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Nursery Season Opens April 6th!

Blogpost published on: Saturday, March 30th, 2019

Happy Spring!

We are so thankful for the generous rains that have invigorated our gardens and promise an explosive Spring of extravagant growth and abundance! Our nursery tables are packed with over 300 unique, rare and unusual species of perennials that are sure to provide inspiration for your Spring plantings. The OAEC Organic Plant Nursery expresses and embodies the importance of biodiversity with carefully curated offerings that can’t be found anywhere else all in one place!

In this time of climate change, water scarcity, and food insecurity, our mission is to preserve, cultivate and educate about plants that are most appropriate to our specific region and will be of value in the face of these challenging times. We believe that edible, medicinal, and otherwise useful perennials (such as fiber plants) that also have ecological value like drought-tolerance, nitrogen fixation, or pollinator attraction add further benefit and relevance to gardening as a climate resiliency strategy.

Friends of the Nursery Preview at 9am on April 6th

Join our Friends of the Nursery program!  Make a $50 donation and receive a 20% discount on all your purchases for the whole season, plus first pick at the best plants at the Friends of the Nursery “Preview” at 9am on opening day.  The nursery opens to the general public at 10.


Here is a sampling of some of the FABULOUS varieties that we are excited to offer this Spring*.

*we will be releasing these over the next 6 weeks

Perennial Greens
Again, we will offer the ever-popular, Tree Collards, also known as the official city plant of Richmond, Ca., as well as other perennial brassicas such as the extremely rare Daubenton Kale, once popular in Medieval gardens. In addition to the popular greens Good King Henry, perennial heat-tolerant Wasabi and Dragon’s Tongue Sylvetta Arugulas (pictured here volunteering in dense patches – you will never need to plant arugula again!) and the Sea Beet (the ancestor of beets and chard), we are excited about a new green called Rock Samphire, a carrot family relative, quite rare and highly prized in Northern Europe as an aromatic seaside vegetable that has traditionally been used as a pickle.

Medicinal Herbs
We will try to keep up with your high demand for the intoxicatingly scented butterfly plant, the Balm of Gilead;  Jiaogulan or Longevity Herb, in China reputed to offer the gift of everlasting life (come and get it!); and African Dream Root, guaranteed to make all your dreams lucid. We continue to expand our herb tea collection with new introductions of Yerba MateIlex paraguayensis (yes, we can grow it here), Virginia and Short-toothed Mountain mints, both white and blue flowered Anise Hyssops, and for mint freaks, an additional 15 assorted perfumey mints for you to make ice cream with, including the California native, Yerba Buena.

Peppers
We are pleased to have one-year-old Habanero peppers coming in red, peach and white, as well as other perennial hot peppers such as the Yellow Fatali and Aji Orange, and the hard-to-find Caribbean sweet pepper, Aji Dulce.

Dye Plants
We recently added Dyer’s Chamomileto our natural dye collection and European Vernal Sweet Grass, even more fragrant for weaving baskets and burning as incense than the North American native sweet grass.

Berries

We’ll have the ultimate garden nibble, Chilean Guava, as well as ‘Atila’ Alpine Strawberries, Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo), Boysenberries, ‘Red Lake’ Red Currant, the largest fruited and sweetest tasting currant we know, pictured here.

 

 

Ornamental Habitat Plants
We will have the wildly popular 15 feet tall ornamental White and Pink-flowered tree Dahlias and the winter blooming Tree Asters, which exude a heady fragrance of vanilla, chocolate and cinnamon that can be smelled 100’s of feet away. We also will have plenty of what we call Chilean Tree Tobacco (we’re still trying to determine its origin!), this is truly the most striking plant we sell with it’s gracefully arching 20 ft. tall branches topped with hundreds of large, fragrant deep pink flowers that attract happy hummingbirds like no other plant we know!  pictured here

We love Sages!  We are excited to be featuring several new hard-to-find Salvias, the well-known Chinese medicinal Red Sage (Salvia miltiorrhiza,)  the rare Dominican Sage (Salvia dominica) from the Middle East long used in perfumery and cosmetics, and several yellow-flowered Salvias, the “dweller among the clouds” Himalayan Cloud SageSalvia nubicola, long important in Tibetan medicine, and the striking fall-blooming Forsythia SageSalvia madrensis, from the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range in Mexico.

See the Full Perennials Plant List (subject to change)

Annuals
While we are offering fewer annuals than in the past, we will continue to have many of our favorite kales and collards as well as other saute greens, several dozen rare lettuces including lots of red-speckled varieties, Salad-a-Six-Pack and other unusual salad greens, and edible flowers. In a few weeks when the temperatures are a little warmer and the danger of frost has passed, we will feature a diverse selection of 65 signature slicer, paste and cherry tomatoes of our absolute favorites and many varieties that you’ll find virtually nowhere else, such as Andy’s Polish Pink tomato; the earliest of the season Czechoslovakian Tiger, and Farallones Orange Beefsteak, an unrivaled slicer for hamburgers discovered as a seedling in a compost pile here back in 1982! Stay tuned for more updates as varieties become available…