This newsletter is  dedicated to our Maysie, May she rest in well deserved peace.
Triple Oaks Nursery & Herb Garden Newsletter
Memorial to Maysie
July 2012
in this issue
Butterfly Weed
Dear Triple Oaks Friends, 

It is with great sadness that we tell you of the passing of our wonderful dog maysie. She was truly a shop mascot if there ever was one. Maysie was 17 years old in March and has been a very important part of Triple Oaks all her life. She was the kinds, the smartest and the most talented dog ever. We have a small gallery of her below.

Next I must remind everyone to deep soak plants. WE are in a dangerous drought. Plants are dying everywhere with out water. Soaker hoses work well if left on for a long time. It will take more than one rain to remedy this situation.

If you would like some FREE tomato plants stop by soon, while they last and take some of our really good plant.s Many of the cherry varieties are full of fruits that i have been picking and eating. ummmm
Just remember that the long lanky plants need to be planted more than half their height deep.

We do have a SALE this week. ALL Annuals, perennials and herbs are half price. Fill in the blanks with our plants. just make sure you have a hose to water everything that you plant.

Use this opportunity to stock up on butterfly and hummingbird plants. All of our plants still look good, we work hard at keeping them healthy.

Photo story of Maysie over the last 17 plus years
maysie puppy
Maysie the puppy

As you can see Maysie loved Triple Oaks and all of you too. She was everywhere everyday! She also liked to swim and travel and even climb a tree as you will see in these photos. She liked to relax with her family and even had puppies once . Enjoy. If you loved Maysie too you can see more photos on Jos.J Kiefer Facebook. I hope to get them also on the triple oaks Facebook.

guard dog or greeter ?
maysie snow
a gal for all seasons
maysie tractor
maysei car
maysie liked to go out on her day off
maysei desk
but she was back at her desk soon enough
maysie pups
she did take one maternity leave, but not for long!
enjoying a party with mom mom
maysie greenhouse
she worked in the greenhouses
maysie water
maysie worked hard and she played hard !
maysie swimmmin
many of you remember trowing a stick so maysie could go 'swimmin'
maysie herbs
she could even be found in the herb garden!
maysie  veggie
she took her turn in veggie garden too!
mayse nursery
she really did like retial best!
maysie joe
she worked long hours and loved her much deserved visits out to visit eric and lisa
maysie rest
but she always came back refreshed
maysie tree
she could even climb trees!
she deserved her rest

WE will never forget Maysie. She has left her paw prints on many hearts and my tears flow as I finish this little tribute to her. If you enjoyed these photos there are many more in an album on Joe's face book and will be on triple oaks face book. 
Thank you for being part of Maysie's ;ice when you visited our nursery. I'd love to see your comments on our Triple Oaks face book. 
Butterfly week~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
butterfly weed best 1

The monarchs are coming ...

Plant butterfly weed now


Because of the many questions from readers about milkweed and other monarch butterfly plants I am repeating   this column about the asclepias family of plants. 

What can be prettier than a beautiful summer day filled with garden flowers, fragrance and butterflies? It is not too late to add plants to the garden for butterflies. Top on the list is butterfly weed or Asclepias tuberosa , which is a form of milkweed. 

However other plants with daisy like blooms or tubular flowers also provides nectar.  Another native plant that is an aggressive spreader, but one that is often covered with butterflies in fall is the Joe Pye weed or Eupatorium , which is often found growing wild in fields throughout the area. And don't forget the Buddleia or fragrant butterfly bush ( this purple ,white or pink bush is different from butterfly weed or Asclepias)  to attract Monarchs and other butterflies. Cut dead blooms off of it often and it will bloom relentlessly. This will also keep it from spreading by seed. 

But back to   butterfly weed  which is a beautiful fiery orange plant that is   now blooming all over southern New Jersey. It has always been one of my very favorite wild flowers. It is known by many different nicknames but most old timers call it railroad Annie because it often grows along railroad tracks or in vacant fields; butterfly enthusiasts call it butterfly weed because its colorful blooms attract butterflies.  Botanists call it Asclepias tuberosa, which shows how by family name it is related to common milkweed.  One can see that the seedpods look similar to the common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca.

     Some gardeners grow both butterfly weed and common milkweed, which is the host or food plant for the caterpillars of several species of butterflies including the North American Monarch butterfly. It is interesting to know that Monarch butterflies larvae accumulate bitter cardiac glycosides contained in the milkweed plants upon which they feed. Although these are not toxic to the larvae or the butterflies they provide a chemical defense for the larvae, the pupae, and the adult butterflies since they are   unpalatable to birds.

      Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed) has an awesome orange flower, which attracts butterflies to the back boarder around my kitchen garden. Here the plant thrives in the native, sandy soil and readily reseeds among the poppies, gaillardia, potentillia and portulaca since they all grow in sandy, well drained soils.  I just added 6 new plants to this area yesterday .  Since it is really sandy I try to water them at least once a week when I water the vegetables in the garden.  

It is easily grown in average, dry to medium moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Drought tolerant it does well in poor, dry soils as well. Plants tends to emerge very late in the spring when the soil warms. Plants are easily grown from seed, but are somewhat slow to establish and may take 2-3 years to produce flowers. Mature plants may freely self-seed in the landscape if seedpods are not removed prior to splitting open. Butterfly weed should not be dug up as it does not transplant well due to its deep taproot. Buy small nursery grown plants and let them reseed in your garden.

Several other Asclepias species are worth growing for their unusual flowers or decorative seedpods. Swamp milkweed is one that can take moist areas in which to grow. It is identified botanically as   Asclepias incarnata, so be sure that you purchase the correct plant for your site   and always check the botanical name. This one has a dusty rose flower. Its common name indicates its preference for a wetland habitat, but this can be a bit misleading as swamps are by definition-wooded wetlands and this plant does best in the sun or at most part sun.  It works well for homeowners who have lawn irrigation that makes their gardens too wet for butterfly weed. It will thrive in a sunny butterfly garden that is watered well. It attracts a profusion of butterflies and is an excellent addition to the butterfly garden, as it is both a nectar source and host plant for the Monarch Butterfly.

Although aphids sometimes attack it, both in the wild and in the garden (typically on the stem) these are generally not harmful to the plant. They can be removed with a hard stream of water or sprayed with insecticidal soap, or simply left alone. There is always the chance of killing butterfly larvae so I say, let them be. Plant the swamp milkweed toward rear of garden if you prefer to view the flowers without seeing the aphids.

There are also many tropical plants in this family that are available in the trade. Tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica grows to about 4 feet in height. Two different colors of flowers are available. One is all orange, while part of the flowers of the other type is red. Tropical milkweed is a host plant for Monarch butterflies. Monarch butterflies use milkweed, and only milkweed, as a host plant. Since tropical Milkweed has a high concentration of the poisons that make Monarchs more resistant to predators, they tend to be very attracted to it. Although it is not native too much of the US, many butterfly gardeners like to grow it since the   Monarchs like it so much. These often bloom in red, yellow or orange and are often called Mexican or Texas milkweed. Sometimes they will reseed in the garden.   Last year I had left over pots of it sitting on my walk way and low and behold the monarch larvae appears and soon made cocoons. 

     I love all milkweeds, but my favorite is the bright orange tuberosa and I will continue to keep  trying to get it growing all over our sandy property. It already grew along the creek and in  a few other wild places. Remember butterfly weed is one of our showiest native wildflowers and all members of its family reseed readily if the seeds are allowed to pop open and fall where they may. Nature takes its course as the old saying goes. 


We do have plenty of butterfly weed in pots, it will be on sale this week only until Sunday July 22. Limited amount of milkweed in pots. 



This week's message is short but mighty,



I am really concerned at the lack of rainfall!  Trees and shrubs are looking terrible wherever I look.  I ride my bike  and I am    horrified at the wilted trees and shrubs I noticed all around the neighborhood, even in the woods.  Many very wilted plants can still be saved if they are allowed a long, deep drink. Place a slow running hose on large, mature plants and let it run over night or at least for several hours. This should do the trick.


Trees and shrubs need moisture now until the late fall to help them survive the winter. Roots remain active and continue to grow even after the leaves fall.  It is important to provide water as needed until the soil begins to freeze (mid- -December). Sandy soils and sunny locations and plants near tree need water. 


All trees and shrubs need watering, but those that have been planted within the past few years definitely need to be soaked more since they are still in the process of establishing their root systems. Be sure to water all the way out to the drip line (the tips of the branches) or beyond and allow water to soak down deep to cover the whole root zone 


If you haven't applied mulch yet this is a good time to spread a two- to three-inch layer of wood chips, pine needles, or other mulch in a wide circle around the base of the plant. But be sure to keep mulch back a few inches from the trunk or stems. Never pile mulch against the tree trunk! Do not mulch dry soil , be sure to soak it first. 


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butterfly weed best 1 Save 50%Annuals, perennials, herbs 

All herbs, unusual annuals such as pentas and lady in red for humming birds, great perennials such as butterfly weed, lilies, salvia. get them while they last. butterfly monarch
Sale now until Sunday July 22