SOUPE AU PISTOU [vegetable soup with garlic, basil & herbs]
from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Early summer is the Mediterranean season for soupe au pistou, when fresh basil, fresh white beans, and broad mange-tout beans are all suddenly available. The pistou itself, like the Italian pesta, is a sauce made of garlic, basil, tomato and cheese, and is just as good on spaghetti as it is in this rich vegetable soup. Fortunately this soup is not confined to summer and fresh vegetables, for you can use canned navy beans or kidney beans, fresh or frozen string beans, and a fragrant dried basil. Other vegetables in season may be added with the green beans as you wish, such as peas, diced zucchini, and green or red bell peppers.

For 6 to 8 servings

3 quarts water
2 cups each: diced carrots, diced boiling potatoes, diced onions
1 Tablespoon salt
(If available, 2 cups fresh white beans, and omit the navy beans farther on) Either boil the water, vegetables, and salt slowly in a 6-quart kettle for 40 minutes; or pressure-cook for 5 minutes, release pressure, and simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes. Correct seasoning.
2 cups diced fresh green beans or “cut” frozen green beans
2 cups cooked or canned navy beans or kidney beans
1/3 cup broken spaghetti or vermicelli
1 slice stale white or wheat bread, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of saffron Twenty minutes before serving, so the green vegetables will retain their freshness, add the beans, spaghetti or vermicelli, bread and seasonings to the boiling soup. Boil slowly for about 15 minutes, or until the green beans are just cooked through. Correct seasoning again.
4 cloves mashed garlic
4 Tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup chopped fresh basil or 1½ Tablespoons fragrant dried basil
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ to ½ cup fruity olive oil Prepare the following pistou while the soup is cooking: place garlic, tomato paste, basil and cheese in the soup tureen and blend to a paste with a spatula or wooden spoon; then, drop by drop, beat in the olive oil. When the soup is ready for serving, beat a cup gradually into the pistou. Pour in the rest of the soup.

Serve with hot French bread, or hard-toasted bread rounds basted with olive oil.


LOVAGE AND CELERY SOUP from “Scarista Style” by Alison Johnson
Scarista House is an award-winning hotel and restaurant on the west coast of the Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

You will be glad of this recipe if you grow lovage, as it will have taken over your garden and you won’t know what to do with it. “The root grows thick, great and deep, spreading much and enduring long…It is planted in gardens, where it grows large,” says Culpeper blandly, adding that “a decoction of the root is a remedy for ague.” If you don’t live in a malarial marsh, you will find you have a large surplus of this particular herb.
This is one of my favorite soups, and worth suffering the rampages of the plant for.
2 medium onions
1 head celery
2 large potatoes
2 ounces butter
3 large handfuls lovage leaves
425 ml water = 14.3 fluid ounces
275 ml milk = 9.3 fluid ounces
150 ml cream = 5 fluid ounces
Chop the onion, celery and potatoes coarsely and sweat them in the butter for a few minutes. Add the water and lovage and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer till the vegetables are very soft. Stir it occasionally, as the mixture will be thick and inclined to stick.
The soup now has to be sieved, as celery is hairy stuff. It is easier to do this if you liquidise it first, adding the milk as you do so.
Return the soup to the pan, add salt to taste, and the cream. Reheat without boiling. Serve with a blob of cream or some freshly chopped lovage on top.
Makes about 2 quarts—serves 6.

Carol’s notes:
½ teaspoon salt is about right. I converted “milliliters” to “fluid ounces”, as noted above.
I don’t use cream. I hardly ever use cream in anything—too many calories—and it tastes just fine, as far as I’m concerned. In fact, most of the time I just use skim milk.
I don’t sieve the soup, as the recipe says—instead I run it through the blender, adding milk as suggested. I think this works out just fine. But it is probably a matter of personal taste.
The soup doesn’t freeze well, but I discovered that it works okay as a cold soup.


Carol Gerlitz

3 cups water (I use 1 to 1½ cups red wine if I have some to use up)
¾ to 1 pound beef brisket, cubed—or stew meat or chuck—whatever you wish
½ onion, chopped
3 medium stalks celery, cut into ½” lengths
3-4 medium carrots, pared and thinly sliced
2-3 medium beets, pared and sliced
½ head cabbage, cut into reasonable-size hunks
1 bay leaf
1½ teaspoons salt

1 medium to large beet, pared and coarsely shredded
3-4 oz. tomato paste
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar

½ pint dairy sour cream

In a large kettle place the first 9 ingredients. Simmer, covered, about 2 hours. I use a 6-quart pressure cooker, and cook 20-25 minutes at 15 lb pressure; you can either release pressure by running cold water over the pressure cooker, or just let it sit until the pressure is back to normal.

Add the next 5 ingredients and simmer, covered, 20-25 minutes. You can cool and refrigerate at this point—or serve it right up.

Serve topped with sour cream.

Makes about 5-6 servings, depending on the size.


from Mary Lou Carlson as adapted by Carol Gerlitz (originally in Fine Cooking magazine, June/July 2001)
Yields about 1½ cups

3 cups packed basil leaves (about 6-7 ounces of leaves)
¼ cup ice water
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
½ cup + 2 tbsp. pine nuts
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ tsp. salt
3/8 tsp. black pepper
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Bring 2 quarts water seasoned with 1 tablespoon salt to a rolling boil. Prepare an ice bath by combining ice and water in a large bowl. (Be sure you freeze a lot of ice cubes ahead of time for this.)

Divide the basil into 2 or 3 parts, so that one part of basil will fit into a large metal strainer (about 5 or 6 inches in diameter). Put the basil (in strainer) into boiling water, pressing it gently under the water with a rubber spatula, and cook for 2 or 3 seconds. Remove the basil from the water and plunge it (still in the strainer) into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Let cool in the ice bath for 1-2 minutes, until completely cooled. Loosen it up with your fingers to aid the cooling process.

Remove the basil from the ice bath and squeeze it lightly with your hands to remove most of the excess water. Set aside until all basil is prepared.

Chop the basil coarsely with a sharp knife and then put it into a food processor. Add the garlic, pine nuts, cheese, ½ tsp. salt, pepper, and ¼ cup ice water. Blend until the basil is coarsely pureed, scraping down the sides (and adding more water to facilitate blending only if needed).

Be patient; don’t add more water if it isn’t necessary.

With the food processor running, add the oil in a steady stream until the pesto looks creamy and emulsified. Cover and store in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer for up to a few months. Serve over 12-16 ounces of cooked rotini or fusilli, or your favorite pasta. Or dream up some other good uses for the pesto and let the rest of us know! (I’ve used it as a topping for pizza instead of tomato sauce—tastes wonderful that way)


My handwritten notes also indicate that several times I’ve done about 1½ pounds basil in three batches—3 cups, 3 cups, and 4 cups at a time—which resulted a total of 5-6 cups pesto. I’ve also kept it frozen for much longer than a few months!

Harlequin’s July News


Greetings to our Friends and Fellow Gardeners!

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We hope you enjoyed the Independence Day weekend and that you were not inconvenienced by our having been closed on July 4th. We needed a vacation day ourselves. Mikl and I celebrated our wedding anniversary last week by taking a few days off and visiting the Denver Botanic Garden, as well as their mountain park at Mount Goliath, an area that features very ancient and picturesque Bristlecone Pine trees, as well as an extensive rock garden of high-altitude native flowers. Here’s a taste of what we saw.

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We also paid a visit to our favorite foothills wildflower meadow, where we found a staggering profusion of elegant Sego Lilies (Calochortus nuttalii) – by far the most dazzling display of them we had ever seen! Also lots of Prickly Pear cactus, Yarrow, Bee Balm, Mexican Hat, Gaillardia and others.


Meanwhile, back at the home place, I knew I couldn’t tend a vegetable garden this year, so my friend Sequoia sowed a buckwheat cover-crop for me – so beautiful in frothy white bloom! The bees loved it, too. I had also allowed a big patch of parsley to go to flower (it’s a biennial, blooming the second year). It attracted lots of lady bugs, tiny wasps and other beneficial insects – just what I needed to keep the aphids down in the nearby ornamentals.


What’s Blooming in July
When I drive around, I notice what’s blooming in front yards and commercial landscapes. Right now, if I see any blooms at all, I see roses, Russian sage, daylilies, Echinaceas, Black-Eyed Susans, lavender and hollyhocks. And while these are excellent plants, the July-blooming plant palette for our area is much wider than that. Take a look at our list of ‘What’s Booming in July’ at to see how you can add more color and interest to your midsummer garden.

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You CAN plant successfully in July
Here are some tips for successful summer planting:
Don’t plant more than you can care for.
For the first few weeks, mark new plantings with landscape flags so you can easily see which plants need to be checked often.
Check new plantings every day.
New transplants will take a while to expand their root systems, so water them as if they were still in their pots.
Plants in 4”, 1-gallon, or larger pots have larger and deeper root systems and won’t dry out as fast (but it IS possible to establish plants from 2.5” pots, too).
Apply mycorrhizae to the roots and the backfill when planting. Mycorrhizae greatly increase the plant’s ability to take up water.
Dig a large planting hole – both wide and deep.
Fill the empty planting hole with water, wait for it to soak in, then proceed with planting and backfilling.
Water plants thoroughly
Apply Compost Tea.
Plant in the evening or on a cloudy, relatively still day.
Erect temporary shade for new plantings – row cover fabric, shade cloth, other removable barriers to block wind and mid-day and afternoon sun.

We’ve got lots! Beautiful hardy roses that succeed in Colorado. Many that are hard-to-find varieties. Neonicotinoid–free. Mostly in one and two-gallon pots, easy to plant.

Seed Sale
All of our 2014 Botanical Interests seeds are now on sale for 40% off. Buy them now to get a head start on next year’s vegetable, herb and flower gardens. Botanical Interests is a wonderful local seed company, based in Broomfield, offering a wide diversity of excellent quality seeds. Their packets feature a treasury of information and gorgeous botanical illustrations by local artists.

Pest Management
While the unusually generous soil moisture and cool spring has, for many of us, made this a great year for plants, it has also turned out to be a great year for insects. No need to panic, though. Harlequin’s has been practicing non-toxic pest management for 22 years, and we offer an excellent selection of organic pest-management products, including a superior Neem spray from India that acts as a safe insecticide, an insect repellent, and a fungal control (note that 90% of chemical fungicides have been found to be carcinogenic). We also offer Green Cure and Actinovate, two other highly effective organic fungicides.
Mikl’s #1 go-to all-around non-toxic insecticide is PureSpray horticultural oil, also on our shelves.
We also carry a great line of OMRI certified pest controls by the Pharm company, including Veggie Pharm, which even knocks out the ravenous blister beetles that attack Clematis, and Garlic Pharm – repellent to flea beetles.
These non-toxic formulas are not as strong as toxic chemical insecticides, so 2 or 3 applications may be necessary to control difficult pests.

Nolo Bait is a non-toxic biological control for grasshoppers and Mormon crickets. It contains spores of a naturally occurring parasite which infects the grasshopper, reducing feeding, and later causing death. It is completely harmless to other insects, bees, wildlife, pets, people, plants and soil. Nolo Bait is most effective when the grasshoppers are still small. Begin using when you see about 8 hoppers in a square yard of your garden or field. You should see a 50% reduction of population in 3 to 4 weeks, and the effectiveness improves if applied 2 or 3 years in a row. We will receive this year’s Nolo Bait any day now.

Boulder Gold
The Daily Camera’s ‘Boulder Gold’ award competition is here. Voting in the Retail or ‘Shopper’s Paradise’ category will begin soon. Please visit their website in about a week and vote for us for Best Nursery/Garden Center, Best Tree Nursery, and Best Green Products/Services. Thanks to you, we have won first place in the latter two categories for the past 2 years! Please help us win again this year, and add Best Nursery/Garden Center too!

Thank you for your continued support and friendship!

Eve & Mikl Brawner and the amazing staff at Harlequin’s Gardens

June News

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GREETINGS to our Friends and Fellow Gardeners!

The weather this spring has been so uncharacteristically gentle, cool and moist – archetypal Spring, making all the plants so full and floriferous. One of the silver linings of my injury is that I get to spend a lot more time in my home garden – not working in it, just enjoying.  Hardy cacti have been displaying their brilliantly colored and exotic-looking blossoms during the sunny hours (they close up at night), and this year, I get to see them. I get to watch the bumblebees, those impossible aviators, clutching and nuzzling for nectar and pollen from the sage blossoms, larkspurs, Jerusalem Sage, Lemon Drops, Penstemons, and Skullcap, as honeybees and many small wild bee species intently work the Thyme, Milkweed, Lamb’s Ears, Horehound (Marrubium rotundifolium), Sage, Catmint, Poppies, hardy Geranium and Erodium, Cacti, Allium, Roses, Clematis, Corydalis and more.  I’ve seen a few butterflies in my garden, Painted Ladies and Tiger Swallowtails, and where do you supposed they alighted?  Yup, on the dandelion flowers.

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The moist air also carries scents better than our usual dry atmosphere, and since the theme of my garden is fragrance, it has become a heady experience to be anywhere within a block of our house.  The perfume of roses – especially the heirloom varieties – Stanwell Perpetual, Banshee, Desiree Parmentier, Darlow’s Enigma, Alba Semi-Plena, Marchesa Boccella, Louise Odier, Sydonie, Scotsbriar, fills the garden and beyond, joined by Serotina honeysuckle, Hall’s honeysuckle, Mock Orange, Lemon Lilies (Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus), and now the native Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa).  In a few days the Regal Lilies will open and send powerful scent-waves through the air.  Heaven!

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Right now is the VERY BEST time to come and choose roses for your garden.  We offer an extraordinary selection of beautiful, hardy, disease-resistant, own-root, colorful, fragrant roses – more than 200 varieties of all shapes, sizes, colors and types!  The majority of them are in full, glorious bloom now, so you can see and smell them.


Support your Climbing Rose, Honeysuckle vine, Clematis, etc. on one of our handsome and sturdy trellises.  We have both flat and 3-D selections, ranging from those small enough for containers to those tall enough for robust climbing roses.  And they are attractive all year.


June 16 through 22 is designated Pollinator Week, a great time to learn about our pollinators, why they are so important, what kind of support they need, how to avoid endangering them, how to plan your garden to attract and support them, etc.  From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday June 21st we will have a special Pollinator table where you can get answers to your questions and literature about supporting pollinators.

We stock a great many wonderful ornamental and culinary plants that will enhance your garden and support butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and other pollinators. Our pollinator-friendly plants are FREE OF NEONICOTINOID PESTICIDES.  Neonicotinoids are a class of long-lasting systemic pesticides commonly used in the nursery industry, and are implicated in the decline of honeybee and wild bee populations.  All of the plants we grow ourselves, from seed, cuttings or liners, are grown organically, and we have gone to great lengths to research the ‘chemical history’ of the plants we bring in from wholesale growers.  Currently, at least 90% of our plants are neonicotinoid-free, and we aim to increase that to 100%.

Harlequin’s Gardens will also hold two excellent Pollinator-Related classes on Saturday June 21st:  PLEASE VISIT or CALL 303-939-9403 to PRE-REGISTER

SAT. 6/21

10:00 am:

NATIVE BEES with Kristina Williams:  

Learn about some of the most interesting of the more than 500 species of bees native to Boulder County, why they are important, and learn how to make your garden friendly to them.  Kristina combines her background as a scientist with a passion for observing insect life, and in particular, native bees.  You will gain real insight into many aspects of native pollinators.  $15

SAT. 6/21

1:00 pm:


Learn easy ways to provide food and shelter for wildlife, how to include plants that are particularly important for wildlife, and how to discourage ‘urban wildlife’ such as deer, raccoons, and skunks.  Alison Peck is a highly respected Landscape Designer with over 25 years experience specializing in Permaculture, Xeriscapes, native plant landscapes and other earth-friendly landscapes.  She is founder and owner of Matrix Gardens.  $15

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Our newest Display Garden, located along 26th Street at our entry drive, is maturing and filled-in, bursting with color, and absolutely gorgeous!  We call it the Western Garden because it includes both native and non-native plants that not only thrive in our tough arid Western conditions, but also look appropriate and express the character of our region as well.

On Sunday, June 22nd at 1:00 p.m., Eve and Mikl will present a tour of the Western Garden in our class ‘A Garden for Colorado Conditions’.  We will discuss soil preparation, native and non-native shrubs, trees and perennials, and how the garden survived, even thrived, even though much of it was planted in the heat of mid-summer. $15

Please PRE-REGISTER at the nursery or by calling 303-939-9403.

SAT. 6/21, 10:00 am: MEDICINALS AS ORNAMENTALS in a XERISCAPE – A TOUR with herbalist Leslie Lewis.P1030372

Tour Leslie’s beautiful low-water front yard in Old Town Longmont.  See how she is using medicinal herbs ornamentally in a very public front yard, and learn medicinal uses of ornamentals you probably never suspected. Try delicious herbal teas made from plants in her garden. Leslie also keeps bees in the garden. Last year’s tour was a blast! $15

This is an OFF-SITE class.  PRE-REGISTRATION is REQUIRED – Visit the nursery or call us at 303-939-9403 during business hours to register and receive address and directions for the class/tour.  Please BRING CASH PAYMENT to the class.


We continue to be deeply grateful for all the care, concern, prayers and generosity we have been receiving from you on my behalf.  It lifts our spirits and aids enormously in my recovery.  You’re the best!!!

We look forward to seeing you soon at Harlequin’s Gardens, where we invite you to stop and smell the roses – lots of them!

All the best,

Eve & Mikl Brawner and the fabulous staff at Harlequin’s Gardens


May 2014

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Right now we have our biggest selection of the year: the most tomatoes, the most peppers, the most roses, the most fruit trees and berries, perennials, etc etc. At least 85% of our stock is free of the neonicotinoid pesticides that have probable links to the decline of honey bees and other pollinators. All of our veggie starts, herbs, roses and annual flowers are neonic-free.

Compost Tea is Here.

The soil is finally warming to activate the soil life, so now is a good time to inoculate your gardens with beneficial bacteria and mycorrhizae and other beneficial fungi. These not only break down raw nutrients in the soil, making them into available forms for plants, they bring water and nutrients to the plants and help to outcompete disease organisms.


What is in our compost tea?:

dechlorinated water, a biodynamic compost, kelp, a mineral concentrate, molasses, calcium and a lot of oxygen. Mix with Age Old Liquid Grow for more nitrogen, or with Age Old Liquid Bloom for more phosphorus and potassium. Apply within 6 hours of purchase and spray or sprinkle over the foliage or as a soil drench. It is particularly effective applied to the roots of the plants as you are planting.

The Rose Cane Girdler 

is the insect that causes the swellings on the rose canes where they often break or die. Now is the time to remove the dead and damaged canes to prevent further damage. This bronze beetle emerges in late May and lays its eggs on the rose canes. When the eggs hatch, the larvae penetrate the bark and girdle the cane, causing the swelling. To discourage egg-laying, Mikl suggests spraying the canes with non-toxic Neem or garlic (with chili pepper). Spray end of May and 10 days later. Some girdling is considered acceptable since roses grow back so rapidly. P1050383


There is a sawfly that eats the leaves of gooseberries and can defoliate to plant in a hurry if you ignore them. When you see damage, spray the leaves, top and bottom with Pure Spray Horticultural Oil, Veggie Pharm, Oil Pharm, Garlic Pharm or other non-toxic spray. Spray again a week later.

As with all organic pest management, annihilation is the wrong idea. Keeping insect damage to minor levels is the goal, so that we humans still have beauty and food, the beneficial insects have pests to eat so they live in our gardens, and so we have a safe environment and a healthy planet.

CLASSES for the rest of May

Sat. May 17, 10am AND 1pm: BEES, BEES, BEES with Miles McGaughey, President of Boulder Co. Beekeepers Assn. Miles has 20 years experience keeping bees. He will talk bees then demonstrate how to work with them using our live Top Bar hive. Wear light colored clothing and avoid scented body products.   $15    Sun. May 18, 1pm:

SUCCESSION PLANTING with Tracey Parrish. Learn to maximize the use of your garden space & keep your vegetable garden in continual production.Tracey is expert in culinary gardening $15 Sat. May 24, 10 am:

DO-IT-YOURSELF DRIP IRRIGATION with Alison Peck. Drip irrigation can be easy! It is a key part of most water conserving landscapes, but it can be intimidating.  Come learn a simple, easy to design and install system which Alison has been using for years, plus new efficient sprinklers. Save money, save water, reduce weeds and have healthier plants.  Alison Peck owns Matrix Gardens, which has been designing and installing sustainable landscapes in Boulder Valley for 25 years.  $15

Sat. May 24, 1pm: TIPS AND TRICKS OF XERISCAPE 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 xeriscape experience of over 25 years has taught him tricks that will cost you a lot less than it cost him.  $15

Sat. May 31, 10 am: RAINWATER ‘HARVESTING’ with Jason Gerhardt. Jason will cover the legal issues of water harvesting in Colorado and focus on what we can do to benefit from the free rain. Harvesting water in the soil, instead of in cisterns, helps us make the best possible use of our precious rainwater. Jason currently teaches a permaculture program for Naropa University and has a service: Real Earth Design $15   

Sat. May 31, 1pm: BEST FRUIT TREES FOR COLORADO with Mikl Brawner Learn which varieties are successful here, which are not, and which are good flavored: Apples, Cherries, Plums, Pears, Peaches, and learn how to care for them. Mikl’s 1st orchard was in 1976.  $15

EVE is mending and the Sun is Shining at Harlequin’s Gardens

Do come out. Together we can do it yourself.


Mikl, Eve and the Great Staff at Harlequin’s Gardens


April 2014 Blog

Greetings Friends and Fellow Gardeners,
April is here so we are open 7 days a week, 9-5 and until 6pm on Thursdays.

Plants are coming in every week, as they become ready and as we feel safe that they will not die if hit by cold weather or 12” of wet snow. We have lots of cold-season salad greens, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower etc right now. Grapes will be coming in about 3 weeks, Austin Roses in 4 weeks and tomatoes in 1 to 2 weeks. Why so early on tomatoes? Because we carry a clever improvement on the wall of water, we call the Solar Cap. It is a metal frame with a plastic bag with a water layer, that is bigger than a wall of water, can be left on all season to keep the soil warm during our cool nights, won’t blow over etc. Mikl always plants a tomato or two around April 15th, often with a snow storm blowing in over the mountains, and he begins picking tomatoes in July. More and more varieties of tomatoes, peppers etc will be coming out later in April and early May. All of these veggies are organic and free of bee-harming neonicotinoids.

Our fruit trees that overwintered outdoors can be planted now, and as the berry fruits start leafing, we will bring them out. Raspberries are vulnerable now, so we will be bringing them out in a couple of weeks.

Saturday, April 5, Janis Keift of Botanical Interests will be teaching a class on Seed Starting Success. Learn from an expert.

DON’T MISS for the first time: BABY GOAT DAY , Sunday April 6 at 12:30 for a couple of hours, until the 3 baby goats get tired of romping, frolicking, jumping around and creating hilarious entertainment for young and old alike. Margaret Hollander, who raises these goats near the reservoir will be minding them and perhaps bottle feeding them. Two are LaManche goats and one is a Nubian. Have you ever seen baby goats?

Mikl’s class on Successful Composting is scheduled at the same time. He’ll probably be lonely, but could do some successful composting Afterwards with what the goats leave.

Also we would like to bring to your attention a Boulder County Open Space program “Purge your Spurge”. You dig your Myrtle Spurge that is a noxious weed and bring a bag of it to one location in Longmont or one in Boulder and they will give you free native plants. This “Donkey Tail Spurge” has greenish yellow flowers early in spring and bluish succulent leaves that contain a toxic milky sap. I know children that were sent to the emergency room for playing with this plant and I also know of a tough grown man whose eyes were swollen shut the day after pulling it. PLEASE use gloves and long sleeves and wash with soap after digging. Take your Spurge on May 10, 9-12 noon to 6400 Arapahoe in Boulder or on April 26, to the Boulder Co. Fairgrounds in Longmont, 9-12noon. For more information: or 303-678-6294

P.S. Plants that have spent their spring in a greenhouse will need to be hardened off both to cold and to our intense sun. Get information about how to do this when you shop at Harlequin’s Gardens.

We look forward to seeing you and helping you with your gardening.

The Staff at Harlequin’s Gardens



Dear Friends and Fellow Gardeners,

Welcome to Spring and to Harlequin’s Gardens. The theme of this year’s newsletter is healing. That is because so many people around the world are in need of healing, including flood victims in Colorado and my dear wife and partner, Eve, who was run over by a car in mid-January. After 10 days in intensive care and 6 weeks in the hospital and rehab, she is now at home. Her recovery has been amazingly rapid, but it may take months to complete.

The daily corporate news shows all the terrible qualities of human beings, but sometimes it takes a natural disaster or a life-threatening accident or illness to expose both the extraordinary and ordinary goodness in us humans. In September we found we could dig mud and muck out of other people’s basements, make room in our homes while others were homeless, make food for people without working kitchens, and share our money with people in need. And in January, when Eve had her terrible accident, she and I both realized that we really do live in a community as we received so many offers of help, cards, donations, food, prayers, healing energies and caring well-wishes.

So what does healing have to do with gardening? Many victims of the flood have had soil and plants washed away, and soil and debris dumped on their gardens. And there is concern about contamination. At Harlequin’s Gardens, we have great faith in the goodness of the life force to regrow from the ground up, and to renew and refresh the soil by the positive power of the invisible microorganisms. This is not a blind faith, but an awareness based on our personal and referred experience. (See our April Class “Flood Recovery for the Garden.)

Human health depends on healthy food and a healthy environment. Healthy food comes from healthy plants that come from a healthy soil. Chemical fertilizers undermine soil health and are lacking in important micronutrients. Soils can be built up by supporting and partnering with soil biology to create long-term soil fertility that will grow nutrient-dense foods. And we can grow varieties of plants that are high in antioxidants and other phytochemicals that build our immune systems and general vitality. We can help you do this.

This year Harlequin’s Gardens opened on March 1st for business on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Starting in April we will be open every day 9-5 and Thursdays til 6. We take payment in cash and checks only.

Eve assembles our selection of vegetable and herb starts on the basis of considerable research and personal experience. For many years we have been trialing and evaluating new varieties in our own gardens. We attend local tasting events (including our own Taste of Tomato) and participate in local culinary garden group discussions. We have heard evaluations and taken recommendations from our customers and staff, and we have tasted produce grown by our local farmers and talked with them about what’s successful for them. Every winter Eve pores over the most interesting and reliable seed catalogs, searching for new and special varieties that resist disease and pests, produce generously, taste fabulous, and that we think will likely be successful and rewarding here on the high plains and in the mountains. Our selection aims to include the best vegetable and herb varieties for a wide range of garden sizes and growing conditions (high altitude, hot, sunny and dry, shaded, short-season, raised bed, container, ornamental edible, etc.) and culinary uses (fresh, cooked, canned, frozen, dried, stuffed, fermented, sauce, high nutrition, ornamental value, etc.) and preferences (mild, spicy, sweet, acidic, etc.). We think you’ll find the very best choices at Harlequin’s Gardens. Please give us your feedback on what you grow from us.

WE ARE GROWING dozens of varieties that we cannot describe here. Please go to our website under Plants/Edibles for a complete listing and descriptions of our veggies.

A message from Eve

The outpouring of concern, love, prayers and support Mikl and I have received since my injury has been absolutely amazing, and the extent of this caring community is beyond anything we could have imagined.  I am so deeply grateful!  My room in the rehab facility was filled with flowers, the fridge filled with lovingly home-made food, and the walls festooned with many dozens of cards, prayer flags and artwork from so many of you, surrounding me with healing energy.  I have no doubt that the love has been a big factor in the good progress of my recovery.

Of course I am itching to get back to the nursery (patience is my biggest challenge!), but I still have a lot more healing to do. In the meantime, I want you to know that our fantastic staff stepped up to take on many of my duties and they’ve done a great job in my absence.  I also want you to know that Mikl has proved himself a true super-hero, shouldering tons more work and still making lots of time to be with me and run my errands.

I’m very happy to be back at home now.  I’ve made a couple of brief forays into my garden with my walker to see the crocus, iris, snowdrops and hellebores blooming, and to watch the bees at work. Spring is here, and it’s so good to be alive!

A FEW of our NEW TOMATOES  (75 varieties of tomatoes in 2014) 

Cour di Bue – 75 days. Indeterminate – Italian Oxheart, a favorite in Italy for many years.   Brought to our attention by our Staff Member, Engrid, and rated highly at the 2013 Tomato Tasting. Delicious for fresh eating or cooking.  Hard to find and beautiful.

Azoychka Tomato  – 70-80 days. Semi-determinate – The fruit of this Russian heirloom are glowing lemon-yellow in color, round, flat, 6-8 ounces. Flavorful flesh that has a citrusy quality; performs well at high altitude

Beam’s Yellow Pear – 70 -80 days. Indeterminate – Yellow pears have been around since the 1700’s. Mild sweet flavor, ideal for salads, uniform fruits are 1 ½ inches long. These are just like the little yellow pear tomatoes that your grandmother grew.

Honey Drop Cherry – 70-80 days. Indeterminate, OP – a prolific yellow cherry tomato with an incredibly sweet complex taste that may rival Sungold.

Red Peach  – 90 days. Indeterminate. Russian Heirloom red which is fuzzy like a peach, deliciously flavored, 2” fruits

Olga’s Round Yellow Chicken – 75 days. Determinate.  A Russian variety, bright orange and perfectly round with a nice acid/sweet balance. 2 1/2” fruits

Amelia – TSWV Certified (resistant to Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus) – 75 days. Indeterminate. High yields of firm, uniform red fruit

Bella Rosa – TSWV Certified 75 days. Determinate.  Heat tolerant, round, firm, and highly flavorful with  a good balance of acid and sugar

Health Kick – TSWV Certified 74 days. Determinate. F1 hybird. Very flavorful, extra large plum shaped tomatoes with 50% more lycopene than any other tomato. Excellent in salads or for making sauce and paste.

Bolseno – TSWV(Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus) Resistant 75 days. OP Heirloom.  Indeterminate. Beautiful, blemish free,  smooth semi-flat red tomato with attractive slight green shoulders, tangy flavor.  Medium 6 to 7 oz. fruit.

Indigo Rose (80 days, ind, hyb)  2 inch round fruit are dark blue purple and deep red fruits are extra nutritious containing high levels of the antioxidant anthocyanin. For the best flavor and texture, harvest when the colors have deepened and the fruit is soft to the touch. Great plate appeal.

Mammoth German Gold (85 days, ind, OP) Very productive plant with huge, up to 1 1/2 pound, bicolored tomatoes that are gold with red streaks. The fruity flavor is described as tropical, but not overly sweet.

Rutgers Determinate (75 days, det, OP). Bright red fruits average 6-8 oz, with a small seed cavity and good color throughout. Hearty tomato flavor and meaty texture. Compact, bushy plants

Siberian (57-60 days, det, OP). very early fruit set on very compact plants Egg shaped 1-2” fruits with wonderful flavor.

Speckled Roman Paste (75 days, ind, OP) High yield producer of intriguingly beautiful, 4-6-inch long, orange-red with wavy yellow stripes paste tomato! Good flavor and meaty texture makes a delicious tomato sauce.

Sungold (57 days, ind, hyb) A customer favorite cherry tomato. Very early, beautiful, plump, tangerine colored fruits are quite simply, very sweet and juicy! Provide support for vigorous vines that easily reach 6 feet long. Allow tomatoes to fully ripen for optimum flavor


Pueblo Chile (Mosco Pepper) – 75 days.  A Colorado Original – developed by the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station with thick fruit walls and high yields. More pungent than a typical Anaheim-type pepper, with 5,000-6,000 Scoville units.  Reported to rival Hatch Chili for flavor.

Red Mini Bell – 60 days – Tiny red bells with thick red, very sweet flesh on 2’ tall plants. Very prolific and great for stuffing. Great for containers and small gardens

Calabrese Hot Cherry pepper (97+ days) This is a small, round hot pepper, 1-2 inches in diameter. Bright red when ripe, moderate heat. Use fresh, pickled, or even dried.

Pasilla chile pepper (78 days, OP)   very mild with a berry, almost herbal, flavor. Strong, upright plants produce good yields of thin walled, long, slender, dark black-green maturing to dark brown. Classic pepper for mole’sauce.

Long Purple Cayenne pepper (67+ days) Blossoms and spicy pods are lovely bright purple in color, maturing to a deep red, making them quite unique and colorful. Attractive tall plants will be covered with dark fruit; great for hot sauce, chili and soup and pretty enough for a flower bed.

Serrano chile pepper (78 days) Whether used green or red, this is one very hot pepper! Flavorful peppers are perfect for chile sauce, salsa, hot pepper vinegar and pickles. Prolific, vigorous 30″ plants covered with 2″ thin-walled fruits.

Shishito Japanese pepper (60 days) By popular demand.Slender fruit is usually mild,. Its thin walls make it ideal to roast, fry or grill taking on rich flavor; popular with chefs and gourmet cooks. The bushy plants are productive and good for container growing.


Purple Fingerling Eggplant (68 days, OP) A tender, mild flavored Asian type, the elongated fruit are borne in spineless clusters; good in containers. Highly productive, harvest when fruit are 2″-6” in diameter.

New Cool Season Vegetables

Broccoli Romanesco (75+ days) Italian heirloom widely grown and eaten in northern Italy. Spiraling apple-green heads have sweet nutty flavor if eaten raw or lightly cooked. No wonder it is a chefs favorite! Very cool looking.

Collards, Georgia Southern (50+ days) No longer just for Southern cuisine! Larger leaves can be traditionally long or lightly cooked to keep nutritious qualities, while small young leaves add substance to salads. This is an excellent container variety, easy to grow.

Chard, Prima Rosa (25 or 50 days) A highly ornamental edible, plant as a garden border then harvest young red-veined green leaves to add color to early season salads. The mature leaves have deep red color earlier than other varieties.

Yugoslavian Red Butterhead lettuce, (55 days) Heirloom. Red-tinged leaves form large loose heads around creamy yellow-white hearts; succulent texture with mild flavor. Heirloom variety brought here by Slovenian immigrants.

Parris Island Romaine lettuce, (68 days) Crunchy, sweet leaves, pale creamy-green heart, and vigorous growth 10″ – 12″ lettuce with upright, dark green leaves, or use as cut-and-come-again baby romaine. Heat and mosaic virus tolerant.

Leaf lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson (40 days) After more than 150 years, this heirloom stands out as one of the most tender and delicately flavored varieties. Has large, crumpled, light green leaves with inner leaves blanch almost white. Withstands hot, dry conditions and light frosts.

Mizspoona Salad – (20 or 40 days) cross of Mizuna and Tatsoi gives the vigorous growth and cold hardiness of both its parents. The mild mustard flavor gives a peppery edge to salads but is softened in cooked preparations.

And of course, many, many more varieties of Broccoli, Cabbage, Eggplant, Squashes, Melons, Lettuces, Spinach, Kales, Chards etc. (Eve couldn’t help put this together this year.) see our website under Plants/Edibles

Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”   Hippocrates

And then there is the healing that our environment is needing, that effects the bees, all the beings, our health and our children’s future. This not only relates to the necessity to ban fracking to protect our precious water and air, but also the importance of escaping from our reliance on toxic chemicals and pesticides. It is known that 85% of the 82,000

chemicals registered for use in the US have never been tested for toxicity. The average American child has more than 200 industrial chemicals in her blood. And the most effective controls for Emerald Ash Borer are nerve toxins that are lethal to bees. (see Mikl’s article on EAB under Mikl’s articles at and call Sen. Boxer to reform the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act : 202-224-8832)

In addition, a study by the Pesticide Research Institute found that 7 or 13 samples of garden plants sold at Home Depot and Lowe’s (and possibly most big box stores and nurseries) contained systemic neurotoxins called neonicotinoids (neonics), which have probable links to the decline of bees. These toxins remain in all parts of the plants for months to years. The European Food Safety Authority found that neonics pose an unacceptably high risk to bees.

So little Harlequin’s Gardens is already taking action. Eve began communicating with our suppliers last fall to determine which suppliers will provide us with plants free from neonicotinoids. Because they are the most widely used class of insecticides, and persist in plants so long, neonic-free plants are hard to find. But in 2014 NONE of our roses will contain neonics, and of course none of our organic veggie starts and herbs contain any chemicals, and none of the Harlequin-grown perennials contain neonics. Most of our fruit trees and berry bushes, and most of our shrubs and trees are free of neonics. We will continue to select, pressure and educate our suppliers so more of our perennials will be free from neonicotinoids. It is essential to save our bees, but also the bees are indicators of what is going on under the surface for all of us. (see

More people die from lack of access to clean water than from all forms of violence together.               Maude Barlow

Items of Interest:

We will again be carrying seeds of grasses for low-water lawns and meadows: a Mountain Native Mix, a Foothills Native Mix, a Very Xeric Meadow Mix, plus Crested Wheat for a dry lawn, several cover-crops, and a Native Wildflower Mix. We think the “New Lawn” could be a water-saving, bird and pollinator-supporting and beautiful MEADOW. See Classes for “How to establish a Meadow” and see meadows article on our website.

SUCCULENTS: We are increasing our stock of beautiful, sculptural, low-water succulent plants that can be grown in containers (we’ll have those, too) outdoors in summer and indoors in winter.

 DAHLIAS:  This spring we will again carry tubers for an assortment of gorgeous dahlias grown by Arrowhead Dahlias in nearby Platteville CO !

GARDEN SCULPTURES & ORNAMENTS: For many years we’ve been searching for garden art we really liked – original, beautiful, durable, and reasonably priced. We finally found it! We’re very excited to be offering metal garden art from Charlotte and Ben Zink.  These delightful, lyrical sheet-metal sculptures, made in their Front Range studio, will be available in many designs, sizes and finishes. We will post photos on our website soon. We hope that Eve will also be making more ceramic garden ‘totems’ – fun!

We will host the ‘Taste of Tomato’ festival & tasting event along with Boulder County CSU Cooperative Extension on Saturday September 6. Last year was great fun with 100 varieties to try. Bring at least 3 known tomatoes of a known variety to get in free. It will be held at the Gateway Park Fun Center  4800  28th St. in Boulder  9 am.-1pm

Research at Kansas State Univ. monitoring recovering surgery patients, found that “patients in rooms with plants required less pain relief, and they had lower ratings of pain, anxiety and fatigue, than did patients in rooms with no plants.”   HortScience


Here are plants you are unlikely to find anywhere else. Many have survived in our low-water conditions with heat and wind, grasshoppers and rabbits for many years. They like Colorado. We take cuttings and seeds from our gardens to reproduce these sustainable plants. They are grown organically in our own potting mix, formulated to produce strong, healthy plants.

Alyssum oxycarpum-our new Favorite Plant: a low Basket of Gold, 4” high and 24” in diameter, gorgeous silver foliage summer and winter, with soft yellow flowers in spring

See them in our Groundcovers Display Garden. Harlequin’s Exclusive. Colorado-tough.

Dianthus gratianopolitanus: many selections with nicer names, but this is the most enduring dianthus in our test beds. Sweet pink, very fragrant flowers; makes a ground cover. Propagated from cuttings from our garden where it has survived sun, grasshoppers, rabbits and dry conditions for 10 years.

Dick’s Wine Veronica: Wow, wait till you see this creeping veronica 16” in diameter bloom with its rose-pink flowers. It looks fragile, but we’ve grown it for years in low water conditions. Give it water once a week to be nice. High Country Gardens copied us this year.

Teucrium sp. ‘Harlequin’s Silver’ was selected amongst our seedlings. This silver-leafed germander is a beauty; 4” high and 24” wide; purplish flowers. We have tested it in hot, dry conditions and find it needs little water. The silver leaves look beautiful summer and winter Please tell us your experience with this plant. We think it is worthy of Plant Select.

‘Clear Gold’ Thyme: “The best gold thyme” for Colorado, 4” high by 16” wide. The fragrant gold leaves become greener in summer, lavender flowers provide summer nectar for the bees . Low water in part shade. Best out of winter sun.

Keller’s Yarrow: a wonderful, heat tolerant, non-spreading yarrow; very attractive blue-green ferny foliage; clusters of white flowers provide nectar for beneficial insects. 6”x 18” wide; undemanding and enduring; low water needs. Not bothered by deer or rabbits

Sedum populifolium: has fleshy, poplar-shaped leaves, grows 8”-12” tall with some off- white flowers. Very unusual and attract form, deer-resistant, part-shade preferring

Iberis saxatilis: the evergreen candytufts are some of the most beautiful and successful plants for Colorado. Their rich evergreen foliage looks so good in winter, and blesses spring with masses of pure white flowers. This species is a dwarf, 4” high by 12” wide; propagated from our 10 year old specimen that has endured everything with grace.

Ohme Garden Thyme: a very vigorous creeping thyme with mauve-pink flowers in early summer providing herbal nectar for the bees; it forms a groundcover that suppresses many weeds.. 3”x 24”-30”; Heat tolerant, Low water; rabbits and deer are no problem

Paronychia kapela: We call this thyme-like groundcover “Tough-as-Nails” because it is more xeric than thyme and holds up better in flagstones than thyme. 1”x18”. White bracts

Jasmine Dianthus: of course you don’t know this treasure if you don’t haunt Rock Garden Societies or shop at Harlequin’s. Who would sniff a flower with a name like Dianthus petraeus noeanus? Yet the white filigree flowers have a most wonderful jasmine fragrance. A single tiny flower is enough to raise eyebrows of delight; a mature plant can lure you from 10’ away. The foliage looks grassy so be careful not to pull it out; 6”x 18”; low water needs

Reiter’s Thyme: a tough, resilient creeping thyme often grown as a groundcover or small lawn. David Salman says “…rich, olive-green foliage grows so thickly that it also chokes out most weeds.” 3”x 30”; lavender flowers in the summer for nectar for the bees. Cut off spent flowers with a hedge shear or sharp lawn mower; low water but best irrigated in summer

Veronica allioni: this is the true rock garden gem with 6” spikes of blue flowers on a 12” mat. This is not the groundcover sold under the same. Tough, low water and really cute.

Dianthus ‘Blue Hills’: a rugged, low, creeping dianthus with the most blue foliage; 3”x 12” ; very spicy fragrant pink flowers; sweet and tough in a rock garden; 3 or 4 make a mass along the front of a border or on the sunny side of a shrub. Harlequin’s Gardens brought this in from a rare-plant nursery and is propagating it from our successful plants.

HARLEQUIN’S FAVORITE SHRUBS AND TREES: both native and non-natives that have proved their value in Colorado conditions, many under Harlequin’s water restrictions. We source from local growers whose quality we trust AND we grow some in economical 2 gallon containers in our own soil mix with mycorrhizal fungi, Mikl’s compost and other organic ingredients. These shrubs know what to do when they meet real soil. Here are a few we carry

Wavyleaf Oak, Peking Cotoneaster, Cercocarpus ledifolius, Fernbush, Sungari Cotoneaster, Ephedra equisetina, Arizona Cypress, New Mexican Privet, Mock Orange-Mikl’s Selection, Euonymus Manhattan-Mikl’s Selection, Euonymus ‘Minima’, ‘Julia Jane’ Boxwood

Do you need help planting trees or shrubs that you buy at Harlequin’s Gardens? If so we have organized a planting service that will be carried out by two of our staff as part of their side-businesses. They can deliver, dig the holes and plant: put in the proper amendments, fertilizer and mycorrhizae and mulch, just as you choose. Ask at the desk for details.

HERBS AT HARLEQUIN’S GARDENS   are organic and we carry both culinary and medicinal 

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

Helianthus pumilus-yellow daisies on dwarf yellow sunflower, 12”-20” high, xeric

Grindellia squarrosa-Gumweed: attractive yellow flowers Aug-Oct., xeric medicinal, 15”

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,

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

Monarda fistulosa-native bee balm, pink-purple flowers bees love, fragrant foliage, 16”

Lithospermum multiflorum-Many Flowered Puccoon, 12”-24”, funnel-like yellow flowers

Solidago rigida-Stiff Goldenrod- 16” tall stems, golden-yellow clusters of flowers, butterflies

Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.                     Wendell Berry


March 1   Open for the Season: Open Fri. Sat and Sundays  9-5

Beginning April 1   Open every day 9-5; Thursdays 9-6

April 28,29, May 1, 2,3,4,  Harlequin’s Gardens Annual May Day Celebration and Plant Sale.  Plant Sale Monday thru Sunday; on Saturday May 3 from 10:30-11 don’t miss the Maroon Bells Morris Dancers  who will bring us fertility and merriment, at 11:30  hear the very fine & lively Boulder Irish Session Band and at 1:45pm Magician Stuart Hayner will amaze us and entertain the children.

On Sunday, May 4, World Laughter Day, refreshments will be served, and from 11-12:30enjoy some good old-time music with singer-songwriter-activist Elena Klaver & friends. At listen to the sweet and wonderful harp of Margot Krimmel. From 2pm  & throughout the day watch for Stele Earth E Man, Eco-Troubadour & children charmer

August 25,26, 27,28,29,30,31           Members Fall Plant Sale

Sept 1  Harlequin’s Annual Fall Plant Sale begins for everyone. This sale continues every week in September and October

Sept. 6 Taste of Tomato: a tomato tasting festival; CSU Co-op Extension with Harlequin’s Gardens; Held at Gateway Park. 9-1 Bring your favorites; call/see our website for details

October: open every day 9-5, the Sale continues.    Closed for the Season-TBA

December Holiday Market with Local Artisan Goods and Goodies every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in December


Please subscribe to receive our newsletters by email.

We are delighted that we now have over 9,000 customers on our mailing list, but so far only 2,500 have subscribed to receive our newsletters by email. Here are some really good reasons to join our email group.

1) Receive our occasional blogs with timely garden advice and reminders, as well as news of stock arrivals, upcoming classes, special events and sales, etc. Our blog is a way we can give you detailed and up-to-date information at the time when it is relevant. 3) Save trees. 4) Help Harlequin’s Gardens to save money. We’re very happy to give you a ‘hard copy’ newsletter when you visit the nursery, or continue to mail it to you if you prefer.

Go to to subscribe. Please remember to add us to your Contact List so your email server doesn’t throw us in the trash.

FACEBOOK : We wish you could LOVE us on Facebook, but since that’s not possible, we hope you will LIKE us. We’ve just inaugurated our Facebook page, and will be adding content as we get the hang of it. FB is a good medium for giving you real-time updates of plant and product arrivals, impromptu events like mini-classes & demos, 1-day sales, etc. and enables you to stay connected. We will use it to post photos of plants when they’re displaying their most beautiful or interesting characteristics, photos and info about beneficial insects and pests to put you on the lookout for them and help you identify and relate to them.

It ain’t what you don’t know what gets you in trouble. It’s what you know for sure, that just aint so.        Mark Twain


In our classes you will learn more than information. Our teachers are people who have spent years honing their skills. Their experience in Colorado will help guide you to success. We are charging $15 for most 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 the class. Pre-payment assures your place in the class. More details at     CLASSES ARE $15 unless otherwise noted

Sat, April 5, 1pm: SEED STARTING SUCCESS with Janis Keift of Botanical Interests Seed Co. Learn all the background and tips for getting good germination and a healthy start with seeds, indoors and out.    $15

Sun. April 6, 1pm: SUCCESSFUL HOME COMPOSTING with Mikl Brawner.  How to turn waste into wealth by cultivating soil microorganisms. Nature does the work if you know how to lend a hand. In this class you will learn what works in our climate, and what doesn’t. Mikl has been composting for 30 years.  $15

Saturday April 12, 10 am: EDIBLE LANDSCAPING with Alison Peck. 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.   $15

Sun. April 13, 1pm: FLOOD RECOVERY FOR THE GARDEN with Darren Klotz & Mikl Brawner Learn how to stabilize eroded soil, use biology and organic amendments to clean up and enrich polluted ground, how to relate to trees with soil piled over the roots or soil washed off roots, etc. Bring your questions. $15            

Sat. April 19, 10am: GROWING THE BEST PEPPERS with Carol O’Meara, Boulder Co. CSU Cooperative Extension. Learn how to choose and grow the best peppers for the Front Range.     $15

Sat. April 19, 1 pmBUILDING TOPSOIL & FERTILITY with Mikl Brawner. Learn how to support soil life, enrich poor soils and improve plant health and nutrition from the bottom up: composts, fertilizers, mulching, worms, deficiencies and tilth.    $15               

Sunday April 20 EASTER: EASTER BONNET CONTEST-Wear a bonnet constructed only of plant materials from your own yard! PRIZES!           

Sat. April 26, 10am: RAISED BEDS with Bryant Mason, the Urban Farm Co. A step by step class on how to start an easy and productive raised bed vegetable garden: soil development, bed construction, planting timing, fertilizing, weeding, harvesting and recommended crops.   $15               

Sat. April 16, 1pm: RAISING BACKYARD CHICKENS with Michele Bailey. Learn how to select, purchase, and care for a flock of chickens. Find out what they need and the benefits they provide.   $15          

Sun. April 27, 1pm: VERMICOMPOSTING with “The Worm Man” John Anderson. How to compost with worms to make a rich and plant-available soil amendment for your gardens.This has been John’s passion for many years. Worms will be available for purchase at the class for $35 plus the class fee of.   $15              

Sat. May 10, 10am: EDIBLE WEEDS AND WILD MEDICINALS with herbalist Emily Kallio, Forage, taste and delight in the wild foods Nature has to offer. Learn to prepare scrumptious snacks from the weeds that grew themselves. A fun and very popular class. Emily has 15 years experience working with wild plants $15                                                                                                             

Sat. May 10, 1pm: HANDS ON CONTAINER PLANTING with Elaine Walker and Staff. Learn how to put together a beautiful and successful planter using ornamentals and/or vegetables and herbs. Choose from our planters or bring your own and our wonderful selection of plants. You will take home a completed planter for yourself or as a Mother’s Day gift. Bring a trowel and gardening gloves(or buy them here).   $15+materials    

Sat. May 17, 10am AND 1pm: BEES, BEES, BEES with Miles McGaughey, President of Boulder Co. Beekeepers Assn. Miles has 20 years experience keeping bees. He will talk bees then demonstrate how to work with them using our live Top Bar hive. Wear light colored clothing and avoid scented body products.   $15   

Sun. May 18, 1pm: SUCCESSION PLANTING with Tracey Parrish. Learn to maximize the use of your garden space & keep your vegetable garden in continual production.Tracey is expert in culinary gardening   $15  

Sat. May 24, 10 am:  DO-IT-YOURSELF DRIP IRRIGATION with Alison Peck. Drip irrigation can be easy! It is a key part of most water conserving landscapes, but it can be intimidating.  Come learn a simple, easy to design and install system which Alison has been using for years, plus new efficient sprinklers. Save money, save water, reduce weeds and have healthier plants.  Alison Peck owns Matrix Gardens, which has been designing and installing sustainable landscapes in Boulder Valley for 25 years.  $15

Sat. May 24, 1pm: TIPS AND TRICKS OF XERISCAPE 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 xeriscape experience of over 25 years has taught him tricks that will cost you a lot less than it cost him.  $15

Sat. May 31, 10 am: RAINWATER ‘HARVESTING’ with Jason Gerhardt. Jason will cover the legal issues of water harvesting in Colorado and focus on what we can do to benefit from the free rain. Harvesting water in the soil, instead of in cisterns, helps us make the best possible use of our precious rainwater. Jason currently teaches a permaculture program for Naropa University and has a service: Real Earth Design    $15   

Sat. May 31, 1pm: BEST FRUIT TREES FOR COLORADO with Mikl Brawner Learn which varieties are successful here, which are not, and which are good flavored: Apples, Cherries, Plums, Pears, Peaches, and learn how to care for them. Mikl’s 1st orchard was in 1976.  $15

Sun. June 1, 10am: MAKE YOUR OWN HYPER-TUFA TROUGH PLANTER with Tamara Winter. Dress to get dirty: bring particle mask, rubber gloves, bandana; forms provided or bring one. These planters are ideal for alpine treasures, cacti & succulents etc.; $25 includes materials for 1 trough; must pre-register    

Sun. June 1, 1pm: CANADIAN ROSES with Mikl Brawner. Canadian roses are some of the most sustainable and well-adapted roses for Colorado. Grown on their own roots , they are super-hardy, disease-resistant, repeat flowering and easy. Mikl has been growing them for more than 15 years.   $15              

Sat. June 7, 10am: THINK GLOBALLY, GARDEN LOCALLY with Alison Peck, owner of Matrix Gardens. Just as eating locally and mindfully transforms us and our communities, we can garden with new garden designs, plants, methods, tools, seeds and materials that can bring health to us, build a green economy, reduce toxins, conserve resources and provide a better home for all life. Bring some aspect of your yard or garden that you are unhappy with, and Alison will put her 30 years of sustainable thinking to the task.    Only $15

Sat. June 7, 1pm: GROOVIN’ WITH THE OLDIES with Linda Taylor. Explore the beauty, fragrance and pleasure of the old garden and heirloom roses. Every garden deserves an old rose! Linda has grown roses for over 20 years in Colorado and Montana where she had a rose nursery.   $15     

Sun. June 8, 1pm: MANAGING PESTS WITHOUT POISONS 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.    $15       

Sat. June 14, 10am: MEDICINALS AS ORNAMENTALS IN A XERISCAPE-A TOUR with herbalist Leslie Lewis. Tour her successful and beautiful low-water front yard in Old Town Longmont. See how she is using medicinal herbs ornamentally in a very public front yard. Leslie is a long-time practicing herbalist.   $15 

Sat. June 14, 10am: DAVID AUSTIN ROSES with Sharron Zaun. English Roses bred by David Austin are among the most beautiful and fragrant of all roses. Austins are hardier and easier than most Hybrid Teas, and more fragrant and beautiful than most modern shrub roses. Sharron will talk about their history, their culture and show how to incorporate them into your garden. This class will be a treat for your eyes and noses. Sharron has grown Austin Roses for over 15 years.                                                                                                   $15 

Sat. June 14, 1pm:  BERRIES & SMALL FRUITS for COLORADO with Mikl Brawner.  Small fruits are delicious, high in antioxidants and vitamins, take up less space & bear sooner than trees: strawberries, currants, raspberries, grapes, gooseberries. The best varieties for CO. & how to grow them.  $15                                     

Sat. June 21, 10am: NATIVE BEES with Kristina Williams. Learn about the more than 500 species of native bees in Boulder County, and how to make your garden friendly to them. Kristina is a scientist and passionate observer of insect life and of native bees in particular. Real insight into native pollinators.   $15

Sat. June 21, 1pm:  GARDENING for BEES, BIRDS & WILDLIFE with Alison Peck.  Learn easy ways to provide food and shelter for wildlife, how to include plants that are particularly important for wildlife, and how to discourage ‘urban wildlife’, such as deer, skunks and raccoons.  Alison Peck is a Landscape Designer specializing in xeriscapes, native plant landscapes and other earth-friendly landscapes: Matrix Gardens   $15  

Sun. June 22, 1pm: A GARDEN FOR COLORADO CONDITIONS with Eve and Mikl Brawner. Tour our most recent demonstration garden. We will discuss soil prep, the native and non-native shrubs, trees and perennials, and how the garden survived, even thrived, though it was planted in the heat of the summer. $15 

Sat. June 28, 1pm: GARDENING AT HIGH ALTITUDE 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 has gardened  at 8000’for many years. No book can help you better.  $15                                          

Sat. July 12, 1pm: BASIC PLANT IDENTIFICATION with Diane Badertscher. Ever wondered what kind of tree or shrub that was? Diane can show you some ways to identify some of the more common plants.   $15 

Sat. July 26, 10am: BASIC LANDSCAPE DESIGN 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 and create a bubble space diagram. This class could save years of redoing.    $15

Sun. Aug. 10, 1 p.m.: PRUNING for STRENGTH, HEALTH & BEAUTY (offered again on Sat. 9/13) Mikl Brawner will give a talk and demonstration. Learn to train young trees, to restructure shrubs and trees broken by storms, to prune roses. Mikl has 35 years experience in pruning.     $15                                              

Sun. Aug 24, 1pm: LOW TECH GREENHOUSE DESIGN AND OPERATION 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.   $15           

Sat. Sept. 6: FOURTH ANNUAL TOMATO TASTING see details under Event and on our website

Sun. Sept 7, 1pm: ROCK AND CREVICE GARDENING  with Mike Kintgen, senior horticulturist at Denver Botanic Gardens. Learn the methods and plants to enjoy the natural, beautiful jewels of rock and crevice gardens from one of the most knowledgeable rock gardeners in the region. A rare opportunity.  $15

Sun. Aug. 25, 1:30 p.m.:  PRUNING for STRENGTH, HEALTH & BEAUTY with Mikl Brawner (this is a REPEAT of the August 10th class) $15                                                                                                                

Sat. Sept 27, 10am: GARDENING AS WE AGE with Chris Woods. Interaction with Nature has many health and therapeutic benefits, especially as we age. Topics will include: modification of existing beds/areas, equipment and tools, designing for accessibility and safety, and plants that evoke sensory stimulation. Chris has a degree in Horticultural Therapy and is a Landscape Designer with Matrix Gardens.    $15


Membership is the solution for how a small business like ours can afford to have many display gardens. We learn best by example and by doing, so we devote land, time and plants to Demonstration Gardens that inspire and educate all of us.

We now have 8 gardens for you to enjoy and learn from. But last year our membership fell and our maintenance expenses went up, so we are hoping that this year 20-30 more people will support our gardens.

Here is our expanded current offer: Members will give us $20 for a one year membership and in direct return will receive these benefits 1)Free Harlequin’s Class of your choice, worth $15. 2) 25% discount on books all year 3) During the May Day Week get $10 off a $50 or more purchase of plants (except roses & fruit trees)

4) during May Day Week, take 10% off roses (except quarts), then 5) in August begin the fall sale a week early with 20% off most everything. 

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 programs not only for yourself, but for the community. If you like what we’ve been doing so far, help us to make it possible.

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 file. A membership is valid until the end of the calendar year . THANK YOU TO ALL OUR MEMBERS!!!

Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got til it’s gone.      Joni Mitchell

We are very proud of our staff, who have worked with us for so many years, so to help you to get to know us and our specialties, here are our portraits.

Elaine Walker has a degree in landscape architecture with an emphasis in ecological practices. She has her own landscape design practice, and her recent work includes designing outdoor living spaces, retaining & boulder walls, water features, native and drought tolerant plantings.

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.

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 16 years of experience gardening at 8,000’ is very valuable to mountain gardeners.

Matt Patrick is trained as a CSU Master Gardener and has operated his own landscape business for the past 9 years. He was raised farming tobacco in Kentucky. He has worked for the Boulder County AIDS Project, Boulder Human Relations Comm., & Foothills United Way. He excels in recycling.

Engrid Winslow has a degree in Urban Horticulture and has taken Master Gardener training. She is a good and educated gardener, and her new greenhouse is allowing her to propagate organic veggie starts for us. Engrid makes the best jams and preserves.

Michele Bailey has worked for more than 16 years in the landscaping and nursery industries. Her special interests are perennials, natives and vegetables—especially for children. She enjoys teaching customers and she represents Harlequin’s at fairs and events. She has a garden maintenance service.

Justin Sackschewsky is very knowledgeable about bonsai and trees in general. As part of his landscaping business, he will be doing planting of trees and shrubs purchased at Harlequin’s. He has worked in other nurseries, and is a valuable addition to our production staff.

Heather Stone worked with us 7 years ago until the birth of twins called her home. She holds a certificate in clinical herbalism, and has been gardening locally for 12 years. Her special interests include herbs, vegetables and perennials. She volunteers at Coal Creek Elementary in the Garden to Table program.

Marilyn Kakudo has a degree in Biology, is a former teacher at the Culinary School of the Rockies,  has assisted many small local businesses, and is an excellent gardener. Marilyn is transplanting many of our seed-grown plants in our solar greenhouse, and provides great assistance to us in many realms.

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 professional experience in that field. She has a special love and knowledge of roses, fragrant flowers, ornamental grasses, clematis, natives, vegetables and herbs.  Eve, with Mikl, designed the rose garden at the Boulder Dushanbe Tea House. In her “spare” time she is a musician, a ceramic artist and loves to cook. Eve is available for garden consultations

Mikl Brawner got his initial training along the creeks and woods of eastern Iowa. He studied biology at the University of Iowa, then 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. His current passion is soil biology and soil health. Mikl is available for consultations. He was honored with the 2009 PaceSetter Award for the Environment

And we’re delighted to have occasional help from: Sharron Zaun, &  Marty Crigler.

 If there were an award for staff, we should get one, because our  people are very knowledgeable, experienced, dedicated, conscientious, good-hearted and fun. Our staff is so good that we have borrowed the slogan from Harrell’s Hardware: “Together, we can do it yourself.”

And then there is the healing of planet earth. This is no longer a concept. Like New Orleans, New York, Somerset England and the Philippines, we have been touched by a change that is global. Author and activist Bill McKibben has said, “The atmosphere holds about 5% more water vapor than it did 40 years ago. That means we get deluge and downpour in unprecedented fashion. It is the hundred year flood every 3 or 4 years.” It may not be every 3 or 4 years in one place, but somewhere there is a disaster happening.

So we have to reduce long-distance transporting of products, rely more on renewable resources, design reuse and recycle into what we make, pay more for products that can be repaired and last longer. We need to invest in our local communities to grow food and make goods. We need to partner with Nature to build topsoil and grow nutrient-rich foods. We need to conserve water, stop poisoning our planet and invest in alternatives to planet-threatening technologies like nuclear.

Since January 2014, 300 Gigawatts of power is being produced by wind, around the world—as much as from 114 nuclear power plants.

For 2 years in a row, Harlequin’s Gardens has been awarded Best Green Products and Services in the Daily Camera’s Boulder County Gold. That is because sustainability has been our goal and mission since we began 22 years ago. We have always managed the nursery organically, so we know and carry non-toxic products to help manage pests. And we carry the most organic and healthy soil products to build soil fertility naturally, plus the books, classes and advice to guide you in gardening organically.

Very Special Products for Your Benefit 

Compost Tea-enriches soil, prevents disease, supports & inoculates soil life, increases plant growth and flowering. We are making our own this year from Biodynamic Compost. Local fertility: Try it!

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, humate 

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.

Biodynamic Compost Starter-speeds decomposition, adds nitrogen bacteria, helps make humus, improves mineral availability, contains 55 microorganisms, long history of success

Biodynamic Field and Garden Spray-speeds the breakdown of cover crops or sheet mulch; planting 2 – 3 weeks after spraying & turning under, or before adding to sheet mulch; 55 microbes

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

Menefee Humate-, natural carbon product; high concentration of trace minerals and humic acid for plant growth, development & unlocking of vital nutrients. Stimulates microorganism activity

Alpha One: locally made organic fertilizer for Colorado 7-2-2; alfalfa based with high organic matter

Greensand: organic source of 3% Potassium, holds moisture, high cation exchange capacity, contains many trace minerals, slow release over a long time

Soft Rock Phosphate: natural source of phosphorus and calcium, immediately available over a long time. Does not reduce mycorrhizae like petroleum-derived phosphorus

Corn Gluten-a truly organic weed and feed; keeps weed seeds from growing, fertilizes with 9% N

Pharm Solutions for safe pest management: this great line of USDA certified products are made from organic essential oils & other non-toxic and good smelling ingredients.

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

Eco Skin Sunscreen: zinc oxide UV protection; no titanium dioxide, non-nano, no fragrances; good moisturizer, ideal for sensitive skin; does not sting eyes; very effective

Tulsi Tea: Organic Holy Basil Teas have many health benefits including reduced stress, support immune system, aids digestion, balances energy, anti-allergy etc. Excellent company cultivating ecology with organic/biodynamic practices while supporting social justice and dignity.

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

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

We cannot command Nature except by obeying her.    Francis Bacon father of the scientific method

PRODUCTS to amend soils for fertility, aeration and biological health

Expanded Shale: a shale product that is mined and fired just south of Boulder to create a porous, light “gravel” that holds both water and air, and creates optimal housing for microorganisms. Aids in water penetration of tight clay soils (a Real claybuster).Texas A&M recommends using 3” expanded in the top 6” of soil. (or mixing 10%-20% by volume). It does not break down, so it holds soil structure and reduces watering needs for a long time.

Composts hold water when mixed in soil supporting plants and support soil life which both bring water to plants and support them nutritionally. We carry: EcoGro-locally made from landscape and beer wastes, Mushroom-by-product of local organic mushroom farm; Eko Compost-made locally from egg-laying chicken manure and wood wastes, Western Grow-made from local landscape wastes and food wastes; Dairy Cow-from low salt Dairy Cow manure and bedding

Mycorrhizal inoculants: multiplying the microorganisms especially the beneficial fungi mycorrhizae, supports a system for bring water beyond the reach of roots, to the plants and supporting their nutritional health, helping with stress.

Special Soil Products:

Biosol-an OMRI certified fertilizer that is 90% fungal biomass, 6-1-1, made from organic soybean meal, org. cottonseed meal, sucrose, lactose and trace minerals; holds water and stimulates soil life; without salt, non-burning, weed-free

Maxfields Organics: new local company making premium soil mixes without peat from high quality ingredients: compost, coir, expanded shale, alfalfa fertilizer, rice hulls, biochar and beneficial microorganisms.

Maxfields Soil Conditioner-for amending clay soils and building raised beds

Maxfields Planting Mix-for filling planter boxes and large containers, like Earth Boxes (better than Eko Potting Soil that we carried last year?) And for topdressing vegetable gardens and planting trees and shrubs.

Mulches keep water from evaporating and keep the soil cooler. We prefer mulches that also add nutritional value (unlike redwood and cedar which repel microorganisms) like: Fine Wood Chips, Soil Pep-partially composted bark, EZ Mulch-paper granules that are spread over newly seeded lawns or meadow helping germination

Water-absorbing Polymers: 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.   Soil Moist-starch-based: 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; recommended for veggie gardens

In Addition: 

Row Cover: light weight fabric over plants keeps them cooler when it’s hot, warmer when it’s cold; protects from bugs& critters; helps keep seed moist to get started.  Loop Hoops hold the fabric up for air circulation


Maxfield’s Potting Soil-for transplanting seedlings, small containers, (for seed starting?)

Good Karma Potting Soil (formerly Gordon’s) made from 25% earthworm castings for healthy plants, good growth, resistance to diseases; great for top-dressing house plants or growing veggies

Fox Farm Potting Soils: these are peat based, but we were searching for improved potting soils and all three of these performed well in our tests. They do contain earthworm castings and beneficial microorganisms.

Ocean Forest Potting Soil-their top grade with kelp meal, bat guano, crab & fish: nutrient rich: performed well

Coco Loco Potting Soil –made from Coco fiber instead of peat, looks good, we’re trying it this year

Light Warrior Seed Starting Mix- peat, perlite, humic acid & microbes; Mikl was skeptical, but it worked well

Home-grown Fruit: Harlequin’s Gardens has won Best Tree Nursery 2 years in a row.

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, delicious fresh, in juice and a few are good for wine. And we have productive & good tasting currants, gooseberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc. See May  classes and see Edibles (under Plants) on our website for varieties available in 2014. Limited quantities on some varieties. Here are a few especially good ones:

Caroline Raspberry: large, delicious red raspberries are heavy producers over a long period. Proven successful in Colorado, especially if mowed in spring and harvested late August into Fall. Disease resistant. Better than Heritage except under hot & dry conditions

Tasti-Berry Gooseberry: a cross between a black currant and a gooseberry. Is thornier than the currant and sweeter too. Ranked “most delicious” at taste tests at Ft. Collins Wholesale Nursery. 3’-4’ high and wide; an easy-to-grow home fruit, fruits annually

White Imperial Currant: Loose clusters of beautiful, white, translucent fruit said to be “the richest and sweetest flavor of all currants.” Ripens in mid-July; very old variety hardy to zone 3; 4’x4’.

Crandall Clove Currant: one of the best home-fruit plants for our region, produces volumes of large, black currants every year; the taste is both tart and sweet and good to eat off the bush or made into tarts, pies, jams or on vanilla ice cream. 5X Vitamin C of oranges, high in anti-oxidants.  5’x5’. Very fragrant golden flowers in the spring; red-orange fall color

Cortland Apple: from 1915; fine-grained, crisp, juicy; very good for fresh eating, excellent in pie and apple cider; slow to brown in salads; good fireblight resistance; harvest in Sept.; 12’-20’ on standard rootstock, Hardy to –40 degrees F.

We will carry several good apple varieties, some unusual one in limited quantities

Mount Royal Plum- dark purple plums with yellow flesh, tender, juicy and sweet for fresh eating, jam preserves, drying and canning. Self-fertile, natural semi-dwarf

Green Gage Plum (“Reine Claude”): from the 1500s; small fruit that is “sweet as honey” highly prized in Europe for dessert quality, good cooked too. Easy to grow; small, low-branched tree is good for kids; very hardy; 12’-15’; does not need a pollinator

Bali Cherry: Natural dwarf tree to 12’ with 1” dark red sweet-tart fruit; good for fresh eating when ripe and for baking. Extremely hardy (-50 degrees F) High yielding. Tough

Strawberries: We are carrying many good varieties, each for good reasons. Ft. Laramie,

Tristar, Alexander Alpine, Earliglow. 

ROSES: We are known far and wide for our selection of sustainable roses and for our expertise in helping people choose the best varieties for their gardens and landscapes. We sell roses on their own roots not grafted, which makes them more cold hardy, longer lived, with more flowers. Most of our roses are disease-resistant and very hardy and none should need spraying with toxic pesticides. The Boulder-Dushanbe Teahouse Rose Garden is an example of our roses in action for the past 16 years. We do sell popular varieties like the ‘Knock Out’ roses, but many we carry are far superior to the highly advertised latest craze, including:

John Davis-super cold-hardy Canadian shrub or climber to 7’ with rich medium pink, beautifully formed flowers. Really tough in wind and even poor soil. Disease resistant and excellent repeat flowering. We have tested this rose for over ten years. Very easy.

Abraham Darby-a David Austin Rose with a very strong fruity fragrance  and very double and large pink-salmon-apricot flowers. Two specimens at the Dushanbe Teahouse have proven their adaptability to Colorado conditions over the last ten years. Wonderful, 5’ shrub

 ‘Darlow’s Enigma’-this excellent rose is an enigma, because it is the only rambler that blooms repeatedly through the year. Long, flexible canes grow to 10’ or more as a climber, has sweetly fragrant small single white flowers in great masses, is cold hardy and has very small, attractive hips in the fall. It tolerates shade and is easy to grow

Excellent Tools: unbendable trowel, sharp hand pruners and loppers, saws, West County Gloves, ergonomic spades, garden forks, trowels & rakes   and more.

Landscape Consultations: This year, Eve and Mikl will only be available for consultations from Midsummer. Call to Schedule 303-485-7715.

All spiritual traditions recognize that when we serve the needs of others, beyond our own self-interests, we are being good. Then we are connecting with the natural ground of goodness that is in all of us. So it is up to us to heal ourselves, each other, the wide diversity of beings including plants, and our rare and precious planet. Global Climate Change, the internet and other factors are expanding our awareness. The tide is turning. Sincerely,

Mikl Brawner & Eve Reshetnik-Brawner

If you did not get our big Get a Jump on Spring postcard, it is because our records think that you have not visited us in the last 7 years, and therefore we will remove you from our mailing list. If this is wrong, please let us know and we will keep you on our list.

When Pete Seeger was 94, he did an interview on Democracy Now where he retold Jesus’ Parable of the Sower: “The sower scatters seeds. Some seeds fall in the pathway and get trampled on, and don’t grow. Some fall on the rocks and they don’t grow. But some seeds fall on fallow ground, and they multiply a thousand-fold. Who knows where some good little thing that you’ve done, may bring results years later that you never dreamed of.”

Holiday Open House & Gift Market Catalogue

Holiday Gift Market 2013

On November 29th Harlequin’s Gardens will Re-Open for Holiday Gift sales, after having been closed for November.

We’ll be open for our


from 10 am to 5 pm


from November 29th through December 22nd


Please remember ~ We accept CASH & CHECKS ONLY

No Credit or Debit cards

Last year we inaugurated our Holiday Gift Market, featuring unique and exceptional goods crafted by local artisans, delicious local artisan foods, and sustainable, innovative and practical goods for home and garden. Many of you told us that it was your best shopping experience of the holiday season, that you appreciate our focus on locally-made and responsible products, and that you found outstanding, affordable presents at Harlequin’s for just about everyone on your list.

This year most of the artisans and products are back, and we have added more than 20 new products and at least 11 new artisans and producers, including Mikl! We have many choices of everything from stocking-stuffers to necessary luxuries. 

And every day of our Holiday Market offers a chance to escape from the repetitive mass-market Christmas music we’re bombarded with everywhere else. You will especially enjoy our Open House, where we will again present exquisite live music from some of our very best local talent.  

Please share this invitation with friends and family who haven’t discovered us yet!


Each day we are open in December, anyone who comes to the nursery and makes a purchase will be entered in our DAILY DRAWING for a $15 GIFT CERTIFICATE!  You do not have to be present for the drawing at the end of the day to win – we will call the winners. 

In addition, we will conduct a drawing at the close of our Holiday Market for three $100 GIFT CERTIFICATES!  To enter this drawing, bring in our entry form (bring the postcard we mailed to you with our Fall Newsletter, OR print a copy from our website at this link:

and present it when you make a purchase during our Holiday Market.

Please join us for our



~~~November 29th through December 1st~~~


Featuring Live Music & Home-made Treats


Music Schedule:

 FridayNov. 29:

11:30am to 1:30pm  Mason Brown, Celtic/orig. guitar & pardessus viol

 Saturday Nov. 30:

11:00am to 1:00pm  Jon Sousa, Celtic guitar & banjo

1:30pm to 3:30 pm  Paul Visvader, world music guitar

 Sunday Dec. 1:

11:00am to 1:00pm  Colin Lindsay, Celtic fiddle & Concertina

1:00pm to 2:30pm  Margot Krimmel, harp


Holiday Gift Market Offerings

We have arranged our list of products in categories so you can more easily locate the kinds of items you’re looking for. Look for the green category headings.

Note that you can click on the pictures to enlarge them!

Personal Adornment

Bandhani Silk Scarves

This summer I had the exciting opportunity to attend the International Folk-Art Market in Santa Fe, NM.  The market is unique in arranging sponsorship for hundreds of exceptional artisans from dozens of countries around the globe so that they can get the exposure they would never experience at home.  Attendees also had the opportunity to talk with many artisans about their work and their lives.

Amongst the thousands of wonderful handcrafts there, I found myself particularly drawn to these exquisite Bandhani tie-dyed silk scarves, made by a community of about 200 traditional tie-dyers in Kutch, Gujarat, where this art has been practiced for centuries. Bandhani is the art of creating beautiful patterns on fabric by intricately tying thousands of tiny knots, then coloring, using a complex, ancient, labor-intensive dying process unique to Gujarat and Rajastan.  These elegant scarves are one-of-a kind treasures, made by a socially and environmentally-responsible cottage industry awarded the Unesco Seal of Excellence for standard-setting quality and craftsmanship.  A gift any woman will treasure. Mixed patterns & colors. Limited stock.

Beads for Peace

The beads for peace jewelry project (part of the International Peace Initiative) provides HIV-infected and widowed mothers in Meru, Kenya, who are desperate to secure their childrens’ education and future, with economic, social and spiritual strength, independence and empowerment. They learn skills that enable them to support themselves and their children, instead of relying on their absentee husbands. The bold and richly colorful jewelry is designed and produced by the local women, using local seeds, Kenyan Amber made in the group’s workshop, and other stones. Proceeds go directly to the women and to IPI’s programs in their community.

Thank you for contributing to the lives of these women!

Recycled Copper Jewelry

Made from copper reclaimed from old roofing, gutters, pipes and such, these beautiful, original pins, shawl-pins and other pieces have a warm glow and beautiful patina, and feature design motifs from nature. Sheron Buchele Rowland, along with her husband, makes these in their Loveland CO studio.

Fingerless Gloves,  Scarves from FoxRyde

Sheron Buchele Rowland of Fox Ryde and Ildanach Studios is quite a multi-talented artisan. In addition to her body-care products and recycled copper jewelry, she also spins and dyes (with natural plant dyes) her own yarn, knits, weaves and felts.  Some of her pieces are titled ‘Gardener’s Revenge’ because she made the dyes from the weeds in her own garden – Canada Thistle, Bindweed, etc.! Using wool and silk yarns and natural dyes, she creates skeins of yarn, fingerless gloves, wrist-warmers and scarves that are luxuriously soft and lovely.

Art Papyrus Jewelry & ‘Poetics of the Natural World’ Garlands

From the fascinating Boulder studio of artist and friend Jill Powers, we are delighted to offer these jewelry pieces and hanging ‘garlands’. Jill is a well-known environmental artist and a master of natural art materials and processes, known for her sculptural and installation art.  Here, she shares her very special miniature works with us – jewelry and garlands made from her art papyrus make unique gifts for nature and garden lovers. Jill exhibits her art internationally and teaches art at Naropa University.  She offers workshops and retreats.

Scandinavian Slipper Socks

Our own Engrid Winslow makes these warm and beautifully patterned soft wool slipper-socks, based on traditional Scandinavian designs and knitted using Swedish twined knitting techniques which make them thick, warm and durable so they can be worn as house slippers.  They are made with 100% wool and are machine washable (cold water is best) and should be laid flat to dry. Sizes range from women’s shoe sizes 6 to 9.  She is also offering ‘regular’ socks in a washable wool/poly blend in interesting colors with reinforced heels and toes.  They will fit sizes women’s small to men’s medium/large.  Quantities are limited – the early bird gets the socks!

Twenty Pound Tabby Earrings and Ornaments

We’ve known Cheryl for many years in the context of her expertise in Roses (she grows about 500 of them in her home garden), and Morris Dancing (Cheryl, husband and kids have all danced with the Maroon Bells Morris Dancers at our May Day Festivals). We recently discovered that she is also a multi-talented craftswoman, and she is sharing some of her delightful creations with us for our Holiday Market. Her whimsical ornaments are original designs, meticulously hand-dyed, painted and beaded, sewn on a 1948 Singer sewing machine, and stuffed. They are double sided so they look good on both sides. Because of the nature of the hand dyeing and hand painting, no two ornaments are ever exactly alike

Cheryl also makes felted Acorn Earrings, made with real acorn caps, and dainty glass Flower Earrings. 



Fine Artisan Treats

Eve’s Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Eve can’t eat anything made with gluten. But she wasn’t about accept a life without great cookies, so she started baking these divine, rich, nut shortbread cookies, based on almond flour, pecans, and butter, subtly sweetened with a little maple syrup. Gluten-free and grain-free, but you don’t have to be gluten-sensitive to adore these rich and satisfying cookies.

Lemon Heaven Cupcakes & Purely Decadent Chocolate Truffles

Our dear friend Juliette (aka Culinary Jules) is an inspired and passionate ‘seed-to-plate’ caterer and personal chef who excels at creating incredibly delicious food that fits the palates and dietary choices of her clients. Her artistry in gluten-free baking is demonstrated in her Lemon Heaven Cupcakes, in which she has achieved perfect texture and divine flavor – rich, not too sweet, with lemon curd filling and coconut cream frosting, all made from scratch with real ingredients. They freeze beautifully, and come frozen, packaged in special gift-worthy boxes. 

Juliette’s Purely Decadent Truffles are made with the highest quality unsweetened chocolate, extract of Stevia (no sugar and no after-taste!), and non-dairy milks, and are a truly decadent flavor and texture experience. They come gift-bagged in sets of six, with two each of three flavors. When not cooking and baking, Juliette and her partner Dave devote themselves to the Farmer Cultivation Center, a non-profit farm in Niwot that they founded to provide a place for training new farmers and enhancing the region’s food security for the future.

Engrid’s Fine Colorado Fruit Preserves

Our own Engrid Winslow makes the kind of jams, jellies and chutneys that make you close your eyes and sigh with pleasure.  Engrid uses fresh, organic Colorado fruit, and very little sugar, so the fruit flavors shine. She makes the classics as well as many delicious originals like Pear& Vanilla, Hand-picked Strawberry-Raspberry, and Pear & Peach Chutney, to name only a few. You’ll find delicious uses for Engrid’s preserves, from breakfast to hors d’oevres, to salad dressings, to glazes for meats, to desserts.

Ritual Chocolate

Ritual Chocolate is a quality-focused small-batch craft chocolate company based in Denver, Colorado. Their old-world, artisan approach, along with unmatched dedication to every detail of the complex process produces chocolate as delicious, distinctive and memorable as fine wine – meant to be savored. Ritual’s single-origin chocolate is made entirely under one roof using traditional, European methods with ethically-sourced cacao from around the world. Unlike most chocolate makers, who either buy their beans already roasted or even fully processed, Ritual Chocolate starts with the raw cacao beans and they hand-sort, roast, winnow, mix, refine, conche, age, temper, mold and wrap (bet you didn’t know how much goes into making a really good chocolate bar!). We offer three of their organic single-source bars: Belize, Costa Rica, and Madagascar.  This is chocolate to live for!

Balsamic Nectar

Our friends Kerry and Ben partnered to create Balsamic Nectar, a high quality balsamic vinegar reduction that would be a close cousin to Italy’s ‘Traditional Balsamic Vinegar’ which takes many years, even decades, of barrel-aging to mature to a thick, richly-flavored, sweet glaze (unlike ordinary Balsamic Vinegar), and is a treasure handed down through generations of the families in Modena who make it. They developed a reduction process that’s entirely natural yet doesn’t heat the vinegar, accelerating the aging to just a couple of months, and making it available for a fraction of the price. Balsamic Nectar is a completely natural product, produced in Boulder with only one ingredient… Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. Balsamic Nectar is a ‘magic ingredient’, giving the perfect finishing touch to cheeses, grilled meat or fish, fresh berries, even ice cream! A customer favorite at last year’s Holiday Market. Ben will be at Harlequin’s on Saturday, Dec. 7th from 1 to about 3pm to conduct a tasting.

St. Claire’s Organic Mints, Candies, Pastilles & Lozenges

Yea! Totally organic! Made in Boulder! No corn syrup! Delicious! Packaged in pretty tins! Incredibly cheap!


Personal Care Products

Dr. Brawner’s Healing Aloe Aftershave

Formulated and made in Boulder by ‘the doctor’ himself (Mikl Brawner), from 99% pure Aloe Vera Gel, with cold-pressed, organic Rosehip Seed Oil; 100% pure Jojoba Oil, and 32,000 IU Vitamin E Oil, along with essential oils of Lavender, Vetiver, and Rose. That’s all. No alcohol, nothing synthetic, non-greasy. All the ingredients are natural plant products, chosen for their skin-healing qualities. The steam-distilled Rose Oil is a powerful anti-viral and antiseptic. The other ingredients are good for healing burns and dry and damaged skin, inflammation, wrinkles. They are moisturizing and uplifting to the spirits. Mikl has made and used this formula for more than 10 years to heal his Irish skin from the abrasion of shaving and the drying effects of the Colorado sun (and keep him looking youthful and handsome). And it smells wonderful!

Kisu Neroli Lip Balm

Created by Plum Botanicals, a small fair-trade organic skin-care line based here in Boulder. This long-lasting lip balm is based on wild-collected African shea butter from a women’s cooperative, and scented with the marvelous, unique, citrus-y essential oil of neroli.  Shea butter is a natural sun-blocker, so it really helps prevent chapping in all seasons. Kisu is, by far, Eve’s favorite lip balm.

Cool Goddess Mist & Sandalwood Mist

Cool Goddess is a wonderfully refreshing spritzer from Boulder-based Plum Botanicals. It provides instant relief when temperatures soar, and is especially helpful for hot flashes, containing plant essences known for balancing hormones, as well as cooling and calming.  Sandalwood mist is another great cooling and refreshing spritzer made with the finest essence of Sandalwood – woodsy, spicy, exotic!

Soul of the Desert ‘Trementina’ Traditional Pinyon Salve

The Spanish word ‘trementina’ has come to be used as the name for the sap of the pinyon tree ofNew Mexico. Folk remedies made from this sap have been used for centuries to relieve dry, cracked skin, abrasions and scrapes, and for drawing out splinters. Made in New Mexico’s ‘curandera’ tradition by our friend Pamela, who climbed the pinyon trees to gather the sap, and infused it in olive oil and New Mexico beeswax to create this rare traditional salve. Each tin of salve comes in a lovely organza gift bag.

Lamborn Mountain Farmstead Lotion, Soaps and Culinary Lavender

Our friends Carol and Jim Schott, who you may remember as founder of Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy of Niwot, CO, have resettled over on the Western Slope and created Lamborn Mountain Farmstead on Lamborn Mesa, overlooking Paonia, CO in the North Fork Valley, an area known for its organic orchards, vegetables farms, and vineyards; Carol and Jim are helping to add lavender to that list. From the milk of their own goats and lavender from their fields, they make the most luxuriously creamy, moisturizing hand and body lotion and gentle aromatic soaps. We also offer their Rose soap (our favorite rose-scented soap) and their Culinary Lavender – lavender buds harvested at their peak from varieties especially valued for use in cooking (some recipes included!) and tea. 

Blair’s Herbals

We are pleased to offer our friend Blair’s line of handmade, reiki-infused, self-care products that bring forth the healing properties of the biodynamically-grown plants she raises in her organic Boulder garden.  We carry her long-lasting, moisturizing Goddess Soaps (all natural glycerin infused with nourishing herbs and a magical touch of mica), relaxing and healing mineral-rich Bath Salts, and nourishing Breast Oil. 

Lavender Skin-Care Products by Colorado Aromatics

Mikl and Eve have been using ‘Mountain Mist’ lavender hand & body lotion from Colorado Aromatics for a long time.  The quality of the lavender scent is exceptional, and the lotion is so soothing and moisturizing to dry, abused gardeners’ skin.  We offer individual products, and gift sets in lovely mesh bags.  Also from Colorado Aromatics : Knuckle Balm, Hand Spa sets and Foot Spa sets,  made in Longmont CO with the finest natural ingredients.   

Eco Skin Sunscreen

Top-rated. Zinc oxide UV protection; no titanium dioxide, non-nano, no fragrances; good moisturizer, ideal for sensitive skin; does not sting eyes; very effective and Now Less Expensive.  The only sunscreen Mikl will use.

For the Home

Metal Sculptures for Garden & Home

Zink Metal Art is the collaborative effort of Charlotte and Ben Zink, who have made their whimsical and flowing designs of metal for home and garden for the past 15 years in Berthoud, CO.  Their steel garden sculptures are graceful, original, very easy to install, and

affordable, and similar designs are available as small indoor wall-pieces and as pendants on necklaces. All make great gifts! 

The art doesn’t stop there – their daughter Avery has enjoyed exploring the beautiful art of origami – her carefully crafted paper flowers use a vibrant combination of printed and solid colored papers, complemented by hand-painted leaves and stamens, and make a delightful, original and long-lasting bouquet that will brighten up any room. 

Quilted Pot-holders

Our dear friend Lynn Mattingly is a renowned fiber artist, and has been practicing and teaching quilting for decades.  An exceptional sense of color-combining, a fabulous collection of fabrics and a mastery of design and craftsmanship combine to make Lynn’s work really special.  We love seeing her beautiful pot-holders hanging on our stove, and they have held up in our kitchen for a very long time. Lynn lives just over the hills in Paonia.

Peace Garlands

Our friend Lynn also makes these artful painted fabric garlands or ‘prayer flags’ with the always-appropriate message of Peace.  Drape them on your holiday tree, across the top of a doorway or window, or any place where you’ll enjoy their beauty and soothing sentiment. 3” high.on silk ribbon approx. 48” long.

Abeego – Natural, Reusable, Eco Food Storage

We love this! A great natural way to keep food fresh and safe, and reduce our reliance on plastic. Abeego uses durable, natural hemp/cotton fabric, which they infuse with a blend of 100% natural, simple ingredients – pure beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin, all known for their preservative properties, to make a versatile, breathable

wrapping or cover for storing foods. Using gentle pressure and the warmth of your hands, shape the flat square to tightly cover a bowl of leftovers, wrap up cheese, form around produce, baked goods, etc. Abeego is malleable and slightly adhesive at room temperature and will stiffen when cool, holding the shape you created.  The beeswax coating is fluid-resistant, keeps food fresh longer than plastic, and is easy to clean. With proper care, you can expect Abeego to last over a year. Each 3-pack contains a 7”, 10”, and a 13” sheet. Made in Canada.

Fabrica Mundi

From the fiber and paper studio of our friend Sandra Williams in Taos NM, Fabrica Mundi tea cozies, oven mitts and neck roll pillows (filled with buckwheat husks), are made of rich toned cotton and silk fabrics from around the world. They bring an ethnic touch to your home. Keep your teapot piping hot and relax with a supportive neck roll pillow.

Hand-Dipped Beeswax Taper Candles

For decades, our friend Tom Theobold of Niwot Honey Farm has been nurturing bees, harvesting honey, and crafting the finest, most elegant, romantic, hand-dipped taper candles you’ll find anywhere.  They are naturally dripless and smokeless, and infuse the room with the gentle, warm fragrance of honey.  They are a perfect fit in any décor, from Shaker to Rococco.  Available in pairs, either clear-wrapped or gift boxed.


Majolica Bee Candle-holders

Our friends Thea and Lele are well known around Boulder and beyond for their charming tradition-based Italian majolica pottery. We asked them to design and create some small candleholders with a bee motif, to fit the beautiful Niwot Honey Farm beeswax taper candles we carry.  They make a delightful gift for almost anyone (especially paired with the beeswax tapers).

Amber Lights Cast Beeswax Candles

Our friend Clark and his grand-daughter spend quality time together making delightful cast beeswax candles in a variety of shapes and sizes in their Longmont studio. Their delightful array includes simple pillars (several sizes), patterned pillars, pine cones, honey-bears, angels, bee-hives, gnomes, turtles, dragons, and a brand-new line of wonderfully detailed traditional European holiday-season candles. They are highly decorative, naturally endowed with a heavenly honey scent, and burn clean and smokeless.

 Kathleen Lanzoni Cards & Paintings 

Notecards of vibrant paintings by Boulder watercolor artist and muralist Kathleen Lanzoni feature floral and local landscape subjects.  This year Kathleen will also offer some of her original paintings and prints.

Colorful Petrified Wood Specimens

Our friend Fred is a dedicated ‘rock hound’, with a special passion for meteorites and petrified wood.  His expeditions in Utah have yielded some wonderful specimens from the Jurassic era, including segments of small branches in which the exterior bark texture has been preserved, and the interiors have been replaced with vividly multicolored agate.  Fred has polished the top surface of each specimen to reveal the beauty of the agate. Each piece comes with an identification tag and a text explaining the process by which petrified wood was formed.  Sizes will probably range from 1” to 5” in height, varying widths.  Fred will be on hand at our market to talk about petrified wood on Friday Dec. 6th  2 – 3:30pm.


Made with reverence, skill and healing intention by our friend Furry Foote, the elder who lives in the foothills, these traditional Native American smudge sticks are finely crafted of aromatic herbs (mostly natives) grown in her own organic garden.  Each herb is included for its specific medicinal and/or spiritual qualities: purifying, giving thanks, cleansing, infection-fighting, head-ache relief, etc.  

Landscape Watercolor Paintings by Eve Reshetnik  Brawner

Eve began painting small plein-air watercolors when she and Mikl made the decision to take their honeymoon in Italy.  She wanted to spend some time really looking at the landscape there and bring home more than snapshot photos, and she had a year to get good at painting fast and small before the trip.  At the end of the vacation she had 12 good paintings, and when she got home she just kept painting, focusing on landscapes closer to home.  These originals are all small and affordable; most are museum matted, a few are framed.

Botanical Watercolor Paintings and Clay Art by Eve Reshetnik Brawner

Eve Reshetnik Brawner is an award-winning botanical artist whose work has been exhibited around the US and abroad, and is represented in the permanent collection of the prestigious Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation.  All of Eve’s paintings are executed in watercolor, a challenging but preferred medium for capturing the silky and vibrant translucency of flowers.  In her paintings she has tried to combine minutely accurate scientific detail with the grace and character of each subject. Matted and un-matted prints are available, as well as a few framed original paintings.

 In the past few years Eve has turned her talents to the playful medium of clay, and has managed to produce some planters, bird totems, pods, and miscellaneous other pieces to offer at our Holiday Gift Market.


For Kids

 Children’s Books

Children have a lively interest in the natural world. They love vivid pictures, but they are bored if we dumb it down for them. These children’s books are fascinating even for adults, full of in-depth science, but graphic and fun—many with projects and activities that make facts real. Geology of the Desert Southwest, Geology of the Great Plains and Mountain West, Discover the Desert, Discover the Oceans, Discover National Monuments & Natural Wonders. And two other books, Amphibians and Eye See You have luscious and dramatic color photographs.


For the Garden & Gardener

Crystal Blossom Garden Stakes


Shelley Goddard’s ‘Crystal Blossom’ glass garden flowers are created from glassware adopted from local thrift stores. In her home studio, which is a veritable Mosh Pit of creativity, Shelley cleans, drills, gilds and assembles the various pieces-turning them into continuously blooming garden sculptures, mounted on sturdy metal ‘stems’. They can be used to decorate the garden year-round, and look great in snow!  Shelley has lived in Boulder, CO for over 45 years, founded the Boulder Arts & Crafts Co-op, and As You Wish, the vanguard store for the “Paint Your Own” pottery movement. Originally (and still) a potter, she has been involved in many creative local business ventures and delights in teaching. 

2013 Stella Natura Astrological Planting Calendar

The Stella Natura Wall Calendar is an easy-to-use, informative and beautiful planting and gardening calendar that shows the best times to take advantage of the cosmic influences of the moon, sun and planets. This is a research-based system that is used by Biodynamic farmers and gardeners.  We have been using this calendar for 22 years and believe it has helped with germination of seeds, root development of cuttings, and healthy plant development. More than just a calendar – it’s packed with valuable information and insights for successful growing, from seed to harvest.

Mikl will be giving a class in Planting by the Moon in March 2014, which will help you better understand and get the most out of your astrological planting calendar.

Super Illuminated Loupe

This very small, extremely high quality 12x power magnifier is great for getting a closer look at what’s bugging your plants, taking out splinters, or helping to identify flowers.

Beauty Beyond Belief Seeds

BBB is a great local seed company, offering wildflower mixes (Rocky Mt. natives), and flower seed mixes for supporting honey bees and wild bees.  We have their Honey Source, Bee Rescue and Rocky Mountain Wildflower seed mixes, perfect for gifts or holiday party favors.

Gardening and Nature Books by Local Authors

Winter is the season when most gardeners get to read gardening books to help them plan and dream their next gardening season. For the most accurate gardening advice for your Colorado garden, look to our local garden writers!

The new ‘Organic Gardener’s Companion’ by Jane Shellenberger, editor & publisher of the Colorado Gardener magazine, offers up-to-date Colorado-specific advice on every aspect of organic vegetable gardening.

We also have recent books from Colorado’s ‘garden-laureates’ Lauren Springer Ogden & Scott Ogden, including the new revised ‘Undaunted Garden’.

And we have other great books by local garden and nature experts: Dan Johnson’s newly edited ‘Meet the Natives’, Susan Tweit (Colorado Wildscapes),

Gwen Moore Kelaidis (Hardy Succulents), Marcia Tatroe (Cutting Edge Gardening in the Intermountain West), Bob Nold (Columbines), Jim Knopf (Waterwise Landscaping), Tammi Hartung (Homegrown Herbs),

Steve Jones and Jan Chu (Butterflies of the Colorado Front Range), George Peknik (The Meaning of the Boulder-Dushanbe Teahouse)


‘Butterflies of the Colorado Front Range’

The perfect gift for anyone who enjoys butterflies or appreciates the natural world, and great for children, too! We have plenty of signed copies of this wonderful recent book by Janet R. Chu and Stephen R. Jones, two of Boulder’s most dedicated naturalists and foremost experts on our local butterflies.This guidebook offers a page for each of the 80 species covered; each includes superb photographs taken in the field by the authors, and descriptions of the butterfly’s appearance, host plants, life cycle, habitat, behavior, identification tips, and descriptions of similar species.  The book also covers the anatomy, ecology and life-cycle of butterflies, useful charts, and great advice on watching and photographing butterflies. Slim enough to slip in the back pocket of your jeans, (or a Christmas Stocking), with a durable cover and binding. Chu and Jones say it best: “We watch butterflies because they’re exquisitely beautiful, have magical life cycles, and teach us about intricate and life-sustaining relationships among plants, insects and their host ecosystems.”

If you live outside the metro area and would like us to mail this book to you or a friend, please contact us by phone for details.

West County Gardening Gloves

We love West Count gloves!  They are made from recycled plastic bottles, are very durable and stand-up to several seasons of tough gardening. They are machine washable and retain their shape.  And they come in great colors!  We carry their Work Glove, Landscaper Glove, Waterproof Glove, Rose Gauntlet, Mud Glove and Grip Glove, all in a range of sizes.  If you give these gloves as a gift, be assured that the recipient is welcome to exchange them for a different in-stock size, as long as they are still unused and in their original packaging.

Ceramic Garlic Keepers

These beautiful glazed stoneware garlic-keepers, hand-crafted by Boulder potter Cathy Abelson, have perforations to keep garlic fresh as long as possible on the kitchen counter or in your pantry. They are big enough to keep up to a pound of garlic at your fingertips. Cathy’s work is sold in fine galleries around the nation. 

Japanese Knife-Weeders

Reviewed by our Deb: This is the best all around tool ever!  Whenever I go out into the garden with no particular task in mind (other than peace of mind putzing) I grab this tool.  It can dig, saw into fat roots, slice into bindweed roots with the pointed tip, it’s wonderful.  I have a sheath for it which slides nicely onto a regular belt or garden-tool belt. I love using if for planting bulbs as I can make a deep, small hole.  If I could only have one tool forever…I would choose this one.

Our Favorite Gardening Tools

Japanese Knife-Weeders (see above)

Radius Trowels (ergonomic)

Radius Pro Spade (ergonomic)

Radius Pro Garden Fork (ergonomic)

Radius ‘Garden Shark’ Ergonomic Rake

World’s Best Trowel

Garden Bandit Weeders

High-quality clippers, shears and loppers


Marvelous Miscellany

Gift Certificates

Harlequin’s Gardens Gift Certificates are always a perfect gift for any Front Range gardener (okay, maybe not perfect for someone who only grows a water garden) and are always available.  Come in to buy gift certificates and shop our Holiday Market, or follow the instructions on our website to order by phone or mail.  If you need a gift certificate during the months when we are closed (November, January, February) you are welcome to order it by mail or phone.  See Gift Certificates at

A Bushel’s Worth: An Ecobiography

Our favorite local farmer/writer/activist Kayann Short, Ph.D., has written a marvelous and widely acclaimed memoir, A Bushel’s Worth: An EcobiographyKayann will be here at Harlequin’s Gardens to sign her book on Saturday, December 7, from 1:30 to 4:00 PM. 

In A Bushel’s Worth, Short writes about small-scale, organic farming at Stonebridge Farm in Lyons, along Colorado’s Front Range. At 22 seasons, Stonebridge is the oldest CSA in Boulder County. Through recipes, photographs, and her grandmother’s diaries, Short also looks back to her grandparents’ farms in North Dakota for lessons about farms as what she calls “cultivated space” where humans and nature form a fertile alliance. Short’s ecology-based memoir, is a reunion with a family’s farming past and a call to action for preservation of local farmland today. A Bushel’s Worth is a Rocky Mt. Land Library selection. To read what reviewers say about the book, go to


You will love these recordings made by some of the performers playing at our Holiday Open House this year!

The Boulder Irish Session Sunday at Conor’s

At 27 years old, The Boulder Irish Session is a Boulder ‘institution’ and is still going strong. They are an informal, dynamic gathering of top-notch Front Range musicians who come together on Sunday evenings at Conor O’Neil’s Pub in downtown Boulder to share tunes and songs of the Celtic tradition. Over the years, the Session has gained many loyal followers who know they will always hear some of the best, most spirited live traditional Irish and Celtic music in the region on any given Sunday, comparable to sessions in Galway and County Clare. Harlequin’s Gardens co-owner Eve Brawner is one of the founding members of the Boulder Irish Session and is still a ‘regular’ there, playing English concertina, and singing. About six years ago, the Session produced this vibrant, live-in-the-studio CD, comprised of 15 tracks, presenting 33 of our favorite tunes and songs, played by an ensemble of Session members on fiddle, flute, banjo, concertina, button accordion, tin whistle, octave mandolin (bouzouki), guitar, bodhran and vocals.  

Mason Brown ~ When Humans Walked the Earth

Mason Brown is a singer-songwriter and guitarist exploring the space where traditions and creative expression intersect. Mason’s fine voice, guitar, banjo, and viola da gamba can be heard in concerts around the region and in Irish Sessions in Boulder. His most recent solo album, When Humans Walked the Earth includes traditional and original songs and tunes, and performances with such noted artists as Randal Bays, Katäri Brown, Connie Dover, Mark Dudrow, Peter Halter, and Roger Landes.  Mason is also a player in the Boulder Irish Session, a Zen Buddhist priest, and a student of ethnomusicology. Come and hear Mason play at our Holiday Open House on Friday, November 29 from 11:30am to 1:30pm. 

Margo Krimmel ~ Icy December

White Birds

Margot is one of the region’s finest and most versatile harpists. Her fresh, innovative approach, passion and virtuosity have won her numerous awards. Her most recent CDs, Icy December and White Birds both feature Margot on harp and Beth Gadbaw’s exquisite vocals.  They are superbly arranged collections of songs rooted in the Celtic tradition. Icy December offers a fresh selection of winter holiday songs, including Celtic and original songs. This is “music that touches the heart”.  The Boulder Irish Session is often graced with Margot’s harp-playing on Sunday nights at Conor O’Neil’s.  Margot teaches harp at her Boulder studio, and you can hear her perform at our Holiday Open House on Sunday, December 1st, from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm. 

Jon Sousa ~ Jon Sousa (solo fingerstyle guitar)

One Year Out (with friends)

                        Jon Sousa & Jessie Burns (duo with fiddle)

                        Twilight (solo – new – due out Dec. 5th

Jon is one of the rising stars of Traditional Irish music and solo finger-style guitar, and has studied and performed to much acclaim in Ireland and Europe as well as Colorado.  Jon’s musical journey started early in his life, including rock and electronic dance music, but after moving to Boulder in 2003, he fell deeply in love with Traditional Irish music. Jon plays both guitar and banjo. His impeccable technique and the grace and passion of his playing are dazzling.  Jon teaches and performs as a duo with the equally talented Adam Agee on fiddle, and can sometimes be found at the Boulder Irish Session at Conor O’Neil’s. Jon will play for us at our Holiday Open House on Saturday November 30th from 11:00am to 1:00pm.

Chinook Book Sustainable Local Coupons

This coupon book makes a great gift (and do keep one for yourself!). Focusing on the Denver Metro and Boulder areas, it’s full of  hundreds of discount coupons for environmentally conscious, organic, healthy and fair-trade products, stores, eateries and services you will really use, such as  Boulder County and Denver Farmer’s Markets, Natural Grocers, McGuckin, Ace Hardware, Harlequin’s Gardens, Butterfly Pavillion, Colorado Music Festival, RTD, and so many more. All kinds of organic foods and personal care products, pet foods and services, stuff for kids and moms, gluten-free foods, classes, sporting goods, espresso, chocolate, pizza, granola bars, etc.

Both the paper coupon book and the mobile app are available. Trust me – you or the lucky recipient will easily make back the cost of the book many times over.

 Thank you so much for your support!  We wish you a season of happiness and fulfillment, and we look forward to seeing you soon at our Holiday Gift Market.

Eve & Mikl Brawner and the staff at Harlequin’s Gardens


Holiday Gift Market – Week 2

Week #2 of Harlequin’s Holiday Gift Market

Open from 10am to 5pm 

Every Friday, Saturday & Sunday until Christmas

We had a beautiful Holiday Open House weekend, and a great response to the opening of our Holiday Gift Market.  Your support means so much to us and to the local artisans whose exceptional work we are featuring in our market. We enjoyed visiting with our gardening friends and customers who came out to shop, visit, and enjoy the beautiful live music and home-made refreshments. By the way, we are carrying CD recordings by several of the musicians who played for our Open House.

Several products sold out very quickly, but have no fear – we have deliveries and shipments on the way to restock them.

Please join us for several ‘Meet the Artisan’ opportunities this weekend and beyond:

Friday, December 6th , from 2:00 to 3:30 pm 

Meet the Rock Hounds, Fred Hall and Kelly Manley, to explore the fascinating natural history of Petrified Wood and examine their intricate beauty. 

Saturday, December 7th, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm 

Balsamic Nectar sampling with Ben Powell – Taste this unique gourmet treat and discover the many ways it can elevate a dish from ordinary to exceptional.

Saturday, December 7th, from 1:30 to 4:00 pm

Book-Signing with Kayann Short, author of ‘A Bushel’s Worth: an Ecobiography’

See the description and details about A Bushel’s Worth below.

Sunday, December 8th, from 12 noon to 2 pm,

& Sat. Dec. 21, 10:30-4

Meet Sheron Buchele Rowland of Fox Ryde. In her Loveland studio, herbalist and artist Sheron creates a wide range of natural products and crafts.  We carry her line of fine herbal body-care products, beautiful silk scarves and knitted accessories dyed by hand with natural dyes derived from the plants she grows in her garden, and striking lapel-pins made from recycled copper.  

Sunday December 15th, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

Book-Signing with Mark Andreas, author of ‘Sweet Fruit from the Bitter Tree’

See the description and details about the book below.

In our last newsletter, we were not able to present 100% of our artisans and their work, so we would like to tell you a bit about the ones we left out. And we also have some new artisans and writers bringing in their work this week:

Sweet Fruit from the Bitter Tree, by local author Mark Andreas

Mark Andreas, a Life-Coach in Boulder, collected these 61 true stories of creative and compassionate ways out of conflict.  Each story is unique in the resourceful and often surprising solutions that real people have found to change a fearful or threatening encounter into a humanizing connection.  Not moralistic, and genuinely eye-opening, heart-opening and inspiring. It makes a wonderful gift that can be opened again and again. Sweet Fruit from the Bitter Tree is strongly endorsed by Dan Millman (author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior), William Ury (author of Getting to Yes), and Eve & Mikl Brawner. Meet the author and have him sign your copies of the book on Sunday, December 15th between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm.

Whimsy in Clay from Ann Kistner

Delightfully whimsical and lovable animals and figures in clay from artist Ann Kistner of Lafayette, CO.  Ann is a studio-mate of Eve’s in the Longmont Clay Collective at Katy Diver’s inspiring studio.  She has a special gift for capturing the gesture and character of her subjects.

Botanical Necklaces from Winter Garden Studios

In her Denver studio, Adrienne deLoe fashions these lovely pendants, each one a celebration of the flowers and foliage from her garden, some vivid, some subtle and demure, all very attractive and affordable.

Needle-Felted Creatures from Paula Slick

Paula Slick is an artist talented in many mediums. She lives in Louisville, where she is a graphic designer and a designer of seasonal events. Most of all, she loves gardening and all things natural. These days she is working in fiber, creating needle felted creatures from natural wool fiber.  The little birds and other creatures are perfect for the windowsill, the Christmas tree, next to an arrangement of flowers or to place in the hand of a friend.  They are non toxic but not intended for very young children.  Each one is very one-of-a-kind so people love to hold one after another to see which speaks to them.  Made by hand for your hands.  

Wall Niches, Figures & Planters from Mary Lynn Schumacher

Boulder clay artist Mary Lynn Schumacher makes almost mythical forms and figures that evoke stories, full of mystery and delight, intrigue and imagination. For the past 25 years, she has made functional pieces and sculptural objects in clay, combining patterns and forms of the natural world with influences of art and architecture from around the world and throughout time.

“I am interested in capturing a moment, a story, a poem, in following a vision into the heart, occasionally finding the universal and touching something timeless.”

We have some of Mary Lynn’s wall niches, which can be used in the home or garden as small personal shrines, a place to perch a votive candle, a flower or other ‘offering’, and other wall-mounted ornaments, as well as unique planters and holiday tree ornaments.

Ceramic Ikebana Pods and Garden Pods from Willi Eggerman

A fusion of whimsy, gesture, pattern, texture and patina characterizes Willi Eggerman’s works in clay, which she conceives as functional sculpture – useful pieces with enough presence to stand alone as objects of aesthetic interest for contemplation. To make her organic, botanically inspired porcelain pieces, she employs a wide variety of techniques.

“The seed pod has special appeal to me as a symbol of women, and specifically motherhood. I view seed pods as small sculptures, performance art even, as they form, swell, open, and eventually disintegrate. They are beautiful, strong, and very practical in getting their job accomplished. The female form appears in my work, stemming from an admiration of these qualities.”

A long-time member of the Boulder Potter’s Guild, Willi’s work is admired and acclaimed throughout the region. We are offering some of Willi’s Ikebana ‘pods’, perfect for small, informal floral specimens or mini-bouquets, and her fanciful pods that can mount on garden stakes or hang on the wall.

Wood-Block Printed Tea-Towels, Calendars & Cards 

Boulder is fortunate that Theresa Haberkorn, woodcut printmaker, has made Boulder her home for two decades. Her masterful woodcut prints are found in exhibits and collections nation-wide, and she teaches her artform as well. Theresa brings her art to household items as well, hand-crafting a collection of beautiful block-printed cotton tea towels, a charming wall calendar, and greeting cards.

‘Tis the season for parties and soirees. Be prepared with some unique, locally made treats to serve, and as hostess gifts and exceptional pot-luck offerings.  May we suggest:

Lemon Heaven Gluten-free Cupcakes with lemon curd filling and lemon coconut cream icing, from Boulder’s Culinary Jules. Made from scratch with delicious real ingredients. They come frozen, 4 per special cupcake box, and can stay frozen until needed. 

Purely Decadent Chocolate Truffles from Culinary Jules.  Hand-made from scratch with the finest real ingredients, incredibly rich and delicious, yet SUGAR-FREE – they are sweetened with natural extract of Stevia leaf, which has a zero glycemic index rating. Three flavors (Orange, Hazelnut and Peppermint) are packaged 6 per gift-bag (2 of each flavor).

Balsamic Nectar from Boulder Flavors – not your everyday Balsamic vinegar! Rich, sweet and thick, a remarkably versatile ‘secret ingredient’ to provide a finishing touch that makes almost any dish exceptional.

Ritual Chocolate – Hand-made small-batch artisan chocolate made in Denver.  One of the very finest chocolate we have ever tasted (and we are chocolate aficionados).  These single-source chocolates have exceptionally rich and complex flavors, worthy of savoring like fine wine. Madagascar, Belize, Costa Rica, and brand-new Nibs bars.

Eve’s Pecan Shortbread – gluten-free, grain-free, hand-made with simple organic, natural ingredients – nuts, nut flour, maple syrup, butter. And love.  Rich and delicious, and not too sweet.

We look forward to seeing you at our Holiday Gift Market on one of our weekends (Friday through Sunday). In the meantime, stay warm and open-hearted.

All the best,

Eve & Mikl Brawner and the staff at Harlequin’s Gardens

Harlequin’s Holiday Gift Market  Week 3


OPEN 10am to 5pm


‘til XMAS


If you are looking for LOCAL, SUSTAINABLE, UNIQUE gifts (or things for yourself), please check out our Holiday Gift Market.  We continue to re-stock and add wonderful new items! You’ll find inspired, affordable gifts of all kinds for almost everyone on your list, most of them not available anywhere else(see photos below):


LOCAL ART– originals and prints


LOCAL CRAFTS – beautiful jewelry, holiday ornaments, 

scarves, household accessories, candles and MUCH MORE




LOCAL SPECIALTY FOODS – including delicious Gluten-free, low-sugar, and no-sugar home-made treats








CDs & BOOKS by LOCAL MUSICIANS & AUTHORS – Book-signing with Mark Andreas, author of Sweet Fruit from the Bitter Tree Sunday Dec. 15, 11am-2pm




Here are some pictures.  For more detailed information, go to:

Or call 303-939-9403


Thank you for your continued support!

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