Busy Shipping, New Crops Coming and as tough as Lantana and a woodpecker

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to update this list. I would apologize for the delay except that the sole reason for my tardiness is that I’ve been busy just trying to keep up with the orders coming in. As I mentioned in my last update, this is about the first time since ’07 that I wish I had more plants to sell. We had a very busy trade show in Mobile a few weeks ago and it APPEARS that things are on the upswing. I think there are a number of reasons for it, most notably cheaper gas. I don’t know of a better economic stimulus for the whole country than less expensive fuel. Fuel, even if you happen to not even own a car, hits all of us right in the wallet.

We’re currently riding the weather roller coaster we normally refer to as ‘February’ around here. We’ve had a few cold snaps this winter, but nothing to compare to last year. We’re not out of the woods yet – not by a long shot, but so far so good. I spoke with a friend in west central Tennessee this morning who told me he had to break icicles off his mailbox to put stuff in it this morning (evidently he forgot today is President’s Day), but as I write this it is 68 degrees and overcast in south Mississippi. We’re supposed to get rain tonight and sharply colder temps for the rest of the week. It’s like the old saying goes; if you don’t like the weather here just give it a day or two, it’ll change.

I’m sure you’ve noticed our amazing shrinking availability list. We’ve got a number of items that’ll be getting ready as soon as the weather warms up a bit but for now we’re a little on the light side. One of the newcomers to the list that I’d like to point out is the blue-eyed grass, Sisyrinchium is a very durable perennial that looks like a grass and is a relative of irises. It grows to about 6” in height (when in bloom) and its three favorite things seem to be heat, drought and neglect, which ought to make it wildly popular with consumers. Evidently its toughness falls on the scale somewhere between Lantana and a woodpecker’s lips. ‘Blue Note’, the cultivar we’re growing, has pastel blue flowers about the size of a nickel. I think it will look great planted as a mass or a border in a dry area.

Among the late-spring-early-summer arrivals will be an assortment of hydrangeas that will brighten up shady areas (H. macrophylla) or make an eye-catching display in sunny spots (H. paniculata). I’ve mentioned Hydrangea m. ‘Zebra’ before, but that’s one I think is a winner. We’re currently into our second crop of them on the nursery and I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen here. The real story will be told as they’re planted in people’s gardens, but I’m betting they’re going to wow a whole bunch of folks. Hopefully it’ll have that effect on you too!

Jeff

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