L.E. Cooke Blog

Wednesday, 08 August 2012 03:00

Kelsey Plum

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Kelsey Plum - attractive with bloom rubbed off (photo 8-8-2012) Took a stroll through the orchard this morning before the blazing heat made it intolerable. Came across the Kelsey Plum with some ready to pick. Kelsey Plum Tree - Loaded with fruit This is no ordinary Japanese Plum. Color, shape and most importantly taste make it stand out. The unique bright green heart shape is what everyone first remembers about this variety - at least…
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 03:00

The Amazing Burgundy Plums

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I took a quick walk today to the orchard to document some ripening times of the apricots (camera in hand of course) and ran across one of my favorite plums already ready to pick. Please note that it is July 3rd and summer has been kind to us so most orchard fruit crops are a little behind normal. What is amazing to me is that we will be still eating quailty fruit off this tree…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 03:00

Top Blueberry Varieties Chosen

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Grow Produce just posted this article about blueberry evaluations in California: Top Blueberry Varieties Chosen - GrowProduce.com We have visited these test blocks at the Kearney Field Station many times over the years and our selections for the Southern Highbush varieties for the warmer winter and hotter climate areas reflect our discoveries from these trials. I am happy we are in agreement with their findings! Of course, test plots in more northern climates will have…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 03:00

Smoke Tree Question

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Question: Hi there, I love the purple smoke tree and am wondering if it would do well in a planter in full sun (in San Diego)? And if it's deciduous? How tall and wide do you think it would actually get in a planter?Thanks so much! Shoshanah - San Diego Cooke's Purple Smoke Tree Bloom Answer: I find the Purple Smoke Tree very attractive as well. It is also very drought tolerant and requires very…
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 03:00

Vitex agnus-castus sources

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Question: I found Vitex for sale on the Internet in seed form but cannot seem to locate a local store. I can work with seeds but would rather have an established plant. Can you help me find a store to purchase this awesome plant from?Kind regards,Lisa - Southlake, Texas Purple Vitex agnus-castus in the landscape Answer: I just returned from a three week sales trip through central Texas and after your severe 2011 drought, the…
Saturday, 12 May 2012 03:00

Why Some Retailers are Doing Poorly

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I wanted to write this last year at this time but did not have the guts. Now that I am seeing it again, it is time to say something. Some retail nurseries need to take a hard look at themselves as they are the cause of their own failure. Last year in April-May I did a 3 week Texas sales trip covering from Laredo, through San Antonio, Hill Country, Austin and Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Last…
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 03:00

Where are the Red Trucks?

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"Where are the Red Trucks?" Answer: We are going "Green" No, not green trucks. Something a whole lot more fuel efficient and cost efficient. Hybrid cars. I guess being in the "Green Industry", I get a little jaded about all the "Going Green" topics in the press. So forgive me if I write about something similar on this blog. Those of us in agriculture are constantly working to be efficient, to conserve and to be…
Friday, 10 August 2012 03:00

Pink Cloud Flowering Cherries

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Pink Cloud Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata 'Pink Cloud') Question: Hello, I would like to grow a cherry blossom tree (with pretty pink flowers) in my backyard. We generally don't have long cold winters here in Los Angeles. I heard Pink Cloud can tolerate warm weather better than most cherry blossom trees. It that true? Can I purchase one from you? Minika - Los Angeles, CA Answer: You have heard correctly. Pink Cloud is one of…
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 03:00

Snow Fountains® Flowering Cherry

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I was late to work today. Camera was calling. As a photographer, light is all important. When I can get skies with clouds that give it character and soft light (but keep the camera dry) I start looking for something to photograph. This morning was one of those special mornings. And the subject was one of my favorite trees busting out in glorious bloom. We have three Snow Fountains® Weeping Flowering Cherries (Prunus subhirtella x…
Tuesday, 13 March 2012 03:00

Albion Strawberries

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Huge and Delicious Albion Strawberries They say a photo is worth a thousand words. So I don't need to write much about the humongous size of these Albion Strawberries. But what a photo cannot tell you was how delicious they were. Did you notice the past tense? I was lucky to grab a basket to share with my wife and take this photo. The office staff made short work of the flat of strawberries on…
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