If you’re an avid gardener, you are probably about to get your Fall and Winter annuals into the ground, or have already done so. However, there are also many perennial food crops, culinary and medicinal herbs, ornamentals, pollinator-friendly and drought tolerant plants that you can begin to nurture in your gardens and landscapes now through early Winter.
Join us at the OAEC Nursery from Sept. 5 through Nov. 1 for our Fall Perennials Weekends, where we will feature all sorts of wonderful perennials, many appropriate for Permaculture Design applications and all 100% CCOF Organic! Here are some of the wonderful varieties we will offer Saturdays and Sundays, 10am to 5pm, at our Perennials Weekends:
- It’s that time of the year to plant our favorite drought tolerant, Tower of Jewels (Echium wildpretii). No plant offers a more spectacular show in the Spring, with it’s single barber’s pole-like spike of thousands of brilliant bubblegum-pink blooms. It is more exciting to honeybees than any other plant we know!
Speaking of drought tolerants, a new Salvia in our collection is Transylvanian Sage (Salvia transylvanica) from, you guessed it, Romania and southern Russia. A frost hardy sage, its spires of brilliant sky blue flowers attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds, a must-have for your xeriphytic perennial border.
- We’re offering two new dye plants that are also drought tolerant: Mayo Indigo (Indigofera suffruticosa) and False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa). Both are nitrogen fixing shrubs that can grow in any kind of soil and are used as a source for blue dye. Native to the subtropical Americas, Mayo Indigo when mixed with certain clay soils produces Mayo Blue, a dye used by Mesoamerican civilizations for centuries. False Indigo is an attractive California native shrub covered with multiple brilliant purple spikes that can be used as a windbreak, for erosion control, and as an attractive bee plant.
Two exciting medicinals we offer are California native Yerba Mansa (Anemopsis californica) and Jiaogulan or Wiseman’s Ginseng (Gymnostemma pentaphyllum), both increasingly important in the herbal medicine world. Yerba Mansa is almost mythical as a heal-all and has the potential to become as popular as Echinacea or Goldenseal. Jiaogulan, a beautiful rambling vine, has similar uses as Ginseng but is much easier to grow.
- We continue to expand our offerings of perennial hot peppers that survive Bay Area winters if planted in a frost-free part of your garden, or do well as container plants moved into your greenhouse in cold weather. Choose from red, orange or yellow Manzano peppers as well as Aji Limon and Aji Crystal. All are wonderfully ornamental edible landscaping plants.