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					  Volume 18, No. 6                      News, Advice & Special Offers for Bay Area Gardeners                  December 2004/January 2005


The Bay Area’s best holiday plants and trees
  If you’re ready to decorate for the                 the cold. While you are sure to find     pink, peach, cream and variegated.
holidays, let us show you why                              poinsettias outside of your local     Our holiday greenery will wow you, too.
our trees, greens, wreaths,                                   drugstores and markets, our      Our wreaths, boughs, garlands, and
poinsettias and other sea-                                     points are pampered indoors     swags are fresh from the Sierra and
sonal plants are the best                                       where they belong. We          Cascades. Decorating your front door,
quality you’ll find anywhere                                    keep them well watered so      mantel, table, and window sills is easy
in the Bay Area.                                               they are in outstanding         with our wide selection. (See our decorat-
  Finding a fresh, well-                                     shape when you take them          ing and design seminars on page 4.)
       shaped Christmas tree is                             home. Selection is another rea-      Check our great gift ideas inside and
       easy at Sloat. We offer                              son to visit Sloat. Look for a     you’ll realize that a visit to Sloat this sea-
                                  easo
                                      ns Greetings!
                              S




      the Noble Fir, which                                  variety of colors to match any     son will be a rewarding, stress-free and,
      is known for its symmet-                              decor including red, white,        yes, a fun way to shop for the holidays.
    rical shape, sturdy branches and
            longevity. We insist that our
            noble firs are delivered the
                                                  Pump up winter color with pansies,
             same week they are harvested
                 and then on arrival we
                                                  violas and primroses
                                                     If you’d like to show some color this     these two winter standouts, keep in mind
                  quickly place them in
                                                  winter you can hit the tanning salon or      that they can also take on some pretty
                   water stands. (No wood-
                                                  visit Sloat and pick up some pansies,                        severe weather and will
                    en stands here.) The
                                                  violas and primroses.                                          bounce back quickly.
                     result is an ultra fresh
                                                     The winter season unnecessarily chal-                         They are ideal for full
                   tree that looks great and
                                                                 lenges some gardeners as                           sun locations in your
                       lasts through the
                                                                    they assume that nothing                         garden and can be
                        holidays.
                                                                     can replace their free-                        massed in beds, placed
                           The point
                                                                     flowering spring and                          along borders and
                          we’d like to
                                                                     summer                                    loaded into your favorite
                                 make
                                                                     annuals.                                 containers. They also make
                                about our
                                                                      While                    an ideal spring bulb cover.
                              poinsettias is
                                                                   it’s true                       Primula is the perfect choice to
                               rather
                                                                  that                            replace impatiens. A little less durable
                              poignant. It
                                                               there are                          than pansies and violas, these shade
                              seems that most
                                                  far fewer winter                               plants can take cover under trees and
                                  other stores
                                                  flowering annuals,                           shrubs or under an overhang. Their lovely
                                   that offer
                                                  there are some great                         flower forms and attractive foliage offer
                                 poinsettias
                                                  performers that will get you                 very pleasing winter color with reds,
                                haven’t figured
                                                  through the next three or four months        yellows, violets, and more.
                                      out that
                                                  with flying colors.                             Please check with our expert staff to
                                     these
                                                     Start with storm-proof violas and pan-    learn more about these plants and others
                                 Mexican
                                                  sies. While you can’t help but appreciate    that will keep your winter garden in
                         natives don’t like
                                                  the color range and prolific bloom of        bloom.
2 Sloat Notebook December 2004/January 2005

Cyclamen: Months of beautiful color for winter gardens
   Winter can be prime time for many              accents, bring color and beauty to shady     in nurseries were hybridized from this
Mediterranean plants as they awaken from          areas and much more.                         species.
summer slumber and begin to grow and                The genus includes 20 species of which        Rich color choices and interesting
flower. Cyclamen are a beautiful example.                                                                           flower forms give
This striking plant begins blooming in                                                                              gardeners some real
October and can continue its flower show                                                                            flexibility when utiliz-
through May provided the weather stays                                                                              ing these plants in a
cool. That’s an incredible eight months of                                                                          garden design. There
continuous flowering!                                                                                               are red, pinks,
   A member of the primula family                                                                                   maroon, and white
(although there is almost no resemblance                                                                            varieties and minia-
save one species), cyclamen are a cool                                                                              tures, standards and
weather performer. They can brighten              nearly all are found in the Mediterranean    some speciality varieties as well. Their
containers, fill beds with color, line walk-      basin. Cyclamen persicum is the most         variegated foliage is a great plus to the
ways, surround fountains and other water          well-known variety; most cyclamen found      overall appeal of the plant.
                                                                                                  Cyclamen are easy to grow and rela-
                                                                                               tively disease-free. They prefer light
                              Gardening Guide                                                  shade and are well-suited for planting
                                                                                               under trees and shrubs, which help
                                                                                               remove excess water from their growing
             December & January                                                                environment.
                                                                                                  They are tolerant of many soil types
               Plant                             Plant                                         but grow best in a well-draining medium.
                       Now’s the time to             Sloat’s fruit trees arrive at our         Plant them high so the tuber peeks above
                            choose from a        Novato and Danville stores in January.        the surface (do not cover it).
                              super selection    Select and plant a peach, apricot, apple,        Overwatering is the biggest threat to
                              of dormant         pear, cherry or other variety.                your cyclamen. They appreciate a good
                              roses so you           Continue planting roses and winter        watering but will rot if the soil doesn’t
                             can bank on a       annuals.                                      drain. Let the soil become nearly dry
                             beautiful spring        Plant berries including blueberries       between waterings.
                             and summer          and blackberries.                                When you consider that a single cycla-
                           rose garden.                                                        men corm may produce well over 100
                                                 Fertilize
                          (See page 3.)                                                        flowers, you might want to keep them on
                                                     Topdress roses and other tender
                              Choose an                                                        your holiday list and move them near the
                                                 plants with Sloat Forest Mulch Plus to
                  ultra- fresh Christmas tree                                                  top of your winter garden plant list, too.
                                                 conserve water and help minimize frost
    Neptune       and consider Sloat’s won-      damage.
  derful collection of holiday plants to
  decorate your home.                            Prune/ Maintain
      Plant trees now to help them get               Prune frost-hardy evergreen shrubs
  established. For a more mature tree, try       and trees. Giving them the proper shape
  one that is “balled-and-burlapped.”            and size will accommodate new growth
      Plant winter color now including           and help prevent winter damage.
  cyclamen, pansies, violas, and primula.            Cut back your perennials and
                                                 ornamental grasses.
  Fertilize                                          Continue to clean up winter debris.
      Feed trees and shrubs that are sus-            Weeds that start with winter rains
  ceptible to fungal attacks with a fertilizer
  such as Greenall Wintergreen.
                                                 go to seed in March and April. Pulling
                                                 weeds now before they go to seed is well
                                                                                               Our wonderful
  Prune/ Maintain                                         worth the effort and will signifi-
                                                          cantly cut down on their
                                                                                               rhododendrons are
      Apply dormant sprays and hor-
  ticultural oils to deciduous trees                      appearance in your garden.           ready to plant now!
  (including fruit), and to roses to                      Also use a pre-emergent to stop        Rhododendrons are truly at home in
  avoid overwintering pests and                           weeds from germinating.              the Bay Area and offer gardeners big
  diseases. (See article on page 6.)                           Now is a good time to           beautiful flowers on an easy to grow
      Winter is a great time to prune                     remove any plants that do not        plant. “Rhodies” grow best in filtered
  and clean up your garden. (See                          appear to be doing well in your      shade under a canopy of trees.
  pruning information on page 3.)                garden. Divide and thin plants that have        To learn more about adding these spec-
                                                 become overgrown.                             tacular plants to your garden, see us soon.
       Sloat’s Gardener’s semi-annual Reward coupon coming in january!
Talk about some beautiful new roses for 2005
   Perhaps you haven’t heard what hap-         will turn your head, too.                       hybrid tea has large 5-inch diameter flow-
pened when Sexy Rexy was crossed with             Check out Neptune, our second new            ers, dark, green glossy foliage and stems
Dawn Chorus over in Ireland, but the           introduction, if you love lavender with a              that are ideal for cutting. With
result was not Lasting Love. Fortunately       hint of purple and a strong rose scent.                  good disease resistance we can all
the result was something equally special!      (A picture is shown in our Gardening                         find room for this rose in our
   Rose planting season is here again and      Guide.) Destined for                                               gardens.
with it some exciting new introductions        greatness (and awards)                                               Finally, when you cross
that are fun to talk about and even             this rose has abundant                                        Sexy Rexy with Dawn
more fun to bring                                  blooms that                                               Chorus, you end up with a
home to your                                          arrive atop                                            very unusual floribunda called
garden.                                                large glossy                                Lime Sublime. Its greenish yellow buds
   Each year we                                         green leaves.                          open white and are accented by very dark
review the                                                  Neptune                            green leaves. It will light up your land-
offerings from                                                is a hybrid                      scape with copious amounts of luminous
the world’s                                                   tea rose that is hardier and     blooms. Lime Sublimes is great for mass
top roses grow-                                              more disease-resistant than       plantings and mixed borders.
ers and put                                                many other lavender roses.            These new introductions along with a
together what we                                             Lasting Love is described as      great collection of other Weeks bareroot
feel is one of the best                                 “richly fragrant” and a dusky red      roses have been planted up in containers
collections of new                             rose that will “overpower your senses.” If      by Monrovia for Sloat. They’re ready for
introductions and old                          you’re mouthing the words “bring it on”         your garden now. Plant them today and
favorites in the Bay Area.                     then we’re all on the same page! This           watch them bloom this spring.
                           This year we
                            have selected      Winter pruning time for trees,
                              roses from
                                 Weeks         shrubs and more.
                                  Roses, a        After the leaves of your deciduous           readily available in books and on the
                                     grower    plants and trees have hit the ground, it’s      internet, and/or attend one of our prun-
                                               time to pick up your pruning tools!             ing seminars (see seminar listings).
                                                  Winter is the time for removing dead            Four key tools that you’ll need are a
                                               wood, managing growth, shaping and              hand pruner, shears, lopper and saw.
                                     with      training, rejuvenating slow-growth, day-        Each tool serves a specific function. The
                                     over 60            lighting, cutting away                 Bahco brand tools that we introduced a
                                years of                  diseased wood, and                   couple of years ago offer incredible quali-
                           experience, some               more.                                      ty and durability (something that is
                      250 rose varieties                    A great many trees                          particularly important with cutting
                  under cultivation and a                and shrubs are best                            tools). The Bahco product labels
reputation for very consistent quality.                    pruned when they are                        will guide you in choosing the right
Weeks’ research department hand-polli-                     dormant, which is typically                   tool for various branch diameters
nates 50,000 flowers each year to produce                   November through February.                     and our expert staff can assist
250,000 seeds as part of an 8-10 year                        While trees are dormant, so                      you as well.
process to produce a just a handful of                       are the pests and disease that                       Pruning is not very com-
award winning roses!                                          might attack a pruning                             plicated and can be quite
   About Face is one of their winners and                     wound. In addition, with         gratifying. It is often best if you do it on
heads our list of four 2005 introductions.                     leaves of deciduous plants      an annual basis as opposed to waiting a
This grandiflora is winner of the All                           and trees out of the way it    number of years between prunings. It
American Rose Selection award and                                is easier to see branching    would be wrong, however, to say that all
features an inside-out bi-color combi-                            structure and make accu-     plants and trees benefit from annual
nation. The inside of the flower petals                            rate cuts.                  pruning. If a plant or tree is healthy and
is a deep golden yellow while the out-                                 Winter pruning is an    is fitting into your landscape, then an
side is a darker bronzy orange-red.                                 important skill for all    annual pruning may not be required.
Certainly the opposite of what is                                    gardeners. It’s an art       Sloat tip:
commonly found in bi-colored roses.                                   and a science, and can      The International Arborist Society
A vigorous-growing rose with                                           truly enhance the       advises that a tree can recover from
excellent disease resistance, it’s                                     health and beauty of    several small pruning wounds faster than
beauty and great attributes are what put a     your garden.                                    one large wound. So when in doubt,
medal on the shelf at Weeks headquarters.         Before pruning you should consult            make conservative cuts!
The name, About Face, really fits and it       some plant-specific literature, which is
                                                                                        Sloat Notebook      December 2004/January 2005 4

               Special Offers for                                                                      S l o at S e m i n a r s
                                                                                                    Attendance is limited. Please call ahead
          Gardener’s Reward Members                                                                to the seminar location to reserve a seat.
                                                                                                    Seminar fee is $5.(Gardener’s Reward
                   Coupons good January 1 thru February 1, 2005                                           Program members are free.)
                                                                                                         Indoor Plant Design
                                                                                               Interior and floral designer Cara Barnard
Beautiful Cyclamen                        Superior Rose & Flower Care                          will demonstrate ways to brighten up your
Save 20%                                  Save 30%                                             home for the holidays using indoor plants.
                                                                                                     Dec.5 - S.F. (Third Ave.), Sun., 10 a.m.
Fill your garden beds, containers, and    Bayer Advanced Garden 2-in-1                                How to Rebloom Orchids
more with dependable winter color.        Systemic Rose and Flower Care                        Glenn Smith, of the Marin Orchid Society,
                     Choose from our              This product does a great job of             will explain winter care and feeding to help
                       great selection                   feeding and protecting your           ensure your orchids rebloom.
                                                           roses against insects for           Dec. 8 - Mill Valley (Blithedale), Wed. 5:30 p.m.
                           of cyclamen
                                                                                                       Dec. 12 - Sonoma, Sun., 10 a.m.
                          standards and                   up to 6 weeks.
                                                                                                 Dec. 15 - S.F. (Sloat Blvd.), Wed., 5:30 p.m.
                        miniatures                          Try this large, 5-pound
                                                                                                              Tree Pruning
                        (fancies not                        container. Good January 1
                                                                                               Good pruning keeps trees healthy and
                       included). Four-                     to February 1, 2005.               productive. S.F. instructor Robert Broucaret
                      inch specimens.                                                          will offer pruning techniques to keep your
                Good January 1 to                                                              trees looking great!
               February 1, 2005.                                                                   Dec. 8 - S.F. (Sloat Blvd.), Wed., 5:30 p.m.
Reg. $4.99. Special $3.99                 Reg. $9.99 Special $6.99                                    Holiday Plant Decorating
                                                                                               Sloat’s staff will demonstrate great ways to
                                                                                               beautify your home for the holidays.
                                                                                                        Dec. 18 - Danville, Sat.. 10 a.m.
Essential Dormant Spray                   Top Quality Pruning Tools                                           Rose Pruning
Save 30%                                  Save 30%                                             Learning to prune your roses is essential
                                                                                               to maintaining their health and beauty. Join
Lilly Miller Poly-Sol                       Bahco Pruning Tools                                members of the S.F. and Marin Rose
Control over-wintering                      Simplify winter pruning by                         Societies or Sloat’s Sara Rey or Richard
pests and diseases on                       using quality tools. Save                          Avery to learn this important skill.
your deciduous trees                        30% on our Bahco Head                               Jan. 5 - S.F. (Sloat Blvd.), SFRS Wed., 5:30 p.m.
and shrubs. Ideal for                       Shears ((P5925), Lopper                             Jan. 8 - Mill Valley, (Miller Ave.), MRS Sat.,10 a.m.
                                                                                                    Jan. 9 - Sonoma, Sara Rey Sun., 10 a.m.
your favorite fruit and                     (PSL45), Saw, (JT-396)
                                                                                                       Jan. 9 - Novato, MRS Sun., 10 a.m.
ornamental trees and                        and all Bahco hand-                                       Jan. 15 - Kentfield, MRS Sat., 10 a.m.
roses. Good January 1                       pruners. Good January 1                              Jan. 15 - Danville, Richard Avery Sat., 10 a.m.
to February 1, 2005                         to February 1, 2005                                      Jan. 22 - San Rafael, MRS Sat., 10 a.m.
                                                                                                  Jan. 23 - S.F. (Third Ave.), SFRS Sun., 10 a.m.
                                                                                                      Jan. 30 - Larkspur, MRS Sun., 10 a.m.
                                                                                                      Japanese Maple Pruning
Reg. $9.99. Special $6.99                                                                      Arborist Julie Gates will demonstrate prun-
                                                                                               ing techniques for Japanese maples to
                                                                                               accentuate their naturally graceful form.
                                                                                                        Jan. 8 - San Rafael, Sat., 10 a.m.
Great Plant Protection                    Sloat Forest Mulch Plus                                Jan. 9 - Mill Valley (E. Blithedale), Sun., 10 a.m.
Save 35%                                  Reg. $6.99 Special $4.99                               Jan. 16 - Mill Valley ( Miller Ave.), Sun., 10 a.m.
                                                                                                        Jan. 29 - Kentfield, Sat., 10 a.m.
Cloud Cover                                                  Sloat’s Forest Mulch                Garden Design Do’s and Don’ts
                This popular spray                           Plus can offer your               Sloat’s Dustin Strobel, C.C.N.P., will show
                will help prevent your                       plants great protection           how to achieve harmony and order in your
               plants from dehydrat-                         from both cold and                garden while avoiding common pitfalls.
               ing during freezing                           heat by providing an                  Jan. 19 - S.F. (Sloat Blvd.), Wed., 5:30 p.m.
            weather. It is easy to use                       important insulating                 Spectacular Winter Containers
             and will pay for itself by                      blanket for roots. It             Discover how to maximize color in winter
             protecting your cold-                                                             gardens using our unique pottery and great
                                                             also has a powerful
                                                                                               plant selection with Sloat’s Dinah Sims.
             sensitive plants when                           soil enhancer which                        Jan. 16 - Larkspur, Sat., 10 a.m.
             the inevitable cold snaps                       provides nutrients for
                                                                                                      Helpful Houseplant Care
             hit. Good January 1 to       plant growth. This offer is good on our 2            Sloat’s Dinah Sims will reveal the secrets to
             February 1, 2005.            cubic foot bags. Good January 1 to                   healthy, robust houseplants.
Reg. $8.99. Special $5.99                 February 1, 2005.                                             Jan. 23 - Sonoma, Sat., 10 a.m.
                                                 Sloat Garden Center’s


                                  Holiday Gift Guide
                                                                                                                               unique
                                                                                                                               pottery




              roses
                                                             Garden art                                  holiday
                                                                                                         plants



                garden
                 tools



                                                                          gardener’s                           Give the gift of
                                                                           helpers                        great garden design
                                                                                                           If you are looking for an original
                                                                                                       gift that is sure to please any gardener,
                                                   books
                                                                                                      consider a garden design consultation.
                                                                                                      Sloat’s Garden Design Department
                                                                                                      offers hourly consultations to Marin
                                                                                                      and San Francisco residents to help
                                                                                                     create beautiful gardens, identify mys-
 wind                          citrus &                                                              tery plants, troubleshoot problems, and
chimes                          fruit                                                                much more. Consultation customers
                                trees                                                                receive a 10% off coupon good for one
                                                                                                     year on all plants and materials!
                                                                                                        For more information call 388-3754.


                                              Garden Gift Collections!
   Choose one of our gift
   collections or assemble
   your own!
   This year we’ve put together a
   number of special and original
   gift collections for you to con-
   sider. You’ll find the three
   shown here plus others that have
   been created by our staff.
   From a Jiffy Easy-grow
   Greenhouse with seeds and soil
   to a lovely Designs in Copper
   Hummingbird Feeder with Nectar
   Mix, you just can’t go wrong       Glazed pot, West County gloves,                                            Terra-cotta pot, Edna’s
   with our gift collections!                                               Duncraft Birdfeeder, bird            Best Potting Soil,
                                      transplanter, trowel, cultivator,
                                                                            seed and local bird chart.           California poppy seeds.
                                      Good bug-bad bug chart.
Ten Locations in San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma & Contra Costa
Richmond District           Novato                     Larkspur                         Mill Valley                         Danville
3rd Avenue between          2000 Novato Blvd. at       279 Doherty Drive between        657 E. Blithedale at Lomita         828 Diablo Road
Geary & Clement             Wilson                     Redwood H.S. & Magnolia          388-0102                            (925) 743-0288
752-1614                    897-2169                   924-7390                         401 Miller Ave. at La Goma          Garden Design
Sunset District             San Rafael                 Kentfield                        388-0365                            Department
2700 Sloat Blvd.            1580 Lincoln Ave.          700 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.      Sonoma                              401 Miller, Mill Valley
46th & Sloat Blvd.          just off Hwy. 101          at Wolfe Grade                   23566 Arnold Drive                  388-3754
566-4415                    453-3977                   454-0262                         (707) 939-9400
Visit Sloat on the Web: www.sloatgardens.com                                            Open 7 days a week 8:30 am to 5:30 pm

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   Great plants and great advice to help them grow!
6 Sloat Notebook December 2004/January 2005

Treat your sleeping trees and shrubs with dormant sprays
   Dormant sprays will not help your                inexpensive. Gardeners should begin                  diseases while Farbam Ultra-Fine Oil is a
plants have a restful winter slumber, but           spraying once the leaves have dropped                natural and effective remedy for dealing
they will allow them to wake and grow               from their plants and conclude their treat-          with over-wintering insect eggs such as
come spring without being damaged by                ments in spring prior to any buds opening.           aphids and mites.
pests and diseases!                                    Three products with some overlapping                If you use dormant sprays this winter,
   Dormant sprays are fine oils or fungi-           capabilities to consider are Lily Miller             you’ll find that a few ounces of prevention
cides that should be applied to many                Polysul, Cooke Kop-R-Spray and Farnam                will not only be worth a pound of cure,
deciduous trees and shrubs during the               Ultra-Fine Oil.                                      but a few pounds of ripe delicious fruit, a
winter months. They offer an effective                 Lilly Miller Polysul and Cooke Kop-R-             few thousand gorgeous cherry blossoms
and economical treatment for over-win-              Spray are best for treating and controlling          and some very healthy rose bushes.
tering pests and diseases that commonly
plague fruit and ornamental trees as well
as roses each spring.
                                                    Time to add a tree to your garden
                                                          Winter is the time to add a new tree           ground, dug out and their rootballs
   From peach leaf curl on nectarines
                                                        to your garden. Planting now allows              wrapped in burlap. “B&B” trees are
and peaches to serious damage caused by
                                                         roots to get established before next            typically more mature than container-
overwintering mites, aphids and scale,
                                                           spring’s above ground growth.                 grown trees.
dormant sprays represent the proverbial
                                                                 Sloat’s collection of “B&B”                Adding trees to your landscape is excit-
ounce of prevention that’s worth the
                                                                          dogwoods, magnolias            ing and can have a dramatic effect. Please
pound of cure.
                                                                         and maples has just             consult with our staff for guidance on
   Plan on two or three applications
                                                                        arrived and our fruit            varieties, mature height, care, planting
spread over the dormant period. The
                                                                       trees are due in January.         tips and more.
sprays and oils are best applied with a
                                                                    Balled and Burlapped                    Note: Japanese maples will be limited
pump sprayer, which is easy to use and
                                                                (B&B) trees are grown in the             this year so shop early.
About this Newsletter: The Gardener’s Notebook is published bimonthly by Sloat Garden Center for the education and enjoyment of Bay Area
 gardeners. Information is collected from Sloat’s expert staff, current horticultural publications and Sunset’s Western Garden Book. Send address
corrections to: 420 Coloma Street, Sausalito, CA 94965.

				
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