Wednesday, October 29, 2014

An Edible Landscape


This fall has been absolutely beautiful!  Time to start thinking about new plants for next year and adding more fruit to the landscape.  Give your customers a garden to table experience with small and large fruits.  Loma Vista has several in production and now available for booking for your spring sales.  Hurry before they are gone.

 
LYCIUM bar Goji Big Lifeberry 1PW and 3PW

RUBUS Black Satin #1

RUBUS Darrow #1

RUBUS Willamette #1

VACCINIUM Top Hat #1

VACCINIUM x Northcountry #1

MALUS Gala #7

MALUS Honeycrisp #7

PRUNUS Black Tartarian #7

PRUNUS persica Early Elberta #7 and #10

PRUNUS salicina Superior #10

PRUNUS salicina Toka #10

PRUNUS x Bing #7

PYRUS com Bartlett Pear #7

 
Some of my favorite fruits are Blueberries and Raspberries!  Eat them fresh, freeze, can, make a smoothie! 

 

Fruit Smoothie with Yogurt
Image courtesy of fruitsmoothieswithyogurt.com

Apples, peaches, pears and cherries are a joy to have and harvest.  To insure a nice harvest, be sure to properly prune and spray for best crop production. 

   

Prunus Early Elberta #7

Reference Guides from K State:
Pruning Fruit Trees

Planning Your Fruit Garden

By Michelle Cadena, Sales Representative, Loma Vista Nursery

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Perennial Production


Gaillardia cuttingsIn the perennials, we are preparing for fall by cleaning and consolidating the houses. We are putting everything can to can so we can keep pots together and make room for our new perennials next year! Our propagation crew just finished moving all of the rooted cuttings out of their houses and into the perennial houses.

Here is a picture of our newest Gaillardia Sunset Sunrise that we did as an unrooted cutting.

This year we decided to incorporate unrooted cuttings purchased from a grower into our perennial program. Unrooted cuttings are main growing points that are cut off a mother plant. We receive these cuttings, stick them in soil and hopefully with the right mist and some luck those plants will root in about 4 weeks!  We are able to have a lot more flexibility with growing and have more plants available at different times by using unrooted cuttings.  I saw most of our new varieties in full production at Ball Horticultural when I went to their perennial garden trials in Chicago back in July. I was able to look at the plants in the landscape and see how well they would do for us and that is what helped us decide what we wanted to grow this next spring.

  
Achillea Song Siren Laura
  

 
 
For instance, there is a great new Achillea. It is called Achillea Song Siren Laura and has such great flowers that are red with pink centers. Below are pictures of plants I saw at those trial gardens and how they look as rooted cuttings in our houses here in Ottawa.

  

  
 

 Agastache Heat Wave

Above is Agastache Heat Wave.  It has light green foliage with a bright magenta/fuschia flower.

  
Heuchera Carnival Cocomint 

   
Heuchera Carnival Cocomint in the spring has beautiful white flowers that dangle over the top of those leaves.
    

 Heuchera Carnival Rose Granita

   
Heuchera Carnival Rose Granita is a new variety for us this year and I am so thrilled to be growing it. It is a deep purple and a hint of sheen in the leaves and this variety also has beautiful white flowers that dangle over the top of that dark foliage in the spring.

By Jessi Faircloth, Assistant Grower, Loma Vista Nursery

Friday, October 17, 2014

Demand for Dwarf Plants


 

 
Over the course of my visits with Landscape Architects throughout our region this summer, one common question or need has been a consistent topic - the need for more 3-foot by 3-foot mature size plants that do well in our area for projects of all types.
 

Little Quick Fire Hydrangea

 Probably my favorite new dwarf variety that we now have is Little Quick Fire Hydrangea.  This is a dwarf variety of the old favorite Quick Fire, both are a panicled hydreangea with a lacecap type bloom. This is one of the first hydrangeas to bloom each year and can handle more sun than other hydrangea varieties if it is irrigated regularly.




Purple Haze Butterfly Bush on Sale in September
Lo and Behold Purple Haze Buddleia
  The following is a complete list of plants that Loma Vista grows that fit this category, with plans for more introductions as new varieties become available in the future. 

Flutterby Petite Tutti Fruitti Butterfly Bush

Lo & Bedold Butterfly Bush (Blue Chip, Purple Haze)

Caryopteris (Petit Blue, Sunshine Blue)

Red-twig Dogwood (Arctic Fire, Kelseyi)

Cotoneaster (Tom Thumb, Hessei)

Show Off Forsythia

Abelia (Kaleidoscope, Sunshine Daydream, Rose Creek)

Chardonnay Pearls Deutzia

Fothergilla (Blue Shadow, Mount Airy)

Azalea (Bloom-A-Thon, Girard, Gable, Korean)

 
Cool Splash Diervilla
Cool Splash Bush Honeysuckle
 

Cool Splash Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla)

Panicled Hydrangea (Little Lamb, Little Quick Fire)

Mop-Head Hydrangea (Invinceball Spirit, Cityline Venice, Endless Summer, Let's Dance Series, NextGen Series, Nikko Blue)

Pee Wee Oakleaf Hydrangea

Snow Day Surprise Pearl Bush (Exochorda)

Little Henry Sweetspire (Itea)

Pokomoke Crapemyrtle 

Spiraea (Goldflame, Crispa, Goldmound, Little Princess, Magic Carpet, Neon Flash)

European Cranberry Bush Viburnum

Weigela (Minuet, My Monet, My Monet Sunset, Spilled Wine)
 
By Chad Weinand, Business Development, Loma Vista Nursery

Thursday, October 16, 2014

New Plants, Research and Trials


Longwood GardensBen Cecil, our Operations Manager, and I attended the 3 Brand Grower Meeting in September. The meeting was hosted at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania with tour stops at Terrain Garden Center and Conard-Pyle trial garden and new plant development labs.   

Longwood Gardens is amazing.  This should be on every plant enthusiast's bucket list.

The 3 Brand Meeting is for growers involved with the following brands:  Bailey's First Editions and The Endless Summer Collection of Hydrangeas, Star Roses and Conard-Pyle, and Plant Development Services, Inc. (Encore Azalea, The Southern Living Collection, Sunset Western Garden Collection).

This meeting proved to be a key opportunity for us to learn about the brands, marketing efforts, new plants, production practices, etc. and also to network with others growers and learn through information sharing.   
Rose Liners
Rose liners at Conard-Pyle
At Conard-Pyle we were able to view their extensive trial fields.  It was great to see varieties from multiple plant development companies across the trade planted side by side in the no-spray environment. We also visited Conard-Pyle's new plant development lab where they are using embryo rescue techniques and outsourcing gamma radiation (isolating, scrambling and crossing the genetics) to develop new and better varieties....this was way over my head but fun to learn about no less. 
With so many new plants coming on the market, it is becoming more and more difficult to decide what to grow and maybe more importantly, what not to grow.   We all know that sometimes the new variety on the market is the next best thing and sometimes it is better to stick with the tried and true varieties.  There are a lot of plants that we have been growing for the past 23 years that are winners.  A new plant must bring something more to the table than a current variety in order to make a change in production (either replace an existing variety or add a new variety to the product line up).  Some new varieties have improved disease resistance, better performance at the nursery, more drought tolerance, reblooming or other appealing aesthetic characteristics that meet a need or solve a problem that is not solved with the current plant palette.

breeder talk
Breeder showing Chocolate Fountains Albizia
Seeing the trials, going to the meetings and trialing the plants for ourselves at Loma Vista will enable us to best determine the winners and select the best varieties for our production and customers.  Right now we have approximately 45 varieties in our trial program at Loma Vista.  If you have varieties you'd like to see Loma Vista grow, please shoot me an email or give me a call.  Lyndsi@lomavistanursery.com, 913-915-0773 mobile.

Example pictures of Conard-Pyle's trial garden are shown below. Selections they are trialing are placed next to the nearest or most similar product on the market so they can compare the plants side-by-side under the same conditions. 


Moody Blues and Royal Candles VeronicaMoody Blues and Royal Candles Veronica - Moody Blues has more flower power.

 

Einstein and Hummingbird Clethra
Einstein and Hummingbird Clethra - Einstein has longer flowers but Hummingbird has much nicer foliage.
Rainbow Sensation and Ruby Fusion Weigela
Rainbow Sensation and Ruby Fusion Weigela - Rainbow Sensation is outperforming the new trial plant, Ruby Fusion.



More images of the Longwood Botanical Gardens:
 
Northwind Panicum

Northwind Panicum - an example of a newer variety that provides a solution that other plants we grew did not. 
 

 
Caryopteris in the trial garden

Caryopteris in the trial garden in a mass planting as a groundcover. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Container Garden
 


Container garden featuring caryopteris, one of my new favorites.
 
 
 
By Lyndsi Oestmann, Vice President, Loma Vista Nursery 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Project Spotlight


 

 
Now that IKEA Fever has engulfed the KC Metro area (and region) with the recent opening of their newest mega store located in Merriam, it is a good time to reflect on all the things that went into the opening of this store. To say this was a major project is an understatement. Reclaiming a defunct commercial property that was built atop a huge, two-tiered retaining wall at the major intersection of I-35 & Johnson Drive, and building what I think is the biggest show of permanent support for the hometown team (the building is a massive Royal-blue warehouse building - GO ROYALS!), wow what a feat!

But enough about the building (sorry architects), it is the landscape that I want to focus on with this article. You see, the process to get the landscape designed, supplied and installed was exemplary. So I want to convey to you the process that lead to the successful completion of this rather large landscape project.

First it started with the design. Landworks Studio designed the landscape with a very useful and hardy palate of plants that are typically very available from local growers and suppliers. It was a palate of plants that gives the site year-round interest without taking risks with plants that are marginal performers for our area.

The next step, and probably the most key component, was both the time frame for the project and the involvement of the landscape contractor early in the process. Given plenty of lead time on the project, the landscape contractor was able to lock down the plants for the project more than a year in advance of the installation date, ensuring that the trees and plants were available when they were needed. The team of landscape architects and contractors were able to inspect and tag all of the trees and plants for the project this past spring knowing that the install would be during the summer sometime.

Then came the installation process. With open communication being key, Audrie Seeley Landscape kept us informed of the installation schedule and scheduled deliveries well in advance, ensuring the delivery times would meet their demanding schedule to get the large landscape installed, which was about a 10-day window prior to the grand opening. We also inspected all the trees and plants about three weeks in advance of scheduled deliveries, which proved to be beneficial because we had some trees that were not the quality needed. We were able to work with the contractor and landscape architect to get substitutions approved well in advance of the installation timeframe.  Being flexible with the substitution varieties, yet still achieving the vision for the project was a key component to resolving this issue in a timely manner.

Overall, this is a great project case study to talk about. Everything fell into place on this project because at every stage of the process, we had a great team of experienced professionals performing with confidence that everyone would do their part to make the project a success.

If you have questions about how Loma Vista can help you complete your next project with success, feel free to contact us, we are more than happy to help in any way we are able! 
Now, I'm off to enjoy some Swedish Meatballs!
 
By Chad Weinand, Business Development, Loma Vista Nursery

Not Ready to Let Go


   What a rude awakening last week and it wasn't even that cold. Watching some of our crew shivering, was a good reminder that we need to acclimatize to the changing seasons just like our crops.

 
   Whilst we are making preparations for the winter, the current forecast isn't making us pull the trigger just yet on covering the houses. Except, that is, on a few of the propagation houses. Those couple of cool nights made us jump.

 
 
   Newly potted plants are set down can to can in a bed configuration that allows us to set up mini houses over the top of them. Younger crops with smaller head sizes are being put can to can, having been spaced for the summer and now awaiting the houses that will be erected over them.

 

    There are some sideboards at the base of some houses to replace. Supplies of plastic, lath and staples have been purchased. Equipment like air compressors and staple guns will be serviced so they are ready to go.

 
    So, I'm not ready to give up on the nice weather yet. And, I'll have to be dragged unwillingly into the winter. But, like it or not, those freezing temperatures are just around the corner. The best that we can do is to be prepared. And, be ready to go like heck when the time comes.


By Jonathan McCombie, Grower, Loma Vista Nursery

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Survey Results

 


In an effort to learn more about how landscape architects specify plant material and your opinions and needs pertaining to certain industry trends, Loma Vista circulated a survey to get more data from the landscape architecture community to find out more about how we can help address the issues you face on your projects. It is our intent to do these on a regular basis in the future to keep our finger on the pulse of the landscape architect community in our region. Here is part of what you had to say this time around:


 
Question: What factors have the most impact on the installation timing of your projects?

Response in order of most popular: Contractor/Subs (63%), Weather (38%), Availability (38%), Design Delays (19%), Specs (16%), Scheduling (13%), Funding (6%), Unrealistic Expectations (3%)

Question: Do you specify locally grown plant material for your projects?

Response: Yes (62%), No (38%)


Question: Have you ever had a project with contract grown plant materia?

Response: Yes (76%), No (24%)

 
Question: Do you specify locally grown plant material for your projects?

Response: Yes (32%), No (68%)

 
Question: What benefits did your project realize from contract grown material?

Response in order of most popular: Reduced Substitutions (55%), Timely Availability (55%), Cost Savings (35%), Locally Grown Material (35%), Higher Quality (30%), Consistency (30%)

Sophora japonica RegentInterestingly, this set of questions and responses shows a direct correlation between factors that impact projects and the solutions to those factors that can be addressed by contract growing plant material for a project. This data illustrates the importance of selling the contract grow service to your clients, if you are given the opportunity and the project has the right amount of lead time to allow it.
Loma Vista has had tremendous success with contract growing plants and trees for projects in the past. We hope you will trust us to do the same for your projects. Please contact us if you would like our assistance in conveying the benefits, logistics or pricing advantages of contract growing to your client. We are happy to help!
 
 By Chad Weinand, Business Development, Loma Vista Nursery
 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Sunsparklers and More


Lime Zinger Sunsparkler Sedum 

New at Loma Vista Nursery this year are three varieties of Sunsparkler Sedums. They are Cherry Tart, Dazzleberry and Lime Zinger. Chris Hansen, a plant breeder in Michigan, is developing the Sunsparklers. His goal is to produce new ground cover types of sedums with compact growth habits, attractive foliage, brilliant flower colors and hardiness (zones 4-9).

The first sedum in the series is Dazzleberry. It was chosen for its compact habit of 8" tall and 18" wide. In the spring its foliage is a blue grey with pink-red stems. In the fall the foliage color deepens to a rich smoky purple. Its 6-8" raspberry colored flower heads bloom from late summer into fall.

Cherry Tart is the second in the series. It was chosen for its distinctive cherry-red foliage and 6"tall by 18" compact habit. In the fall this plant is covered with 5" deep pink flower heads. What is also unique about the foliage is that it does not fade like other red sedums.

Sunsparkler Sedum mixed tray
Sunsparkler Medley Sedum 18 Tray
Lime Zinger, show above,  is the third in the series. It was chosen for its bright lime-green foliage with crisp cherry-red edges. It grows to 4" tall by 18" wide. It has large clusters of hot pink flowers that don't flop or fade.

Once established they are drought resistant, quick spreading. They are ideal plants for areas that receive full sunshine and hard to plant areas such as slopes and dusty sites.  They make for winter interest with their dried flower heads especially when planted along with perennial grasses. They also work well in containers.

Other groundcovers that are great for sunny areas include:

 
Jewel Desert Peridot Delosperma
Jewel Desert Peridot Delosperma
 
Golden Lysimachia
Goldie Lysimachia
 
Waterperry Veronica

We would love show you Loma Vista's container farm in person.  Please contact your sales representative or send an email to sales@lomavistanursery.com to make arrangements for a tour.  

By Kate Williams, Sales Representative, Loma Vista Nursery