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Retail Newsletter from Bluestem Nursery Jan 2012

Koeleria vallesiana
'Mountain Breeze'
Sesleria albicans
Antennaria plantaginifolia

(if the pictures are not showing, it is probably because you need to click on the words "Click here to display pictures....")

We would like to apologize for the inability to order online since last fall. Muriel (me) has retired from customer service but I will continue to do the website, blog and newsletter. Perhaps now there will be a few more entries on the blog and more newsletters!

Tabra will be taking over the answering of the emails and the recording and confirmation of the orders as they come in. Selling bare root grasses is a very complicated business.

Jim whole-heartedly believes that bare root grasses are the best option for the customer (along with plugs). What makes this so complcated is that the grasses are bare root warm and cool season plants and are therefore are not available to be dug at exactly the same time (read more near the bottom of our Ornamental Grass webpage).To further complicate things, there is the difficulty of dealing with the Phytosanitary Certificate. All this makes Bluestem Nursery a pretty complicated place to work! I am sure Tabra will have everything worked out before too long and will be able to assist you with all your questions.

The online order form is now up and running and Tabra is keen to hear from you.

New Offerings for 2012

Ornamental Grasses

This year Bluestem Nursery has concentrated on offering more easy-care perennials...those that fit with the trend of growing a low maintenance garden.


Jim puts a lot of thought into the write-ups for each plant, be it a grass, a willow or a perennial. You can expect to get the best from the plant if those are the conditions it is grown in. However, due to the easy-going nature of most of the plants that Bluestem Nursery carries, the plants can and do grow in conditions that are not considered ideal.

I know that sometimes I don't carefully read the Ideal Conditions line in each description. One plant comes to mind as one that I have strong memories of struggling with. I did not pay attention to the conditions it should be grown in. I remembered the word "shade", so I planted it in dry and total shade. It struggled to produce a single blade of grass.

Without reading the Ideal Conditions, I moved it into hot sun with regular watering. It still barely survived. Then I read those Ideal Conditions and it mentions some shade and ample water in hot conditions. So I moved it to where it received afternoon shade and regular watering. The plant is Molinia caerulea Variegata, and it is now thriving and is one of my favourite plants. I am so glad I persisted!! You can see it pictured here.

If you want to receive notices of when new info is posted on our blog, you can sign up at the top of the righthand column..

Gardening at 5000' - from our blog

A few years ago Sara Douglass Scott wrote a nice article on gardening at high elevation in New Mexico. She was kind enough to send it to us, but it became lost in the masses of information that we have here. But I came upon it earlier today and quickly added it to our blog.

"Gardening at 5000 feet in elevation in Albuquerque, NM presents some unique challenges:

  • Negligible precipitation: 7-8 inches on average annua
  • Radical daily temperature fluctuations. A 40 degree swing in a day is normal, but up to 60 degree fluctuations occur from time to time
  • Intense sunlight and heat: summer temperatures of at least 90 to 100 degrees and blinding UV year-round
  • Soil lacking organic matter
  • Fiercely dry winds"

Read more....

Thanks Sara.

You have received this newsletter because you signed up on the Bluestem Nursery website: www.bluestem.ca. If you wish to have your address removed from this mailing list, please contact me.


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