Soquel Nursery Growers
June 2006 Newsletter
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Free Fill Dirt!
We have a mountain of FREE used potting soil.
Landscapers are welcome to load up as much as they
want.  Occasionally, on Saturdays we have time to load
you up using our tractor.  You might have to pick out
occasional bits of tie tape, labels, and mysterious
seedlings.
Great Big Grasses
 
Two very striking large-scale clumping grasses are back. Chondropetalum tectorum or
Thatching Reed is used to make thatch roofs in its native South Africa. It is similar in
appearance to Equisetum or Horsetail, but much larger and not invasive. The thick stalks are
dark bluish-green. It forms a clump 3’ tall and wide or bigger.  It tolerates a wide variety of
soils and watering conditions. You can even plant it directly in a pond.  Give it full sun.

For a wonderful textural contrast, plant a feathery cloud of
Muhlenbergia dumosa nearby…
maybe further up a slope, where it can have less water and better drainage than the
Chondropetalum. Muhlenbergia dumosa is sometimes called Bamboo Grass or Bamboo Muhly
because of its finely textured leaves and jointed stems. However, is not a bamboo, and it won’t
run underground and invade. It will form a clump 4’ tall or taller with summer water. It is native
to Arizona and Mexico. It tolerates heat, drought, and coastal conditions.
Dichondra argentea

You will be charmed by these strands of little silver hearts.
‘Silver Falls’ Dichondra makes a great low groundcover, only
3” high. It looks wonderful flowing out of a hanging basket.  
Give moderate water and good drainage.  Grow in full sun or
light shade.
New Arctotis Varieties

You probably won’t be able to find these new varieties of Arctotis or African Daisy anywhere else.
These are great easy-care, drought tolerant sun lovers with a long blooming season. In addition to the
ever-popular
Purple, Orange, Sunspot, and Pumpkin Pie, we have:

Burgundy:  Purplish wine-red…yum!
Flamingo: Glowing pale pink with delicate stripes
Golden Sunburst: Two-tone yellow petals with darker tips for a sunny halo effect.
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides

Ceratostigma or Dwarf Plumbago is an excellent
tough groundcover with a vivid and unusual
combination of colors. The flowers are electric
blue and the green leaves turn red in the fall. You
can see some actually looking decent under the
trees along the parking lot at Front and Pacific in
Santa Cruz, where the only attention it gets is from
people throwing taco wrappers at it. Yours will look
even better if you simply water it once in a while
and whack it lightly with a weedwhacker in
January. Grows 6”-12” in height, spreads widely,
and blooms summer through fall.

Rubus parviflorus

If you go hiking in the redwoods or oak forests you
may be lucky enough to come across the delicious
little
Thimbleberry. Its fuzzy and elegantly
quilted leaves are an essential addition to your
woodland garden. The fruit is raspberry-like with a
unique tangy flavor.  You will make the birds happy
and get a few berries for yourself as well.  
 Rubus
parviflorus
is native to many areas around the
world, but hard to find in nurseries.
Lemon Verbena
By popular demand we are growing Aloysia triphylla
again. The leaves of
Lemon verbena have the most
wonderful sweet lemony aroma and flavor. In summer it
has panicles of tiny, fragrant, star-like flowers.  The
shrub itself becomes very leggy and open in habit.
Pruning it regularly is not a chore but a happy excuse
to smell it. You can plant it in a sunny mixed perennial
bed where the other plants will fill in around it and
hide its legginess. There are many recipes using its
leaves for flavoring and cosmetics. Be careful to use it
sparingly; its volatile oils are quite powerful, and some
people may be allergic to them. Grow in well-drained
soil with regular water and full sun.
Cuphea aequipetala

Cuphea aequipetala or Mexican Loosetrife is a new plant
for us this year. Like many cupheas, its flowers resemble a
little animal face with big ears. It will trail along the
ground for 2 feet and then arch up 3 feet in height. The
shiny dark green leaves on long stems give a lacy effect.
The flowers are a striking deep magenta. It likes light
shade and regular water.
Bishop's Weed

Aegopodium podagraria variegata has beautiful bright
green and cream foliage. It is a vigorous groundcover that
spreads underground.  If you have a really tough shady area
where other plants have failed this is a good thing to try.  
It spreads eagerly so a confined area is best.  Great in pots
and planters.  Deciduous in winter.
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Soquel Nursery Growers 3645 North Main Street Soquel, CA 95073
(831) 475-3533 (800) 552-0802 (831) 475-1608 fax