Harlequin’s 2015 Opening & new Bee Barn!


ANNOUNCING the new Harlequin’s Gardens BEE BARN & our new WHERE the BEES ARE Bi-Monthly Reports

Harlequin’s Gardens is now open for the 2015 season!

We at Harlequin’s Gardens have loved and supported bees for a long, long time. We also know that many of our customers keep bees, or would like to learn more about how to support bees and other pollinators and how to keep honeybee hives.

Now we are very excited to announce that we are inaugurating a Neonic-Free policy, (about which we will tell you more in our upcoming Spring Invitation & Newsletter). And, we are now offering an extensive line of beekeeping supplies! By the Herculean efforts of Mikl, several fabulous helpers who pitched in at just the right time, and our staff of amazing Wonderwomen, we have transformed the back portion of our building into The Bee Barn (painted the color of honey, of course!).

The first shipment (over 80 boxes and 3 pallets) of beekeeping supplies have arrived and more is on its way.  Our new Bee Barn is full of a good selection of products including Langstroth hive equipment such as starter kits, Deep, Medium and Honey Supers (both assembled and unassembled) as well as a selection of Top Bar hives.  We have locally constructed Top Bar Hives made with Beetle-Kill Pine and screened bottoms. Come and check out our great selection of Hive Tools, Equipment, Protective Gear, Feeding supplies and great books including the recently published, “Beekeeping Mentor in a Book”  by local beekeeping expert, Don Studinski. Special Ordering is also available and we will be expanding our product line in coming months.

If you are a new beekeeper, we can help you decide what you need because we have beekeepers on staff to answer questions and give advice. You will find our prices are quite reasonable. And we are offering three different classes about honeybees (in which you’ll be able to visit the bees in our own Top Bar and Langstroth hives) and native bees, as well as other great bee-related subjects. Please review our extensive class offerings here.

~Introducing a new Blog~

We are happy to present the first edition of our new feature, Where the Bees Are, a bi-monthly report on what’s happening in beehives around the Front Range area, and what bee-supporting plants are blooming, both in the natural landscape and in gardens. We plan to send this informative report to you twice a month through the bee season, and post it on our website as well. We hope it will give gardeners and beekeeper-gardeners some new ideas for choosing plants and sequencing bloom in their gardens to make the garden a haven for honeybees, wild bees (Boulder County is home to hundreds of species!), and other pollinators. If you have feedback about Where the Bees Are, please contact us by sending a note in the mail to 4795 N 26th St., Boulder CO 80301.

WHERE the BEES ARE, ed. 0315Aphoto

As we all know, late February and early March have been bitterly cold and snowy, which is very hard on honeybee colonies.  Honeybees are the only bees that over-winter as a colony. This makes hive management interesting and challenging.  Temperatures in January and February were unseasonably warm, which triggered the bees to get out and take cleansing flights and search for forage. The Maple trees bloomed about 3 weeks early this year and pollen was eagerly collected. In some sunny gardens, early Crocus and Species Iris, like I. reticulata and I. danfordii, began blooming as early as the first week in February. One of our native shrubs, Silver Buffaloberry (Shepherdia argentea), was blooming in February – inconspicuous to us humans, but definitely noticed by the bees. Honeybees will leave the hive if the weather is sunny and temperatures are over about 50 degrees, but when conditions are cold they stay in a cluster in the hive, shivering to create the kinetic heat that keeps the Queen and the brood warm.  The rest of the bees in the hive rotate from the outside to the inside of the cluster and back again for warmth. The brood is very limited in size to 50-100 bees and the brood cycles overlap and become larger over time as forage and weather begins to be favorable.  Hopefully, there is enough stored honey for them to make it through these lean times, but many beekeepers supplement with pollen patties and sugar cakes. Even so, prolonged cold can cause hive losses as the bees are reluctant to move away from the cluster and the brood to tap into nearby reserves and may starve within an inch of stored honey as they will not leave their brood unprotected. Sometimes robbing occurs and the bees entering and leaving the hive are not the residents. Beekeepers check their hives for dead-outs caused by weather, starvation and disease whenever temperatures are warm enough to observe the bees out and about around the hive or by opening the hives on warm, sunny days.

As this latest cold snap recedes and throughout the month of March, things become a lot more exciting for beekeepers. Equipment needs to be cleaned, repaired, replaced and built in anticipation of bee packages and nucs (brood frames), ordered at least 45 days ago for delivery and installation in April. Inspections will be conducted more frequently as Queen health and brood sizes are checked. Colony strength is assessed for the possibility of splits and old comb may be removed from the bottom of Langstroth hives.  It’s also time to scrape off burr comb and remove uneaten candy, if any.

As temperatures warm a very important bloom time begins – Dandelions!  Dandelion pollen is moderately nutritious and the nectar is abundant and they bloom just in time to feed over-wintered colonies. Dandelions are a vital source of food for honeybees at a time when almost nothing else is available. And they often occur in large groupings, which makes foraging more efficient.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Special thanks to Engrid Winslow for providing much of the content of this report!

Look for our second edition in your mailbox later this month.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

In MARCH we are open Thursday, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, from 9am to 5pm

for soil amendments, potting soils, seeds, seed-starting supplies, gardening supplies and tools, seed potatoes, onion plants, early cool-season veggie and herb starts, beekeeping supplies, great classes, gift certificates, and much more!

Beginning APRIL 1, we will be open daily. Please see our upcoming Spring Invitation & Newsletter for more details.

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

Holiday Gift Market 2014

Holiday Gift Market 2014

We are excited that Harlequin’s Gardens will Re-Open on Friday November 28th – Green Friday – for our 3rd Annual Holiday Gift Market, with expanded hours!


Open from Nov. 28th through Dec. 21st

10 am to 5 pm

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays

In 2012 we inaugurated our Holiday Gift Market, featuring unique and exceptional goods crafted by local artisans, delicious local artisan foods, and sustainable, innovative, fun and practical goods for home and garden. So many of you have told us that our Holiday Gift Market is your favorite holiday shopping experience, that you appreciate our focus on locally-made and responsible products, and that you found outstanding, affordable presents at Harlequin’s for everyone on your list.

This year most of our artisans and products are back, and we’ve added more than 25 new products and 14 new artisans and producers! You’ll find many choices of everything from ‘stocking-stuffers’ to ‘necessary luxuries’ for men, women and children.

We will also host several Book-Signing Events!  Outstanding local authors will sign their recently-released books – see the Book-Signing Schedule below, under BOOKS & CDs.

And every day of our Holiday Market offers a chance to escape from the repetitive mass-market Christmas music that assails us everywhere else.  You will especially enjoy our Holiday Open House (see below), where we will again present exquisite live music from some our very best local talent.

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


Each day of our Holiday Gift Market, anyone who comes to Harlequin’s and makes a purchase will be entered in our DAILY DRAWING for a $15 GIFT CERTIFICATE! 

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

………….  and present it when you shop our Holiday Market.

Please join us for our



~~~ November 28th, 29th & 30th ~~~

Featuring Live Music & Home-made Treats

Music Schedule:

Friday Nov. 28

11:30am to 1:30pm PAUL VISVADER, World music guitar

Saturday Nov. 29

11:00am to1:00pm MASON BROWN, Celtic & Appalachian guitar & vocals, & pardessus viol

1:30pm to 3:30pm  ADAM AGEE, Celtic fiddle 

Sunday Nov. 30

11:00am to 1:00pm COLIN LINDSAY, Celtic fiddle & concertina

1:pm to 2:30pm MARGOT KRIMMEL, Celtic & original harp

CDs by these and other fine local artists will be for sale in our Holiday Market!



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.

Make a Taste of Colorado Gift Basket – a perfect gift for almost everyone!

Eve’s Pecan Shortbread Cookies – Harlequin’s Exclusive!
Back by public demand: Scrumptious, rich, melt-in-your-mouth nut shortbread cookies, based on almond flour, pecans and butter, subtly sweetened with a little maple syrup. Gluten-free, grain-free, mostly organic, no refined sugars. You don’t have to be gluten-sensitive to adore these rich and satisfying cookies!

Engrid’s Fine Fruit Preserves – Harlequin’s Exclusive!P1060016
Our own Engrid Winslow makes the kind of jams, jellies and chutneys that make you close your eyes and sigh with pleasure. She uses fresh, organic fruit, and very little sugar, so the fruit flavors shine. She makes the classics as well as many delicious originals, like Crabapple-Orange, Hand-picked Black Raspberry, and Sweet Cherry Chutney, to name just a few. You’ll find delicious uses for Engrid’s preserves, in breakfasts, hors d’oevres, salad dressings, glazes, and desserts. 

Ritual ChocolateRitual Chocolate
Chocolate to live for! Ritual Chocolate is a quality-focused small-batch craft chocolate made in Denver. Their old-world, artisan approach and 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 hand-crafted by traditional methods with ethically-sourced cacao from several choice growers around the world. Unlike most chocolatiers, who buy their beans already roasted, or even fully processed, Ritual starts with raw 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 4 varieties of their single-source organic bars.  Combine with some Askinosie Sipping Chocolate and Cocoa Powder for a chocolate-lover’s dream gift!

Askinosie Chocolate – Harlequin’s Exclusive! New!P1060225
The only product in this category not made in Colorado, we felt compelled to go a bit farther, to Springfield, Missouri, to bring you the finest single-origin artisan. Cocoa Powder and Sipping Chocolates available. Askinosie’s products are also ethically-sourced, well beyond Fair-Trade requirements, and they engage in a truly progressive relationship with their Missouri staff and with the cacao growers and their communities. We offer their heavenly Sipping Chocolate in two flavors – ‘Single Origin’, and ‘Mexican Style’, and their classic Single Origin Natural Cocoa Powder.  Sipping chocolate is just like drinking a chocolate bar- thick, rich, and indulgent. Simply mix with milk or heavy cream and enjoy. Their non-alkalized Cocoa Powder is perfect for making a world-class traditional hot cocoa, and also great for baking.

Wellspring Way Herb-Infused Honeys – New!
What a yummy way to take your medicine! Herbalist Leslie Lewis uses herbs from her medicinal garden and raw, unpasteurized honey from her hive to produce these delicious and healing condiments. All the beneficial enzymes in the honey have been preserved in the low-temperature infusion process. Three infusions are offered – Oregano, Lavender and Ginger, each with uses in teas, glazes for roasted or grilled foods, and much more. 

Balsamic Nectar
A best-seller at our Holiday Gift Markets, Balsamic Nectar is a high-quality balsamic vinegar reduction made in Boulder by our friends Ben and Kerry. It comes very close to Italy’s ‘Traditional Balsamic Vinegar’, which takes many years, even decades of barrel-aging to mature to a thick, richly-flavored, sweet glaze, quite different from ordinary Balsamic vinegars. The reduction process developed by Balsamic Nectar is entirely natural yet doesn’t heat the vinegar, accelerating the aging to just a couple of months, and making this ‘magic ingredient’ far more affordable. Balsamic Nectar give s the perfect finishing touch to cheeses, grilled or roasted veggies or meats, fresh berries, even ice cream!  Check our next blog to find out when Ben will be at Harlequin’s to conduct a tasting.

St. Claire’s Organic Mints, Candies, Pastilles & Lozenges
Yea!  Totally organic! Made in Boulder by herbalist Debra St. Claire! No corn syrup! Delicious! Effective! Packaged in pretty tins! Incredibly cheap!

Local Raw Honey – New!
Tim Brod is a master beekeeper who keeps over a dozen apiaries around Boulder County. He moves the hives several times a year to take advantage of timely and diverse nectar flows – it is not a monoculture honey. Tim’s Highland Honey is delicious and pure, and contains the natural enzymes that make it an extremely healthy food as well. The honey is raw, unfiltered and unheated – never subjected to temperatures higher than the natural temperatures found in beehives, 95 degrees F. The honey is also creamed, ensuring that it will never become crystallized hard. It comes in attractive hexagonal jars.

Organic India Teas
The most delicious, the most righteous teas! Organic India is a Boulder-based grower of Tulsi, (also known as Holy Basil) and all of the other ingredients in their organic, beyond fair-trade products. Tulsi teas have many health benefits including reducing stress, supporting the immune system, aiding digestion, balancing energy, and relieving allergy symptoms. Tulsi is also delicious, and we carry six great flavors: Original, Tulsi Ginger, Tulsi Rose, Tulsi Jasmine, Tulsi Chai, and India Breakfast. Organic India is a leader in sustainable business, cultivating ecology with organic/biodynamic practices while supporting social justice and dignity.

Air Plants & Succulents
This year we will have Air Plants (Tillandsia sps.) and glass containers for them, as well as tropical succulent plants, both for easy indoor growing.  Air plants and Succulents are very sculptural plants and thrive indoors with very little attention. And some of our succulents have medicinal properties you can use in your home. We can give you details when you come in.


heARTfelt Hand-Felted Bags – New!P1060228
Lisa Robb’s experiments in wool felting led to the discovery of her own technique for embedding patterned silk in the surface of the felt. The resulting gorgeous, textured and color-saturated, one-of-a kind purses, handbags and shoulder bags will make treasured gifts for the gals on your list. Paisley, floral, tie-dye, geometric – the variety is unlimited! Hand-made in Aurora, CO.

Cat’s Grin Metal Art Jewelry – New!Kathleen Gatliffe necklace
Kathleen Gatliffe’s sterling silver jewelry combines natural themes with almost Scandinavian simplicity and a suggestion of folk-art stencil patterns.  We are very happy to add her lovely necklaces and earrings to our collection of fine holiday gift items from local artisans.

True June – New!P1060248
Jennifer Knuth’s fine semi-precious bead necklaces and bracelets beg to be worn every day.The small beads are crocheted into a strong, super-fine cord. They are so charmingly simple, and almost weightless, making them easy to wear with everything. I know people who never take them off.

Botanical Necklaces from Winter Garden StudioP1050117
Adrienne DeLoe’s leaf-pendant necklaces are alive with color and light.  In her Denver studio, In her Denver studio, Adrienne 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.

Bandhani Silk Scarves – Harlequin’s Exclusive!P1040784
In 2013 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 and use their profits to benefit their villages. 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 dying, using a complex, ancient, labor-intensive process unique to Gujarat and Rajastan. These stunning scarves look great with everything from jeans to evening attire. They 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.

aGain and Sweet Ann Marie’s – New!
Ann Mitchell loves to sew! And she loves to recycle. So it’s only natural that she would put the two together and create fun fashion by re-purposing high-quality wool and cashmere sweaters to make wonderful one-of-a-kind jackets, coats, ‘arm cozies’ and cashmere baby caps.. We also carry her very cozy and flattering fleece hats. In her line of children’s clothing, Sweet Ann Marie’s, she makes adorable ‘onesies’ dresses, reversible dresses for toddlers, kids’ aprons, and baby booties. Ann sews up a storm in her Lafayette, CO studio.

Twenty Pound Tabby Earrings and OrnamentsAcorn earrings orange1b
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). A few years ago we discovered that she is also a multi-talented craftswoman. 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 from all angles. 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, dainty Czech Glass Flower Earrings, and vegetable-tanned leather leaf barrettes.

Fox Ryde Recycled Copper Jewelry, Silk ScarvesFox Ryde Recycled Copper Pin
Made from copper reclaimed from old roofing, gutters, pipes and such, these beautiful, original pins have a warm glow and beautiful patina, and feature design motifs from nature. Sheron Buchele Rowland makes these in their Loveland CO studio.  She also makes her own natural plant dyes to color her silk scarves in luminous tones.

Scandinavian Slipper Socks – Harlequin’s Exclusive!
Our own Engrid Winslow makes these warm and beaP1040778utifully 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 in cold water 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 lovely color blends with reinforced heels and toes, in sizes for women and men.  Quantities are limited – the early bird gets the socks!


Dr. Brawner’s Healing Aloe Aftershave – Harlequin’s Exclusive!P1040844
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! (and it’s not just for men).

NovAurora Natural Skin Care – New!
Founded in 2000 by our friend Pamela Lambert in Boulder, novAurora Natural Skin Care makes unscented skin-care products for men and women from pure, botanical, body-friendly ingredients – organically grown where available – that promote skin health and beauty, regenerate skin on the cellular level. And stimulate the body to produce its own life-giving nutrients, while doing no harm to the environment or other living beings. Their products include: Soap-free Facial Cleanser (Eve’s favorite), Lotion Potion (for potters and gardeners), Pure Organic Jojoba Oil, Odorless Organic Shea Butter, Weekend Warrior Balm with MSM.  All novAurora products are non-toxic, vegan, gluten-free, and never tested on animals.

Wellspring Way Herbals – New!
A certified clinical herbalist since 2006, our friend Leslie Lewis is passionate about growing and using plants for their remarkable healing properties. Her beehive and beautiful xeric garden in Longmont provide most of the raw ingredients for Wellspring Way’s salves and infused honeys, all of which are organic, nutrient-dense, and pesticide-free. The very effective salves address a number of conditions – insomnia, lung congestion, fungal infection, rash & sunburn, and cracked skin. And the herb- infused honeys offer a healing and delicious condiment with many culinary uses. Leslie also teaches a popular class in Medicinals as Ornamentals in a Xeriscape for Harlequin’s Gardens in the summer.

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 womens’ 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!

‘Trementina’ Traditional Pinyon Salve – Exclusive!
The Spanish word ‘trementina’ has come to be used as the name for the sap of the pinyon tree of New Mexico. Folk remedies made from this sap have been used for centuries by cowboys, farmers and ranchers to relieve dry, cracked skin, abrasions and scrapes, and for drawing out splinters. Made in New Mexico’s ‘curandera’ tradition by our friend Pamela Clum, 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 Mt. Farmstead Lotion, Soaps, Hydrosol and Culinary LavenderP1060239
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 Mt. Farmstead on a 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 Cedar Rose and Rosemary Lemon Mint soaps, calming & uplifting Lavender Hydrosol, and their Culinary Lavender – lavender buds harvested at their peak from varieties especially valued for use in cooking (some recipes included!) and tea. All their products are hand-made in small batches.

Blair’s HerbalsP1050102
We are pleased to offer our friend Blair Chandler’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 soothing and moisturizing to dry, abused gardeners’ skin.  We offer individual products, and gift sets in lovely mesh bags. Made in Longmont CO with the finest natural, non-toxic ingredients.


Bells & Chimes – New!#2 -Dukart stoneware windbells
From within his solar-powered studio in the foothills beyond Lyons, artist Lane Dukart creates one-of-a-kind stoneware bells and chimes, each individually cast and hand-carved with original designs, inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds him. He applies only natural oxides to accentuate the clay’s inherent earthy tones and the rustic textures of his carvings. The durable stoneware clay is fired to over 2000 degrees F, making it impervious to the elements, able to withstand rain, snow and wind, and can be hung outdoors. The gentle tones evoked by the movement of the bells and chimes are soothing and pleasing. Each finished composition is unique

Baby Quilts, Quilted Pot-holders & Table-RunnersP1060244
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 fabulouscollection 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 Wraps – Harlequin’s ExclusiveP1010031
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.

Needle-Felted CreaturesP1050105
Paula Slick is an artist talented in many mediums. She lives in Louisville, CO, where she is a graphic designer and a designer of seasonal events. 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, 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 one speaks to them. “Made by hand for your hands”.

Hand-made Journals – New!Mail Attachment
Jeff Becker has made books by hand for almost 20 years. He makes these one-of-a-kind leather-bound journals, the perfect gift for someone who loves to record their travels, inspirations, and observations in sketches, prose and poetry, and have it last for generations. Substantial 100% cotton rag print-maker’s paper, a uniquely embossed frontispiece and soft, durable leather covers with handsome button & cord closures are bound together with a very old and durable German hand-stitching technique that allows the book to lie flat when opened to any page. Each journal is a treasure that awaits someone’s thoughtful hand….perhaps yours?

Ceramic Ikebana Pods & Garden Pods rose in pod plus2
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.”

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 her Ikebana ‘pods’, perfect for small, informal arrangements or mini-bouquets, and her fanciful pods that can hang on the wall or mount on a garden stake.

Botanical Watercolor Paintings & Clay Art by Eve Reshetnik BrawnerP1040865
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 this year has produced a few planters, bird totems, and miscellaneous other pieces to offer at our Holiday Gift Market.

Wall Nichos, Figures & Planters P1050113
Boulder clay artist Mary Lynn Schumacher makes almost mythical forms and figures that evoke stories, animated with delight and imagination. She is an acclaimed artist who has been making functional and sculptural objects in clay for over 25 years, and is a long-time member of the Boulder Potter’s Guild. We have some of Mary Lynn’s wall nichos, 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’, as well as wall-mounted figures, unique planters (wonderful for succulent plants!), and holiday tree ornaments.

Whimsy in Clay P1050044
Delightfully whimsical and lovable figures and animals 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.

Smudges F.F.'s SMUDGES
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.

Sun Garden Creations- New!
Clari Schmidt makes the most delightful, whimsical figures from bits of natural materials.  She has a pre-school in Niwot, and so spends much of her time with young children. This close contact with the innocence, whimsy and wonderment of children informs and inspires her work.

A Ruby Moon – New!Ruby Moon Bee Flag copy 2
Jen Grant creates these cheerful and artful flags with her original designs – display your affection for wildflowers, bees, birds, etc by garlanding an doorway, deck, porch, window or wall. Hand-made in Lafayette, CO.  

Hand-Dipped Beeswax Taper CandlesBEESWAX TAPERS 2
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 Zen to Rococco.  Available in pairs, either clear-wrapped or gift boxed.

Majolica Bee Candle-holders – Exclusive!P1040176
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 CandlesP1050103
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.

Cards & PaintingsSunflower jpg
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 framed and unframed prints.

Woodcut Print Tea Towels, Calendars. Cards – New Designs!2015_calendar_3
Theresa Haberkorn , woodcut printmaker, has made Boulder her home for two decades.  Her masterful 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, an artful wall calendar, and greeting cards.

Embossed Cards – New!
Lois Edgar is a potter and longtime member of the Boulder Potter’s Guild. Her many years of working in clay led her to carving minutely detailed designs in blocks of clay to create embossing templates. She then makes rubber molds from these, and finally epoxy castings to withstand the pressure of the etching press. Each card , made with moistened high-grade archival white etching paper is pressed individually, dried, and folded. We will have Lois’s exquisite boxed sets in several themes. 

Botanical Photography Cards
Lynn Kester-Meyer is an avid gardener and her notecards feature lovely close-up botanical photographs from her Boulder County garden.

Luminous ArtsP1050098
Our friend Tricia Grable is an artist and has been working in fiber arts and painting for many years. This year we will have her wonderful cards, napkin sets, and a few choice hand-knitted wool scarves. 

Garden, Spirit & Medicine DollsIMG_1921
Clari Schmidt’s dolls are drawn from her dreams, and filled with inspirations from time spent in her garden, in nature and with children. These unique and delightful figures,made from garden materials, found objects and natural fibers, each carry a little back-pack stuffed with herbs, flowers, feathers, etc. Clari has been working with various animals, and thinks of the animal’s Medicine or Spirit nature while she is creating. She says the mouse ‘medicine’ reminds her about paying attention to details while maintaining sight of the big picture. Placed on a personal altar, a bedside table, in a wall niche, they will bring gentle reminders and uplifting smiles. 

Paintings by Patti BurtonP1060170
Patti Burton is a mover and shaker in the Longmont art scene. Having lived in Mexico for a number of years, she absorbed the colorful and exuberant spirit of their native art, costume, celebrations and architecture, which now inform her paintings and assemblage pieces. Patti’s paintings are semi-abstract, somewhat whimsical, and somewhat mysterious. And they cheer me up every time I see them.

Stuffed Animal Kits – New!
P1060231Fiber artist Jill Scher hand-crafts kits that you can work on with your child or grandchild and have a fun hour or two making adorable non-toxic wool-felt stuffed animals. The designs are original, the felt is hand-made and hand cut, packaging is minimal, and the directions are very clear. Choose from two delightful series: Puppy Pals and Four-Legged Friends (zebra, elephant, etc.). Jill resides in Carbondale, CO.

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 Great Plains and Mountain West, Smithsonian Science Handbooks, Butterfly Birthday, Prehistoric World:Cretaceous Life, The Big Rig Bug Book. Also great story books, beautifully told and illustrated – from classic fairy tales to Salman Rushdi’s ‘Luka and the Fire of Life’. Last but not least, the wonderful Peter Yarrow Songbook & CD.

Aprons, Dresses, Hats & Booties
Ann Mitchell’s clothing creations for baby’s and little kids are adorable, original, practical and durable: reversible cotton print dresses, ‘onesies’ dresses, incredibly soft repurposed cashmere knit baby hats, aprons, and a variety of very sweet baby booties. Gift idea: an apron and a date for making cookies together! 


2015 Stella Natura Astrological Planting CalendarP1050055
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 2015, 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:Gwen Moore Kelaidis (Hardy Succulents), Bob Nold (Columbines), Jim Knopf (Waterwise Landscaping), Tammi Hartung (Homegrown Herbs), Leo Chance (Cold-Hardy Cacti), and more!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.”

West County Gardening GlovesP1020963
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.

Japanese Knife-Weeders Japanese Knife Weeder
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


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 www.harlequinsgardens.com.

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’sSunday at Conors
At 28 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 EarthP1050025
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 Saturday, November 29 from 11:00am to 1:00pm. 

Margo Krimmel ~ Icy December, White BirdsP1050023
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. 

You can hear Margot perform at our Holiday Open House on Sunday, November 30, from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm. 

Jon Sousa ~ Jon Sousa Solo, Jon Sousa & Jessie Burns, Twilight, One Year OutP1050022
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 & Adam hope to have an exciting new duo CD, Suan Trai, out in time for our Holiday Gift Market. 

Come hear Adam perform at our Holiday Open House on Saturday, November 29, from 1:30 to 3:00pm.

Bonnie Phipps ~ Anything Goesanything_goes
Boulder resident Bonnie Phipps is many things: an international performer, the 2013 Mountain Laurel Autoharp Champion, a former Winfield International Autoharp Champion, a published auther, winner of several national awards for her recordings, a folk singer, a song writer, a storyteller, an undeniable hit with both adult and family audiences, and a friend of ours for many years. She brings her virtuosity to crafting intricate instrumentals and songs that are both fresh and timeless, delighting audiences with her choice of repertoire, imaginative techniques, and creative arrangements. The twelve pieces on this CD span a variety of genres and styles, from jazz standards to traditional folk songs to the lush Malaguena. On many tracks she is joined by excellent musicians on acoustic bass, cello, guitar and percussion.


Farm Fork Food: A Year of Spectacular Recipes Inspired by Black Cat Farm – New!Skokan
by acclaimed Boulder chef and restaurateur Erik SkokanThe Denver Post calls Eric Skokan and his pioneering farm-to-table enterprises “the most ambitious do-it-yourself chef and restaurateur in Colorado, and among the most accomplished in the nation. In terms of the blossoming ‘locavore’ or local food movement, Skokan is a leader.” The 130-acre Black Cat Farm supplies Eric’s two highly acclaimed restaurants in downtown Boulder, Bramble & Hare and Black Cat Bistro, as well as a Farmer’s Market booth and CSA.  Eric pours his unbounded energy into working hard at all of these enterprises, and loves every part of it. In ‘Farm Fork Food’ Eric shares his cooking philosophy, love of quality ingredients, “Things I’ve learned along the way”, and his inspirational recipes, and invites home cooks to feel the immediacy and excitement of vegetables and fruits just plucked from the garden. The 219 fabulous recipes are rooted in the seasons and the flavors unique to the Front Range region and are beautifully photographed by Con Poulos.

Please join Eric for a cooking demo and book-signing at our Holiday Gift Market on Saturday, December 6th, beginning at 3:30pm.

Recipes for a Sacred Life by local author Rivvy Neshama – New!
From dancing to forgiving, from walking at dawn to sharing dinner with a stranger, our friend Rivvy Neshama’s short true tales invite us to find the sacred in unexpected places and everyday life, connecting us more deeply with love, joy and purpose. Not your typical spiritual book, Recipes for a Sacred Life is rich in heart and humor. It begins with Rivvy’s mother’s recipe for roast chicken, and is written in such a personal, warm and authentic voice, that you may feel you too have known her for years. A wonderful gift book, luminous and uplifting. Recipes for a Sacred Life has received five national awards for inspirational/spiritual book of the year.

Come meet the author and have her sign your copies of the book on Sunday, December 14th from 2 to 3pm.

Sweet Fruit from the Bitter Tree, by local author Mark AndreasSweet Fruit
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. This excellent read was a big hit at our holiday gift market last year. 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 Thursday December 4th from 2 to 3pm.  

A Bushel’s Worth: An Ecobiographybushel_hr
Our favorite local farmer/writer/activist Kayann Short, Ph.D., has written a marvelous and widely acclaimed memoir, A Bushel’s Worth: An Ecobiography. 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, Kayann 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. 

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



Greetings to our Friends & Fellow Gardeners!

We’re sorry to keep you waiting so long, but here are the results of the wonderful 2014 TASTE of TOMATO event, where close to 100 gardeners contributed 64 different varieties of their home-grown tomatoes for all the participants to taste, evaluate and vote for their top 5 favorites.


Tulip-Lilac Wonder Crocus - Cream garlic-hardneck-germanextrahardy  Iris Harmony


All of our fall bulbs have now arrived, so now we have TULIPS! Beautiful, hardy, tough, early-blooming, naturalizing perennials, the Species Tulips we offer are the jewels of the early and mid-spring garden, including Xeriscapes and rock gardens. One example: Tulipa bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’ is a graceful and free-blooming lavender-pink star with a sunny yellow center on stems up to 12” tall, hardy to USDA zone 3.

Other tulip varieties we offer are Little Gem and Little Princess, ‘waterlily’ tulips Early Harvest (orange) and Scarlet Baby, graceful ‘Lady’ tulips (T. clusiana ‘Cynthia’), brilliant T. griegii ‘Red Riding Hood’ and salmon T. griegii ‘Mary Ann’

We have also just received the elegant and fascinating bee-favorite Sicilian Honeybells, sky-blue Botanical Iris reticulata ‘Gordon’, and Brodeia ‘Queen Fabiola’, bringing umbels of stunning blue to the late-spring/early-summer garden.


Don’t forget – there are hardy bulbs that bloom in FALL, and they need to be planted NOW!  They look fantastic peaking up through groundcovers and fallen autumn leaves. We’re talking about purple Saffron Crocus (C. sativus), and violet-blue Crocus speciosus

And we still have LOTS of other bulbs:

Miniature and standard-sized Daffodils

Dutch crocus and super- early botanical crocus varieties

Deer/rodent-proof Red Crown Imperial,

Spectacular, drought-tolerant globe Alliums (ornamental onions),

Shade-loving lavender-blue Ipheion,

Blue Glory of the Snow,

Strong-growing and showy Large-cup and Trumpet Daffodils ‘Mount Hood’, ‘Dutch Master’, ‘Professor Einstein’, ‘Ice Follies’ and ‘Red Devon’,

and delightful, naturalizing, early-blooming Miniature Daffodils ‘Jetfire’, ‘Pipit’, ‘Tete a Tete’, and the fabulously fragrant jonquil ‘Geranium’.

Come in for bulbs while they last! It will soon be time to plant them!


We still have 3 great varieties of garlic for planting (or eating).  Garlic should be planted in mid to late October or early November (a little earlier at higher elevation).  2 varieties are certified organic, the third grown organically but not certified.


continues with 30% off our healthy, robust Neonicotinoid-Free Perennials, Vines, Grasses and Shrubs.


We have a wonderful selection of ornamental grasses, many native and most of them quite drought-tolerant. At 30% off, you can’t afford NOT to get these Neonic-free beauties that offer so much dynamic interest in the fall and winter garden, as well as wildlife support.

DID YOU KNOW that all ornamental grasses shipped into Colorado from any state where Japanese beetles are present (all states east and south of Colorado) are REQUIRED by the Dept. of Agriculture to receive a neonic pesticide drench before coming into Colorado?  This means that MANY of the ornamental grasses you will find for sale in Colorado garden centers are laden with neonics, which are toxic to bees, butterflies, soil organisms, many beneficial insects, hummingbirds, and seed-eating and insect-eating birds. We have been growing our own grasses and sourcing from local growers who we know are neonic-free.


Now is the BEST time to fertilize and top-dress garden beds and lawns. This is because in autumn, plants are directing most of their energy to growing strong root systems, which will strengthen plants through the winter and make them more robust next spring.  And it’s also because our Large Bagged FERTILIZERS and COMPOSTS are ON SALE for 30% OFF.  And Compost Tea is 50% OFF!


From October 1st through October 30th we will be OPEN EVERY DAY from 9am to 5 pm.

We will be CLOSED Oct. 31 though Nov. 27.

We will RE-OPEN for our HOLIDAY GIFT MARKET on FRIDAY Nov. 28th (Green Friday), and will be open on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through December 21st.

If you can get to Loveland, a town FULL of artists, don’t miss their Open Studios tour, and be sure to visit the studio of Sheron Buchele Rowland, on of the fine artisans whose work is featured at our Holiday Gift Market.


We look forward to seeing you soon!

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

2014 TASTE of TOMATO Voting Results

This year we again had a really great time at the 4th Annual Taste of Tomato. In spite of a chilly and foggy start to the morning, lots of gardeners and other tomato enthusiasts came out to share their tasty tomato successes and learn what other tomato treasures are growing well for gardeners in our area.  Participants also received up-to-date tomato-growing advice from Master Gardeners and Harlequin’s Gardens staff, learned how to save seeds from their tomatoes, and eight lucky people won valuable door-prizes.

A total of 64 different varieties were entered or donated, and quite a few of them were varieties we’ve not seen before. Carol O’Meara, Boulder County Extension Agent, donated samples of several varieties bred for resistance to Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV). Ollin Farms donated several new varieties, and Aspen Moon Farms donated the renowned heirloom Costoluto Genovese, which we had not seen much of in previous tastings. Some of the ‘old favorites’, like Brandywine, Pineapple, Aunt Ruby’s German Green and Kellogg’s Breakfast were missing from this year’s tasting. Every year is so different; this year many gardeners said their tomatoes were quite late to ripen because of the cool weather, some had significant disease problems, and many were very glad that they had started their tomato plants early in Solar Caps, enabling them to get earlier and bigger harvests.

When you view the results, bear in mind that each participant got to vote for only their top 5 favorites, and that samples of some varieties were in short supply, limiting the number of participants who got to taste them.  And some samples arrived either very early or very late in the event, again limiting their exposure. Some samples may not have been fully ripe, and their full flavor and sugars not fully developed. Of course everyone has their own palate, too. In view of all these factors, even if a variety received only one vote, it was still among somebody’s top 5, and that’s pretty good.  I personally found at least 8 favorites this year, and had to think hard about which ones to leave out.

Every spring, Harlequin’s Gardens nursery grows and sells organic starts for more than 60 different varieties of tomato.  Many of them are varieties that ranked high at Taste of Tomato events.  Check the Harlequin’s Gardens website for our list of vegetable starts each year at http://www.harlequinsgardens.com/plants/edibles/vegetables/

Big thanks to all of you who shared tomatoes, and to all the volunteers – you make it all possible! Please join us again next year for an even bigger and better 5th Annual Taste of Tomato!



# of Votes

Variety Category Seed Type Grower’s Comments


Cherry Berry (Brown Berry) cherry open pollinated  


Endless Summer salad    


Indigo Rose salad hybrid  


Prima Roja salad    


Big Boy beefsteak hybrid  


Black Cherry cherry open pollinated  


Black Ethiopian salad heirloom  


Blondekopfchen cherry heirloom mild flavor, prolific


Bonnie Best small salad heirloom  


Creamy White Cherry cherry heirloom  


Fourth of July salad hybrid very early


Hillbilly beefsteak heirloom huge


Isis Candy cherry open pollinated  


Italian Roma paste heirloom  


La Roma II paste    


Northern Light salad open pollinated early, productive


Pink Bumblebee cherry open pollinated  


Primo Red salad hybrid TSWV-resistant


Red Gold salad    


Rutgers Indet. salad heirloom  


Stupice salad heirloom  


BHN 968 cherry hybrid TSWV-resistant


Early Girl salad hybrid  


Mountain Merit salad hybrid  


PS01522935 salad hybrid TSWV-resistant, vigorous


Sunlight beefsteak    


Big Beef beefsteak hybrid  


Costoluto Genovese salad heirloom Early, prolific, delicious


Green Doctors Frosted cherry open pollinated  


Red Zebra salad heirloom  


Carmello salad hybrid fabulous flavor, no disease


Cherokee Chocolate salad open pollinated  


Iowa Cherry cherry heirloom  


Lemon Boy salad hybrid  


Pink BerkeleyTie Dye beefsteak open pollinated  


Thessaloniki salad open pollinated growers favorite


Bella Rosa salad hybrid TSWV-resistant


Black Krim beefsteak heirloom  


Amana Orange beefsteak heirloom Meaty, delicious


Amish Paste paste heirloom  


Cherokee Purple beefsteak heirloom  


Jaune Flamme salad heirloom very productive


Indigo Kumquat cherry hybrid  


Mighty Mato salad hybrid Sweet


Cosmonaut Volkov salad heirloom sweet, low acid


Green Zebra salad open pollinated  


Yellow Pear cherry heirloom  


Black from Tula salad heirloom Early, prolific, delicious


Punta Banda cherry/paste heirloom Productive, drought-resistant, flavorful


San Marzano paste heirloom blossom end rot


Siberian Pink Honey beefsteak heirloom Good flavor, low yield


Chocolate Cherry cherry heirloom  


Chocolate Stripes beefsteak heirloom Beautiful, delicious


Roma, unnamed variety paste    


Super Sweet 100 cherry hybrid Very prolific, early, easy, disease-free


Sweet Million cherry hybrid  


Black Sea Man beefsteak heirloom Meaty, complex


Anasazi’ salad heirloom  


Glacier salad open pollinated best flavored very early, prolific, compact


Paul Robeson salad heirloom Meaty, complex


Sungold cherry hybrid Early, easy, prolific,very sweet


Harlequin’s Harvest Greetings & September Events

Greetings to our Friends & Fellow Gardeners!

It’s Summer Harvest Time again, a time of abundance, sharing, and some of the most delectable flavors our Good Earth has to offer.  Whether you are growing your own, participating in a CSA, or shopping at your local Farmer’s Markets, we hope you have been enjoying the bounty, sharing it with friends and with those in need, and canning, freezing, fermenting, curing or drying the surplus so you can enjoy some of the treasures of summer later in the year.


P1010993 P1010996


Tomato Lovers Unite! Harlequin’s Gardens is happy to be partnering again with Boulder County CSU Extension Service to present the 4th Annual Taste of Tomato: a Tasting & Celebration of Home-Grown Tomatoes on Saturday September 6th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. under the big tent at the Gateway Park Fun Center, 4800 North 28th St. in Boulder.  The event is FREE to those who bring tomatoes to share and only $5 otherwise. Click on the link here for complete entry information:  http://www.harlequinsgardens.com/plants/edibles/vegetables/taste-of-tomato-a-tomato-festival-2014/ 

If you have never attended one of our tomato tastings before, you are in for a great treat! We invite you to a rare opportunity for tomato-lovers of all ages, an event that’s the most fun you can have with food, especially for such a low entry fee! At last year’s Taste of Tomato, close to 200 people got to sample more than 100 different varieties of tomato! Some were new to us, and many were awesome. Each participant gets to taste, evaluate, and then vote for their 5 favorites. Please bring your home-grown favorites for us all to taste! If you are not growing your own, you can bring local farm-grown tomatoes (not hydroponic), as long as the grower is able to give you the correct name of the variety (minimum 3 or more tomatoes of one variety, or 10 cherry or other small tomatoes of one variety).  For event and entry details, go to  http://www.harlequinsgardens.com/plants/edibles/vegetables/taste-of-tomato-a-tomato-festival-2014/ 



This year we will again conduct a drawing every half hour for valuable door-prizes, and Harlequin’s Gardens staff and Boulder County Master Gardeners will be on hand to offer expert tomato-growing advice and help with tomato problems, We will also conduct seed-saving demonstrations, demonstrating how easy it is to save seeds from your own tomatoes.


You don’t have to say goodbye to fresh homegrown vegetables just because it’s almost Fall and frost is coming. We have LOTS of hardy vegetable starts for fall planting and fall/winter harvests, including many varieties of kale, lettuces, mescluns, mustards and  spicy greens, broccoli raab, leaf broccoli (spigariello), swiss chards, spinach, arugula,  beet greens, etc.


Our first shipment of FALL BULBS has arrived!  This year we have some beautiful new varieties, in addition to the ones you have tried and loved.


We are expecting our garlic and shallot bulbs to arrive within the next week, and we are very glad we are able this year to offer 4 great varieties of heirloom garlic, 3 of them certified organic.  And we will have French Red shallots, also certified organic!


This is the time of year when hardy ornamental grasses really shine. Grasses often make the perfect ‘shrub-substitute’ in narrow planting spaces, especially along walkways.  And they add grace, fine texture and movement to perennial and shrub plantings, as well as color and tremendous winter interest. Our grasses establish very successfully from fall plantings.


Fall really is a great time to plant, and our Fall Sale has begun, featuring our healthy, well-adapted, non-toxic plants and garden products. Our DEEP DISCOUNT AREA is open, with an amazing variety of excellent perennials, herbs, roses, grasses, shrubs and trees at below-cost prices!  You will definitely find some treasures! See our FALL NEWSLETTER for the discounts offered each week.  http://www.harlequinsgardens.com/2014/08/15/harlequins-gardens-fall-newsletter-2014/

We hope to see you very soon!

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

Harlequin’s Gardens Fall Newsletter 2014

Harlequin’s  Gardens

Fall 2014 Newsletter

www.HarlequinsGardens.com       303-939-9403      


Dear Friends and Fellow Gardeners,
Welcome to Autumn and to Harlequin’s Gardens Fall Plant Sale.
We are grateful for the kindness of this growing season, with the good rains and cooler weather. Not all states were as lucky as Colorado. We are also grateful for the healing progress of Eve and for the recovery of those hit by last September’s flood, though the healing is not over.

Every season has its challenges and its opportunities. Fall in Colorado can turn suddenly into winter before some plants have gone dormant which can cause freeze-drying of plant tissue and die-back. And sunny, dry weather can cause drought stress. But the opportunities of fall are many.

Cooler air means less water loss through the leaves so more water is available for rooting. The soil is still warm so microorganisms flourish and root growth is promoted. The food made by photosynthesis is supporting less flowering and less active growth, so more energy goes naturally to the roots. Plus we usually get more rain in autumn. This is why early fall is an excellent time for planting most plants and for seeding turf and meadows.

Also, because plants store carbohydrates in their roots during fall, this the best time of year to fertilize with organic fertilizers. Chemical fertilizers (like urea) are water soluble and stimulate rapid growth which can freeze before it hardens off. Organic fertilizers feed slowly over months. Research at CSU has shown that fall is the most important time to fertilize turf grass. We carry 2 organic fertilizers that are good for lawns. September is the best time of year to aerate. Follow that with fertilizer and ideally with a quarter inch of compost topdressing. This will thicken up thin lawns and help to prevent fungal diseases.

Nature Cycle Lawn Fertilizer: made from chicken manure, blood meal, feather meal

Alpha One: alfalfa, cottonseed meal, blood meal, sunflower

Lawn Topdressing: composted chicken manure and wood chips

Meadow Grass Seed Mixes: low water, for Mountains, Plains and Very Xeric natural lawns

Perennials, Roses and Trees are also most effectively fertilized in early fall. If soil lacks sufficient nutrition in the fall, plants make fewer flower buds and fruit buds for the following year. Good fall nutrition will also reduce or eliminate diseases the next year, improve establishing success and yield more flowers, fruit and overall growth.

Mile-Hi Rose Feed: with alfalfa and kelp; excellent for Sept. use; promotes repeat flowering & strength

Yum Yum Mix: cottonseed, rock dust, alfalfa, rock phosphate, kelp: perennials, shrubs & xeriscapes

Biosol: fungal mass with many nutrients; certified organic; for lawns, perennials, veggies, shrubs

Tomato & Vegetable Food and Harlequin’s Fertility Mix: both great for fall veggie planting

Planters II rock dust and Kelp for micronutrients; Humate to make nutrients available; Dry Fruit

Organic Fall Veggie Starts:  More people are catching on to planting cool-season greens in the fall. This can be very rewarding & the season can be extended with row cover & mulch 5 kinds of Kale, 11 kinds of Lettuce, Arugula, Beet Greens, 3 Spinach, 5 kinds of Swiss Chard, Broccoli Raab, Winter Cress, Asian Greens, 3 kinds of Bok Choy, Shallots and 4 varieties of Garlic.
These new premium plants cannot be sold at a discounted price
 We also have a great selection of Botanical Interests Seeds for cool-season greens

Our Fall Sale has graduated discounts that change and increase through September. Our discounts might not dive as rapidly or as deeply as some stores, because we are not dumping the dregs before they crash. Our plants are still strong and healthy. We choose our plants carefully, buy from the better suppliers, and we grow thousands of plants organically in nutritious potting mixes that we blend ourselves. We have worked hard to find plants that are free of bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides.  We go to great lengths to insure your planting success, and to support your organic methods. See page 4 for Fall Sale details.

BULBS: (no discount)
This year we will offer a number of delightful new species and varieties as well as many reliable old favorites. Check our website under Plants/Bulbs for detailed descriptions and photos of this year’s selection. Buy bulbs in September, while the selection is best, and hold for planting in October & November.

DEEP DISCOUNT AREA: Opens Sept. 1  Plants for rock-bottom prices. Many customers been thrilled with how quickly they grow and look beautiful. This area will contain perennials, roses, shrubs and trees. For example: 2 ½” pots only $1.25; 1 gallon beautiful John Davis Canadian Rose reg.$22 now $15; vibrant shrub rose The Gift, only $15; evergreen Euonymus vines reg $19 now $11; Heritage Irises #1 for $7, Ft. Laramie Strawberry, Hen & Chicks from Mikl’s Mother’s Bonanza  Special $1

And before we lose you in the fall sale details, we want to be sure you see the announcement for our incomparable Holiday Gift Market, when we will be offering locally-made artisan goods & products.  You will want toprint off a copy of the invitation ‘postcard’ as a reminder, and because it is also your entry form for a drawing for three $100 Harlequin’s Gift Certificates!  One entry per customer, please. Here’s the link: Printable Postcard

Here is a taste of some of the great plants available at our Fall Sale

NATIVES: Native plants are adapted to dramatic ups and downs of weather and drought. They support local pollinators & birds and help create a successful western landscape.

Golden Dome-Gutierrezia- a local native subshrub forming a 12”-16” dome of vivid green thin stems that bloom a rich yellow. Very drought tolerant. Similar to Dwarf Rabbitbrush, but smaller. Use as a specimen, in a meadow or hell-strip. Shear after bloom

Many-Flowered Puccoon-Lithospermum multiflorum-you won’t find this Boulder Co. native at other nurseries, 10”x10” mound with soft yellow bells; likes well-drained soil and is showier in part shade, even dry shade. Slow to develop but tough; from local seed

Pitcher Sage-Salvia azurea: stunning blue flowers in summer on 6’ plants, lax growth is better with a buddy like big rabbitbrush which blooms yellow at the same time. Xeric

Wild Grape-powerful, cold-hardy grape that quickly covers anything, flowers are not showy but smell very grapey; the small fruits make a great pie and are excellent food for wildlife

Hackberry Tree: the fastest-growing hardwood tree and most drought tolerant; very adaptable (moist is fine); grows to 50’; good for hot, windy western exposure to make shade from the late afternoon sun; attractive bark, strong branching, good replacement for ash

Plus: Pussytoes, Penstemons, Compass Plant, Gaillardia, Aster, Goldenrod, etc.

VINES: Aunt Dee Wisteria- every year 10” purple racemes of fragrant pea-like blooms

Honeysuckles: fragrant Hall’s, Red Major Wheeler, Yellow John Clayton, Goldflame etc.

Wintercreeper Vines-Euonymus fortunei: we love them because they are all tough, evergreen, water-thrifty, and can fulfill many functions. Purpleleaf Wintercreeper-E. coloratus: deep, glossy green leaves turn purple in winter; groundcover, shrub or vine.

E. Minima: small leaves, the most delicate; for a trellis in part to deep shade, to 10’

E. Vegeta: strong vine 20’ evergreen screen; orange berries in the fall; very cold hardy; to 2

And many Clematis: Betty Corning, Nelly Moser, Princess Diana, Native & Trumpet Vines

HERBS: Spearmint, Mountain Mint, And many other herbs, nearly all grown organically.

SHADE PLANTS: Bergenia- tough evergreen with red-pink flowers, English Ivy, Hardy Geraniums, Campanulas, Waldstenia-strawberry leaves& yellow flowers,Boxwood, Mahonia

ORNAMENTAL GRASSES: Giant Sacaton-7’; Blue Grama, Indian Grass, Shenandoah Switch Grass, ‘Undaunted’ Muhlenbergia reverchonii, Sideoats Grama, etc.

ROSES: Our proven, sustainable own-root roses will be 20% off during the Members Sale and 10% off for the entire month of September. A huge selection of premium plants

TREES: many varieties, container grown have complete root systems and are easy to plant: Mt. Ash with white flowers and red berries-not affected by Emerald Ash Borer, Crab Apples, Hawthornes, Aspens, Chokecherry, Buffaloberry, Mayday Tree, Rocky Mt. Juniper

Shrubs: both native and non-native, some in #2 pots are Harlequin-Grown in nutrient-rich soil mix with worm compost and mycorrhizae; economical and premium quality:
Cotoneasters: Peking with red/orange fall color, Sungari and Szechuan with white flowers and red berries; Fritsch Spirea with white flowers and red fall color, Clematis Mongolian Gold 4’ with golden bell flowers; Viburnam lantana-big, tough & beautiful.

HUNDREDS OF PERENNIALS: like Mrs. Bradshaw Geum, ‘Harlequin’s Silver’ Germander, Reiter Thyme, Stiff Goldenrod, Sedum populifolium, Tuscan Honeymoon Dianthus, Russian Sage, Anthemis marshalliana, Lamiastrum ‘Herman’s Pride’, Ruella humulis, Yellow Columbine, Hymenoxys scaposa, Firecracker Penstemon etc.

Winter-hardy Cacti: Mt. Ball, Snow Leopard Cholla, Lloyd’s Hedgehog-orange, Claret Cup-red-orange, Fendler’s Hedgehog-purple, Pincushion Ball- deep pink & prickly pears

Excellent selection of Fruit Trees and Berry Bushes (no discount but great value)

6 kinds of Grapes, 4 kinds of Currants, Gooseberries, Thornless Blackberries, Serviceberries, Apples, Cherries, Plums, Purple Raspberries & Strawberries

ACANTHOLIMONS: AT LAST, Prickly domes, pink flowers, prefers dry, rare (no discount)

Corn Gluten Meal-9% nitrogen winterizer for lawns that also acts as a Non-toxic pre-emergent herbicide, suppressing the germination of weed seeds. Apply in Sept/October and again in late February/March for significant weed control.

Newsletters by Email: Please choose to receive our newsletters by email. Go to our website @ www.harlequinsgardens.com and click on  Subscribe, or leave your information at the front desk at Harlequin’s Gardens.

Special Event September 6:  don’t miss the 2014 Taste of Tomato: festival & tasting (see www.HarlequinsGardens.com for complete information)

For a variety of reasons, we have decided to implement a system for accepting credit and debit cards.  We expect to have our system up and running very soon.

Open:  Daily 9-5 and  Thursday 9-6 ;  October: daily 9-5

www.harlequinsgardens.com     303-939-9403


CLOSED FOR THE SEASON: OCT 31  Reopening Nov. 28 for our Holiday Market

FALL SALE: We cannot offer our plants at deeper discounts, because our neonic-

free plants are hard to find and our Harlequin-grown plants are premium quality.

(You pay more for plants grown in poor soil with chemicals that struggle, die and/or poison our Earth)

MEMBERS SALE: Monday, August 25 thru August 31: for your special support, you are rewarded with first pick: 20% off all plants and 25% off books (Membership is still $20)

FALL SALE begins for everybody: Monday, Sept 1 thru 7:  20% off most plants except veggies, berries and fruit trees.  10% off Roses, books & 10% off soil products in big bags. The Deep Discount section will be opened with perennials, roses, shrubs and trees.

September 8 thru 14 enjoy 25% off perennials, shrubs & trees.  And 10% off Roses and books, AND 20% off soil products in big bags and Compost Tea

Sept. 15 thru 21 take 25% off perennials, shrubs and trees; 10% off Roses and books; and 30% off soil  products in big bags; AND Compost Tea: buy one, get one FREE

Sept. 22 thru 28 take 30% off perennials, shrubs and trees, and 30% off soil products in big bags, 10% off Roses and Books; Compost Tea-buy one, get one FREE

 Sept.29 thru Oct. 30 there will be a 30% discount off perennials and shrubs and trees.  And 30% off soil products in big bags, 30% of Compost Tea; 10% off books. 


Opens Green Friday Nov. 28-Dec. 21 every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10-5

Offering: exceptional local artisan goods, Eve’s gluten-free shortbread cookies, Engrid’s jams & preserves, local specialty foods, herbal body-care products, garden sculpture, jewelry, scarves, gift certificates, books, gardening tools, planting calendars, gloves, Mikl’s  Aftershave, illuminated magnifiers, and other great gifts. Door-prize drawings daily !!!

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 http://www.harlequinsgardens.com/plants/whats-blooming-in-july/ 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