It's been nearly 2 months since our last Newsletter, and so much has been going on, I barely know where to start!
and foremost, though, I want to give a huge hug of gratitude to my
sweet hubby, Alex, who has been "holding down the fort" so much
lately!!! Right after Joaquin returned to Buenos Aires, I was able to
get away to my beloved Encinitas for 11 (yes, eleven, rhymes with
heaven!!!) days of hot yoga, salads and sleep! Boy, did I need it after
the Spring we had! Business was up another 18%, and I really don't know
what we'd have done without Joaquin here. And more recently, my dearest
Mama has been in the hospital, and once again Alex took charge of
everything so I could be with her. I am so lucky to be married to the
world's greatest husband!
So, Gracias con todo mi corazon, Amor!
Sydney, Don Ernesto, & Alex taking care of business!!
A Remarkable Visit
after our last Newsletter, we were delighted to find that a mother
Hummingbird had built her nest in the arbor just outside our front door!
Alex was able to get some amazing photos of her, and then of her and
the 2 babies!! They weren't with us long before they all flew away, but
it was so rare and special... I mean, when do you ever see THREE
hummingbirds sitting still in one place?? A friend told us that a group
of hummingbirds is called a "Charm", which couldn't be more appropriate!
After 2 ½ years, we held our final EarthBox Planting Class on June 11th. Thanks to Audrey (who drove all the way from Westlake Village!)
and Cari (who drove from about 3 blocks away!) for making it fun. I've
really enjoyed teaching them, so it was also a little bittersweet. We'll
still offer Classes
for groups of 4 or more by special request, though, so, if you've got a
wedding party, birthday, or some other special event to celebrate, give
us a call!
had so much fun at this Sale, we've decided to hold it every year on
the Summer Solstice! It was a perfect day with a steady stream of
gardening folk who bought lots of plants, trees, berries, soils and
products. Jake & Lalo got lots of love, especially from the many
kids who came, and they ate it up!
makes a total of 4 Sales/Open Houses we will hold at the Nursery
throughout the year, each corresponding with the right time to get your
new seasonal crops going (and then fill in with those "second rounds"):
Spring Kick-Off in March
Summer Solstice in June
Fall Kick-Off in October
Holiday in December
And since fuel costs and other pressures on the L.A. Food Bank means
they can no longer pick up food donations that total less than 300
pounds, we've decided that only the Spring Kick-Off will be combined
with a Food Drive. This is our biggest event, so let's stock up and
really support the Food Bank next March!
We trust you all enjoyed your 4th of July, and we want to also say "Belated Happy Anniversary" to our dear friends at the La Canada Flintridge Farmers Market,
whose date corresponds with the national holiday. 3 years of fun,
learning, and watching your kids grow up has made that 4:30 wake-up call
a bit easier to bear! Thank you for your loyalty and
friendship...Here's to many more fruitful seasons together!!
a special Congratulations to those customers who work at JPL and were
part of the amazing Mars Rover project! Just incredible! ...oh, so much
brain power in La Canada!!!
VISITING AN ICON OF THE GARDENING WORLD...
A few weeks ago, our ace
assistant, Sydney, and I had the opportunity to visit with friend and
mentor, Yvonne Savio in her wondrous Pasadena garden. Unfortunately, our
plan to shoot a lovely "garden tour and shop talk" video was thwarted
by the weather: that day it was at least 100 degrees, and we were trying
to film on our iPhones, which kept shutting off because of the heat. So
while we won't win any awards for the final video, we decided to share
it anyway. We've spoken of Yvonne so many times, and the amazing work
she does with the University of California Master Gardeners and the L.A.
Victory Garden Initiative, we thought you'd enjoy "meeting" her.
A Garden Chat with Master Gardner's Program Manager Yvonne Savio
of our visit included Two Dog donating around 20 flats of plants to her
worthy projects. After our "garden sauna", we went for lunch at the
wonderful Le Grand Orange Café in historic downtown Pasadena and cooled
off! Thanks, Yvonne for a fun day!!
and while we were visiting, Yvonne clipped some branches from her
incredible 6' Lemon Verbena and gave them to me to root. So far, some,
but not all, are taking. The smell of that beautiful, leafy bush was
just heavenly...sort of reminded me of Lemon Life Savers!
Master Gardener's Program Manager Yvonne Savio gives advice about propagating Lemon Verbena
And then coincidentally, SPEAKING OF LEMON VERBENA....
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, WE'LL HAVE CERTIFIED ORGANIC LEMON VERBENA SEEDLINGS READY IN ABOUT A WEEK!!
cannot tell you the number of requests we've had for this plant!
Popular uses for this Perennial native of Chile & Argentina are:
Lemon Verbena Ice Cream, Sorbet, Pound Cake, and Drop Cookies...and of
course, Cocktails and Tea! Watch for RECIPES in our next Newsletter!
2012 ROOF TOP TRIAL GARDEN REPORT:
had such a great season so far with literally hundreds of tomatoes from
the Roof Top Trial Garden which have been shared with friends,
family, neighbors and employees! Some of our favorites have been:
Aussie, Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye, Lancaster County Big Pink, Japanese Black
Trifele, Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter, Sunset's Red Horizon,
Super Snow White, Black from Tula, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Black
Cherry, Kellogg's Breakfast, Julia Child and Mr. Stripey.
let us know your faves! I'm always very open to suggestions; there are
hundreds (and in some cases, thousands) of everything, and paring down
any veggie choices is always hard. We've also been asking you to send
photos from your garden, and here are a few we received
of our customers requested I grow a couple Mr. Stripeys for her this
year; we hadn't had much luck with it, so it wasn't on this year's
roster, but, being that it was my beloved Aunt Martha's favorite tomato,
I said "yes", and grew one for us as well. I decided to experiment by
growing it "solo" in an EarthBox to give it every possible opportunity
to wow me. And boy, did it!! We ended up with 22 huge, gorgeous
Beefsteak fruits that were delicious! So, from now on, I plan to grow
our larger fruited tomato varieties by themselves in EarthBoxes... I
think perhaps 2 big Heirloom varieties just might be too much for one
Box...cherries and small-fruited varieties, OK, but the big guys will
all go solo next year!
Shortly after the Hummingbird Family departed,
our nephew, Joaquin, returned to Buenos Aires to continue his studies
in International Relations...I hope he's using his English!! Having him
here was a Godsend because, as I mentioned before, it was a crazy busy
Spring. He was a really fast-learner and always full of joy. When he
left, we sent him with a veritable Seed Library to share with family and
friends: 21 varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes, my two favorite Beans
(Spanish Musica and Royal Burgundy), and Persian Cucumber seeds. Of
course it's the dead of Winter there now, but Spring is around the
corner, so we look forward to "Southern Hemisphere Garden Reports" from
him in the near future!
are already asking when we'll have Broccoli and Chard... well, the
final line-up for Fall has been decided (a little early this year, as
our wonderful web guy, Jeff, is leaving for an extended vacation in
Europe soon), and I'm sorting out a date for the Annual Fall Kick-Off
Sale here at the Home Nursery. In order to have as many crops ready as
possible, we're considering October 7th or 14th , but many things will
be available the Markets well before that date. We'll offer at least 14
new varieties this year!
IT'S A SHORT SEASON, PEOPLE!
not easy getting folks to switch to Fall when their Summer garden is
still "kinda producing." And for some lucky ones who have lots of space,
or as with us, lots of containers, there really is time for a few more
things: more beans, another tomato for Fall fruits, more lettuce or a
last-minute Butternut or Pumpkin. But remember, Fall/Winter really only
runs for about 5 months before its Tomato time again! So, if you can
make room, don't delay, and you'll be able to enjoy a couple rounds of
Cool Season wonders, like Broccoli and Cauliflower, Snow Peas and Root
Crops. I follow the Burpee Planting Guide, which can be found on our
website...it really helps in figuring out what grows when:
also already ordered all the Allium Family: Garlic (which we plant in
October), Shallots, Onions and Leeks; we'll be offering Elephant Garlic
for the first time this year. These should be available in early
October. We will have a "pre-order-only sale" on Asparagus Crowns like
we did last year, and also perhaps an opportunity to purchase Rhubarb
Crowns. Potatoes will continue being available, and don't forget: we
have "Helpful Guides" about growing these crops on our website.
that's about it for now. I apologize to those who follow us on facebook
that I haven't been posting much; it's just not been possible lately,
but I will get back to it, promise. Thanks as always for your kind
support; we do appreciate your friendship and business!!
Jo Anne, Alex, Jake and Lalo
P.S. Yay, we've gone over 1,000 subscribers to our Newsletter!! Thank you!