Our best selection of plants for the 2021 season is here now! Our selection of plants for shade and part shade has never been better, including Hosta (many kinds!), Ferns (5 kinds!), Bergenia, Hellebore, Foxglove, Geranium (many), Coral Bells (many), Monkshood, Persicaria, Pulmonaria, Golden Wood Poppy and Clematis (lots!), and some new selections, like Solomon’s Seal (2 kinds)!
Some customers wonder why we are selling starts of self-sowing hardy annuals like Larkspur, Rocky Mt. Beeplant, California Poppy, Peony-flowered Poppy, Pheasant’s Eye, Sweet Alyssum, Nodding Dragonshead, Bee’s Friend, and Desert Bluebell. Shouldn’t they be grown from seed sown directly in the garden? The answer is Yes, they certainly can be, and if you find a source for the seeds and sow them at the optimal time, usually in the fall, you can get great results. But some gardeners report having little or no success with direct sowing: their timing is off, the seeds are watered in and then dry up and are no longer viable, critters eat the seeds, etc.
Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday. There are several different claims to the inception of the Mothers’ Day or Mother’s Day holiday in the US, inspired by ideas of helping less fortunate mothers, reducing infant and maternal mortality, voicing opposition to wars, and honoring motherhood. All of these share the common core idea of honoring Nurturers.
We think bearing children and nurturing children are truly awesome endeavors. We also think that Nurturing Life is what Gardening is all about.
Don’t Miss our May Day Plant Sale and Celebration!
Historically, May Day is a festival of spring and flowers; an old-fashioned holiday that has been celebrated for many centuries, although it isn’t commonly celebrated any more in the modern US. This earth-based celebration is inspired by gratitude for fertility and set at a time when seeds sprout, plants begin growing and baby animals are born. For Harlequin’s Gardens, this is not just a time to hold a sale, but also a time to share a true celebration with you, our friends, with live music and dancers.
We hope you will celebrate Earth Day, maybe all week. It is good to acknowledge that we have a planet and that it has been supportive of life and human life for a long time. Unfortunately, we humans have not treated Her well, Gaia, our Mother Earth. We were told the story that we humans are the masters of the earth and that all the creatures and resources are here for our use and glory. Not everybody believed that story. Chief Joseph told our ancestors: “The Earth does not belong to us; we belong to the Earth.”
Just as we need to add another layer of clothing during these cold snaps, our warm-season veggie starts also need additional insulation as the spring season and soil slowly begin to warm up. This layering can come in several forms, each with their own advantages and applications: low-tech overturned plant pots, row cover anchored over metal frame (as illustrated in the “Hardening-Off” portion of this article), and Solar Caps.
Due to their versatility and re-usability, Solar Caps have been one of our favorite garden tools for over a decade.
Some veggies seem to shy away from the limelight, flourishing underground to provide a surprising, beautiful, and nutritious surprise later in the season. Growing root vegetables is generally easy, and can be a fun way to engage children in gardening. In addition, mountain gardeners often find that root veggies thrive in their cooler conditions.
Once planted, root veggies do not like to be disturbed and therefore are best planted by seed. (We do sell Bull’s Blood Beets as a starts, but these are generally grown for their greens.) We have Botanical Interests, Masa, and Seed Savers Exchange seeds for many root veggies including:
A couple of days ago, I decided to trim back the clumps of Narbonne Flax in my garden, which had been bent over by the heavy snow in March. I grabbed my hedge clippers and cut the first clump down to about 8”. Then I took a closer look at it. Something was in there, and it wasn’t a wad of dry redbud leaves. I had just missed cutting through a Praying Mantis egg case by about a quarter of an inch! A little shaken and much relieved, I inspected all the other clumps carefully before trimming the rest.
This was a vivid reminder that our garden allies need safe habitat during their dormant and larval stages, and undisturbed places to hide their eggs.
It’s official – Mason bees are flying! Make sure you have new, clean nesting materials for them and for the other bee species that follow throughout the summer. If you have overwintered cocoons, get them out now. You can use one of our release tubes (pictured left) that allow the bees to emerge but not to renest in the same old dirty straws.
Mason bees only fly from about mid-March to early June. If you don’t have plants blooming then, such as fruit trees or Mahonia, you won’t be able to support mason bees. Don’t worry though because there are many other cavity nesting species that are happy for a clean safe place to nest.
Do you have plants that you like, but that need to be moved to a different location in your garden? Or has your clump of Shasta Daisy, Daylily, Hardy Geranium, etc. become too wide and now needs to be divided? By dividing your mature perennials, you get free plants to expand your garden, to give to neighbors, or pot up and donate to a fund-raising event like KGNU FM Community Radio’s Spring Plant Sale! The next couple of weeks bring the very best opportunity to accomplish these moves without stressing your plants too much. Search the web for instructions from a trusted source for dividing the specific plant you’re working with.
This year we continue to offer a wonderful selection of seeds from our local Botanical Interests for tried-and-true vegetables, herbs, flowers, and sprouts, local MASA seeds, local BBB seeds. And from Seed Savers Exchange preserving heirloom varieties and sharing them.
The World Bank says it will no longer finance oil and gas projects after 2019.
The Sierra Club
The TREES we sell are smaller than ball & burlap trees that are dug in the field, leaving at least 75% of their roots in the ground. Ours are grown in a container so they have a complete root system and begin growing immediately and are not stressed. Here is a sample of some of ours.
Very tough and xeric, grows 15’ high and wide, white flowers and red berries, loves Colorado.
Rocky Mt. Maple
Native to our foothills, likes to grow in the protection of other trees, red fall color, 10’-15’.
Gambel Oak and Wavyleaf Oak
Both natives that grow 10’-15’, with little water and poor soil, support birds.
Good shade tree to replace an ash, a fast-growing hardwood, the most drought tolerant shade tree.
The hardiest mulberry, 25-30’ tall and wide, very xeric, white fruit is tasty and does not stain.
8’-12’ native oak with evergreen leaves that are leathery and sharp toothed, hardy.
Golden Rain Tree
25′ xeric tree with golden flowers in July, lantern-like pods, seeds abundantly.
Native, suckering tree to 15′-25′ with white flowers, edible fruit; great for birds and butterflies.
Sucker Punch Chokecherry
Leaves start green then turn red all season, non-suckering, white flowers, berries.
Silver Buffaloberry (Shepherdia)
10′ native tree with edible red fruit, silver leaves, very xeric, few thorns.
Mayday Tree (Prunus padus)
20′-30′ with clusters of white flowers, then bird fruit, fast screen.
40′-50′ with vertical habit, orchid-like flowers, huge round leaves, 12″ beans, xeric and special.
20′-30′ evergreen, blue foliage is fragrant, not scratchy, quite fast growing, bird favorite.
Plus, Honeylocust, Crab Apples, Silver Maple, Bur Oak, Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn, Aspen, Ptelea.
Harlequin’s huge choice of pollinator-supporting Perennials-including:
Sulfur Flower–Kannah Creek
Mahogany fall color. Eriogonum allennii – 3′ wide, very xeric, yellow flowers, a winner. Eriogonum umbellatum – yellow blooms cover xeric native mat, feeds butterflies, bees.
Royal Velvet, Buena Vista, Grosso, Twickle Purple, Munstead, Hidcote.
1′-3′ Full Sun, Attracts butterflies, native and honeybees, hummingbirds.
Butterfly Weed, orange flowers, 1’-2’ high, essential Monarch food and nectar.
Hairy Mountain Mint
Aromatic prairie native attracts all pollinators! White flowers. Zone 4.
Showy purple blooms bring bees, hummers, butterflies; deer resistant.
Large fragrant pink xeric native to 5’, bumblebees & hummingbirds. Many MORE Penstemons!
Kent’s Beauty, Amethyst Falls, Pilgrim etc., cascading groundcovers, long blooming, bee-loved.
Helianthemum Wisley Pink
1” wild rose-like flowers in pink with silver foliage, xeric. PLUS, Double Peach, Ben Heckla, Hartswood Ruby.
Purple Prairie Clover
Long lived xeric native loved by many bee species, bright purple-pink, nitrogen-fixing.
Anise Hyssop, Blue Fortune, Coronado, Black Adder, A. rupestris, Tutti Frutti.
Tuscan Honeymoon – grassy foliage, 2’-3’ stalks of pink flowers late summer. D. gratianopolitanus – very tough groundcover, very fragrant pink flowers, durable. D. Blue Hills – the bluest foliage, fragrant flowers, 12” diam. D. Firewitch – fragrant; D. petraeus noeanus – Jasmine Dianthus, powerfully fragrant.
Native G. aristata, Arizona Sun, Arizona Apricot, Az. Red Shades, Amber Wheels
12″ x 24″ wide, yellow daisies with chocolate fragrance, very xeric native.
Culinary, Purple, Tricolor, S. ictaria, Blue Hill, May Night, Caradonna, Furman’s Red, Mojave, S. azurea
Thymus citriodorus aureus
The best smelling lemon thyme, good for cooking too.
Fairy Pincushion. Sweet and tough, 12” plant 4” high, blooms long, xeric.
Biokovo, Splendens, St. Ola, Crystal Rose, Cambridge, G. macrorrhizum, Ballerina
Strong medicinal Echinacea, narrow leaves, pink flowers, xeric. PLUS, E. purpurea, Magnus, E. paradoxa, E. pallida, E. tennesseensis.
Arp, Madeline Hill, Tuscan Blue, Prostrata.
Gayfeathers: L. punctata-local native; L. ligulistylis, pycnostachya, spicata
Harlequin’s Silver Germander, T. rotundifolium, T. chamaedrys
Snapdragon, Zinnia, Lauren’s Grape Poppy, Petunias, Datura, Pansies, and many more.
We have a large selection of natives and non-natives Shrubs AND Vines
Amorpha, Manzanitas, Mt. Mahoganies, Big Sage, Fringed Sage, Lilacs, Butterfly Bushes, Pea Shrub, Viburnams, Spireas, Potentillas, Sand Cherry, Rabbitbrush, Fernbush, Mountain Ninebark, Lewis Mockorange, Boulder Raspberry, Boxwoods, Cotoneasters, New Mexican Privet Flowering Quince, Ephedra, Euonymus, Sumacs, Currants, Yuccas and Honeysuckle, Trumpet Vine, Wisteria, Clematis, and MORE!
In 2019, wind, solar and hydroelectric power produced more electricity than coal for the first time.
Union of Concerned Scientists
We are known far and wide for our selection of sustainable roses and for our expertise in helping people choose the best varieties for their gardens and landscapes. We sell roses on their own roots not grafted, which makes them more cold hardy, longer lived, with more flowers. This year we will have more Austin English roses and more patio roses.
And we have many other great roses including: Bill Reid, Marie Pavie, The Gift, John Cabot, Seafoam, Stanwell Perpetual, The Fawn, Abraham Darby, Applejack, Darlow’s Enigma, Henry Kelsey, John Davis, Golden Wings, Victorian Memory, Fairmont Proserpine, Joann’s Pink Perpetual, Golden Celebration, Champlain, Morden Snowbeauty, Henry Kelsey, Robusta, etc.
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time.
CURRANTS, GOOSEBERRIES, BLACKBERRIES, RASPBERRIES
One of our specialties is fruiting plants that are adapted to Colorado conditions. All the apples we carry are resistant to fireblight and good tasting. And the cherries we sell are all proven successful in Colorado. Our grapes are the hardiest of any you will find, delicious fresh, in juice and a few are good for wine. And we have productive & good tasting currants, gooseberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries including:
Crandall Clove Currant and Gwen’s Buffalo Currant
Both are 5’x4’ with very fragrant yellow flowers in spring and annual bearing of sweet-tart berries full of healthy phytonutrients and reddish fall color; these are native currants selected for better fruit.
Triple Crown Thornless Blackberry
Late blooming so avoids late frosts, medium to large sweet berries, semi-trailing, best pruned to 8’.
Orient Nanking Cherry
Selected for flavor; it’s good; same 6’ height, xeric, red cherries.
Johns, York and Adams Elderberries
Larger berries, 8’, better edible elderberry, need two to pollinate, beautiful white flowers, berries are high in nutrition, loved by the birds.
Hinnomaki Red Gooseberry
Excellent flavor, tangy skin, sweet flesh, 3′, productive.
Very large greenish white sweet fruit, very productive, vigorous.
Imperial White Currant
Clusters of white fruit with rich flavor, early ripening, from 1895.
Alagan Black Currant
Sweet and strong flavored European, culinary and medicinal, need 2.
Niwot primocane Black Raspberry
Bred in Longmont, fruits on new wood, excellent flavor.
Also, Anne yellow raspberry, and Heritage and Polana red raspberries.
Semi-sweet cherry, very hardy to -54F, good for fresh eating and baking.
A natural dwarf 6-8′, good tasting fruit, dependable, good ornamental too.
Also, Montmorency, Mesabi, Carmine Jewel, Juliet, Romeo, Crimson Passion.
We will have a wonderful selection of Colorado-adapted strawberries with REAL Strawberry Flavor.
Finally found this old-time favorite cross between wild Rocky Mt. strawberry and garden varieties. Okay with less-than-ideal soil, everbearing, productive.
Everbearing, large, sweet, aromatic fruits, heat & cold tolerant.
Mara des Bois
Intense flavor, June-October.
June-bearing, some say THE best tasting.
Alexandria Alpine and Yellow Wonder Alpine
Runnerless, small intense fruit.
Deep blue sweet, juicy flesh, mid-late Aug, self-fertile, tough.
Rosy-red, freestone, spicy & sweet, ripens Aug/Sept, very productive, needs pollinator.
Also, Stanley, Italian, Red Haven, Superior, Toka, Green Gage, Alderman.
Reliance, Contender, Red Haven.
Crisp, juicy, delicious fruit, for fresh eating, baking, cider; successful.
Sweet and juicy, aromatic, stores well, Zone 3, successful.
Large, yellow fruit is good fresh, for sauce and pies. Zone 2-3, keeps for 1 week.
Also, Liberty, Haralson, Honeycrisp, Hazen, Macfree, Mandan, Zestar, Freedom, Honeygold, Red Baron, Zestar, Snow Sweet, Haralred, Rhuby, Sharon, etc.
Summercrisp, Parker Pear, Nova and Loma.
Zone 4, purple with excellent flavor, seedless, fresh eating & raisins.
Zone 4, red, seeded grape, high sugar content, delicious flavor, superior.
Also, Swenson’s White, Trollhaugen, Valiant, Lacross, Concord, and Marquette.
Our BEE BARN has a great selection of Bee Equipment for Honeybees and Native Bees!
BUZZZZ ON BY TO CHECK IT OUT!
The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.
Harlequin’s Gardens has many winter-hardy cacti: chollas, ball cacti and prickly pears.
Succulents: Hardy Agave, Yucca, Hesperaloe, Ice Plant, Sedum and more.
One hundred million people now live in towns, cities and states committed to 100 percent clean energy.
The Sierra Club
VERY SPECIAL PRODUCTS TO BENEFIT YOUR SOIL LIFE & YOUR PLANT LIFE
Products from PAONIA SOIL COMPANY
This company located in Paonia, Colorado uses more than 20 products in their soil blends, scientifically designed and balanced to provide organic minerals, organic matter, and beneficial biology. We welcome your feedback and experience with Paonia Soil Company products.
MEMBERSHIP IN HARLEQUIN’S GARDENS
If you paid for a membership in 2020, you are already a member for 2021!
Memberships help Harlequin’s to do those extras that are so valuable to the community but that are not profitable, like: 5 demonstration gardens of Natives, low-water groundcovers, the New Western Garden etc; plus, plastic pot recycling; plant and pest identification for customers; hand-outs on many subjects like pollinator plants, how to plant, what blooms in July etc; local seed collecting and propagation, and more. Please become a member to support what we do and receive special benefits too!
Here is our expanded current offer
Members will give us $20 for a one-year membership and in direct return will receive these benefits:
1) Half-price Harlequin’s Class of your choice.
2) 25% discount on books all year.
3) During the May Day Week get $10 off a $50 or more purchase of plants (except roses & fruit trees).
4) During May Day Week, take 10% off roses (except quarts), then
5) In August begin the fall sale a week early with 20% off most everything.
You can become a member anytime you are at the nursery or mail a check for $20 to Harlequin’s Gardens (4795 North 26th St. Boulder, CO. 80301) or click here. We will put you in our Membership file, and a membership is valid until the end of the 2021calendar year.
THANK YOU TO ALL OUR MEMBERS!!!
Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.
Please, subscribe to receive our weekly newsletters by email!
You can get both hardcopy and emails by letting us know at 303-939-9403, or you can pick up a hard copy when you visit the nursery. Our e-newsletters have timely garden advice and reminders, as well as news of stock arrivals, upcoming classes, special events and sales, etc. This is the best way we can give you detailed and up-to-date information at the time when it is relevant. Subscribe here, and please remember to add us to your Contact List so your email server doesn’t throw us in the trash!
FACEBOOK – Please LOVE and follow us on Facebook!
It’s not drought that causes bare ground; it’s bare ground that causes drought.
THE HARLEQUIN EFFECT
Little Harlequin’s Gardens has always taken on the planet’s problems at the human level and at the earth level. We are growing plants without poisons so the bees, birds and bacteria will not be poisoned. We source many of our plants and products locally to support our local economy, local composting and to reduce carbon emissions from shipping. Our greenhouses and our production methods use almost no fossil fuels and very little electricity. We reuse clean plastic jugs for our compost tea and our Harlequin-bagged soils come in plastic bags that can be returned for reuse. We provide the organic plants, the products, and the education for people to grow their own fresh organic food, herbs and gardens. And more!
In the big scheme of things, what we do is small. But the Harlequin Effect is that because these things are multiplied by 9000 of you, the effect on our ecology and health is significant. This is the synergy of our vision and commitment with your vision and action.
Climate change may seem to be taking place up there in the sky, but many of its causes are right down here on the earth in human hands.
The Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje
COOL SEASON VEGGIES
We have a Fantastic Selection, too many to list!
Wild Arugula, Astro, Ice-Bred
Amadeus, Calabrese, Fiesta, Gypsy hybrid, Nutribud, Leaf Broccoli, Piracicaba. Plus Broccoli Raab and Aspabroc.
All Seasons, Red Acre, Chinese
Early Snowball, Vita Verde
Baltisk Rod, True Siberian, Scotch Blue Curled, Red Russian, Lacinato/Dinosaur, White Russian
Various Romaine, Bibb, Butterhead, and Loose Leaf Varieties. Plus Mesclun & Mizuna.
Monstreux de Viroflay, Longstanding Bloomsdale, Giant Nobel, Matador, Lavewa, Savoyed Hybrid, Hablitzia (Perennial Spinach)
Bright Lights, Red Rhubarb Chard, Five Colored, Argentata, Perpetual Spinach
Noire des Carmes, Minnesota Midget, Collective Farm Woman, Tuscany, Hearts of Gold
Winter Luxury, Cinderella, Max, Lumina, Jarrahdale
Yellow Crookneck, Yellow Bush Scallop
Sweet Dakota Rose, Sugar Baby, Early Moonbeam, Golden Midget
Sweet Dumpling, Delicata, Honeybear Acorn, Sunshine Kabocha, Uncle David’s Buttercup, Thelma Sanders, Butter Baby, Table Queen, Acorn, Golden Hubbard, Red Kuri, Spaghetti
Glaskin’s Perpetual and Victoria
Raven, Costata Romanesca, Tromboncino, Striata d’Italia, Tonda Nizza, Black Beauty, Rheinau Gold
PLUS: Amaranth, Artichoke, Celery, Celeriac, Collards, Cucumbers, Endive, Ground Cherry, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Pac Choi, Tatsoi, Shiso, Shallots, Radicchio, Tomatillos, Watercress, and more!
And LOTS of HERBS, including Culinary, Medicinal, and Dye
Many varieties of THYME, LAVENDER, BASIL, MINT, HARDY ROSEMARY, SAGE, OREGANO, CHIVES.
Plus Parsley, French Tarragon, Cilantro, Dill, Fennel, Lemon Balm, Lemon Thyme, Lime Balm, Marjoram, Lemon Grass, Vietnamese Coriander, Pineapple Sage, Lemon Verbena, Borage, Savory, Lovage, Cutting Celery, Catnip, Calendula, Aloe, Greek Mountain Tea, Comfrey, Echinacea , Feverfew, Lobelia, Valerian, Motherwort, Mullein, Sweet Leaf, Indigo, Madder, Weld, Lomatium, Hyssop, Anise Hyssop, Plantain, Clary Sage, Skullcap, Arnica, Sheep Sorrel, Milk Thistle, Toothache Plant, Self-Heal, Rue, Mugwort, Wormwood, and more.
Check-out excellent descriptions of the hundreds of varieties of vegetables that we offer!
Open Thurs., Fri., Sat., and Sun., 9-5.
Beginning April 1, we are open Tuesday thru Sunday 9-5. (Closed Mondays.)
MAY 1 thru MAY 9th
Harlequin’s Gardens May Day Plant Sale.
SAT., MAY 1 at 10 am
Don’t miss our May Day Celebration beginning with the Maroon Bells Morris Dancers who will bring us fertility and merriment. If conditions permit, we will have some delightful live music on the weekend. See updates in our e-newsletters.
AUGUST 23 thru 29th
Members Fall Plant Sale.
AUGUST 30 thru SEPT. 5th
Harlequin’s Annual Fall Plant Sale begins for everyone. This sale continues every week in September and October.
TASTE OF TOMATO
So sorry, not this year.
Open Tues thru Sunday 9-5, the Sale continues.
Harlequin’s 2021 Holiday Market begins with Local Artisan Goods and Goodies and will continue through October 30th.
Closed for the Season.
We can drift along with general opinion and tradition, or we can throw ourselves upon the guidance of the soul and steer courageously toward truth.
Bintje, Purple Majesty, Harvest Moon, Norland Dark Red, and Yellow Finn.
Our Potato Delivery has been delayed due to weather! Potatoes should arrive by mid-April, in plenty of time to plant, but please call to make sure they are in stock before coming to buy them.
Copra, Red Zeppelin, Walla Walla, Alisa Craig, Red Long of Tropaea, Red Marble, Purplette, Borrettano, White Sweet Spanish. Also Leeks and Shallots.
Jersey Knight (roots, 5 per bundle)
All male hybrid with big spears. Does not make seed, so doesn’t become weedy. Best selection for dense clay soils. Very productive and disease resistant. Hardy to Zone 2.
Purple Passion (roots, 5 per bundle)
Beautiful deep burgundy-colored spears with high sugar content, delicious, tender, less fibrous, great in raw salads.
72 days, F-1 hybrid
Early, dependable Italian-style eggplant, mild, creamy-fleshed fruits averaging 1 lb., with glossy black skin.
A few of our NEW PEPPERS
Etiuda Bell Pepper, Orange – NEW!
80 days, Open pollinated
An exceptional open pollinated variety developed in Poland. Vivid orange bell pepper, producing loads of blocky, thick-walled, juicy fruit with rich, very sweet flavor throughout the season. Earliest fruits can be very large. Almost candy sweet when fully ripe and the under-ripe fruit are also sweeter than most. Good leaf coverage, but a shade-cloth covering is still helpful to prevent sunscald. Plants need staking because of the weight of the fruits! (Photo Credit, Right: Adaptive Seeds.)
A FEW of our NEW TOMATOES: offering 80+ varieties in 2021.
Rosabec – NEW!
60-70 days, Open-pollinated, Determinate
Beautiful, early, glossy-pink slicer tomato from Quebec, with 6-8 oz. globe shaped, blemish-free fruit, high yields, excellent sweet-tart flavor, good texture, tender skins, ripening over several weeks. Sturdy, 4’-tall, determinate bushes are easily caged or trellised. Great for short-season areas such as higher elevations in the foothills.
Can we have human health if our domesticated animals, wildlife, plants, and all nature are unhealthy, polluted, poisoned, weak and struggling? The answer seems to be NO. Climate Change “…coupled with a species-extinction crisis, habitat and soil degradation, pollution, extensive destruction of forests and coral reefs…” are all leading to our current health crisis.
These views emerged in a conference in October 2019, attended by 200 experts, which generated a call to action called The Berlin Principles. These 10 principles say basically that if we are to prevent future and worse pandemics, we must recognize and support the essential health links between humans, all other beings including microbes and our entire planet. We must support biodiversity which is critical to the infrastructure of life, health, and well-being on our planet. And this understanding must develop into strong institutions based on robust science and into policy and action. We must recognize that our decisions about our use of land, air, sea, and fresh water directly impact the health of humans, animals and ecosystems. When ecosystems are altered, becoming less resilient, we become vulnerable to more diseases.
COVID-19 has shown us the huge cost of inaction caused by the disconnect between science, economics, and politics. Taking the perspective of One Health gives us humans both the power and the responsibility to take on this huge problem at the root level.
We might ask ourselves: Why does the USA, the richest country in the world, lead the world in coronavirus cases and deaths? With only 4% of the world’s population, we have 25% of all cases and 20% of all deaths. This cannot be blamed on mismanagement alone. Our government has for years favored business profits over public health and environmental health. For example, the EPA website warns that glyphosate (active ingredient in Roundup) at 700 parts per billion can cause “problems with kidneys or reproductive difficulties” and yet 700 ppb is the permitted level in U.S. tap water. Only .1 ppb is allowed in European Union tap water. Roundup also causes many problems with fungi, bacteria (like in our guts), kills insects, birds and in general undermines the health of our planet. It shows up in baby food and beer. This is one example of a poison in our ecosystem that is leading to the poor health in our nation and in our world.
Bayer says it will pay more than $10 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits from people alleging that their cancers were cause by Roundup, the company’s glyphosate-based herbicide.
The Sierra Club
Wow! That was an impressive snowstorm, even if it did arrive several days later than predicted. We know how hard many of us have had to work to clear paths through it. And we hope everyone stayed safe, warm, healthy, and well-fed throughout. Colorado has been experiencing a long-term regional drought, so this addition to our mountain snowpack couldn’t be more welcome. Just think what a difference all this snow can make for Colorado’s farmers, many of whom have seen their ditch water allotments disappear in early July for the past several years.
Even though we are about to receive our biggest snowstorm of this winter thus far, you can still make great progress on your garden by starting seeds indoors or even outside if your garden is prepared and you’re quick and can sow them tomorrow morning! You can also plant our hardy perennials, vines, shrubs and trees that have overwintered outdoors ahead of the storm. And our Onion plants – they’re very cold-hardy, and the earlier they’re planted, the larger their bulbs at harvest time! And, if you can plant in a cold-frame, or under a low tunnel of sheet plastic or Row Cover Fabric, you can plant our spring vegetable starts! Heading varieties like Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower will give you
Welcome to Harlequin’s Gardens’ 29th Year! We will open this Thursday, March 4th so you can get a Jump on Spring! In Mid-February, just a couple of weeks ago, temperatures dived far below zero and Spring seemed a long way off. But even with Climate Change and Covid Chaos, we gardeners know we can depend on Spring coming. That is one of the guarantees of the basic goodness of our earth and solar system. (Pictured left, ‘Katharine Gold’ Botanical Iris.)
Spring is coming and our little plants, sheltered in our greenhouses are poking out green and doing their magic of photosynthesis. Even with all the pain and uncertainty of 2020, we gardeners were able to enjoy
Historically February is one of Colorado’s snowiest months, and finally we’re beginning to see evidence of that this year! Additionally, the forecast indicates more to come. It remains to be seen how some of our marginally hardy garden plants have suffered from the below zero temperatures.
Many of us may have the tops of ornamental grasses and various perennials peeking out of the blanket of the snow, which provides habitat for overwintering beneficial insects and it helps to keep the plant roots and crowns warmer. But very soon it will be time to cut back Cool-Season ornamental grasses before their active growth begins, which will allow light to penetrate the entire clump. See Eve’s instructions, below.
Despite the access we have right now to our snow-free gardens, in general it’s not time to begin garden clean up. Undoubtedly (hopefully!) we will receive more snowfall in February and March and it is beneficial to keep leaves on the ground and last-year’s stalks on our perennials because this cover provides habitat for overwintering beneficial insects and it helps to keep the plant roots and crowns warmer.
In late February and early March it will be time to cut back certain Clematis vines, depending on their category. Here is an in-depth guide to the three Clematis Pruning Groups.
Harlequin’s Gardens has become a member of the recently formed Coalition for Local Compost Climate Action. This is because Boulder County is getting ready to build a local composting facility to turn our organic wastes into fertility and climate action, which is very exciting!
For years we have been talking about the need for a local public composting facility. And now, driven by the pressure of Climate Change, it is even more obvious. We need to apply Nature’s waste recycling system, using microbes to remove valuable organic matter from the waste stream and turn it into healthy soil.
Seeds are selling, and sometimes selling out, at an unprecedented rate since Covid 19 forced so many people to stay at home, and thus inspired millions to try gardening for the first time. But we’re on it! Our racks will include loads of both tried-and-true favorites and exciting new varieties.
We will again be offering an excellent selection from our local seed houses, Beauty Beyond Belief (BBB) and Botanical Interests.
BBB’s specialties include individual wildflowers (many locally native!), wildflower seed mixes, and pollinator-supporting mixes specific to honeybees, butterflies or hummingbirds. Many of their offerings are hard to find elsewhere.
Botanical Interests goes to great lengths to provide all the information you need, and more (like an illustration of what the seedling looks like when it emerges), on both the outside and the inside of the packet, plus stunning, botanically accurate illustrations by highly skilled local artists adorning the front of each packet! We have carefully selected varieties from their catalog that will thrive in Colorado’s short season, early heat, cool nights, etc.
AND – NEW THIS YEAR! from MASA Seed Foundation, a wonderful line of locally-adapted seeds from master seedsman Rich Pecoraro and colleagues! Their seeds have been trialed, selected and reselected over the years to succeed in Front Range Colorado growing conditions. In our experience, these seeds have high germination rates and great seedling vigor, and develop into healthy plants, often with superior drought, heat and cold tolerance and disease resistance.
We will also offer a rack of Seed Savers Exchange selections. SSE’s mission is preserving genetic diversity by maintaining a vast seed library of heirloom varieties, many of which are found nowhere else. SSE packets generally offer a generous quantity of seed.
This year the Winter Solstice will fall on Monday, Dec. 21st
This astronomical event is the time when the Earth’s north pole is tilted farthest from the sun, so that here in the northern hemisphere, night is the longest and daylight is the shortest. This day has long been celebrated because it signals the reversal of the trend, with days lengthening until Summer Solstice. So even though there is a lot of winter left, there will be more day light. It is the promise of rebirth, of Spring to come.
Peoples through different times and cultures have seen this event as a moment of rebirth and hope.
Attractive Evergreens for Colorado Gardens
At the time of the Winter Solstice, we can be grateful for the evergreens in our Colorado gardens. Not every region of the temperate northern hemisphere can grow so many different beautiful plants with year-round presence.
There are so many evergreen (and eversilver, everblue, red and purple) hardy perennials, groundcovers, shrubs, herbs, and trees (and not just conifers!) we can grow here. They go above and beyond in their service as ornamental plants in all four seasons.
If, for the moment, we put aside the political anxieties and the shocking impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on all almost all aspects of life as we knew it, we can turn our attention to the spiritual and emotional healing embodied in the holiday season. Winter Solstice, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Eid and Christmas are all joyful celebrations of possibility, hope, love. Environmentally responsible gardening is so also about love, possibility and hope.
A gift certificate for Harlequin’s Gardens will be appreciated by any gardener, new or seasoned,
Dear Friends & Fellow Gardeners,
Thank you so much for hanging in there with us this year as we scrambled to adjust to new circumstances and new protocols! We are truly grateful for your patience and loyalty, which made it possible to help so many people, many of them new to gardening. In fact, one of the nursery trade magazines reported that in the US this year, there were 19 million new gardeners. There were days this spring when it felt like they were all coming to Harlequin’s! We have the hang of it now, and if the pandemic is still a threat in spring 2021 (which is probable), we will be able
We’ve heard from some of you that your trip to Harlequin’s for holiday gifts was your first foray into shopping since the COVID precautions began! This is such a strong affirmation that we are offering something of real value and importance to you, and we are honored to have this level of support!
As you know, most in-person concerts, craft fairs and holiday events have been cancelled, making it difficult for artists to connect with their audience.
If you were lucky enough to get any mason bees nesting this spring, you’ll want to coddle them through the winter. Their populations are down throughout Boulder County because of the weather, and Tom Theobald, our usual supplier, isn’t even sure whether he’ll have any for sale next spring.
Mason and other native bees should be brought into a sheltered place with ambient (outdoor) temperatures, but with less fluctuation. These bees would normally nest in holes in tree trunks, which offer more stability in terms of temperature, moisture and, of course, protection from predators. Mason bees are already adults now and are safe to handle in their cocoons. If you used liners or reeds, take them out of the guard tubes and shelters and store them in the fridge. Ideally, unwrap the liners/reeds and just overwinter the mason bee cocoons. Place them in a Humidi-bee chamber and keep the lower pad moist.
You can do the same with leaf cutter bees but handle them very carefully as they aren’t yet mature. Our supplier, Crown Bees, will be livestreaming a cocoon harvesting demo on Saturday. We also have large organza bags for storing blocks or shelters to protect from parasitoid wasps.
Now is a good time to stock up on supplies for the spring, replacing single use tubes and liners to provide clean sheets and immediate vacancy in your spring mason bee hotel! Many folks have been asking about releasing bees in the spring. We now have a special tube designed for exactly that which should make the process easier and clearer.
We know it’s not necessarily easy to access the ‘Holiday Spirit’ this early in the season, especially in the midst of local wildfires and a pandemic. These emergencies have separated us from each other, but in meaningful ways, they have also brought us together. Here at Harlequin’s Gardens and beyond, we have seen a real increase in mindfulness and caring for others.
Your bees have given you joy and honey (hopefully!) this summer. Now it’s time to give back to ensure they have a safe and cozy winter. They need three things:
Your hive needs healthy bees to raise the bees that go through winter. Keep monitoring your varroa mite levels through the end of October. As uncared for hives collapse, your bees will rob their honey and bring back more mites. Your bees need to be free not only of damaging mites, but also of the viruses they carry.
We have some new varieties of Amaryllis, a long-time symbol of the holidays, as well as some classic favorites. We’re offering traditional red, white, and several blended, pink, and apricot varieties – a fun way to change-up your holiday decorating! (Pictured: Amaryllis Apricot Parfait, left, and Apple Blossom, right. Photo credit: Holland Bulb Farms.)
Our decorative gold-boxed holiday sets include the bulb, a white plastic growing pot, soil disc, and planting instructions. Boxed set options include Minerva, Mont Blanc, Red Lion, and Vera. Highly fragrant Ziva Paperwhite Narcissus are also available in gift-boxes and as individual bulbs.
Our spring flowering bulbs have been very popular and are moving quickly – stop by soon for the best selection! See our 2020 selections.
It’s a big week at Harlequin’s Gardens! Our 9th annual Holiday Market (with it’s inaugural October debut!) continues after a perfect opening weekend. This week we have several new arrivals including
- Ryan Dakota Farris’s just-released CD ‘Healing: a quarantine solo album’
- Mark Andreas’s book ‘Sweet Fruit from the Bitter Tree’
- Beautiful peace garlands and table-runners from Lynn Mattingly
One of the earliest harbingers of spring are flowering bulbs, which people and bees all seem to welcome. One aspect of bulbs that may be underrated is their scent. Many bulbs are fragrant, bringing an added dimension to their enjoyment. Some of our most fragrant bulbs include:
- All Hyacinth varieties
- Iris reticulata Blue Hill, Carolina, and Harmony
- Lycoris squamigera
From your previous visits in the last eight years, many of you know that our Holiday Market is the most rewarding, enjoyable place to shop for your holiday gifts, relaxed and far from the madding crowd! But these are strange and challenging times, and the pandemic has altered just about every facet of our lives. So, for a while there, we wondered how we could present a holiday gift market under the current circumstances. We realized that the only way we could keep our customers (and staff) safe and happy while shopping our market was to move it up to October!
9th Annual Holiday Gift Market
Every Tuesday through Sunday
9 am to 5 pm
Beginning Saturday, October 3
through Friday, October 30
Harlequin’s Gardens love and support for bees is reflected in our Bee Barn’s great selection of bee keeping products, many of which are locally sourced. We feature 8 and 10 frame Langstroth hive equipment (both assembled and unassembled), real beeswax foundation, and an amazing selection of tools and accessories, protective gear, feeding and bee health supplies, and great books.
We’re here to support our native bees too! We also offer supplies for cultivating our native hole-nesting bees, including mason bees and leaf cutter bees. Unlike many other advertised native bee nest boxes, ours are correctly proportioned for successful nesting. These make great gifts for those who aren’t up for the commitment of honey bee keeping and want to work with native species. Stay tuned for our spring-time classes to learn more.
Whether you’re a new or continuing beekeeper, our staff beekeepers can answer questions and give advice – something you can’t get from mail order! We have Beekeepers Shopping Lists for Beginners, Seasonal, and Holiday Gift Giving to help guide your selections. Kristina Williams, our own local bee expert, will be on hand on Friday’s and Sunday’s to help tailor your bee-gifting.
We are filling our shop with new bulbs for fall planting, including lots of new varieties! We have nearly all of our bulbs in stock, and will let you know as the others arrive. Supplies are limited and some bulb selections are selling out fast, so although it’s best to wait to put most in the ground, come and get them while they last!
Listed below are all the selections we’re expecting this year. Click on names for descriptions and photos, or scroll down past Eve’s “Bulb Tips” article for a comprehensive alpha display.
2020 BULB LIST