SPRING 2015

Dear Friends and Fellow Gardeners,

Welcome to Spring, to Harlequin’s Gardens and to another season of working and playing with the elements and forces of Nature, that we call gardening. The theme of this year’s newsletter is appreciation and where that takes us. Eve and I are deeply appreciative of the generosity and kindness of the community in support of her recovery from last January’s accident. And she really has recovered beautifully, but we can never take “normal” life for granted again. This experience both tenderized us and aroused our determination to support Life in general.

As we work with Nature in our gardens, we appreciate the plants: how they grow and bloom and fruit. We appreciate the bees, the worms and the birds. And we appreciate the bacteria and fungi in the soil. When we appreciate something, we are touched by the reality of its value, and it is natural for us to care for it. Instead of relating habitually and just focusing on ourselves and our own needs, we naturally expand out and give support for the goodness that we see and appreciate.

So when our study of the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on bees and other insects made us realize the serious threat to our entire ecosystem, we knew we had to do something positive. Neonics are now the most commonly used pesticide in both agriculture and horticulture, and they last 3 months to 5 years in all parts of the treated plants from the roots to the pollen. Knowing this, we faced a serious challenge to find more plants than we grow that would not poison bees and other insects. Even in small doses, the neonics kill or sicken bees, butterflies, earthworms, ladybugs, beneficial insects and some insect-eating birds. Even human babies may be affected, and in truth, all toxic pesticides are undermining our health, mental faculties and the vitality of our planet. At Harlequin’s Gardens, we don’t need any more proof.

In 2015, ALL plants sold at Harlequin’s Gardens will be free of neonicotinoids, and the majority will be free of all pesticides. Besides careful purchasing, we have hired a custom propagator to grow pesticide-free plants for us. And in February of this year, we purchased the one acre of land next to us in order to build an energy-efficient commercial greenhouse to grow many more pesticide-free plants. We are grateful for this opportunity.

Because we appreciate Life in all its wonderous complexity and colorful interrelationships, and because we’ve always grown our own plants organically, therefore we had to make this leap. We hope this commitment will support and inspire you to do what gardeners do naturally: care for living things. If you would like to support our Pesticide-Free Plants Project, we do need donations and loans. See our website for details.

Insects are not enemies of plants. There are far more beneficial insects than pests. Healthy soil is the key to balance. We can tolerate minor damage, and we can use non-toxic methods when there is an emergency. These are not new ideas. Organic growers all over the world are working with and learning about these principles. This is the 21st Century direction that will replace petroleum-thinking.

This year Harlequin’s Gardens opened on March 5th for business on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Starting in April we will be open every day 9-5 and Thursdays til 6. And this year we ARE accepting credit cards, but cash and checks save us money and save you elevated prices.  See our website or call 303-939-9403

NEW this year is our BEE BARN where we are selling beekeeping supplies. See a list of what we are carrying on our website or come out for a look.

As usual we will have a great selection of organic veggie starts. Every winter Eve

pores over the most interesting and reliable seed catalogs, searching for new and special varieties that resist disease and pests, are very productive, 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 for a variety of culinary uses. 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 FEW of our NEW TOMATOES  ( 85  varieties of tomatoes in 2015) 

SAN MARZANO LAMPADINO paste heirloom, Indeterminate: San Marzano is a classic paste tomato, and this strain, imported from Italy, is particularly good. Vigorous vines carry large, lobed fruits, almost like elongated bell peppers. This strain has a pleasant and mild tomato flavor with very low water content. Fruit has thick flesh and open seed cavities. Yields are very high.

PINK BUMBLEBEE open-pollinated, indeterminate, 60-70 days: The name not withstanding, this beautiful cherry tomato is a striped gem, bright red with gold-orange striping. We tasted this recent introduction from Artisan Seeds at our 2014 Taste of Tomato and found it sweet and very flavorful. The vines are said to be vigorous, bearing crack-resistant fruits over a very long season, tolerating cool nights and hot days.

INDIGO APPLE open-pollinated, indeterminate, 75 days: With much better and sweeter flavor than Indigo Rose, Indigo Apple is deep black-purple when immature, maturing to red with purple shoulders and stripes. The medium sized fruits are held in showy pendant clusters. Resists sunscald, cracking, and disease, and has excellent shelf-life. Very high in anthocyanins, lycopene and vitamin C, making it an exceptionally healthy choice.

EVAN’S PURPLE PEAR Open-pollinated, Indeterminate, 75 days: A great producer of delicious, 2 oz., plum to pear-shaped ‘black’ tomatoes with excellent, sweet rich flavor, produced in beautiful clusters. Vigorous, productive, potato-leaf plants are disease-resistant. Ripe fruit holds exceptionally well on the vine and when picked. A wonderful snack or salad tomato, also great for sauce, paste and canning; hybrid of Pruden’s Purple.

COSTOLUTO GENOVESE heirloom, indeterminate, 78-85 days: An Italian, heat-loving, heirloom tomato a favorite for both fresh eating and pasta sauce. The beautiful medium to large, glossy deep-red fruits have a singularly fluted profile, are deeply ridged, and heavily lobed. They are meaty, full-flavored, slightly tart, and delicious. Because of their scalloped edges, perfect for use in arrangements of different colored sliced tomatoes.

KORALIK Open-pollinated, determinate, 57-61 days: Extra-early, great-tasting bright red 1” cherry tomato, from Russia . Determinate plants up to 4′ tall and very bushy. Prolific fruit set on large trusses, all fruits ripening together. Fruits are slightly oval in shape, ripen to red. Very good in containers. Do not prune your plants, unless you want reduced harvest! Excellent sweet and rich flavor. Very disease-resistant.

RIO GRANDE open-pollinated, semi-determinate, 75-80 days: An oval shaped red paste tomato, similar to Roma but with much larger, 4” fruits, produced in clusters. Flavorful flesh is perfect for making sauce and paste, and for canning. The vigorous, high-yielding, disease-resistant, semi-determinate plants produce multiple flushes of fruit until frost; well adapted to our hot days and cold nights; for containers, cages, or trellised.

PUNTA BANDA heirloom, semi-determinate, 68 days: this large cherry tomato produces hundreds of meaty red fruits with well-balanced sweet-tart flavors in spite of heat, full exposure, water stress and poor soil. Very high in lycopene. Great for snacking and salad, and excels at paste-making. Vigorous, bushy semi-determinate plants fruiting until frost. Produces well in higher altitudes, warmer regions to desert regions.

Plus many oldie but goodies: Sungold, Pineapple, Jaune Flamme, Black from Tula, Siletz, Carmello, Super Lakota and many, many more

We will host the ‘Taste of Tomato’ festival & tasting event along with Boulder County CSU Cooperative Extension on Saturday August 29th. There are always new varieties to taste, and learn about. 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

TOMATILLO

AMARYLLA open pollinated, 60 days: Immature fruits are green, maturing to pretty yellow as they ripen and begin to split their protective husks. The fruit is firm, juicy and very sweet, perfect for jams, jellies as well as salsa, salads and green chile (in this case, yellow chile).Bred to thrive in the cooler summer conditions of inland eastern Europe, therefore ideal for higher altitudes.

New PEPPERS

WISCONSIN LAKES OP, 75days: A reliable and heavy-yielding bell pepper for Northern gardens, developed in the 1960s at U. of Wisconsin. The 4-6” tall, thick-walled fruits are juicy and sweet, ripening to green in 75 days, or leave to mature to red.

BIG RED OP, 75 days: A newer open-pollinated bell pepper that vies with the hybrids for highest yields. Provides an abundance of  4”, 4-lobed, thick-walled, very sweet and crisp red peppers for salads, stuffing, etc.

SWEET RED CHERRY heirloom, 75 days: Small plants produce dozens of 1”-2” round fruits that turn from green to red. Fine sweet flavor, ideal for canning, pickling, stuffed appetizers.

CUBANELLE heirloom, 65 days: A classic frying pepper that defines many Mediterranean dishes. The elongated, flattened fruit starts out yellowish-green and changes to red. Thin-walled, productive and very early.

CORNO di TORO YELLOW heirloom, 72 days: Shaped like a bull’s horn, these 6”-8” peppers turn from green to vivid bright red, and are exceptionally sweet and tasty. Saute or use fresh.

TABASCO heirloom 85 days: 1846 from Tabasco, Mexico, this pepper made its way to Avery Island, LA, where the McIlhenny family used it in a hot sauce that became so popular and famous that now Tabasco sauce is synonymous with hot sauce. The 2”-long, tapered Tabasco is a very hot pepper, borne in copious quantities on a short, compact plant.

RED CHEESE heirloom, 85days: Distinctive pumpkin-like shape gives this beautiful deep red pepper the alternate name of ‘squash pepper’. Fruits, borne on erect 2’ plants, are thick-walled, sweet and very flavorful, great cooked or in salads and can be dried and ground to produce paprika.

MARTA POLKA open-pollinated, 75 days: A Polish variety producing large, elongated, thick-walled sweet bells which ripen to golden yellow. Plants are very compact, but very productive. Tolerates adverse growing conditions. Also a great choice for low-tunnel growing, early- and late-season, or container planting.

Pueblo Chile (Mosco Pepper) 75 days.  A Colorado Original 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.  Said to rival Hatch Chili for flavor.

Plus many happy returns: Jimmy Nardello, Early Jalapeno, Anaheim, Sweet Shishito and more:   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.

New EGGPLANT

Amadeo hybrid, 65 days: Early, classic Italian glossy oval fruits are 5”x 8”, almost black, never-bitter, excellent nutty flavor & texture. Provide support for the vigorous, 3’, spineless, heavy-yielding plant.

Black Beauty heirloom, 80 days: Large, firm, oval, glossy, deep purple fruits with excellent flavor & quality are borne on attractive, vigorous, compact 21” to 30” plants. Adapts well to a variety of conditions. Fruits are broad and sometimes beautifully ‘fluted’.

Slim Jim OP, 60days: Bred in Italy, this is an ‘Asian-type’, with delicious long, slender dark purple fruits borne extra-early on gorgeous, dramatic plants. I would grow this one just for its ornamental value, even if I didn’t love the fruits, which I do. The deep purple coloration is also in the sepals, leaves and stems. Harvest while still glossy, at 4-5” long.

New CAULIFLOWER

Precoce de Jesi heirloom, 75 days: Originally from Venice, this unusual cauliflower has beautiful pale yellow curds and delicious flavor. A wonderful addition to the kaleidoscope of colorful and nutritious vegetables.

Violet of Sicily heirloom, 68 days: Mild, delicious and easy to grow, this beautiful cauliflower is bright purple when raw, turning pale green when cooked. It has a delicate texture and looser florets in a flatter head than white cauliflowers. Purple vegetables and fruits provide the powerful anti-oxidant anthocyanin.

Plus: Purple Peacock Sprouting Broccoli is 2 ½’ tall and wide with deeply cut purple leaves, sweet broccoli head and abundant side shoots are also purple; stems too; Ornamental delicious Edible

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.

New WATERMELON

SUGAR BABY open-pollinated, 79 days: The most popular ice-box sized watermelon among gardeners. Early 6 to10-lb. melons have sweet, deep red flesh, are adaptable to many climates and especially valuable for Northern gardens

New ONION

Dorato di Parma heirloom, long to intermediate day, 110days: Brought to Parma, Italy in 1896 by a seedsman from nearby Pavia, this beautiful heirloom onion is shaped like an upright spinning top. Late maturing, with thick golden-brown skins and richly flavored pale flesh that is firm but not fibrous, and its large size makes it great for slicing. An excellent long-term storage onion.

New CUCUMBER

SILVER SLICER OP, 54 days: A great slicer with excellent flavor and lovely creamy white, thin, smooth skin.  Fruits are 2” wide, 5-6” long, .  Bred by Cornell University for resistance to powdery mildew.  Superb juicy, sweet and mild flavor and good crunch.

And of course, many, many more varieties of Broccoli, Cabbage, Eggplant, Squashes, Melons, Lettuces, Spinach, Kales, Chards etc. see our website under Plants/Edibles

HERBS

Vietnamese Balm, Vietnamese Mint (Elsholtzia ciliata)

A lemony herb that’s unparalleled in flavor. The delicate saw-edged leaves are wonderful raw, and typically accompany cooked foods such as grilled meats. Fresh cuttings can be propagated by sticking them in water and letting them sprout roots on a sunny window sill.

Basil ‘Emily’ open-pollinated: A compact selection of the classic Genovese type that is superior for growing in containers, having shorter stem-length between leaf nodes. Also known for lasting longer when cut.

“Many people…take control of their health by eating the highest quality, nutrient-dense food that you can possibly find, restrict the junk food, and your body just goes toward health. That’s about 80% of the solution.” “I think you really have to be careful about the food that you’re eating. Ideally you want to grow it yourself; that is the best approach.”

Dr. Joseph Mercola

“Nobody has eaten better food than that won by his own labor.” The prophet Mohammed

WINTER DAMAGE ON EVERGREENS

The long warm beautiful fall of 2014 ended abruptly on Nov. 10 when the temperature fell 40 degrees and then dropped to 14 degrees below zero a couple days later. Plants were not hardened off and many suffered freeze damage. Some conifers had needle and bud damage with some needles turning red or brown or even whitish. Even some junipers had dieback. Even some cacti froze: just lop off the dead pads or barrels.

Many broadleaf evergreens like Euonymus shrubs, Boxwoods and even Mahonias now have brown leaves that will fall off. Hopefully many of them will releaf in spring. Don’t be in a hurry to cut out dead. Wait at least until early summer to prune. To determine if a branch is dead, use your fingernail to scratch off some bark: if it is green underneath, it is alive; if brown (and wrinkled), it is dead. If in doubt, wait.

Water during dry periods and give stressed shrubs and trees a drench with liquid seaweed and yucca (Sledgehammer-by Fox Farm) and/or some minerals and a light dose of an organic fertilizer (like Harlequin’s Fertility Mix with mycorrhizae) or compost tea.

Since 1880, 2014 was the warmest year on record.

(Which makes a below zero plunge even more damaging. A new view of global climate change.)

 IN APPRECIATION OF KELLY GRUMMONS and where that is taking us:

Kelly Grummons is one of the best plantsmen in Colorado and beyond. He has bred, selected, discovered and saved from obscurity many great plants, and he has been a successful plant propagator for many years. And he has shared his knowledge generously. Unfortunately, the nursery he co-owns, Timberline Gardens, has been sold for a housing development, and he is leaving the area.

Fortunately, Kelly has let us purchase quite a number of his treasures, so that we can sell them and propagate them neonic-free. We appreciate that these plants are the results of a lifetime of caring plant cultivation and Kelly’s love of plants. We are honored to be in a select group of people who will distribute these great selections in our community and we will help keep them alive should Kelly get back into a nursery again . He has a website at www.coldhardycactus.com. , and Timberline will be open most of 2015.

Among the treasures Kelly has shared are:

Agastache ‘Blue Blazes’

Blue Blazes is a large growing hybrid hummingbird mint, to 42-54” tall x 24-30” wide,  with glowing lavender-purple flower spikes, blooming from mid-summer through fall. Its nectar-rich flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees, making it an essential low-water perennial for pollinators. Plant it in full sun with a well drained soil. Pinch the plant back in late spring to keep it more compact. Deer and rabbit resistant. ‘Blue Blazes’ was bred by Kelly Grummons, owner of Timberline Gardens in Arvada, CO.

Stachys lavandulifolius (Pink Cotton Lamb’s Ear)

8-10″ tall x 12-15″ wide. Pink Cotton Lamb’s Ear is an amazingly xeric wildflower from the wildlands of Turkey. The plant’s fuzzy bright pink flower spikes appear in late spring and are uniquely beautiful. Our selection grows well in a variety of soils including clay. Deer and rabbit resistant. Hardy to Zone 5.

Verbena sp. ‘Annie’

Verbena ‘Annie!’ is a truly cold hardy, low-water, long-lived, long blooming perennial Verbena. The lightly fragrant, lavender-pink flowers start up in mid-spring and are continuous until hard frost in October. A feast for butterflies! Grows in full to part sun in most soils. Brought into cultivation as an heirloom plant from a Minnesota garden by Colorado plantsman Kelly Grummons  Great as a large scale groundcover.

Agapanthus campanulatus (Hardy African Blue Lily)

A dainty deciduous agapanthus from the Drakensberg in South Africa, this is a good choice for gardeners in cold areas where we cannot grow evergreen agapanthus. A clump-forming perennial, it grows about 2’ tall, with slender, glossy green strap-like leaves, from which rise flower-stalks topped with large umbels of 10 to 30 blue lily-like flowers with a darker blue stripe down each petal. Easy to grow in semi-shade in rich, well-drained soil with ample compost and spring and summer watering.  Apply a thick mulch of leaves or straw to protect roots in winter. Zone 6.

Windwalker Big Bluestem:

A powdery blue, upright selection of our native grass, that turns plum/purple in fall, with bronzy-red plumes; to 6’ tall and 2’ wide; moderate to low water, full sun, most soils. Selected by Bill Adams of Sunscapes Nursery. 2015 Plant Select

Dog Grass (Cynodon hybrida) stays low 2”-4” high, very drought tolerant, very dog tolerant, very sun tolerant, recovers quickly from foot and dog traffic, honeybees love the pollen, spreads by runners but is sterile so cannot become invasive.

Warm season growth from June through September. Not shade tolerant. Grows happily on dry slopes once established.

Opuntia ‘Coral Carpet’-one of the best prickly pear selections with gold spines in winter, coral pink flowers, very hardy

Opuntia ‘Citrus Punch’- flowers are plum, orange & peach, very hardy, likes dry, is good in pots

Opuntia ‘Mesa Sky’-gold flowers with red stripes, tons of large red fruit, best native strain for fruit production

Windwalker Royal Red Salvia-2015 Plant Select winner: blood-red flowers June through Oct magnetize hummingbirds. 36”-48” high and wide, loves sun, moderate to low water, bees also are attracted; bred by Kelly Grummons

And many more: this year availability will be limited

Appreciating the details of life begins to open up our life so that it is no longer purely a struggle, but a jolly good life.                                               Chogyam Trungpa

HARLEQUIN’S  FAVORITES:

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.

Veronica cuneifolia-a rare evergreen creeping veronica from Turkey with small wedge-shaped leaves and purple-blue flowers; it makes a mat about 2” high and 18”-24” in diameter; the most xeric creeping veronica we have grown; from Rock G Soc seed xchange

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. All are neonic-free

Wavyleaf Oak, Peking Cotoneaster, Cercocarpus ledifolius, Fernbush, Woodward Columnar Juniper, Ephedra equisetina, Arizona Cypress, New Mexican Privet, Mock Orange-Mikl’s Selection, Edible and medicinal Elderberries, Many lilacs, Blue Velvet Honeysuckle, Silver Butterfly Bush, Sand Cherry, Apache Plume, Buffalo Berry

HERBS AT HARLEQUIN’S GARDENS   are organic and we carry both culinary and medicinal. We grow some unusual ones like Sweet Cecily, Mt. Mint & Milk Thistle

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

Aster laevis-clusters of violet-blue daisy flowers, 12”+ high, low water, fall blooming

Tradescantia occidentalis-Western Spiderwort, 3-petalled purple-blue flowers, xeric

Mentzelia decapetala-Blazing Star,10-petalled, star-burst ivory flowers late pm, 3’-4’, xeric

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

Physaria bellii-Bell’s Twinpod-silvery rosette, low yellow flowers, blooms April, rare

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”

Cleome serrulata-Rocky Mt. Bee Plant, 3’-4’ stems, pink flowers, bees, butterflies, etc

Oenothera howardii-3”-4” yellow flowers turn orangey, 6”-10” high, very xeric, showy

But it is no longer good enough to create gardens that look like nature…we must create gardens that act like nature, that do what Nature does. Frederick Turner

EVENTS AND SALES

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

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

April 27,28,29, May 1, 2,3,  Harlequin’s Gardens Annual May Day Celebration and Plant SalePlant Sale Monday thru Sunday; on Saturday May 2 from 11:30-12 don’t miss the Maroon Bells Morris Dancers  who will bring us fertility and merriment, at 1pm Magician Stuart Hayner will amaze us and entertain the children AND at 1pm enjoy the original and Americana Music of Living Easy. At 2:30 we could be blessed with the heartful and old-timey music of local celebrity Elena Klaver

On Sunday, May 3, World Laughter Day, refreshments will be served, and from 11-12:30 don’t miss Alamos, a duet of clarinet and flute playing light classical, ragtime and folk. At 1pm, jig and reel with the excellent musicians of the Boulder Irish Session Band. From 2:30pm  & throughout the day watch for Stele Earth E Man, Eco-Troubadour & children charmer

August 24,25,26, 27,28,29,30           Members Fall Plant Sale

Aug 31  Harlequin’s Annual Fall Plant Sale begins for everyone. This sale continues every week in September and October

Aug. 29 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 begins on Green Friday with Local Artisan Goods and Goodies every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in December

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Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good, wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.                            Alan Cohen                       

HARLEQUIN’S GARDENS 2015 CLASSES

In our classes you will learn more than information. Our teachers are people who have spent years honing their skills and their experience in Colorado will help guide you to success. We are charging $15 unless otherwise stated to support our speakers and Harlequin’s educational direction. (Cash and check are much appreciated!)  Pre-register at 303-939-9403 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. 

 SATURDAY, APRIL 4  

10 am NATIVES IN THE GARDEN with Mikl Brawner

Tired of replacing plants that struggle in our Colorado climatic conditions?  Learn how to choose and successfully grow specific native shrubs and wildflowers that thrive here, support native pollinators and birds, save water and have a Western look.  Mikl is co-owner of Harlequin’s Gardens.

1 pm   GROWING HERBS AND VEGGIES IN CONTAINERS with Ellen Dart 

Longtime Boulder vegetable gardener Ellen Dart grows $900 worth of food and herbs each year in Earth Boxes and containers.  She will share the simple methods for success that she has learned for growing greens, lettuce, tomatoes, herbs and more.

SUNDAY, APRIL 5 EASTER BONNET CONTEST! 

Wear a bonnet constructed with materials from your yard!  Fun & prizes!  Details coming at HarlequinsGardens.com.

SATURDAY, APRIL 11

10 am  GETTING STARTED IN VEGETABLE GARDENING with Mimi Yanus

If you are new to Colorado, new to vegetable gardening, or have been unhappy with the results of your earlier attempts, this class is for you.  Learn what you need to know to make your new organic vegetable garden successful, even bountiful, even in Colorado conditions!

1 pm   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 and has designed for 25 years.

SUNDAY, APRIL 12 1 pm CREATING A BEE SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD with David Wheeler

In this workshop, David Wheeler, co-creator of the first bee safe neighborhood in the U.S., will show you how to fight back effectively and meaningfully against the flood of systemic neonicotinoid neurotoxins that are being sold as all-in-one solutions to garden pest management, killing honeybees, butterflies, and other pollinators.

SATURDAY, APRIL 18

10 am 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.

1 pm  SEED SAVING with Janis Keift

Seed saving is part of our gardening heritage. Whether you want to preserve a family heirloom or save seed to share, this class will help you become a successful seed saver. Topics include planning, botanical classifications, pollination methods, isolation distances to prevent cross-pollination, harvesting, and processing wet-seeded and dry-seeded crops.

SUNDAY, APRIL 19 1 pm BEST VEGGIE VARIETIES FOR THE FRONT RANGE with Mimi Yanus

Mimi will discuss different varieties of the many vegetables (in addition to tomatoes!) that are successful and productive in our region.

SATURDAY, APRIL 25

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.

1 pm BEES, BEES, BEES!   with Miles McGaughey

Miles, a beekeeper for more than 20 years, will discuss the fascinating world of honey bees, and demonstrate how to work with them using our live hives.   Please wear light colored clothing and avoid scented body products.

SUNDAY, APRIL 26 1 pm ORGANIC LAWN CARE with Mikl Brawner

Learn how to support healthy soil and soil life using compost, organic fertilizers, aeration, proper watering and mowing, and how to avoid and deal with weeds.

SATURDAY, MAY 9

10 am RAISED BEDS 101   with Bryant Mason

Step-by-step description of how to start an easy and productive raised bed vegetable garden. Topics covered will include soil development, planting timing, fertilizing, weeding, watering, harvesting, and recommended crops. Bryant is founder of The Urban Farm Co.    (This is a repeat of Bryant’s March 15 class.)

1 pm TOP BAR HIVES   with Julie Finlay-Ridinger

What is a top bar hive, and how is it different from other hives? Julie has been working with top bar hives for over 15 years and will show you how and why she prefers them.  She will be demonstrating with the live top bar hive at Harlequin’s.   Please wear light colored clothing and avoid scented body products.

SATURDAY, MAY 16

10 am SECRETS OF GROWING GREAT TOMATOES with Carol O’Meara

Not only is Carol an Extension Agent for Boulder Co. , she knows how to grow the best tomatoes because she is passionate about her “Love Apples”.  You will have fun while learning how to choose, site, feed, support and manage pests for those “home-grown” tomatoes.

1 pm BIRDS, BEES, AND 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, and owner of Matrix Gardens.

SUNDAY, MAY 17 1 pm VITICULTURE with John Martin

Would you like a glass of wine from your own backyard vineyard? John will discuss grape varieties and how to get started in wine making.  He is co-owner of Stonebridge Farms in Lyons, the first CSA in Boulder County.

SATURDAY, MAY 23

10 am RAISED BEDS 201 with Bryant Mason

A continuation of Bryant’s Raised Beds 101 class. Topics covered will include organic pest management, vegetable growing tips, advice on other crops, winter growing/season extension, and other mid-season garden questions.

1 pm CREATING/NURTURING HABITATS FOR POLLINATORS with Engrid Winslow

What plants attract honeybees, butterflies, and hummingbirds? What can you do to create habitats for pollinators? This class will show you how to provide for these important creatures.

SATURDAY, MAY 30 10 am LIVING LANDSCAPES with Alison Peck

A garden that just cultivates plants is like a world with just one color! Come learn about ‘Living Landscapes’: landscapes that invite in the whole community of life.  Our gardens can provide invaluable habitat for insects, birds and animals that are losing their natural homes as we expand our cities and farms across the world.

SUNDAY, MAY 31 1 pm 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 first orchard was in 1976.

SATURDAY, JUNE 6

10 am EDIBLE WEEDS AND WILD MEDICINALS with Leslie Lewis  Imagine turning the weeds that grow all around you into a handy grocery store and effective medicine chest!  Learn how in this fun and informative class that teaches you to forage and prepare wild plants in a variety of ways that will delight your palate and help your body heal.  Led by Leslie C. Lewis, a certified clinical herbalist and flower essence practitioner.

1 pm 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. She has real insight into our native pollinators!

SATURDAY, JUNE 13

10 am MEDICINALS AS ORNAMENTALS IN THE XERIC GARDEN with Leslie Lewis (off-site)

Tour Leslie’s 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.

1 pm THE ALLURE AND ROMANCE OF OLD GARDEN ROSES with Linda Taylor ,Come learn what Antique Roses have to offer: they are dramatic, unexpected, have a timeless character and charm, are easy to grow in cold and/or challenging climates, provide multi-seasonal interest, possess unforgettable fragrances, are consistently reliable, versatile, sensually engaging of all the senses, and many have medicinal and/or culinary properties.

SUNDAY, JUNE 14 1 pm MANAGING GARDEN 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. 

JUNE 14-20 NATIONAL POLLINATOR WEEK

SATURDAY, JUNE 20

10 am DAVID AUSTIN ROSES with Sharron Zaun

English Roses bred by David Austin are among the most beautiful and fragrant of all roses. Austin’s are hardier and easier than most Hybrid Teas, and more fragrant and beautiful than most modern shrub roses. Sharron will share their history and culture, and show how to incorporate them into your garden.  A treat for your eyes and noses!

1 pm BERRIES AND SMALL FRUITS FOR COLORADO with Mikl Brawner

Small fruits are delicious, high in antioxidants and vitamins, take up less space and bear sooner than trees: strawberries, currants, raspberries, grapes, gooseberries. Mikl will share the best varieties for Colorado and how to grow them. 

SATURDAY, JUNE 27

10 am 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!

1 pm GARDENING AT 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!

SUNDAY, JUNE 28 1 pm PERMACULTURE FOR EVERYONE!   with Lynn Duguay

Are you the only kid on the block who hasn’t jumped on the permaculture bandwagon?  Join Lynne Duguay for a fun filled exploration into this fascinating design system. The workshop will consist of a presentation and field work to develop your basic permaculture skills.

SATURDAY, JULY 11 1 pm BASIC PLANT ID 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.   Diane has a degree in horticulture and specializes in trees and shrubs, especially the natives.

SATURDAY, JULY 18 1 pm 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, create a bubble space diagram and basic design components. This class could save years of redoing!

SUNDAY, AUGUST 16 1 pm PRUNING FOR STRENGTH, HEALTH, AND BEAUTY with Mikl Brawner

Mikl 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 of experience in pruning.  (Repeated on 8/22)

SATURDAY, AUGUST 22 1 pm PRUNING FOR STRENGTH, HEALTH, AND BEAUTY with Mikl Brawner

Mikl 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 of experience in pruning.  (Repeat of 8/16 class)

SATURDAY, AUGUST 29 10 AM – 1 PM FIFTH ANNUAL TASTE OF TOMATO 

A tomato tasting festival!  CSU Co-op Extension with Harlequin’s Gardens and held at Gateway Park. Bring your favorite tomatoes for free entry!  Call 303-939-9403 or visit our website, Harlequin’sGardens.com, under Event, for details.

AUGUST 24 – 30 MEMBERS FALL PLANT SALE

AUGUST 31 – OCTOBER 4 HARLEQUIN’S ANNUAL FALL PLANT SALE FOR EVERYONE

This sale continues every week in September and October.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 1 pm LOW TECH GREENHOUSE DESIGN AND OPERATION with Mikl Brawner

Mikl has been researching, building and using simple greenhouses for 25 years. This class will focus on five designs on-site at the nursery. Learn the basics of their construction and why they work so well.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 1 pm CREVICE AND ROCK GARDENING with Mike Kintgen

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.  Mike is Curator of the Alpine Collection at Denver Botanic Gardens.  This is a rare opportunity.

MEMBERSHIP IN HARLEQUIN’S GARDENS

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.

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. 

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!!!

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

John F. Kennedy

The Local Food Shift folks are starting a magazine to promote and follow our Colorado local food revolution. You can join and subscribe at www.localfoodshift.com  Check it out.

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.

Susan Crick Smith has worked at nature centers and parks for over 20 years, helping connect people of all ages to nature. She has been trained as a Master Gardener, Native Plant Master and is President of the Front Range chapter of Wild Ones, a non-profit that promotes native plants and natural landscaping for wildlife.

Amy Runkle worked doing greenhouse propagation. Last year she maintained our 8 demonstration gardens, helped with propagation, assisted customers in the nursery and helped take care of our bee hive.

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,MA, Rosarian and Garden Coach Extraordinaire, has been with Harlequins since 2008. She brings a combination of education, hands-on experience, years of study, and knowledge to our nursery. For over 25 years, Linda has been studying, teaching, and growing heirloom roses. She’s owned a boutique, specialty rose nursery in Montana and created flower and vegetable gardens in the 6 western states

Diane Badertscher has her degree in horticulture and has qualified as a Certified Colorado Nursery Professional. She specializes in trees and shrubs, especially  natives, and assists with our on-site beehives. Diane has lived and gardened at 8,000’ for 17 years, and brings that knowledge and experience to our customers.

Matt Patrick is trained as a CSU Master Gardener and has operated his own landscape business for the past 10 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. She manages both our organic vegetable production and our new Bee Barn and helps care for our bees and her home hives. Engrid makes the best jams and preserves which are on sale at the nursery.

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 represents Harlequin’s at fairs and events. She has a garden maintenance service.

Heather Stone worked with us 8 years ago until the birth of twins called her home. She holds a certificate in clinical herbalism, and has been gardening locally for 13 years. Her special interests include herbs, vegetables and perennials. She volunteers at Coal Creek Elementary in the Garden to Table program.

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 health, and designing an energy-efficient greenhouse. He was honored with the 2009 PaceSetter Award for the Environment

And we’re delighted to have occasional help from: Sharron Zaun,  Marty Crigler, and Marilyn Kakudo

 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.”

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, recommended for vegetable gardens, trees and shrubs and lawns

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

Cascade Minerals: basalt-derived micronutrients improve yield, stem strength, fruit quality and nutrient density of foods, in general improves health of plants; what is lacking in many fertilizers

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

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization has declared 2015 the International Year of Soils

and the Soil Science Society of America will be educating us about this precious resource

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 shale 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:A-1 EcoGro-locally made from landscape and beer wastes,; 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, 

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

POTTING SOILS: 

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, They do contain earthworm castings.

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

Home-grown Fruit: 

One of our specialties is fruiting plants that are adapted to Colorado conditions. All the apples we carry are resistant to fireblight and good-tasting. And the cherries we sell are all proven successful in Colorado. Our grapes are the most hardy of any you will find, delicious fresh, in juice and a few are good for wine. And we have productive & good tasting currants, gooseberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc. 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 17 years. We do sell popular varieties like the ‘Knock Out’ roses, but many we carry are far superior to the highly advertised latest craze.

Three fourths of the world’s flowering plants depend on pollinators to reproduce and produce fruit, vegetables and seeds, fiber, medicine and fuel. This amounts to billions of dollars worth of crops in the US every year.            USDA

The latest data from the 2012-2013 winter indicate an average loss of 45.1% of hives across all US beekeepers…31.1% of commercial hives. Bee health can tell us a lot about environmental health, and thus about our own well-being.  National Geographic

Be in a neighborhood, free from nerve toxin neonics, join or start a Bee Safe Neighborhood: Visit www.BeeSafeBoulder.com 

There’s no time for a revolution, we need a Renaissance. #1 Stop using pesticides #2 plant neonic-free plants that support pollinators. #3 Appreciate the wonderful, good world we live in #4 Grow healthy food #5 Regenerate living soils #6 Support Life

Thank you, local gardeners, for helping to cultivate a healthy 21st Century World

Sincerely,

Mikl Brawner & Eve Reshetnik-Brawner

And the Great Staff at Harlequin’s Gardens

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.   Gandhi