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,
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
(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.
IN THE WATER GARDEN
By George Winter and Sherrie Weigel
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
COLD-HARDY WATER PLANTS
Arrowhead (var. species)
Hardy Water Canna
Hardy Water Lily
Yellow or Blue Flag
FROST SENSITIVE WATER PLANTS
Tropical Water Lilies
Now for Sale at Red Bluff Garden Center
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.
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.
Old Farmer's Almanac
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.
Dave Wilson Nursery Variety
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.
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.
by George Winter and Linda
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.
POMEGRANATE VARIETIES 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.
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
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
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,
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
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.
by George Winter and Linda McGunagle
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
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
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.
the Season for Dormant Spraying
by George Winter and Linda McGunagle
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Type Spray Oil (Volk)
can be used in combination with Polysul
to create an effective all-in-one application.
by George Winter
and Linda McGunagle
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
(Breaks up clay soil. Comes in granular, palletized and powder
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
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.)
Sunset Western Garden Book
How to Prune Fruit Trees
by Sanford Martin
Bareroot Fruit, Nut & Shade Trees
from the Dave Wilson Nursery
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.
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
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.
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 -
TASTING & ORCHARDING SEMINAR
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:
TASTING AND HIGH DENSITY ORCHARDING SEMINAR
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.
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.
Deep pure love
Double Delight (red
Stairway to Heaven
Home and Family
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.
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
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
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
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. Theres no need
to worry about rain - we have umbrellas for your shopping