Among the thousands of seedlings that we are propagating is a special new Plant Select® addition: Guernsey Green Juniper, WINDWALKER® Series (Juniperus horizontalis ‘Guernsey Green’). [Read More]
What’s Growing in our Greenhouses
Special Plants to buy now!
We propagate and grow a lot of great plants here at the nursery, which gives us (and you!) an advantage when the wholesale suppliers run short in mid and late summer. We’re very pleased to have beautiful stock of some highly desirable and hard-to-find shrubs and perennials right now, including some choice native plants, Plant Select® winners, and customer favorites.
Here are some brief profiles of some of our best current offerings. And this week, Harlequin’s Members can buy them for 20% off! [Read More]
Second Chance Shrubs
Our shrubs are all given great care here at the nursery, but occasionally we find some that have a little damage or are sulking because they really want to get out of the pot and into the ground. To help them all find good homes where they will grow and prosper, we are bringing out these ‘seconds’ at substantially discounted prices. We will continue to bring out more as they sell.
Right now, we are offering: [Read More]
Beautiful Autumn Colors
We are all enjoying and appreciating the exceptional fall colors this year. The yellows are especially rich, and the reds are especially vivid. What is going on when the green leaves turn colors and why are the colors so spectacular this year?
We know that the green color of the leaves comes from the pigment chlorophyll that makes it possible for plants to capture energy from sunlight and use it to make the sugars that feed the whole planet. When the long days of summer get shorter and shorter, highlighted by the fall equinox this year on September 22, the plants get less and less sunlight and less and less energy to make chlorophyll. When leaves contain less chlorophyll, other pigments become more dominant. [Read More]
Woody Plant Die-back and Pruning
October 2020 went from record high temperatures in the 80s to record lows, 19 degrees by October 25. May 2021 also made some shocking temperature changes. These rapid and dramatic changes can cause woody plants to die back, lose branches or die completely.
Mikl has been waiting and waiting before pruning this spring, because sometimes our woody plants can leaf out very late. Here is a way to tell when to prune: [Read More]
SHRUBS & VINES – 2022 Newsletter
We have a large selection of natives and non-natives Shrubs AND Vines
This includes Amorpha, Manzanitas, Mt. Mahoganies, Big Sage, Fringed Sage, Sand Sage, Lilacs, Butterfly Bushes, Pea Shrubs, Gambel Oak, Viburnums, Spireas, Potentillas, Sand Cherry, Rabbitbrush, Fernbush, Mountain Ninebark, Cliff Rose, Lewis Mockorange, Mikl’s Pick Mockorange, Boulder Raspberry, Boxwoods, Cotoneasters, Honeysuckles, New Mexican Privet, Flowering Quince, Ephedra, Euonymus, Sumacs, Currants, Yuccas, and many more!
Honeysuckle, Trumpet Vine, Wisteria, Silver Lace, Clematis, Euonymus and MORE!
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
– The Lorax (Dr. Seuss)
HOME-GROWN FRUIT – 2022 Newsletter
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: [Read More]
Pruning Woody Plants in the Spring
Don’t be in a hurry to prune dead branches on woody plants this spring! Last fall we had warm weather followed by a fast-deep freeze, and this spring we had an 11-degree freeze after some leaves were out. Some branches and some whole shrubs may have died, but most will put out new leaves. So, it is best to wait another couple of weeks before pruning.
To know for sure if a branch is dead, try the old fingernail test: scratch a little bark on a smaller branch; if the wood under the bark is green, the branch is alive, if brown, it is dead. Also, wrinkled bark shows it is dead.[Read More]
Shrub and Tree Recovery Fertilizers and Mineral Supplements
AGE OLD ORGANICS DRY BLENDS
Grow Formula: 8-4-1. a naturally based, high nitrogen blend of nutrients, including 1% calcium, which are slowly converted by soil microbes into plant available forms. Grow Formula is an excellent nutrient addition to potting mixes or soils and can be used as a top dressing on existing gardens and lawns.
Support Tree and Shrub Recovery
The ancient proverb “March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers” could be revised for Colorado as “March and April heavy snow, freezing temps, and strong winds bring forth May flowers”! And this year was no exception. Two recent cold snaps with temperatures reaching lows of 3 degrees F in our neighborhood, snows up to 36” in the foothills, and winds that will bring down any weak tree branches, wreaked havoc and impacted flower and fruit productivity. So now it’s time to help support our shrubs and trees to recover.
The most influential factor in this process is soil biology, which is activated by warmth in the soil. [Read More]
Native Plants We Often Have for Sale
These are native plants that we often have for sale. Availability does change every year, but we grow and buy a wide variety of natives because they are so successful in our gardens.
KEY: t = tree, s = shrub, v = vine, gr = grass, gc = ground cover, p = perennial,
b = biennial, a = annual
Abronia fragrans (Sand Verbena) (p)
Acer glabrum (Rocky Mt. Maple) (t)
Acer grandidentatum (Bigtooth Maple) (t)
Achillea lanulosa (Native White Yarrow) (p)
Agastache cana (Hummingbird Mint) (p)
Agave parryi (Hardy Century Plant) (s)[Read More]
Native Plants In Harlequin’s Gardens Display Gardens
Achillea lanulosa (Achillea millefolium var. lanulosa) (Yarrow)
Agave havardii (Havard’s Century Plant)
Agave parryi neomexicana (New Mexico Century Plant)
Amelanchier alnifolia (Serviceberry)
Amorpha canescens (Leadplant)
Amorpha fruticosa (False Indigo)[Read More]
Lycium (Goji Berry)
Whoever heard of Goji Berry 20 years ago? Now, with the current interest in superfoods, phytonutrients and antioxidants, Goji Berry juice and dried fruits can be found in many urban grocery stores. The 70+ species of Lycium are found on most continents and one species, Lycium pallidum, is native to Colorado. But the best known and most grown Goji is Lycium barbarum, the Chinese Wolfberry, also known as Matrimony Vine, Desert Thorn and Boxthorn. What is not commonly known is that this exotic superfood can be easily grown in Colorado.[Read More]
Curl-Leaf Mt. Mahogany
Curl-leaf Mt. Mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius)
This tall shrub or short tree is a beautiful broadleaf evergreen that is native to Colorado and much of the west up to 9000’. It’s narrow, curled leaves are an adaptation to reduce exposure to drying sun and wind; consequently it is very drought resistant, needing no irrigation after being established.The leaves are also thick, leathery, resinous and dark green above and pale below. Flowers are mostly inconspicuous and the fruit is only 1/4” long with a 2”-3” long silky tail. In dry weather these tails twist like a cork screw and with a little wind can be carried a good distance and then they will screw the seed right into the soil.[Read More]
Easy Broadleaf Evergreens for Colorado
In the winter when the deciduous plants have dropped their leaves, the evergreens really stand out. If we go for a walk, especially in the older neighborhoods, what evergreens do we see? The greatest numbers are spruces, firs, pines and junipers. In general these conifers with their narrow needles or scales are adapted to our cold temperatures, strong winds and sunny winter days. But there are other woody evergreens to be seen in Colorado neighborhoods: the broad-leaf evergreens. In general their wide leaves transpire more and are more prone to desiccation in our drying conditions; however by choosing the right plants and siting them in their right places, we can enjoy these less popular but deeply satisfying winter-green shrubs and vines. In this article I will discuss the easy broad-leaf evergreens for Colorado and in the April issue we will talk about the difficult ones.[Read More]
Five Little-Used Xeriscape Shrubs
Fortunately, there are many choices of drought-tolerant shrubs. And not only can they tolerate drier conditions, the fact that they are taller than most perennials and groundcovers helps them to compete better with weeds, giving them a greater survival potential in untamed, harsh or more industrial locations. In native ecosystems, it is often the shrubs that begin to pioneer a barren ground, and the shade and wind-protection they create, gives more favorable microclimates for other plants to germinate and find a home. There are many fine non-native shrubs for xeriscapes, but in this article, I am mostly going to describe some of my favorite native shrubs for drier conditions.[Read More]
Goldflame Spirea (Spiraea bumalda ‘Goldflame’)
Here’s a shrub that won’t grow over the living room windows, spread half-way across the driveway or send suckers up in the perennial border. It stays a compact 2’-3’ high and a little wider. It’s name comes from its spring leaf coloration which begins a russet or bronze-red mixed with yellow, changing to yellow-green and then green. The flowers are pinkish and bloom for a long time. Then again in the fall the spring leaf colors return to a golden copper-orange. This variety is very heat tolerant and has been successful in my xeriscape garden for 7-8 years. Occasional winter dieback has been slight and easily sheared off with hedge clippers. I also use the hedge clippers to remove the spent flowers after blooming.[Read More]
Philadelphus – Mockorange
Nearly everybody has met the memorable fragrance of mockorange, said to imitate the smell of orange blossoms. There are over a hundred species of Philadelphus, and of these, about 40 are native to North America. Many of the yards of Boulder County and Denver have at least one specimen. What is so good about this shrub? Dirr says, “In flower they are attractive to some, but the rest of the year are real eyesores.” Wyman said their fall color is not vivid, their fruits are not ornamental, no winter interest, but they are “cultivated 50 weeks of the year in order that their flowers may be appreciated for two weeks.” However I happen to love mockorange, and one of the 2001 Plant Select shrubs is ‘Cheyene’ Mockorange. So let’s look into the good qualities.[Read More]
Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
A winter-hardy (zone 4) native shrub of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. It has beautiful coarsely toothed leaves that are attractive even in the dry summer. The flowers are white and apple-like, fragrant and appear very early in the spring. Delicious blueberry-like fruit follow in midsummer. Birds are very fond of them and the American Indians used to mix these serviceberries with fat and buffalo meat to make their winter staple, pemmican. The Canadians have been working to develop this plant for fruit production.[Read More]
Small Shrubs that Fit In
There has been a lot of interest at our nursery, and in current plant-breeding programs for smaller shrubs. Most of the old-time favorite shrubs are very large. Most lilacs, viburnums, honeysuckles, forsythias, privets, elderberries, serviceberries, butterfly bushes and hibiscus are 6’-12’ high and often as wide. These are great to provide screening and big masses of color along fences or the back of the border.[Read More]
Cotinus, known as Smoketree, is a genus of woody plants appreciated for their “smoky” flower plumes and for their leaf color, especially in autumn. Michael Dirr in his famous Manual of Woody Landscape Plants says “…it may be the best of all American shrub/trees for intensity of color.” Two species and many selections and hybrids offer leaf colors ranging from rich blue-green, maroon red, purple-red and yellow-gold; and the fall colors are even more vibrant. With the current passion for new plants, it is curious that Smoketree is not seen more often in our western landscapes.[Read More]
Sungari Redbead Cotoneaster
The 2017 Plant Select shrub introduction is a woody plant with a tongue-twister of a name, a long history of survival at the old Cheyenne Horticultural Station, and has a heart-warming story of two great local plantsmen who brought it out of obscurity into Colorado gardens.
Cotoneaster racemiflora soongorica or Sungari Redbead Cotoneaster is a very tough and beautiful shrub, having survived over 40 years of neglect at the closed and unwatered Cheyenne High Plains Horticultural Research Station. It grows 6′-8′ high and wide with arching branches. The dark green leaves that are gray-white underneath, are attractive in themselves, and the flattened clusters of white, Hawthorn-like flowers are some of the showiest of all cotoneasters. They attract bees and other pollinators. Following the flowers are showy red fruits, a quarter of an inch or more in diameter. These berries are not messy and are popular with garden birds. They cluster along the thin branches, appearing as ropes of beads — hence the common name.[Read More]
Pruning Article for Boulder Home and Garden
For many people, pruning is the maintenance job they most fear and dread. And it is good to be wary, because a tree that is badly pruned can dominate a landscape with its ugliness for years, can be more prone to breakage and disease, and can have a much shorter life.
Tree and shrub pruning have four basic aspects: the practical or aesthetic interests of the owners, the biology of how trees “heal”, the physics of what makes a branch strong or weak, and the art of how to create beautiful forms.[Read More]