Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Driftwood Extravaganza September 6th

We are excited to host a Driftwood Extravaganza on Saturday September 6, 2014




Join us in planting up pieces of driftwood with succulents or tillandsias. You will be amazed at what fun design and centerpiece you put together. There will be a hugh selection of driftwood pieces, some small some big you pick the one that calls out to you.

We will have succulents to tuck into the natural cracks and curves of the driftwood. Or you can choose tillandsias. You are welcome to mix them up also.  Each piece of driftwood is unique, each piece you plant up will become even more Extravagant.  Bring your imagination and join us.

Details:
Fees: $10.00 due when you sign up and secure your spot,this covers soil, misc supplies and refreshment.
You pick and choose your driftwood piece or pieces, succulents and or tillandsias. Make one or many, you are only be charged for what you use.
Class is limited to 10 per session and the sessions are 9am  11am  1pm  3pm

Stop by the nursery to sign up or call us with your credit card. There are no refunds once you have registered for the class.

See you on Saturday September 6th

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Monarch Butterflies in your Garden



Asclepia physocarpus

If you are going to want Monarch butterflies in your garden you need asclepias. One variety which will have your neighbors stopping and asking questions is the asclepia physocarpus, aka Hairy Balls or Family Jewels.
The seed pod on this variety are 2" diameter balls covered in soft bristles. Other asclepia varieties have long slender seed pods.
Grow your plant in full sun with regular water, do not use any insecticides or synthetic fertilizers. You may see bright yellow aphids on the young leaves, do not worry, the hungry caterpillars will eat the leaves before the aphids.



March and April you will begin seeing generation one egg and young caterpillar stage. You may find these under the leaves of plants we sell, this is an extra bonus for no extra charge. It averages 4 days for the eggs to hatch. 
The second stage in a butterfly life is the larvae or caterpillar stage
this is when you will see your Asclepia eaten down to the stems.
They are like teenage boys at this stage, eating everything in the house.
They are fully grown in just 2 weeks. 




3rd stage is the pupa or chrysalis
if you get a chance to watch as this happens it is amazing
and a bit creepy at the same time. For 10 days you won't see 
much change but there is a lot going on inside.
Then the beauty comes.








Stage 4 is the butterfly. If you are lucky enough to see it emerge from the chrysalis you feel a sense of joy and pride. The butterfly will stay near it's chrysalis while drying it's wings. Slow flapping as it begins to stretch and dry. Then suddenly away it flies, I felt like a proud mommy the first time I watched.

There are four generations every year, as I mentioned before the first generation you begin seeing eggs in March and April. The second generation follows May and June, third July and August. The first 3 generations have a short life cycle 2-6 weeks. It is the last generation which emerges September and October that stays around 6-8 months. This is the generation which we see the rest of the year hanging in our gardens. In other parts of the country this generation leaves heading south, some coming to California others to Mexico. Then they head back to begin the generation cycle over and over. Amazing how Mother Nature works.

For more information on the Monarchs please click the link, I think you will enjoy the site.

And to get Monarchs in your garden come visit us and pick up a plant or two.


Sunday, June 08, 2014

Water and your garden


An area of conversation is water conservation and our gardens can still look good with the proper watering. Do you have automatic sprinklers? When was the last time you checked them and watched the cycle? We suggest you do just that, as many systems come on early in the morning we don't know there are any problems until we get the water bill or plants begin to die.



If you do have a system and it is running fine and coverage is fine now may be the time to adjust the length of time it runs in each area. Do not let your system run until there is run off, instead set it to water more often for less amount of time. Also set it to come on early in the morning, not in the evenings.

If you do not have a system you may want to consider installing one, the newer choices give great coverage with minimal care. Or if your garden is small and you hand water remember to water early in the day so that water is not sitting on your plants over night, this leads to more diseases. If you garden consists of more containers than ground do you have a drip system? You can purchase ones which are homeowner friendly. Again we suggest you water in the morning, causing less stress on your plants are the days heat up. Yet check your containers again in the evenings as the sun is setting, some plantings will require a second watering after a very hot day. Consider also adding a product to help the soil stay wetter longer, or a Plant Nanny which holds the water and releases it as the soil needs a drink.

Your spring vegetable garden should be giving back to you this month, vine ripe tomatoes, squashes, cucumbers, beans and so much more. When choosing what to plant now remember many of the lettuces and kales will prefer a spot in the shade next to your herbs as the weather warms up.

Color for your garden is a blaze with zinnias, lisianthus, salvias, and portulaca plus others which like the heat. California Natives which are showing their beauty and we bring our selections in from Moosa Creek Nursery.

Looking to spend more fun time in your garden and less "work" time? Give us a call and we will gladly quote you on weekly or bi-weekly maintenance, we are not the blow and go type of service. And if you are wanting a complete new look we can work with you on this also, everything from demolition of your existing to installing plants and hardscape, we work with you to turn your yard into your garden paradise.

Monday, March 31, 2014

April 1, 1989 we took a big step leaving behind a regular paycheck to do what Fausto had been dreaming of for many years. I won't say it wasn't scary and I won't say it hasn't been hard but what I will say is that it has been a ride.

With the help of family, not just at the nursery but at home caring for the kids when hours were long, working side by side watering plants, stocking shelves, helping customers we have grown the business. This business helped put our kids through school, participate in outside athletic teams, and show them some pretty amazing vacations. It has provided for many employees and their families. Some learning from us and going on to start their own companies.

We took a San Diego business which was already 79 years old and have continued growing it to what it is today. There have been really great years when housing market was booming, no talk of water rations, and people were investing in their homes. There also have been very lean years, when housing market died, water rations were not being talked about but were a reality and feeding your family was much more important than planting a new tree.

Yet we open the gates each day believing in what we do. We have always told ourselves do your best, provide more than the basic plants, teach others, and don't be afraid to get dirt under your nails. We have gone home with aching backs, sore feet, bumps and bruises and yet each morning we get up and do it again. It must be in our blood and in the fact that you are customers keep coming back to us.

As we head into another chapter of our company's history we look forward Believing.
Believing Fausto's design magic will continue to go from his thoughts to paper to reality. Tiger will continue taking his crew out into yards and turning them into oasis for homeowner and business owners to enjoy and relax in. Believing that with our continued hard work and honesty we will be serving the gardeners of San Diego for more years to come.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Birds and the Bees

Officially spring is 9 days away yet the birds and bees are out and about every day at the nursery.

Last week we had to call in a beekeeper to remove a swarm of bees that had set up house on a lemon tree, usually after 10 hours they move on but this group wanted to stay. Not a possibility as the tree is for sale and was sitting on a pathway.

Without any problems the bees gladly moved into the bee box and 24 hours later were transported to their new home. In exchange for the bees we received a jar of honey, nice trade.

We will have more swarms as the season goes on, please be careful if you are walking about and see them. My understanding is they are so focused on finding a new home for the new queen they won't bother you unless you begin waving your arms and bother them. We need the bees to keep the flowers blooming and the fruit trees fruiting. Now think about it if you were a bee wouldn't you enjoy living at the nursery? Sunshine, protection, water and no insecticides.

Blackberry finally got a name, she is our black 10 month old hen. She and Ash cruise the nursery looking for insects, nibbling on plants, and hoping for treats from anyone who has something to eat. Please watch your children if they are walking about with food in their hands, Blackberry thinks since the child is just her height that the cookie in their hand is for her. Both hens lay one egg a day, and getting the meals they get along with plenty of exercise and sunshine the eggs are beautiful and tasty. Sorry we can't share them with you, we are not set up to sell dairy products.
So as we get ready to celebrate spring, we are grateful for our birds and bees at the nursery. If you are having an off day grab yourself an ice-tea and come sit for a bit. Watch the hens and I can almost guarantee you will feel better.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Gerbera Daisy for your Valentine

Valentine's Day is coming up, Friday February 14th.

One year I made the mistake of telling my husband I didn't want roses for Valentine's Day. He took it to mean I didn't want any flowers and thus there were many years without. What I was meaning to say was that I didn't want cut roses on the one day of year when they are brought over from other countries and do not have any staying power.

My favorite cut flower had always been the carnation, it lasted for quite a long time and had much more fragrance than roses which are stored in such cold storage and grown for their longevity, which really isn't very long, that many varieties used by florist have lost their fragrance.

Then one day my husband went out into the nursery and cut me a bouquet of whatever flowers were blooming, now that was one that I loved and it lasted much longer. Thus began my planting of "cutting" flowers. Our garden had lilies, alstromerias, daisies, sages, yarrows and other herbs. A few of my favorites were cosmos and Gerbera Daisy. The cosmos stood tall and danced in the breezes, when cut they were perfect fillers to my vases. Gerbera Daisy is such a bright cheery plant and ranks as the 5th most popular cut flower in the floral industry.

This is a wonderful month to get Gerberas planted in your garden, they work wonderfully in containers and can be enjoyed as a plant inside with plenty of sunlight. Plant in full sun to partial, keep soil moist but not wet. Here in San Diego they are perennial, so don't toss them out when the blooms stop. This week we have a shipment coming in that will be assorted colors all blooming and standing tall.

If roses are on your Valentine's request how about giving one that will keep giving?  Yes the rose bushes in stock now are still dormant or just beginning to leaf out, but if you plant it this winer your Valentine will be cutting roses all Spring and again in the Fall, plus you get the added bonus of choosing one which is fragrant and beautiful.


Monday, January 27, 2014

What's ugly now turns pretty later.

January the month when the nursery is filled with sticks and strange looking pieces which sometimes are hard to distinguish top from bottom.

Dormant season, a time for many plants to shed their leaves and go into a resting period. This is a perfect time to get these plants into your garden for rewards in the spring and summer months.

One area that has been seeing a surge in planting is the edibles, and this year will be no exception. More of us are aware of where our foods come from, we are going back to the time when we ate fruits and vegetables when it was their time in our zone. We have been spoiled with just going into a local grocery store and picking up a bag of grapes, but wait it isn't grape season here so where are those grapes from?

To help you and your family eat healthier and wiser we have brought in a very nice assortment of fruits and vegetables that you will want to plant in your garden.

We all need our greens and two which you want to plant this month and next are Asparagus and Artichoke. You have to be a bit patient with these guys but the rewards are worth it.



Berries provide us with antioxidants and go well with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pop them into your cereal or bake into a muffin or pancake for breakfast. Mix into salad with lunch and top a pork roast at dinner. So versatile.



Grapes, nature's candy. Such an easy fruit to carry with you, just pop in your mouth no mess no peeling no wrapper.