Annie's Awesome Newsletter Archive

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Ode to AGASTACHE! Deer, drought, heat got nothin' on these toughies!

Ahh, the virtues of the genus Agastache are as long and as varied as the myriad ways we have of pronouncing its name! But whether you say "A-GAS-ta-key" or "Aga-STAK-ee" (heck, you can even call it Aga-STASH and we won't blink), there's a "Hummingbird Mint" for you!

Valued for their long-lasting vibrant blooms, stalwart nature and imperviousness to drought, deer, bugs and heat, "Hyssops" offer a smorgasbord of sustenance for butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. WHAT MORE CAN YOU ASK FOR? Well, you can make teas, jelly and sachets from their fragrant, minty foliage and brighten a room with their cut flowers. No wonder they're adored by gardeners far and wide – with several varieties hardy to USDA zones 4-6, almost everyone can grow them – especially as they make stunning Summer annuals where they're not hardy.

Join the MEADOW MOVEMENT! Learn the secrets of meadow making with grass guru John Greenlee on Saturday, June 4 at 11 am!

You don't have to live in the country or on an acre of land to make a beautiful meadow garden!

Any space currently inhabited by a lawn is a perfect place to start – as big or as small as you like! Join us and learn how on Saturday, June 4 at 11 am in an info packed talk by Master of Meadows John Greenlee.

John is passionate about helping homeowners convert their time, water and chemical sucking lawns into shimmering meadows filled with gorgeous grasses, bulbs and wildflowers that provide habitat for birds, beneficial insects, butterflies and bees! He's also the ultimate authority on grasses and he knows them like people: how they work, where they grow best, who they like to hang out with!


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.