Annie's Awesome Newsletter Archive

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Aloe - It's Me!
Small Crops of Specialty Aloes are Ready!

Exciting News Dry Garden Denizens!

Thanks to the guidance of Aloe whisperer and all-around-great-guy Brian Kemble of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, we have mastered the mysteries of Aloe germination and have seven supremely special and unusual Aloes to offer! Quantities are limited, grab one while you can!

Packing a focal pointy punch wherever you need a bit of drama, there's room for a well-placed Aloe or two in almost every garden. Long-lived and architectural – they couldn't be easier to grow AND drought, heat and deer don't bother them. Many are just as happy in an appropriately sized container as in the ground and the hummingbirds think they're as keen as we do!

Rediscovering Annuals!


EASY and FAST, cheerful and bright, annuals are the glue that holds all of our gardens together here at Annie's. In fact, we can't even imagine our gardens without them!

Annuals were the first plants Annie grew on her apartment roof when she launched "Annie's Annuals" nearly 30 years ago and they have remained dear to her (and our!) heart ever since. Since then, we've opened our arms to growing all manner of perennials, bulbs, trees, veggies, herbs, grasses and everything else under the horticultural sun. But truth be told, annuals will always remain our first love.

Our BEST Tried-and-True Can't-Kill-'Em Favorites!

Do you know someone
who murders plants?

Let's face it, we've allllll accidentally under-watered, over-watered, under-nourished, over-loved, neglected or otherwise sent one plant or another to that great, big nursery in the sky. It's okay - gardening is a learning process. You can read and research all you like, but there's nothing like experience to give you the first-hand knowledge that's a hallmark of a seasoned gardener.

If you're looking for something easy-to-grow and hard-to-kill, or perhaps you're just too busy to overly dote on plants but still want to come home to a lush and bloomiferous garden at the end of the day. Well, gardening friends, have we got some plants for you!

Photographing Flowers with Saxon!

Join us for the third installment of our popular garden photography workshop on Saturday, July 22 at 11 am with Saxon Holt, one of the most respected and talented photographers in the garden world.

This year, Saxon will be focusing on photographing flowers in conjunction with the release of his new e-book "The Photobotanic Guide to Photographing Roses". Whether you shoot with a mega-pixel SLR or a smartphone, you'll get insight and tools you can use right away to take your garden photography to the next level. Read Saxon's latest blog post for a quick tip that can instantly improve your photos before even pressing the shutter.

Mint to Be - Plant Agastache Now!

Valued for their long-lasting vibrant blooms, stalwart nature and imperviousness to drought, deer, bugs and heat, "Giant Hyssops" offer a smorgasbord of sustenance for butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Hey, that's great! But there's more! You can make teas, jellies and sachets from their fragrant, minty foliage and brighten a room with their long-lasting 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.

Gardener tip! Agastache like well-drained soil and full sun. They'll live longer and be happier the less you baby them, so low to average water and average to lean soil is best, no clay please! If you plan on growing them as annuals or short-lived perennials, go ahead and indulge them with fertile soil and frequent waterings, they'll grow extra big and lush – a good option for colder climate gardeners!

Urban Herbalism!

We welcome back Sarah Sutton, Landscape Architect and author of “The New American Front Yard: Kiss Your Grass Goodbye” to talk about one of her favorite topics – healing herbs in the garden on Saturday, July 8 at 11 am!

Herbs have myriad uses for daily ailments like sore throat, upset stomach, toothache, headache, minor cuts and skin irritations – the list goes on! Come learn tips and techniques for growing, harvesting and utilizing various popular garden herbs, CA natives and even common garden weeds in your herbal medicine chest. Hands-on demonstrations and recipes included! Sarah will be joined by herbalist/naturopath Cheri Jaques, who has been working with herbs for over 35 years.

Make Monarchs Great Again!

August through October is the
height of butterfly season!

Consider this your friendly gardening public service announcement that NOW is a great time to plant Milkweeds so migrating Monarchs might find them in late Summer and Fall and lay their eggs among the leaves. A prized nectar source for many butterflies, bees and hummingbirds, Milkweed is also the sole host plant for Monarch butterflies and essential to their survival!

With a number of environmental factors impacting Monarchs in a very negative way – climate change, habitat loss and increased use of GMO's and herbicides just to name a few – it's up to us gardeners to help bridge the gap for Monarch populations. Planting Milkweed along their migratory routes gives them sustenance and a food source for their voracious babies when they need it most.

Summer Fruit Tree Pruning & Grafting Workshop!

John will cover basic tree ecology, anatomy, form and function and will give special emphasis to the difference between Summer pruning to control growth, tree size and "calming" the tree, and Winter pruning to stimulate old wood on established trees. Pruning to control pests and diseases, to improve flowering and fruitfulness and thinning to increase fruit size also will be explored!

As a bonus, he'll discuss custom grafting your favorite varieties onto appropriate rootstock – especially timely in Summer when you can take freshly pruned branches and use them as a source for grafting material! Whether you're a seasoned pomologist or planting your first fruit tree, John's extensive knowledge and passion will get you fired up about growing your own fruit!

Umbel-ievably Cool! Bee A Garden Trailblazer – Plant Umbels!

We tumble for umbels! With fanciful, flat-topped flower heads that lend a touch of lightness to the garden and robust, ferny foliage mounds providing depth and texture, these carrot-cousins (in the family Apiaceaea) are also wonderfully magnetic to all manner of pollinators and beneficial insects – especially butterflies! In fact, few other flowers feed so many with such little effort – with sturdy, upright stalks to four, six, even eight feet tall, advertising their perfectly engineered landing pads to every bee, butterfly and syrphid in flying distance!

We've got a great selection of some of the rarest and most unusual species in the genus available right now, just in time for National Pollinator Week! We guarantee you'll be amused by these floral snack stations and amazed by the antics of all the pollinators who visit! Bonus: umbels are tough! They may look delicate and magical in the garden, but they are long-lived, reliable and often drought and deer resistant. They make smashing cut flowers, fresh or dried!

Buckwheats and Ceanothus and Sages AND Manzanitas - Oh My!

Drought tolerant CA Natives have your back!

Join Garden designer and CA natives expert Pete Veilleux for a super fun and info-packed talk on Saturday, June 10 at 11 am about The Fab Four for Fighting the Summer Doldrums: Buckwheats, Manzanitas, Ceanothus and Sages! 

These four fine groups of California native plants provide a wealth of drought-tolerant variety and structure to your native, habitat, dry or cottage garden. Get to know a few of them and you’ll have flower power and provide habitat for all manner of pollinators, birds and wee fauna all year long!