Crescent Hill Nursery March E-Newsletter Welcome Crescent Hill gardening family to another promising year in the wonderful world of plants!! As we ar

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Crescent Hill Nursery March E-Newsletter


Abutilon megapotamicum ‘Paisley’ at our facility in Watsonville.

Welcome Crescent Hill gardening family to another promising year in the wonderful world of plants!! As we are all possibly too aware of at this point, 2011 has been a year of ample and luxurious rainfall. The unusual late burst of precipitation California has received in March is certainly indicative of the La Niña cycle, and promises a great gardening season ahead. Kudos to those of you who have taken advantage of our early markets, and planted before the rains. The advantage will prove fruitful in the months to come. Cordial invitations to the rest of you to visit us at our upcoming events, get those plants in the ground early, and watch the roots quickly follow the water deep into the soil substrate. As the clouds vanish and are replaced with sunbeams, the excitement of the gardening season has truly set in. What better way than a little "get your hands dirty" work to break out of the doldrums of a wet winter and engage the season? Add to this the reward of watching your spring toils flourish in the summer months, and its a no brainer. GARDENING SEASON IS ON!! We at Crescent Hill look forward to serving you in the year to come.

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)

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Spring color at Crescent Hill!!

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Website update 2011 is complete, and will be posted within the following week. Our new selections will be denoted with a yellow star on their respective PLANTS pages. We hope this will help in generating ideas for something unique in your 2011 garden. Many new hybrids are not just new to Crescent Hill, but also to the horticultural trade in general. With your help, we look forward to categorizing their various uses, likes, and dislikes as they touch California soil for the first time. With these specimens as well as our familiar favorites, please remember your feedback is crucial to our compilation of an efficient and effective regional planting guide for rare and unusual species. Customer participation is an essential piece to this puzzle. The website update also includes our 2011 CALENDAR, which has swelled to include new events in Monterey, Santa Cruz, and even San Francisco. As always, suggestions on additional events are tremendously appreciated!! Next year's update will include detailed photos for each individual species, and any exceptional photos from your collections will help in that process. So please follow this link,, and enjoy the tour of our website.

NEW FOR 2011. Cut flowers from the Proteacea family, including Protea, Banksia, Pincushion, Leucadendron, and Grevillea will be offered at our markets this year. These incredible blooms will last 2-3 weeks in a vase, and will certainly generate conversation and awe in any indoor setting. Plants of these flowers will be available when possible.

Nursery tours are encouraged. Please come out and see our 2 acre facility in Watsonville. With over 225 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!!




Red Lobster Claw showing off its early spring flowers!!

Lobster Claw Kaka Beak
Clianthus puniceus 'Rosea'

While on holiday several years ago in New Zealand, my landlord here at the nursery encountered a few packets of native seed. She claimed it was the NZ national tree, and was cultivated for its large bird beak-like blooms. At that point, i did not realize what a horticultural find she had stumbled upon. In the years since, I have come to appreciate and love the Clianthus puniceus 'Rosea'; this March's Crescent Hill Nursery plant of the month. The Lobster Claw Kaka Beak has an abundance of huge (2-3") pea-like bright pink/red blooms which truly do resemble its namesake. The flowers are spaced tightly along its arching branches, and provide dramatic color when the rest of the garden is just getting started. This hardy (to 13-20 degrees F) evergreen perennial will go to 4-6' X 4-6' depending on its training. The versatile Clianthus has been described as a cross between a vine and a subshrub. It can be used as a selection for the mixed border, a stunning container specimen, or can be trained/espaliered over arches or pergolas. The best use, however; may be as a quick growing cover for fences/walls, where the structure supports and protects the plant from strong winds. When grown as such, the seemingly continuous blooms create quite an impression as they open up the branch. A conversation piece whose nectar-filled blossoms also attract birds throughout the spring-early summer season. The Lobster Claw's weeping masses of delicate pinnate foliage, which are reminiscent of a small tree fern, add intrigue to the afore mentioned flowers. Seeing a mature specimen makes one understand why it is one of the few species grown by the Maori (NZ) tribe as an ornamental. Well drained soils are preferred, but Clianthus will tolerate a range of other soil types. Give average water, and a firm cutback after flowering to insure long-term success of this early flowering showpiece with outrageous blooms!!

Special E-Newsletter Price; $15 per 5-gallon container, (regular $22 each)!! Mention this review to receive discount.


2-3" blooms loaded with nectar for our flying friends.