"From December to March, there are for many of us three gardens--the garden outdoors, the garden of pots and bowls in the house, and the garden of the mind's eye."
—Katherine S. White
Our Holiday Wish
As the year draws to a close, we want to sincerely thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of The Garden Company. We are a small family-owned business that operates more like a family than a corporation. As such, we have all developed relationships with so many of you that you seem like extended members of the family who have stood by us in good times and bad.
People who appreciate plants are generally kind, decent individuals who are respectful of our environment and all of the people they share it with. In these times of tragic human behavior, it is our privilege, and source of optimism, to maintain our relationships with you.
We wish you and your family a very Happy Holiday Season, with abundant health and happiness in the New Year.
Sincerely, Charlie and Maria
|at The Garden Company
|Rose Pruning Clinic
Saturday, January 19th, 10:00 AM-Noon
We will be holding a rose pruning and organic care clinic conducted by our in-house rosarian, Lance Reiners. Learn how to prune bush, climbing and tree type roses, and how to deal with common insect and disease issues using earth-friendly products. Seating is very limited, so be sure to reserve a space.
|Fruit Tree Q & A
Saturday, January 26th, 11:00 AM-1:00PM
Orin Martin of the U.C.S.C. Farm and Garden, and Matthew Sutton of Orchard Keepers, will talk about growing fruit trees on the Central Coast. Topics will include variety selection, site considerations, pruning techniques, disease issues and anything else related to fruit trees.Seating is limited, so be sure to reserve a space.Bring a sweater or jacket for this outdoor workshop.
|Please reserve in advance
|Last Minute Gift Ideas
Still looking for a unique gift or stocking stuffer? Here a several ideas from the both the Gift Shop and the Nursery.
From the Gift Shop:
Solmate Socks is a small, family owned company from Vermont that makes fun, colorful socks from recycled cotton yarn. In any given pair of socks, the geometric pattern is the same, and the same colors are used, but the colors are applied to the patterns differently on each sock creating a whimsical, festive look that just makes you want to smile. These are substantial, durable, yet comfortable socks. Maria has a couple of pairs that she rotates and has been wearing them every day for the past ten months. She reports that they keep her feet as warm as wool and in spite of countless washer/dryer cycles they still look great.
Compendium Gift Books is a collection of hard covered, themed, heartwarming journals with inspiring quotes and beautiful graphics. There is a wide range of topics for all occasions and the key people in your life. There is a series for Mom, Dad, Grandma or Grandpa that set the stage for a keepsake chronicle of their life history with a question on each page to begin the conversation. There are guest books for Weddings, Memorial Services and House Guests, or, general topics such as "You've Got a Friend," "Because You Care" and "Joy".
Fireworks Popcorn is a small, family-owned business from Northern Wisconsin that sells gourmet popcorn kernels. There are 9 varieties of natural heirloom popping corn grown by small mid-west farms specifically for Firework,s with unique flavors, colors, sizes and textures. There is even one that makes small, pure white popcorn with no hulls. No dyes are used and all of their corn is non-GMO and gluten-free.
Adajio Earrings is a line of beautiful, lightweight, inexpensive, handcrafted metal earrings made in Colorado. After the metal shape is formed, each piece is etched with a reactive agent then embellished by hand with a special proprietary process that adds color and texture. The earrings are completed with gold-filled or sterling ear wires, as well as glass, metal and crystal beads.
Christmas Ornament Sale
All of our Christmas tree ornaments are going on sale at 25% OFF beginning Saturday morning. Come in any time before then and mention the newsletter and you will get the discount before everyone else--as well as the best selection. We still have a great assortment of ornaments representing a wide range of hobbies and interests. These make great additions to your own tree and perfect gifts for friends and relatives. The photos to the right are a small sample of the many creative and beautiful styles available.
Maruca Handbags is an independent company operating out of a small studio nestled in the foothills of Boulder, Colorado, where every bag is still hand cut and sewn. They embrace the principles of the Arts & Crafts Movement that emphasized the value placed on decorative craftsmanship using simple forms. Their bags are made from a fabric called "Jacquard"... creating a sturdy handbag with an intricately woven pattern using a special loom in the weaving process. They are available in a wide variety of sizes and patterns.
Soaps and Lotions: We have several choices when it comes to soaps and lotions but we are especially pleased to offer three from Santa Cruz County.
- Bonny Doon Farm: Gary and Diane offer a line of attractively packaged, handcrafted soaps, body wash, salves and lotions produced in small batches incorporating the harvest from their lavender farm in Bonny Doon.
- Garden Lane Soaps is a family owned business from Corralitos that makes handcrafted soaps in small batches incorporating essential oils as well as organic herbs, seeds and flowers from their farm. They feature unique fragrances such as Oat & Honey, Spearmint Lemon, Sunny Citrus, Good Karma, Fennel and more. Their motto is "All natural all the time".
- Fish Princess Farms is another family business from Bonny Doon, producing Goat's Milk Soap made with organic olive oil, sweet goat's milk, coconut oil, almond oil and essential oils.
For the gardening enthusiast:
ARS Pruning Shears: Although we still offer Corona and Felco cutting tools, in my opinion, the new gold standard in pruners is the ARS pruner, which features precision ground, marquench hardened blades that start razor sharp and hold their edge longer than any competitors'. Another feature I absolutely love is their ingenious locking mechanism that opens quickly and easily with a simple squeeze of the handles. They come in three sizes to fit any hand.
Bird Feeders: Just about anyone who enjoys spending time in the yard would appreciate the pleasant, cheerful sounds and playful activity of wild birds. Sparrows, finches, and chickadees are easily attracted and add another dimension of life to the garden. Aspects Bird Feeders are attractive, durable and easy to clean.
If you have a lot of squirrels in the area try the Squirrel Buster feeder that makes it virtually impossible for squirrels to steal the seed intended for your birds.
Hori-Hori Knife: This is one of those tools that, after you have it for a while, you'll wonder how you ever got by without it. It is a cross between a trowel, a knife and a saw and features a polished, stainless steel blade that easily sheds soil. It has a sharp point for piercing compacted soils, a saw blade edge for sawing through roots and a depth gauge for planting bulbs.
Wind Chimes: Engage all of your senses in the garden with the melodic tones of a finely tuned, high quality wind chime. These aren't the tinny, tinkling sounds of similar inexpensive noise makers.
Corinthian Bells wind chimes are visually and acoustically exceptional chimes that are made in America. The centrally suspended heavy-walled aluminum tubes along with the high density striker give these chimes their outstanding tones and resonance. The tubes are powder coated to match the dome and wind sail, giving a complete finished look to the chime.
Roses: Our bare-root roses have arrived and each one has been inspected, hand-pruned and planted in a five gallon pot for optimal growth potential. With 65 varieties of shrub, climber and tree varieties that have been selected specifically for our coastal climate, the only question is...which color?
Gift Card: When you just aren't sure what they would like best, let them decide. We can issue a Gift Card for any amount, with no expiration, so the card holder's choices are virtually unlimited.
Closing at 2:30 Christmas Eve
Closed December 25th & 26th
Closing at 2:30 New Year's Eve
Closed January 1st & 2nd
|Frost Protection for Your Plants
Even though our winter weather isn't as brutal as Fargo North Dakota, we still get periodic freezing weather that can damage sensitive plants. The likelihood of freeze damage is quite variable--depending on your location and the sensitivity of specific plants in your yard. If a freeze is in the forecast, consider the following precautions.
FreezePruf is an eco-safe liquid that comes in a ready-to-spray bottle. It improves the cold tolerance of healthy plants by 2 to 9, degrees depending on the variety of plant and the duration of the freeze. Developed by botanists at the University of Alabama, it protects the plant by both reducing the freezing point of water in the plant's tissue and enhancing the ability of the tissue to survive ice crystal damage. The biodegradable formula resists washing away from rain for up to four weeks. When used as directed, it will not harm plants, humans, animals or the environment; it can be sprayed on the leaves of ornamentals, fruits and vegetables.
Frost Cloth is a lightweight, translucent, spun polyester fabric that acts as a blanket to trap warmth from the soil. Unlike a plastic sheet that quickly transmits cold, the frost cloth can sit directly on the foliage without causing contact cold damage--and it can be left in place for several days without the risk of baking your plants on a sunny day. It is available in precut sheets that are 10' by 12', or we have a bulk roll of fabric 12 feet wide that can be cut to any length desired for covering entire beds or large plants.
Holiday Lights are a festive way to provide several degrees of freeze protection. Simply take a string of incandescent white mini lights and drape them around and through the canopy of your citrus, hibiscus or other sensitive plant,then cover the plant with frost cloth. These lights should feel warm to the touch, but if you can hold them in your hand they won't be hot enough to burn foliage. Make sure that you don't use L.E.D. lights because they don't emit any heat.
And finally, if it hasn't rained for several days, be sure there is adequate soil moisture before the freezing weather begins. Plants that are drought stressed are far more likely to be damaged.
|Cut Christmas Tree Update
Even though we increased our order of fresh cut Christmas trees this year, we sold out on the afternoon of Sunday December 16th. I am very pleased with our sales and the incredibly positive customer feedback on the quality of our trees, however, I'm afraid we may have disappointed some customers who weren't able to shop earlier. I sincerely apologize if we were not able to provide your tree this year. We will again increase our order size for next year to try to accommodate the steadily growing demand. The risk, of course, is ordering too many and having trees left over after Christmas when they are much harder to sell. If you still need a tree we have a few beautiful, living Christmas trees left if you want to try something different this year.
|Citrus Tree Holiday Gifts
Giving citrus trees as gifts is an increasingly popular holiday trend as they represent life, health and prosperity. Lemons may conjure negative connotations when referring to cars but they are the most popular, and often the most satisfying, of all citrus types. Meyer lemons are so productive in the Santa Cruz area that one mature tree can supply several households with abundant fruit. The zest and juice of fresh limes from the backyard is an absolute necessity for seafood recipes, Mexican cuisine, margaritas and cosmos. And of course kumquats are always popular at this time of year. We just received a delivery of all these as well as oranges, mandarins, grapefruit and more. Let us put a bow on one of these trees for you.
|It's Bare-Root Berry Time
We recently received our fall shipment of bare-root berries, and our cool, wet weather is creating the perfect conditions for planting. Like other bare-root plants, the berries are grown in the ground then dug up while dormant and shipped to us with no soil around the roots. We keep them in planting mix to maintain root moisture until you take them home to plant them. The following are the most popular varieties:
- 'Chandler' is a June-bearing variety with very large glossy red fruit that is somewhat wedge shaped and firm with excellent flavor and high yield.
- 'Seascape' is a UC Davis cross between 'Selva' and 'Douglas.' It is a "day neutral" variety, meaning that instead of one big crop in early summer it produces a steady light crop, late spring through late summer. Although many day neutral varieties produce smaller fruit, 'Seascape' fruits tend to be large, firm berries with exceptional flavor. The plants are highly resistant to virus diseases and provide peak production in August and September.
- For an extended harvest season, we recommend planting both varieties since they are so inexpensive (5 plants for $1.99). Strawberries must have good drainage or they will rot, so plant them in raised beds, mounds or containers with well amended soil. Place your plants about 12 inches apart, spread the roots out evenly and cover with soil up to the crown or "waist" of the plant. Fertilize with Dr.Earth organic Tomato and Vegetable food and water when necessary to maintainlight soil moisture. As fruit forms, birds can be an issue, so either cover the plants with netting or place strips of flash tape on stakes. Bait with Sluggo for organic slug and snail protection.
- Raspberries are high in fiber, vitamin A and C, antioxidants and many minerals. They prefer a slightly acidic soil and are most manageable when grown on wires, a fence or trellis for support. Individual plants should be placed at least 3 feet apart with 6-8 feet between rows. Fertilize with Dr.Earth Rhododendron, Azalea and Camellia food.
- "Summer bearing" varieties bear one large crop of fruit in early summer. "Ever bearing" types produce berries on the upper part of a stem in September and then a lighter crop on the lower half the following late spring. For either type, after a cane, or section of a cane has fruited, cut it off, as it will not fruit again.
- 'Canby' is a summer bearing variety with medium to large light red berries. It is vigorous with very few thorns and is highly resistant to virus and aphids.
- 'Heritage Red' Is an ever bearing variety that is a very strong grower with very firm red berries of excellent quality.
- 'Fall Gold' is an ever bearing variety with fruit that is very sweet, large, firm, juicy and gold
- Think of Blackberries as having perennial roots and biennial stems. The stems will grow vigorously in the first year and bear fruit in the second year. As with Raspberries, when canes have fruited they have done their job and should be cut to the ground. Since many more canes will sprout, it is important to thin some out to reduce density.
- 'Black Satin' is a thornless variety with medium to large berries and a sweet honey-like flavor. It is a very vigorous and disease resistant variety with semi-erect growth and big crops in July.
- Ollalieberry' has the parentage and characteristics of raspberries, blackberries and dewberries. It is a very vigorous and productive variety that forms trailing stems with big, firm, shiny black, very sweet fruit in June.
Makes an attractive--and delicious--centerpiece for the table!
What You'll Need:
- 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup ranch dip
- 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (whatever you like best works for this)
- 1 teaspoon horseradish sauce (if using raw horseradish, use 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1/4 cup chopped/diced black olives
- 1 round bread loaf
Step by Step:
- Remove the center from bread loaf, leaving 1/2" thickness all the way around the sides, making a bowl out of the loaf.
- Combine cream cheese, sour cream, ranch dip, and horseradish sauce together until smooth (beat on medium in a mixer).
- Gently fold in the shredded cheese and black olives.
- Place inside the bread bowl, cover with foil and chill 1 hour.
- Serve with veggies, crackers or chips!
2218 Mission Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(Nov. through Feb.)
Mon - Fri:
8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
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On the Radio
Charlie of The Garden Company is now doing a 10 minute radio garden program with Rosemary Chalmers, host of Good Morning Monterey Bay on KSCO. Tune in to AM 1080 every Friday morning at 8:15 and join us for a walk in the garden.
Can't decide what to get that special person in your life? A Gift Card from The Garden Company is a gift of a thousand possibilities. Available in any amount, for any budget.
Our Special Order Program can help you find that special plant or product you are looking for. We will gladly try to track it down and call you when it is available. Of course, specific plant availability is dependent on production cycles, but if it's out there, we'll try to get it for you.
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