December 2010 Issue 11
It's beginning to look a lot like...
Winter. There, I said it: The W word. Northern & Western growers have already toned up their shoveling muscles, while some Southerners are smiling smugly (you know who you are) and sipping another sweet tea. And each group wonders why anyone would want to live in the other's climate.
DOWN ON THE FARMS
Our new Pensacola propagation greenhouse is called the Cedar House in honor of a large Japanese cedar felled to accommodate the structure. Before you lump us with those developers who clear-cut trees, then name streets after them, consider: Our Plant and Production Manager Josiah took cuttings of the poor doomed thing. That erstwhile cedar lives on not only in memory, but in dozens of new offspring.
Cryptomeria japonica isn't a true cedar (Cedrus). In its native Japan it's the national tree, Sugi. India calls it Dhuppi and prizes its lumber. By any name it's an impressive beast that can grow to over 200'. Such epic proportions are unlikely in the storm-swept Florida panhandle, but we like to think it could happen to one of Josiah's babies.
We've scraped a few frosts, and the Poconos have had some dustings, but here in Lancaster our first snow (the S word) is still pending. In the trial garden, cold nights have knocked back most perennials and painted the grasses dramatic hues. The blades and plumes of Nassella tenuissima and Pennisetum 'Skyrocket' bleached amber, then ivory, while Miscanthus 'Adagio' became a riot of rich reds and bronzes, with lurking traces of stubborn green. It's a New England postcard in one glorious, robust clump.
Miscanthus sinensis 'Adagio'
THE ECG ROAD SHOW
Coming soon to an exhibit hall near you!
True, it's only December, but the winter trade shows loom. We'll lay out our welcome mat in Baltimore at MANTS booth #919, (Jan. 5-6-7) and in Mobile at GSHE booth #628 (Jan. 20-21). Just days later comes New England Grows in Bah'stin, er, Boston, (Feb. 2-3-4), where we shall anticipate with pleasure your visit to our usual digs at #3033.
Ah, the traditions of the season. Like standing under a sprig of mistletoe, awaiting a kiss, wondering if whoever harvested that pretty parasite, probably with a shotgun, got all the little bugs out of it or if they're already falling into your hair. Ain't it romantic?
Best not to investigate some things too closely as on we slog into the deepening, darkening winter. Let's just hoist a wassail to that time-honored toast: Here's to discretionary spending. May all your... What? Oh... excuse me, gotta go. Some clown and his lawyer are at the door.
We don't grow
When we urge you to get something now, before it's gone, we're not clowning around, generating demand by artificially limiting supply of a product we could crank out ad infinitum if we chose to. It's just that we hate to disappoint you, and our ability to start some items may not equal everyone's need to finish them. Really. But we'll happily supersize your order if possible.
Now that that's off our chest: On the Get-it-while-you-can menu, what's hottest is everybody's favorite Geranium, 'Rozanne' (a.k.a. Gerwat), the 2008 Perennial Plant of the Year and recent winner of a heavyweight legal battle in European courts.
Has this business gotten a little weird, or has it just "matured?" How did so many lawyers get into the greenhouse? Is there no screening that will keep them at bay?
You don't need a jury or a judgment to declare 'Rozanne' a winner. It's a perennial sell-out, and total availability between now and June will be under 250 trays. They won't last. Lock some up ASAP, to ship now or in spring.
Leucanthemum 'Becky' is happy in gardens throughout North America, but is most famous as the perfect Shasta daisy for the South.
"One of the best forms I have grown," says Dr. Allan Armitage. Named for plantswoman Becky Stewart of Decatur, GA, 'Becky' produces large white flowers for up to 8 weeks if deadheaded, and exhibits the proud, erect posture of a Southern belle even after hard rain.