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 Pre-Sorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid Intrec 420 Coloma Street Sausalito, CA 94965-9971 recycled paper Printed on 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.