August finds our nursery filled with a diverse selection of beautiful native plants. Woody species such as manzanita, California lilac and coffeeberry propagated last fall and winter are now full one gallons awaiting gardens. We are filling every open space with perennials and grasses propagated this spring. Though gardeners may be awaiting cooler temperatures for planting, now is a great time to browse the possibilities. Here is a link to our latest inventory: Inventory.
Last month we mentioned the many non-native sages available with their fragrant foliage and showy flowers. Our selection of native sages has expanded to include the mat forming and often hard to find Sonoma sage, with its pungent foliage and spikes of blue-purple flowers. 'Bee's Bliss' sage grows 18 inches tall and spreads widely with beautiful grey foliage and prolific spring flowers of lavender. We have the popular 'Winnifred Gilman' a selection of Cleveland sage with showy violet-blue flowers and sweetly fragrant foliage. And two fine hybrids of cleveland sage, 'Allen Chickering' and 'Pozo Blue' are also available. There are two selections of purple sage, Salvia leucophylla, both with striking whitish-grey foliage and lavender-pink flowers. Two forms of Brandegee sage, a large upright shrub with deep green textured leaves and whirls of soft lavender flowers. And beekeeper favorites, black sage, Salvia mellifera and white sage, Salvia apiana are available as well. Native sages offer a great variety of sizes and textures with beautiful floral displays that attract bees and hummingbirds. They are drought tolerant and dependably deer resistant.
There has been a growing interest in planting to encourage honey bees and other pollinators. Plants in the sunflower family or Asteraceae offer a big reward of pollen and nectar to bees, butterflies and other visiting insects. We have the native coast aster, a late blooming, vigorous spreading perennial, gum plant with thick leathery leaves and bright yellow blossoms, and a non-native Bidens which provides a long season of golden yellow daisies. Two North American sunflower species which are coming into bloom now are real bee magnets. These easy to grow perennials offer an abundance of cheerful 2 inch daisies the pollinators adore and seeds that attract gold finches. Another summer and fall bloomer is California coneflower, a large and bold perennial from mountain meadows. The large flower heads have a distinctive long central cone with a skirt of reflexed yellow petals, a beacon to bees and butterflies. Coneflowers require summer moisture to thrive.
A new addition to our grass selection is Sporobolus airoides, a versatile grass with a graceful habit comes into its own in summer with airy flower panicles that start out pinkish fading to gold.
The heat of summer is a challenging time to plant but a perfect time to plan. More than we can talk about here, we invite you to come see for yourself. We are open 7 days a week Monday - Friday 9 - 5, Saturdays and Sunday 10 - 4.