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Triple Oaks Nursery & Herb Garden Newsletter

SALE Newsletter 


July 2011






in this issue
 Dear Triple Oaks Friends,

rhodo nova zembla


 Here is a sale too good to pass up. Every single item in our nursery is at least 30% off for the next four days, Friday, Saturday & Sunday and Monday .  In addition  50 % off large balled and burlapped shade trees and every greens. grab these while they last,  perennials, herbs and annuals are also  50 %. The includes the mandevellias and  large trunk  windmill.



We will have a new column in future newsletters, words of wisdom from Maysie or Maysie says....maysie  7
                   Come to the sale now  !

Summer Planting Know How!
persimmonYou can plant trees and shrubs now as long as you have a hose at each planting. You must soak each plant for a long time, an hour or more once a week.  You must encourage the roots to go down where it is cool in summer and mild in winter.

A thin mulch is good, but do not let it touch the bark or trunk of tree.
Do not feed until next spring, mid March is good. Some old timers always feed on St.Patty's day for green trees. 

Plant fruit trees now, plant berry bushes, plant large trees, plant flowering shrubs. They are all on sale now  at Triple Oaks if you are a preferred customers. If you get this newsletter the SALE IS FOR YOU.
Butterfly plants are good in the garden!
butterfly fritilallia

A Little Bit About Butterflies


            One of the agreeable pursuits  of late summer is  the observation of butterflies in the garden. Years of natural gardening now reward us with a wonderful array of colorful butterflies and moths living in our garden. I love to watch the butterfly bush and flowers near our windows while eating a meal or doing dishes, but best is to have them float about us while we eat breakfast or sip a late afternoon glass of wine on patio.  We purposely plant butterfly bushes and other nectar plants near our doors, windows and garden fence so we could watch butterflies drink the sweet nectar. Many varieties partake of this butterfly delicacy.

            When they are ready to lay their eggs, they find a host plant that their larvae will eat. Right now my parsley, dill, fennel and Queen Anne's lace are  usually covered with small black caterpillar, the larvae of the Swallowtail butterflies. When they hatch from their eggs, they are small and black, as they eat they become large and striped and more and more green. After shedding their skin several times they will eventually become a pupa. This hardens and changes color. Inside the larvae begins changing to a butterfly. Sometimes you can see this happening through the cocoon. When the butterfly or moth emerges it is wet and needs some time to dry. It soon flies to nectar   plants and then to host plants where it begins the cycle and lays eggs that hatch into larvae that eat their way to the pupa stage an it all begins again.

By planting certain plants you can enjoy this life cycle right before your eyes.

            Right now the Monarchs need milkweed, the spicebush likes sassafras or lindera spice bush and some fritillary like violets, others passion vine. The early spring mourning cloak eat willow and beautiful Luna moths lay eggs on birch, bayberry and hickories which explains why I see them in the light next ot our big old hickory tree. Many moths like broad leaf deciduous trees. There is nothing so exquisite as the grandeur of a moth like the Polyphemus or cecropia moths. As a child I had a 4-H butterfly and moth project and would watch the base of street lights and signs with night lights to wait to find one the these short lived moths that flew to the light its last night of egg laying and then died. This would promptly be added to the butterfly/moth collection board.

            Right now gardens are full of nectar plants. I noticed many yellow swallowtail butterflies at one time on the butterfly bushes yesterday. Some were on the  vitex shrub and   Monarch's were near butterfly weed, lavender, zinnia , phlox and many others.

Bright orange Monarchs are butterflies that actually live longer than most but it is the last generation born in summer that travels to Mexico for the winter. They need milkweed   and other food sources all along the way. With mowing and herbicide use along highways, milkweeds and nectar sources are declining. Fields and forest are   giving way to development. So it is important to plant natural areas for butterflies.  

            Many folks   are planting their gardens with butterflies in mind.   Plant   flowers to provide nectar and also   host plants for the larva to eat.   Wild plants such as common milkweed for larva to eat   are very important so allow a little patch of it to grow in an out of the way spot. All of the asclepias (milkweed ) are good, so grow some of each. All will reseed for yeasr if you allow them to do so.   Without such oasis for butterflies their population would decline even more. We too encourage milkweed to grow uncut all along our creek and never pull it out in the gardens( right now there is too much of it in the herb garden, but i can't bring myself to pull it out. ). Milkweed relatives such as the fiery orange asclepias we call butterfly weed and the tropical Mexican milkweed are planted in a bed back behind my vegetable garden.


A list of the best plants for Monarchs   ( there are 100ís more)

(1) Orange BUTTERFLY WEED (Asclepias tuberosa)

A perennial host plant for monarch larvae and nectar source.

SHOWY MILKWEED (Asclepias speciosa) Perennial Host plant for monarch & nectar plant for butterflies.

COMMON MILKWEED (Asclepias syriaca)

Perennial Host plant for monarch & nectar plant for butterflies.

SWAMP MILKWEED (Asclepias incarnata subsp. pulchra) Perennial; Host plant for monarch & nectar plant for butterflies.


Tender Perennial Host plant for monarch & nectar plant

PURPLE CONEFLOWER (Echinacea purpurea)

Perennial Good butterfly nectar plant.

TITHONIA TORCH, Mexican Sunflower annual

Attracts butterflies. 3 inches tall)

ZINNIA, Super Giant Mixed (Zinnia)

Annual; Good nectar plant for butterflies.


monarch on butterfly bush 


The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the next best time is now. '
linden tree in nusery




The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the next best time is now. '

   "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the next best time is now."  When our youngest son was in junior high he made us a little sign on his computer with this saying on it.   It hung in the shop for a long time,
and I have used the saying in newsletters and for classes over the years. It is an old Chinese proverb that is surely timeless in its message.
    The prettiest streets, parks
, and yards are those with trees. The simplest home looks charming and inviting when surrounded by trees. If you haven't planted any trees lately, perhaps this is the springtime to do so.
     There are so many trees from which to choose.  Here in the Delaware Valley, especially South Jersey
, we have wonderful nurseries where trees are grown. For best results, it is good to pick a local grown tree that is good for your soil and exposure. Look at trees, then read about ones that appeal to you to see if they are what you need. Michael Dirr's book Manuel of Woody Plants is one of the best of all tree books for complete information.

Many   folks make a tradition of planting a new tree each spring or fall. Some town's plant street or park trees, many such as the Boro of Stratford find grants so they can plant unique street trees that are enjoyed by both their residents as well as all who pass through their town. Vice chairman of shade tree commission   john Gentless says it is important to pick the right tree for the right spot. "Gentless , along with chairman Jake Gambon, has been involved with the shade tree commission for many years. Gambon is an advocate for diversification when planting   trees an d chooses the best tree for s situation. Although about 500 trees have been planted in the past 5 years there are plans to plant at least 150 more this year.
     People who want shade often choose an oak, maple
, or other tree with spreading branches.  For a narrow spot, a chalice-shaped zelkova tree might be good.
     For color
, there are flowering cherry, plum, pear, redbuds, magnolia, and dogwood. The list goes on and on and on.  Trees mark boundaries, they make shade, clean the air, hold the soil, are nesting places for birds, resting and food sources for butterflies and moths, and sources of inspiration for poets.
     It you choose the right tree for the right spot
, you will have a lifetime companion.  For instance, if the soil is on the wet side, a swamp magnolia or maple might work a lot better than a cherry. 
     Maples are wonderful trees for color and shade.  The Red Maple, Acer rubrum
, is one of New Jersey's most colorful native trees and is plentiful in low, moist, swampy woods as well as higher and drier places. Not to be confused with the Japanese red maple, which is considerably smaller and not a native, Acer rubrum is a large shade tree. All maples are in the Acer (their botanical name) family, with a second name to better identify them. Of course, there are a few maples to avoid, such as the silver and Norway, because they have really terrible root systems. Others, such as the paper bark, trifoliam, Japanese red maple, and most red maples are very sought after ornamentals. Colorful red or sugar a maples and their cultivars are fast-growing shade trees. It is always a good idea to keep the large maples away from cesspools, sewer pipes, or sidewalks. They do have vigorous roots that seek moisture.
   A real favorite for smaller gardens is the Japanese Red Maple tree, Acer Palmatum
. This popular ornamental plant is a small deciduous tree that is usually used as a single specimen, but it can be very nice in groupings. Japanese maples include an incredibly diverse and beautiful variety of hybrids (over 300 cultivars). These vary in leaf shape from the 'typical' Maple leaf, to deeply cut 'Lace leaf' varieties.
     The Red Sunset Maple tree, Acer Rubrum Red Sunset
, is considered one of the best trees for early fall color! This will become a very large deciduous shade tree. Glossy green leaves turn brilliant orange-scarlet, making this one of the showiest in autumn. The species name of rubrum means red. This tree has red flowers in dense clusters in late March to early April before the leaves appear, two-winged red fruit, and reddish stems and twigs. The Red Sunset is one of the best red maple cultivars and an excellent choice for homeowners.
     It is often recommended that both Norway and Silver maples be avoided as they have very invasive, large root systems.  The have been known to push up sidewalks, break through cement pipes and get in sewers.  The Norway is very pretty in fall, often the first to change color, but the large, protruding roots have made it a very unpopular street tree. It trips people and breaks sidewalks. So it is best to plant a maple that does not have invasive roots.

Planting how

        If your garden needs a shade tree or just some color early spring is a good time to plant. Use common sense when planting. Make the right size holes, large enough to accommodate the roots, but not too big. Mix in some good compost or manure in with the existing soil and place the tree ball in. Fill no higher than the top of the soil that was in pot or the top of the root ball. Tamp gently and water well. Be sure to saturate the soil all around the ball of dirt. If you do not water deeply each time you water, the root will grow up to the surface and become vulnerable to heat and cold. A slow- running hose for five or sixhours once a week is what is usually needed, not a tease of lawn irrigation for a short period all the time.  This only brings roots up to the surface for water. Add light shredded root mulch, not more than 2 inches, and keep it away from the bark of tree.  Never heap much around the tree trunk. This is called volcano mulching and is bad for the tree trunk.  Don't feed newly planted trees until next spring.

   In summary
, there are many good trees to choose from. Of course, oaks are long-lived, maples are pretty and fast growing, and both make great shade.   If you want something different there are many others to choose from. Visit an arboretum, a botanical garden and a reliable nursery and look at many kinds of trees.
     My husband Ted jokes that if the maple tree doesn't work out
, you can always make bowling pins from it. Some sense of humor, huh?   But all joking aside, if you have never planted a tree in your lifetime, now is the time to do so.  Give mother earth a gift this SUMMERg: plant a tree.  It will be even more beautiful 20 years from now.  BIG TREES 50 % off for 4 days . come get one now.
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