- Author: Janet Snyder
- Author: Trisha E Rose
- Author: Maureen Clark
It's raining once again. Because I'm a plant enthusiast and I loooove going to see the little plants growing. My favorite thing to do is to visit wholesale plant nurseries.
ESCHSCHOLZIA caespitosa 'Sundew'
Most wholesale nurseries buy pre-ordered plug starts. Plant plugs are seedlings which have been germinated and grown in trays of small cells. When the roots have grown sufficiently, they can then be transplanted into larger containers. Emerisa and Blooms both use an automated system to step up their plants into six pack or 4” containers. The plugs are moved to a central location. The hopper is filled with soil and used to fill the 4” containers. The extra soil is swept and blown off. The 4” containers continue down the conveyer belt. The dibber presses a small indentation into the soil of each container. The plugs are inserted by hand into the soil. The depth that the plug is placed is precise. The new plants are watered and moved to a specified location.
Blooms Wholesale have been in business for 35 years this year. Their growing grounds are about 2 acres. Blooms is known for growing all their plants without neonicotinoids or growth hormones. Their flowers are “Bee Friendly” and “Happy Plants”. They assign a number to every plant variety. Annie, Wendy and their comrades can easily track the number of plants they have, when they will be ready and where they are located. They do a fantastic job with their babies. Their plants are always high quality.
Emerisa Gardens is a family owned wholesale nursery. They have been in business for 25 years. The have 20 acres with approximately 50 growing houses. They start their plants from cuttings, division, seeds and from plant plugs. They grow organic vegetables and herbs. The plants are grown in specific areas, according to the plant's genus, species and their growing requirements. If the plants start to get insects or fungi problems, Farlan will use only organic sprays on them. He is very particular about his soil media. He is always creating a new soil mix and testing them out. It was great to see Arifah, Cheryl, Farlan, Ryan, and Adriana.
When you are out shopping for plants look for labels from Blooms and Emerisa. They are sure to liven up your garden!
- Author: Patricia Matteson
A dozen dark shapes silhouetted
in the dawn tracery of our Chinese tallow tree.
As usual a few flickers
yanking fruits but what are those
smaller…? Robins! The first sign of spring
in January already.
but one of those endless clichés.
Poetry Web site oh dear:
robin's egg blue
splashing in the birdbath
Well yes, I love watching robins
flutter-empty the flowerpot saucer
under the Chinese tallow.
Yeah yeah so what else is new?
Worm dried stiff on the sidewalk
must have been dropped around dawn.
No hopping seen and no robin
but she was there.
from trees far and near.
On the front porch in slippers and bathrobe
bathed in cool air
watching the east color red, I hear
another spring's beginning beauty.
William Carlos Williams got me started
about the song:
Speaks the red-breast his behest. Clearly!
Red-breast? Give me a break.
Not possible even for Williams
to escape cliché.
How about others?
Sibley: “often two or three phrases
alternately repeated over and over
plurri, kliwi, plurri, kliwi…”
No cliché, but a bit clinical.
Mom used to tell me “Cheery cheery cheery!” Better.
Hackneyed or what?
 Triadica sebifera
 Northern flicker, Colaptes auratus
 American robin, Turdus migratorius
4 Paterson by William Carlos Williams. Book One (1946), p. 20. New Directions Publishing Co., New York, 1992.
5 The Sibley Guide to Birds by David Allen Sibley, p. 403. National Audubon Society, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2000.
- Author: Erin Mahaney
During these winter days, I appreciate the early- to mid-winter blooming plants that brighten even the rainiest of days. One of my favorite winter bloomers is a purple vine that I'm sure you've seen blooming in your neighborhood: the 'Happy Wanderer' vine, Hardenbergia violacea. This hardy, evergreen vine explodes with clusters of cascading pinkish-purple flowers from winter to early spring.
Hardenbergia violacea is an evergreen vine that is native to Australia. The flowers are shaped like sweet pea flowers with tiny bright green “eyes.” The simple leaves are dark green, narrow, and approximately 2-4” long. The vine grows at a moderate rate with twining stems to at least 10 feet. Some sources say that the plant can reach 16 feet. Regardless, it is vigorous and needs to be placed in an appropriate location for its ultimate size. The vine needs support for climbing and should be cut back after blooming to prevent tangling. Selections of Hardenbergia are available in a few other colors, including pink (‘Rosea') and white (‘Icicle').
Plant Hardenbergia in sun or in light shade in hot inland areas. It prefers light soil, but it can tolerate heavy soil as long as the soil drains well. It requires little to moderate water once established. It is hardy to about 23° F, but can experience severe damage below 20° F.
In my experience, Hardenbergia can take tough conditions. I've grown the vine off and on for over fifteen years. I currently have a plant growing against a fence in a narrow side yard that only gets a few hours of sun and is subject to the gale force winds blowing off the Carquinez Strait. It isn't overly aggressive like some vines are and so it doesn't devour the fence. Despite my efforts to amend the soil, I'm pretty sure the vine is residing in clay soil. Nonetheless, it is happy and gorgeous!
In the past, I've ripped out the plant when it became too woody, probably because I hadn't pruned it enough (or correctly). But by winter the next year, when I saw the cheery bright blooms around town, I regretted my decision and made plans to replace it. I'm glad I did!