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Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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January 2, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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January 2, 1997
 

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14 Thursday, January 2, 1997 Pahrump Valley Gazette Flower beds bulging with brilliant flowers bursting into bloom. Continuous color from spring through fall. Trees heavy with plump apricots and fat peaches, green and red apples and yellow pears. Vegetables so delicious and nutritious you'll never want store bought again. The pictures and promise are there in an avalanche of garden catalogs beginning to fill our mailboxes. I spend hours pouring over the catalogs, lavoking, reading, dreaming of a luxuriant English garden. Pinks, blues, lavenders, highlighted with yel- low. Flowers so exuberant they spill over the edges of every bed and box, The possibilities are only limited by our imagination. If we need help in plannirag, design ideas are abundant in many of the new catalogs. Some show layouts to plant an entire bed for sun oi shade The plants required iu'e often offered as a package deal. A gardener's heaven is contained in the catalog photos and drawings of flowers so beautiful, appealing and perfect you can almost smell them. Vegetables almost to lovely to eat, but just I(u,king makes your mouth water. Trees and fruits so lush they would draw the G*,ls from Mount Olympus. Ah yes, this will be the year of the garden. Graveled paths winding from a multi-hucd bed to a scent tilled rose garden. Meandering on to a circular garden room and into the blossom filled orchard. My mind's eye sees it all. Never mind, that 1 don't StateFarm Sells Lifelnsurance. JEFF BANSER Off 751-1515 Fax 751-1616 1311 S. Hwy 160 Res 751-247 have those winding paths and garden room. After considerable catalog browsing and dreaming, it's time to get down to business. Red pen in hand, I check the plants to create my garden paradise. Checked items are selected and deleted as 1 fill in the order blanks. Accounting time is a shock. One seed order totals $58.65, and that's before the $795 ship- ping and handling lee. Stark Bros. Nurseries and Orchards is slashed to $116.95. One order tbr starter plants is $62.39. Another tbr spring bulbs is $40.92. I haven't even started on the garden royalty, roses, or the perennials or the ground co\\; cr. Deja vu. Yes, l've been here be- fore. Time for a reality check. First, have I checked all the selected plants in my SUNSET WESTERN GARDEN BOOK to make sure they're suitable ; for our tough desert climate? A plant that thrives in the moist, humid nlid- .west will probably wither and die in our intense summer heat. Another that is happy in the gentle southern winters will freeze to death here. Caution with fruit trees. My fa- vorite reference is the six page guide assembled by Star Nursery, SOFT AND TREE FRUITS FOR SOUTH- ERN NEVADA (Starnote 100), avail- able flee at any of their nurseries. My neighbor, who has a six year old or- chard, harvests pears and crab apples every year, peaches, nectarines and green apples sporadically and has had mixed success with grapes. My own orchard is young and small. Last year one of three apricot trees yielded three apricots. The Babcock Peach, one of three peach trees, produced small, unmmarkable fruit. One almond was produced by three trees. Only one pomegranate tree produced fruit and the apple trees are too young to expect any yields for several more years as are last year's new trees, a combination apricot/plum tree. your head when you browse here. Most of my fruit trees were purchased locally. The selec- tion increases each year. Our nurseries offer trees suited to our environment so you save the cost of wasted planting time, dead trees and shattered dreams by shopping at home. Seeds, I still have a hefty supply from last year. Local nurseries carry a good selec- tion suited to our area and Wal- Mart discounts Burpee seeds at least 10% even at the begin- ning of the planting season. Buying seeds locally makes sense, the price is the same and you save shipping and han- dling costs. I do order a few new, rare and heritage seeds each year that are not available from area suppliers. Mail order plants need to go in the ground as soon after arrival as possible. Many are bare root, and when you look at the roots, it reminds you more of something that should go into the compost pile than of the gorgeous photo in the catalog. The ones in pots need to be watered immediately, and, again, planted as soon as possible. I' ve had mixed success with mail order plants. My Russian Sage arrived bareroot, looked dried up and even though planted within hours of arrival didn't do anything for a long time. By fall they where two to three feet tall and covered with blue flowers, breathtaking. Others have developed faster but lacked staying power. Asparagus roots and strawberries have been happy successes as have Iris and nearly all bulbs. Before you order, ,.: ::   be realistic about your '" ..... garden. Does the flower bed you plan to fill exist only in your mind: If so, can you realistically have it ready to plant "" when your stock ar- rives? My catalog en- thusiasm has too often out paced nay ability to prepare the proper liv- ing quarters before my new dependents arrived. In panic, I' ve shoveled to exhaustion, planted in unsettled beds or in unplanned places just to get them in the ground. Plants are dependents. I'm sure I owe them at least the basic care re- quired to survive. Some- times, I've failed. Try to " : plan before you order. Also, check the lo- cal supply of plants. An impressive variety of plants, shrubs and trees can be found in Pahrump nurseries which gives you the advantage of selection and saves mail costs. Roses are a passion for me, and the majority of mine are ordered from catalogs and arrive bareroot. I order from several catalog suppliers in order to obtain each specialrose I set my heart on. Our bareroot season is early and briefi It starts now and continues from mid to late February. This presents a problem when ordering from suppliers who are not ltx:ated in the west. Check delivery dates prior to placing an order, Jackson and Perkins, and Edmund's Roses both located in Oregon with growing fields in Northern California deliver by our planting dates. They specialize in roses and deliver healthy stock. Wayside Gardens in South Carolina will meet the date you request, but give them a reasonable amount of time. Their stock is excellent. My experience with Springhill Select Roses in Ohio has been frustrating. Ever3,' order has necessitated telephone calls begging them to send the bamroot stock during our season. The roses have always arrived late. Last yeara coveted new introduc- tion arrived in June. It died. Once again, be prepared. Bareroot roses should be placed in water immediately and left for 24 hours or at least overnight. Plant them after the required hydration. Some bareroot stock is offered by local nurseries. Check to be sure the roots have not dried out. Beware, buy only nunber one roses with at least three strong canes. There is no definitive financial saving buying bareroot. Potted roses have a broader planting time frame, anytime except summer, and have much increased survival rates. I.,ocal selection is good with an even wider choice of varieties in Las Vegas. Star Nurseries carries an excellent selection that includes Jackson and Perkins and Weeks roses, two of the top growers. Delight in your avalanche of catalogs. Feast your eyes on the visual delights. Dream. Wait to write the check until you have a realistic plan, and do visit local nurseries before you order. Then, be prepared for mail and UPS deliveries of all those little clumps A of roots and brown sticks and nondescript seeds. Try to visualize II the dream while you're mucking a planting hole in the dirt. 1/2 off installation $10 per month Equipment Rental 1-800-449-1269 Jeffrey Ross Gunter M.D. Diplomate American Board of Dermatology I{oard Certified in Dermatology Is there a way to prevent melanoma? A. sv keeping your surt exposure at a minimum, you can reduce your risk of melanoma. This is especially true for people with a light complexion, with many moles and with atypical moles. Use a "15" SPF-rated sun-screen, especially duing the peak sun hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you have a suspicious mole or notice a change in a mole, you should consult a dermatologist. Be sure to ask your dermatologist if they are board-certified. Jeffrey Ross Gunter, M.D. 1330 S. Highway 160, Suite 12 727-0146