Crescent Hill Nursery November E-Newsletter 2011 The CHN e-newsletter is our show of gratitude to the loyal market customers at our many events aroun

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Crescent Hill Nursery November E-Newsletter 2011

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Banksia baxteri (Bird's Nest Banksia) showing off its outrageous 5" flower.

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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Grevillea 'Long John' with its waxy fall bloom.

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California native fuchsia, Zauschneria cana 'Catalina'


Customer Appreciation Days

In an effort to thank our valued market clients for their continued support of Crescent Hill Nursery, we would like to announce Customer Appreciation Days. During the months of November and December, all Crescent Hill grown stock will be discounted at the remaining market events on our calendar. Most one gallon containers will be sold for $5 each and five gallons will sell for $12-15 depending on variety!! We have extending our annual December sale so that our garden family can take advantage of the unusually perfect planting weather. The early rain (plus the predicted precipitation later this week) has yielded soft soil just ready to be turned. And as the soil will not start to cool down until December, the fresh roots will have a chance to grow before the onset of winter. Healthy, already established plants will be the result come springtime. Furthermore, if you already know the benefits of fall planting and would like to drop-in to plan a winter garden, an additional 10% discount will be given on orders over $100. Orders over $300 will be offered at wholesale list price!! Please see our website at the below link to view events or set up a personal tour.

Thanks again for a great gardening year in 2011. Your support inspires our business to grow!!

Garden Tour 2011
As we approach our 10th year in business providing rare and exotic stock to Central Coast gardeners, Crescent Hill would like to further our relationship with our loyal clients who have allowed us to keep on growing. During the months of November and December, we will be visiting the gardens of local customers to see our plants in their natural setting and "talk plant shop" in general. Over the years, so many of you "plant geeks" have invited us over, but the time always ran short. This year we would like to take time to see gardens at their peak fall expression, and thus understand more about the local microclimates where our customers (and plants) live. So if your garden is loaded with Crescent Hill specimens, and you would not mind the imposition of giving a brief tour, we would love to invite ourselves over. Please contact Nathan at 8312461128 or if you are interested.

We are sorry to announce the cancellation of the Foothill College Market that had been planned for November 13, 2011. We just received word that the event would not be taking place anytime this year. Hopefully the planners will right the ship and get things going for next year. Sorry about any confusion.

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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Fremontodendron 'San Gabriel', with its saucer-like yellow blooms!!

Fremontodendron - Flannel Bush

Fall planting time is normally when all the California Native plant lovers come out of the woodwork, looking to get plants in the ground before the rains. Native-ists and and non-nativists alike will appreciate the Crescent Hill Nursery November Plant of the Month. The California Flannel Bush is certainly one of the most showy and captivating of all the flora of our great state. Its 2-3" wide, bright and waxy yellow blooms are beginning to be almost as representative of our state as the poppy from which California draws its name. This widespread popularity is certainly not unfounded. Other than its showy long lasting blooms (spring thru fall), Fremontodendron is also highly drought tolerant and hardy to the low teens. It, in fact, is so drought tolerant that summer waterings after 2 years is a sure way to invite pathogens and cause the plant to die. It is rare to find such a maintenance free plant that brags such a stupendous growth rate. Flannel Bush as a design element is capable of filling many courts, from a show-stopper in the back border to an espaliered wall shrub. Pairing with blue flowered Ceonothus (California Lilac) is an essential part of any native hedgerow/screen/windbarrier. Fremontodendron also merges well other drought tolerant shrubs like Australian native Mint Bush (Prostanthera Purple Haze gives a vivid purple/yellow combination) and subshrubs in the Proteacea family like Grevillea and Leucadendron. The soft and furry foliage gives a nice contrast to the more linear form of these shrubs, as well as Cordylines and Phormiums (NZ Flax) of all different sizes and colors. The result can yield a xeric, Mediterranean garden with pizzazz!! Be sure to plant in well drained soil or on slopes/banks where they will tolerate clay. The one place that the Plant of the Month cannot be used is in high traffic areas, where the fine hairs on the leaf are known to cause irritation. Take caution to avoid these hairs when pruning by wearing gloves and a long sleeved shirt. Crescent Hill is proud to offer a new crop of Fremontodendron, with three varieties available for their preferred fall planting. 'California Glory' and 'San Gabriel' are the big boys, growing to 15-20' tall X 15' wide but sometimes only reaching half these dimensions depending on soil and water conditions. They both have 2-3" wide bright yellow blooms, and only differ in leaf shape with 'San Gabriel' being more deeply lobed. The smaller 'Ken Taylor' variety grows 3-5' tall X 6-10' ft wide, and has a slightly more grey-green tone to the foliage. Ken Taylor's flowers hang a touch more pendently than the other varieties highlighting the burnt orange backside of the bloom. Its more diminutive character permits Fremontodendron's inclusion in spaces previously thought to be too small. Whether seeking to create a screen/border or plant around a central specimen, the California Native Flannel Bush offers a care free plant with an incredible show of color!!

Special E-Newsletter Price; $10 per 1-gallon container!! Compare at retail nurseries for $15-20 (if available). Mention this review to receive discount.

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3 year old Fremontodendron 'Ken Taylor' at Crescent Hill. Watered 3 times in 3 years (4' tall X 6' wide)!!



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" question comes from Tod Winslow of Portland, OR. "Nathan I am looking for an inexpensive way to cover an ugly cinder block wall in the back yard, which receives morning sun. The wall is 3 feet tall and has no planting space above to hook or plant hangers, and a concrete floor below. With the rest of the yard looking so good, I am tired of seeing this eye sore of a dead spot. Any ideas?"

Unfinished block walls can be a rather unsightly interruption to the otherwise organic lines in a landscape. Your situation Tod is made a little harder because we cannot "top plant" and allow trailing plants and vines to cover the wall. Planting vining plants in pots for espaliering or trellising can also be space and labor intensive, plus prone to dry out on the concrete surface. I recently came across an article in Ball Horticulture's Green Profit magazine which may offer an inexpensive and fun solution. The author explained the idea of a green wall made from the ever-common shipping pallet. Living walls tend to be confusing even to the master level gardener, and the price and complexity of "pre-fab" kits in my experience have been a recipe for disaster. This simple "country" solution is a do-it yourself dream come true, and can be modified to fit many situations. The cost is low, and the filled pallets offer a profusion of foliage so bounteous that the wood is barely seen. The basics ingredients to this color recipe are this; 1 lightly used pallet (non-treated wood for edible gardens), landscape/weed barrier cloth, staples, potting soil, and plants. The pallet is lined with landscape cloth on 3 sides, leaving the top and front(planting surfaces) open, and placed on its back horizontal to the ground. Soil is then added and firmly pressed to avoid loss. Plants are added, watered, and the wall is left horizontally for one week to allow rooting. After one week, the unit is tipped vertically to its final position, and set into place. More detailed directions are available at the following 2 links; how-to-turn-a-pallet-into-a-garden, and build-a-living-wall-and-repurpose-a-pallet-for-a-planter/. The end result can fit into a multitude of garden situations, ranging from simply covering an unsightly wall to a unique urban farming opportunity on a balcony. Whether filled with succulents, ferns, flowering annuals, or edibles the pallet wall fills otherwise difficult spaces, and allows us to make use of every square inch of the garden, horizontal and vertical!!


Hoffie Nursery Green Pallete Wall. (photo courtesy of Green Profit magazine)