Coastal Current  

May 2011   Issue #17

  

James Russell Lowell famously asked, "What is so rare as a day in June?" That quotable quote was the sequel to his less-successful, "What is so OK as a day in May?"

Sorry, Jim. For our money, May is the mother of all months. Spring has a spring in her step, the ambient temperature seldom needs addition or subtraction, and the opposite gender dons more interesting clothing - and less of it.

 

DOWN ON THE FARMS

 

Florida: Our main ranges in the Panhandle are busy covering your warm-season grass starter needs literally from A to Z - Acorus to Zea, to be precise. To be even more precise, neither is a true grass, but Andropogon to Tripsacum just doesn't have the same ring, does it? We're pumping out perennials, too, from Achillea to Veronica.

 

Festuca Elijah BluePennsylvania: We've got the blues again, but not the kind you suffer for. Festuca 'Boulder Blue' and 'Elijah Blue' are ready for your spring potting. They're among our best-selling cool-season grasses because their silver-blue spiky foliage harmonizes with a host of hues, from rich green to deep purple.

 

WHAT'S HOT

 

Check our current Availability for a sneak preview of our upcoming catalog:

ˇAlcea Spring Celebrities series: Double-flowered dwarf hollyhocks, just 24 to 30", bloom May til October. They're biennials or short-lived perennials, often grown as annuals. Choose from Lemon, Purple or White. Can't decide? Try 'em all!

Alcea

ˇDianthus Rosy Cheeks: A blushing beauty from the Devon Cottage series by Whetman Pinks, with lots of fragrant, double, lavender-pink flowers.

ˇAthyrium 'Red Beauty': Rich red stems & veins and broad silver fronds mark this upgrade to A. 'Pictum', the only fern ever named Perennial Plant of the Year.

ˇHeuchera 'Kassandra': Thierry Delabroye's latest looks like 'Caramel' early, then matures through chartreuse to gold with green veining. One to watch!

 

HORTISCOPE

 

Taurus: It's not your fault the aisles in that china shop were so narrow. Banning you is blatant discrimination. Don't get mad, get a lawyer. Let the chips fall where they may.

Aquarius: Flexibility is needed in one new endeavor. Rigidity must be retained in another. Don't mix them! Yogis, keep your Three Legged Dog away from my Tree.

Gemini: It's not just you. All twins struggle to define their own unique, individual identity. It's not just you. All twins struggle to define their own unique, individual identity.

 

TRAY BON!

 

The softer side of ECG: Our Florida greenhouses are in Vogue - Mandevilla VogueŽ 'Sophia' and VogueŽ 'Vivian', that is, with rich red or sweet pink flowers, respectively, on glossy green foliage.

 

Mandevilla Vogue

 

If you haven't tried Ruellia 'Ragin Cajun', Verbena Princess Blush and Princess Dark Lavender, we think you should. We're funny that way. While you're at it, toss a flat or two of Heliotropium 'Azure Skies' into your cart, grow them out until they bloom, then stick your nose into those flagrantly fragrant flowers and tell me if you agree that they smell like a combination of baby powder and Play-Doh.  

 

EPILOGUE

 

Extreme weather seems to be the norm around the country lately, from deluges to tornadoes to late blizzards. Lingering cold and rain stole several retail weekends from Mid-Atlantic retailers, but weather patterns are finally looking more gardening-friendly. Here's hoping that trend sticks around so we can all catch up while there's still time to look up from our labors and enjoy the other bounty that each spring brings.

 

John Friel

John Friel  

Marketing Manager    

jfriel@ecgrowers.com  

 

Heliotropium Azure Skies