I’m sitting down to begin writing this week in the midst of a powerful thunderstorm that’s passing over the nursery. We haven’t seen this much rain and accompanying wind for months now, and I must admit that it feels rather comforting. We’ve been fixing lunch here each day from the delicious provisions of our garden, and today it was very fittingly chicken noodle soup, and delicious little English muffin open top sandwiches which Reggie made using a time-honored recipe handed down from her mother-in-law. I love having soup on a chilly, rainy day. I make a hearty version of chicken noodle soup full of chicken chunks, egg noodles, chopped celery, onion, carrots and potatoes. It’s rare good ballast for an empty belly!
Fall has finally arrived. I feel it in the water. I smell it in the air. Fall has traditionally been a time of preparation for winter and a time of renewed planting for the intrepid gardener. First, it’s time to get rid of the decrepit annuals inhabiting our planters. Fall is a perfect time to plant thoughtful, beautiful containers that will not only survive the winter, but will look great year-round. I’ve pictured many plants this week that are perfect choices for these late season containers. Among these are the ferns, sempervivums, grasses, sedums, and thymes, as well as a host of others you’ll find as you peruse our availability. My idea of an artfully designed container incorporates something tallish, say a grass or fern, surrounded by a second tier of contrasting foliage color in the form of a sempervivum, thyme or another evergreen. It’s also nice to include a “CLIFF HANGER®” to spill over the side. Erodium ‘Bishop’s Form’, or Delosperma ‘Jewel of the Desert’ var. are great plants for this lowest story, and they add a splash of flower power to boot! It’s amazing how long these containers last. In fact, with care they can go for years with minimal need for replacement plantings.
Fall is also a wonderful time to plant perennials in the landscape. There is still ample time for root systems to get established, and even though the plant may go dormant in a couple months, what emerges next spring will be more robust that its counterparts that are planted in the spring. We have a wide selection of FIT FOR A KING® plants that are perfect for fall planting and will extend the sales season out another month! My top choices of herbaceous perennials include the Penstemon ‘Peptalk®’ series, Echinacea ‘Sombrero® and Double Scoop® series, and Campanula p. ‘Kelly’s Gold’. Please look at all our FIT FOR A KING® selections on this week’s availability, as there are some real gems!
Our WATER MISERS® brand is perhaps our fastest growing plant group. We are always looking for new Sempervivums to add to our production, and have become a national leader in the production and sale of Semps. We have many outstanding new varieties we’ll be introducing in 2018. As I mentioned in a previous post, Little Prince is also going to offer both liners and finished plants in the Chick Charms® program. We currently have a nice selection of finished plants, and we will begin liner sales in 2018. We also have some new Sedums on availability this week. The Sedum anacampseros, Sedum palmeri, and Sedum nevii ‘Pink Form’ are new species to us this year and are proving to be great sellers in the garden center and great performers in the garden.
Finally, you’ve probably noticed a new format to the newsletter. I’ve included more pictures that previously, and an archive of the blog can now be found on the Little Prince website. I’m excited about our newly designed website, and if you have not visited it yet, I encourage you to take a close look. I hope our website becomes a valuable resource for plant information and general horticultural ideas for anyone who uses it. I’m also happy to announce that I’ll be writing a monthly column in Nursery Management Magazine beginning in January, and am discussing writing several feature articles for other magazines over the next year. I look forward to these opportunities, and I’ll provide links in this newsletter and on our website as articles are published. I hope you all have a fabulous week!