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

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Crescent Hill Nursery September E-Newsletter 2011

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Mixed container arrangement featuring Cordyline 'Pink Passion'

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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Primula vialii 'Miracle' just beginning its summer flush of shade color.

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Tricyrtis 'Empress' shows its orchid-like blooms even in deep shade!


September Garden Calendar
Although it seems as if it will never really get hot this summer, September is usually the month when the sun really starts to fire up. Local gardeners should prepare for the increased heat by adjusting sprinklers/irrigation schedules to summertime rates. Now is also a great time to add mulch to the garden to keep plants roots cool, along with reducing the need for excess water. Keep a closer eye on container plantings, especially in ceramic pots, which tend to dry out quicker with the more sustained heat. Other September tasks in the garden include "deadheading" flowering plants like Coreopsis and Dahlia to encourage blooms late into the fall. "Round over" trims of subshrubs like Salvia and Penstemon should allow one more bloom cycle which will track the late sun. September is additionally the best time to start sussing out spaces for winter plantings, and preparing the soil. As you all have probably heard us "drone on" upon at local markets, late fall/early winter is the best time for planting non-frost sensitive species. The roots continue to grow until soil temperatures cool down in December, and by springtime your plant is already established and ready to take advantage of the returning warmth. Fall/Winter planting thus reduces watering needs and transplant shock, as nature and the winter rain cycle establish the plants for you. This is especially true of those "harder to grow" plants like certain California natives and members of the Proteacea family. Gardeners may want to wait until first rain lightens up the soil, but fall/winter planting is a sure way to save countless gallons of irrigation water the following spring. Don't forget those gopher baskets. Most important on the checklist of September chores; however, is taking the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. The garden is probably rounding into full form about now, and as the climax of summer and garden become one, let us not forget to take the time to appreciate the garden journey we are on, and smell the proverbial roses!!

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!!



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Abutillon 'Tiger Eye'

Abutilon 'Tiger Eye'

No plant in recent history has garnished the amount of interest, from both gardener and grower alike, as Crescent Hill's September Plant Of The Month. When I saw Tiger Eye for the first time earlier this spring, I nearly fell over. A flowering maple with distinctive glossy foliage and a flower with THAT much character?? I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, but sure enough the fabulous Abutilon genus has unleashed another gem for local gardeners. I began propagating (have not stopped), and my astonishment has been echoed by nursery customers who have been willing to sacrifice size just to take home a barely rooted cutting. So what is all the buzz about? One look at the mesmerizing flower answers that question and makes both plant enthusiast and those not yet enlightened stop in their tracks. Tiger Eye has creamy apricot petals that are strongly veined in a deep red which bleeds to the edges. When one looks straight on to the flower, the minute gap between the overlapping petals is revealed. The result is a swirling symmetrical spiral, which in combination with the pronounced reproductive tube, makes you feel as if you are staring straight into the eye of a tiger. The large (to 2") flowers when seen in profile truly resemble the Chinese Lantern from which this genus takes its common name. Tiger Eye also boasts of a long flowering cycle, sure to provide a constant source of nectar for the resident hummingbirds of your garden. Our larger stock specimens have literally not come out of bloom since spring!! Not only is the flower show stopping, but the brazenly shaped, lustrous, glossy foliage also demands attention. Like other Abutilons, Tiger Eye is most comfortable in a part shade (morning sun) aspect or one that receives dappled sunlight throughout the day. This is unless you are right on the coast, where it can thrive in full sun. Reaching a height of 6-8' tall, this flowering maple flourishes in the mid to back border, and especially excels under focal windows where the omni-present flowers provide a "hummingbird circus" for all to see. This versatile evergreen perennial also shines as a potted specimen, and has even been used indoors in a sunny window. Quite the conversation piece in any location. Zones 8-11, leaf hardy to 25 degrees, root hardy to 20 degrees. Be the first to have Tiger Eye staring at you!!

Special E-Newsletter Price; $10 per 1-gallon container, (while supplies last)!!

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Tiger Eye's glossy deep green foliage and bountiful blooms.

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European plum-parfume de septembre.

In this quarterly section, we introduce our industry partners that may be of interest to the Crescent Hill gardening family.

Tierra Madre Farm

Tierra Madre Farm is a small farm dedicated to preserving and promoting our world's crop diversity. We collect and propagate fruit and vegetable crops and offer seeds and fruit trees for sale on our website and at local farmer's markets and events. Many of our varieties are vary rare and some not offered anywhere else. We have over 250 fruit tree and over 300 vegetable varieties in our collection, and our collection is growing every year.

Our trees and seeds are grown on a small five acre farm in the mountains outside of Santa Cruz. We have great soil and it shows in the health of our crops. Although we are not certified, we use organic farming practices to keep our crops and soil healthy. Except for tilling in the spring, all the work on our farm is done by hand. We maintain our soil fertility through cover cropping and our flock of chickens.

All of our trees are one year old bud grafts on two year old rootstocks. Some trees are a "maiden" having a single whip and some are "feathered maidens" having many lateral branches. Trees range in size from 3-8ft. All shipped trees are pruned to fit into a 4ft. box. Trees are available as bareroot from January-April and as potted year round. In the future, we will be offering large trees in 5 and 15 gallon pots for local wholesale and retail sales. Our seeds are available as packets or in bulk year round.

Coming up, we will be attending the Heirloom Expo on September 13, 14 &15 at the Sonoma Fair Grounds and will be selling at Bay Area farmer's markets this winter. Visit our website at for more information and for specific market dates and locations.

Contact us at or at 831.423.3705

Editor's Note: After meeting the folks from Tierra Madre Farm at a recent garden show, I was amazed and impressed with their work. Their plant list reads like an encyclopedia, and the quality of their plants is clearly evident at first glance. A great opportunity to preserve biodiversity, while at the same time supporting local farmers, and eating REALLY good fruit!

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Growing grounds in the Santa Cruz Mountains.