Nurseries usually adhere to BMP's (Best Management Practices) but here at Moosa Creek we have decided to follow BBP's (Best Bee Practices!) This is the result of a long-standing dilemma that many nurseries face; a dilemma that pitches our desire for sustainable practices against the demands of the market. Many of our customers require a certain level of perfection, some cannot tolerate the introduction of plants with even a hint of a bug, regardless of the threat it may or may not provide, and yet we wish to create a biodynamic environment. We find ourselves challenged by these two conflicting demands. We are not certified organic, but grow as much as we possibly can using organic principles. We protect and control pathogens using biologicals. But there are times when either for the safety of the crop or at a customer's request we do use chemical treatments. When we do so we apply only to the plants specifically affected and we avoid the use of systemics. We have recently installed bee hives on the nursery grounds and this is prompting us to be extra vigilant in our use of chemicals. Even some approved organic treatments can be harmful to bees. The health of the bees will be a good indicator to us of the success of our sustainable practices. Hence our BBP's. The bees will show us how we are doing on our journey to creating a healthy, biodynamic environment here!
This adaptable mounding perennial is a selection from Cedros Island. It produces mounds of delicate green foliage and has dark purple blossoms with lavender streaks and the blossoms are lightly scented. Though there are more flowers in the spring, this plant has blossoms throughout most of the year which attracts butterflies throughout the year. This small shrub grows to about about 2' high and spreads to about 4'. It does best in well drained soils but will tolerate clay soil provided it isn't over-watered. This is a very attractive and versatile plant for any flower border, butterfly garden or plant it in containers on a patio. To maintain a dense form shear lightly in summer, and remove spent flowers. The butterflies will flock to your garden! De la Mina Verbena was selected by Carol Bornstein and introduced by the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.
We love to witness Cities and counties learning to apprecitate the natural beauty within their jurisdiction. This month we are highlighting Jack's Pond located in the city of San Marcos just north of the Coronado Hills in northern San Diego County, California. We hope our readers will tell us about other cities 'doing the right thing'. Jack's Pond contains floral elements from the freshwater marsh and riparian woodland plant communities. The surrounding hillsides are dominated by patches of disturbed grassland and dense coastal sage scrub vegetation, mixed with elements of the chaparral plant community. Unfortunately, the pond and vicinity also contain numerous naturalized (weedy) species and escapes from cultivation. This interesting floristic area includes about 23 acres of undeveloped land and hiking trails, and has been preserved as a natural park within the City of San Marcos. Thank you San Marcos!
How to make a Holiday Wreath using Native Plant Materials.
You can create beautiful holiday decorations using the native plant materials around you. It’s easy and does not take much more time than driving to the store, parking and fighting the crowds. You’ll be satisfied with your creation!
• Gather your materials; A wire form available at craft stores, floral foam available at craft stores or florist supplies, floral wire, greenery such as native pine twigs, Toyon twigs with leaves and berries, coyote brush in flower, extra accessories of your choice such as fruit, acorns and pine cones for a natural look or bells and ribbons. Finally, a bow to finish off your wreath.
• Start by soaking the floral foam in water for about 20 mins.
• Open up the wire frame and insert the floral foam all around the frame.
• Cut your greenery into fairly uniform pieces about 8” long
• Insert greenery into floral foam going around the frame in the same direction and overlapping to hide the frame and the brown stems. Use the greenery as a foundation interspersing the green leaves and the white Coyote Brush plumes. Save the most berried twigs for accents.
• Any unruly or untidy twigs should be trimmed or wired down by wrapping the wire around the twig and the frame.
• Add your accessories either by inserting directly into the floral foam (such as the Toyon berries) or by attaching wire and then wrapping securely around the frame. If you decide to use fruit as an accessory (such as apples, lemons, persimmons or pomegranates) you will want to poke the floral wire right through the fruit and then wrap the fruit around the wire frame.
• When you are happy with look and balance of your wreath use a bow to add the final touch.
• Hang your wreath using a wreath hanger available from any store that sells holiday decorations.
Please cut your greenery sensitively from your own property or a place you have permission to collect from! Happy holidays!