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

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.


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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: 

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 



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.

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       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 @ 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 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     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 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

Dear Friends and Fellow Gardeners,P1050385

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

Compost Tea is Here.

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


What is in our compost tea?:

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

The Rose Cane Girdler 

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


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

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

CLASSES for the rest of May

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

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

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

Sat. May 24, 1pm: TIPS AND TRICKS OF XERISCAPE with Mikl Brawner. Gardening with less water is not that hard if you know how. There are tricks that will improve your success. Mikl’s xeriscape experience of over 25 years has taught him tricks that will cost you a lot less than it cost him.  $15

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

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

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

Do come out. Together we can do it yourself.


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


April 2014 Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Staff at Harlequin’s Gardens



Dear Friends and Fellow Gardeners,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A message from Eve

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

New Cool Season Vegetables

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Items of Interest:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Please subscribe to receive our newsletters by email.

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

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

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

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

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


In our classes you will learn more than information. Our teachers are people who have spent years honing their skills. Their experience in Colorado will help guide you to success. We are charging $15 for most classes to support our speakers and Harlequin’s educational direction. It is best to pre-register for these classes both in case they fill up or too few people register and we have to cancel the class. Pre-payment assures your place in the class. More details at     CLASSES ARE $15 unless otherwise noted

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

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

Saturday April 12, 10 am: EDIBLE LANDSCAPING with Alison Peck. Learn how to grow fruits, nuts, vegetables, vines and herbs in your yard, beautifully. Learn which plants are the most successful and how to integrate them into your landscape. Alison has been designing edible landscapes for 25 years; she owns Matrix Gardens landscaping.   $15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sat. May 24, 1pm: TIPS AND TRICKS OF XERISCAPE with Mikl Brawner. Gardening with less water is not that hard if you know how. There are tricks that will improve your success. Mikl’s xeriscape experience of over 25 years has taught him tricks that will cost you a lot less than it cost him.  $15

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sun. June 8, 1pm: MANAGING PESTS WITHOUT POISONS with Mikl Brawner. Learn how to look for and identify common pests, and how to judge if anything needs to be done. Learn which organic solutions are the most effective, for what, and how to do it. Mikl has been walking this talk for 35 years.    $15       

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sat. June 28, 1pm: GARDENING AT HIGH ALTITUDE with Diane Badertscher  Gardening above 6000’ has its own challenges. There are certain plants and certain strategies that can improve your successes. Diane lives and has gardened  at 8000’for many years. No book can help you better.  $15                                          

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

Sat. July 26, 10am: BASIC LANDSCAPE DESIGN with Elaine Walker Elaine is a landscape architect who will show you the elements of designing areas of your property. Learn how to observe your site, identify goals, take a site analysis and create a bubble space diagram. This class could save years of redoing.    $15

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

Sun. Aug 24, 1pm: LOW TECH GREENHOUSE DESIGN AND OPERATION with Mikl Brawner. Mikl has been researching, building and using simple greenhouses for 20 years. This class will focus on five designs on site at the nursery.   $15           

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

You can become a member anytime you are at the nursery, or mail a check for $20 to Harlequin’s Gardens, 4795 N.26th St. Boulder, CO. 80301. We will put you in our Membership file. A membership is valid until the end of the calendar year . THANK YOU TO ALL OUR MEMBERS!!!

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

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

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

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

Diane Badertscher earned a degree in horticulture with honors, and has qualified as a Certified Colorado Nursery Professional.  She specializes in trees and shrubs, especially the natives. Her 16 years of experience gardening at 8,000’ is very valuable to mountain gardeners.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mikl Brawner got his initial training along the creeks and woods of eastern Iowa. He studied biology at the University of Iowa, then went to India with the Peace Corps. Back in America, he managed a small organic apple orchard, and started a tree care business. Studying plants, researching alternatives to pesticides, and developing a xeriscape garden led him from the tree tops to a plant nursery. Now the evolving Harlequin’s Gardens is his life-work, helping the gardening community  to bring nature into their personal lives and homes using sustainable plants, materials and methods. His current passion is soil biology and soil health. Mikl is available for consultations. He was honored with the 2009 PaceSetter Award for the Environment

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

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

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

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

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

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

Very Special Products for Your Benefit 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PRODUCTS to amend soils for fertility, aeration and biological health

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

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

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

Special Soil Products:

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

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

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

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

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

Water-absorbing Polymers: Hydrosource: a water absorbing polymer used as a soil amendment to help establish plants and save water; lasts 8 years in soil. OSHA says nonhazardous; Not OMRI Okd; Plant roots like it.   Soil Moist-starch-based: organic-based water-absorbing gel made from cornstarch. More costly than Hydrosource but natural; effective for 3 years; said to release water to soil faster; has good value in helping to establish plants, reduce watering in containers; recommended for veggie gardens

In Addition: 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of our specialties is fruiting plants that are adapted to Colorado conditions. All the apples we carry are resistant to fireblight and good-tasting. And the cherries we sell are all proven successful in Colorado. Our grapes are the most hardy of any you will find, delicious fresh, in juice and a few are good for wine. And we have productive & good tasting currants, gooseberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc. See May  classes and see Edibles (under Plants) on our website for varieties available in 2014. Limited quantities on some varieties. Here are a few especially good ones:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tristar, Alexander Alpine, Earliglow. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mikl Brawner & Eve Reshetnik-Brawner

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

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