Annie's Awesome Newsletter Archive

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And just like THAT ... it's time to think about

Ahhh Summer! How we love those long and langorous days, filled with the bumble and buzz of bees and the heady fragrance of some of our loveliest bloomers. With June just around the corner, RIGHT NOW is the perfect time to start planting for a bodacious Summer garden!

In preparation for this transitional time of year, we’ve pulled out all the stops and jam-packed the nursery with our favorite Summer to Fall bloomers – from fast-growing, long-blooming annuals to the juiciest, most desirous rarities we can only offer once a year. By the time those steamy Summer days come rolling in, you’ll be cutting bouquets and enjoying the evenings in your own Summer paradise – while all those Too-Late Tammys labor needlessly in the blistering heat! Yay you!

NATIVE BEES NEED YOU! FREE TALK with Sara Guerrero deLeon from U.C. Berkeley's Urban Bee Lab, Saturday, May 21!

Did you know we have more than 1600 species of BEES native to California?

Expand your bee vocabulary with Sara Leon Guerrero of U.C Berkeley’s Urban Bee Lab and learn how to recognize some of our most common local bee friends, as well as their favorite nectar and pollen-rich plants and how to encourage their numbers in your own garden!

One of the secrets is to provide a variety of floral food year-round. The more diverse your plant offerings (exotics AND natives, 10+ varieties) – the longer bees linger and are likely to return.

MERCI BOUQUET! Romantic Cut Flowers for Everyone! FREE TALK with our own Annie Hayes on Day 2 of our Mother's Day Party ~ Sunday, May 8 at 11 am!

Posies, nosegays, corsages - how we love them all!

Is there anything so pleasing and therapeutic as gathering up the garden's bounty and bringing it indoors? It's like taking an instant mood-elevator to the top floor!

Our own Gardener-in-Chief, Annie Hayes is all about cut flowers for the table and posies for sharing. In this fun and romantic talk on Sunday, May 8 at 11 am – just in time for Mother’s Dayshe’ll share some of her favorite, old-fashioned, fragrant cut flowers and how to grow them with gusto!

Grow the Perfect Tomato! Brad Gates, our favorite local tomato farmer, tells you how on Saturday, May 7 at 11 am!

Is there anything so delicious as a tomato, fresh-picked from the vine?

No watery, hothouse-grown grocery-store tomato could ever hope to compare to the sweet, bold, earthy, rich taste of a homegrown beauty. And here to tell you all about how to grow the BEST, most PERFECT tomatoes is our favorite tomato whisperer - Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms - on Saturday, May 7, Day 1 of our Mother's Day Celebration!

Brad has spent the last decade perfecting the art of breeding and growing outrageous tomatoes at his organic farm in Suisun Valley. Using heirloom genetics as a foundation, he's tested, trialed and introduced myriad new varieties with extreme flavor featuring bright stripes and beautiful bi-colors.

The Hills are Alive ... With Lupines!
Beautiful storybook blooms punctuate the garden!

Everyone loves Lupines!

It seems everywhere you go this time of year — up into the hills, walking along trails or even driving along freeways, Lupines are putting on their luscious, long-lasting, spectacular show. With attractive palmate leaves that seem especially designed to catch the morning dew and make it sparkle, Lupines are just as enchanting in the garden as they are in the wild.

Delicate and compact, densely bushy, fuzzy, hardy, even tree-like, Lupines are a diverse lot with over 200 wild species and many more hybrids to choose from – we can honestly say there's a Lupine for everyone!

KITCHEN GARDENS! Delicious, delightful, doable! Sage advice from edibles expert Cristin Fusano on Sat. April 23 at 11 am!

Kitchen gardens can be as pretty as they are functional; they don't require a lot of room – and can even be a well-curated collection of containers. The goal isn't to create a full-on farm providing food for the masses (although that's just fine, too), rather, French-style kitchen gardens are meant to be a sensual oasis filled with fragrance and spice, adding lively flavors and freshness to every meal.

Cristin will show us how to plan and plant our own year-round kitchen gardens and artfully mix vegetables, herbs, berries and dwarf fruit trees together for maximum impact and abundance. She'll share her favorite varieties, as well as tips for success, maintenance and harvesting!

Monarch Mysteries! Learn the secrets of Metamorphosis with Mia Monroe of Xerces Society, Sunday, April 10 at 11:00!

We are thrilled to welcome butterfly expert Mia Monroe, Site Supervisor of Muir Woods in Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Xerces Society volunteer on Sunday, April 10 at 11 am for the second day of our SPRING EXTRAVAGANZA!

Come learn the secrets to the monarch mysteries of metamorphosis, migration and the meta-importance of Milkweed – their sole host plant! You don't have to have a big garden to make a difference, just a few Learn how to not only bring the magic of monarchs into your lives – and your gardens – but also how to help this beautiful butterfly have a better future.

BEE FRIENDLY! Give BEES a chance with gardens that nurture and sustain! Designer and Author Kate Frey, Saturday, April 9 at 11 am!

We are thrilled to welcome back the fabulous and talented Kate Frey, author and top notch garden designer (two-time Chelsey Garden Show gold medal winner!), for a stellar talk about one of her most passionate subjects: Gardening for bees! Saturday, April 9 at 11:00 am - Day 1 of our Spring Extravaganza!

As bees the world over are struggling, it's more important than ever to plant bee-friendly gardens. For flower floozies like us, it's easy - so many of the same flowers that offer pollen and nectar sources to bees make US happy, too! And for fruit and vegetable gardeners, inviting nature's most productive pollinator into the yard can provide an impressive increase in yields and better-tasting produce.

Make Room for the Shroom! Learn how to Grow Delicious Mushrooms with Theresa Halula, Sat. March 26 at 11 am!

Join us for a fun and totally free Mushroom Workshop with horticulturist, permaculture designer and mushroom maven Theresa Halula on Saturday, March 26 at 11 am!

Come discover the fascinating world of fungi - and the important role mushrooms play in our environment! At this hands-on workshop, you'll learn how to grow easily recognizable mushrooms in the home garden using methods that are fool-proof even for the novice. Best of all, you don't have to worry about their edibility!

One and ONLY crop of EPIC Epiphyllums is ready!

Have we got a treat for you, gardening amigos! Our crack team of propagators has been on a secret mission over the last year and a half to build up stock of AS MANY of our ginormous-flowering Epiphyllums as possible. A daunting task for sure, since motherstock was limited and these babies like to take their time to root. So we are extra thrilled to announce (drumrolllll please!) that for the first time in nearly FOUR YEARS - our mighty foursome of peppy Epis are ready!

The embodiment of floriferousness, these crazy-cool cacti from Central and South America produce ENORMOUS and sumptuous blooms the size of your head. Really! With blooms easily reaching 10-14" across, at first glance, they look like massive Christmas Cacti. Surprisingly carefree, give them average to low water in loose draining soil and protect from frost - that's it! Best planted in a container that gives their long, flattened, evergreen, succulent branches room to dangle, be it a hanging basket or a pot. And fabulous news, cold-weather brethren - they make excellent, low-care housplants!