Thursday, March 28, 2013

Controlled Release Fertilizer

At Loma Vista Nursery we use controlled release fertilizers to provide optimal nutrition to our plants and to minimize fertilizer waste.

Controlled, or slow release fertilizers, provide a constant nutrition level rather than a feast or famine situation that can occur with fast release fertilizers. When more fertilizer is available to the plant than it can use, the extra can cause damage to the root system and kill or render the product unsalable or the excess fertilizer is leached away. This wastes fertilizer and can be damaging to the environment.

Loma Vista Nursery's use of Controlled release fertilizers gives us a threefold benefit:

  • Provides best growth and quality by provide optimal nutrition to the product.
  • Reduces pollution of the environment.
  • Saves money by not wasting Fertilizer

This allows us to provide our customers environmentally conscious, nutritionally healthy, quality product.
 
 

 
 






Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Vertical Gardening

Images of walls of flowers and colorful plants are popular on the gardening boards on Pinterest. The ideas and projects range from simple ones with rows of shelves and containers mounted on a wall to more ambitious projects of coffee cups glued to a wall and filled with plants.

 window pane gardening

This fresh approach to gardening can help inspire your customers with new uses for plants. It's easy to take advantage of this trend with a few displays and a how-to class for customers at the garden center.

 Low growing plants with a mix of color and texture will help these projects be successful:

AEGOPODIUM Variegatum
AJUGA Chocolate Chip
ARABIS Spring Charm
ARTEMESIA schmidtiana
CAMPANULA Blue Clips and White Clips
DELOSPERMA cooperi and John Proffitt
DIANTHUS Arctic Fire, Firewitch, Firestar
GERANIUM Rozanne
HEDERA Yellow Ripple
IBERIS Little Gem
LYSIMACHIA Aurea
PACHYSANDRA terminalis
PHLOX creeping Blue, Pink, Red, White
POTENTILLA neumanniana
SAGINA aurea and subulata
SEDUM Aurea, Angelina, Kamtschaticum, Blue Spruce, Bronze Carpet, Tricolor
SEMPERVIVUM tectorum (Hens and Chicks)
THYMUS Coccineum and Elfin
VERONICA liwanensis
VINCA Ralph Shugert

groundcovers in quarts

Images of plants and vertical gardening ideas:
Susan Mertz, Director of Marketing, Loma Vista Nursery

Bud and Bloom at the Container Farm

It's that wonderful time of year when the buds are swelling and we can see a few blooms on the plants. Don't know about you, but we're tired of looking at snow and are ready for some spring flowers.  Below is the list of bud and bloom plants at our container farm:

Texas Scarlet Quince
CHAENOMELES spec Texas Scarlet

EXOCHORDA Snow Day Surprise

Arnold's Promise Witchhazel
HAMAMELIS x Arnold's Promise

Royal Star Magnolia
MAGNOLIA stellata Royal Star

Mountain Fire Pieris Japonica
PIERIS japonica Mountain Fire

RHODODENDRON Capistrano Yellow

PJM flower buds
RHODODENDRON PJM

RHODODENDRON Vulcan

Pink Dawn Viburnum
VIBURNUM bodnantense Pink Dawn

VINCA minor Bowles

Sheila Balaun, Inventory Manager, Loma Vista Nursery

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The new guy in town

 
As the new guy in town, I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself.  I am the grower at the Ottawa container farm.  First, I'd like to thank everyone for making me feel so welcome and at home. It's a pleasure to work with people committed to growing a quality product. 

My introduction to horticulture came from my father. An industrial chemist, he gardened for relaxation but his pastime became my passion.  Never very academically inclined, I'd found something I was quite good at (though I say it myself, I can build a pretty decent compost pile).

Laceleaf Japanese MapleI started my career at a nursery/garden center south of London where retailing, landscape installation and production ran side by side. Encouraged by the manager, I entered an agricultural college, introducing me to landscaping and arboriculture. The course I took required a year working in the industry. That brought me to Oregon to where I returned after graduating.  I spent a number of years growing glasshouse crops, primarily florist Azaleas, then Rhododendrons and Japanese Maples.  I do have an affinity for the maples and am delighted we grow them at Loma Vista.  While in Oregon, I also started a nursery growing perennials.
  
I'm pleased to become a part of the Loma Vista team and am excited at the chance to make a contribution to the nursery. I wish everyone a successful season. And, look forward to meeting you all when you join us in Ottawa for a tour of the container farm.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Drought tolerant, colorful perennials



The warm days of January and February had me very excited to get started on the season early. Luckily Ma Nature had another thing in mind! We all have been recently blessed with some pretty good snowfall - thank goodness! Unfortunately, it only puts a really small dent in the moisture that is needed to overcome the drought situation that we are currently in. Keeping this in mind, we need to think about our upcoming spring plantings and landscape projects. Include some easy and colorful perennial selections to brighten up this season's projects and last for years to come.

Blue Fortune Agastache



 
My favorite varieties of drought tolerant perennials are:

Aquilegia ‘Winky Blue and White is a great early season bloomer and a delight to all who see it! A small mound that gets 12-24” x 12-18”.


Agastache 'Blue Fortune'
This blue beauty stands 24-36" tall with long lasting blossoms July to September.

 
Firewitch Dianthus 
Dianthus-Pinks 'Firewitch'
I love the fragrant neon pink flower. Standing only 6-10" tall, this plant makes a great addition to any garden project. 

 
 
      
Coral Canyon Diascia
Diascia 'Coral Canyon'
This was introduced by Plant Select (a CSU and Denver Botanic Gardens coop), and is a fantastic long season bloomer with bright coral flowers. It looks as if it belongs in a wildflower garden, standing only 15-24" tall and wide, it can go about any where in the perennial border.




Echinacea Pow– Wow Wildberry
What a great height! This perennial favorite packs a powerful punch standing at 1.5-2.5’ tall perfect mixes perfectly with grasses.
 
Geranium ‘Rozanne’-a fantastic blue-violet a beautiful addition your long blooming mounding perennials getting 18-24” tall and wide.
 
 
Little Grapette Daylily
Hemerocallis 'Little Grapette'
It has a fantastic purplish color to the blossom and grows quickly to 15-18" tall and wide. Great for Borders!
 
Heuchera ‘Plum Pudding’
Fantastic color delectable in any shadegarden! 18”x18” with something chartreuse to really make a show!
 


Iris ‘Caesars Brother’- This old beauty stands tall  36-48” tall and 24” wide grabs everyone's attention at the beginning of summer with the bright blue flowers!
 
Nepeta ‘Walkers Low’ Long blooming from April to September, this relentless blooming perennial that stands 12-24” tall and wide.

 
Rudbeckia ‘Early Bird Gold’ another great 18-24” tall and wide  destined to add a long blast of color to your garden.
     
Groundcovers are small powerful punches of texture and interest.  Delosperma cooperi is a bright blooming pink drought tolerant groundcover.  Phlox subulata is a great stand-by and adds early season color to the garden!  Sedums are great and perform well in almost any garden.  l i
 
 
Michelle Cadena, Sales Representative, Loma Vista Nursery

 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Summer Event for Garden Centers

Coca Cola Polar BearIt's easy to think about spring events for a garden center. Summer can be a little bit harder. How do you get customers back in the door when the rush and excitement of spring is over?

 Google "garden center marketing ideas" and you find a whole host of suggestions for year round garden center promotions. Today's Garden Center encourages readers to get Marketing Ideas from Outside the Garden Center. Mentioned in this article is Coca Cola's cause based marketing campaign for polar bear habitats.
Invincibelle Spirit Hydrangea
Pink Day is an easy caused based event for garden centers. Many in your customer base have probably been impacted by breast cancer through a friend or family member and are passionate about this topic. Pink Day is a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness groups including The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The Invincibelle Spirit Hydrangea is the plant used across the country to promote Pink Day and raise funds. Schedule Pink Day for your garden center as a summer event when the hydrangeas, hibiscus, roses, and butterfly bushes are flowering.

Pink Day KitSet up a colorful display of plants, invite businesses with products/services that appeal to women to join in for the event, and invite your customers. It's an easy way to improve customer traffic and sales during the summer. We'll even provide you with a FREE Pink Day kit including t-shirts for some of your employees! Click for information on plants to order and stock for Pink Day and how you can get your free Pink Day kit.

By having a Pink Day, you'll probably find out what we have experienced with our event. The stories shared by customers at Pink Day of breast cancer survivors are very touching. And, it feels pretty amazing to help raise funds for an organization that is doing research to find a cure and also for a non-profit helping women who are battling breast cancer and the support they need.

Pink DayLoma Vista's Pink Day is held at the end of June. This year, we are expanding our Pink Day to include a local breast cancer awareness group and have invited quite a few allied industry businesses to set up vendor booths. The raffle benefiting the charitable organizations has been popular and is being expanded this year. We also donate a percent from the sale of pink flowering and foliage plants to the foundations. Please call or email Susan at susan@lomavistanursery.com for more ideas on how to have a successful Pink Day. And, if you have had a Pink Day, we'd love to hear about your experience. 
 
Susan Mertz, Director of Marketing, Loma Vista Nursery

Friday, March 8, 2013

Spring is coming, seriously

I am peering out of the office window admiring how the evening sun can make everything it lays upon seem warm and welcoming... even the piles of melting snow that still exist. However, a quick step outside results in a brutal slap from cold Kansas winds as a reminder that teens are forecasted tonight and there is still ample opportunity for freezing weather in the weeks to come.


Pruning HollyBut we must push forward! Our production team is in full gear preparing plants to wake up strong, vibrant and ready to impress. We have started our late winter shaping of various items that require a light tip to ensure a nice uniform bud break.

Others are having their fertilizer applied to supply the necessary nutrients for attractive foliage and excellent performance in the landscape.   Bareroot items are on their way to either help us maintain consistent offerings or add more diversity to our future availability.

Patriot Hostas in ProductionLet us not forget about the perennials. They are currently establishing their roots and beginning to develop their foliage in our greenhouses. This deliberate action is what sets them up for an explosion of color for the garden center or landscape in the spring.

While our recent weather can cause some to question spring's true intentions of arrival, it will definitely come sooner or later. Our goal is be ready with what you need when the desire to dig arrives.

Ben Cecil, Operations Manager, Loma Vista Nursery

Friday, March 1, 2013

Don's Early Spring Tips

Don't be alarmed by plants weighed down by the snow.  They will stand up again.  The heavy snow did break up quite a few trees in town.  Any fractures should be pruned off cleanly.  If it is a main branch, try to go back to the branch collar.  If the break is out on the terminal end, that branch can usually be salvaged with a pruning cut. 

With fresh nursery stock available, spring is a good time to begin replacing the street and shade trees that failed last summer after the long period of drought and heat stress.  Diversity is key to a healthy urban tree canopy.  For some recommendations, view our Recommended Native and Cultivars Plant List for Midwest Landscapes.  

Don't forget to cruise your properties and be on the lookout for crabapple and pine fungicide needs.  As the candle begins to expand on a pine, diplodia issues should be addressed with a Cleary 3336 spray every 10-14 days.  This product can also be applied to crabapples and other susceptible ornamentals as the buds start to break until full leaf to prevent rust issues.  

Fresh stock is coming in daily.  Call for availability.  And, have a great spring! 
  
Don Mann, Sales Rep/Kansas Certified Arborist and Certified Chemical Applicator, Loma Vista Nursery

A Favorite Tree

Ivory Silk LilacWhen my husband passed away recently, my business partner, Mark Olson, asked me what type of tree I would like to plant in Don's honor. The Ivory Silk Lilac tree (Syringa reticulata 'Ivory Silk') immediately came to mind as Don always admired them in the landscape.
Ivory Silk Lilacs do well in full sun to part shade, they are heat and drought tolerant once they are established (and we've had a lot of that type of weather lately). Their height and width (20-30 H x 15-25 W) gives them an advantage in the landscape, from specimen tree to boulevard trees. They have creamy white fragrant flowers in June when other ornamental trees are finished blooming. The bark is an attractive reddish brown which gives it winter interest. The Ivory Silk Lilac is even deer resistant. It is hardy to zone 3.
At Loma Vista Nursery we grow Ivory Silk Lilac in #15 Containers as well as B&B. 
Kate Williams, Sales Representative, Loma Vista Nursery