As temperatures fall and the shortest day of the year approaches, most of us are taking a break from the physical work of gardening. But some of us are already beginning the seed-sowing process, following seed germination protocols for pre-treatment – from stratifying (exposing seeds to controlled cold temperature to break dormancy), scarifying (carefully sanding hard outer seed coats) to soaking in hot water or hydrogen peroxide solution, etc. At Harlequin’s, many of our growing-houses are full of seed trays or beautiful plants we potted up in the fall for spring 2023.
Through the fall and winter, we are ordering and propagating seeds and plants for the coming year, and working on assembling our lists of vegetable starts, roses, annuals, herbs, perennials, shrubs, vines, trees, soil products, and organic growing supplies. We grow a vast number of these plants ourselves, in our carefully crafted soils without using any chemical fertilizers or toxic pesticides. And the plants we bring in from other growers, mostly local or regional, have not been treated with bee and soil-killing neonicotinoids.
Even if your garden is sleeping, it’s a great time for reading, dreaming and planning. We always aim to bring you the best, most locally-appropriate gardening books, like the new and very exciting The Crevice Garden by Kenton Seth and Paul Spriggs, and Leo Chance’s Cacti and Succulents for Cold Climates, an indispensable guide and reference for Colorado xeriscape gardeners. Regrettably, many of the best books for our area are now out of print – Lauren Springer’s The Undaunted Garden and Waterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens, as well as Pretty Tough Plants, Xeriscape Plant Guide, and Durable Plants from the Denver Botanic Gardens and Plant Select, High and Dry and Penstemons by Bob Nold, and Organic Gardener’s Companion by Jane Shellenberger, editor of the wonderful Colorado Gardener magazine. See if you can find used or remaindered copies, or borrow them from your local library.
Speaking of the Colorado Gardener magazine, You can research 25 years of great articles on their website (including dozens of features by Mikl Brawner), and be sure to pick up free current editions of Colorado Gardener whenever you come to Harlequin’s (or subscribe for a nominal fee). Some of Mikl’s article are available on our website here, and we’re working on adding many more this winter.
Very soon (2:47pm on Wednesday December 21, to be exact!) the Winter Solstice will bring the end of the darkening trend, light will begin returning and our days will lengthen, gradually bringing us to another gardening season. We look forward to seeing you in person again! In the meantime, we’ll be reaching out to you sporadically in January and February with informative e-newsletters. Then, starting March 3rd , we’ll open again for our 31st year!
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Peter Drucker
Yours in support of Life,
Eve and Mikl Brawner and our fabulous staff: Alfredo, Alex, Ann, Annika, Christine, Damaris, Elaine, Gary, Hector, Holly, Jared, Jeff, Jennifer, Jill, Jose, Marybeth, Maysen, Moss, River, Roger, Stephanie, Sue, Susan