Greetings to our Gardening Friends!
Let’s cut to the chase: We have 2 sales to announce. Here’s the first one:
The week of June 17 to 23 has been officially designated as Pollinator Week, and we are participating in the efforts of the Colorado Beekeepers Association and BBB Seeds to educate the public about our pollinators, their vital importance to our ecosystems and food supply, and how to support them. They will also share information on the harmful effects of pesticides on honeybees and other pollinators. There will be an information table at Harlequin’s Gardens on Saturday June 22nd from 10 to 2 pm. Harlequin’s will also share free handouts about plants that provide food and habitat for pollinators.
Harlequin’s Gardens’ 20/20 Sale
Save 20% off Selected Plants, Soil Amendments & Products
on the 20th of every month this season
In honor of Pollinator Week, the theme of our June 20/20 Sale is Support Our Pollinators! Our sale features plants that attract and support honeybees, wild bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, with bloom-times ranging from late spring to fall.
SUPPORT OUR POLLINATORS on JUNE 20!
20% OFF the following Plants, Seeds, Books & Compost Tea
Eriogonum jamesii (Antelope Sage, James’ Buckwheat): An excellent compact, dry-land native plant and an important nectar source for many species of butterflies and bees. The dense, compact mats of leathery gray-green hairy leaves are evergreen, spreading to 1 to 2’ wide, and it blooms for a month in August –September. Thin flower stalks to 6-12” tall hold wide, dense umbels of tiny cream-colored or yellow flowers that cover the plant, and turn an attractive rusty-red as they dry. It is one of the very few of our native plants that can be used as a groundcover in the garden. It grows easily in poor soils as long as they are well-drained. Native American tribes have used Antelope Sage for everything from eyewash to contraceptive. Deer do not pay it any mind, and it is hardy to 9,500’ elevation.
Scabiosa caucasica (Perennial Pincushion Flower): An elegant, large and hardy perennial Pincushion Flower, with lovely 2 ½ to 3” lilac-blue ‘pincushions’ dancing atop slender, 18-24”- tall wiry stems, very appealing to butterflies, bees, and flower-arrangers. Dead-head for continuous bloom through the summer. Makes a great cut-flower, too. Grow in full sun in fertile, well-drained soil in a moderately-watered or slightly drier location. Grow with Coreopsis v. ‘Moonbeam’, Gaura lindheimeri ‘Summer Breeze’, Echinacea ‘Cygnet White’, ‘Coral Canyon’ Twinspur. Hardy to 8,000’ elevation.
Scabiosa caucasica ‘Fama’: A selection of perennial Pincushion Flower with large (up to 4”), elegant, vibrant blue-violet flowers, excellent for cutting. ‘Fama’ is particularly lon-blooming. Grow in full sun in fertile, well-drained soil in a moderately-watered or slightly drier location. Grow with Salvia darcyi ‘Vermillion Bluffs’, Coreopsis v. ‘Moonbeam’, Gaura lindheimeri ‘Summer Breeze’, Echinacea ‘Cygnet White’, ‘Coral Canyon’ Twinspur. Reportedly hardy to Zone 3.
Coreopsis lanceolata (Lance-leaf Coreopsis): Cheerful golden-yellow, 1 ½” to 2 ½” daisy flowers bloom for weeks on end on graceful plants 1’ to 2’ tall and wide, creating a fantastic early-summer display that supports many species of butterflies. Bloom can be extended from June to frost by dead-heading the spent flowers, but the ripe seeds are great food for songbirds in late summer. This very durable, long-lived prairie native grows in full to part sun in any well-drained soil (especially sand or loam), low to moderate watering. Great companion to ‘Coral Canyon’ Twinspur, ‘Red Rocks’ Penstemon and Scutellaria resinosa (Prairie Skullcap). Hardy to Zone 4.
Echinacea purpurea ‘Cygnet White’ (Compact White Coneflower): This lovely dwarf 1-2’ tall prairie native attracts many showy butterflies, songbirds and hummingbirds! The large white flowers with coppery-orange central ‘cones’ bloom profusely for up to two months in mid to late summer (June-August) and attract butterflies and songbirds. Echinacea thrives in fertile soil in full sun to part-shade (more drought-tolerant with afternoon shade). In autumn, the ‘cones’ remain attractive, and are full of nutritious seeds that attract songbirds. Grow with Pincushion Flower, Agastache cana ‘Sonoran Sunset’, ‘David’ Tall Summer Phlox. All parts of the plant are also used to make a safe but powerful immune-boosting tea or tincture. Hardy to Zone 3.
Gaillardia aristata (Native Blanket Flower): 1’-2’ tall, Hardy to Zone 3 This showy native wildflower is an amazingly long-blooming herbaceous perennial, and is remarkably tough and adaptable. Blooming from May to September, Gaillardia has somewhat bristly lance-shaped leaves, and large red and yellow flowers composed of an orange-red domed center and either solid yellow or red/yellow bicolor with serrated outer edges. Easy to grow in all but the heaviest clay soils, Blanket Flower thrives in full sun in meadows and native, xeriscape and conventional gardens. Familiar native in Boulder County. The flowers attract butterflies and bees. Dead-head for longest, continuous bloom, but leave some seed-heads to attract goldfinches. Some Plateau Indian tribes used Blanket Flower to treat wounds and reduce fevers. Plant with Purple Prairie Clover, Penstemons (rostriflorus, strictus, mensarum, cyananthus, alpinus), Sundancer Daisy (Hymenoxys scaposa), Sundrops (Calylophus serrulatus), Silver Blade Evening Primrose, Mexican Hat.
Asclepias speciosa (Showy Milkweed): A bold and beautiful clumping and spreading rhizomatous native plant to 3-4’ tall, with attractive large, silvery-green, soft leaves and very fragrant 3-4”, dense round clusters of antique rose flowers of fascinating design in late spring/early summer. Found in habitats ranging from sunny and dry to moist in savannahs, prairies, road-sides, old fields, and meadows. It’s very tough and vigorous, and you can grow it next to your driveway, in your dry ‘hell strip’, somewhere your hose won’t reach, on a hillside and especially in a xeric or native garden. Grow it in full sun, in virtually any soil (it is very tolerant of alkalinity and poor, dry soil). Water it a bit the first year and don’t worry if it disappears, it’s just going temporarily dormant. Once established, the Monarch butterflies, who can smell a milkweed a mile off, will come to it for larval food and for nectar, and lay its eggs on the undersides of the foliage. It is the native host-plant for our Western Monarch butterfly. The alkaloids associated with milkweeds give the monarch and other butterflies that feed on it protection from predators. Painted Ladies and other butterflies and moths also swarm to Showy Milkweed, as do honeybees and native bees. Conspicuous, showy large boat-shaped seed-pods ripen from green to tan and split open to reveal glistening white, incredibly silky, soft seed-parachutes. Showy Milkweed needs cross-pollination for fruit and seed development. Cold-hardy to Zone 2
Agastache rupestris (Sunset Hyssop, Licorice Mint): This erect-growing 2005 Plant Select winning Agastache has narrow gray-green foliage with a spicy root-beer scent and tall spikes of flowers in an unusual combo of orange and mauve- lavender. Sunset Hyssop will bloom from July through September and draw hummingbirds from miles around. It will grow to 3-3.5’ tall x 18” wide and thrives in well-drained, lean soil in sunny locations, and requires little water. Beautiful in groupings with late-blooming blue and purple flowers such as Russian Sage, Pitcher Sage (Salvia azurea), Blue Mist Spirea (Caryopteris ‘Dark Knight’) and Sea Lavender (Limonium latifolium or L. caspium) Hardy to Zone 4.
Penstemon barbatus ‘Coccineus’ (Scarlet Bugler, Jingle Bells): Native to SW Colorado and neighboring states, we have encountered it at high elevation in the Pikes Peak area. In Spanish-speaking areas it is known as ‘St. Joseph’s Staff’. This 3’ tall beauty offers many stems of screaming red tubular flowers, loaded with nectar, in mid to late summer. The late-summer bloom-time coincides with the southern migration of the Rufous Hummingbird, who use the Scarlet Buglers as ‘filling stations’ for their long journey. Don’t baby this plant – it is a great subject for the hot, dry garden in lean or average, well-drained soil. It will grow in full sun or dappled shade. Hardy to Zone 4, 8,000’ elevation.
Verbascum phoeniceum ‘Violetta’ (Temptress Purple Mullein): Unlike most Mulleins, which are biennial, ‘Violetta’ is a beautiful, hardy, tap-rooted perennial from Southern Europe Europe, Central Asia and North Africa. It thrives in dry to moderately moist well-drained soils in full sunlight or part shade. From a basal rosette of long, textured dark green leaves, the bloom-stalks rise to 2-3’ tall. ‘Violetta’ blooms in late spring (earlier than most mulleins), on tall, branched spikes densely clothed in 1” deep purple flowers with fuzzy golden stamens. It is long-blooming if dead-headed.
Verbascum phoeniceum is pollinated by domesticated and wild bees and hoverflies, although it is suspected that moths also take part in pollinating mulleins. Grow with roses, Lance-leaf Coreopsis, Salvia nemorosa ‘Rose Queen’, Tricolor Sage. Cold-hardy to Zone 4.
Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia): Vigorous, tall and super-drought-tolerant, Russian Sage is upright and shrubby, and thrives in lean, dry soil, full sun, and heat. It should be cut back to about 6” tall in spring when new growth begins to appear at the base of the plant. Blooms from mid-summer to into autumn. The smoky violet-blue flowers are a favorite with bees and look terrific with Goldenrod (Solidago), Evening Primrose (Oenothera), Hummingbird Mint (Zauschneria/Epilobium ‘Orange Carpet’) and Sunset Hyssop (Agastache rupestris) and Double-Bubble Mint (Agastache cana). Hardy to Zone 5.
Origanum vulgare ssp. humile (Dwarf or Creeping Oregano): This subspecies of Greek Oregano differs quite a bit from the more familiar Greek Oregano in that it is very dwarf (only about 6-8” tall and 12-15” wide), with smaller, smoother leaves that form dense, tight, almost formal-looking mounds. It is both an excellent ornament and a delicious culinary herb. It can easily be sheared, with the sheared bits used in the kitchen, fresh or dried, for flavoring sauces, soups, potatoes, omelets, etc. Leaves can be steeped in olive oil to make a flavored oil for salads or cooking. The pale pink or lavender flowers in summer are much loved by bees. Grow in full sun in well-drained soil, along with other culinary herbs, or as an edging for the perennial garden. Cold-hardy to Zone 5, very deer-resistant, and heat-tolerant. As a medicinal herb, Oregano’s essential oils possess numerous phenolic chemical components that are antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-hyperglycaemic, antifungal, immunostimulatory, anstispasmodic, & antioxidant in their effects.
Creeping Winter Savory (Satureja Montana ssp. illyrica): This low-growing (to 6”), highly aromatic Mediterranean ‘sub-shrub’ is not only great for culinary use (with the same flavor and uses as ordinary winter savory) but its high thymol content helps bees fight off mites and diseases. Thrives on very low water and the lavender flowers provide great late-season bee forage. Plant with Tricolor Sage, Dwarf Oregano (Oreganum vulgare humile). Hardy perennial to Zone 4.
Tricolor Sage (Salvia officinalis ‘Tricolor’): A colorful accent for the culinary herb garden or any xeriscape or rock garden, this showy ornamental selection of culinary sage typically grows 1-1.5′ tall and features wrinkled, oblong leaves (to 4″ long) which are marbled with grayish-green, white and purple and edged with pink. Leaves are strongly aromatic and may be used fresh or dried in cooking. In May and June the showy spikes of lavender blue flowers are a favorite with bees and butterflies. Grows in sun in most well-drained soils, with low to moderate watering. Very deer-resistant. A great companion to other Mediterranean culinary herbs, and to’ Wisley Pink’ Sunrose, Aethionema ‘Warley Rose’, Agastache ‘Sonoran Sunset’ and ‘Max Frei’ Soapwort. Hardy to zone 5/6.
SEEDS: ‘Bee Rescue’, ‘Honey Source’ Hummingbird and Butterfly flower seed mixes from BBB Seeds, a local, Boulder-based seed company specializing in wildflower seeds and seed mixes. 20% OFF
COMPOST TEA: 20% OFF – $4/gallon (regularly $5)
Compost Tea creates fertility biologically. Of course there is nutritional value in the tea, like kelp and minerals, but the main value comes from the millions of microorganisms that inoculate the plants. These beneficial bacteria, fungi and others function as the digestive system of plants, breaking down complex nutrients into simpler forms usable by plants. They also improve soil aeration and structure. You can keep the microorganisms multiplying in your soil by incorporating composts, humates, kelp, molasses, manures and other minerals and organic matter. Our compost tea is made from Biodynamic compost, concentrates with sea minerals, kelp, molasses and sea calcium, while vigorously aerated in our vortex brewer. We sometimes add Age Old liquid fertilizer to the tea we use to give more immediate fertilizing results. Biological fertility is not as fast-acting as chemical nitrogen, but it builds topsoil instead of destroying it. Compost tea must be used within 8 hours of purchase.
BUTTERFLIES of the COLORADO FRONT RANGE – 20% OFF
The perfect gift for any Front-Range Coloradan (including children) who enjoys butterflies or appreciates the natural world.
We are very happy that we have signed copies of this wonderful new book by Janet R. Chu and Stephen R. Jones, two of Boulder’s most dedicated naturalists and foremost experts on our local butterflies.
This guidebook offers a page for each of the 80 species covered; each includes superb photographs taken in the field by the authors, and descriptions of the butterfly’s appearance, host plants, life cycle, habitat, behavior, identification tips, and descriptions of similar species. The first section of the book concisely presents the anatomy, ecology and life-cycle of butterflies, and great advice on watching and photographing butterflies. Also included in this guide-book are a glossary of terms, an easy-to-use chart of the species, their habitats, their flight seasons, and whether they are abundant, common, uncommon or rare.
This beautiful paperback guidebook is slim enough to slip in the back pocket of your jeans, and has a durable cover and binding.
Limit: 2 books per customer at sale price.
‘ATTRACTING NATIVE POLLINATORS’ by the Xerces Society – 20% OFF
Plants in 2.5” pots: 5 plants of each kind at sale price per customer
Plants in Quart pots: 2 plants of each kind at sale price per customer
Plants in 1 gallon pots: 2 plants of each kind at sale price per customer
Compost Tea: 2 jugs at sale price per customer
Books: 2 books at sale price
Seeds: 2 packages at sale price per customer
All the above advertised plants and products are discounted for one day only on June 20th, 2013, while supplies last.
!!!! VEGGIE STARTS ON SALE – 50% OFF !!!!
It’s not too late! We still have tomatoes, hot peppers, and A LOT of cucumbers, zucchinis and other summer squashes, melons, watermelons, winter squashes and pumpkins. Many of our carefully selected varieties are rare and hard-to-find; some have been placed on Slow Food’s ‘Ark of Taste’. See the amazing list and descriptions of our vegetable and fruit varieties for this year on our website at https://www.harlequinsgardens.com/plants/edibles/vegetables/
Mountain gardeners will find that we still have excellent short-season varieties of tomatoes, cucumber, summer squash, etc., as well as Solar Caps for successfully growing warm-weather veggies.
Sale Starts Thursday June 20 and continues while supplies last!
Our Herb collection is overflowing with many different culinary and medicinal herbs. Here are a few highlights:
We recently received Stevia plants – a very hard-to-find item, and one that can be brought indoors as a houseplant at the end of the summer. If you haven’t yet tried it, Stevia is a wonderful natural sweetener with NO calories and a Zero glycemic rating! Add a leaf or two to any tea, or use to sweeten a curry or other Asian dish, for puddings, sauces, and many other dishes! We have Pineapple Sage, which makes a lovely tea (from the foliage) and is a beautiful ornamental with brilliant red flowers. We still have some Lemon Verbena, which makes delicious tea, and Vietnamese Coriander, which really should be called Vietnamese Cilantro, as it has a flavor similar to Cilantro (although it is botanically unrelated and looks entirely different) and is a wonderful fresh addition to Southeast Asian or Mexican dishes. Eve makes a delicious Mango Salsa with it. It makes an excellent potted plant and can be brought indoors in the fall. And a new addition to our selection of Mints is Pineapple Mint – a beautiful and delicious variegated spearmint with bright green crinkled leaves broadly edged in glistening white – great in containers or to brighten up a shady area.
We have lots of basil plants: Genovese, Italian Large-leaf, Marseilles, Sweet, Cinnamon, Lemonette and Red Osmin. Tulsi (Holy Basil) and Lime Basil will be coming along soon.
Eve recommends using Cinnamon Basil in Mexican dishes: pinch off the flower bud clusters and leave to dry in a shallow bowl. The crumbled dried buds and leaves are a delicious seasoning for black beans, cheese or chicken enchiladas, roasted chicken, quesadillas.
Roses are in full bloom! We have an excellent selection of own-root roses right now – come and see and smell them! Note that our roses in small (4.5” ‘quart’ size) pots will soon be taken out of circulation to be moved up to larger size pots, so get them now while you can. Many of these are varieties not currently available in any other size.
Also, visit the rose garden at the Boulder-Dushanbe teahouse, which is in glorious, fragrant bloom right now.
This year we increased our offerings of Annual flowers and foliage plants, with an emphasis on beautiful seed-grown varieties that are unusual, hard-to find and well-adapted to our climate, either in the ground or in containers. We still have a fully-stocked table (and then some!) of beautiful and interesting annual flowers for garden and containers –
Globe Amaranths (‘Strawberry Fields’ and ‘QIS Orange’)
Old-fashioned fragrant Petunias
’Red Road’ Dahlias (dark bronze foliage)
Fragrant heirloom Aztec Jasmine Flowering Tobacco
Stunning true-blue Gentian Sage
Rose Queen Cleome
Drought-tolerant ‘Crystal Orange’ Zinnia angustifolia
‘Fireworks’ Fountain Grass
Moss Rose (Portulaca) and Flowering Purslane
and much, much more!
We also have wonderful succulents for containers that can come inside for the winter (Echeveria, Cotyledon, Aloe, etc.)! And we have cactus & succulent potting soil, and a wonderful assortment of very attractive containers to plant them in!
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Eve & Mikl Brawner and the staff at Harlequin’s Gardens