Crescent Hill Nursery April E-Newsletter 2012 The CHN e-newsletter is our show of gratitude to the loyal market customers at our many events around t

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Crescent Hill Nursery April E-Newsletter 2012

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Halimiocistus wintonensis 'Merrist Wood Cream' provides a powerful punch in a small (3'X3')package.

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. New for 2012 will be a category which features highlights from our tours of clients gardens in 2011, as well as a "project" page which summarizes some of our recent landscape installations. 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)

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Lavandula stoeches 'Otto Quast' in powerful spring bloom.

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Leucadendron 'Cloudbank Jenny' showing its masses of spring flowers, ready for a vase!



As we push into April, and the majority of the frost is in the rear view mirror, the garden stands perfectly ready to vanquish to winter weeds and unfurl its stored fertility. The weather is heating up, as is the soil, and the late rains have aided and abetted gardeners with an easily tillable earth. Recent garden installations have shown almost no transplant shock, as they adapt slowly with the season. Here at the nursery new selections for 2012 are starting to arrive, cuttings are again rooting rapidly with the heat, and the plants are really starting to grow. We are crossing paths with the perfect planting weather by having ready numerous choices to meet and greet Garden Season 2012!! Take advantage of that soft soil and late rain, NOW is the time to plant!!

Crescent Hill is busy this month, greeting the perfect gardening weather with countless new flowering selections for the spring garden. Please join us at our monthly soiree this Saturday April 7 at De Anza College in Cupertino, Ca. On Saturday April 14, we will be displaying at the Smart Gardening Fair in Camel, Ca from 10AM -4PM. The busy month wraps up with the Spring in Guadalupe Gardens event on April 28 from 10AM- 3PM. Both of these Garden Shows feature guest speakers, and a wide array of garden plants and products to get the season started right. They are annually some of our favorite events on the calendar Maps and directions are available on the CALENDAR page of the website listed above.

Website update 2012 is very near completion. The new website will, for the first time, feature color photos of all of our selections in response to the demand from our local gardening family. It now includes the 2012 Crescent Hill Nursery calendar, as well as all of our new plants available in the coming year. It seeks to be an even more valuable tool for Crescent Hill to help clients inspire their outdoor living spaces. Check back in later this month, and be sure to tell us what you think. The following link will get you there:

New for 2012 We are proud to offer Digger's gopher baskets at our 2012 markets, and here at the nursery. The industry standard, these well made baskets last 6-10 years in the ground, and are the ONLY real solution to gopher problems. Why purchase expensive plants only to have them eaten by our friends from below? Protect your investment in three sizes: 1 gallon baskets are $3.50 each or 2 for $5, 5 gallon baskets are $5 each, and 15 gallon tree sized baskets are $8 each.

Are there any plants that you think Crescent Hill should be growing in 2012? Any no-brainer, drop dead gorgeous selections which do not grace our plant list? Customer participation is a foundational element in Crescent Hill's game plan, and we would love to hear any suggestions which would make our list more complete. Thanks for all the ideas. We will trial the best selections, and the winner gets a free plant of any that make it onto our list!!

Nursery tours are encouraged. Please come out and see our 2 acre facility in Watsonville. With over 250 varieties grown, the growing grounds are turning into a little botanical park. Please call for an appointment. Groups are welcome.

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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Heuchera 'Caramel' showing off its 2-toned foliage.

HEUCHERA sp. (Coral Bells)

Crescent Hill Nursery's April plants of the the month come from a genus of old garden favorites, which have undergone a huge upgrade in breeding in the past few years. The Heucheras, commonly referred to as Coral Bells, are a North American native genus in the Saxifragaceae family. They are hardy (to well under 0 degrees F) light sun to shade, clumping perennials known for their boldly colored foliage and airy spring-summer blooms. These tough, maintenance free perennials have been recently bred into a whole range of breathtaking colors, from vivid chartreuse, to deep black, to brightly variegated patterns which definitely make you look twice. The attention from all the well-read garden publications is certainly deserved From the results of our test plantings, the attention from all the well-read garden publications is certainly deserved. Coral Bells get their common name from the soft sprays of bell shaped cream flowers which emerge in spring or summer, and are known to attract hummingbirds and butterflies alike. They are said to be resistant to deer and rabbits, but in areas of heavy herbivory they WILL be eaten. In the landscape, Heucheras are generally used in the front to mid border, especially along pathways and edges where their foliage clump can lightly pillow over. The new brightly colored varieties function as a veritable spotlight for dimly lit areas. In mass groupings, both landscapers and home owners alike can create a collage of color to enliven the front shade border. Coral Bells are also an excellent choice for dry shade, especially under oaks, as they are rather drought tolerant once established. Perfect in mixed containers for a grandiose display of evergreen accent foliage!! Most varieties are a tidy 1-2 feet tall by 1-2 ft wide, depending on conditions. Crescent Hill is proud to offer 4 varieties of Heuchera, with more on the way later this season!!

Heuchera micrantha 'Palace Purple' - the original dark leafed variety with shiny, deep purple/maroon, Maple-like foliage. One of the first non-green varieties. A garden favorite for good reason.
Heuchera villosa 'Caramel' - a new patented hybrid with apricot/yellow foliage, stained mahogany/red on the undersides. This is one of the best for brightening dimly lit areas, and combines nicely with red foliage plants. Late flowering.
Heuchera 'Blackout' - an aptly named patented hybrid with deep purple/black foliage, maroon on the underside. Combines well with grasses and grass-like plants, especially those with grey/green foliage. Extra waxy roughly lobed leaves.
Heuchera 'Silver Scrolls' - Probably my favorite shade plant at the present, this patented hybrid boasts metallic silver foliage with showy violet/purple veination and undersides. The result is an outrageous variegation reminiscent of stained glass art. Early flowering, and perfect for dark areas.

Special E-Newsletter Price; $7 per 1-gallon container (patented varieties), $6 per 1-gallon container (non-patented varieties)!! Compare at other nurseries for $10 and above.

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A mosaic of shade color!!

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So we are taking a break from Garden Tour 2011 (showcasing some of our customers gardens from last year) to take a tour of the the SF Flower and Garden Show which Crescent Hill visited last month. This was our first time visiting the popular Bay Area event, and we were lucky enough to meet many of our gardening family perusing the new offerings from the world of horticulture. The show offers educational speakers, vendors of both plants and garden products, display gardens from various local designers, and bonsai/new release presentations. This large event, which covered three auditoriums, was without doubt a great way to generate ideas for the garden season to come. Vendors from all over the country provided gardeners with all the latest horticultural knick-knacks, from garden art to innovative tools and hardscape products. Our personal favorite was Lee Valley Garden Tools, which put forth an incredible line of unique and utilitarian tolls for the avid gardener. Their well-built line provided countless ways for customers to save time and "back-work" while enjoying their hobby. Plant vendors were also busy, and we especially noticed succulents and veggie starts flying out the door. The seminar schedule was packed, and if you could not find a talk worthy of attending, then you were probably in the wrong place. Lectures covered a wide array of topics including cooking, pruning, vertical gardening, soil health, and pest control. We thank all the presenters for sacrificing their time, and together yielding a worthy synopsis of the modern garden world. It was certainly a highlight for us to see the interest shown by all demographics in the world we hold so dear. Another certain highlight was the bonsai/new release room, where one of horticulture's oldest art forms was brilliantly contrasted against the newest of the new plants for 2012. Annually the main draw of the show is the display gardens, which local designers set up in the three days preceding the event! The 20 exhibitors work tirelessly to create complete gardens, with hardscape and plants, in an amazingly short period of time. Their efforts produce the "heart and soul" of the event and certainly should not be forgotten. Where else can one catch microcosmic glimpses of so many garden styles in such a condensed location? For Crescent Hill the most memorable part of the displays was the hardscaping, which used landscape rocks, boulders, recycled materials, and various fencing/retaining walls to give each garden its unique feel. In this aspect, the creative force of the Bay Area yielded cutting-edge ideas in a facet of gardening that often gets overlooked. Especially interesting were the stacked flagstone walls from Mariposa Gardening and Design, the recycled rebar circles (for holding pathway pebble/rock) by McKenna Landscape, and the "living" posts from Habitat Horticulture. In our opinion, which is of course very biased, where the displays failed was in integrating intriguing plants to match the innovative hardscaping. Other than the Suncrest/Greenley design (pictured below), there was an overall lack of captivating selections for local gardens. (Luckily, that niche can be filled by visiting one of Crescent Hill's markets throughout the Central Coast region!!) Overall though, the San Francisco Flower and Garden show was a fun, albeit overpriced and poorly lit, probe into whats current and hot in the world of horticulture. We wholeheartedly thank all of the coordinators for allowing a forum for local gardeners to converge upon. Please see more photos of the event at our Facebook page linked below.

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Suncrest Nursery plants and John Greenley's "Savanna" design featuring grasses, Restios, and Meliantuhs major (in the forefront).

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Clean hardscape showcasing recycled material.

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Plant geeks unite around the living post.