Ceanothus Maritimus, ‘Frosty Dawn’

Ceanothus Maritimus, ‘Frosty Dawn’ I decided to write about our own San Luis Obispo County native Ceanothus this week, just in time for it to burst into bloom with a sweet honey scent. I’ve been watching the tiny orbed buds grow larger and larger over the past few weeks, and could hardly capture a shot of it without the presence of a bee sipping the fragrant flower nectar. ‘Frosty Dawn’ can now be seen, along with other Ceanothus species, painting our beloved Central coast hillsides blue with its dark lavender/blue flowers. It is a good plant for hillsides, holding the soil together with its roots, and preventing erosion during our rainy season. Ceanothus Maritimus is a part of the 40 milli

Correa (Australian Fuchsia)

Correa: Australian Fuchsia Los Osos Valley, in the Central Coast of California (where our nursery is located) enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Simply put, this means we have dry warm summers and mild, moist winters. There are five regions in the world that share this type of climate: Southwest and southern Australia, Central Chile, countries in the Mediterranean basin, the Western Cape of South Africa and Coastal California from San Diego to Cape Mendocino. Because our location provides ideal growing conditions, we are able to carry many plants that are native to California but also those that are native to Australia. Correa is one such plant. Correa is named for the Portuguese botanist Jose

Penstemon x gloxiniodes 'Midnight'

Penstemon Gloxinioides ‘Midnight’ (Beard tongue) Part of a family of plants native to North and Central America only, this lovely drought and deer resistant perennial will grace your garden not only with hummingbirds and butterflies, but with the aestheticism of a sophisticated garden cultivated using indigenous plants that have been studied and bred by enthusiasts for over 200 years. Penstemons are intimately tied to our natural landscape, as North Americans, and are a much celebrated western wildflower. Penstemon are found in almost all naturally occurring landscapes in the North American continent from the highest mountain in Canada to the driest desert of Mexico, adapting to fore

Sedum rubrotinctum ‘Pork and Beans’

Sedum rubrotinctum ‘Pork and Beans’ Continuing in the Crassulaceae family, after last week’s blog on Crassula mesembryanthemoides, we move to another one of the 4 genera included in that family: Sedum. This is a large genus, containing 400 species, most with unusual coloring, fast growth, and hardiness. They are also referred to as “Stonecrop” due to their frequent habitation of stony hillsides and rock gardens. They are native to many areas of the world. Sedum is Latin for ‘to sit’, likely in observation of their propensity to sit atop stone walls, and rocks, perching in the sun. They make a great ground cover, although are best planted where there is little foot traffic, as they won’t to

Anemanthele lessoniana 'Sirocco'

Anemanthele lessoniana ‘Sirocco’ (New Zealand Wind Grass) If you are looking to add color, movement and texture to your garden, Anemanthele lessoniana ‘Sirocco’ just might be the thing you’re looking for. This lovely grass grows 12-14 inches tall by 22-24 inches wide, and forms dense tussocks of semi-arching, fine-textured foliage. The foliage emerges green and then develops steaks of gold, copper, orange and red as the seasons change. The colors become more intense during the colder months of the year. The effect is dramatic and creates a vivid display of color when mass planted along a border. For a drought tolerant container garden, ‘Sirocco’ is beautiful planted in the center of large

Crassula mesembryanthemoides

Crassula mesembryanthemoides The new millennium has brought a resurgence in the popularity of succulents and drought resistant plants. Not only do they embolden your gardening confidence by refusing to die, but they are easily propagated into new plants, turning the novice into a skilled botanist! Clearwater Color Nursery has kept abreast with this trend, accumulating a plethora of succulents for your collection, and Crassula mesembryanthemoides is just one of many. It resembles the ice plant mesembryanthemum, and so was named after it, but is in the Genus Crassula, containing 200 other species native to South East Africa. It is contained in the family Crassulaceae, along with Aeonium, S

Primula obconica 'Libre'

Primula obconica While other plants are dormant for the winter, Primula obconica is sending up delicate colorful clusters of blooms for your enjoyment. Also known as “florist’s primrose”, this is a cool season plant that flowers winter throughout spring. The primrose is the symbol of spring and Easter, and is celebrated on April 19th every year. This is the largest primrose that we grow here at Clearwater Color Nursery. The large, bright green 5-7 inch heart shaped leaves curl down at the edges, bowing to the beauty of the delicate round flower buds, rising on 6-10 inch stems. The Genus Primula is native to China, but is found all over the northern hemisphere, and contains 500 species. Ha

Ceanothus - a closer look

Family Ramnacea- Ceanothus species at Clearwater Color Nursery Ceanothus, also known as Wild Lilac, or Buckthorns, are a common native to the California landscape. The name comes from the Greek, Keanthos meaning ‘thorny plant’. Most Ceanothus species are frost and drought hardy and deer resistant, unless in very dry years. Apparently they have a reputation for being short lived, due to some landscapers believing that they need soil amendments, fertilizer, or irrigation, all of which WILL cause the plant to lose its ability to survive in the California landscape, for which it is supremely successful. Some species are Actinorhizal, meaning they fix nitrogen in a symbiotic relationship with

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