Welcome to one of the months named for a Caesar. Rome's rulers were never known for their modesty, but naming a month after yourself should make the Guinness book as the ultimate act of chutzpah.
By any name, August brings a flurry of production: Free heat + long days = great rooting. Our Florida and Pennsylvania crews are crankin' out the liners you'll enjoy for months to come.
DOWN ON THE FARMS
It's bloody hot. Debilitatingly hot. Dripping-sweat-by-8AM hot. I know because I went straight to Pensacola from the Perennial Plant Association Symposium in Atlanta, where it was surprisingly comfortable.
But the plant kingdom reigns supreme in the frying panhandle. Wimpy Yankees like me may be sorely tried in our trial garden, but the perennials, grasses and annuals I was photographing were clearly deliriously happy.
We've wrapped up production of another promising new grass. Carex oshimensis 'Ice Cream' forms spherical stripey scoops of minty green and vanilla white. Sprinkle some into your offering. Gardeners and landscapers love this species because Bambi doesn't: Like most sedges, it's deer-resistant.
We also just wrapped up a successful Penn Atlantic Nursery Trade Show in Oaks, PA. Attendance was lighter than hoped, but we had good conversations with customers and potential customers. Thanks to those who visited; see you again in 2012.
As with most three-day shows, Day III ended earlier than the first two. Many vendors and attendees showed up bare-legged because they heard it was a short PANTS day.
SPEAKING OF TRADE SHOWS
In Atlanta I served as moderator for two living hort legends, and found it surprisingly tricky to introduce someone who needs no introduction. I couldn't gloss over a body of work that spans decades and continents, but I also couldn't natter on about their feats, stealing their mic time: Nobody was there to watch me moderate. I also found to my chagrin that I couldn't quite keep them on schedule. Far be it from me to give the hook to Dr. Allan Armitage or John Elsley. Ramble on, gentlemen. We'll listen.
Random Useless Fact Department
That classic of classics The Wizard of Oz first hit the silver screen 72 years ago this month - but in what Midwestern state did it debut? Hint: It's no place like home, Toto.*
Gaillardia Gallo® series
At an OFA presentation entitled "Dear Breeder, Here's What I Want," a panelist wished for series that really go together. Happily, Gallo varieties are well-matched in size, habit and bloom time for easy, uniform cropping. Their naturally compact form means great pot performance and perfect retail presentation.
- Five vibrant hues, solids & bicolors
- Spiky flower centers retain color and interest even after the petals drop
- True perennials, hardy to Zone 6, but pretty enough to sell as flowering annuals
- Sold in trays of 72 at just 72¢ per plant, available starting in September
Get ahead of the curve with Gallo® -- because all collections are NOT created equal!
Leo: Be careful with money this month. Spend the lion's share of someone else's whenever possible, as long as it's not ours.
Virgo: Don't turn your back on a Leo who says he's a vegetarian. Panthera leo didn't claw his way to the top of the food chain to chow down on tofu.
Lego: Born on the Leo/Virgo cusp, you'll find this a constructive time. Build something amazing. Let nothing block your way.
Aquarius: For a water sign, you're amazingly adept at burning the candle at both ends. But why stop there? Go all the way and fire up the middle, too!
Mandevilla Vogue fans will be happy to know we'll offer ten, not just two, varieties. Named for Hollywood's most famed femmes fatales, these beauties include vining and mounding types. The red and pink flowers are variations on the theme of a flared, five-petaled trumpet with deep golden throat, gloriously displayed on a backdrop of rich, lustrous green foliage.
'Sophia' and 'Vivian' are on tap now in 72s at 89¢ each. Lock in soon for March availability of 'Audrey', Brigitte, 'Gina', 'Ginger', 'Grace', 'Marilyn', 'Rita' and 'Ruby'.
If you guessed Kansas, sorry, Scarecrow. Dorothy and company first brought down the house on August 12, 1939 in Oconomowac, Wisconsin. Audiences were blown away.
Keep yourself well-hydrated and think good thoughts out there while the heat is on. Come see us at Booth 3100 at the FarWest Show in Portland, Oregon, August 25-27. And stay tuned: Coastal Current will return in the cooler temps of EmeraldCoastuary, the month formerly known as September.