It’s Still May…and it’s Time to Plant!

It’s Still May…and it’s Time to Plant!

Guess what? Memorial Day has come and gone and it’s still May for the rest of the week! It’s PRIME planting time and we have never been so well stocked

‘Strawberry Blond’ marigolds are just so pretty!

with beautiful plants. We had one of our busiest weekends ever and are restocking many of our organic veggie seedlings and herbs. BUT, if you have your heart set on a specific edible variety, you should come in and shop soon as many of our coolest plants are disappearing fast. I took home a carload myself on Saturday night and on Monday I planted 8 tomatoes, 6 peppers, 2 eggplants, and a ton of herbs and annuals. BUT, I forgot my San Marzano tomatoes and I never got around to planting any seeds. Plus, I planted only about 1/3 of my patio pots. And the beat goes on…

A vignette from our shade garden with Packera aurea blooming like crazy next to wood hyacinths (available as bulbs in the fall) contrasting with the silver and blue foliage of ‘Ghost fern’ and the ‘Krossa Regal’ hosta.

The Natureworks demonstration gardens are quite beautiful this week. Every

Join me on Thursday evening for our first Wine Walk of the season and enjoy the blooming Baptisias in our gardens.

Tuesday morning I arrive at work and prepare to write this email. I walk the gardens and the retail benches and think about what I want to talk about. This morning I couldn’t believe all the color- irises, Baptisias, roses, perennials of every sort. This is one of our peak weeks of the spring and a great time to stroll around and take notes and photos. In fact, why not join me on Thursday evening for our first Wine Walk of the season and do just that? We are partnering with our neighbors Rosabianca Vinyards right up the street and serving their wine so you can get to know how wonderful it is. Have you discovered them yet? This is a free event, no need to pre-register. We essentially will pour you a glass of wine and then we will wander the gardens and talk about what’s blooming. Relax and bring your friends for a fun night. 

Grow your own birdseed by planting Echinaceas. Goldfinches love flower seeds.

On Saturday we are excited to offer a free workshop in our teaching tent: Grow a Bird Friendly Yard. Natureworker and bird lover Suzanne Hauselt will share with you the many ways you can enhance your habitat and welcome birds to your property. Natureworks is filled with happy birds nesting all over the place. Birdsong is the music of the garden. Birds eat tons and tons of insects. Learn the many ways you can make your yard bird friendly and take home a few new plants for this purpose this Saturday. The workshop is free and there is no need to pre-register. Just show up!

There are still spots left in our June 10thworkshop Learn to Raise Monarch Butterflies. Last year, Natureworks raised over 1000 monarch butterflies from

eggs and caterpillars collected from our own organic gardens. This year we want YOU to join the effort to save the monarchs. This is a training course where you will learn all of the nitty-gritty details, protocol, and procedures for success. This is a great opportunity for teachers, nature center employees, parents, conservation groups, land trust members- basically anyone who feels they have the desire to help raise the migration. 

This week, along with bountiful flowers appearing in our gardens, we are also dealing with bountiful pest problems! Check out my article below to learn about what may be bugging you and how to deal with it organically. I have also included an article on how we grow roses organically. Yes, for 35 years we have been growing roses using only organic fertilizers and pest control products. You can too! 

‘Starry Night’ petunias come in purple and pink!

Finally, I just have to brag about all of our unusual annuals. A lot of them aren’t in bloom yet, but if you have visited our gardens during the summer and fall, you will remember them. Once you have fallen in love with Trachelium or four o’clocks or Leonotis or ‘Starry Night’ petunias, you will seek them out. Our best selection is NOW. Let us introduce you to some fascinating plants that will make your gardens and containers much more fun this year. 

Trachelium resembles a blue Queen Anne’s lace and makes a wonderful cut flower. Everyone asked about it last year when we planted it in our gardens.


Pure WHITE annual Salvia!
Red Arctotis blooms from early spring until late fall

These photos are just the tip of the iceberg. We have so many wonderful plants to share with you. I hope you can stop in for a visit this week. I look forward to seeing you soon…  

When planting tomatoes, remove the lower leaves and bury the stems. Roots form all along the stems, making the plant a lot more vigorous. 


P.S. We have more and more varieties of Asclepias all the time. Check out Asclepias speciosa, a pink flowering variety called showy milkweed. It clumps instead of runs and still offers the larval plant food to the monarchs in its leaves. We have the nicest plants we have ever carried of this hard-to-find species in stock this week. Don’t delay.