUPERthrive or B1 solution and let is soak in. Add the rest of the soil, making sure the roots are covered. Remember to mulch well, but keep the mulch at least six inches from the base of the tree to prevent crown rot.

Paint the trunk of the tree, up to the first branch, with Doc Farwell’s Seal & Heal, white latex paint or other tree trunk paint to prevent sunburn and protect the trunk from disease and insects.

The roots of bare-root fruit trees have usually been trimmed by the grower or nursery before it is purchased. The branches of newly planted (1-year old) bare root trees purchased at Red Bluff Garden Center or at Wyntour Gardens most likely have already been pruned, and no further pruning is necessary until next January.

Check water needs often, making sure the entire root system stays damp, but being careful to not over-water. Proper watering during the entire first year is extremely important to the future health of your tree. Hand watering during the first summer may be necessary, especially in the hot northern California summers.

During the second year of your new tree’s growth, attend a FREE fruit-tree pruning class at Red Bluff Garden Center or Wyntour Gardens to learn the correct pruning techniques for healthy trees and delicious fruit.

What In The World Is A Pluot?

A Pluot is a complex cross of 75% plum and 25% apricot. The Pluot was developed along with the Aprium (75% apricot and 25% plum) by Zaiger Genetics from Modesto, California which has registered a trademark. This complicated hybridizing requires several generations of crosses to create this new fruit. Pluots have mainly a plum parentage and smooth skins like plums. They have a unique, sweet, flavor due to the fruit’s high sugar content.

We are offering several varieties including; Dapple Dandy, a creamy white and red-fleshed freestone with wonderful plum-apricot flavor, Flavor King, which has spicy bouquet and flavor. Flavor Queen has a pleasing candy like sweetness, and Flavor Supreme a sweet, full flavored, red flesh. If you can’t make up your mind we carry 4 ‘n 1 and 3 ‘n 1 trees that will grow three or four different varieties of Pluot on the same tree. These multiple-graft trees offer an excellent way to taste the many delicious Pluot varieties, and are a fantastic way for people who have limited yard space to grow fruit trees.

Coming this Summer -

Perhaps you have purchased Pluots in the grocery store, only to be disappointed by their lack of flavor. We are offering interested folks a rare opportunity to taste the best of the best this Saturday August 18th, 2007 when Ed Laivo from the Dave Wilson Nursery will come to Wyntour Gardens and the Red Bluff Garden Center for a PLUOT TASTING! Ed will bring a selection of tree-ripened Pluots, picked at their point of perfection, and customers will be able to sample these delicious fruits. Ed will also be giving a talk on High Density Orcharding.

If you currently have an orchard, or are planning on planting one, this opportunity to glean information from one of the best growers in the industry should not be missed. The schedule is as follows:

Saturday, August 20, 2005

10:00 am at Wyntour Gardens

1:00 pm at the Red Bluff Garden Center

Interested in attending? Contact Red Bluff Garden Center at 530-527-0886 to let us know of your interest. We will contact you in early summer to remind you of the event, and to take reservations at that time.

Roses Offer Special Expression for February
Victorians expressed their emotions with delicate messages of flowers and color. You too can use roses to share a message that will bring pleasure in long lasting abundance to your Valentine, and in your garden all year long.

Here is some inspiration for your own special message.

Color Meaning Rose Varieties
Red Admiration Lasting Love
Betrothal Lover's Lane
Deep pure love Loves Promise
Passion Rouge Royal
Fascination Red Eden
Victory Olympiad
Harmony Double Delight (red blend)
Joy Stairway to Heaven
Charm Mr. Lincoln
Cherry Red Merriment
Good works
Coral Good Fortune Tropicana
Longevity Tuscan Sun
Beauty Countess Celeste
Admiration of
Coral Meidiland
Cream Richness Iceberg
Perfection French Lace
Lavender Rarity Angel Face
Dignity Heirloom
White Unity Home and Family
Silence Crystalline
Respect Whisper
Democracy Honor
Yellow Friendship Easy Going
Distinction Radiant perfume
Fascination Mellow Yellow
Are you inspired? We have many color variations so you can create your own blend of emotion in your rose garden. The red and white Scentimental would be a great expression of love and unity. Roses are sold bare root (while they remain dormant) or in 5-gallon containers. We carry over 200 varieties of roses, including Hybrid Teas, Grandifloras, Floribundas, Antique, Shrub, and Climbing Roses. For more information, pick up our handouts on Roses the next time you visit the nursery.

Ideas for Winter Gardening
The colder winter months are an ideal time to plan and undertake larger landscaping and construction projects. When working outdoors in winter, it’s a good idea to do jobs that make it possible to keep warm, rather than static tasks where intricate finger work is required. It is also easier to see what you are doing when there are less leaves on the plants and more open space in the ground.

When pruning, be sure pruning shears and saws are sharp and clean. Take care to clean pruning implements (with alcohol or bleach) between each cut, especially if pruning diseased plants.

Winter is a great time to improve the soil. Especially with clay soils, cultivate to enable the frost action to break down the soil lumps into smaller particles without damaging the soil structure.
(Also refer to articles about Cover Crops and Composting in this section.)

Have your soil analyzed by a certified laboratory to determine nutrient needs. We recommend the services of Monarch Laboratory, Inc. in Chico, CA. They will be happy to send you their price list and soil sample requirements.

(530) 343-5818 www.monarchlaboratory.com
Protect any vulnerable plants from frost and wind-chill damage. Wrap plants with N-SULATE Frost Cloth or construct protective shelters; tie-down loose growth on climbers and wall shrubs; move container plants to warmer, more protected locations and insulate the roots of container plants by wrapping containers in plastic. Using twinkly lights to wrap frost-sensitive plants (especially citrus) will raise the temperature around the plant by several degrees.

Check ponds and water gardens for any leaks and perform necessary repairs. Do not allow water in ponds to freeze for more than 4-5 days - leave a block of wood or a plastic ball in the pond to prevent a sheet of ice from forming.

Be careful not to trod on frozen grass, as the cells within the grass leaves are full of ice rather than sap, and any contact with the grass will damage the cells, leaving the grass brown and withered once it has dried out.

Chameleon Plants for Winter Color
While most people think that brilliant color in the garden is reserved for the warmer months, many evergreen plants that actually metamorphosize when the weather turns cold - green leaves become brilliant red, soft pink, bright yellow and golden bronze; stems of other plants turn red, and are often not noticed until the leaves drop. Planting some of these “chameleon plants” in your garden can change a drab winter garden into a brilliant, eye-catching landscape.

Acer palmatum ‘Sango Kaku’ (Coral Bark Japanese Maple). A vigorous, upright, tree-like deciduous Japanese Maple with yellow fall foliage. The branches turn a striking coral red in winter.

Cornus stolonifera (Redtwig Dogwood). Grown for its brilliant red fall foliage and winter twigs, Redtwig Dogwood should be cut back severely late in the dormant season. Native to moist places, Redtwig Dogwood needs sufficient water. Grows rapidly to form a large miltistemmed shrub 7 - 9 feet high, spreading to 12 feet or wider by creeping underground stems and rooting branches. Planted as a screen along a property line, Redtwig Dogwood rapidly becomes a focal point in the winter garden.

Euonymus fortunei. An evergreen shrub, E. fortunei is considered one of the best broad-leafed evergreens where temperatures drop below zero degrees F. In summer, the leaves are rich deep green, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, with scallop-toothed edges. The following varieties transform into especially dramatic winter foliage:

E. ‘Emerald Gaiety’ - Grows to 4-5 feet high, 3 feet wide. Dense-growing erect shrub with deep green leaves edged in white. Leaves turn a variety of reds, oranges and purples in winter.
E. ‘Emerald n Gold’ - Similar to ‘Emerald Gaiety’. Dark green leaves with gold edges, Gold turns brilliant bronze in winter, and the undersides of the leaves turn red.
E. ‘Ivory Jade’ - Grows to 3 feet high, 6 feet wide. Green leaves with creamy white leaf margins in summer, white edges turn pink in cold weather.

Juniperus horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’ (Blue Carpet or Blue Rug Juniper). A very flat, low-growing ground-cover juniper, growing only 4-6 inches high, and reaching a width of 6-8 feet. The foliage is intensely silver-blue during the summer, yet becomes light burgundy in the winter. Excellent as an edging around a bed.

Junipers grow easily in most types of soil, with moderate water requirements, as long as drainage is sufficient. In warmer climates (like Redding), they prefer partial shade, yet can withstand full sun in cooler areas. Very little trimming is needed.

Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon Grape). The state flower of Oregon, this easy to grow evergreen shrub with spiny edged, holly-like dark green leaves looks good all year. Yellow flowers are borne in dense, rounded to spikelike clusters which are followed by blue or blue-black berrylike fruit which makes good jelly. The leaves turn purplish or bronze in winter, especially in cold weather and when grown in full sun.

Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo). Native to China and Japan, nandina is reminiscent of bamboo in its lightly branched, canelike stems and delicate, fine-textured, lacy-looking foliage. Pinkish to creamy white blossoms appear in spring, followed by shiny red berries if plants are grouped.

There are many varieties of nandina, with different colored foliage. All are known for their winter metamorphosis, and this will vary within the species depending upon the unique situation of each plant.. Light, water, type of soil and placement within the garden will all impact the final result. Most take on purple and bronze tints in fall, often turning fiery crimson in winter.

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The above list is a sampling of the many plants that transform into winter splendor. The cold weather months are an excellent time to visit nurseries, as this is when you can see plants at their winter best. There’s no need to worry about rain - we have umbrellas for your shopping convenience.

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