Coastal Current  

February 2012   Issue #26


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Ave February! We hail the month named for Roman purification rites, Februa, which also means "fever," possibly because those wacky ancients considered the fevered sweats of winter illnesses to be cleansing. I'll take a nice hot shower any day, thanks.




Our expansion into Dianthus has really put us in the pinks, with an all-time high 19 varieties on current Availability. Select stalwarts like 'Bath's Pink' and Firewitch, or update your mix with our Scent FirstTM, Star and Devon CottageTM series from Whetman Pinks. All will have gardeners following their noses to that enticing sweet/spicy fragrance on the retail bench. (For more, see Tray Bon!)





We're holding our breath, hoping this mild (so far) winter doesn't suddenly turn nasty. Reminder: You can pick up your FL-grown starters in PA (or vice-versa) with no freight charge. Wherever your starters started, with a little lead time we'll move 'em to where it suits you. If you're located close enough to one of our locations, this could save you some serious bucks. North or South, we're always rooting for your success.


Northern pickup - No freight charge!



Did you know you can use Google Maps to find cell phone dead zones? Naturally, they think it's a problem to be solved, but isn't it also an atlas of oases to flee to when you feel overconnected? Hello? Hello? Sorry, boss, you're breaking up! I'll call you back!



Pinking ShearsShear beauty!

Ever wonder why all Dianthus are called "pinks?" It's not the flower color; reds, whites, maroons and bicolors of this versatile genus answer to the same colorful nickname. It persists from a time when every household had a seamstress or two. The toothy petal edges look as if someone trimmed them with tiny pinking shears.


By any color, any name, our pinks picks are tailor-made for your containers. Slip into the Devon CottageTM or Scent FirstTM series. Get fitted with Firewitch ('Feuerhexe'), a Perennial Plant of the Year winner. Don't let your schedule unravel. Sew up the season with our dynamite Dianthus starters.





Aquarius: Even hardy hydrophiles go cold turkey on liquid fixes this time of year. Stay dry, go south, or find some nice hot water to get yourself into.

Pisces: Consider a line of fishy forbs: Trout lily, shrimp plant, goldfish plant, shadbush, Campanula 'Pink Octopus'. Stock an aquarium with plant-named sea creatures: Garden eel, bamboo shark, grass carp, pumpkinseed, thornfish, sea anemone. If you know others, share them. Don't be koi.



Carex ciliato-marginata 'Treasure Island' 

You don't need your secret decoder ring and a map to find our 'Treasure Island', matey.

It's hiding in plain sight at, on our Availability list. Get on board with our favorite broad-bladed, variegated, celebrated, understated, happy-when-shaded ornamental grass. Cute as a bug's ear, tough as a boot, this little treasure (just 9"-12" high) is too pretty to stay buried in our catalog. Yar!


Carex Treasure Island  



A big Thank You! to the horticultural literati who took our puzzle challenge last month. The winner, selected seemingly at random from all correct entries by Puzzlemeister Anna Graham, came from John Rich of Connecticut. Way to go!




Magical roasts = Calamagrostis

Cat fuse = Festuca

Taco raider = Cortaderia

Humane gerbil = Muhlenbergia

Irate Huns = Erianthus



Hot gassy pie = Physostegia

Emu grain = Geranium

Chill a meal = Alchemilla

Dear Buick = Rudbeckia

Land to copy = Platycodon

John will receive Wolfgang Oehme and the New American Garden, signed by Anna herself. Stay tuned for another round of brain-busting, vocabulary-stretching posers in a future edition. Keep those Latin dictionaries handy!



A belated New Year's resolution: Stop mocking Florida winters. I recently complained to my daughter about the chill in Pennsylvania: Just 24 degrees that evening, dropping into the teens overnight! The line got quiet; I swear I could hear her eyes rolling. "Dad," she finally replied, "It was seven here this morning. It'll be minus five tonight."


Moral: Don't moan about a PA winter to your serpent's tooth in western Massachusetts, and give Southerners more credit. It's all relative.

John Friel 


John Friel  

Marketing Manager  

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