Mid-summer Greetings to our gardening friends!
We hope your gardens are thriving. This intense heat and little rain may be stressful to some of your garden plants, so remember that plants have to expend a great deal of energy to make seed and you can save them from exhaustion by removing the spent flowers before seed begins to develop. Applying a layer of mulch is another strategy for helping plants retain moisture and keep their roots a little cooler. Also, if you are wondering why some of your new plants are not showing signs of growth, consider that many plants are not able to metabolize at temperatures above 85 degrees, and provide some temporary shade to cool them down.
We’re excited about the upcoming week and want to tell you about our upcoming events!
First, our 20/20 sale coming up this Wednesday, June 20th, features selected plants that attract and support hummingbirds at 20% off (see the descriptions below). We will also have one of our organic composts and one of our mulches at 20% discount, along with all pollinator-related books, and BBB seeds.
The week of June 18 to 24 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 have a table at our Mid-Summer Festival on Sunday June 24th from 10 to 2…..which brings up our next big event:
first-ever, 20th Anniversary
Sunday June 24th from 10a.m. to 5 p.m.
Bring the family to this FREE EVENT to enjoy unique
LIVE MUSIC- roving Irish fiddler Colin Lindsey
Eco-songster Stele Erth, and songs from Eve & Mikl (we’re not shy).
MAGIC SHOW and balloon animals by Stuart Haynor,
STORYTELLER Nina Berezina,
TOURS of our DISPLAY GARDENS,
POLLINATOR INFORMATION table
Hourly DOOR PRIZES,
as well as a sale on all LAVENDER and native MONARDA,
50% off a jug of Compost Tea and a bag of Western Grow compost.
and SURPRISE BARGAINS on plants and ???
SEE OUR MID-SUMMER FESTIVAL SCHEDULE for details of what’s happening at each hour of the day
June 20/20 Sale
Celebrating Harlequin’s Gardens’
20th Anniversary !
the following selected PLANTS for HUMMINGBIRDS are
20% Off original prices:
Note: sale plants and products are discounted only on 6/20/12, while supplies last. See quantity limits at the end of these descriptions.
Agastache (pronounced a-GAS-ta-kee or AG-ah-STAK-ee) is a member of the Mint family, which provides some of the best plants for attracting and supporting pollinators and songbirds. All Agastaches have nectar-rich tubular flowers on stiff upright stems and are very attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies and bees, and all have highly scented foliage with aromas that are very pleasant to humans, but quite unpalatable to deer and other chewing critters. Famous for attracting hummingbirds (as a group, they are often called Hummingbird Mint), they are also “famous in beekeeping circles – so rich in pollen the bees visit no other plant while the plant is in bloom. Agastache honey is reputed to be of good quality, light in color and slightly minty in taste.” Pairing with Salvias (such as ‘May Night’ or ‘Caradonna’), Lavender, Sulphur Flower (Eriogonum) and tall sedums such as ‘Matrona’ or ‘Autumn Joy’ will provide a long season of nectar for pollinators. Agastaches are also, to varying degrees, drought-tolerant and sun-loving. They are easy to grow in full sun or light shade, in well-drained soil with periodic summer water in average, well-drained soils (may not survive winter in unamended clay soils). Drought and heat tolerant once established. Dead-heading encourages reblooming. In spring, do not cut down the previous year’s stalks until late April.
The following Agastache species and cultivars will be on sale:
Agastache ‘Firebird’: This highly regarded cross between A. coccinea and A. rupestris is a prolific bloomer with coppery orange flowers that age to pink and wonderfully scented foliage grows to 2-3’ tall x 1-2’ wide. Firebird blooms from June to September and draws hummingbirds and other pollinators. It grows well in raised beds, containers and rock gardens. Excellent drainage is a must for winter survival. Hardy to Zone 5
Agastache ‘Coronado Red’: This medium-sized cultivar, to 15-18”H x 12-15”W was chosen for the Plant Select program in 2009. Coronado Red blooms from July to September, sporting reddish-orange flowers that turn darker crimson and maroon as they age and is a terrific hummingbird magnet. Coronado Red Hyssop grows well in full sun to light shade, in clay, loam or sandy loam soils, with moderate to low water. Hardy to Zone 5
ALSO: Agastache aurantiaca ‘Coronado’ (orange)
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. Hardy to Zone 4.
Agastache cana (Double Bubble Mint/Texas Hummingbird Mint/Wild Hyssop/Mosquito Plant): This very popular Hummingbird Mint is native in Texas and New Mexico, and is easy to grow in most soils as long as it has sun and good drainage, thriving with moderate or low water and lean soil. The showy and prolific raspberry-pink flowers bloom from July to frost and attract hummingbirds and butterflies. The plant grows to 18-24” tall and 15” wide, and the sweet-scented, deer-resistant foliage is reported to repel mosquitoes if rubbed on the skin. Excellent in the water-wise perennial border along with Goldenrod, Salvias, Lavenders, Blue Mist Spirea and ‘Little Spire’ Russian Sage. Hardy to Zone 5.
Agastache foeniculum, A. ‘Blue Fortune’: A great drought-tolerant, native summer bloomer that supports bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Large, hardy perennials to 3’ tall, blooming in mid-summer. The flower spikes of the species are lavender, and ‘Blue Fortune’ is powder blue. If dead-headed before making seed, they will rebloom until frost. Allowing seed to form, however, will feed the finches in autumn. The leaves make a lovely tea. “A useful herb, the highly aromatic leaves can be used for tea that tastes of licoricy mint, or dried for poupouri. Young leaves are tasty raw in salads or fresh fruit-cups; tougher older leaves can be added to cooked foods. Extracted oils have been used in food flavorings. Chinese herbalists believe it is useful for heart conditions, though there are no well-designed double-blind studies to lend credence to this traditional use. It may more certainly help relieve cold symptoms, as its mildly antiviral properties appear to be legitimate.”Paghat’s Garden“. Will self-sow. Hardy to Zone 5.
Agastache ‘Golden Jubilee’: Just like A. ‘Blue Fortune’, but lit up with bright chartreuse Coleus-like foliage (yellow in full sun, chartreuse in part shade, which is recommended). An All-American selection in 2003. Will self-sow. Hardy to Zone 5.
Agastache barberi ‘Tutti Frutti’ (Pink Hyssop): A tall and vigorous selection with 24-30” (or taller) purple stems with whorls of bright rose-pink flowers and bubble-gum scented foliage. Blooms from mid-summer to frost. Much loved by hummingbirds and other pollinators. Hardy to Zone 5.
Buddleia davidii nanhoensis ‘Petite Indigo’ and ‘Petite Plum’ (Compact Butterfly Bush): These graceful, fast-growing woody shrubs bear long cone-shaped terminal panicles of very fragrant flowers on slender arching stems from mid-summer to frost. The flowers are a magnet for butterflies and hummingbirds, as well as honeybees. ‘Petite Plum’ is regarded as reliably compact (to 4-6’ tall by 4-5’ wide), with plum-purple flowers, each with an orange ‘eye’. ‘Petite Indigo’ wasn’t so petite in Eve’s garden (grew to 8’ tall), and bears bright lavender-blue flowers with an orange ‘eye’. The sweet fragrance of Butterfly Bush carries on the air, even in our dry climate and even in the daytime. The narrow grey-green foliage is seldom browsed by deer. Tops may die back to the ground in colder winters, but they are usually root-hardy and will quickly re-grow. Hardy to Zone 5.
Campsis radicans (Trumpet Vine, Trumpet Creeper): Trumpet Vine is a vigorous and long-lived woody clinging vine to 20-30’ tall. The handsome pinnately compound foliage is deep green and leathery. In mid summer, Trumpet Vine is decorated with hundreds of gorgeous large waxy trumpet-shaped orange flowers that are a magnet for bees and hummingbirds. ‘Red Sunset’ (red), ‘Flava’ (yellow), and ‘Flamenco’ (orange) are selections from the species and are equally tough and hardy. Trumpet Vine climbs by aerial roots and must be grown on a sturdy structure such as a pergola or wall (I have also seen it make a small ‘tree’ by wrapping around an old laundry-line post), because mature plants produce considerable weight. Foliage grows well in shade, but plants need good sun for best flowering. Easily grown in most soils, but best in lean to average soils with regular moisture. But Trumpet vine is drought tolerant. It blooms on new growth, so early spring pruning will not affect the flowering. Mature vines can sucker profusely by underground runners and it freely self-seeds, so if possible, grow it in a bed that is isolated by deep edging or concrete paving, remove the large seed pods before they ripen, and don’t be too generous with it once it is established. Native to the eastern and south central United States; hardy to Zone 4.
Ipomopsis aggregata (Scarlet Gilia, Scarlet Rocket): Native to the eastern slope of the Rocky mountains, often seen around the Peak to Peak Highway. Showy spikes of intense red, narrow trumpet-shaped flowers in late summer are very attractive to hummingbirds. They are borne on a biennial plant that makes a small mound of finely-cut foliage the first year, then elongates to as much as 4’ tall and blooms in the mid-late summer of the second year. Self-sows to create a colony where happy, so plant several to start (for genetic diversity). Grows in well-drained soils in full sun with moderate to low water. Lovely with ornamental grasses, such as Blue Grama, Alkali Sakaton, Korean Feathergrass, or Karl Foerster’s Feather Reed Grass. Hardy to Zone 9,000’ elevation.
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.
Penstemon pinifolius (Pineleaf Penstemon):
This long-lived perennial is native to the mountain forests of southwestern Arizona, southwest New Mexico and into
Mexico, but is perfectly at home on the Front Range. From June to September, it bears narrow tubular red-orange flowers that are adored by hummingbirds, on thin, erect stems. The glossy dark green evergreen foliage is short and narrow, reminiscent of tiny pine needles. The plants are low-growing and somewhat mounding, growing to 1 to 2 feet tall and wide. Pineleaf Penstemon requires full sun or morning sun and good drainage, and low to medium-low water (it will be quite short-lived if over watered). Dead-heading will prolong bloom.
Hardy to -40 degrees F or 8,000’.
Penstemon rostriflorus (Bridges’ Penstemon): One of our favorite Plant Select choices (chosen for the Plant Select program in 2006), this is another long-lived evergreen Penstemon. Hummingbirds love the brilliant red tubular flowers that bloom over a long period in mid-summer. Pensstemon rostriflorus grows well in full sun or dappled shade, in most soils as long as they are well-drained. This beauty is quite drought-tolerant, grows to 2’ x 2’, and is hardy to 9,000’.
Scrophularia macrantha (Red Birds in a Tree): This Penstemon relative is fairly new to cultivation, having been first grown from seed collected by Panayoti Kelaidis (curator of plant collections at Denver Botanic Gardens) in a few remote high-altitude locations in the mountains of New Mexico. David Salman of High Country Gardens came up with the very apt common name, as the tall stems are clothed from early summer through fall with tubular cherry-red flowers that truly look like dozens of red birds perching on slender stems! The dark green serrated foliage is handsome as well. This rare and unusual plant grows to 3-4’ tall and will lean on and scramble around tall neighboring plants. Good companions would be Anise Hyssop (or ‘Blue Fortune’ Hyssop or ‘Golden Jubilee’ Hyssop,) Goldenrod, and Salvia azurea Scrophularia macrantha grows well in many soils, including clay, as long as there is good drainage. Dappled shade or a northern exposure seem to suit it well, and its water needs are low. Hummingbirds adore this plant! Hardy to Zone 4, up to 8,000’.
Salvia darcyi (‘Vermillion Bluffs’ Mexican Sage): A real show-stopper in the garden! Towering 3’ to 4’ erect spires of 1.5” long, brilliant scarlet flowers bloom non-stop from July or August to October. Grow in full sun or light shade in a xeric bed. Performs best in amended loamy soil with reasonable drainage. Though perennial, it requires a protected location here, and dies back to the ground. Wait until April to trim the previous year’s stems to the ground. Even if it behaves as an annual in your garden, the spectacular show and the hummingbird visits make Vermillion Bluffs worth growing. Listed as hardy to Zone 5b (up to 5,500’ elevation).
Zauschneria (Epilobium) garrettii ‘Orange Carpet’ (California Fuschia): This splendid low-growing hummingbird favorite produces masses of orange-scarlet trumpet-shaped flowers from mid-summer to frost, on a spreading plant to 2’ wide and only 6” tall. Wonderful for cascading over rocks and walls, in ‘hell-strips’ or for the front of the water-wise border. Hardier and more garden-adapted than other Zauschneria selections, Orange Carpet was designated Plant Select in 2001 and was grown from seed collected in Idaho, its most northerly habitat. Grows in most soils with good drainage in full sun to part shade (afternoon shade is good), and low water. May take a couple of years to establish, but worth waiting for. Hardy to 8,000’.
Plants in 2.5” pots: 4 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: 1 plant of each kind at sale price per customer
EcoGro Compost: 2 bags per customer
Fine Wood-chip Mulch: 2 bags per customer