Thursday, August 28, 2014

Midwest Landscapes

What types of plants create great combinations in a Midwest landscape? Some factors to consider are hardiness, moisture, the site, adaptability and seasonal impact. Unless it is a sheltered site with supplemental irrigation, I recommend sticking to the basics for most homeowners who prefer a low maintenance landscape.
Choosing plant material from each of the categories of roses, perennials, grasses, evergreens and deciduous shrubs will definitely add incredible interest to a landscape bed. In doing so, your customers will thank you enormously for their eye pleasing landscape as the trend of outdoor living continues. Grasses and evergreens are very hardy for our area as Bouteloua gracilis and Juniperus 'Wiltonii' were the only two plants that withstood last year's brutal winter in my 24 inch container stored outside on my deck!
Midwest plant collection
Loma Vista grows some really cool short ornamental grasses and evergreens such as Juniperus 'Calgary Carpet' #5, a beautiful, green low-growing shrub that blends well into the landscape. We grow Sporobolus heterolepis #2, a great size for the show with the tall, airy seed heads; to its right is the gorgeously full Dwarf Hameln grass #5. This plant collection shows a few other summer jewels that would work well in the heat of August going into September including the groundcover Red Drift® Rose #1.
The Oso Easy® Paprika Rose 2PW crop will be available in the next few weeks; the flower is reminiscent of my favorite orange Geum. The new Rudbeckia 'Little Goldstar' #1 has cleaner foliage and smaller maturing size compared to the all-time favorite 'Goldsturm'. The Buddleia 'Miss Molly' 3PW is a vibrant magenta and striking with other colors, but can suffer dieback in cold winters like last year. Consider stocking a few of the items pictured as staple items and call us today!
By Sheila Balaun, Inventory Control/Customer Service, Loma Vista Nursery

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fall is Coming!

    So, some of us don't want to say it yet. Fall is coming!  With the start of my daughter's school, I also start to think about raking leaves.  And, I think about adding new plants to the landscape before the leaves drop.     

      I was down at container farm last week touring with some architects for an upcoming project and was able to put an eye on some of the fall crops that are ready now or will be within a few weeks. With Mother Nature not really bringing on the blistering heat this July and August as in years past, a lot of the plants have put on substantial growth.    

       Some of the standouts are our Viburnum crops that we have been waiting on patiently. Carlessi, Burkwood, Pragense and Juddi Viburnums all are looking great. Also, two other plants that caught my eye were Amber Jubilee Ninebark, Little Lamb Hydrangea.    

      These were only a few items out of many that looking great. Ben Cecil and his team have done a great job this year and I'm surely looking forward to the fall flush.  


Burkwood Viburnum
Burkwood Viburnum #5


Carlesii Viburnum
Carlesii Viburnum #5


Pragense Viburnum
Pragense Viburnum #3


Juddii Viburnum
Juddii Viburnum #3


Amber Jubilee Physocarpus
Amber Jubilee Physocarpus 2FE 


Little Lamb Hydrangea
Little Lamb Hydrangea 3PW


    Please give me a call if you would like to tour our container farm or tree fields, 913-897-7010 or send an email to me at  
By Steve Bridges, Sales Representative

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Great Plants

I love gardening!  It feeds my soul with hope and wonderment. Each year that passes I am amazed to see what new plants I can try to kill, lol. As many of you know, to be a successful gardener, you have to kill lots of plants.  I added a wonderful Picea abies 'procumbens' this year and it looked great for a while and then it got HOT and down it went, RIP little fella. This year I also added some new plants to very tired plantings that have been here since I bought the place. It was time to retire the Syringa reticulata that struggled because it was in full shade, go figure!  I re-vamped this garden with our wonderful plants from Loma Vista Nursery.

Michelle's landscape 

From this view point you can see that I added three Meidiland Crimson roses, love them! They put on a spectacular show all season long, no real need to dead head but I do just because I think it makes them re-bloom again a bit faster.

I added just one Agastache 'Blue Fortune' in the very front.  Normally, I would put in at least three but I didn't know this plant very well and wanted to see how it would perform. It has been incredible.  As you can see, the flowers are just now starting to fade (blooming from June-August, what a show!!). To think I wanted to cut them off to help with transplant shock. I was talked into leaving them on and I am so glad I did!

In the very back I added Hydrangea 'Pinky Winky' and one Mohican Viburnum which I am excited to watch grow.  You can see the Pinky's are just getting started to make their summer statement, and anticipating a really nice show until fall when they will turn pink too. I accented the door by adding two Panicum viragatum 'Shenandoah', one on each side (you can only see one).  This is one of my absolute favorite grasses.  It is tough and is starting to show some slight red tinges which is one of its most interesting characteristics.

Kopper King Hibiscus 

On the other side of the garden, I added Kopper King Hibiscus, it is way cool with copper foliage against the beautiful light pink blossoms. I can't wait until it fills in a bit more.  Every time I go by it, I find it amazing that we can grow something so tropical in our arid climate in Colorado.
Just a few highlights from my front yard that I thought you might enjoy. Happy gardening!

By Michelle Cadena, Sales Representative

The Value of a Certified Arborist

Just because you can start a chain saw doesn't mean you are an arborist.  We have had three fatal climbing deaths in the Kansas City area in recent weeks related to tree work.  All were accidents that could have been avoided.  One involved trimming a tree by a power line.  Any tree or branch within ten feet of a power line should be handled by a line clearance professional.  Timing is critical on many trees for pruning or for cleaning up storm damaged trees.  And, skill through education and training is also critical.   

"A trained arborist means safer trees and safer people" stated Rick Spurgeon, City Arborist for Olathe, Kansas and past president of Kansas Arborist Association at a recent visit to the nursery.  "Greatly reduce your liability when it comes to your employees and clients and their property with a trained professional arborist."

Team up with a professional arborist or encourage your staff to go through the training offered by a state, regional, or national groups such as ISA.  How to Hire an Arborist by the MDC states that "research on tree care constantly yields new techniques and products that are better for trees and the environment. An arborist must keep up with improving techniques."    

Give me a call or stop by the nursery if you want to learn more about getting involved with an arborist group or becoming a certified arborist. 


Trimming trees is treacherous, even for experts - KC Star

By Don Mann, Sales Representative, Kansas Certified Arborist, Kansas Certified Chemical Applicator

Colorful Plants

Cruzin Sunset Strip Coreopsis    
Sunset Strip Coreopsis is new at Loma Vista and our crop is just starting to flower.  Other coreopsis to use in your designs include Red Satin, Electric Avenue and long time favorites Early Sunrise, American Dream, Zagreb and Moonbeam.  All do great in full sun.

Amber Jubilee is just one of the colorful ninebarks we grow.  Coppertina, Little Devil, Summer Wine, and Diablo are also available.  Plant in partial to full sun for best foliage color. 

  Several hardy ice plants have been added to our plant mix for this year including Jewel Desert Peridot.  We also grow Red Mountain, Fire Spinner, and John Proffitt.  All are useful for filling gaps in the landscape.  They do best in full sun with limited irrigation.    
In time for Pink Day, our Invincibelle Spirit Hydrangeas are starting to flower.  Loma Vista donates $1.00 to The National Breast Cancer Research Foundation for every Invicibelle Spirit we grow. 
Dazzleberry Sedum   
The Sunsparkler series of sedums work just as well in the landscape as they do in containers.  Cherry Tart, Dazzleberry and Lime Zinger are all available in #1 containers.
By Susan Mertz, Director of Marketing

Container Farm Tour

Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love everything about it; the colors, the smells, the temperatures. It is coming soon so last week I spent a day at the farm to get a look at the crops.  Boy, are we in great shape!  But don't just take my word for it.  What's that saying?  A picture speaks a thousand words.

Hydrangea Next Generation Red Sensation #2
Hydrangea Next Generation
Red Sensation #2

First Edition Hypericum 3FE
First Edition Hypericum 3FE

Hibiscus Lil Kim 2PW
Hibiscus Lil Kim 2PW

Early  Elberta Peach #7
Early Elberta Peach #7

Fox Valley Birch #30
Betula Fox Valley #30

New Horizon Elm #25
Ulmus New Horizon #25

Cornus kousa #7
Cornus kousa #7

Pyrus Chanticleer #30
Pyrus Chanticleer #30

Quick Fire Hydrangea TF
Hydrangea Quick Fire #7 tree form
Would you like to come see for yourself?  We are scheduling farm tours for the month of August.  We can usually do a full tour in a couple hours.  Contact us today to schedule your tour!  Call us at 913-897-7010 or send an email to

By Caitlin Hupp, Sales Representative

Espresso Coffee Tree

I toured our field tree production recently in Willow Springs Township, Kansas.  The cool summer and decent rainfall have been very advantageous for our crops.  Trees have put on the best growth we've seen in many years.  Due to the great growing season, we are projecting more sellable material than we originally anticipated. One item to note that looks excellent in our fields is Espresso Kentucky Coffee Tree.  This is a seedless selection that is cold hardy and drought tolerant.  Plus, it has great bark and a beautiful fall color.   

The Coffee Trees in our field can be harvested during spring dig season 2015.  If you need trees sooner, there is an excellent crop of 25 gallon container Coffee Trees (straight species) at our pot-in-pot production in Ottawa, Kansas.  They caliper at 1.75 & 2 inch and are ready to be shipped with your container shrub or tree order this summer or fall. 

Coffee Tree

I am really digging our new container tree production.  It is great to have access to these trees year round.  Another advantage of container trees is reduced freight cost.  If you just need a few trees, we can load those with your shrubs, grasses and perennials. Or, if you need many trees, we can ship 300-350 #15 or 150-175 #25/#30 per truckload.  

Information on Espresso Coffee Tree From J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co:

 mature Espresso Coffee Tree 

Height: 50'
Spread: 35'

Shape: Oval to vase shaped with upright arching branches
Foliage: Huge doubly compound leaves, bluish-green
Fall Color: Yellow
The huge doubly compound leaves give this tree a tropical feel, and the arching branches present an elm-like form. This is a seedless selection. Good tolerance of heat, drought, and cold.

If you are looking for trees for this fall or next spring and would like to set up a tour, please call me anytime at 913-897-7010 or email me at    

By Lyndsi Oestmann, Vice President, Loma Vista Nursery

No Peace for the Wicked

  So, here we are in the third week of July and it's finally getting hot (or at least hotter). Not that I'm complaining, just unexpected that's all. These cooler temperatures have given us some great growing weather.


future crops and robots

   The new crops are galloping along, and are demanding to be spaced and groomed. The weeds are enjoying the conditions as well.



   This has been a good reminder of just how quickly plants can grow. Some beds that were pruned a week ago already look significantly different, others are changing day to day.

 future crops of perennials

   As long as the nights continue to be relatively cool, then the crops ought to (don't hold me to this) continue to develop.


future crops 
   So, the Lord willing and the creek don't rise, we will have beautiful fall crops for you.

By Jonathan McCombie, Grower


One of my favorite perennials is the Penstemon. These plants have colorful tubular shaped flowers. They are native to prairie landscapes. They do well in full sun, well-drained soil, are drought tolerant when established yet they don't like to compete with other plants so give them plenty of space. Penstemons are deer and rabbit resistant; attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. They can be used in mass plantings, in naturalized settings, as an accent or specimen plant. They make excellent cut flowers. Their nickname, Beardstongue, refers to the pollen-free stamen that sticks out from the flower hence resembling a Bearded Iris.

Pikes Peak Purple Penstemon
Pikes Peak Purple Penstemon
image courtesy of Plant Select


At Loma Vista Nursery we carry four varieties:

1.       Red Rocks has bright rose red flowers, blooms all summer and is hardy to zone 5

2.       Pike's Peak which has purple flowers, blooms summer through fall and is hardy to zone 5

3.       Prairie Dusk has rosy purple flowers, blooms early summer and is hardy to zone 3

4.       Husker Red has white flowers with maroon foliage, blooms late spring to early summer and is hardy to zone 3

Husker Red Penstemon
Husker Red Penstemon
image courtesy of MOBOT

 By Kate Williams, Sales Representative

Container Trees

There are many benefits to planting container trees including no need to wait for spring or fall harvest for availability. 

Goldenrain tree

Koelreutaria paniculata (Goldenrain Tree) is one of many we have in production and ready to ship - shown above.  Our hydrangea and hibiscus trees are now flowering.  Shown below is the #15 Kyushu Hydrangea.

Kyushu Hydrangea 15gal  

Loma Vista Nursery continues to invest in our container tree production and included an expansion earlier this spring. 

Pot in Pot Spring Expansion 

This section is now filled with shade trees in #15 and #25 containers. 

Planting container trees can be a great way to plant a good size tree and have fast establishment in a size that is easy to maneuver.  Both nursery staff and garden center customers will appreciate the ease of handling them.  Container trees hold all of their root mass and tend to have less transplant shock and better recovery when planted.  At the nursery, more efficient use of space is realized with holding container trees as compared to ball and burlap trees.  Shown below is a section of container trees with #25 Acer rubrum Redpointe at our LDC holding yard in Olathe.

Acer rubrum Redpointe 25gal 

Take a look at our newest availability to see the wonderful container trees that we have in stock.  Or, better yet, give us a call and set up an appointment to tour our container farm.  We'd love to show you around.  Plus, you will get a sneak peek at our new plants coming on for fall!  

By Bobby Fields, Sales Representative

Plant Propagation at Loma Vista

We are at the height of the propagation season at Loma Vista, hard at work on our task of producing over 600,000 new plants from seed, cuttings and division.

 Tony Marquez, section head of Propagation and his crew are in the midst of producing 3375 Syringa meyeri, 2776 Syringa patula, 6695 Syringa x Bloomerang and smaller amounts of Syringa vulgaris, S. James McFarland and Syringa x Pocahontas. 





The crew of 8 women, who are known here as the 'propagation ladies' go out in the morning and take the cuttings from our nursery stock.






We prepare the cuttings for rooting by removing any excess stem or leaves, dipping them in rooting hormone and sticking them in prefilled flats in one of our fog houses.

syringa patula cuttings 

The cuttings will remain in the fog house until they root, with the amount of fog adjusted depending on the weather and the amount of rooting that has occurred. They will be grown out for the rest of the year and transferred to 1 gallon nursery pots in the spring of 2015. 

syringa meyeri cuttings

Tony has been in the nursery industry for 30 years in Oklahoma, Kearny, Missouri and has been with Loma Vista for the last 7 years in propagation.  He is married and lives in Ottawa with his wife and two daughters, who are 12 and 14. 
I am fortunate to have a team in propagation that is experienced in the process, including Ben Cecil, our operations manager, to assist me with coordinating the many aspects of plant propagation here at the farm.

By Patricia Osborn, Propagator, Loma Vista Nursery

A Water Wise Landscape

Early June has been pretty wet in our neck of the woods yet most of the area still remains abnormally dry or in a moderate drought.  According to the Kansas Geological Survey, "Periods of severe drought are one of the greatest recurring natural disasters in North America. In any given year, droughts occur all across North America resulting in significant impacts on local economies, societies, and the natural environment." 

Water resource management and conservation are responsibilities we all bear.  Here are some tough, water-wise plants to consider.

Chaenomeles speciosa Double Take series

This thornless, fruitless quince is a champ!  It will tolerate/adapt to a wide range of soils including dry and clay soil.  This quince will take partial shade.  Typical mature size is 3-4' by 3-4'. 

A large group of Scarlet Storm were planted on a project late last year here in the Kansas City area.  Not only was our winter dry but we had many consecutive days of negative temperatures.  How do those quince look?  They all survived and are still blooming or maybe blooming again.  Either way, they have flowers in June.

Loma Vista has Pink Storm, Scarlet Storm, and Orange Storm in production.


Double Take Orange Storm
Double Take Orange Storm


Hypericum kalmianum Sunny Boulevard

Sunny Boulevard hypericum also makes our list of champions.  It has a nice compact form typically growing to 2-3' by 3-4'; very dense branching.  Yellow blooms  

I recently took a Sunny Boulevard Hypericum on a road trip with me.  For two days it was in an enclosed car, no water, hot humid conditions.  It sat overnight in the vehicle, windows up and while other plants along for the ride were droopy in the morning, Sunny Boulevard was no worse for wear.  Post road trip, the plant sat out in the heat for another couple days without water before it started showing signs of neglect.  What a trooper!


Sunny Boulevard Hypericum 1PW
Sunny Boulevard Hypericum 1PW


Rudbeckia fulgida Little Goldstar

Rudbeckia is probably already in your water wise pallet.  But have you tried Little Goldstar?  This compact Black Eyed Susan matures to about half as tall as Goldsturm.  Our #1's are loaded with buds.


Rudbeckia Little Goldstar 1gal
Rudbeckia Little Goldstar
By Caitlin Hupp, Sales Representative