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Retail Newsletter from Bluestem Nursery Jan 2009

New Offerings for 2009

Andropogon gerardii
"New Wave"
Miscanthus sinensis
Panicum virgatum
'Hanse Herms'

Twenty years ago when I picked the name "Bluestem" for the nursery, I was thinking about the most plentiful native grass in the Tall Grass Prairie habitat - Andropogon gerardii (common name is Big bluestem). Two decades later it seems somehow fitting that our very first introduction to the nursery trade is Andropogon gerardii 'New Wave'.

In our last newsletter (Jan '08) we told you about how when growers seed grasses they sometimes find a unique seedling that is then grown, tested and vegetatively propagated to produce more plants. Well Andropogon gerardii 'New Wave' is one of those plants. It was first noticed in a seed tray almost ten years ago. From the start, it stood out from all the others as it had distinctive red tinges on its leaves. As the plant became larger I found it also had a more compact form and in particular, had a uniform separation between the inflorescences (flowers) and the leaves.

Fully hardy in Zone 4 and a sturdy grass, even in the warmer wetter zones, 'New Wave' is destined to become the plant of choice for stylized meadows and prairie designs as well as a perfect specimen for the home garden.

Jim Brockmeyer, owner of Bluestem Nursery

Ornamental Grasses
We Are on YouTube!

In the fall I talked Jim into doing a video on how to plant the field clumps and plugs. The video as filmed was nice and clear, however after it was uploaded to YouTube the quality was terrible. It improves if viewed in high quality. The text to click on to view it in high quality is right below the picture, on the right.

I hope that you find the video to be helpful. To view click here.

Winter Has Been Very Snowy So Far

Thanks to all of you who have inquired as to whether or not we experienced any of the horrible problems associated with the above average snowfall in BC this year. We are fine thank you. There have been avalanches in the mountain pass nearby, but we are not in danger and there is no flooding, at least not yet.

However 160 km (100 miles) to the south of us, Spokane Washington received 155 cm (62") of snow in the month of December alone!! We got about half of that amount.

Four hundred kilometers (250 miles) to the west of us, the Vancouver area was also hit with major snowfalls and there has been terrible flooding in Chilliwack. I heard a fisheries expert on CBC Radio say that the single most important thing that people can do is "plant a tree". Sounds like willows could play an important role in their area.

Speaking of Spokane I heard an incredible story: a young moose and a dog had been chasing each other in someone's yard and the moose fell into the basementt!! After tranquilizing the 160 kg (345 lb) animal it was carried up the stairs on a tarp and released near what they believed to be its mother and a sibling.

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