Nursery News

From the kitchen to the garden

By Kathy Reid
Originally published October 2014

istock compost 4webI learned the phrase from my mother: “Garbage is gold.” The garbage she refers to isn’t just any old thing that ends up in the trash can. Her “gold” is the scraps that accumulate in the kitchen from the not-so-perfect leaves of lettuce to the stringy orange carrot peels and the used coffee grounds.

Yes, my mother is a composter and has been since long before it became a fashionable thing to do. As far back as I can remember, there was always some sort of receptacle under the kitchen sink filled with her soupy, sour-smelling accumulation. How often did she tell me over the years, “No, no. Not down the disposal. That garbage is gold!” For my mother is also a vegetable gardener and she learned long ago the magical power of the rich, black compost that she created from things that so often end up down the disposal or in the trash can.

As I washed the dishes the other night in my own kitchen, I contemplated the half-gallon milk cartons that line the space along the back of the sink, stuffed with banana peels, potato skins and apple cores. Nothing is wasted, for I, too, have learned the secret potential of what another might see as mere trash.

I don’t know where my mother learned the skill of turning kitchen refuse into a wonderful soil amendment, but I would guess it was from her own mother. The skill, no doubt, is as ancient as cultivation itself. Whatever the source of the knowledge, I am happy to carry on the tradition.

My mother has taught me so many things, among them the precious nature of garbage. I will think of her next spring as I marvel at the tender seedlings pushing up through the dark, rich soil of my garden. Thanks, Mom!

 

Oh Hail!

We garden in Colorado! We know the heartbreak of the 5 or 10 minute storm that can undo 500 hours of hard work.

When hail strikes—what’s a gardener to do?

  • Wait a day or two. Let the sun shine and the anger subside. The damage will be easier to evaluate after some time has passed. This is a good time to work on a new margarita recipe!
  • Remove debris that could encourage the onset of disease.
  • Prune selectively. Remove broken stems and leaf parts. Even parts of leaves can be removed. Make angled cuts for a more natural look.
  • Feed your plants with a gentle nitrogen fertilizer. We recommend Age Old Grow liquid fertilizer.
  • Watch for insect infestations. Bad bugs tend to pick on weakened plants.
  • Try Fertilome Triple Action, a blend of naturally occurring pesticides for your garden, or OMRI approved Safer Insect Killing Soap.
  • Re-evaluate plant choice and positioning. Fine-leafed plants generally tolerate hail better than those with large leaves. Many natives are well-adapted to hail. Position plants prone to hail damage under trees or on an east facing wall or fence.
  • Have a plentiful array of patio pots. Those that are spared can be moved into place while others recover.
  • This is why God invented ANNUALS. They can be purchased in full-bloom-and put in areas that need instant color and give INSTANT gratification!
  • Conclusion….Keep a hail-thy attitude, and say “What the hail-where are those margaritas?”

 

2017 Rock Garden Concert Series

On Thursday, we will conclude this year’s Rock Garden Concert Series at Fort Collins Nursery with a very special benefit concert featuring the Holler!  We’d like to share some of our favorite memories from past concerts and give you a taste of what’s to come.  Enjoy these photos and don’t forget to purchase tickets for the upcoming show!

  • The Holler!, August 17 (Benefit for The Matthews House)

 

Photo Gallery

Win prizes from Gus!

Meet Gus The Gnome

Gnomes have a reputation for hoarding gold and jewels. Lucky for us, Gus is a little more generous than your average garden variety gnome. From May 20, 2017 through August 18, 2017 he will be giving away Fort Collins Nursery gift cards and other great prizes to people who are intrepid enough to find him! 

Who is Gus?

Gus is the coveted prize for the highest bidder at the annual CNGA Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association(CNGA) Industry Celebration, a fund raiser for the Colorado Horticulture Research & Education Foundation (CHREF). Funds raised from this annual auction play a role in developing new leaders and applied science for the nursery and greenhouse industry. CHREF has contributed more than $217,500 to research and more than $230,400 to scholarships since the mid 80’s.

Gus is said to bring good luck to whichever bidder wins him each year, and we feel very fortunate to have him hiding out at our beautiful nursery this year!

Get Started

It’s easy to win. All you need is a camera, a Facebook or Instagram account, and a sense of adventure!

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Follow Fort Collins Nursery on Facebook or Instagram
  2. Visit Fort Collins Nursery and find Gus. He will be hanging out somewhere in our retail area. He will move around often, as gnomes are known to get curious and wander off. 
  3. Once you’ve located Gus, take a selfie with him.
  4. Share your selfie on Instagram with the hashtag #GusTheGnome or post them directly to our Facebook page.
  5. Win weekly prizes! 
  6. Enter again for more chances to win. Drawings will be held each Friday based on that week’s entries.

What you can win:

  • We have gift cards, concert tickets, and merchandise! Each Friday we will randomly select from the previous week’s entries, so visit often, find Gus, and increase your chances of winning. See Official Rules for details.

 

Reasons to Invest in Your Landscape

Find out how we can turn your home landscape into a beautiful investment!

First Crocus Contest

Get your crocus in focus and you could win Fort Collins Nursery gift cards!

It’s already February, which means crocus, those colorful little harbingers of spring will soon be peeking up through the frozen soil. We want to see the first crocus of 2017, so if your crocus is first, share your photo on social media and earn a chance to win!

Here’s how to enter

  • Your photo must show your crocus emerged from the soil and showing some color. The flower does not need to be open, but the bud must be developed enough that its color is apparent. 
  • You must include some sort of time stamp in the photo. Ideally, a copy of that day’s newspaper (just like in the movies!), but you can also use a partner’s phone in the photo showing a news article from that day. If all else fails, write the date on a piece of paper and include it in the photo.
  • You must share the photo on social media
    • On Facebook: Share a photo of your crocus to our Facebook page and tag it #crocusfocus2017. Be sure to make your share public so we can see it – if it’s not public, it can’t win.
    • On Instagram: Tag us (@fortcollinsnursery) and use the hashtag #crocusfocus2017
  • The very first picture shared that meets the requirements above will win a $100.00 gift card to Fort Collins Nursery. 
  • All other valid entries received from February 7, 2017, through February 28th, 2017, will be entered in a drawing for one of four $25.00 gift cards to Fort Collins Nursery. 

All entrants shall retain ownership rights for their submissions. Fort Collins Nursery reserves the right to use any works submitted for promotional or advertising purposes free of charge. Fort Collins Nursery may not sell or redistribute submitted works for any purpose other than the promotion or advertising of Fort Collins Nursery.

We’re hiring for spring!

If you love plants, enjoy helping people, and want to work on a team of friendly, fun, and motivated peers, Fort Collins Nursery has a great opportunity for you! We are a full service retail garden center. We pride ourselves in our energetic and helpful staff and provide paid training to ensure our employees can help customers succeed in all aspects of plant selection and care.  

We are now accepting applications for our 2017 season. We offer a wide array of seasonal employment opportunities, including:

  • Retail Sales
  • Cashier
  • Plant Production
  • Delivery and Planting Crew

For a listing of current job openings, click here

Beautiful Weekend for Orchids!

Orchid Obsession-2The 2016 Orchid Obsession event is now in the books.  Thanks to Hi-Country Orchid Club and Mark van der Woerd for organizing such an amazing event!  Local clubs, organizations and vendors wowed us with their beautiful displays and hundreds of orchid enthusiasts and curious onlookers strolled the greenhouse to take in the breathtaking sites and exotic fragrances.  We sincerely enjoyed hosting this event and getting to spend the weekend with the orchid clubs, American Orchid Society judges, presenters and guests!

 

Best of Show Awards:

Miltonia Sandy's Cove WoodlandsBest Oncidium Alliance

  • Miltonia Sandy’s Cove ‘Woodlands’ AM/AOS
  • Awarded to Sylvia Budak.

 

 

 

Bulbophyllum Elizabeth Ann BuckleberryBest Miscellaneous

  • Bulbophyllum Elizabeth Ann ‘Buckleberry’ FCC/AOS
  • Awarded to Corey Barnes

 

 

 

Unlabelled DendrobiumBest Dendrobium Alliance

  • Unlabelled Dendrobium
  • Awarded to Roger Stone

 

 

 

Blc Momilani RainbowBest Cattleya Alliance

  • Blc Momilani Rainbow
  • Awarded to Jane Arnold

 

 

 


Vanda Tubtim Velvet 'Perfection'Best Vanda Alliance

  • Vanda Tubtim Velvet ‘Perfection’
  • Awarded to Sherman Harrison

 

 

 

Photo Gallery

Big Time Fun at 2016 Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off!

Joe with WinnerOur 8th Annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off was a huge success thanks to many awesome contestants from all over the region.  They dedicated their time and energy all summer long to produce some eye-popping entries.  Overall, we received 12 entries in multiple categories including heaviest pumpkin, heaviest squash, prettiest pumpkin and longest long gourd.  The days top honors went to Joe Scherber from Wheat Ridge, CO.  Joe’s 2016 entry came in at a monster 1410 pounds, setting a new contest record for Fort Collins Nursery.  Here is a list of all of this year’s winners:

Heaviest Pumpkin

  • 1st Place- Joe Scherber (1410 lbs)
  • 2nd Place- Joe Notario (941 lbs)
  • 3rd Place- Bill Sahl (821 lbs)
  • 4th Place- Dustin Grubbs (717 lbs)
  • 5th Place- Bill Jr. & Melissa Sahl (514 lbs)

 Heavy Squash

  • 1st Place- Jim Grande (687 lbs)

 Howard Dill (Prettiest Pumpkin)

  • 1st Place- Joe Scherber

 Longest Long Gourd

  • 1st Place- Joe Scherber (107.25″)

 

Press

The Coloradoan

thedenverchannel.com

Tri 102.4

 

Photo Gallery

 

Choose Celebration Plants for Special Events, People, Pets

By Deb Courtner

JapaneseMaple-Monrovia_NLSpecial occasions call for the creation of memories.  What better way to commemorate a graduation, wedding, birth, anniversary, housewarming, holiday or other significant event than by planting or donating a carefully selected plant to be enjoyed year after year?  Alternatively, plants are a deeply meaningful way to pay tribute to the life of a loved one or cherished pet who has passed on.

Flowering trees that convey caring include Autumn Brilliance serviceberry, with its fluffy white blooms, June berries and fabulous fall

color; the fruitless Spring Snow crabapple, with its fragrant white blossoms; Fringe Tree, with its distinctive, fragrant, hanging white flowers that look just like the tree’s name; Eastern Redbud, with its deep pink blossoms set against gray bark; or Hawthorn, with its spring/early summer flower clusters, dark red berries, and impressive autumn foliage.  If you like trees with colorful leaves all season long, consider a Japanese maple in well-protected locations, or Purple Smoke Tree.  If you prefer an evergreen, take a look at the dwarf Alberta spruce, with its compact, conical form, which will fit into almost any garden.

Carol Mackie Daphne-Monrovia_NLAs for shrubs, options include the semi-evergreen Carol Mackie Daphne, with its tiny, sweet-smelling pink blooms and variegated leaves; Tiger Eyes sumac, with its lacy chartreuse foliage, red stems and unparalleled fall color; butterfly bushes, with their heady scent and summer-long blooms; Hedge cotoneaster, with its shiny green leaves, black fruit and outstanding orange fall foliage; viburnums, with their full blossoms, ornamental fruit and pleasing autumn leaves; weigela, with their outrageously showy pink, purple or white flowers; and, of course, many varieties of roses.

Also, keep in mind that Fort Collins Nursery offers delivery and planting services for its trees and shrubs, and a one year satisfaction guarantee.

When selecting a plant for yourself or for a recipient, there are several factors to consider:

  • Where will the plant be installed?  If the plant is a shrub to memorialize a pet, for instance, you might consider planting it in your pet’s favorite resting place.
  • How much room is available for the plant as it matures?
  • What are the growing conditions (sun, soil type, water) in the garden where the plant will be installed?
  • If you’re looking for a flowering plant, do you want it to bloom at a particular time of year in honor of a special event?
  • What are favorite colors or fragrances of yours, the recipient or the memorialized individual?
  • Would you like a plant that symbolizes a particular virtue?  For example, red roses, hibiscus and wisteria symbolize love, whereas an oak tree represents strength and endurance.
  • Do you want a plant with a name similar to that of a recipient?  Examples include daphne, holly, and rose of Sharon with its feminine-named cultivars.  Or do you want a plant that has a name relating to the event, such as Peace rose or Livin’ Easy rose?

The staff at Fort Collins Nursery will be happy to help you choose a suitable plant for your special occasion.

Deb Courtner is a garden designer and writer who creates low-maintenance environments for busy homeowners.  She owns and operates Blossoms and Blueprints, LLC, a design and consulting firm in Fort Collins, Colorado.