Articles in Category: Classes

Waterwise Gardening- Lawn Replacement Incentive

on Wednesday, 10 September 2014. Posted in Drought tolerant, Classes

City of Ashland Lawn Replacement Program

ornamental grasses

City of Ashland utility customers!  If you haven't seen this offer you are missing out.  Especially if you were wanting to create a more waterwise garden anyways.  The City of Ashland has a lawn replacement program to encourage utility customers to use less water.  They have rebates based on the square footage of living lawn you plan to take out.  Details are available on their website.

drought-tolerant-class-rudbeckia-prairie-sunSince we always love to support a more sustainable landscape and drought tolerant plants, we are offering a $25 coupon towards the purchase of plants used to replace your lawn.   Just bring in proof of your rebate from the City of Ashland and you will receive your $25 coupon that can be used on the many drought tolerant trees, shrubs, perennials, and ornamental grasses that we have in stock.   To learn more about your options for drought tolerant plants, register for one of our classes on the topic this fall!

Cold damaged plants

on Tuesday, 21 January 2014. Posted in Deer resistant, Landscape architect, Landscape contractor, Classes, New Plants

Assessing winter damage

Escallonia damage


Does your Escallonia look like this?



rosemary damage


Or your Rosemary like this?


The record cold spell we had this winter really made us realize what is truly hardy here.  We don't know about you, but we got to one degree a couple nights in a row.  That is cold.  That is the coldest we have ever been since we moved here in 2004. That is cold that may be here more regularly as global warming has its effect of erratic weather.  The cold we had was also fairly dry and long lasting which caused even more damage since the plant basically becomes dessicated.  So we are not USDA Zone 8; even Zone 7 seems a stretch these days.  But we are here to help!  

There are still alternatives that can be cold hardy and even deer resistant.  We will be answering questions I'm sure all spring about what plants need to come out and what their replacements can be.  We will be covering them in many of our upcoming spring classes.   Such as 'I Just Moved Here- What do I Plant?' and 'Deer Resistant Plants for the Rogue Valley'.


But here are a few quick suggestion I came up with while working with Bill Bumgardner of Bumgardner's Landscape . Thanks for the photos Bill!

The Escallonia's definitely got hit the hardest. There is not much hope of any of them coming back.  Same with the Viburnum 'Spring Bouquet' and Choisya ternata.  Time will tell on some others like English Laurel and Privet.  They can drop leaves and push new ones in spring.  So scratch a twig and if there is green underneath that stem is still viable.  But there are alternatives; here is a quick list, and I know there will be more to offer as the season progresses, so come visit regularly!  Check in with the deer resistant list for reference as well.  What did you have success or failures with?  We'd love to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Shooting Star Nursery's cold hardy recommendations for evergreens for sun:

Arbutus unedo 'Compacta' (most of these have had superficial damage, although if they went through zero degrees they did not make it)

Prunus 'Otto Luyken'

Choisya 'Aztec Pearl' (came through beautifully)

Ilex 'Blue Girl'

Elaeagnus 'Gilt Edge', seemed to do better than plain silver

Mahonia repens

Pinus mugo pumilo

Evergreen Berberis varieties (may show some damage but should leaf out)

Osmanthus h. Rotundifolius (looks great)

Arctostaphylos 'Howard Mcminn'- seems to have the least damage out of the hybrid Manzanitas

Prunus lusitanica- Portugeuse Laurel

Prunus lauro. 'Skip'- Skip Laurel- did better than straight English Laurel


Shooting Star Nursery's cold hardy recommendations for evergreens for shade:


Rhododendron (most varieties)


Ilex 'Blue Girl'

Mahonia aquifolium

Sarcococca ruscifolia

Arbutus unedo 'Compacta' (part shade)

Choisya 'Aztec Pearl' (part shade)

Osmanthus h. Rotundifolius (part shade)




Bees and fruit trees

on Tuesday, 09 July 2013. Posted in Edibles, Fruit trees, Classes

fruit trees not fruiting?

Has this happened to you?  Fruit trees with no fruit?!  We had a recent customer with this problem, despite him taking loving care of his fruit trees.  That is not only disappointing, but it's also telling us that something was not in balance.  Here is another example of how we affect the bees and how the bees are essential to our gardens and our existence.  Are YOU going to move the pollen from flower to flower?

asian-pear--closeupbee and echinacea



Our client wanted me to come visit his fruit tree garden because he was concerned he had no flowers or fruit on his fruit trees and he didn't usually see bees around his floriferous garden.  He was on the right track noticing there weren't any bees in his yard.   It was also strange that his fruit trees had the healthiest leaves I've even seen, not a brown or yellow spot, full and green, and lush.



Vegetable & All Purpose Mix 4-6-2 (6 Lb Box)So I started asking him what he fertilizes with and what kind of chemicals he sprays them with.  He showed me 5 different fertilizers that he applies to his trees!  Many of them were the ubiquitous Miracle-gro, which is best left, if at all, to the annuals.  Most of them were formulated for lush leaf growth and very heavy in nitrogen (the first number on the bottle).  This doesn't work for plants you want to make flowers and fruit, but explains his beautiful leaves.  Fruit trees want an application of lower nitrogen, balanced, ideally organic fertilizer.  Something that is formulated for fruiting crops.  So that would be heavier on the phosphorus and potassium (the last two numbers on the box). He also was applying the fertilizer way more often than even the bottle recommended.  Too much fertilizer can't all be taken up by the plant and just gets flushed out into waterways. Without going into too much detail, making the soil healthy will maintain a happier fruit tree, it will be able to uptake the nutrients that are there or that you apply. 

bee friendly farming

Then he showed me the insecticides he used on the trees.  After looking them over and reading all the warning labels about they can harm vertebrates such as frogs, I asked do you want to eat fruit that has this absorbed into it?  He hadn't really thought about it. Second, the insectides were to kill off caterpillars and other bugs that chewed into fruit trees leaves, but it also said right on the bottle, that is was toxic to bees.  So many of the insecticides are not specific and will kill anything feeding on the plant or even collecting its pollen.  So do we really wonder why the bees are collapsing?  If this man thought all these things were okay to apply to his garden, how many times over is it happening all over the world?  Time to think about your little corner or the planet and what you can do for our bee friends.