Plant Black Eyed Susan's now for long summer bloom and goldfinch in your garden !

black eyed susan 2

Learn how to plant for butterflies and hummingbirds Sunday at 2 !

Triple Oaks Nursery & Herb Garden Newsletter

Its June

Longest day of the year !



Plant Hydrangea now for glorious  summer Bloom.

Change colors by add sulfur or lime to soil !

in this issue
Linden Trees
Native persimmon trees
Plant a cutting garden now.

butterfly weed best 1

Dear Triple Oaks Friends,

It is June! Some say this is the best month for gardeners. Long days and lots of plants in bloom and usually good weather. There is still plenty of time to plant annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs. I planted sunflower, nasturtium and tithonia seeds yesterday. If we keep them watered well they will germinate soon. We also replanted beans because a woodchuck has been raiding our garden.

Have you noticed the early butterflies? Soon there will be more of them as well as lots of hummingbirds.  Plant for them now. Join me this Sunday at 2 for a butterfly hummingbird workshop. see our calendar or call the shop to register. 
Luanne is doing a lavender bead workshop at 1 .

We just potted up hundreds of butterfly weed, the beautiful sun loving wildflower in the above photo.  It is  in the milkweed or asclepias family and a favorite of the Monarch butterfly.

There are many beautiful plants in our nursery ready to plant in your garden. Come see what is in bloom. Ask which plants are fragrant and in bloom!

gardenia hardy

Wish i could send fragrance with this hardy gardenia. we have several varieties that if planted in a somewhat protected spot will return each year. they are now full of blooms, come pick one up for near a pool or deck. There are also night blooming jessamine, swamp magnolia, clethra and others for great summer scent. 

night blooming jessamine

bottlebrush buckeye and butterflybutterfly painted lady
This is a hardy calla and like the gardenia shown above will return in your garden next year.Come get one today and get it planted now.You will love it and can pick and enjoy the blooms. 
Giant Calla
Linden Trees
Linden Bloom

     Love and Lore of the Linden, a summer tree in bloom


It is appropriate to write about this summer  tree , the linden. If you have wondered about the tree with the heart shaped leaves and the fragrant pale lemony green blooms growing along so many streets in small towns and cities, it is probably a linden.  We first were attracted to this tree when we spent the month of July teaching English in Poland in 1990.  There the tree is named after the month of July, (Lipiec), Lipa because  they bloom then. Here they often bloom earlier in June. They are loved in many European countries and in regions in northern France they even have festivals when this sweetly scented flower is in bloom.

 The little leaf Linden tree found throughout Poland is also suited for American lawns and gardens. Lipa or 'lime tree' is named so because of the extremely fragrant lime -yellow clusters of flowers that are blooming now.   In Europe, this highly revered tree serves many purposes and is at the heart of many Polish legends.  The flowers are picked and used either fresh or dried in a tea, which supposedly cures common cold symptoms and relieves heart problems. A Russian made and imported linden tea can sometimes be found in specialty stores.

The Linden, or Tilia cordata, also grows well in the Delaware valley.   Ultimeately   reaching 50-60 feet tall in a couple of lifetimes, the tree has a pyramidal to oval shape, dark  green foliage and a strong winter silhouette. Once established, the Linden will grow almost a foot a year. 

Because of its dependability , the Linden tree is an excellent street tree and is often used in malls and other public places. The tree prefers well-drained, rich soil into which organic matter has been added. Fertilizing in the early spring sustains healthy growth and helps develop resistance to insects and diseases.

In many European countries Linden trees are planted in churchyards the around the edge of the property. This is an old customs that goes back to when the tree not only brought shade and July fragrance, but also attracted honeybees. Linden honey was collected by monks and considered one of the best. Beeswax is still used to make the candles used in the church. Eastern European legend also suggests that an old Linden tree should not be cut down because doing so would cause certain bad luck to the cutter and his family.  Today, in Poland, you can still see roadside shrines under a Linden tree. 

About 20 years ago we planted a Linden in honor of our wedding anniversary.   This tree is now in full bloom and my husband Ted has even collected some blooms to make tea.

If you see a street tree with pale lemon/lime colored petals that look like dragon fly wings and smell sweet with lime overtones, chances are it is a linden. There several south Jersey towns where they are quite prevalent and remember a beautiful one along the Bridgeton waterfront . Our tree stands in the front of our nursery between the parking lot and the annuals.



Plant s

American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)

         One of our favorites is the unique persimmon tree. It has apricot like fruits that are good for birds and wild life, but can also be eaten after a frost. I have many in the freezer still and often snack on a frozen one. Although coons, opossum and skunks will eat them in fall, the birds wait until late winter to eat the very ripe and often shriveled persimmons. When I hear a chorus of peeping and whistling  I look for  flocks of cedar waxwings in the persimmon trees just out side our windows in late February.

         The American persimmon is often covered with a large crop of edible persimmons. The tree has been  used for valuable timber and also  to attract honeybees.   It is native to the Eastern United States from Florida to Connecticut and is quite hardy.  Persimmon trees  are usually about 40-45 feet tall and not very wide .  They bloom on year old wood near the branch tips.The blooms are fragrant . Our wild trees have either male or female flowers, so it is advised to plant a little group or copse of trees to insure good pollination .  Sometimes a tree is self-fertile, with both male nad female blooms. It is best to plant 4 or 5 trees in a  natural group to insure best pollination.

         I have always been told that the fully ripe fruit is not really tasty until after the first frost .  My friend Ursula dries the pulpy fruit and it is quite  delicious as a snack.  Fruits that have been touched by frost have a soft smooth, jelly-like texture and are sweet.  The fruits can be kept for about two months in a cool refrigerator. You can also freeze them and use in cookies and pies all winter.

         In the wild the fruits last well into winter. Animals love them and often eat them and thus spread the large brown seeds.   Year's back the seeds were roasted and ground and used as a coffee. 

         The Native American Indian used the fruit in many ways and colonist made  beer from the fruit . They also made  spiced fruitcake, bread and  pie  . 

         The persimmon is easy to grow and is considered a fast growing  tree .  It might grow to a height of about 15ft in the first 10 years. Although it likes a deep, loamy, well-drained soil  a persimmon tree will adjust to most any soil that is not soggy and wet. It is drought resistant and seems to thrive in our sandy yard. 

         The tree usually does not do well if dug and transplanted because they have a deep tap root  Most nurseries sell them in containers, as they are much easier to plant. These trees are ideal  in borders and gardens because their deep roots allow more shallow rooting trees to be planted nearby. They are growing naturally among our oaks, hickory and cedar.


         You can start plants from seeds or you can purchase small plants that are in pots for a quicker start . They grow quickly and fruiting begins  in  six yeas and continues for at least fifty years  more. I really like these trees and get a kick out all the critters that visit them once the fruits are frosted


 As a florist I get to work with many cut flowers year round. As a home gardener I love to grow rows of blooms for cutting in our home garden. There are colorful blooms of marigolds, zinnias, cosmos, nasturtiums, asters, sunflowers and sometimes others. One of my favorite blooms in the shop is lisianthus. Although these are readily available as a cut flower, they are rarely seen in nurseries. I remembered that years back a grower in Pennsylvania had grown them for us, but when he retired we no longer had a source. Last couple of years I ordered plugs for these prairie natives so we could grow them ourselves.. I will once more try to grow them in my garden because lizzy as we call them or Eustoma grandiflorum, is noted for being one of the best longlasting and most beautiful garden cut flowers.


 Lisianthus   is one of several common names associated with this plant.  The plants we grow today are derived from an American wildflower that is native to the prairie from Colorado to Nebraska and south to Texas. Although in the wild, native plant has purple/blue flowers commercial growers have developed plants with blooms in pink, cream, white and even rose.


Lisianthus are used in arrangements in most florist shops because they are pretty and last long.  A bloom will last at least a week after opening and mature buds continue to open for several more days.

The plants grow between 12 and 24 inches tall in the garden and like a sunny well-drained spot.  A row will provide a nice supply of cut flowers and also look pretty in the garden.


I wondered why more local wholesalers didn't grow this plant.  A bit of research told me that the seeds are extremely small and the plants require five to six months to produce blooms. So to have blooms by July, you will need to start the seeds in January.  I found it better to buy a couple of hundred plugs and grow them in  4-inch pots. 


Although they can be transplanted to a sunny location after the threat of frost is past I am just getting mine out this week. I thought they would mature best in a warm green house. With the cool temps and rainy days this spring I think this was a good choice.  A few customers that planted some of these out just after mother's day told me they did get large and are also setting buds. Plants always seem to do better in the ground than in pots.  These plants are native to prairie areas so they have a preference for a well-drained soil. Keep the soil moist but avoid over-watering.  Plant them eight inches apart so they grow close together and the plants support each other.  They will bloom well into fall. 


It has been reported that plants grown in a good size pot will continue to bloom in a very sunny window over the winter. I called Park seeds and talked to a horticulturist named Lynn who told me that this plant is underused by gardeners even though it is quite easy to grow from established plants. Come get some today for blooms until frost.

Giant Calla

Garden Flower arranging classes in July . Sign up now !

flower garden 

Call or email  Lorraine to set up a time to come in for help picking out  plants for a perennial and annual cutting garden. 

This will insure that you have plant material to enjoy in arrangements on your table year round.


Plant lots of zinnia, sunflowers, cosmos, delphinium, all types of daisies, roses, magnolia, and foliages. Remember herbs are delightful in arraignments as are berries and pods.  Join me at the July classes to learn how to make wonderful floral pieces to take home. 


With some rustic containers,baskets with liners,  vases and a watering can,I am ready to fashion some arrangements for the floral design demonstration.  To style a design it is helpful to have a block of oasis  soaked and ready to be put in a container . For porous clay  pots,  use  a plastic liner in to hold the oasis.  This will keep the moisture from seeping to your table and  the oasis holds the branches exactly where you want them .

     For  a clear glass vase  or pitcher I make a grid from oasis tape. It looks like tic tac toe  across the vase opening and   really  helps to hold stems upright. Another method of holding stems in place is to put some boxwood branches in first to act as a holder .

     Garden materials can be arranged in a formal line design or in a loose rustic style. The container, the room in which it will be used , and  the season of the year often determines the style arrangement to be made . 

     Remember that a clean container, water with floral life in it , freshly cut materials, and  some type of mechanical device to hold the stems will all make flower arranging naturally a lot more fun. ( Check out our class schedule for July floral classes)


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