Friday, July 22, 2011
Volume II, Number 5.
A Word for the Warm, the Plant Mobile Rolls On, and a Yellow Hibiscus
How do you spell hot? Around here it is called s-o-u-t-h-e-a-s-t. Since the last freezing weather--that was back in mid February--it has been consistently above average on the old thermometer. Maybe the big earthquake in Japan knocked the earth off of its axis, and instead of us being at about the same latitude as Tripoli, Libya, we are now somewhere near the middle of the Sahara. Maybe. More likely, global warming is making an example of the ozone clouded Cullman-Birmingham-Hoover area. All deniers of global warming are hereby invited to spend the rest of the summer in an uncooled attic somewhere in central Alabama. I would especially like to extend this invitation to all of our members of congress, even though their supply of hot air seems to be inexhaustible already..
The Department of Advertising Department
Come and get your plants at the Homewood Farmer's Market this Saturday, July 16! That's right, we have found a market that actively promotes sustainable production of plants and vegetables, located right next to Homewood City Hall. The plant mobile, aka my eleven year old Toyota truck, will be there from 7 until 12:30, at which time it turns into a pumpkin and rolls back northward. Prices are good since I don't have to box up the plants and pay the USPS to take them to your door. Herbs are $3, small natives are $5. and gallon natives are only $7. What a deal! I think I may buy some plants from myself. I may also have some very fine hardneck garlic there, although I am always tempted to horde that and eat all of it myself.
A Yellow Hibiscus
Summer always reminds me of Hibiscus time, as we had a huge clump of wild hibiscus in our yard when I was only a young thing. I have six species and two varieties started here at the nursery, and I am certain I will add more every year. Three species are already of a size to sell, and all six should be ready by this fall. The wild species fascinate me much more than the ever-present hybrids, which are pretty but disproportionate, especially in a landscape full of natives. The color range of the species is also greater than the hybrids, which is not usually the case once the plant breeders get their hold on a genus.
A case in point is the lovely Pineland Hibiscus, known in the Latin speaking plant world as Hibiscus aculeatus. Unlike the other white-pink-red natives, Pineland Hibiscus has a delicate light lemon custard yellow bloom the size of a saucer. A southern coastal native, the plant also likes it hot: in fact, the hotter the better, which makes it an ideal plant for a changing climate. It also likes water, water, and more water. And as if the other hibiscus are not easy enough to grow, Pineland Hibiscus is the easiest of all. It produces a multi-stemmed plant by its second year, and also produces lots a seed that can be germinated like okra, though dead heading makes for a freer blooming specimen.
Check out the pictures of this plant on our website at http://mulberrywoodsnursery.com/?page_id=172. We have plants in a variety of sizes and can ship them beginning in October. This is one of the more tender native hibiscus, so winter shipping is not recommended. Anyone who is at Homewood this weekend can get a blooming size plant at a real bargain price.
The Fine Print
All newsletters will also be posted and archived on our blog for those who wish to add a public comment. Anyone irritated, annoyed, or in any way flummoxed by this newsletter should email me, Jeff Cupp, through the website http://mulberrywoodsnursery.com and be forever removed from this mailing list.
Posted by MulberryWoods at 7:04 AM