Tuesday, March 31, 2015

New Additions to the Perennial Lineup

We have officially entered the spring season!  And all I want to do is work in my yard.  I am anxiously awaiting the first couple weeks of April when our perennials will be finishing and ready for sale.  The perennial line at Loma Vista Nursery just keeps getting better, year after year, in both selection and quality.  Here are some highlights of the new additions for this year.

Agastache Heat Wave

Photo courtesy of PlantHaven
Large hot pink flowers on licorice scented foliage; heat tolerant and loves the sun.  Heat Wave will mature to about 18" and flower all summer long!

Brunnera Looking Glass
Looking Glass Brunera 
Photo courtesy of Ball Seed
Following small blue flowers in the spring, the heart shaped leaves of Looking Glass appear to be painted silver as they mature into summer.  It will really brighten up a shady spot!

Another new addition to our perennial line - mixed planters.  You will find these listed on availability under the heading of Premium Containers, preceding the perennial section.  They are still growing but you can see how beautiful they will be when they finish.  They will be finished and ready for sale May 4, just in time for Mother's Day.  But I would reserve yours now because they are going quickly.

Heuchera Mix
Carnival Coral Bells Mix


Silver Annouk Lavender
Silver Annouk Lavender


Mix Sedum and Succulent
Sedum and Succulent Mix

Do you have a favorite perennial? How about a perennial mix that you would like to see in one of our premium containers?  I would love to hear about it.  Happy spring everyone!

 By Caitlin Hupp, Sales Representative, Loma Vista Nursery

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fast Forward into Spring!

We are beginning the propagation cycle this spring with tree seedlings.  Loma Vista grows many species of Oak as well as Redbud, Hackberry, Pine, Aspen, Catalpa and Populus from seed. The process is fairly straightforward.  However, each type of seed has its own set of germination requirements, which can be anywhere from sowing directly in a container, a 1 hour soak in sulfuric acid followed by 90 days of cold stratification to pre-germination in moist burlap.

 Quercus acutissima

The warm temperatures over the past couple of weeks have really awakened the plant material in the propagation houses and we are pruning and fertilizing like crazy.

We have just finished cutting off the understock on our grafted upright juniper crop and are ready to remove the grafting rubber bands.  We expect to have good results based on the testing that we have done so far.

 Tiger Eyes Sumac
I just returned from Minnesota and was able to visit Bailey Nurseries to see their Rhus typhinia Tiger Eyes propagation.  We will be planting root pieces of Tiger Eyes this year for the first time and I am really glad I got to see their operation first hand.  It will be helpful as we move forward.

 Matilda Eufracio

I am grateful for the returning propagation ladies and especially Propagation Section Head, Tony Marquez for their knowledge and experience. This is going to be a great year!

Tony Mauquez 
 By Patricia Osborn, Propagation Manger, Loma Vista Nursery

Thursday, March 12, 2015

It's Spring!

Today, it feels like spring.  Although, last week with the snow on the dock, it didn't seem like spring was really going to come.  In just one week, we are at 70 degrees and the nursery is coming alive.   

dock with snow

March is the start of the busy shipping season. As we get ready to start shipping all your plants and trees, we are finishing up the review of our processes, making changes as needed, and training staff. 

When you call your salesperson, they get your order entered into our inventory/accounting program and the plants are allocated.  This step also determines what location the plants will be pulled from.  

Nathan and Karen
Nathan and Karen

The salesperson sends the the order to myself and Nathan, assistant shipping manager. Picking tickets with locations are printed for the pulling crews.  

Javier and Dylan
Javier and Dylan

Once plants are pulled, they are brought to the dock and staged per customer.  Crews tag, clean, and get the plants ready to load and ship. Any concerns are brought to the attention of the shipping managers, inventory manager and growers. 


Pedro, our dock foreman, checks the counts and quality making sure the orders are correct.  

If you are at the container farm for a tour, please stop by and say hello.  I love meeting our customers and making sure you are happy with your orders and delivery.  

Have a great spring!  
Karen Brooks, Shipping Manager, Loma Vista Nursery

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Bud and Bloom Notes

"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade."    Charles Dickens


Hello everyone and welcome to March!

It's getting close to that time of year when Bud and Bloom comments start to appear. 

Bud and Bloom comments in our availability are intended to keep our customers aware of our plants' activities. We go out and observe and try to consider what stage the plant will be in for the next week.  The comments are updated in our availability weekly and are sent out promptly. 

There are three stages the plant could be in for our comments:

Magnolia - budded
Budded- Just seeing the formation of buds and are in the early stages of swelling. The buds will be tight with no color.

Phlox - bud and bloom
Bud and Bloom- 50% of the buds are showing color and the remaining are fully open

Forsythia - bloom image
Bloom- Over 75% of the buds are fully open

After flowers are fully open the bloom comment then will be taken off.  When it arrives to the customer flowers will have dropped. Keep in mind that some plants stay in flower longer than others. This is also a generalized census and many other things can come into play with the effect of the plants normal behavior. These comments are for you to visualize how the plant will arrive. 
Above are some early spring flowering plants that will be first to catch your eye.

By Torrae Kolbeck, Inventory Manager, Loma Vista Nursery

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bring on the Butterflies and Bees

Butterfly and Nepeta   
Attracting pollinators to the landscape is an important focus with gardeners.  Articles and postings on the honeybee collapse disorder has brought attention to the need to diversify plantings and include ones that attract bees.  Hobbyist gardeners growing fruits and vegetables understand the importance of pollinators.  Butterfly gardens have long been a favorite for children's gardens and science curriculum gardens.  
It's recommended that plants for pollinator gardens include both flowers and fruit.  A high continuous bloom is a must for bees.  Different heights and colors are important too.  Including trees, shrubs, perennials and edibles will provide the necessary canopy layers. Planting in groups is one of the recommended design tips.  Also, it's important to read labels and avoid or limit pesticide use. Bees prefer plants in the blue, yellow, and white ranges.  Of course, butterflies like all colors including bright ones.  Hummingbirds love red and orange flowers.  A few of the suggested plants:

Acer, Amelanchier, Celtis, Cercis, Cornus, Gledistia, Liriodendron, Malus, Populus, Prunus, Salix, Tilia, Ulmus

 Buddleia, Caryopteris, Rhus, Rosa, Salix, Spiraea

Perennials and Vines
Asclepias, Aster, Achillea, Baptisia, Campsis, Chelone, Coreopsis, Echinacea, Lavendula, Liatris, Lupinus, Monarda, Nepeta, Oenothera, Penstemon, Rudbeckia, Salvia, Sedum, Solidago
. Edibles
Fragaria, Malus, Prunus, Rubus, Vaccinium
For additional information:
By Susan Mertz, Director of Marketing, Loma Vista Nursery

Plan Now for Summer Sales

Are you thinking about summer?  If you are in Kansas City, you are braving the wind chills and summer probably seems like a distant dream. Spring is just around the corner and most of our current efforts are focused on spring no doubt. Last week I took a break from the cold Kansas winter and spent the week with my family on the beach in Mexico. It was a relaxing break and the highlight was watching my one-year and three-year old daughters play in the surf.
The warm weather did get me thinking about summer though. Spring will be here and gone in what will feel like a blink.  If we get mild temperatures and decent rainfall like we did in 2014, there will be the opportunity for strong sales this summer. While I was on vacation, I started planning for summer by reviewing Loma Vista's summer inventory and forecasts. We have some great stuff coming ready late spring and early summer, from perennials and grasses to container trees. If you are planning on a strong spring and think you might need to restock early summer, you can book container trees and other items off our summer availability now. Just give your Loma Vista Nursery sales rep a call.

Here are some highlights of what is coming early summer:
#25 1.75-2in Autumn Blaze Maple
#25 1.75-2in Paperbark Maple
#25 2in Somerset Red Maple
#30 8-10ft Heritage Birch Clump
#25 2in Yellowwood
#25 2in Red Jewel Crabapple
Exclamation Planetree 
#30 2in Exclamation Planetree
#25 2in Burr Oak
#25 1.75-2in Shawnee Brave Bald Cypress
#25 2in Emerald Sunshine Elm
#20 2in Patriot Elm

By Lyndsi Oestmann, Vice President, Loma Vista Nursery