Spring 2010 Newsletter

HARLEQUIN’S  GARDENS  2010 (download this newsletter as a pdf file, 254K)

Dear Friends and Fellow Gardeners,

Welcome to Spring, to Harlequin’s Gardens, and to another year of getting outside in the fresh air and sunshine and communing with the natural world.  The issue of health care seems very important this year, but what is far more essential to our well-being is having good health, having loving relationships, meaningful work, good food, clean water and air, and a peaceful community with a healthy economy. Right? And We The People can actually do something about these aspects of our lives by focusing on meeting our own needs locally.

One way to do that is by growing our food locally, even personally. We feel  surprisingly empowered when we grow the food we eat and share with others. We are enlivened by the vitality of food that is fresh from the garden. And eating becomes a delight when we taste varieties that are grown for flavor and food value rather than for shipping and cosmetic appearance. Transition Colorado is encouraging us to devote 10% of our food budget to local food: Twist my arm. Eve and I did that last year and were richly rewarded.

Locally, we will want to train ourselves to recognize energy and learn how to harvest it: from the sun, the wind, geothermal, the compost pile, from conservation, etc. Plants are efficient solar collectors that increase in size and value through our water and care. And plants have other economic values besides food and beauty. Cooling costs can be greatly reduced by siting deciduous trees on the south and west sides of our homes. In a NASA study in Atlanta, Ga., it was found that city parks were 7 degrees cooler than adjacent business areas. Windbreaks can protect us and our plants from cold and drying winds and dust. Plants also help create an environment with higher humidity, privacy and habitat for birds, butterflies and pollinators. And, of course, plants consume our carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. Here in Colorado we are so lucky to get the free energy of the sun in winter. Let’s harvest it. We can turn that sunshine into electricity or simply let it come into our buildings through glass and provide heat.

In our landscapes, we can learn to use garden products that are not made from million-year-old petroleum. We can use products that are made locally. As fossil fuels become more and more expensive, local food production, energy harvesting and community networking will become more and more essential. Bill McKibben states in his book Deep Economy that “…community, it turns out, is the key to physical survival in our environmental predicament and also to human satisfaction.” The more connections we have, the more we can serve and be served.

Of course, we have a conflict of interests here, but gardening is really good for our health, and it’s not just the exercise. More and more studies are showing that when people are around plants and caring for them, they have better sleep patterns, lower stress levels, decreased agitation and improved hormone balance. Nature has always been my favorite therapist.

So once again, Spring is dodging snowstorms and we, at Harlequin’s Gardens, are trying to lure you out to take home our plants and soil products, take in our amazing line-up of classes this year, and share the sun and the country and maybe a little fun.

.         This year we will be opening for the season on Thursday April 1st.  And remember: Now WE ARE OPEN 6 DAYS A WEEK, 9-5, and Thursdays 9-6, and only closed Mondays.

We believe that growing our own food and supporting local food production and local businesses is not just a fad.  We think it is a revolution for the common good and we have jumped in with both feet.  We will again offer Abbondanza Farm’s organic, locally grown and adapted vegetable seeds, as well as vegetable, herb and flower seeds from Botanical Interests, another great local seed company.  To meet your needs, we have further expanded our selection and increased our production of organic vegetable starts, including many heirloom varieties.  We’ll also have more seed potatoes, onion seedlings, herb plants, asparagus roots, rhubarb, strawberry and raspberry plants and fruit trees, all selected for qualities important to the home gardener and cook: superior disease-resistance, cold-tolerance and great flavor.  To see the complete list of our food and medicinal plants on our website, select ‘Plants’, then ‘Edibles’.

Last year we offered 15 classes at Harlequin’s Gardens, and the response was so positive that we went wild this year and added 12 more! For the many households new to the area or new to vegetable gardening, we are offering Seed Starting and Vegetable Gardening 101. To expand food-growing skills, we will be teaching Vegetable Gardening in Containers, Composting, and Chemical-Free Gardening. And we’ve  added introductions to planting by the moon, keeping backyard bees and chickens, and classes in organic lawn care, growing the BEST tomatoes, and seed-saving.  Check out our Class Schedule for the complete listing.

Just for fun, this year we are launching our celebration of World Laughter Day, initiated in Mumbai, India in 2008.  It is celebrated around the world on the first Sunday of May, so we are delighted that it will always coincide with our annual May Day Festival weekend.  Denver magician Stuart Hayner will amaze and amuse both young and old, Mikl will juggle (juggle what?) and our ducks  will, as usual, remind us to laugh heartily and laugh often!  Look on our Events Schedule for the Tomato Tasting we are hosting and co-sponsoring with the Boulder County CSU Extension Service and for our Solar Cooking demonstrations.

Much to our own amazement, we’ve also begun  a Harlequin’s Gardens monthly blog!  This will be sent directly to those of you who give us your email addresses.  Our blog will offer timely gardening information, notices of sales, new plant arrivals, classes and events, and  whatever musings and rambles we think you will enjoy.  We also urge you to help save trees by subscribing to receive our spring and fall newsletters by email.  Simply visit our website, click on ‘Subscribe’ and submit your contact and cross-reference information.

Our Soil Food Café will continue of offer organic amendments to help convert our difficult, compacted urban soils into healthy conditions to support organic gardening. In addition to the organic fertilizers, organic composts and great mulches (most from local materials), we will be making our own Compost Tea.

This year’s May Day Celebration will begin on Saturday May 1 when the Plant Sale begins (including a special members-only section) It will continue Sun, Tues, Wed, Thurs and Friday May 7th.On Saturday May 1 from 10-10:30 the Maroon Bells Morris Dancers will perform their lively, colorful ancient May Day dances, and at 12-1 we will be charmed by the harmonies of Coconuts Barbershop Quartet. At 1:30 listen to the sweet melodies of harpist Margot Krimmel.

Then on Sunday May 2: World Laughter Day– refreshments will be served and at 1:30pm Stuart Hayner will amaze us with his magic. Mikl may juggle. Then at 2:30 jig and reel to the Boulder Irish Session Band.

Great Thanks to all of you who became Members last year. The membership fund helps to maintain our growing demonstration gardens, buy engraved plant labels, and supports our development as a community educational resource. See new benefits, under Membership.

Our staff, our display gardens, and reference library are at your service, so please come out to visit us and try our Colorado-adapted plants. We think you will enjoy both the visit and the success of our plants.

April through September:

We will be open Tuesday through Sunday  9-5 (Closed Mondays only)

Thursdays open 9-6. From 4:30-6 Thursday Afternoon Club featuring mini-classes, mini-tours, demonstrations, live music and more: to be announced on our blog.

And in October we’re open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only, 9-5

We accept payment in cash or check, but no credit cards, please


Mikl Brawner

Eve Reshetnik-Brawner

A lot of people have asked us why we named the nursery “Harlequin’s” Gardens? The answers are on our educational website www.HarlequinsGardens.com, under About Us.


At Harlequin’s we are motivated not only to make money but to educate ourselves and you, our friends and clients, by testing and demonstrating sustainable gardening. We now have 7 demonstration gardens. This would not be easy even if we were a large company, because planting, weeding and watering display gardens is expensive and time-consuming.

So it occurred to us that if we used the “Harlequin Effect” to raise money, we could all get our benefits more quickly, and Harlequin’s Gardens wouldn’t have to go into debt. This story about Harlequin explains how this could work:

When Harlequin was young, he was invited to join his friends at the masked Carnival. But his mother was very poor and could not afford a costume for him. His friends were very disappointed that he could not come with them, but one of the mothers had a good idea. She gave Harlequin the scraps that were left over from making her son’s costume, and when the other mothers did the same, he had enough cloth. His mother sewed all the pieces together into the colorful patchwork that became his signature costume, and he was able to join his friends at the Carnival.

All along, Harlequin’s Gardens has depended on recycled materials, trades, word-of-mouth promotion, generosity, kindness, passion, service and other non-corporate building blocks to create our success. So the idea to finance our educational gardens and plant literature is MEMBERSHIP.  Here is our expanding current offer: Members will give us $20 for a one year membership and in direct return will receive these benefits 1) During the May Day Sale, members will get first pick of the unusual and specialty plants Mikl and Eve have propagated, which are often in short supply, for only $2.25 each. The following week these plants will be available to everyone at the regular prices of  $3, $3.50, and $4.  2) During the May Day Sale, members get 10% off roses (except quart size). 3)Members begin the Fall Sale one week earlier. 4) members will get a 25% discount on books all year. 5)Members will receive emails of ‘members only sales’, other benefits.

If you do not become a member, you will continue to get the same excellent plants and the same personal help in selecting the best plants for your particular situation.

However if you do become a member, your $20 will go to a good cause, creating botanic garden-like demonstration areas and educational materials not only for yourself, but for the community. If you like what we’ve been doing so far, help us to do it better.

You can become a member anytime you are at the nursery, or mail a check for $20 to Harlequin’s Gardens, 4795 N.26th St. Boulder, CO. 80301. We will put you in our Membership Rolodex.

Last year’s membership donations paid for hundreds of new labels in our demonstration gardens, and helped to pay for weeding, watering and planting in our gardens. THANK YOU TO ALL OUR MEMBERS!!!

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We will be offering dozens of exciting new plants and vegetable starts this year; over 1,200 varieties of perennials, 200 varieties of sustainable roses on their own roots, and a great selection of successful  shrubs and trees. Rock gardeners and lovers of natives and ornamental grasses will also be thrilled with plants you won’t find elsewhere


Provencal Thyme-great flavor, sweeter French culinary thyme, 10” shrublet, rare and wonderful, available this year

Turf Moss:Herniaria glabra ‘Seafoam’ tough yellow variegated carpet 1”-2”high, fast spreading, xeric; & plain green

Achillea kellereri-wonderful, non-spreading yarrow, white flowers, compact, ferny foliage, low water

Jasmine Dianthus-Dianthus petraeus noeanus-rich perfume, grassy mound 6”x24”, filagree white flowers, xeric

Papaver somniferum– beautiful poppies including ‘Lauren’s Grape’, Venus, Black Peony, Swansdown,

Geranium cantebrigiense-very tough, beautiful groundcover for dry shade or sun; 5” high, pink flowers, red fall fol.

Yucca nana-The true Doll House Yucca, minature evergreen 6”-10” high, white flowers, cute and tough

Digitalis mariana-perennial foxglove with reddish pink flowers; 12”-18”, needs less water; pt. shade

Veronica prostrata ‘Dick’s Wine’-creeping veronica with purple-pink flowers; 2”x24”; low water; rare, very nice

California Bluebell- vivid  gentian blue, bell-shaped flowers, long-blooming, takes dry soil, self-sowing annual

Dianthus ‘Tuscan Honeymoon’-grassy foliage, large pink flowers on top of 2’ stems, long fall bloom, tough, xeric

Reiter Thyme-Rich green 30” spreading, 2” high steppable ground cover; lavender flowers; for lawn, groundcover

‘Tough As Nails’:Paronychia-1” high groundcover looks like thyme but more xeric, lawn substitute?, white bracts

Papaver croceum-rich yellow poppies all summer, 2’ tall, low water, tough, wind tolerant and lovely

Mirabilis multiflora-gorgeous pm-blooming perennial Four O’Clock, rosy-purple trumpets, 18”x48”; very xeric

Allium caeruleum-gorgeous sky blue balls on 12”onion stalks. Allium christophii-6” lavender balls, xeric

Dracocephalum nutans-long-blooming biennial, indigo spikes of flowers; showy, long-lasting bronzy bracts, sun, xeric

Euonymus sp. Manhatten type evergreen shrub, Found in Boulder parking lot island, no water many years, 4’x4’

Pterocephalus depressus-scabiosa-like pink flowers on flat mats of crinkled leaves, xeric, feathery seed heads


Poppy Mallow-Callirhoe involucrate- Wine Cup flowers on low spreading stems, low water, native

Dianthus ‘Blue Hills’-outstanding very, very blue cushions, fragrant pink flowers, low and tight

Coral Canyon Twinspur-Diascia i.-coral-colored blossoms May to Frost, 16”x16”, Plant Select

Sedum cauticola ‘Lidakense’-wonderful purplish-gray foliage, intense pink flowers; for rock garden, container

Geranium c. ‘St. Ola’- wine buds open to lovely white flowers, 8”x24”, good in dry shade or sun, tough

Geranium ‘Harlequin’s Select’- very vigorous form of  G. sanguineum, 10” high, magenta flowers, low water, tough

‘Hall’s Honeysuckle’-super fragrant white flowers turn yellow on vigorous 10’-15’vine; not invasive here

Clematis: extensive selection of species and large-flowered hybrids, many colors; including

Clematis ligusticifolia-Native; masses of white flowers, ornamental fluffy seed heads, low water, climbs 8’-12’

Echinacea: ‘Sundown’, ‘Twilight’, ‘Harvest Moon’, ‘Rubinstern’, ‘Cygnet White’, E. purpurea, E.tennesseensis

Giant Sacaton-Sporobolus wrightii- very ornamental native clump grass, 4’-7’,  very low water, Plant Select

Salvia pachyphylla-silver aromatic foliage, blue and mauve flowers all summer, 3’, xeric, Plant Select

Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’-dusty red flowers July-Sept., striking, dark purple-red foliage, 15”

McClintock Pussytoes-very low, very neat appearance, good in walks, low water in part shade, silvery groundcover

Sedum ‘Angelina’-bright golden foliage, 6”-8” high, orange fall/winter color, very tough, spreading, xeric

Chocolate Flower-Berlandiera lyrata-Very chocolate scented yellow daisies, xeric wildflower, 15’x24”

Munro’s Globe Mallow-Sphaeralcea munroana-orange hollyhock-like flowers, 3’x2’; very low water, native

A Sampling of Native Plants from Boulder County Seed: Preserve our native gene pool!

Penstemon virens-2”x6”, short spikes of violet blue  flowers; shiny, dark evergreen leaves

Gaillardia aristata-yellow and red pinwheel flowers all summer, 10”-16” high, very xeric,

Linum lewisii-true native Blue Flax, light blue flowers, 8”-16” high, very xeric

Mentzelia decapetala-stunning large creamy flowers with ten petals, evening; 3’-4’, xeric

Achillea lanulosa-Native Yarrow: White flowers in clusters, aromatic leaves, xeric

Penstemon secundiflorus-bright lavender-pink flowers on 12” stems, bluish foliage, xeric

Ratibida columnifera-Prairie Coneflower; yellow or red daisies all summer, low water

Liatris punctata-purple-pink gayfeather, 12”-16” tall, late summer, xeric, butterflies

Phlox multiflora-short stems, lavender 4-petal flowers, delicate-looking, likes rocks

Townsendia grandiflora-Showy Easter Daisy: large 2” pinkish daisy flowers, 8”stems

Physaria bellii-low rosette of silvery leaves, yellow flowers early spring, xeric, rare

Organic Vegetable Starts: (See Edibles on our website for complete list)

Tomatoes: New for 09: (OP=Open Pollinated; indeter= indeterminate, deter=determinate)

Chianti Rose-80days, heirloom, OP, indeterm.Big rosy red, superb flavor,cool summers OK

Paul Robeson-78da, heirloom, indeterm. Maroon, prize-winning slicer, sweet smoky flavor

Black Cherry-75da, OP, indet., red-black cherry tomato; fabulous, complex heirloom flavor

Martino’s Roma-heirloom,deter, 2oz red paste tomatoes, superb sauce, no blossom end rot

Juliet-60da, indeter. hybrid; All American winner, deep red 2”, rich flavor,very disease resis

Old Favorites

Kellogg’s Breakfast-85days, heirloom, indeter.; big, meaty,bright golden-orange, rich flavor

Black Krim-70-80days; ½ lb striking dark, delicious, intense flavor; Russian heirloom

Gardener’s Delight-68days, OP; sweet 1” deep red cherry tomato; productive; indeterm.

Purple Calabash-75days, heirloom wide, ribbed, purplish fruit; rich, complex flavor

Amish Paste-85 days, very meaty, rich flavor intensifies in sauces, indeterm. heirloom

Sungold-F1 hybrid, 65 day, orange-gold 1 ¼” fruits, sweet and plentiful, fresh or dried

Lemon Boy-hybrid 75 day; lovely lemon yellow, good mild flavor, good producer, beautiful

Pruden’s Purple-OP (Heirloom) 72 day, large, dark pink, wonderful flavor, indeter.

Siletz-OP 70 day, earliest big tomato, excellent flavor, disease resistant, determinate

Rutger’s-OP Heirloom, popular for rich flavor, productivity, wilt, crack & drought resist.

Super Lakotah-OP 75day heirloom; juicy old-fashioned flavor; OK in cool weather

Cherokee Purple-77days, heirloom, delicious deep pink fruits are 3”-4”; indeterminate

Glacier-OP 56 day, best ultra-early variety with rich tomato flavor, 2” fruits

Other Tomatoes: Thessaloniki, Mortgage Lifter, Mexico Midget, Orange Blossom, etc.

Peppers: New for 09 (OP=Open Pollinated)

Peruvian Purple-OP fully purple plants, mildly hot peppers turn red, good in pots

Anaheim-78da,OP, old favorite ‘Chile Verde’ for rellenos, 7” pungent, not very hot

Quadrato d’Asti Giallo-80da,OP, Bright yellow bell, rich sweet flavor, for stuffing, salad

Old Favorites

Alma Paprika-70-80day; heirloom, ripens red, sweet, productive, fresh/dried; warm

Jimmy Nardello’s-76day, heirloom, 8” long, sweet red frying pepper, heavy yields

Purple Cayenne-OP 70days, masses of beautiful 3” narrow purple, hot peppers, 2’ plant

King of the North-OP 70days, large sweet bells turn red, prolific yields in cooler climate

Early Jalapeno-OP 75 days, 3”x1” fruits, very hot, early

New Mexico #6-very mild chili, best used green, all purpose, delicious

Espanola Improved-medium hot chili, for short growing season, red, productive

Gypsy-great bell pepper flavor, long, yellow, very productive, cool temperature tolerant

Other peppers: Chimayo, Ancho, Red Cheese, Quadrato d’ Asti Rosso, etc.

Eggplant:   (OP-Open Pollinated, hyb-hybrid; da- days to ripen)

NEW: Nadia-67day, hyb. Beautiful 6”-8” Italian type, dk purple, good tasting, cool OK

White Fingers-67day OP early, prolific, slender white fruit, great in containers

Rosita-84day OP, early productive, tasty, 6”-8” pink/lavender fruit; no bitterness

Old Favorites: Ichiban-57 day, big yields, slim fruits, never bitter, likes heat

Dusky-hybrid 80 day, 8” long fruit, early maturing, v. productive, disease resist

Prosperosa-OP 65days, large round deep violet, prolific, delicious Italian heriloom

Pingtung Long-58day, long, slender light purple 11” fruits, vigorous, sweet flavor

Also Galine, Applegreen, Parks Whopper, Black King, Rosa Bianca, Slim Jim, Fairytale

Broccoli:  NEW Summer Purple,100day, OP summer, sprouting broccoli, high yields

Arcadia-94day, hyb.very heat tolerant, small heads, cold and disease tolerant

Umpqua-OP 65 days, big heads, lots of side buds, excellent quality

De Cicco-48day; Italian heirloom; mild, compact, productive w/sideshoot; very early

Piracicaba-56day; half broccoli half broccoli raab; tender, productive, tasty raw/cooked

Nutri-Bud-58day OP; nutritious, large heads, many off-shoots; delicious mild flavor

CauliflowerGraffiti-delicious, ornamental brilliant purple heads raw & cooked, 80 days

Cabbage-Early Jersey Wakefield, Stonehead, Red Express, etc.

Cucumbers: Diva, Suhyo Long, Marketmore, Bush Champion, Early Russian, etc.

Summer Squash: Raven, Ronde de Nice, Tromboncino, Costata Romanesco, etc.

Winter Squash: Uncle Dave’s Dakota Desert, Sugar Loaf, Sunshine, Carnival, Acorn, Kabocha, etc.

Melons: Sweet Dakota Rose, Peace, Jenny Lind, Collective Farm Woman, Crane, etc.

Pumpkins: New England Pie, Lady Godiva, etc.

Basil: Cinnamon-Eve’s favorite for pesto, drying, purple stems, pink flowers, fragrant

Nufar Genovese-first fusarium resist. Basil, 24”, large leaves, delicious Genovese flavor

Finissimo Verde a Palla-perfect 10” globes , very small fragrant leaves; window boxes

Holy Basil-Tulsi-very aromatic and spicy, for salad garnish, herbal tea and medicinally

Mrs. Burns Lemon Basil-N.Mexico heirloom, 30” vigorous with intense lemon scent

Thai-tall, bushy, perfumed with distinctive basil/licorice/anise; S.E. Asian cooking

Also: Green Gate, Italiano Classico, Sweet Basil


Blood-veined Sorrel-striking foliage, red-veined,12” perennial sorrel for soups/salads

Rhubarb ‘Glaskin’s Perpetual’and ‘Victoria’, both classic heirloom varieties

Wild Parsley-great-tasting, self-sowing parsley; companion to roses; saved by one of our customers

Golden Purslane-50day,exceptionally nutritious, high in Omega-3s, easy summer greens

White Russian Kale– 60 day; OP; very productive; super cold-hardy, flat-leaf; nutritious

We have many shrubs, native shrubs, fruiting shrubs; fruit trees, ornamental trees and shade trees with complete root systems in pots


April 1(Fools are Welcome)Open for the Season:Tuesday through Sunday,9-5; Thursday 9-6

May 1 2,3, 5,6,7  Harlequin’s Gardens Annual May Day Celebration and Plant Sale. Plant Sale Sat, Sun, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri; on Saturday May 1 from 10-10:30 the Maroon Bells Morris Dancers will bring us fertility and merriment, then from 12-1 we will be charmed by the harmonies of Coconuts Barbershop Quartet At 1:30 listen to the sweet melodies of harpist Margot Krimmel.

On Sunday,May 2 World Laughter Day, refreshments will be served and at 1:30 Magician Stuart Hayner will amaze us. Bring the Kids!. Then at 2:30pm hear the lively Boulder Irish Session Band.

August 24,25,26,27, 28,29,  Members Fall Plant Sale

Aug 31,Sept. 1,2,3,4,5, Harlequin’s Annual Fall Plant Sale for everyone, begins. This sale continues every week in Sept; (Closed Mondays)

Early Sept. Tomato Tasting: Lusting after the best Love Apples; CSU Co-op Extension with Harlequin’s Gardens; Bring your favorite; Carol O’Meara presiding; call for details

October: open only Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9-5   The Sale continues.  November 1 –  Closed for the Season


We are offering classes with excellent teachers in the hopes that they will help your gardening to be more successful. We are charging $10-15 for classes to support our speakers and Harlequin’s educational direction. It is best to pre-register for these classes both in case they fill up (limit to 20 people per class) and in case too few people register and we have to cancel the class.


April 3, Saturday, Seed Starting 101 with Sandy Swegel. Learn simple tricks for starting seeds on a budget under various conditions. Sandy says seeds WANT to grow; just give them the right opportunities. Sandy has a lot of experience. 1:30pm $10

April 4, Sunday, Planting by the Moon with Tim Lyons. The moon and planets influence life on earth. Tim, a master astrologer, will explain how to time planting, transplanting & harvesting to be in sync with the cosmic rhythms.Biodynamic Calendars available 1:30$10

April 10,Saturday, Just for Kids: Salad Garden in a Pot with Deb Svoboda, Elaine Walker, HG Staff. Plant and decorate a pot of organic lettuce for months of healthy ‘cut and come again’ salads. Ages 5-9. Space Limited. 10am  $7.50 includes materials

April 10, Saturday, Veggie Gardening 101 with Niki Hayden. She will present a simple and effective introduction to growing food without chemicals. This is Nicki’s passion and specialty. This class will give you the information and confidence to succeed. 1:30  $10

April 11, Sunday, Organic Lawn Care with Mikl Brawner. Focus will be on how to support healthy soil and soil life using compost, organic fertilizers, aeration, proper watering and mowing, and how to avoid and deal with weeds. Plus, Freedom Lawn & Meadows 1:30  $10

April 17, Saturday, Growing Veggies and Herbs in Containers: In her first year Ellen Dart grew $900 worth of food and herbs in containers . She will show the simple methods for success she has learned: baby greens, squash, peppers, tomatoes,  1:30 $10

April 18, Sunday, Ecological Garden Design, with Natalie Shrewsbury, session 1: The Land: Identify your visions and needs, observe land forms, and analyze your site, sector and zone : a Permaculture Class. Begin your garden season with a plan 10am-12  $10

April 18, Sunday, Raising Backyard Chickens, with Lauren McNitt, Tracey Parrish & Barb Mueser (8 years combined experience) Learn how to select, purchase and care for a flock of chickens, find out what they need and the benefits they provide.  1:30  $10

April 24, Saturday, Ecological Garden Design, with Natalie Shrewsbury, session II: Placement: where to create land forms, where to put plants, structures, hardscape etc. Design for permaculture principles. Bring a drawing or photo of site 10am-12 $10

April 24, Saturday, Growing Veggies and Herbs in Containers, See April17   1:30 $10

April 25, Sunday, Wild Edibles and Medicinal Weeds with Ann Drucker. A hands-on herb class in the field: forage, taste, learn, make wild pesto & healing vinegar. Ann has over 20 years experience teaching herbal healing in her joyful, experiential way  1:30  $10

May 8, Saturday, How to Grow the BEST Tomatoes, with Carol O’Meara Not only is Carol an Extension Agent for Boulder Co. Co-op Extension, she knows how to grow the best tomatoes because she is passionate about her “Love Apples”. Learn how to choose, site, feed, support and manage pests for those “home-grown” tomatoes.   1:30   $10 May 15, Saturday, High Altitude Gardening with Diane Badertscher. Gardening above 6000’ has its own challenges. There are certain plants and certain strategies that can improve your successes. Diane lives and gardens at 8000’ and can help you.  10am  $10

May 15 Saturday, Alison Peck: Edible Landscaping Learn how to grow fruits, nuts, vegetables, vines and herbs in your yard, beautifully. Learn which plants are the most successful and how to integrate them into your landscape. Alison has been designing edible landscapes for 25 years; she owns Matrix Gardens landscaping 1:30 $10

May 16, Sunday, Home-grown Fruits with Mikl Brawner. Apples, cherries, plums, currants, grapes, strawberries, gooseberries, raspberries, service berries(and more) produce good fruit in Colorado. Learn which varieties are disease resistant, good flavored and best adapted to CO. conditions. 1:30   $15

May 22, Saturday, Spring Pruning with Mikl Brawner Prune Spring-blooming shrubs soon after they have bloomed. Mikl will show how to make proper cuts, how to shape, thin and renew shrubs. (tree pruning see Aug classes) Mikl has 35 years experience 1:30  $10

May 23, Sunday, Secrets of Veggie Gardening in the Mountains with Roland Evans. Learn how to amend soils, choose the right varieties, simple plant protection strategies. Roland grows over 50 varieties of veggies at 7500’. CEO of Organic Bountea  1:30 $10

June 5, Saturday, Growing Vegetables without Chemicals with Niki Hayden. Niki will cover soil amendments for fertility, pest barriers and nontoxic methods for insect and weed control. Niki has many years of experience with healthy gardening.                10am  $10

June 12, Saturday: Opportunities and Tricks of Xeriscape with Mikl Brawner

There are advantages to gardening with less water, and tricks that will improve your success. Mikl’s xeriscape experience of over 20 years has taught him tricks that will cost you a lot less than it cost him. 1:30   $15

June 13, Sunday, Backyard Beekeeping with Julie Finley. Learn honeybee culture and the plants that support them. Visit our Top Bar hives to learn a great system for natural and small scale beekeeping. Julie buzzes with 14 years experience.She’s a honey 10am$10

June 13, Sunday, Top 40 Fragrant Roses with Eve Brawner: A Nose-on Class. The enchanting fragrances of roses have been lost in many modern varieties. Eve will share her long experience searching out the truly fragrant varieties, heirloom & modern     1:30 $10

June 19, Saturday, Herbal Preparations 101 with Leslie Lewis. Learn how to turn garden plants and weeds into effective herbal teas, infused oils, salves and tinctures. Hands-on learning; leave with samples. Leslie is a certified clinical herbalist.10am $15 with supplies

July 10, Saturday, Landscaping without Chemicals with Mikl Brawner. Plants do not need petroleum fertilizers and pesticides. They do just fine with organic products and methods. Learn how. Mikl has been researching and testing this for 35 years. 1:30 $15

July 11, Sunday, Extending the Gardening Season with Eric Johnson. Learn how to grow veggies thru the winter w/o extra heat & with low-tech solutions. Eric has studied horticulture and has 20 years experience, gardening & experimenting  1:30 $10

July 24, Saturday, Saving Your Seed with Janis Kieft. Learn how to save flower and veggie seeds from your garden. Topics include: isolation, selection, harvesting, seed storage, testing & more. Janis is a professional with 30 yrs experience  1:30  $10

Aug 14, Saturday, Mikl Brawner will give a talk and demonstration “Pruning for Strength, Health and Beauty”. Learn to train young trees, to restructure shrubs  and trees broken by storms, to prune roses. Mikl has 35 years experience in pruning. 1:30 $15

Aug 21, Saturday, Composting with Eric Johnson. Learn the basics of easy, successful composting. Learn how to troubleshoot problems and what to do about them. Eric has been composting for over 20 years.   10am  $10

Aug 22, Sunday, Pruning for Strength, Health and Beauty (see Aug 14)   1:30 $15

Sept. 11, Saturday: Low-Tech Greenhouse Design and Operation with Mikl Brawner. Mikl has been researching, building and using simple greenhouses for 17 years. This class will focus on 5 designs on site at the nursery. $15,  1-2:30pm

We are very proud of our staff, so to help you to get to know us and to know the best times to come out for our specialists, here are our portraits.

Elaine Walker is a landscape architect with an emphasis in ecological practices. Her recent work includes designing outdoor living spaces, retaining & boulder walls, water features, native and drought tolerant plantings. Elaine is a landscape designer. Elaine works Wednesdays, Fridays, & Saturdays.

Deb Svoboda is a Master Gardener, and has years of experience with her own xeriscape garden. She has grown a lot of plants from Harlequin’s  Gardens and has enjoyed taking classes from Lauren Springer Ogden. Deb works Tuesdays, Wed., Thurs., Fri. and Saturdays.

Linda Taylor specializes in heirloom roses. She started and operated her own rose nursery in Montana and she knows the tough and hardy varieties. She does consulting on Horticultural Therapy and landscaping.  Linda works Sundays.

Roses are one of our primary specialties and Sharron Zaun is one of our most knowledgeable people in that area, especially for the David Austin roses. Besides growing 90 roses in her own garden, Sharron has 3000 square feet of growing area to test perennials and shrubs. She has a  passion for working with plants and people. She has been with us for 15 years (can that be possible?) Sharron works Tuesdays and Fridays.

Diane Badertscher earned a degree in horticulture with honors, and has qualified as a Certified Colorado Nursery Professional.  She specializes in trees and shrubs, especially the natives. Her 10 years of experience gardening at 8,000’ is very valuable to mountain gardeners.  Diane works Wed., Thurs., Sat.

Christina Thomas has been gardening in Boulder for 25 years with particular experience in herbs, Mediterranean plants, xeriscape and vegetables. She has worked as an editor for “Conservation Biology”, for articles and books on climate change, natural sciences and the environment. She works Tues.,Thursdays

Matt Patrick is trained as a CSU Master Gardener and has operated his own landscape business for the past three years. He was raised farming tobacco in Kentucky. He has worked for the Boulder County AIDS Project, Boulder Human Relations Comm., & Foothills United Way. Matt works Tuesdays & Sundays

Engrid Winslow has degree in Urban Horticulture and has taken Master Gardener training, and has experience with gardening at her home and professionally. Engrid works Saturdays in May and June

Gail Clarke has been gardening in Colorado since 1977. She is a CSU Master Gardener and has a landscape business. She is involved with the Garden to Table Project. Gail works Wednesdays & Fridays

Michele Bailey worked for 15 years in the landscaping and nursery industries. Her special interests are perennials, natives and vegetables—especially for children. Michele works Saturdays & Sundays

Eve Reshetnik-Brawner has always had a passion for gardening and for studying, growing and drawing plants. She has a degree in landscape architecture and over ten years of experience in that field. She has a special love and knowledge of roses, fragrant flowers, ornamental grasses, clematis and vegetables.  Eve, with Mikl, designed the rose garden at the Boulder Dushanbe Tea House. In her “spare” time she is an artist and musician. Eve works Fridays, and is available for garden consultations

Mikl Brawner got his initial training along the creeks and woods of eastern Iowa. Then he studied biology at the University of Iowa, but the  further education he sought to become an ecologist and naturalist was not available, so he went to India with the Peace Corps. Back in America, he managed a small organic apple orchard, and started a tree care business. Studying plants, researching alternatives to pesticides, and developing a xeriscape garden led him from the tree tops to a plant nursery. Now the evolving Harlequin’s Gardens is his life-work, helping the gardening community  to bring nature into their personal lives and homes using sustainable plants, materials and methods. Mikl works Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and is available for consultations. Mikl was honored with the 2009 PaceSetter Award for the Environment

Also working at Harlequin’s Gardens is Kurt Reber, our production manager, and Clarence Mills caring for our display gardens. And we’re delighted to have occasional help from: Marty Crigler, Carol Gerlitz, Natalie Shrewsbury, Juanita Hakala, Marilyn Kakudo, Zachary Smith, Sandy Swegel, and Heather Baltrush

Soil Amendments at Harlequin’s Gardens: visit our Soil Food Café

Compost Tea-enriches soil, prevents disease, supports & inoculates soil life, increases plant growth and flowering. We will be making our own this year. Try it!

Nature’s Prescription: 1-1-1  organic, microbe-rich fertilizer made from cow manure and alfalfa; neutral pH, weed-free, odor-free, disease-free: for lawns, gardens, shrubs and trees

Yum Yum Mix- 2-2-2  Vegan/Organic fertilizer for alkaline, nutrient-poor Western soils, feeds plants/microbes.Made from alfalfa, cottonseed meal, kelp meal, rock dust, green sand

Composted Cotton Burrs: premium soil conditioner, loosening clay soils & increasing aeration. Unlike wood products, does not take nitrogen from the soil. Pesticide-free; adds beneficial bacteria & fungi. Also available with soil sulfur to acidify alkaline soils

PlantersII-a rock dust product containing over 30 trace minerals. Best when doing soil prep. or side-dress every 2 years. Great for rock gardens, cacti, natives and vegetables.

Menefee Humate-, natural product; high concentration of trace minerals and humic acid for plant growth, development & uptake of vital nutrients. Gentle but effective.

Mushroom Compost from a local organic mushroom farm; dark, rich humus; great to feed the soil life, improve soil structure, aeration & save water. Claimed best mulch for roses.

Alpha One: locally made organic fertilizer for Colorado 7-2-2; alfalfa based with high organic matter content, high humic acid value, low pH, non-burning. Great for veggies. Vegan

Soil Pep: a semi-fine mulch of half-composted bark. A rose grower from Denver says “The most important thing in my garden culture is Soil Pep…it keeps my garden almost work free.”

Organica Plant Growth Activator: dependable viability of beneficial bacteria and mycorrhizae (Few sources have live microbes) It supports growth& resistance to stresses like drought, heat and cold.

Fine Woodchip Mulch: looks good, less blowing, quicker to breakdown providing nutrition, local


Pure Spray Green Horticultural Oil: THE best non-toxic pest management product I know; baby oil grade has no burning on leaves; smothers aphids, mites, sawflies; no harm to lady bugs, birds

Organica Cleaning Products: non-toxic, biodegradable, safe around children, pets; no gloves; they use microorganisms; the Glass Cleaner works as well as Windex; the Spot Remover saved Mikl’s favorite felt hat and straw hat; All Purpose works and smells nice; Drain Opener-no plumber $

Soleo Organics Sunscreen: zinc oxide UV protection; organic; no titanium dioxide, chemical UV absorbers, synthetic preservatives or artificial fragrances; good moisturizer, ideal for sensitive skin

Solar Caps: Season extending device that’s a big improvement over “Wall-o-Water”. Sturdy wire frames are covered with a water-filled lining, they don’t blow over, light transmission is excellent. They can be left on all season to keep the soil warm at night, which is very beneficial for tomatoes and peppers.  We planted a tomato in one April 11,  it was ripe  July 15.

Green Cure: non toxic cure for powdery mildew & blackspot, tomato blight, proved effective locally

Hydrosource: a water absorbing polymer used as a soil amendment to help establish plants and save water; lasts 8 years in soil. OSHA says nonhazardous; Not OMRI Okd; Plant roots like it.

Quench: organic-based water-absorbing gel made from cornstarch. More costly than Hydrosource but natural; effective for 3 years; said to release water to soil faster; has good value in helping to establish plants, reduce watering in containers; safe for veggie gardens

Mile-Hi Rose Feed: formulated specifically for Colorado soils, mostly organic, contains 12 essential nutrients and trace minerals for roses, adds organic matter, supports microorganisms. We’ve been using this for 12 years at the Boulder-Dushanbe Tea House with great results.

Mile-Hi Alfalfa Meal: also great for roses and gardens; a natural plant-growth stimulant,  producing healthier foliage, better vigor and more profuse flowering, ground not pellets

Bobbex Deer Repellent-both a fertilizer and a repellent; many reports of success with this one, even in Evergreen, Colorado. Best to alternate with Liquid Fence which guarantees success. We will carry products for repelling deer and rabbits. Plantskydd- lasts twice as long as other repellants, for deer, elk, rabbits etc. 6 month dormant, 3 months in growth; rainfast in 24hrs

Excellent Tools: unbendable trowel, sharp hand pruners and loppers, saws, gloves and more

Home-grown Fruit:

One of our specialties is fruiting plants that are adapted to Colorado conditions. All the apples we carry are resistant to fireblight and good-tasting. And the cherries we sell are all proven successful in Colorado. Our grapes are the most hardy of any you will find and delicious fresh, in juice and a couple are good for wine. And we have currants, strawberries, raspberries, etc. See May  class and see Edibles (under Plants) on our website.

ROSES: we have 220 varieties of cold-hardy, Sustainable Roses on their own roots

(See our complete 2010 Rose List under ‘Plants’ on our website.

Applejack-vigorous, semi-double pink, repeats, 6’ shrub or 9’ climber, Buck Rose

Burgundy Iceberg-sport of famous Iceberg with real burgundy blooms, great repeat 4’

Abraham Darby-very fragrant salmon pink big flowers, good repeat, 5’x5’ Austin rose

Champlain-real red Canadian 3’ shrub, great repeat bloomer, tough and compact

John Davis-beautiful, soft pink flowers repeat, short climber/shrub; Canadian hardy

Fairmount Proserpine-rich old rose fragrance, found at Fairmount Cemetery, 5’, tough

Darlow’s Enigma-fabulous, fragrant, small, single white flowers, repeats; 8’ rambler

Complicata-old Gallica, huge single bright pink flowers, climber/shrub 6’-8’, very tough

Golden Celebration-gorgeous golden flower with luscious fragrance, Austin, 5’-7’, repeats

William Baffin-8’ shrub or climber, to zone 2, or 9000’; strawberry pink flowers, repeats

Lawrence Johnston-one of the few hardy yellow climbers, to 15’, fragrant, spring bloom

Pompon Blanc Parfait-1876 Alba; small, white fragrant blooms, shade tol, summer bloom

Rosa spinosissima- 5’ arching species rose, very fragrant cream blooms, tough, hardy

The Gift-3’x5’ arching semi-double white rose, very good repeat, good in poor soil

Morden Sunrise-beautiful warm orange blend, Canadian shrub 3’; zone 3; disease resist.

Victorian Memory-very tall, hardy climber to 15’, medium pink, fragrant, repeats

Winnipeg Parks-cherry red flowers in abundance, 3’x3’, zone 3; excellent repeat bloom

We have one of the best selections of native shrubs in Colorado,including

Ribes odoratum ‘Crandall’-Clove Currant;4’-6’, yellow fragrant flowers, large fruit clusters

Amorpha canescens-Lead Plant 3’ shrub with purple spikes late spring, drought tol.

Cercocarpus ledifolius-fabulous broadleaf evergreen 10’-20’ high, light gray bark,very xeric

Cercocarpus intricatus-dwarf evergreen only 5’ high, very xeric, slow-growing, good bonsai

Rhus glabra cismontana-Rocky Mt. Sumac-3’-6’ spreading, red fruit; red fall color, xeric

Tall Blue Rabbitbrush-4’-6’ high and wide, showy yellow flowers Aug-Sept; xeric

Dwarf Blue Rabbitbrush-2’x2’ blue-green foliage, smothered in yellow flowers, xeric gem

Fernbush (Chamaebatiaria)-4’-6’, ferny leaves; clusters of small white flowers, xeric

Paxistima myrsinites-Mt. Lover: broadleaf evergreen, 16” tall, native above 8500’

Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Regent’-selection 4’-6’ with better fruit; white flowers, red fall color

Acer glabrum-Rocky Mt. Maple-10’-15’ upright form, light gray bark, yellow fall color

Amorpha canescens-Lead Plant; 2’-3’ shrub; purple spikes in summer; xeric

Artemisia tridentata-Big Sage-3’-10’, gray very aromatic foliage, evergreen, very xeric

Artemisia filifolia-Sand Sage, silvery fine-leafed shrub, 4’, very xeric, good with grasses

Prunus besseyi (and ‘Pawnee Buttes’) Sand Cherry (Dwarf Sand Cherry) white flowers

Apache Plume(Fallugia)-5’x5’ shrub, white rose-like flowers, pinky plume seed heads, xeric

Forestiera neomexicana-New Mexican Privet-8’-15’, light bark, blue berries, xeric

Philadelphus lewisii-Native Mockorange 6’, white very fragrant flowers, shade tol., xeric

Landscape Consultations: Eve and Mikl are available for consultations. We can help you to 1) clarify the use of the space 2) identify site opportunities and limitations 3) evaluate health and value of existing landscape 4) identify microclimates 5) make rough sketches on the spot 6) make plant and design recommendations for specific areas.7) help to xeriscape and save water 8) Identify, evaluate and make recommendations for tree care Consultations can be at your property, or shorter, less expensive private consultations can take place at the nursery. Mikl is available Wednesdays 10-6; Fridays or other times by appt. Eve’s hours may be more flexible. Call to Schedule 303-939-9403

NEWSLETTERS BY EMAIL: Would you like to receive our newsletters by email? As the cost of printing and postage has gone up and as our forests continue to come down, we are hoping some of you will like to receive our mailings by email. Please go to our website @ www.harlequinsgardens.com and click on the Subscribe link in the left margin of the home page, enter your name and addresses and press submit. Or leave your information at the front desk at Harlequin’s Gardens any day except Monday.

Please remember: if your email changes, re-subscribe to remain on our mailing list.

One thought on “Spring 2010 Newsletter

  1. We are very sorry not to be able to reply to emails, but we
    cannot at this time. Please come by the nursery during our open hours
    and we would be happy to try to answer your questions and help you in
    any way we can.
    Mikl and Eve Brawner

Comments are closed.