Thursday, December 30, 2010

Not an End It's a Beginning

As we prepare to turn the calendar some see it as the end of a year, while others see it as a new beginning. I think this year I will be one who sees it as a new beginning. Just as in a garden when you put in a new seed or seedling, you will watch life unfold and begin. Nurture your garden and you will nurture your soul. When we allow ourselves to be at peace we are able to achieve so much more than when we worry.

A gift you can give yourself every day in 2011 is to walk thru the nursery smelling and touching the flowers, petting Reina and Socks, listening to the birds sing and you will leave a bit more peaceful.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Gardening Gifts

The upper lot is filled with fresh cut Christmas trees from Washington & Oregon. The interior plant area is brightly colored with red poinsettias, white hydrangeas and Christmas cactus. Then step inside the building and view the newest piece of furniture which holds an array of gifts for the gardeners on your list.

Mark what you have planted with a vintage silverware garden marker
Keep their hands clean and soft with lotions made for gardeners.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Woolly Pockets

Woolly Pockets are the newest planting containers for those who have more vertical space than ground space. Mission Hills Nursery is your local retail outlet for this new product. Mark your calendar for Saturday October 30th come in to the nursery and see how to plant a Woolly Pocket. Demonstration and questions will take place between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm

Friday, October 22, 2010

Turning 153

Next month our founder, Kate Sessions would be turning 153. We will celebrate all day on Saturday November 6th. The morning will begin with a walk of the nursery while enjoying a cup of coffee and pastry. Then mid-day we will have cake and party favors. The day will end with a glass of wine. We hope you stop in and celebrate with us.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wonderlandsd episode

There is a program in San Diego which airs on KPBS, Noah has the fun tasks of finding hidden gems and revealing the history behind places in San Diego. We are going to be featured on Monday October 18th at 9:00pm.
to see an earlier episode which also pertains to our founder please see his episode on Balboa Park

Monday, October 11, 2010

Candy Corn Contest

How many candy corns does it take to fill a boot? Come in and give us your guess, lucky winner takes home a boot plus a colorful fall container planting. We have pumpkins, straw bales, and corn stalks to give your porch a fall look. Don't carve your pumpkin and you can carry over your theme into Thanksgiving.
Candy corn contest ends 10/30/10 one entry per person

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Fausto and I found a grower who specializes in Sansevierias, we went on a buying trip this morning and came back with an array of them. If you don't know Sansevierias it is a plant you should come in and learn about. Very very easy to care for and you are surprised when it blooms. The fragrance on the cylindica varieties is similar to a jasmine mixed with gardenia, just a slight release as your home warms up.

We found 2 varieties which we won't be able to bring in until next year, one has black markings while the other is a reddish variety.
Once you begin collecting them you will be hooked.

Growing Conditions:

Light:Bright, filtered light, but highly tolerant.
Water: Can survive long periods of drought. Water monthly or less in winter, weekly or every other week in summer.
Temperature: Above 50ºF, but can survive cold spells.
Soil: Use a fast-draining cactus mix.
Fertilizer: Feed during growing season. Do not feed during winter.

I have mine at home in a north west window and put it in the shower once a month to wash and water, have to say I love this plant.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Naked Trees and what to do with them

Slight change in Saturday's class, it will be taught by Richard L. who also has the plant of the week for next week. See our facebook page for his selection. Remember to print my earlier posting to receive a 30% discount off your purchase after the class on any deciduous trees we have in stock.

What is a deciduous tree? A tree which will lose all if not most of it's leaves during the winter months. In this class you will learn how to prune and what you should do to protect your trees from possible insects while they are without their clothes (leaves)

Monday, September 06, 2010

What's with the weather?

We seem to have missed summer here in San Diego and can feel fall knocking on our doors. Now is the time to begin getting your deciduous trees ready for winter. Not sure if your trees are deciduous or not? If they drop most if not all of their leaves during our winter than Yes they are deciduous.
Come to our free class on September 18th beginning at 10am to learn from Fausto what you should do now to protect them over the winter and give them a head start on next spring. After the class you can shop and get 30% off (with this page) of any deciduous trees in stock.
30% off offer not valid with any other offers or coupons (Groupon coupons may not be used for this offer)

As I write this blog it is gray and chilly out, not the way it should be for the last official summer holiday. Many of you have come in and said your tomato crops this year were not very productive, it's nothing you did wrong it is what was missing...sunshine. Now that we are heading into cooler days and chilly evenings you can start thinking of your fall/winter vegetable crops. Lettuces along with cabbages and kales are on the tables, peas, cauliflower, and broccoli starts will be arriving weekly. I'll be switching my garden box over in the next couple of weeks removing the tiny tomatoes which we munch on, pulling up the strawberries and adding an assortment of peas to give us afternoon treats.

A friend and customer has a cooking blog scheduled to go on line this fall, she grows many herbs and vegetables which have been purchased at Mission Hills Nursery so if she says okay I'll provide a link to her site, from the recipes I've seen things look pretty yummy.

If you have an extra herbs & or vegetables from your garden that you don't know what to do with please bring them in and share with others. We will be happy to set up an area, remember the sharing table when you were in school? It usually had more apples and less cookies but eventually someone wanted them, same will happen here, there is always someone who can use more zucchini.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Chemicals on your shelves

Well most of us have switched over to organics when it comes to insecticides, fungicides, and fertilizers there are some who still have chemicals sitting on their garden shelves. I would like to suggest that when you have the need to apply an insecticide or fungicide you check what you have first and use it, yes even if it is a chemical product. If applied correctly this product will be put to better use than disposing in our landfills or improperly down our water system.

Yet if the product has expired or been exposed to the elements and compromised it's usefulness then you should discard it by contacting your local hazardous waste companies.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Name Brands or Personal Recommendations

In our industry there is a lot of time, money and research put into name brands of plants. As an owner of an independent garden center we are often "told" by marketing companies that name brands sell over others. It is our belief that even though a company has done the marketing of their product it must still perform to our expectations. We sell what we believe in. When a new plant or product comes on the market we will bring it in and try it, now if it does not perform as we expect it to than you won't see it restocked.

New plant introductions are always like waiting for Christmas. We get teased at shows with these new plants knowing it will be another season or year before we can bring them to you. What we try to find are the unusual plants, remember when we first brought in Euphorbia Diamond Frost and how excited we were.

How about Bacopa? This plant has only gotten better, it is still one we suggest regularly. Now you can get Bacopa in purple along with white.

Now my question to you the consumer is..........
do you buy based upon brand names? Proven Winners, Monrovia, Miracle Gro to give you some examples. Or do you buy based upon personal recommendations from people you are buying from or fellow gardeners?
this is being debated within our industry and I would love your feedback so I can pass along how our customers feel.

Hawaiian Vacation at Home

With an increase in humidity I've felt like I should be on a tropical vacation. This is possible, without having to pack your luggage, get to the airport 2 hours early and sit on a plane for another 3-5 hours. If you plant Plumerias in your garden you too can take mini tropical vacations. This beautifully fragrant plant is blooming now at Mission Hills Nursery. Select your favorite color(s), take it (them) home to plant where you will be able to enjoy the fragrance, sit back with a tropical beverage turn on background music of ocean waves and relax.

Life is Good! This Saturday enjoy a little bit of Hawaii for breakfast, we will have Hawaiian Sweet Bread and Pineapple juice from 9:00 - 11:00.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Garden Path Signs

Bullets into Garden Path Signs? Who would have thought used bullet casings and other military and industrial scrap could be turned into beautiful and whimsical garden pieces. Yet one of our suppliers has done just that.

We have in stock some very nice heavy Garden Path Signs, one style I selected based upon our 2 cats Socks and Reina. I imagine during the evenings when we have all gone home that the 2 of them roam the nursery and stop to smell the flowers.

Have you seen all the butterflies fluttering through the nursery? I just had to get a sign which gives them the right-a-way.

Both signs come in a decorative box perfect for a gift to someone else or yourself, we need to treat ourselves occasionally right? If your indoor plants need a little pizaaz you should add a Shroomie, these ceramic mushrooms will bring a smile to your face every time you look at them. Easy to imagine a little garden fairy hanging out below them.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Seeds are Restocked

Our seed racks are full with our 2010-2011 varieties. One which seems pretty strange if you really think about it is a seed for seedless watermelon. Ferry Morse has one called Ultra Cool Hybrid, claims to be sweet & seedless. A pollinizer is required and they recommend Sugar Baby, so be sure to pick up both varieties for best results.

The attached photo isn't what your watermelon will look like, I just thought it was a fun way to get your attention.

Our Ferry Morse lines consist of their regular choices along with an Organic Line and Heirloom Line, the pictures alone make me what to plant them. Everything looks so yummy, and you know you and trust the quality of their seeds. One variety we sell out of and reorder all year is the Cat Treats, even my cat at home Hunter enjoys this. I plant a few seeds every week so she always has a new crop growing out of her flower pot.

Another best seller is Basil, just writing about it I'm able to smell this wonderful herb, maybe we'll have to make up a tomato & basil salad this evening. How simple is this recipe, if you haven't tried it or one similar you really should treat yourself to it.

vine ripe tomatoes, cut into bite size pieces or use the cherry ones
a handful of fresh basil leaves, torn into bite size pieces also
blend together a minced clove of garlic with about 2 tablespoons each of extra virgin olive oil and a rich balsamic vinegar.
pour this over the tomatoes and basil and let sit for a little while at room temperature
add salt & pepper to taste if necessary

Enjoy this with some fresh mozzarella a crusty loaf of bread and of course a glass of wine. Sit outside in your garden and reflect on our sunshine which has finally stayed around for a few days.

Friday, July 30, 2010

New & Fun

Today our garden patio furniture builder brought in a new set, perfect for those who live in high rises and have smaller patios or balconies. The chairs are strong and sturdy, no need to worry about them blowing over. We have been selling furniture from Jack & his wife for years, not once have we had any problems with the craftsmanship. Many times Jack has worked with our customers to build custom pieces, so if you have something you've been looking for get me a sketch and I'll see what magic Jack can do.

This is the original 4 piece Garden Set, you really need to sit in it to appreciate how well it feels. The pieces are unfinished, you may either stain, paint or let Mother Nature add her own patina to them.

Imagine, sitting outside on your new furniture while enjoying a soft breeze. Soft sound of water trickling from your new fountain (still on sale) and music filling the air from your precision-tuned wind chime.
Unpacked and ready for you to hear the sounds from Grace Note Chimes, we have different sizes and tuning options.
All chimes are tuned in the key of C, with the corresponding notes and chords engraved on one side of each aluminum windplate. Classic wind chimes are handcrafted from thick-tempered aluminum tubing, with a soft brushed finish. Each chime now features recycled composite lumber strikers - composite lumber is not only environmentally friendly but it also creates a softer contact sound when applied to wind chime tubing. These strikers are not subject to drying or cracking and require no maintenance

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Our Monarchs

I felt like a mother last week watching her children go off to school. When I went to work the chrysalis' were still hanging wrapped up, by the middle of the day they emerged as beautiful butterflies. We watched as the first one crawled up the side of their temporary home and fell back down. After a few attempts he/she reached the outside top and began to test his wings. Within a couple of minutes he felt confident enough to fly away, and out of the greenhouse he went.

Our second one seemed to be a little less confident in how to climb out, yes I know eventually she would be able to, so I helped by lifting the branch up and laid it on top of their home. She then tested her wings yet didn't seem to be in too much of a hurry to leave the nest. We enjoyed watching her, something like watching your youngster take that first ride without training wheels. I felt proud when she flew away. Later in the afternoon I want to believe she came back and hung around the greenhouse for a little while, then off to begin the next cycle.

As I write this posting we have 2 more chrysalis inside and I'm sure others throughout the nursery. Please remember to watch before you spray if you think your plants are being eaten by worms, we need to give up a little foliage to be rewarded with beautiful butterflies.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Life of a Monarch

We sell alot and I mean alot of Asclepia Plants, also known as Milkweed. People put this plant in their yard knowing it will be devoured by the caterpillars. Early this month we found 2 such caterpillars on one of the plants and decided to watch them. Fausto was able to capture the second one as it turned into the green chrysalis doing what is described as the wiggle-jiggle dance.

I believe we may be watching the 3rd generation of 4. Each of the first 3 generations live from two to six weeks as an adult. With the 4th generation living six to eight months here in Southern California. They then begin the whole generation cycle over.

When researching more about this total body change I came across a really fun and informative website on the magical metamorphosis of the Monarch Butterfly

In about 3-4 days we should be seeing the next stage, if you want to view them as a chrysalis you should stop in soon.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Annie's Annuals on Sale

We have a mix of Annie's Annuals which need to get planted into new homes, and your garden would be a perfect home. All Annie's in stock will be discounted 35% when you bring in this blog.
Today I remember seeing Echium gentianoides "Tajinaste",

Dianthus barbatus nigrescens "Sooty"

and an assortment of Verbascums.

This offer is valid on plants which are currently on the tables and valid thru 7/18/10 or while supplies last.

Summer time we spend more time in our gardens, harvesting, entertaining, and simply relaxing. A simple and quick way to spruce up your garden is with containers. Look around your yard and see if you have any old pots, boots, boxes or other unusual items which can be planted up, load them into your car and bring them into the nursery. Walk around and be inspired, select plants to see what works with your containers and for your area. Plant them up by yourself or with the help of one of our employees. Why take home more plants than you need, or not enough, and for those who live in apartments or condominiums and don't have extra space to make a mess we let you make your mess here.

Freshly picked Strawberries added to your breakfast cereal, tonight's dessert or just as a treat while working in the garden. Easy as 1 - 2 - 3. We have the pots, plants, soil and will show you how to grow your own bits of sweet sunshine.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fountain Sale 50% off

All Fountains in Stock this weekend 50% off. Help us clear the area for our new selection of fountains due in within the next 6 weeks. We have never had a sale of 50% off before on these fountains, this weekend is the time to pick one up for your yard. Every fountain comes with a pump, delivery and set up are available and pricing is quoted depending on the fountain size and delivery access. The sound of water can be soothing and cooling.
sale valid 6/30/10 thru 7/5/10

Photos shown do not necessarily reflect what we have in stock.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Victory Garden Winners

Congratulations to Alexis and Tyler who have been married just 3 years and homeowners for just one year on their first Victory Garden. Their raised beds are beginning to provide them with a summer time harvest. Newly planted potatoes, onions, eggplant, squash, and tomatoes will be sharing space with thyme, basil, tarragon, rosemary and an abundance of other herbs. Keep up with controlling the weeds, feed regularly using E.B. Stone Organic fertilizer and you will have more than enough to feed your family.

Liz the Chef who entered the contest on the last day has a wonderful assortment of herbs and vegetables also growing in her raised beds. She even writes about them on a blog, I'll get her blogging address and post it for all to follow.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Dirt Under Your Nails

I am part of a group of ladies that try and get together at least one time per month for a ladies only event. Being the only one who works in the outdoor world I am at times embarrassed by the look of my hands, especially my fingernails. Most of the group keeps their nails manicured and polished, putting mine to shame. Yet today as I was preparing our balcony planter box I realized my nails are not to be ashamed of but to be proud of.

Working with my hands, getting them dirty and scratched while tending to my garden is part of the rewards that I will reap when I bring the fresh herbs inside for dinner. Have you picked a bunch of aromatic basil for pasta lately? Or enjoyed a refreshing Mojito with freshly bruised mint leaves? Even my cat enjoys the planter box as she gets a little corner for her kitty grass.

Getting your hands dirty can be therapeutic and is less expensive than going to a therapist.
Most of what we eat has a connection to the soil, whether it be vegetable, fruit, or even animal so we want to have the best soil for the best results. How better to know how good your soil is than to really get your hands dirty. Dig in and pick some up, smell it, does it smell like dirt? It should have a clean earthy scent, if it smells sour then you may want to rethink planting in it. Play with the dirt, add a little water and see how the soil bonds with it. Remember making mud pies? When was the last time you did this?

Have you allowed life's frustrations to build up? Find a yard with weeds and begin pulling them out with your hands. By the end your finger tips will be sore with little cuts and your joints possibly achy but your mental outlook will be brighter. The weeds are gone along with some of those frustrations.

Back to my original posting message, I am proud of my hands and nails, they show my love for rich alive soil. And as we say in the nursery.........

We sell soil, Dirt is what's under your fingernails. Go out and get dirty then let me know how you feel.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

100th Anniversary Shirts

To help celebrate our 100th Anniversary we had a special shirt designed and we all debuted it for garden walk. You've told me you like that we are off the main map and in a unique setting here in Mission Hills yet we want others to know about us and I promise we won't lose our personal touch. Please help us spread the word on who we are by buying and wearing one of our commemorative shirts. For the month of May you can purchase your shirt in any size for just $10.00. Let's see if we can spread the word to others in the gardening community that we've been here 100 years and plan to be around for your newly planted tree to grow into an adult. We've been green for 100 years, others are just getting on the right track.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Mother's Day

What do you get when you combine Mother's Day weekend with Mission Hills Garden Walk? A nursery stuffed full of blooming plants, tables filled with vegetables & herbs, gardening gifts and a gaggle of Geese. Canadian Geese have flown in and taken up residency at the nursery. These life size replicas are made to be outside, who needs pink flamingos when you can have a Goose?

Friday, April 30, 2010

Salvia Mexicana Limelight

My favorite color is beginning to burst on a Mexican Salvia called 'Limelight'. This plant can have spikes up to 6' tall with the plant's width around 2-3'. Full sun to bright shade, regular water. I love the chartreuse spikes with violet-blue tips.

Just received in stock for this weekend. You can have one in your garden for just $4.99, a real bargain when I did some research on the internet and found it on other sites for almost twice as much.