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Raspberry Spear and Ivory Spear Crabapple

Raspberry Spear

Ivory Spear

The uniquely columnar and absolutely stunning Raspberry Spear and Ivory Spear Crabapple trees are 2017-2018 new releases from J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. and now available at Fort Collins Nursery. Each tree was produced through more than 30 years of in-house crabapple breeding, selection, evaluation and introduction. These pollinator-friendly trees are remarkably narrow and offer excellent disease resistance, brilliant flower display and profuse crops of persistent (meaning they don’t drop and make a mess), brightly colored fruit.

 

Raspberry Spear Blossoms

Raspberry Spear Crabapple

The Raspberry Spear Crabapple features deep pink buds that open to bright magenta flowers in spring. The clean and disease-free summer foliage maintains a dark purple color with bronzing on the older leaves in late summer and early fall, when orange tints appear. Purple-red fruits ripen to deep bright red and persist into late autumn or early winter.

  •   Height: 20’
  •   Spread: 8’
  •  Hardiness Zones: 4
  •  Shape: Narrow upright column
  •  Foliage: Purple
  •  Flower: Magenta pink
  •   Fruit: Maroon to deep red, ½”, persistent

 

Ivory Spear Blossoms

Ivory Spear Crabapple

The Ivory Spear Crabapple features deep pink buds that open to white flowers on this densely upright, narrow tree. The leaves stay clean and disease free throughout the growing season, forming a uniform column of dark green foliage in the landscape. Bright cherry red fruits contrast well with the dark green leaves and persist into late autumn, when a touch of yellow fall color adds seasonal interest.

  •   Height: 18’
  •    Spread: 7’
  •    Hardiness Zones: 4
  •    Shape: Narrow, tightly columnar
  •    Foliage: Dark Green
  •    Flower: White
  •    Fruit: Bright Red, ½” persistent

Cohasset Molten Glass

In October, we are bringing in new stock from the Cohasset Molten Glass collection.  The base of these beautiful sculptures are made from the root of the Gumal Tree or reclaimed Teak, recycled from the large market of Balinese Teak and other hard wood furniture.  The glass vessel is made from recycled hand blown glass that is formed to fit the detailed contours of the wood base. Each molten glass sculpture is a completely unique piece of art and no two are alike!

Cohasset Molten Glass sculptures can be used as a vase, aquarium, terrarium or just admired for their natural beauty.

Japanese Maple Starter Bonsai

We have just received our largest selection of Japanese Maple cultivars to date in dwarf and semi-dwarf sizes. Japanese Maple are grown worldwide for their attractive forms, leaf shapes, and spectacular colors. Japanese Maples have many characteristics that make them practical options for container potting and bosai. They have smaller root systems than many plants their size and have significantly slower growth rates when growing in pots. The main advantage of growing in containers is that you can move the pots around for maximum impact and care. You can decorate your patio and deck in the summer, bring inside to liven up your house as the leaves turn magnificent colors in the fall, and move it to the garage for six weeks during the winter for their winter dormancy. Developing a Japanese Maple into a bonsai tree is a fun project and the branches of the tree are flexible, making the tree well suited to bonsai training.

Japanese Maple can also be planted outdoors and can survive the harsh Colorado winter months with some proper planning and attention. If you go this route, be sure to plant in a location where it will receive ample water and protection from intense sun and drying wind. Although they are not the easiest plants to grow, they are incredibly beautiful and are very satisfying when grown successfully. Be sure to speak with one of our experts for advice on how to provide the best conditions possible for your Japanese Maple!

Here are some beautiful varieties to look at:

Mikawa Yatsubusa Japanese Maple

The delicate leaves of this multi-branched, compact Japanese maple grow closely together and overlap one another like roof shingles, producing a dense leaf cover and nearly spherical form. New yellow-green foliage has red tips and turns medium green with age. In fall, brilliant fiery red and darker red leaves create a dramatic show.

  • Growth Habit: Broad Upright
  • Growth Rate: 3-6” per year
  • Garden Size: 6’ H X 4’W
  • Cold Hardiness: -20 to -10F
  • Sunlight: Partial to Full Shade

Golden Full Moon Maple

The Golden Full Moon Maple is a delightful small tree whose yellow leaves can brighten a shady spot or add beautiful contrast to dark green or blue conifers. When protected from afternoon sun, its leaves stay fresh looking all season long.

  • Growth Habit: Broad Upright
  • Growth Rate: 6-12” per year
  • Garden Size: 10’H X 7’W
  • Cold Hardiness: -20 to -10F
  • Sunlight: Partial to Full Shade

Rhode Island Red Japanese Maple

This outstanding dwarf variety develops dense branching and a unique sphere-shaped form. The leaves start off bright red in the spring and then darken in the summer. Their autumn foliage is a dazzling orange to red, and when the leaves do fall, the compact structure along with dark red stems add excitement to the winter landscape.

  • Growth Habit: Broad Upright
  • Growth Rate: 3-6” per year
  • Garden Size: 6’ H X 6’W
  • Cold Hardiness: -20 to -10F
  • Sunlight: Partial Shade

Shindeshojo Japanese Maple

Fire engine red or iridescent scarlet are phrases that only attempt to describe the spring leaves of this small tree. Summer sun cools the color down to a pleasant reddish green, and autumn gives a blend of red and orange to the tiny leaves. This is an excellent maple for patio containers and bonsai.  

  • Growth Habit: Broad Upright
  • Growth Rate: 12-15” per year
  • Garden Size: 20’ H X 15’W
  • Cold Hardiness: -20 to -10F
  • Sunlight: Partial to Full Shade

Butterfly Japanese Maple

The Butterfly variegated Japanese maple will add elegance to your garden. This small vase-shaped tree has tiny, creamy, white and green variegated leaves. Its early spring leaves can be tinged with pink. In autumn, look for a lively change to bright magenta coloring.

  • Growth Habit: Broad Upright
  • Growth Rate: 6-12” per year
  • Garden Size: 15’H X 12’W
  • Cold Hardiness: -20 to -10F
  • Sunlight: Partial to Full Shade

Coral Bark Japanese Maple

The brilliant coral red bark on the twigs and branches of this small tree make the winter landscape come alive, especially against a background of snow! In the spring, the delicate leaves emerge a bright green with a reddish tinge on the edges. One of the first maples to show fall color, the leaves change to golden yellow with apricot-rose tints. The Coral Bark Japanese Maple is invaluable for the small garden and along walkways, patios and pools.

  • Growth Habit: Broad Upright
  • Growth Rate: 12-15” per year
  • Garden Size: 20’H X 15’W
  • Cold Hardiness: -20 to -10F
  • Sunlight: Partial Shade

Bulbs

Bulbs_NLGardening, like many things in life, is all about planning ahead. The bulbs you plant this fall will lie dormant through the winter months before producing those delicate pretty flowers that push through the melting snow and usher in spring. We have received our first batch of bulbs for the season and they are ready for you to take home. Choose from a variety of quality bulbs and roots including Crocus, Narcissus, Allium, Iris, and Tulips, Hyacinths, Muscari and more.

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!

 

Proven Winners® ColorChoice® Flowering Shrubs

The Proven Winners® plant brand has introduced some of the best, most unique, and high performing plants since 1992.  Their plants are well-known for flowering, growth habit, disease resistance, and garden performance.

The Proven Winners® ColorChoice® series is one of the most recognized brands in flowering shrubs and produces many of our personal favorites.  Come in and check out our awesome new selection of ColorChoice® shrubs including several varieties available for the first time at Fort Collins Nursery.  Here are a few recommendations to get you started:

Pugster® Blue Butterfly Bush

This jazzy little beauty is true blue and sturdy too!  A true color of blue can be hard to come by in the garden but this lovely shade evokes feelings of cool waterfalls and chilly breezes.  Thanks to its thick, sturdy stems, the Pugster® series offers vastly improved hardiness and winter survival over other types of dwarf butterfly bush. Although Pugster® Blue Buttefly Bush is a compact plant that reaches just 2 feet tall, it has large, full sized flowers normally seen on a much larger plant. The Pugster® series butterfly bush are also available with white, pink, and periwinkle flowers.

  • Height: 24”
  • Spread: 24”-36”
  • Hardiness Zones: 5-9
  • Flower Color: Blue
  • Light Requirement: Sun
  • Water: Low
  • Maintenance: Easy
  • Bloom Time: Summer through Fall

Invincibelle® Ruby Hydrangea

The dark burgundy red flower buds of the Invincibelle® Ruby hydrangea open to a two-toned combination of bright ruby red and silvery pink. The foliage is extra dark and the stems are strong, making this new hydrangea a gem in any garden. Invincibelle® Ruby is a strong rebloomer that flowers on new growth and blooms every year without fail. It works great in mass plantings, landscapes, cutting gardens and mixed borders. The Invincibelle® hydrangea series is also available in other varieties including the Wee White® and pink blossomed Spirit.

  • Height: 36”-48”
  • Spread: 24”-36”
  • Hardiness Zones: 3-9
  • Flower Color: Pink, Red
  • Light Requirement: Partial sun
  • Water: Average to High
  • Maintenance: Easy
  • Bloom Time: Summer

Oso Easy® Urban Legend® Landscape Rose

Looking for a bright red landscape rose with non-stop blooms? The Urban Legend® landscape rose is the newest disease-resistant addition to the best-selling Oso Easy® series. Its true-red, semi-double flowers bloom in early summer and continue through the first hard frost. A crown of lush yellow stamens in the center add interest and contrast. Because it is disease resistant, it is easy to care for and there is no need to spray or fret about black spot or powdery mildew.  The Oso Easy® series features many other varieties including Cherry Pie, Hot Paprika®, Italian Ice®, Lemon Zest, Mango Salsa, Paprika, Peachy Cream, Strawberry Crush and Honey Bun.

  • Height: 30”-40”
  • Spread: 30”-40”
  • Hardiness Zones: 4-9
  • Flower Color: Red
  • Light Requirement: Sun
  • Water: Average
  • Maintenance: Easy
  • Bloom Time: Summer through Fall

Tuff Stuff Red Mountain Hydrangea

Tuff Stuff Red, the newest edition to the Tuff Stuff series of mountain hydrangeas, is colorful, beautiful, and reliable. These unique hydrangeas fare better in cold weather than big-leaf hydrangeas, making them the perfect choice for landscapes and gardens in zones 5 and 6. Their large, lacecap flowers are a deep pink-red color which is set off by lustrous, deep green foliage. Tuff Stuff Red is a reblooming hydrangea that begins blooming in early summer and continues to produce flowers through autumn. Its small, rounded shape gives Tuff Stuff Red extra versatility in the landscape and works great in masses or as a solo planting.   At Fort Collins Nursery you will also find the original Tuff Stuff mountain hydrangea with lacy pink flowers.

  • Height: 24”-36”
  • Spread: 24”-36”
  • Hardiness Zones: 5-9
  • Flower Color: Green, Pink, Red
  • Light Requirement: Part Sun
  • Water: Average to High
  • Maintenance: Easy
  • Bloom Time: Summer through Fall

Inspired White Butterfly Bush

The Inspired White butterfly bush has purer than pure white flowers and blooms from early to late summer. It is a wonderful, compact variety that plays nicely with everyone in the garden. Inspired White has a nice fragrant smell that attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bees but turns away those pesky deer. The Inspired butterfly bush also come in Pink and Violet varieties that are available here at Fort Collins Nursery.

  • Height: 48”-96”
  • Spread: 48”-96”
  • Hardiness Zones: 5-9
  • Flower Color: White
  • Light Requirement: Sun
  • Water: Low
  • Maintenance: Easy
  • Bloom Time: Early through Late Summer

Mums & Asters

Looking for some late-summer/ early fall perennial bloomers? Add colorful chrysanthemums and asters to your flower bed or fall container garden! Hundreds of these prolific, hardy and beautifully bushy perennials were grown with love right here by our production team and are available now.

Mums come in a wide variety of colors, from yellow, pink, magenta, red, lavender, and more. Blooms on mums typically last for weeks providing a late-summer boost when other flowers have given out. We also have a great selection of colorful asters, also a hardy late-summer and fall bloomer. Small, abundant, star-shaped flowers tower on 2-3 foot plants,
providing a nice backdrop in perennial beds.

Asters_NLBoth mums and asters appreciate full sun, and a good dose of compost when planted. They also prefer water at their base (avoid overhead watering to discourage powdery mildew).

Stop in soon to see our great selection!

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?”

 

Perennial Hibiscus

Perennial Hibiscus is one of our summer favorites and back in stock at Fort Collins Nursery.  Also known as Rose Mallow, these plants are large, fast-growing, and cold hardy.  They are valued by gardeners for their huge exotic flowers and showy foliage which make for a perfect addition to any perennial border.  Because of their size, they are a great choice to plant against a large fence or wall, or as a showy substitute for many small and medium shrubs. Most varieties produce beautiful bloom colors in white, pink, red and bi-colors, with individual blooms lasting for one or two days. Hibiscus start flowering in July and last until frost so now is a great time to pick one up!

Come in today and check out these beautiful varieties!

Berry Awesome

The “Berry Awesome” Hibiscus has lavender pink flowers and a red eye, with contrasting deep midnight green foliage. The plant gets nicknamed “dinner plate Hibiscus” because the flowers on this plant are a whopping 7”-8” wide. The flowers are produced from the top to the bottom of the plant, rather than just at the top like some other cultivars. The foliage forms a rounded habit and will be ready to show off from midsummer into early fall. ‘Berry Awesome’ is the perfect backdrop or centerpiece for sunny borders. Use it in place of a shrub in your garden.

  • Height: 4’
  • Spread: 4.5’-5’
  • Hardiness Zones: 4-9
  • Flower Color: Pink/Red
  • Foliage Color: Green
  • Sunlight: Full to Part Sun (minimum 4-6 hrs. Direct Sun)

Cranberry Crush

The ‘Cranberry Crush’ Hibiscus has a short but full, compact habit and scarlet red flowers. Flowers are produced all along the flowering stems rather than just at the top like some other cultivars. The buds are near-black and open to glossy, scarlet red flowers that are 7”-8” inch wide with heavily overlapping petals.  These dramatic blossoms cover the plant from midsummer to early fall and are set against a perfect backdrop of glossy deep green leaves with slight purple overtones.

  • Height: 4’
  • Spread: 4-5’
  • Hardiness Zones: 4-9
  • Flower Color: Red
  • Foliage Color: Green
  • Sunlight: Full to Part Sun (minimum 4-6 hrs. Direct Sun)

Perfect Storm

The ‘Perfect Storm’ Hibiscus features dark foliage like the beloved ‘Summer Storm’ Hibiscus but grows to a much more manageable size of 3’ tall.  Perfect Storm’ has huge, 7”-8” white flowers with pink edged petals and a bright red eye that radiates out the veins. The flowers bloom from midsummer into early fall. 

  • Height: 3’
  • Spread: 4.5-5’
  • Hardiness Zones: 4,5,6,7,8,9
  • Flower Color: Pink shades
  • Foliage Color: Green shades
  • Sunlight: Full Sun (>6 hrs. Direct Sun)
  • Part Shade: (4-6 hrs. Direct Sun)

Plum Fantasy

This incredibly heavy bloomer sets buds on the upper sections of the stems. Lipstick-red buds open to vibrant, large 8”-9”magenta red flowers with a deeper red eye and red stamens.  The distinctly puckered and crinkled texture of the flower petals is very unique among perennial hibiscus, giving them added dimension. The dramatic flower color really pops against the super dark green, maple-like foliage which takes on a tint of greyed purple late in the season.  ‘Plum Fantasy’ forms an upright rounded clump in the landscape and makes a fantastic specimen plant for sunny landscapes.

  • Height: 4.5’-5.5’
  • Spread: 4.5’-5.5’
  • Hardiness Zones: 4-9
  • Flower Color: Purple/Red
  • Foliage Color: Green
  • Sunlight: Full to Part Sun (minimum 4-6 hrs. Direct Sun)

Pest Control Products

Warning!  Garden pests are out there and will destroy your plants and veggies if given the opportunity. At Fort Collins Nursery we take pests seriously and have solutions for all your common pest related problems.

When it comes to garden pests, prevention is always the best option and there are several things you can do to keep them from showing up in the first place. Keep your foliage dry by watering the base of the plants and build healthy organic soil. Remove weak and dying plants and clear the garden of weeds and organic debris.  

If your garden is already under attack, the first step is identifying the problem by spotting the destructive culprits or the damage they have caused. Our knowledgeable staff will be happy to look at your plant samples or photos to help with diagnosis.  Once you identify the problem we can help with the control process.  Here is a list of several popular products we offer to combat some of the more common problems:

 

  • Live-Ladybugs & Lacewings- Ladybugs and lacewings are beneficial insects that naturally feed on garden pests like Aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, thrips, and other soft bodied insects.  To put them to work, simply tap them out of the cardboard container around your garden in the morning, evening or on an overcast day. They move slowly during those times and will go straight to the food source. They will stick around as long as they find a good food source but will otherwise fly away and seek food sources elsewhere.  (Sorry, we do not sell miniature leashes to keep them from moving on!)

 

  • NOLO Bait- NOLO Bait is a safe, biological control that protects your yard from voracious grasshoppers.  This biological control causes an infection that exclusively harms grasshoppers. When used as long term control, it is most effective when grasshoppers are young, killing them within 2-3 days. More mature grasshoppers are not as prone to infection, and the NOLO Bait might take much longer to kill them, or may simply make them lethargic. When used year after year, this can be one of the most effective controls on the market today, and has the added benefit of not harming beneficial insects, pets, children, or plants.

 

  • Nematodes- Nematodes are beneficial microscopic organisms that live naturally in soil throughout the world and are parasitic to insects that have a larval or pupal life stage that occurs in the soil. They are particularly effective against cutworms, beetles, and root weevil larvae.  Nematode eggs are microscopic and come in a small sponge a million at a time. These are mixed with water and applied to the soil, where they hatch and go to work.

 

  • Monterey B.t.- B.t. is used to combat caterpillars & worms that munch on your beloved fruits, vegetables, ornamentals and shade trees. B.t is a biological insecticide and OMRI listed for organic gardening.  B.t. comes in an easy to mix, ready to use liquid concentrate and may be applied up to and on the day of harvest.

 

  • Diatomaceous Earth- Diatomaceous Earth is a natural contact insecticide that works by causing abrasions on insects as they come in contact with product, resulting in loss of body fluids, then dehydration. It is very effective in controlling snails, slugs, cockroaches, ants, earwigs and other listed crawling insects.  Diatomaceous Earth is digestible by earthworms and will not cause them any harm. To use, simply use hand duster or bulbous duster to apply light coating of dust to areas where crawling pests are found or may hide. Because it is a non-chemical control that does not harm mammals,  it is safe to use around the house, including around pets and children.  
  • Fertilome Triple Action Plus- Triple Action Plus is used to control insects, diseases, certain fungus, and mites on vegetables, fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, roses, flowers and shrubs. Triple Action is a combination of pyrethrin (a naturally occurring insecticide extracted from certain chrysanthemums) and neem oil (a plant extract that acts as an insecticide and fungicide). This product kills eggs, larvae and adult stages of many pest insects including whiteflies, aphids, spider mites, beetles, fungus gnats, ants, fleas and many others, as well as controlling powdery mildew, black spot, and rust.  Triple Action Plus comes in a ready to use spray and in concentrate.
  • Safer® Brand Insect Killing Soap- Safer® Brand Insect Killing Soap kills soft bodied insects including aphids, mealybug,  and mites on contact.  Safer® soap utilizes the power of potassium salts of fatty acids to weaken the insect’s waxy protective outer shell.  It is a biological insecticide and OMRI listed for organic gardening and breaks down into its natural elements within 7-10 days and will not persist in the environment.  Apply every 7-10 days when insects are present or as needed to prevent further damage.

 

We all know that gardening takes a lot of work, sweat, and sometimes tears to achieve the success we strive for.  Don’t let garden pests spoil your fun!