Pollinator Classes & Unusual specialty plants

Sadly we’re hearing more about the critical number of dying pollinators: this morning’s NPR headlines included Record Number of Honeybee Colonies Died Last Winter”.  According to the article, “in the Bee Informed Partnership’s latest survey released this week, U.S. beekeepers lost nearly 40% of their honeybee colonies last winter — the greatest reported winter hive loss since the partnership started its surveys 13 years ago.”   Culprits include lack of crop diversity, poor beekeeping practices, loss of habitat, Varroa Mites, and pesticide use.  It’s essential that we all support pollinators, since they help make it possible for us to eat.  According to the U.S. Agriculture Department, pollinators are responsible for one of every three bites of food that we take.

Harlequin’s Gardens is committed to bettering our environment for honeybees, native bees, and other pollinators by providing you with neonic-free and pesticide-free plants that are pollinator friendly, and keeping our Bee Barn stocked with treatments to combat your Varroa Mite issues.  Learn more about supporting the pollinators in your garden by attending our pollinator classes this weekend (details below).

Harlequin’s Gardens is also committed to providing you with unique and unusual specialty plants.  Below, Eve discusses several new selections, along with practical pots for your container garden. 


In conjunction with Pollinator Month in Boulder and National Pollinator Week, June 17-23, we’re offering several special classes where you can learn how to support the important role of bees, birds, butterflies, bats, and beetles in pollinating our lovely flowers, native plants, fruits, and veggies. 


Saturday morning at 10 AM, our own entomologist, Kristina Williams, will show you how to recognize and attract “Beneficial Insects” to your garden. 

This is followed at 1 PM by our (Free!) and very special Habitat Hero “Wildscaping 101” class.  Here Laura Somers helps you to view gardens as a bird does when seeking shelter, food and nesting opportunities.  A wealth of knowledge for a fantastic price!


Kristina Williams returns on Sunday morning at 10 AM to share info on our most important, and perhaps underrated, pollinators: “Colorado Native Bees”.  She will tell you about our local species, where and how they nest, and their integral role in our ecosystem. 

Then at 1 PM, Mikl teaches us how to “Manage Garden Pests Without Using Poisons” – increasingly important techniques in our evolving world. Mikl has over 30 years of non-toxic gardening experience and wisdom to share!

We’re so proud to be offering these important classes and hope to see you there!  As always, pre-registration is appreciated and highly recommended for all classes with a quick call to 303-939-9403. 

For more information about Pollinator Partnership, visit their website where you’ll also find additional Programs, Resources and Events.


Harlequin’s Gardens is looking for a positive, creative, flexible, tech-savvy person with excellent skills in communication and team-work to start soon.  Duties include data entry, social media, bill-paying, label and sign-making, advertising and promotion, supply orders, staff and customer support. Must be able to work at least one weekend day. Ideally, the candidate should be physically fit, able to lift 40 lbs, and have some familiarity with plants and gardening.  This is a full-time, year-round position.

Please send your resume to Staff@HarlequinsGardens.com

Harlequin’s Gardens will be CLOSED Thur., July 4, on Independence Day!

In a long standing tradition, Harlequin’s Gardens celebrates Independence Day by taking the day off and being closed on Thursday, July 4.


Double-walled Pots

Many of our customers have only a small patio, balcony or door-yard in which to garden, and we are determined to provide them with the materials and plants that will make gardening successful and convenient for them.

Enter the double-walled pots!  We know that glazed ceramic pots are beautiful, and we do carry some. However, when the pot size gets larger than about 12” diameter, the weight becomes an issue. Not only are our double-walled plastic pots very attractive and classically tasteful (they look like clay, not plastic), but they are very light-weight, very durable, and the air space between the walls provides excellent insulation from both cold and heat!

This bring up another advantage: many customers ask us about growing perennials in containers outdoors. While we cannot guarantee the survival of perennials over the winter in our double-walled pots, we can say that the insulating qualities of these pots greatly increase the chances of survival! Eve has good success with growing not only veggies, but hardy perennial herbs and flowers in them.

So, whether you’re growing vegetables or flowers in pots on a third-floor balcony, want to try growing perennials in large pots, or just want to plant in a large container that isn’t too heavy to lift and move around, we encourage you to have a look at our double-walled pots.

Unusual Specialty Plants 

Anthericum ramosum
Branched St. Bernard’s Lily, Grass Lily

Sun/Light shade
24-30” h x 2’ w
Most well-drained soils, moderate/low water
Hardy to Zone 5
A beautiful, under-used perennial from Turkey, Western and Central Europe, known as Branched St. Bernard’s Lily or Grass Lily. From tidy clumps of narrow grass-like leaves rise tall slender branching stems festooned with flurries of starry white flowers, each with a yellow ovary and yellow anthers, elegant and dainty, in midsummer. It is a refreshing delight on sunny days when the reflexed white flowers open fully. Grass Lily makes a wonderful companion to groupings of grasses, and lends an airy elegance to plantings of denser perennials. 
We’re also offering Anthericum liliago (St. Bernanrd’s Lily) which has been blooming for several weeks. 

Caesalpinia gillesii
Yellow Bird of Paradise 

This rare and striking fast-growing shrub sports very showy clusters of exotic yellow flowers with long red curved stamens that reach out 2” or more beyond the petals. The natural growth habit is irregular and open, but it can be pruned to encourage dense growth. Originally from Argentina & Uruguay, where it is a small tree. Yellow Bird of Paradise is hardy in the Denver/Boulder area if planted in a protected, hot location, where it will grow to 3-6’ tall and wide. Once established, it is drought-tolerant. At Denver Botanic Garden several specimens have thrived for many years in front of the east-facing foundation and windows of the main building’s entrance courtyard.  As the attractive tan pods mature, they split, sending the large, flat seeds flying, and leaving the dry pods twisted in tight spirals.
We are offering just a handful of these very special plants in 1-gallon pots.

Ceanothus ovatus
Prairie Redroot

3’ h x 3-4’ w
Full Sun to slight shade
Hardy to Zone 4
Also known as Prairie Redroot, Small Redroot, Narrow-leaved New Jersey Tea and Ceanothus herbaceus, this is a gorgeous, smaller shrub in the buckthorn family that is native from CO and WY, and the prairie and Great Plains states. From June to July its round, white flowers grow in numerous small clusters that yield black, triangular fruits. It is a small deciduous shrub that shoots several stems from the ground with alternating, toothed leaves that appear glossy or waxed. Preferring dry feet and liking mountains better than flatlands, Red Root is a fan of sunny areas with alkaline, medium-dry to dry, well-drained soils. Our plants originate from a Front Range seed source. This plant can also fix nitrogen from the atmosphere. 
Red Root draws a great variety of beneficial insects and pollinators, such as native bees, butterflies, wasps, flies and beetles, as well as birds.  All parts of Ceanothus ovatus and other Redroot species have been used extensively by N. American tribes and settlers to treat a vast array of disorders.
We are offering just a handful of these very special plants in 2-gallon pots.

Digitalis obscura
Sunset Foxglove

14-16” tall x 16-20” wide
Hardy to 6,200’
This 2004 Plant Select introduction is a stunning dwarf selection that produces a handsome mound of evergreen, willow-like foliage that is set off by rich, rusty orange trumpet-shaped flowers that look a lot like Penstemons, but in a whole new color! Sunset Foxglove is a perennial native to the mountains of Spain, and grows well in sunny or partly shaded areas and well-drained soil. The plants develop a woody base, and should be sheared back in early spring. They usually bloom for about a month, but prompt deadheading can prolong the bloom period. Sunset Foxglove is deer-resistant and water-wise!

Echinocereus viridiflorus
Green Pitaya

Native to our grasslands, plains and mountain parks, this unique ball cactus makes low, rounded single stems or clumps, 3”x 3” that put out many 1” luminous lime green, fragrant flowers over a period of weeks in May. The attractive plant has distinctive red spines on the upper portion of the stems. Hardy to Zone 5 (4?).

You don’t have to plant ball cacti in a cactus ‘ghetto’ – they are care-free and easy to incorporate into any dry xeriscape garden that provides good drainage and lots of sun. There are, by the way, several ball cacti native to short-grass prairie – Coryphantha sulcata, Escobaria missouriensis, Pediocactus simpsonii and Echinocereus viridiflorus. These can be grown in locations with less sun than other cacti.

Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus (syn. H. flava)
Lemon Lily

24-30” tall x 24” wide
Full to partial Sun
Most garden soils, including clay
Hardy to Zone 4, 7500’
Thousands of hybrid selections of Daylilies are now available, but none of them have the natural grace and fragrance of this wildflower Lemon Lily, which is the first to bloom each season (usually beginning mid-late June). The smaller 3-4” wide lemon-yellow trumpets are blessed with delicious citrus fragrance, a must-have for any fragrance garden. They are held on bloom stalks above spreading clumps of narrow, arching strappy leaves. Lemon Lily is found wild across China, in N.E. Italy and Slovenia. Plants do not usually require dividing for several years, but are easily split apart in fall or early spring.

Ruta graveolens
Rue, Herb of Grace

12-24” high and wide
Full sun
Low water
Most soils
Hardy to Zone 4
Native to the Balkan peninsula, this beautiful herb has been grown for millennia as an herb and as an ornamental plant, especially for its lacy blue foliage, neat mounding form, its tolerance of hot and dry soil conditions, and as a medicinal herb and insect repellent. Small lemon-yellow flowers appear in June. The plant develops woody stems and can be quite log-lived. Rue can be used to form a low hedge, and since most cats dislike the smell of it, it can be used to deter them from your garden. Some people with sensitive skin may experience phytophotodermatitis from direct contact with the plant in sunny weather.


Below are our current in-stock selections of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, winter and summer squashes.  







Early Prolific Straight Neck Squash 


Blue Ballet Hubbard Squash
Red Kuri Kabocha
Sibley Banana Winter Squash
Winter Luxury


Cinnamon or Mexican
Italian Large Leaf
Kapoor Holy Basil
Platou Pistou
Purple Opal
Sacred Holy Basil
Sweet Basil


Call 303-939-9403 to reserve your seat!

Our weekends are loaded with great classes you won’t want to miss! Our customers tell us that our classes have given them tremendous value, with practical and current information from local experts who have spent years honing their skills in Colorado and will help guide you to success. We are charging $15 (unless otherwise stated) for our 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, or too few people register and we have to cancel. Pre-payment assures your place in the class. You can register at the nursery, by mail, or by calling 303-939-9403. We are unable to take class registration by email at this time.  Most of our classes run from one-and-a-half to two hours in length, and sometimes longer for hands-on classes, or if there are a large number of questions.  See the complete listing on our website.  


Sat, Jun 22 at 10 AM           
with Kristina Williams 

Not all insects will harm your garden; and in fact many insects are “good guys” that will not only control garden pests but also help your garden in other ways. Learn how to recognize and attract beneficial insects to your yard and garden. Class cost: $15


Sat, Jun 22, 1-2 PM        
with Laura Somers 

Laura Somers, Wildscape Ambassador, representing Audubon Rockies and Colorado Native Plant Society will demonstrate the importance of restoring our communities, one garden patch at a time. From a birds-eye view, learn how to create wildlife-friendly gardens that help combat the loss of open spaces and create green corridors that link your wildscape to larger natural areas by providing habitat for wildlife.  Free admission!

Sun, Jun 23 at 10 AM
with Kristina Williams 

If you have a backyard garden, it’s probably being pollinated by some of Boulder County’s 500+ species of native bees. Kristina will talk about some of the basic types and how you can create bee friendly habitat to invite them to your yard. She will walk you through Harlequins’ demonstration gardens to observe some of these bees in action. An informative class by an experienced bee keeper!  Class cost: $15


Sun, Jun 23 at 1 PM           
with Mikl Brawner     

Learn how to look for and identify common pests, and how to judge if anything needs to be done. Learn which organic solutions are the most effective, for what, and how to do it. Mikl has been walking this talk for 35 years. Class cost: $15


Sun, Jul 14 at 1 PM        
with Mikl Brawner

Gardening with less water is not that hard if you know how! There are tricks that will improve your success. Mikl’s will pass on his 30 years of xeriscape experience. Class cost: $15


Sat, Jul 20 at 10 AM       
with Kristina Williams 

Have you ever watched bees coming out of a knothole in an old tree or seen those stacks of boxes near a field and wondered what was inside? Come take a peek inside a working hive of honeybees and chat about what it takes to have a hive of your own or to help bees in general. Please wear long sleeves and pants. Class cost: $15

Sat, Jul 20 at 1 PM         
with Elaine Walker    

Elaine is a landscape architect who will show you the elements of designing areas of your property. Learn how to observe your site, identify goals, take a site analysis, create a comprehensive design, and how to approach installation in manageable pieces. Class cost: $15


Sun, Jul 21 at 1 PM
The Wild Wisdom of Weeds with Katrina Blair and Tyler VanGemert

Tyler will begin the class with a centering movement that will prepare us for learning about the plants. Katrina Blair, author of “The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival” will be here to share the exceptional nutrient and medicinal qualities of 13 useful plants that are abundant, free to harvest and readily available.  Her book will be available for sale. Class Cost: $15

Sun, Jul 21 at 10 AM     
with Zach Hedstrom 

In this class, you will learn the basics of mushroom identification and what you should know before going out on a hunt. We will also introduce a variety of local mushrooms and their identification features. This is a good class for beginners as well as those who have done some foraging before. Class cost: $15

Sun, Jul 28 at 10 AM     
with Zach Hedstrom 

In this class, you will take what you learned in the classroom and put it to practice on a mushroom hunting field trip in the mountains. Location given at registration.  Participants should come prepared with water, hats, and weather-appropriate clothing.  Pre-payment required: (303-939-9403).  Zach Hedstrom is a mushroom fanatic and grower at Hazel Dell! Class cost: $15.


Sun, Aug 11 at 1 PM      
with Mikl Brawner                

Learn how to train young trees, restructure shrubs and trees damaged by storms, and to prune roses. Mikl has over 35 years of experience in pruning. (Repeated on Sep. 15). Class cost: $15


Sun, Aug 25 at 1 PM      
with Mikl Brawner   

Mikl has been researching, building, and using simple greenhouses for 20 years. This class will focus on five designs on site at the nursery. Class cost: $15


Sun, Sep 8 at 1 PM         
HOW TO MULCH with Mikl Brawner 

Weedbarrier, wood chips, straw, fine gravel, bark? Which mulches should be used and where? Why is mulching so important? What’s wrong with redwood and cedar? Mikl will discuss these questions and suggest solutions. Class cost: $15


Sun, Sep 15 at 1 PM      
with Mikl Brawner    

Learn how to train young trees, restructure shrubs and trees damaged by storms, and to prune roses. Mikl has over 35 years of experience in pruning. (Repeat of Aug. 11) Class cost: $15


Sat, Oct 5 from 10 AM to 2 PM           
with Kelly Grummons 

Kelly Grummons of Prairie Storm Nursery (coldhardycactus.comdogtuffgrass.com) and plantselect.org will answer those oft-asked gardening questions such as: when do I prune my roses, start tomato seeds, seed grass, put down sod, cut back ornamental grasses, prune lilacs and clematis, apply soil microbes, when to fertilize, transplant perennials, divide iris, etc., etc.  Get the picture?!  Answers provided.  Kelly is one of the region’s preeminent horticulturists, and an expert in natural plant nutrition and pest control. Plan to bring a sack lunch. Class cost: $30


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Eve, Mikl
and the super hard-working Staff at Harlequin’s Gardens

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