Crescent Hill Nursery October E-Newsletter 2010 The CHN e-newsletter is our show of gratitude to the loyal market customers at our many events around

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Crescent Hill Nursery October E-Newsletter 2010

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Fall sunset from our Watsonville facility.

The CHN e-newsletter is our show of gratitude to the loyal market customers at our many events around the Central Coast. It will serve as a site for seasonal updates, "plant of the month" specials, the "ask a nurseryman" section, links to our partners, and a whole lot more. The e-newsletter is a way to stay connected with our thriving and knowledgeable garden community. Please send us your comments on how to make this e-newsletter more useful to all, and don't forget to pass along the link to a friend!
Happy Planting,
Nathan Krupa (owner/grower)



Nursery tours are available. Please come out and see our 2 acre facility in Watsonville. With over 200 varieties grown, the growing grounds are turning into a little botanical park. Please call for an appointment. Groups are welcome.

November is Customer Appreciation Month at Crescent Hill Nursery. To say Thank You for another great year of Central Coast gardening, all one gallon sized containers of Crescent Hill stock will be offered for $5 each, and all five gallon stock will be in the range of $10-15!! Don't forget, on all non-frost sensitive stock, winter is the best time to plant. Allow those roots to go deep with the winter rains, and your garden will be ahead of the game come springtime. Call for directions.

Please remember Crescent Hill recycles all 1,2, and 5 gallon plastic containers. Drop off available at all markets, or here at the nursery. Thanks again!!



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Red Cestrum flower cluster.

Cestrum newelii

Crescent Hill's October plant of the month is the multi-dimensional Cestrum newelii. This dignified subshrub in the tomato family brings warmth to the cooling fall days with its clusters of waxy, ruby red flowers. These showy tubular blooms are sure to bring hummingbirds and butterflies to the garden throughout the year, following the long bloom cycle. Putting the showy bloom bursts aside, the Red Cestrum also impresses with its lush, deep forest green, downy foliage. The 3-6" elliptical leaves appear to be stained in a maroon-burgundy veneer, which is amplified in depth on both the stems and flowers. Cestrum prefers a full sun to partial shade (inland) location, where it will grow 6-8 ft tall by 3-4 ft wide. Although its height screams for its natural back border location, its narrow width allows it to be snuck into smaller places as a stately accent piece. The Red Cestrum also shows its versatility by being one of Crescent Hill's top rated container plants. Contained at 2-4 ft, this long-blooming hummingbird bait can be used almost anywhere as the central specimen of an unusual mixed arrangement. All these benefits aside, my personal favorite characteristic of this plant is its compatibility with almost any style garden. Combined as a sharp, dark contrast to the pinks in a cottage garden, used in perfect concert with Red Bananas, Iochromas, and Angels Trumpets in tropical wonderland, or giving a structural back-set to ranging subshrubs like salvia and penstemon, the plant of the month can truly be blended in to any theme. My favorite recent use has been as a free flowering splash of color in drought resistant landscapes. The seamless color match punctuates a relationship with Phormium 'Guardsman', Cordyline 'Red Star' or any of the red tipped Leucadendrons. Hardy to 10-15 degrees, and evergreen to 20 degrees, the Cestrum newellii should find a happy place into any central coast garden.

Special E-Newsletter Price; $5 per 1 gallon container or $12 per 5 gallon container, (regular $20 each)!! Mention this review to receive discount.

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Salvia X coahuilensis before and after pruning.

In this section, we will answer the question of the month. The customer chosen to ask the question of the month will receive a free one gallon sized pot of your choice!!

This month's "ask a nurseryman" section returns to a familiar theme, that judging by the sheer number of questions received, deserves further exploration. October's winner, Suzan Miller of Saratoga, commented, "After the last e-newsletter, I now understand the hard cutback required on my Salvia 'Hotlips', but what about other species like S.'Black and Blue' or S. 'Waverly'? Do they require a similar pruning regiment?"

Because the Salvia genus is the largest in the Mint (Lamiaceae) family, having roughly 700-900 members worldwide, a thorough synopsis on pruning would take more pages than this forum can offer. Luckily, we can group common salvia's and offer examples from our collection, to make general rules of thumb.

The basal growing Salvias, like S. nemerosa 'May Night' and 'Caradonna', appreciate regular "deadheading" or removing of the spent flowering stems. This will extend the blooms cycle significantly, as other shoots will arise to fill the vacated space. After the blooms are "flowered out," where the majority of the flowers have turned brown, a complete cutback to the basal leaves is required. Pruning in this manner will generate several bloom cycles per year.

The lower woody shrubby salvias, like S.greggii 'Furman's Red', S.greggii 'Wild Thing', S. x jamensis 'Sierra San Antonio', and S. x coahuilensis, like to be trimmed to the lowest set of new leaves after the flowers have been exhausted. A few "round over prunings" during the growing season will help optimize form. Don't forget to check for frost sensitivity before making drastic cuts.

Larger shrubby, semi-woody subshrubs, like S.microphylla 'Hot Lips', S. darcyi 'Pscarl' Vermilion Bluffs, S. guaranitica 'Black & Blue', S.'Waverly', and S.leucantha, require a hard cutback down to 4-6" (or the lowest set of emerging leaves) after last fear of frost. "Round over prunings" throughout the growing season help maximize flower production and form.

Note on cutback timing
A nice way to have a constantly full and flowering garden space is to time your big seasonal cutback in accordance with the emergence of deciduous perennials. After plants like Agastache, Perovskia, Caryopteris, or any of the flowering bulbs emerge in the spring, whack back those Salvia's to allow a niche to form. As the Salvias grow and flower, the deciduous plants will now have the space to do the same. A veritable quilt of color and texture can be achieved with proper timing, and the increased density is sure to bring increased numbers of pollinators and hummingbirds alike. So grab the clippers, bust out a calender, and get quilting!!