And so we come again to the lovely month named for Juno, wife of Jupiter, goddess of marriage. Born in June, your birthstone is the pearl, your flower the rose or the honeysuckle. Your choice. On my river young Canada geese bob, not cute and fuzzy now but awkward, gangly, pre-teens in their Ugly Gosling phase, embarrassed by their parents. It's a month of relative freedom, a regrouping time between spring's madness and summer's trade shows. Breathe.
DOWN ON THE FARMS
Florida: Summer is in full swing in the Panhandle. Our growers are loving the efficient new greenhouses at two of our three Florida facilities as they crank out your grasses and perennials. Stalwart genera like Miscanthus, Panicum, Coreopsis, Sempervivum and Hosta are all fattening up for your pots, alongside up-and-comers like Echinacea PowWow and Bouteloua 'Blonde Ambition'. See What's Hot for more info.
Pennsylvania: Hot as South Hades here, or so we thought until we learned it had already topped 100 in Florida. But we're plugging away at the liners you'll need soon. Main events: Our Amish production crew is dividing and sticking Imperata 'Red Baron' and transplanting perennial seedlings like Aquilegia, Asclepias tuberosa, and the ever-popular Sempervivum.
Cancer: Come the 21st, yours is the dominant sign du jour. It's your turn to shine. But you're still named for a grotesque, ill-tempered, yet incongruously delicious bottom-feeding crustacean, so don't get cocky, OK?
Aquarius: That extra mile has your footprints all over it. You have the will and the means to go to the mat for your tribe. Yes, you tend to get into hot water, but it looks good on you. Go ahead and get all prune-y.
Once upon a time Gaura lindheimeri was an obscure SW American native, a lanky blowsy thing with little white flowers. It wove itself charmingly into the fabric of tall borders, but its straggly potted persona made it a hard sell.
Then along came 'Siskiyou Pink', and breeders got into the act. Now Gaura comes in green, red or variegated foliage. Flowers seem larger, and of the 8 varieties we grow, only one blooms white. The form has shrunk to the industry's preference: petite, compact and efficient to ship.
Denser forms like 'Bijou Butterflies' and 'Passionate Blush' (pictured at right) may make attractive, easy-to-handle pots, and pot-ogenic plants may be more apt to be transplanted -- into a shopping cart, and eventually a garden. But we believe there's a place for looser types like 'Whirling Butterflies', and judging by sales, so do many gardeners. Let's keep giving them that choice.
Random Useless Fact
No other month begins on the same day of the week as June. Ever. Really.
The What's Hot spotlight falls on two award-winning natives coming soon to our new catalog.
Plant Select winner Bouteloua 'Blonde Ambition' (pictured at right) holds its flowers & seed heads off their stems at a jaunty angle, like little pennants in a stiff breeze. You should call and order some -- not just because it's a cool, unique, award-winning grass with built-in demand, and not just because availability is limited, but because it's fun to say "Bouteloua." Go ahead, say it out loud: boot-a-LOO-uh. See?
AAS winner Echinacea 'PowWow Wild Berry' and its mate 'PowWow White' (pictured below) produce more flowers, and earlier flowers, than any other seed coneflower, says PanAm Seed. Naturally compact sans PGRs, they're "easier to grow and ship on racks." There's that size fetish again. We've sown both for first availability in September. Have a powwow with your team and plug some into your offering. We expect they'll move fast.
Epilogue: Call me Dewy
Mark your calendar: Icelandic tradition says bathing naked in the morning dew on June 24th keeps you young. American tradition says, You're under arrest for indecent exposure. But a brief incarceration seems a small price to pay for a romp in the fountain of youth, doesn't it? See you on the lawn!