Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

February, 2001
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Napa Valley Mustard Festival
The Napa Valley Mustard Festival runs February 3 - March 31 and is an open house for visitors to Napa Valley during the months when wild mustard carpets vineyards with brilliant hues of green and gold. Throughout the festival visitors explore the arts, culture, and agriculture of Napa Valley. Before the festival's inception in 1994 a mere 7% of visitors to Napa Valley came during the months of January, February, and March. That season now attracts 27% of the year's total visitors, second only to the summer percentage. For a list of events, museums, and galleries, visit the Web site at Napa Valley Mustard Festival.

Favorite or New Plant

Cushion Bush
Cushion bush (Calocephalus brownii) is a gray- foliage plant that has small, scaly leaves growing along tangled stems. The overall effect of the plant can be called dense. It's impervious to drought, wind, full sun, and sandy soil and, in fact, prefers all of the above. Cushion bush makes a handsome addition to a rock garden. It has a round growth habit and eventually reaches a height and width of about 3 feet. Yellow, buttonlike flowers appear in late spring and early summer.

Annual pruning is not required, but to keep the plants compact, a light overall trim is beneficial just before active growth begins. Never remove more than 1/4 of the foliage at one time. The handsome silver foliage is wonderful in flower arrangements and retains its color and texture when dried. It makes beautiful wreaths, especially when combined with another dried flower such as Limonium perezii.


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