Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, gardeners!

We have a SALE today, from 10-4!!!!

We have some great plants marked down just for today - January 1st - only.

Come on in and see us, and start your new year of gardening off with some good deals!

The start of a new year is always full of traditions. Some are universal (hangovers?) and some we make up. I’m a big believer in purging and cleaning, getting a jump start on spring cleaning by instead doing it at the start of the new year, making space, symbolically at least, for new things to come.

I also love to garden during the winter! I feel like we put up with traffic and earthquakes in exchange for the amazing weather that Southern California provides, so it’s best to take advantage of that meteorological bonus every chance we get. Likewise, not gardening in the wintertime just seems, well....wrong!

I like to purge and clean in the winter, clear space for seedlings and bulbs making their way up from the ground. Nothing major needs to happen during these winter months - and some winter pruning, like roses and evergreens, is good, but be careful about pruning too intensely when nights get cold, as a plant can go into shock -  but a little clean up can go along way to keeping your garden looking great year round.

Source: sunset.com via Brande on Pinterest

 Better Homes and Gardens advises light fertilizing during these months, and keep an eye out for cold snaps that can damage tender plants. We lost a few of our Gunnera chilensis in the recent cold snap we had right before Christmas, though they do look like they are on the rebound. And of course, winter months are the best time to plant bareroot trees and roses.

I also love the colors of winter! This time of year, I’m drawn to blues and whites in the garden, and in my cut flower choices as well. One of my all time favorite flowers is Eryngium Sapphire “Sapphire Blue”. I was obsessed with this plant when I was a young gardener - I would see it in garden magazines and search high and low to find it! I was drawn to the texture, the shape, the color...everything about it! We now carry it in our nursery (and can order it for you if we don’t have it in) and though it doesn’t traditionally bloom this time of year in Southern California, I have been seeing it pop up in cut flower form at local florists.

Source: flickr.com via Brande on Pinterest

I’m also really into Salvia Apiana right now. White sage is a southwest native, and a sacred plant to many Native American tribes. A student of mine, of Native descent, recently gave me a sprig of salvia he dried himself as an end of semester gift, asking me to burn it on the day of the winter solstice. It’s believed that smudging the plant has cleansing or purification qualities. Needless to say, it was one of the coolest gifts I’ve ever received from a student, and it’s also one of my favorite garden plants. Salvia Apiana is very easy to grow, requiring only well drained soil and some sunlight.  It’s white leaves can really make a garden shine!

Source: soenyun.com via Brande on Pinterest

Other great winter choices in the blue and white palette include Delphiniums and campanulas - cottage garden classics! Artemisia “Wormwood” is also a lot of fun, and has a great ‘wintery’ silver foliage color.  I also love to plant artichokes this time of year; they’ll be producing by summer and their unique shaped leaves and color add a great dimension to any garden! I’ve got more examples of winter colors posted on Pinterest, check them out!

Johnnye Merle’s stocks all these plants and more, and we still have our plant of the month club up and running. We are also available to help you design and get your yard ready for the seasons ahead - just email us for more information.

Our lack of snow doesn’t mean we don’t have our own winter traditions in Southern California! Whatever your new year resolutions are, we hope that you have a great one, and that you spend some time in your garden!

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