Soquel Nursery Growers
April 2006 Newsletter
Click here for an index of back issues of the newsletter.
Happy Trails, Eric
We say goodbye and thank you to our wonderful manager Eric Bloom, who has moved to Mount Vernon,
Washington. He has purchased a small wholesale nursery called Northwest Perennials. We wish Eric the best
of good luck as he lives his dream. Visit their website at
www.nwperennials.com.
Early Birds Get the Plants
We are open on Saturday mornings for your spring and summer planting frenzy. Cathy and Willow run
away laughing into the forest promptly at noon, so you might want to forego that leisurely Saturday
brunch and give yourself plenty of time to shop. We’ll be here at 8:00 am.
Lavandula allardii
Here’s a lavender you may not know, but we think you’ll enjoy it
as much as its more popular cousins. Lavandula allardii has very
attractive bright grey-green foliage with toothed leaves. The
long, narrow flower spikes are deep rosy-purple. The fragrance
is spicy-sweet with a hint of camphor. Its growth habit is open
and upright to 3’ x 3’. It blooms all year, unlike angustifolia and
‘Provence’. Other lavenders which bloom all year are pinnata,
heterophylla, and the stoechas varieties.
Celebrate Earth Day April 22nd
Every day is Earth Day if you are a gardener. On the official holiday you can celebrate with others in
your community. Try a beach cleanup party, a wildlands restoration project, or helping seniors or
children plant a garden. Every human should get a chance to put her fingers in the soil and feel the
power of Spring.
Digitalis

In addition to the ‘Foxy Mix’ we usually grow, we
now have two more varieties of Foxgloves.

Digitalis mertonenis: Huge rosy-pink bells

‘Pink Champagne': Creamy-yellow throats, with pink
blush on the outside.
                                  
 photo: "Foxy Mix"
Achilleas
Yarrows are ready to plant now. Their flat umbels make an important nectar and pollen source for
beneficial insects. Butterflies enjoy standing on them and warming themselves. Adult syrphid flies will be
attracted to your garden, leaving ferocious larvae to devour thousands of aphids. Achilleas are
drought-tolerant, long lasting and require very little maintenance.

Our green-leaved spreading varieties make excellent groundcover and withstand occasional foot
traffic:
Red Velvet: New for us! Deep rosy-red color that lasts and lasts.
Appleblossom:  Pink and white

Grey-leafed clumping varieties stay where you plant them:
Anthea: Pale yellow
Moonshine: Bright yellow
Echium handiense
If you crave Echium fastuosum (Pride of Madiera) but you don’t have enough room, Echium handiense is
the plant for you. The electric blue flower heads are more rounded than those of E. fastuosum. Its eventual
size is only about 2’ x 2’. Say “handy-
en-see”.
Arbutus ‘Marina’

Arbutus ‘Marina’ is sometimes called Hybrid Strawberry Tree,
but it is also called
“The Garden Madrone”. It makes an
excellent substitute for California’s native
Madrone (Arbutus
menziesii),
having the same beautiful red peeling bark. The
native Madrone is notoriously difficult to grow in gardens, as it
dislikes transplanting, summer water and disturbed soil. Arbutus
‘Marina’ thrives near lawns or in perennial beds. They are the
cute little round-headed trees on the median strip on East Cliff
Drive in Santa Cruz. A native Madrone wouldn’t be caught dead in
a median strip.  Pendulous clusters of pink urn-shaped flowers
turn into red rough-skinned fruits. Try pressing them through a
sieve to remove the seeds and using the pulp as a substitute in any
recipe calling for persimmon pulp.
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Soquel Nursery Growers 3645 North Main Street Soquel, CA 95073
(831) 475-3533 (800) 552-0802 (831) 475-1608 fax