Monday, November 28, 2011

Seeing Red!

The long cool, not cold, fall really gave way to some brilliant colors. Most are now gone due to wind and rain but I took a few photos of some of the best. These are all plants that we will have for sale at the nursery next spring and I have included a variety of Viburnum dilatatum called 'Cardinal Candy' that we are growing. Be sure to make note of your favorites so you can extend your season of color next year.

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
Dwarf Plumbago is a fast growing, deciduous ground cover that will adapt to full sun, part sun or full shade. It grows to a height of 10 inches and can spread by underground runners to at least 2 feet wide. Its bronzy green leaves set off the intense, half inch blue flowers that appear in July and last until first frost. As you can see this perennial has gorgeous red fall color. It is cold hardy to 20 below and depending on the location is a low to moderate water user.

Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Karmina"
This true geranium is a nearly evergreen perennial groundcover that grows to 8-10 inches high but spreads by underground rhizomes to 2-3 feet wide.The late spring/early summer 1-2 inch flowers are lavender pink and are borne on stems above the foliage. It is hardy to 20 below zero and would be happy planted where it gets at least some afternoon shade. The red fall and winter foliage is an added bonus to this deer resistant plant.

Euonymus alata 'Compacta
A moderate growing deciduous shrub whose claim to fame is its brilliant red autumn color is Dwarf Burning Bush. It will reach a mature height and width of 4-6 feet. Its leaves are dark green and the branches have corky wings. Cold hardy to 30 below zero it makes a good informal hedge or accent plant.

Nandina domestica
Heavenly Bamboo is not a true bamboo at all but is given that common name due to the canelike stems and lacy foliage. This evergreen shrub is a moderate grower and will reach 4-6 feet tall and 3 feet wide. It has red berries in the fall and colored foliage that lasts through winter. Hardy to 10 below it is a low water plant that will adapt to full sun or full shade but colors better in the sun. It makes a good screen or specimen.

Rosa rugosa
The Rugosa Rose comes in several cultivars. All are cold, wind and drought tolerant and resistant to insects and diseases. The flowers are very fragrant and it produces large hips. This deciduous rose will grow to 6 feet tall and wide and turns a lovely golden in the fall. It is striking paired with the Dwarf Burning Bush. Because of the prickly stems it makes a impenetrable barrier.

Viburnum dilitatum 'Cardinal Candy'
This relative of the Snowball Bush is one of the Proven Winners shrubs that we are growing this year. The scarlet red fall and winter berries of this Viburnum are a wild bird favorite. It will grow at a moderate rate to a 4-5 foot rounded shrub. Lacy, white, 5 inch clusters of small flowers appear in early summer. The 2-3 inch leaves are grayish green with a dusky underside. This is a very cold hardy plant that grows in full sun or part shade and can be planted as a specimen or in mass as a hedge or border.

Pyrus calleryana 'Bradford'
The Bradford Flowering Pear is one of my favorite trees for its year round interest. Showy white spring flowers followed by glossy, dark green, roundish leaves and spectacular gold, orange, purple and red fall color. In winter its rounded crown is still appealing and makes a great perch for birds. This deciduous tree is a moderate to fast grower up to 35 feet high by 25 feet wide, and a moderate water user.  It is cold hardy to minus 20 and can be planted as an accent or for shade. It produces no edible fruit.

This is a short list of the best plants for our area that will provide you with an autumn full of vibrant colors!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


As I mentioned last month, having a seasonal business allows us some good vacation time and no matter where we go or what we do it is really the light at the end of the tunnel every year. This year we went to France and for those of you who know us well know Steve and I are total Francophiles. Any chance we get, we go! This year we walked in Burgundy for 5 days and then rented an apartment in Paris for a week. It was fabulous. I would highly recommend both itineraries. The walk was on a route called the  Voie Verte  and it is a black-topped lane that replaced old railroad tracks. We rambled through farmland, pastures full of Charlois munching the greenest grass I've seen in a while and of course centuries old vineyards. The views of small villages perched on hills with a castle or church steeple peeking out were truly magnificent. We back-packed from town to town and drank local wine and kir and ate regional specialties like Bouef Bourguignon, Ouefs Meurette, Coc au Vin and Gougeres. In a somewhat work related event we visited the Chateau Cormatin and its formal gardens. The Chateau was built in the 17th century, fell into disrepair and was rescued and returned to its former glory in 1980. Formal gardens are really a thing of beauty. Just the control over nature is inspiring. Two-foot tall espaliered apples, rows of rounded lavender, squared hedges, pollarded trees, perfect rows of everything and of course Boxwood trimmed into various shapes.
Here are a few photos of the garden and if you get inspired, we will have Boxwood for sale next spring!

Paris was great! The food, the museums, the architecture, the Metro, the people and our little apartment was the perfect respite after a long day. We found this American based rental company Vacation in Paris through Judy Williams and are forever in her debt. The prices are in dollars so you don't have to worry about the fluctuating Euro, they mailed us the key before we left, there were no hidden fees, and the apartment was clean and about the same cost as a hotel room while being much larger and last but not least we had this killer view!

Hope you enjoyed this quick trip to France...we sure did!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Until 2012

The nursery is now closed until March 27th, 2012. Thanks to everyone for a very successful season. We have signed another two year lease and purchased a greenhouse (which we put up at home) from some friends who bought it from us when we closed in 2006. Thanks Mary & Ken for storing it for us for the last 5 years! This seasonal business has turned out to be the way to go. It affords us some good down time to catch up on all of the things we don't have time for April-September, allows for a vacation and permits us to do something we really both enjoy...growing! Good commercial growers that only sell to independent garden centers are getting fewer and their quality is waning as they try to keep up with the demands of big box stores. As the saying goes "If you want something done right, do it yourself". We have taken pleasure in growing some usual and unusual perennials these last few years and they have been well received so we are now branching out (pun intended) to shrubs. In response to our customers' wants we have chosen new shrubs that are cold hardy, with showy flowers or fall color or both. Since Grant County is a favorite for birders we have also included many bird friendly plants that supply good coverage as well as berries for food. We are also growing some old favorites like Butterfly Bushes, Spiraea and Rose of Sharon. By growing these things we can keep quality high and prices fair which are two things that mean a lot to us. We have never been concerned about what other businesses in town do, we only try to do what WE do well. I'll be sharing some of these new shrubs with you throughout the next few months.

If you have any gardening questions while we are closed leave a comment here, email me at or call 956-3159. Thanks again for your patronage. Have a great winter and we will see you Tuesday, March 27th, 2012.

Friday, September 23, 2011

End of the Season Sale!

Our sale begins at 9:00 on Saturday, September 24th, 2011 and will continue until we close for the season on September 30th. ALL PLANTS ARE 50% OFF AND ALL POTTERY IS 20%OFF. Come early for the best selection!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

They're Here!

Pansies, Violas, Snaps, Stock, Mums, Lettuce, Spinach, Broccoli, Cabbage, Pak Choi and  Brussels Sprouts.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 2011

Plant cool season crops. As I type this it doesn't seem all that cool nevertheless it is time to plant lettuce, spinach, broccoli, carrots, radishes and other vegetables that like to mature during cooler weather. As you know we have 2012 Lake Valley Seed, their organic line and Pagano seeds to help you get started. We will have plants soon. Pansies and Violas are also cool season plants that you cam put in when your marigolds, vinca and other warm season annuals begin to fade or just when you need a change. They will last through a normal  winter. Last year some made it and some didn't in my minus 8 yard. Keep checking back or for you subscribers, I'll let you know as soon as theses plants land. Improve your pots with Uni-Gro Potting Soil and your beds with Back to Earth Compost.

Apply a winterizer fertilizer. This should be done after the first frost so it will probably be a late October chore, but since we close September 30th you will need to get this fertilizer soon. You will want to use Gro-Power 3-12-12. This fertilizer is low in nitrogen but high in phosphorus and potash. Nitrogen promotes green growth which can be damaged by freezing temperatures. Phosphorus increases winter hardiness and stimulates healthy root growth. Since this is the time of year that plants naturally do the majority of their root growth, using this fertilizer will get them off to a good start next spring. Potash or potassium produces strong, hardy stems and trunks, promotes disease resistance and also increases winter hardiness. The Gro-Power 3-12 12 contains 7% humic acid which encourages beneficial microorganisms in your soil. It also includes sulphur to help bring the alkalinity of our soil down and several micronutrients that act as catalysts for the primary chemicals. Use this fertilizer at a rate of 2 pounds per 100 square feet of lawn or bed area and 2 tablespoons per foot of height or width for trees and shrubs. One cup will fertilize an 8 foot tree. Lightly work the fertilizer into the soil around the root area and water thoroughly.

Subsribe to our blog. If you are here reading this blog you are interested in Silver Heights Nursery. If you haven't subscribed to our blog, please do so. It is the only way you will be able to read our monthly newsletter, find out about new arrivals and learn when our sales are as soon as I post it. You will not be bothered by any other emails. You will only get new posts from Silver Heights Nursery. Simply go to the Subscribe Via Email on the right hand side of the blog, enter your email address and click on Subscribe. You will then receive an email from Feed Burner asking if you do want to subscribe and you need to respond to that email to be signed up for all of our updates. You can sign other people up as well but they have to respond to the Feed Burner email to activate their subscription. If you are a subscriber and are happy with it please tell your fellow gardeners! 

Chaenomeles japonica 'Super Red'. 'Super Red' Flowering Quince is a deciduous shrub that is one of the first plants to bloom in the spring. The 2 inch, bright red flowers appear on leafless, thorny branches. The budded branches which have an oriental feeling can be cut and brought indoors to bloom. The new leaves are tinged red and mature to a shiny green. Since this shrub blooms on new wood it is important to prune it to a pleasing shape during bud and bloom season or after flowering. As a moderate grower it can reach 6-8 feet tall and wide and is cold hardy to 20 degrees below zero. This shrub attracts birds with good lower branching, its flowers and the greenish-yellow quince-like fruit it produces. Plant it as a hedge, as a barrier in front of a window or a specimen.
Chaenomeles japonica 'Super Red'

Thursday, August 18, 2011

2012 Lake Valley Seed Has Arrived!

Our 2012 Vegetable, Herb and Flower Seeds are here! All of Lake Valley's Seed is untreated and there are no GMO's (genetically modified organisms). This cannot be said of most of the "big name" brands. We also carry their organic line of Herb and Vegetable Seed. This year we are trying out Pagano Seeds. This company was founded in 1925 in Scafati, Italy and its seeds are imported exclusively by Lake Valley Seed. There are some favorite Mediterranean varieties of Herbs and Vegetables that have been selected for performance in US gardens. Arugula, Cannellino Beans, Capers, Corno Di Toro Peppers, Cipolla Onions and Asparagus are just a few of the choices. So if you are starting some fall veggies from seed, we have carrots, beets, lettuce, spinach and many others. Keep in mind that we do not open until April so if there are things you will need to start earlier than that you can get those now too. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

August 2011 and Tree Sale!

Come to our AUGUST TREE SALE!!! Yes, for those of you who were going to wait until our end of the season sale, wait no longer! All of our fruit, shade, flowering and evergreen trees are 20% off through the month of August. No, we will not be getting in any more trees until next year but we still have many good varieties left. Stop by, take advantage of our sale and plant a tree in August. 

Control snails. I am somewhat surprised that people are seeing snails this year as dry as it has been however they are here. Maybe not in the numbers they were last year but doing their damage none the less. These little creatures hide out under garden debris and other shady areas during the heat of the day and come out to dine on your plants when it's cool. They have toothlike jaws that eat holes in your plants' leaves and flowers. To control them start by clearing out their hiding areas. You can fill shallow containers with beer or a little yeast and sugar mixed with water and this will lure the little lushes in to drown. Happy, but dead. There is also an organic product called Sluggo. This product, which we sell, is simply iron phosphate with a bait additive. It is very effective and after eating the bait, slugs and snails will stop feeding, become less mobile and begin to die within three to six days. It is OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) registered and can be applied at a rate of 1 lb per 1000 square feet or 1 teaspoon per square yard. It is safe to use around pets, wildlife and homo sapiens.

Sedum. The sedums that we carry are among the hardiest succulents and their small flowers are starlike in large clusters borne on stems above the foliage. They are useful as a ground cover, in a rock garden, along a walkway or cascading over a stone wall. Sedum 'Coral Reef' has very round deep green leaves with rosy-bronze tips and yellow flowers in early summer. Sedum spurium 'Dragon's Blood' has scalloped-edged and red-tinged foliage that turns completely red in the fall. Its blooms are red and appear summer into fall. This same species has another cultivar 'Red Carpet' which has bronze and green leaves and red flowers in the summer. Also in this species is 'Tricolor' that blooms throughout the summer with soft pink flowers and has, as its name implies, white, pink and green foliage. Sedum 'Blue Spruce' has a very different leaf than the previous sedums. It actually looks like the gray-green needles of a Blue Spruce and its summer blooms are yellow. All of these evergreen perennials will grow to 3-4" tall and 1-2' wide, are hardy to at least 30 degrees below zero, drought tolerant and should be planted in full or half a day of sun.

'Coral Reef'

'Blue Spruce'

We still have lots of beautiful, reasonably priced glazed pottery, Back to Earth Compost, Uni-Gro Potting Soil, shrubs, perennials and fertilizers. Don't forget we will be getting a truckload of Pansies, Violas, Mums and Cool-Season Veggies in September...just in time for fall planting!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Our 2011 Lake Valley Seeds are half price from Tuesday, July 12th through Saturday, July 23rd. We still have Herb, Flower and cool season Vegetable seeds available. Most seeds are viable for several years, so take advantage of this sale now!

Friday, July 1, 2011

July 2011

Control blossom-end rot. We have had a lot of questions concerning blossom-end rot this season so I will try to explain it so you have a better idea of how to prevent it. Blossom-end rot affects the fruit of tomatoes, peppers, squash and other vegetables and first appears as a brown discoloration on the blossom end of the fruit. The spot will enlarge as the fruit grows, becoming sunken and leathery with age. Bacteria can invade the tissue resulting in a black and watery appearance. This affected portion of the fruit can be cut off and the remaining part still eaten. Blossom-end rot is not a disease or a virus so it is not passed through the soil or spread by insects. This disorder is caused by a deficiency of calcium as a result of the plant's inability to take up this necessary element that is usually present in our soil. This can occur due to 1) excess nitrogen, magnesium, potassium or sodium fertilization, 2) very wet or very dry conditions, 3) high salts, 4) a combination of the above causes. To control this condition mulch with organic matter to keep roots evenly moist and do not over-fertilize. Nitrogen fertilizer should only be applied to keep a normal green color and maintain moderate growth. Use organic fertilizers such as Yum Yum Mix, Peace of Mind or Chickity Doo Doo and never use chemical fertilizers that have a high salt content such as Miracle-Gro. If you follow these simple rules you won't have a problem with blossom-end rot. Bon Appetit!

Control Insects. I think I covered this subject pretty comprehensively last July. Here is the link July 2010.

Coreopsis species. When most people think of Coreopsis they think of those bright yellow flowers with slightly hairy narrow leaves that reseed freely in your garden. I am here to share two very different Coreopsis with you; Coreopsis verticillata 'Sienna Sunset' and Coreopsis rosea 'Heaven's Gate'. Although they are different species these two new Coreopsis have some similar traits. The leaves are fern-like and both will reach 1-1.5' tall and wide. From June until September flowers cover the stems with 1 1/2 inch, 8 petaled blooms that are good for cutting and bringing indoors. The differences are that the flower of 'Sienna Sunset' is burnt sienna fading to a salmon orange and it is more drought tolerant than 'Heaven's Gate' which has a light pink blossom with a rosy eye. Enjoy these perennials planted in masses, borders or pots in full sun or half a day of shade and know that even in a harsh winter they are hardy to 20 degrees below zero.
'Sienna Sunset'

'Heaven's Gate'
We got in our last trucks until September and are loaded with annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs and vines. Now that it looks as though it may rain it would be a great time to plant! In September we will get in a truckload of pansies, violas, snapdragons, mums and cool season veggies.

We have also just received another shipment of glazed, cold tolerant, Chinese pottery in beautiful shades of blue, green and brown.

As always we have our Back to Earth Compost (great for mulching), Uni-Gro Potting Soil, Composted Cattle Manure, Top Soil, Fox Farm Fertilizers, Yum Yum Mix, Chickity Doo Doo and a variety of organic pesticides and fungicides.

Do a rain dance and come and see us soon!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June 2011

Water. Water. Water. I really can't remember when we last had a good rain or even snow for that matter...was it December 31st? Watering in June is a real time sponge but very necessary.  Watering correctly is even more important. So here are some watering thoughts. The purpose of watering is to hydrate the roots so that they can hydrate the stems, trunks and leaves of plants. When you water you need to think about soaking the entire root area and slightly beyond. This will encourage root exploration and production. When watering any landscape plant you need to water out to the dripline. That imaginary line where (imaginary) rain would fall from the branches or outermost leaves. If you have a well or basin around your plants to hold the water this needs to be enlarged as the plant grows.

Never shallow water or water everyday as this will cause shallow rooting and the plant will only be able to survive from day to day. I have heard many times that a plant has been in the ground for several years and not grown. When I ask about watering the answer is almost always that they water everyday. In order for a tree or shrub to get new top growth it needs new root growth to support that new top growth. By shallow watering everyday you don't encourage any new root growth.

Overwatering is just as bad as underwatering. Plants need to go through a cycle of wetting and drying. Too much water will deprive the plant's roots of necessary oxygen and too little will kill the roots. Check your plants daily for their water needs when first planted and less often once they become established by digging down in the soil an inch or two and, if it is dry, water thoroughly. Even "drought tolerant" plants need to be checked and watered accordingly. They just tend to need it less often.

Plants do 80% of their root growth in late summer, fall and WINTER! It is especially important to keep them hydrated year round. They will obviously not need to be watered as often during cooler months as they do in June but they still need to be checked for their needs. I have had many customers over the years tell me that a tree has leafed out in spring just fine and then when the hot weather hit it died. The cause of this was lack of winter moisture. Because Mother Nature didn't provide any winter moisture and they failed to provide some, roots were damaged and the tree had enough root to survive the cooler weather in the spring but didn't have enough root to supply the tree once it got hot.

Last but not least don't water the foliage of plants, only the root area. Watreing leaves can scorch them if done in the hot sun and it also encourages diseases like powdery mildew. The exception to this rule is evergreens such as Pines, Junipers and Arborvitae. They can benefit from being hosed down when you water them as they tend to get spider mites which like hot, dry conditions.

 I hope this clears up some misconceptions about watering and helps you create a healthy environment for your landscape plants. 

Lysimanchia atropurpurea. I was introduced to the Loosetrife 'Beaujolais' in my friend and fellow gardener, Vivian Savitt's garden last June. I knew this perennial was so striking we had to grow it and we now have it available at the nursery. 'Beaujolais' forms mounds of gray, slightly ruffled long leaves spreading to 24" wide. In summer, arching spikes of burgundy flowers appear 24-36" tall. This plant is very cold hardy at 20 to 30 degrees below zero and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. We have been growing them in full sun at our home nursery and they seem to be doing fine but in Vivian's garden they were in part shade and blooming very well. I think this Loosestrife is a must for any perennial garden.

By popular demand we are once again carrying Yum Yum Mix. It is a premium blend of eight natural ingredients that feeds the soil that feeds your plants. It improves soil tilth, moisture retention, plant vigor and stress resistance. Used regularly it helps create a balanced pH and a naturally fertile soil. Perfect for trees, shrubs, perennials, vegetables, annuals and lawns. Use 1-4 pounds per 100 sq. ft. Yum Yum Mix does not contain any animal ingredients.

We are selling tickets for the Evergreen Garden Club's Annual Garden Tour this year. This is always a great event. They support:
  • Mimbres Community Garden
  • Bayard Community Garden
  • Mimbres Valley Harvest Festival
  • Earth Day
  • Adopt-a-Highway
  • Habitat for Humanity and more
Go and have a great time!! It is on Saturday, June 18th. Stop and pick up one (or several) for only $5.00 a piece.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


These are the best looking, healthiest roses we have sold in 16 years!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rose Care and Fruit & Shade

Rosa. There is nothing like a rose to light up a landscape, perk up a pot or just brighten the face of someone you care about and WE HAVE ROSES! As you may know we just received a truckload of Fruit and Shade trees, Weeks and J& P roses and Monrovia shrubs. The roses are 10% off through Saturday, May 7th so get your Mother's Day gifts now! Here is a copy of our Rose Care Guide and although some think roses are fussy and hard to care for they are actually quite easy and satisfying.

1. CHOOSING A ROSE: There are several classes of roses. Here are a few of the basics to help you choose the ones that best suit your needs.
Hybrid Tea- These are the most popular bush type roses. They typically reach 3-5 feet tall and have medium to large flowers borne singly on a long stem. This is the classic cutting rose.
Floribunda- The flowers of this bush are usually smaller than a Hybrid Tea but in large clusters. These plants are shorter at about 2-4 feet tall. Floribundas make great flowering hedges or borders.
Grandiflora- These lie somewhere between their Hybrid Tea and Floribunda parents. They produce the flower of a hybrid tea in clusters like a Floribunda. The height is taller though at around 8 feet which makes them a fine background plant.
Climber- Most are vigorous Floribundas or Hybrid Teas that form long canes. You will need to tie them to some sort of sturdy support since they don’t actually “climb” by themselves. Climbers are useful on a trellis or espaliered on a wall or fence.
Miniature- Smaller versions of the above classes. Use them in containers, inside or out, as borders or ground covers.
Hardy Shrub- They are older varieties of roses before roses were hybridized and are very cold hardy, disease resistant and fragrant. The leaves tend to be more crinkled than a hybrid and some produce large hips. Expect them to get 4-7 feet tall and the most popular are Rugosa Roses. Use them effectively as a hedge or background plant.
2. PLANTING: Follow the Silver Heights Nursery “Planting & Care Guide” and, in addition, mix 1 cup Bone Meal into your prepared soil. After planting, sprinkle 1 cup Epsom Salts (the magnesium improves leaf color and vigor) around the root area and water in thoroughly.
3. FERTILIZING: A regular fertilization schedule can be started 1 month after planting. But do not feed after September 1st nor before May 1st. Use an organic or organic based fertilizer such as Peace of Mind Rose Food or Fruit and Flower, Gro-Power Flower n’ Bloom, Chickity Doo Doo or Fish Emulsion. Mulch year round with Back To Earth Compost for moisture retention and to protect roots from both heat and cold extremes.
4. PESTS & DISEASES: The best way to deal with these problems is to prevent them or catch them in the early stages. Keeping your plants healthy is the first step toward prevention. Do not let your roses become stressed due to lack of water or nutrients. Never use high nitrogen fertilizers that will cause rampant green growth which insects and diseases find very inviting. Plant your roses in full or morning sun so the leaves will not stay damp. Never water the foliage, only the root area. Keep the center of bush type roses “opened up” to encourage good air circulation. Remove debris, fallen leaves and buds from underneath your plants. Check your roses frequently for any signs of pests and diseases. Here are a few of the most common problems and solutions:
APHIDS & SPIDER MITES-Spray in the morning with a strong jet of water for three days, then treat with insecticidal soap if still present. Beneficial insects.
THRIPS-Spray with insecticidal soap. Beneficial insects.
BORERS-Prune damaged canes and seal ends with tree seal, nail polish or paraffin.
POWDERY MILDEW & RUST-Use sulphur or neem spray as a preventative and to deter spreading. Prune off and dispose of badly infected plant parts.
5. PRUNING: Major pruning should be done in the spring when the buds begin to swell. All pruning cuts should be made ¼ inch above an outward facing bud, at an angle sloping away from the bud. All removal cuts should be made at the source, leaving no stub. The basic principles of pruning bush type roses are as follows: Remove dead canes to the crown. Prune canes damaged by cold to a point where the wood is showing white all the way through. Remove any weak, crossing or rubbing canes and those that tend to crowd the center. Cut off any suckers coming from below the bud union at their source. Shorten any remaining canes by one third to one half. In general, Hybrid Tea roses should be pruned to maintain 3-6 healthy canes, Grandifloras as many as 8 and Floribundas 6-8. Miniatures are pruned in the same way as the larger bush roses. Climber’s laterals can be shortened to 3-6 inches. Shrub roses should only be pruned to shape when young. When mature, remove twiggy growth, very old canes to the ground and shorten other canes by one third. To keep roses fresh looking throughout the flowering season prune spent flowers just above an outward facing leaf with 5 leaflets. This is where a new flower will come from. To cut flowers to enjoy indoors, prune this way also.

Here is a list of the Fruit and Shade Trees with descriptions to help you decide what you want. All of these trees are reliable "tried and true" varieties for our area.

The fruit trees listed below will all perform well in the Silver City/Grant County area. Unless otherwise noted they are self-fruitful. The three fruit tree sizes we sell are: genetic dwarf reaching 5-7 feet tall and wide; semi-dwarf which is simply a standard variety that has been grafted to a rootstock that limits the overall size to 12-15 feet tall and wide; standard which can reach 25 feet or more in height and width. Sizes normally available will be noted with the description of the fruit trees. These trees are ordered a year in advance so there will be no more this year once they are gone. Please shop accordingly.
ALL-IN-ONE: Soft shelled with sweet kernels. Usually about 15 feet tall. Ripens late September to early October. USDA zone 7.
BRAEBURN: Medium, golden red, firm, crisp, sweet tart. Stores well. Ripens mid-late October. Standard. USDA zone 4.
GALA: Medium, golden yellow with reddish blush, firm, crisp, sweet, juicy. Stores well. Ripens late August to early September. Semi-dwarf & standard. USDA zone 7.
GRANNY SMITH: Large, bright to yellowish green, firm, tart. Good for eating, cooking, sauce. Ripens late August to mid September. Semi-dwarf & standard. USDA zone 7.

RED DELICIOUS: Large, bright red, crisp, juicy. Bears more heavily when pollinized with Yellow Delicious. Ripens September thru October. Semi-dwarf. USDA zone 4.
WINESAP: Medium, dark red, crisp, tangy. Stores well. Good for dessert, canning or juice. Ripens September to October. Standard. USDA zone 4.
YELLOW DELICIOUS: Medium to large. Golden, crisp. Stores well. Eating and cooking variety. Excellent pollinizer for most apples. Ripens September to October. Semi-dwarf. USDA zone 5.
CHINESE: Medium, golden, firm, fine texture, sweet, edible pit. Good for late frost areas and very cold hardy. Ripens late June to early July. Standard. USDA zone 4.
TILTON: Large, light orange, firm, flavorful. Excellent for freezing, canning and drying. Resistant to late frosts. Ripens mid to late June. Semi-dwarf and standard. USDA zone 4.
LAPINS: Large, dark red, firm, sweet. Known as a “self fertile Bing”. Ripens late June. Semi-dwarf and standard. USDA zone 6.
STELLA: Large, dark red, firm, sweet, good flavor and texture. Tree bears at a young age. Ripens mid June. Semi-dwarf and standard. USDA zone 5.
KADOTA: Medium, lemon yellow skin, amber colored pulp. Good for canning, fresh eating or drying. Ripens October into November. Standard. USDA zone 7.
CABERNET SAUVIGNON: Small, dark reddish purple to black, seeded, wine grape. Ripens late September to October. Vine. USDA zone 6.
CRIMSON SEEDLESS: Large, red, firm, sweet, good flavor. Ripens October. Vine. USDA zone 6.
THOMPSON SEEDLESS: Medium, greenish white. Good for eating or raisins. Ripens early August. Vine. USDA zone 7.
PAKISTAN WHITE: Fruit is ½ to 1 inch long, white to light pink, sweet. Non-staining since the fruit is white. Ripens June to July. Standard. USDA zone 4.
FANTASIA: Very large, freestone, bright red with yellow under-color, sweet, juicy, good quality. Ripens mid to late July. Standard. USDA zone 6.
NECTA ZEE: Medium, high quality yellow fleshed semi-freestone. Ripens in June. Genetic dwarf. USDA zone 5.
ELBERTA: Large, freestone, golden yellow flushed red where exposed to the sun, rich, sweet. Good all around peach for desserts, canning, freezing and jam. Ripens late July. Semi-dwarf and standard. USDA zone 4.
PIX ZEE: High quality yellow fleshed, semi-freestone. Ripens June. Genetic dwarf. USDA zone 5.
RIO OSO GEM: Large, freestone, red blushed yellow skin, firm, yellow flesh, red at the pit, great tasting. Ripens mid August. Standard. USDA zone 6.
STRAWBERRY: Medium, light skin with a pink blush, flesh is white, firm, aromatic, sweet, juicy. Old favorite of those who like white peaches. Ripens early July. Standard. USDA zone 7.
BARTLETT: Large, smooth, waxy, yellow skin with white, sweet, juicy flesh. Good for fresh eating, canning and preserves. Ripens August. Semi-dwarf and standard. USDA zone 5.
BEURRE D’ANJOU: Medium to large, green skin with yellow blush, white, fine favored flesh, delicate aroma. Excellent for canning and fresh eating. Ripens September. Standard. USDA zone 5.
GREEN GAGE: Medium, round, greenish yellow skin, very sweet, candy-like flavor. Fresh eating, jams and good home canning variety. Ripens July. Standard. USDA zone 5.
SANTA ROSA: Large, oval, purplish red skin with blue blush, firm flesh, yellow to dark red near skin, rich, pleasing, tart flavor. Ripens mid June. Semi-dwarf and standard. USDA zone 5.
SATSUMA: Large, dark red skin, firm, rather juicy red flesh. Excellent for jams and jellies. Ripens late July to early August. Pollinize with Santa Rosa. Standard. USDA zone 6.
WONDERFUL: Extra large, blushed red skin, flesh is rich, red color, juicy with sharp flavor. Good for jellies. Ripens September. Grow as a fountain shaped bush or tree, 10‟-20‟ tall. USDA zone 7.
AUTUMN BLAZE MAPLE (Acer freemanii „Autumn Blaze‟): Fast growing to 50‟ high x 40‟ wide, drought tolerant. Spring leaves emerge with a reddish tint then turn to a rich green with a long show of vibrant red in the fall. Works well as a street or lawn tree. USDA zone 4.
MIMOSA/SILK TREE (Albizia julibrissin): Fast growing to 15‟-25‟ high x 20‟ wide, drought tolerant. Umbrella shaped, tropical looking foliage with whimsical pink brush-like flowers in late spring. Use as a patio or shade tree. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. USDA zone 7.
EASTERN REDBUD (Cercis canadensis): Moderate growth to 15‟-25‟ high x 20‟ wide, drought tolerant. Beautiful rosy pink flower clusters line the bare branches in spring. New foliage is reddish purple turning to dark green in summer. Patio or small shade tree that attracts butterflies, songbirds and hummingbirds. USDA zone 5.

CHITALPA (Chitalpa tashkentensis „Pink Dawn‟): Fast growth to 20‟-30‟ high x 20‟ wide, drought tolerant. Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies to its large pink summer flowers. This is a cross between Desert Willow and Catalpa. USDA zone 7.
RAYWOOD ASH (Fraxinus oxycarpa): Fast growth up to 25‟ high x 25‟ wide, moderate water user. Dark green foliage gives way to deep red fall color. Makes a desirable shade tree that can be used near patios or walkways. USDA zone 5.
ARIZONA ASH ‘BERRINDA’ (Fraxinus velutina 'Berrinda'): Fast growth to 35‟ high x 35‟ wide, a drought tolerant New Mexico native. Golden yellow fall color. Tree develops strong central leader when young requiring minimal pruning later in life. Large shade tree. USDA zone 6.
GOLDEN HONEY LOCUST (Gleditsia triacanthos inermis 'Aurea'): Fast growing to 40‟ high x 25‟ wide, drought tolerant. Adapted to a wide range of harsh growing conditions. Very hard wood makes
it strong against our winds. New foliage bright golden yellow changing to green in summer. Many small leaflets are fern-like in appearance. Late to leaf out and early dormancy make it a good lawn tree. Not good in narrow spaces nor near sidewalks. USDA zone 4.
SHADEMASTER HONEY LOCUST (Gleditsia triacanthos inermis „Shademaster‟): Faster growing than the Golden Honey Locust, can reach 45‟ high x 35‟ wide, drought tolerant. Very hardy and adaptable. Good lawn tree but not near sidewalks nor in small spaces. USDA zone 4.
CRABAPPLE ‘PRAIRIFIRE’ (Malus „Prairifire‟): Moderate growth rate to 20‟ high x 20‟ wide, moderate water use. Beautiful dark red spring buds open to reveal pinkish red flowers. Foliage is reddish maturing to dark green followed by striking fall colors. Birds will enjoy the intermittent crop of small, red fruits. This tree is very disease resistant. Good for small shade, near water features or where you can take full advantage of the various seasons of color. USDA zone 4.
CHINABERRY/TEXAS UMBRELLA (Melia azedarach): Fast growth to 30‟ high x 30‟ wide, drought tolerant. Lilac colored flowers appear in spring followed by fruit that is poisonous if eaten in quantity. Rich green dense shade in hottest, driest climates. Golden fall foliage show. USDA zone 7.
FRUITLESS MULBERRY (Morus alba): The fastest growing shade tree for our area, 40‟ high x 40‟ wide, moderate water. Rounded tree with large maple-like leaves, no fruit production. Difficult to garden under due to heavy surface roots. Do not plant near your foundation, driveway, sidewalks or hard surfaced patios. USDA zone 5.
ARIZONA SYCAMORE (Platanus wrightii): Fast grower to 80‟ high x 50‟ wide, needs regular water during dry season. Classic climbing tree with graceful horizontal branching and mottled bark. These are the statuesque giants in the Cat Walk area. Winter interest from golf ball sized seed pods. USDA zone 6.
FLOWERING PLUM/PURPLE LEAF PLUM ‘KRAUTER VESUVIUS’ (Prunus cerasifera „Krauter Vesuvius‟): Moderate growth to 18‟ high x 12‟ wide, medium water use. Distinctive features include pink spring blooms backed by purple-red new leaves. Small scale, vase shaped tree can be planted in lawns, near patios or as an accent. USDA zone 5.
BRADFORD FLOWERING PEAR (Pyrus calleryana 'Bradford'): Moderate to fast grower up to 35‟ high x 25‟ wide, moderate water. Showy white spring flowers followed by glossy, dark green, roundish leaves and spectacular red fall color. Oval shaped shade or accent tree for all seasons. USDA zone 5.
PURPLE ROBE LOCUST (Robinia x ambigua 'Purple Robe'): Fast growing, tough tree to 40‟ high x 20‟ wide. Tolerant of drought and poor soil. Showy pink to purple flower clusters in late spring make it a stand out. Even with open form it makes great shade with long shadows. USDA zone 4

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Pottery

Just got in a new shipment of Chinese and Vietnamese glazed pottery. These pots are fired hotter than others and will go through a normal winter outdoors. Come in and see all the great shapes and colors. Great prices, too!

Friday, April 1, 2011

April 2011

Propagating a plant by dividing it into several individual plants, complete with roots and buds of their own, is called division. Most herbaceous perennials, those that die to the ground in the winter, will benefit from being divided every few years. Bee Balm (Monarda), Daylillies (Hemerocallis), some Sage (Salvia), Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia) and Coneflowers (Echinacea) are just a few that fall into this category. If your perennials have become overgrown, died out in the center or just don’t bloom as well as they used to, rejuvenate them by dividing now. Have the area you plan to transplant them to or the containers you will pot them in ready so you don’t leave their roots exposed for too long. Add 1/3 Back to Earth Compost to 2/3 of your native soil and a handful of Bone Meal to encourage root growth when planting in the ground. Use Uni-Gro Organic Potting Soil for containers. Start by digging up the root system using a trowel, spade or in the case of large clumps a garden fork. Shake off the loose soil and remove dead leaves and stems. Wash the soil from the crown so you can see the buds clearly. Divide the clump into sections that contain several buds or shoots and healthy roots discarding any old, woody growth. Replant and water thoroughly with a root stimulator to settle the soil around the roots. Since it as been dry you may want to water the plants you are dividing the night before you plan to dig them to make your job a little easier.
If your lawn was seeded or sodded on top of hard clay soil chances are the roots never developed more than a couple of inches deep. This means the grass will not grow very tall and it will need more water to keep it green, than if it was well rooted. Aside from redoing your entire lawn correctly there are a few steps you can take to improve your existing one. First remove any thatch buildup that is preventing air, water and fertilizer from penetrating the roots. Begin this process by raking as much of the dead grass out of your lawn as possible. If the buildup is really heavy you can rent an aerator. After you have raked or aerated apply gypsum at a rate of 10 pounds per 100 square feet. Water it in to loosen and condition the soil. The reason clay soil is so hard is that it is made up of a lot of very small soil particles. Gypsum binds the clay particles together to make larger particles and therefore more space in between them to allow water and roots to penetrate  easily.  In a few days add a well balanced organic fertilizer that will add good bacteria to help decompose above ground dead and decaying matter. You don’t want to add too much nitrogen (the first number of the analysis). Fish Emulsion (it stinks!), Seaweed Extract, Fox Farm Liquid Grow Big or Tiger Bloom, Granular All Purpose and Chickity Doo Doo are all good choices. You may need to repeat this entire process Spring and Fall to achieve maximum results. By continuing to use organic fertilizers and gypsum and by watering deeply you will encourage biologically active soil that promotes root development for a healthier, greener, more water efficient lawn.

Erysimum ‘Apricot Twist’. The wallflower that most people are familiar with is ‘Bowles Mauve’. We have had so many customers rave about it that I decided to try a new variety. ‘Apricot Twist’ will grow to at least 2’ tall and wide. The leaves are narrow, gray-green and form an evergreen mound. The lavender buds open to apricot-orange  blooms in clusters of cross-shaped flowers almost continuously but most heavily in spring and fall. They are members of the Brassica family which includes broccoli and the flowers are very similar. The wallflowers are perennial but may bloom themselves to death after a few years. To prevent legginess, trim it lightly after flowering, and cut it back by half in late summer. Fertilize regularly. This fast growing perennial will take full sun or part shade, is cold hardy to 5 degrees below zero and is drought tolerant once established. This plant will be available mid-month.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Mutilation Continues

Last year Taco Bell, this year Bright Funeral Home. They are doing their part (there are many more) to make Grant County ugly. Please don't do this to your trees. Please read this: The Mutilation of Trees in Grant County

This is a healthy, beautiful Sycamore.

This is what Bright Funeral Home did to their healthy, beautiful Sycamores.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Things to do in March

WAIT AND SEE. I have had a lot of questions concerning the survivability of zone 7 plants in light of the sub-zero temperatures we endured in early February. My best advice is wait and see. Some woody shrubs and perennials may have had their tops killed but will come back from the ground. I know my Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii), Photinia, Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina domestica) and Rosemary (Rosmarinus officianalis) are all looking a little iffy at this point. Herbaceous perennials, those that naturally die to the ground in winter may break dormancy later than usual. It all depends on the location in your landscape, if they were stressed from lack of water or nutrients and how much snow was insulating them when the coldest temperatures hit. So wait well into May before you decide to replace things and if you do end up replacing a lot of plants you should probably stick with zone 6 from now on.

THINK VEGETABLES. If you want your own warm season vegetables to transplant outdoors in May you will need to start them indoors now. Bigger seeds like corn, beans, squash and melons are best seeded directly into the garden whereas smaller seeds such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant do well when planted from transplants. The quality of the seed you use is very important. We carry Lake Valley Seeds. Their germination rate is very high, all the seeds are untreated and they contain no Genetically Modified Organisms. When starting seeds indoors fill a seed tray with good potting soil like Uni-gro, that drains well. (We had a large number of people complain about the poor quality of the Miracle Gro potting soil that Walmart was selling last year. Keep in mind you really do get what you pay for.) Plant the seed according to package directions and firm the soil gently. Since warm season vegetables need warm soil to germinate, place the seed tray on a seedling heat mat, heating pad wrapped in plastic or the top of the refrigerator. Keep soil moist using a watering can with a very fine rosette or misting with a spray bottle. Once the seeds have germinated they will need lots of light. A sunny window (be sure to move them away at night if temps are cold), heated greenhouse or fluorescent grow lights work best. When seedlings develop their second set of leaves it is time to transplant them. Using your fingers or a spoon dig up individual seedlings keeping the rootball intact. Plant them in 3-4" pots filled with potting soil. Water thoroughly to settle soil and fertilize regularly with Fox Farm's liquid Grow Big or granular Tomato and Vegetable. You may want to transplant these plants again into larger containers as they outgrow their pots. One week before you plan to plant your vegetables outside (our average last frost date is May 1st) you will need to "harden them off" or get them used to direct sun, changing temperatures and wind. Set them outside for several hours every day gradually increasing their exposure to the elements. Once they are ready for the real world plant them in your garden. Tomatoes can be planted extra deeply for maximum root production. You may need to erect some sort of temporary windbreak.  If you don't want to go to all of this trouble we will have a large variety of warm season vegetables available beginning in mid-April. When we open on March 29th the nursery will already have cool season vegetables such as Cabbage, Lettuce, Spinach and Broccoli in stock that are ready to be planted and our 2011 Lake Vally Seeds are here.

PRUNE ROSES. See Silver Heights Nursery MARCH 2010.

Monday, February 7, 2011


PRUNE DECIDUOUS TREES. This is actually a January chore but with this record breaking cold we have been preoccupied with freezing pipes, waiting for plumbers, hauling water from our "oh so sweet" neighbors, power outages and trying to keep a fire going. This high desert is nothing if not unpredictable. So it is the time of year (you are not too late) to evaluate your deciduous fruit and shade trees and see what, if any, pruning needs to be done. It is easy to see the shape of your trees when they are void of leaves. Pruning stimulates growth but this growth will be delayed until it warms in spring. Be sure that you have sharp clean pruning tools so that your cuts are precise and will callous over naturally. You will want to first remove any dead, damaged or diseased branches. Then prune off any limbs that are crossing, rubbing or heading toward the center. When removing a branch always cut it back to a place of active growth. This will be the trunk, another branch or a bud facing in a desirable direction.  Always prune slightly in front of the branch collar and these cuts will heal over. Never leave stubs as they will die back to a place of active growth inviting disease.  Removing any branches that are not heading up and/or out will allow air and sunlight to penetrate the center of your trees which increases fruit and flower production while decreasing insects and diseases. NEVER TOP A TREE!!!! A topped tree will either die because it can no longer supply itself with food or produce dangerous, ugly, weak growth. See The Mutilation of Trees in Grant County. Always plant  a tree that will not outgrow the space provided for it. Keep in mind that pruning is done to benefit the health and aesthetics of the tree. It is not something that should be done automatically every year.
PRUNE SUMMER FLOWERING SHRUBS AND VINES. In general, summer flowering shrubs and vines should be pruned this time of year. Again evaluate these plants individually to see if any pruning needs to be done. Buddleja (Butterfly Bush) does not need to be pruned until it has been in the ground at least 2 years. After that thin it by removing 1/3 of the oldest, woodiest growth all the way to the ground. This practice will encourage new growth and since Butterfly Bushes bloom on new wood this will improve flowering. Caryopteris (Blue Mist Spiraea) blooms on current season's wood as well. Cut it back to 1' and lightly prune after flowering to encourage another bloom. Cotoneasters  need little pruning just an occasional shaping. Photinia (Red Tip) can be shaped now. If you are using it as a hedge you can even it off or as an accent shrub prune any crossing, rubbing, dead branches all the way back. Hibiscus (Rose of Sharon) should have the old, weak, dead wood thinned out and to promote larger flowers cut back the previuos year's growth to 2 buds. Nandina (Heavenly Bamboo) will stay full and bushy if you cut any tall leafless canes all the way to the ground. Spiraea should have the older, woody braches thinned out. Most vines that flower in summer such as Campsis (Trumpet Vine), Polygonum (Silver Lace Vine) and Parthenocissus (Virginia Creeper) can be thinned and have the dead or weak wood removed. These are a few of the more popular summer flowering shrubs and vines. Spring flowering shrubs and vines should generally be pruned after flowering. Roses should not be pruned until the first few leaf buds begin to break in spring, usually late March. Prune the woody Salvias (Sage) after new growth starts in spring by cutting them back to active growth. If you have specific questions about pruning please leave a comment or email me at

Last but not least for those of you that read last month's entry about the winter sustainability of pansies:
4 degrees ok...minus 8...not so much

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Expanded Product Lines for 2011

We are very excited about the 2011 season at the nursery. Aside from fruit and shade trees, J&P and Weeks roses and a few Monrovia shrubs we have some new fertilizers and pest control products. By request we are expanding our Fox Farm fertilizer line to include Tiger Bloom liquid, their Ocean Forest Potting Soil and larger sizes of the liquid and granular blends. Another new fertilizer is Chickity Doo Doo in 25# bags. We had carried a chicken manure fertilizer at our old nursery and lots of people have been asking for it so we found this new one that we think is great. It has even been seen on Martha Stewart! Here is the link to the show... Martha Stewart Organic Lawn Care. This OMRI listed fertilizer is 100% chicken manure from layer hens and it contains no additives. It has a guaranteed analysis of 5-3-2.5 with 9% calcium. A lack of calcium is what causes blossom end rot on tomatoes and peppers so it is a good addition to our soil. There is no offensive odor associated with this product since it has been baked and sterilized. It can be used on lawns, vegetable gardens and all of your landscape plants. We will be carrying Gypsum in the 40# bags, Epsom Salts for roses and 20# Earthworm Castings. You will also find Orange Guard is back. It is an all natural broad range contact kill and residual repellant for ants, roaches, aphids and many other harmful insects and it smells great! The nursery will stock Coddling Moth Traps to keep the worms out of your apple trees, Grub Control that repels grubs with a blend of essential oils and Tomato Set. These are all in addition to the tried and true products we have always carried. So be sure to stop in starting March 29th 2011 for your gardening supplies.

For those of you who don't believe Pansies and Violas make it through the winter here are a couple of photos that prove otherwise!
January 1st, 2011 (4 degrees)

January 25th, 2011

I would have photos of our Kale as well but our Beagle ate it. Go figure.