Coastal Current   

 May 2014   Issue #53  




Mark Twain wrote, "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." Here at our northern tier location, 'tis the season of the Pennsylvania firefly, a.k.a. lightning bug, a.k.a.
Photuris pennsylvanicus. They're not flying yet, but their larvae glimmer in the grass at night, so subtly you think you're imagining them. You're not. 



Florida  A sincere Thank You! to those who reached out to express concern during the recent Panhandle floods that forced us to close our offices for a day. A staggering 26+ inches of rain fell in less than a day, leaving so many roads underwater or washed out, our staff simply couldn't get to work - safely, or otherwise.
Fortunately, all personnel, facilities and crops weathered the storm. We hope no one was severely inconvenienced by our closure. Cleanup at ECG is pretty much finished, but many folks down here are still suffering. 





Pennsylvania  An attractive native species, Anas platyrynchos, has appeared spontaneously in our trial garden. Blending into winter's debris, shielded by Helleborus foliage, Mallory Mallard feathered her nest and hunkered down to await hatchlings. Perhaps she heard glowing reports about the local school district.




Nearby, perennials and grasses are also hatching out of winter's detritus, spending their precious nest egg of stored carbohydrates, thrusting into the spring sun. Some are barely stirring, but stalwarts like Dianthus Firewitch, Heuchera 'Palace Purple' and our own Stokesia 'Divinity' PPAF have shrugged off our recent nasty winter, ready for whatever summer brings.



Dianthus Heuchera Stokesia



Honey, turn off the shrubs and come to bed! Someday, luminous plants may light your home and landscape. Researchers have inserted firefly protein, luciferase, into Arabidopsis, a mustard relative, and are working on roses. If they succeed with Isolepis, fiber optics grass, or Miscanthus 'Morning Light', would that be fate, or redundancy? 

Miscanthus 'Morning Light'
Miscanthus 'Morning Light'


A catalog sneak preview: Major breeders up the ante.

Coreopsis: Always a genus to reckon with! We're adding a couple of gorgeous intros from Terra Nova, of course, and five new Li'l Bang™ cuties from Darrell Probst.

: Great Garden Plants adds 'Firecracker' and 'Jade Tuffet' to the Sunsparkler® series. And a year in, we're still pumped about Terra Nova's Touchdown™ series.

Veronica: Promising early results for the Moody Blues series from Star Roses & Plants. They look especially good on Tuesday afternoon.

Coreopsis Li'l Bang



You may leave some ragged edges, but we're bullish on Taurans this month. You guys get things done. Horn in any time.
Calm down, breathe, get a grip! You're beside yourself.




Congratulations to Itsaul Plants, whose cheerful yellow 'Electric Avenue' was named the Mayo Clinic Flower of Hope™ . That august institution is launching this "new tradition" as part of its sesquicentennial, but this is no short-lived promo. The program and the flower will appear in far more venues than our catalog for years to come. For more:


Coreopsis Cruizin' 'Electric Avenue'




Some parts of the world have no lightning bugs. I'm

fortunate to dwell where shifting, glittering galaxies rise from the meadow grasses on warm evenings. Adult fireflies bring the landscape alight as they take flight. Larvae decimate that which desecrates the garden, feeding on slugs and such. Makes me downright starry-eyed. 

How do bioluminescence-deprived zones compensate for that lack? Does it rain beer? Does bacon grow on trees? Whatever it is, we hope "excellent" is the right word. Thunderstorm season is starting. We'll have the lightning AND the lightning bug.





  John Friel



John Friel  

Marketing Manager 

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