Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ugly Sweater Contest

wear your ugly Christmas sweater and possibly win a $100 shopping certificate to Mission Hills Nursery. Check out our facebook page for more information.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Great gift idea

This last year we saw a tremendous increase in home gardeners starting or expanding their edible gardens. We brought in garden boxes which you could assemble at home and had a few planted at the nursery, everyone enjoyed the fresh tomatoes, strawberries and herbs. New this year and just in time for the holidays we have a simple to use and store when not in use garden bag.

The Little Acre raised bed garden bag.
No tilling No digging No soil amending No tools No assembly and No weeds

What a fun and easy gift to give that keeps giving, the kids will love growing what they eat while everyone else will enjoy the ease and no hassle growing.

Fausto's special offer includes one Little Acre garden bag, 3 E.B. Stone Planting Compost, and 1 box of E.B. Stone Sure Start for just $74.88 (regular pricing would be just over $95.00) Put the Little Acre garden bag under the tree and the other items can be picked up later so you don't have to wrap the bales of compost. Or you can wrap the compost and really surprise your special gardener.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tiger's Plant for November

Tiger took time out of setting up our Christmas wonderland to select a plant for the month of November. Even though this plant flowers in the summer you will want it for the foliage which right now just yells "Autumn".

Hibiscus acetosella
Is a tropical hibiscus grown mostly for its foliage. To
me the flower is inconsequential or at best, a nice conversation item. With its psychedelic looking foliage that comes to life during the summer months. The leaves will show red, purple, and a creamy variegation.
This plant will be a great show piece in any garden or container.

Plant Needs: Sun Water: average This plant reaches about 4' and is cold hardy down to 30 degrees. It does like well drained soil

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Holidays at the nursery.

Every November we scare many of you, unintentionally that is. No we are not going out of business. We begin moving everything from 4" vegetables, 5 gallon fruit trees, tables and tables of bedding color and tons of pottery from the upper lot. All plants, tables, pots get new homes on the west side, south side, and inside of the nursery. Our upper lot becomes Christmas Wonderland.

Living Christmas trees are already in the nursery,with our first load of fresh cut Christmas trees (no 15 cent tax this year) arriving on Friday, November 18th. Poinsettias will start coming in next week along with wreaths and garland.

If you like paperwhites for the holidays you will want to stagger their planting times. Give them as hostess gifts right before they open completely. Amaryllis bulbs in red, white and a red with white are in our bulb area. While already sprouted ones are on the greenhouse tables.

Holiday plants which are perfect for decorating and gift giving are the Christmas Cactus,
we have them in our greenhouse and Cyclamen on our bedding tables. Succulent wreaths can be hung on walls or doors and left sitting on a table with a candle in the middle.

Grow your own Christmas tree, we have everything you need in a little brown bag. How about a gift for the cook on your list? Rosemary comes in various shapes and sizes.

Let's not get too far ahead of the holidays, we still have Thanksgiving to enjoy. China planted up some paperwhites which if the weather cooperates may be just ready for gift giving to your Thanksgiving hostess. Or select one of our newest glazed pots and let her plant you a gift with flowers and herbs, sage is always needed when cooking those juicy turkeys.

If you need decorating ideas for your Thanksgiving table you will certainly want to go to the Mission Hills Garden Club's November meeting, you may even win your holiday table centerpiece.

I love this time of year, cool clear days, warm soups, and the smells of fireplaces as you walk through neighborhoods. I am Thankful for my health which allows me to enjoy these simple things.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Tiger's Tips for October

Most people do their planting in the Spring when days are longer and warmer. However, did you know that planting in the Fall is the most ideal time?

80% of the plant's root growth occurs in late summer early fall. Milder daytime temperatures along with a bit more dependable rainfall help the plants to establish themselves.
Your garden's soil is warmer, again easier on root growth.
Pest and disease usually lessen with cooling temperatures.

My tip for this month is that you take advantage of what nature provides and plant those larger shade and fruit trees you've been thinking about. For additional fall planting tips stop by the nursery and pick up my guide, broken down by early, middle, and late October.

A fun family project for this month, plant a pumpkin. No I don't mean plant a seed and grow a pumpkin. I mean buy a medium sized pumpkin cut off the top scoop out the seeds, add soil and annual fall color. Perfect fall decoration. Remember to sit your pumpkin on a dish so it doesn't mark your table. Enjoy inside for a dinner party than place it in your garden. As it breaks down let it compost into your soil.

Our fall season is here, enjoy the colors with an array of mums, pansies, violas. Spruce up your containers or garden beds. Decorate your home's walk way or porch with assorted shapes, and colors of pumpkins, gourds and cornstalks. We do have Seasons in San Diego.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Roses 2012

We have our 2012 Rose Selections posted, you may pre-book now for delivery beginning in January 2012. Roses are shipped bare root, or picked up at the nursery planted.

This is going to be a crazy couple of years as we have seen drastic changes within the rose growers industry. If you see a rose you like you may want to book it now. Shortages happen due to crop failures, the grower oversells, and weather doesn't allow harvesting.

We process our orders as they were received, so again order early. If we are unable to fill your order you will be contacted for any substitutions. If you live in a part of the country where you can't plant in January we will grow out your rose, cut it back and ship when you are ready. If we do this than we process your payment in January so we can pull the rose from stock.

After we posted out 2012 selections on our website we received notice that we may be able to receive in some David Austin English roses. Unable to get them on our website we will post them on our Facebook page as soon as they are confirmed. We can't bring them all in so it is always a hard decision when we sit down to choose.

David Austin English roses form shapely shrubs with bushy growth, renowned for their strong & diverse fragrances. These roses are repeat bloomers, providing longer bloom season. Bred for vigor and disease resistance. Also perform well in partial shady conditions along with being quite happy in containers. For more information on David Austin English roses please visit their website.

What do you look for most in a rose?
Fragrance or Color

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Staghorn Fern

Staghorn ferns were at one time considered a very difficult plant to grow yet with just a little care you too can enjoy their beauty.

Staghorn does best mounted on a board using moss to protect their roots. Hang in an area with bright light and good air circulation. They really enjoy the warmth and humidity during the summer months. Water regularly during growing season Spring thru Fall, increasing as needed if temperatures rise.

Feed regularly, follow directions depending on what fertilizer you use. During the growing season you can use liquid food such as Fish Emulsion and on occasion give your Staghorn a banana peel which will slowly breakdown.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Chicken Update

When Fausto first brought in these 3 little chicks they fit into the palm of my hand. We were able to keep them by the cash register area where everyone got to see them.

After a couple of weeks they began to test their wings and jump down from their little coop. Not able to fly back up they would sit, flap their wings and make alot of noise until one of us would pick them up.

Then construction began on their condominium complex. Each of them has their own nesting area for when they are older. They have a ramp and places to hide. Moved outdoors they seem to be enjoying the warm summer days, they have plenty of shade, water and scratch. Whenever someone goes down to see them they get all excited.

Because Fausto bought the chickens and he is on the committee to plant trees in San Diego I think he helped sway the votes to name them after trees.
Ash appropriately is the black chicken, Willow is the reddish brown chicken, and Maggie (short for Magnolia) is the lighter one of them all.

Sooner than later these little ladies will be out in the nursery, eating bugs and keeping the kids happy. And for those who are concerned, so far Socks (nursery cat) isn't showing any interest. And with 3 against 1 I think she will keep her distance.

Stop in as they are growing and changing daily, Urban Farming right here at Mission Hills Nursery

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Sunday Afternoon

Summer is here, we had too long and cold of a winter if you ask me so I welcome the warmth.
To also welcome in the summer I have brought in a new line of hats from Sunday Afternoons
our first order includes the Palm Spring Visor, not sure which color you might like I think I brought in one of each.

For the men one of the hats I selected is the
Field Hat, Designed for casual everyday use the Field Hat defines comfortable practicality, and it’s loaded with technical features making it one of our best selling sun protective hats. Its full 4” front and back, and 3 1/2” inch side brim are down-sloped for maximum facial sun protection coverage. Features cooling side mesh ventilation, a chinstrap for windy-day security, and an adjustable internal sizing tape system for custom fit. Elasticized wicking sweatband. UPF 50+. Lightweight 3.0 oz. Made in USA

Look stylish and protect yourself while gardening or race season with the
Caribbean Hat for women. The ocean meets the land, with this large brimmed, poly braid women’s hat, in beachy colors. Adjustable leatherette chinstrap, keeps the hat on, in windy conditions. Perfect for vacations. Packs flat for travel. Spot clean with damp cloth, line dry. 50 UPF. Imported

Not to be forgotten, the little ones also have hat choices. Look over Sunday Afternoons selections and let me know what you like, an easy company to work with, I look forward to providing you with more choices.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Smell me, Touch me, Feed me

Fausto and I went on a shopping trip this morning to Booman Florals in Vista. We brought back some very cool plants. Plants that make you stop and take a second look, you will want to touch them, smell them and feed them.

Carniverous plants in 4" and 6" are the Feed Me plants.

Looking like a cluster of bear traps, the Venus Flytrap lies in wait for its victims. Insects are attracted by a sweet nectar inside the trap. There, on each side of the trap, are three dark trigger hairs, and they are extremely sensitive.

When an insect touches a trigger hair once, nothing apparently happens. The plant has been alerted, but the hair mechanism could have been activated by the wind, or a piece of dust. When the prey brushes a trigger hair again, that second signal causes a reaction; nerve-like electrical impulses pass through the plant, and the trap closes instantly. The 'teeth' called cilia, interlock and form a cage, enclosing the victim.

Small insects can easily crawl out between the cilia. This is the plant's method of throwing back the small fish, since it would take more energy to digest a tiny insect than could be gained from consuming it. But larger insects struggle to get out, repeatedly touching the trigger hairs. These signals cause the trap to close completely, totally sealing in the prey. The traps fills with liquid and the victim drowns.

The liquid, a digestive enzyme, breaks down the soft parts of the insect so the plant can absorb it. This process takes several days. When the plant has digested all of the insect it can use, the trap reopens, exposing the insect's skeletal shell, which is soon swept away by wind or rain. If the trap was mechanically triggered and captured no prey, it reopens within a day or so.

Pitcher Plants are standing tall ready to eat whatever flies or crawls their way

For the Touch Me plant we brought in Mimosa 'sensitive plant', if you show this plant to your child believe me they will try to close every similar plant on their walks.Our kids first experienced this plant in Hawaii and for the rest of the trip they would touch every plant to see if it was also magical.

Last but not least we brought in one of my favorite orchids, Coconut Cream Pie, yes it smells like Coconut. This variety is just beginning to bloom you will want to hang it in a protected area outside your front door or a window so the fragrance drifts in. Another very fragrant plant in stock is a Brazilian Orchid with purple blooms. The truck smelled heavenly on the trip home.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

June Gloom?

As I write this it is almost June 1, 2011. The last day of May was a gorgeous day at the nursery. The wind didn't pick up until later in the afternoon which gave us a chance to get everything watered before the smaller plants tumbled over.

By the time you read this we will have flipped the calender to June. I am hoping to not see any June gloom in the near future. We pay sunshine tax here in San Diego and we expect to get 100% return on our investments right? Our bodies and our gardens enjoy the warm sunshine.

While I was out taking inventory, we sold a lot of vegetables over the 3 day weekend, there were hummingbirds flying right next to me getting nectar from the lantana. As they flew about I thought; it is like going to the Soup Plantation for them so many choices.

Some of you might not have enough planting area for the hummers to come and have lunch, maybe you live in an apartment or condominium, yet you can feed them by hanging a feeder. One variety we stock is from a company which really believes in it's product, Best-1 Hummingbird Feeder. For the next couple of weeks I will be offering free nectar with the purchase of a Best-1 Hummingbird Feeder ($21.99 style). Open your own smorgasbord, sit back and watch the beauty unfold.

What else is unfolding in your garden this month? How about all those vegetables you planted in March, April and May? You should have already harvested strawberries, cucumbers, chard, lettuce and enjoyed fresh herbs in your dishes. With the warmth from the sun your eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, corn and so much more should be ripening up. I love the garden boxes we have planted at the nursery, not only are they easy to garden in but the plants are producing like crazy. We enjoy the cucumber water at our Urban Farmstyle seminars, Tiger has cooked brite lights chard for his family, everyone nibbles on the strawberries and we are watching the tomatoes which any day now will be snacked on by one or all of us. Fresh lemons are squeezed into ice-tea and the apples are changing from green to red.

I just love this time of year, so much is fresh and new. Life unfolds with the warmth of the sun.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Tiger's Tips for May

Spring is now in full swing and it is time. If you haven't already treated yourself to one new plant I invite you to come in and find just the right one for your garden. My favorite as I write my tips for this month is the Supertunia Pretty Much Picasso, with a green throat and red outer lips it is striking.

Give yourself everlasting flowers by cutting and drying ones which are blooming now, example statice, strawflowers and hydrangeas.

Another treat you and the butterflies will enjoy is an easy to maintain butterfly garden, come in and see the Asclepias and Buddleias.

Don't have space but want to grow vegetables? New product in the nursery is the Grodan Hugo Grow Cube. Horticultural stone wool is used the world over by both hydroponics and soil gardeners, it provides enough growing volume to support a large plant. Made in Denmark this cube is 6x6x6, stop in and I'll be happy to show you how it works.

Towards the end of this month you need to really pay attention to any roses in your garden, as the June gloom begins to roll in especially along the coastal areas. Deadhead and trim unsightly leaves then spray them with Serenade Disease Control.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Insects this month in your garden

What a beautiful start to the month of May, we have been enjoying sunshine and warm breezes from the east for the last couple of days. If you are out walking thru your neighborhood you will begin noticing almost every day there is a new flower blooming. Along with the blooms come the songbirds singing and hummingbirds humming as they also enjoy springtime. What else is that you see on your new tender growth? Aphids of course, they like the tenderest part of plants and seem to appear overnight. How to control or get rid of them?

First keep your plants fed and healthy, just like people the healthier a plant is the easier it is for it to fight insects and disease. Then if you get aphids you may simply spray them off with a strong spray from the garden hose or release ladybugs to do the trick.

When releasing ladybugs do it in the evening, water the garden first and release them at the base of your plants so they work their way up. They will rest for the evening and wake up to a buffet the next morning. If you release them in the middle of the day ladybugs will fly away to a cooler shady spot and won't eat away your aphids.

Want the ultimate predator insect in your garden? Now is the time to pick up egg cases which will hatch between 50 to 200 baby Praying Mantids. This carnivorous insect will keep the beetle, cricket and grasshopper population under control but be forewarned they also will eat butterflies if nothing else is around.

Are there sprays to use instead of beneficial insects? Yes you can use organic products such as Insecticidal Soap and Captain Jacks Dead Bug Brew which contains Spinosad. Both are approved by the EPA for organic gardening.

Remember though not all bugs are bad bugs so know what you have before you spray.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Answer Night

For the last couple of months I've been posting and asking what the following have in common...
Gardening - Wine - Naked

a few answers have been tossed my way but not the right one.

If you want to know you will need to join us on Friday May 27th from 5:00-7:00pm at the nursery.
Cost for this event is $25.00, and your t-shirt size. Please sign up on our facebook event page or by emailing me and I'll contact you for payment.

Don't miss out on a fun evening.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tiger's tips for April

Tiger's project this month is redwood garden boxes. These beautiful raised planters are easy to assemble and store away when not planted. Once assembled fill your box with Green All Soil Booster, remember soil is very important when planting especially for your edible gardens.

Now what to plant? I am going to concentrate on edibles for this project so I'll pick ones that I know myself and my family will eat. Tomatoes are 1st on the list and we had at least 30 different varieties last count. By putting one in each corner I have room for them to grow up through the cages. In the middle I'll pick a pepper or two, along one edge some beans that can hang over and for fun colors a packet of carrots. With Tassia becoming old enough to begin food we'll introduce her to an array of carrots colors and flavors. Don't forget to add Marigolds or Cosmos to help keep those pesky insects away.

With the rains behind us, we hope, you will want to start replacing your cool season flowers with heat lovers. Zinnias, coleus, marigolds, and Fausto's favorite Godetia.

Plant taller delphiniums to the back and lower calibrochias to the front. Watch our sidewalk planter begin blooming over the next few weeks.

If you need more bees in your garden to help pollinate your fruits and vegetables consider Agastache, Lavenders, Catmint and Penstemons. Remember to feed your whole garden as it emerges from the winter chill. Again your soil is very important so you will want to use DynoEarth Humic Acid every quarter.

Our Urban Farmstyle Seminar is Saturday April 30th. Our guest chef is Jenn from Sea Rocket Bistro, sign up on our facebook event page or call the nursery. Seminar is free but reservations are required.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday Tasting for March 29

Today we are bringing back a wine we introduced you to a few years ago. Twin Poms, pomegranate wine. Stop in between 4:00 and closing to enjoy a taste while seeing what's new in the nursery

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Double Clic Cosmo Mix

One of our bedding plant growers, Do Rights, just released a new Cosmo and we'll be having it on our tables this week hopefully. I love Cosmos for their simplicity with growing and the way they wave in the warm spring and summer breezes.

description from our sales rep: Jim
Big Blooms Perfect for Cutting!
Cut-and-Come-Again for 3 Months or More!
Well, here's the most exciting Cosmos to come along in many a year -- a lively, very large-flowered, long-blooming mix of white, pink, and rosy-red DOUBLE flowers. We don't know about double-clicking, but you'll certainly do a double take when these blooms begin opening above the airy, fern-like foliage on tall, well-branched plants!

With frazzled petals and a sunny yellow center, these flowers are crying out for use in vases -- they have all the charm of daisies with a more interesting form! And they appear so profusely that you'll still have plenty of color in the garden after you've picked your fill for indoor use. Besides, Cosmos is a cut-and-come-again bloomer, meaning that the sooner you cut the blooms, the quicker new buds will pop up to replace them! (And if you don't cut the flowers, be sure to deadhead them as soon as they fade, to stimulate new bud production.)

The flowers begin in Spring in most climates and continue right through mid-fall, soaking up the heat and sun in any well-drained garden soil. Cosmos is a fine choice for the vegetable patch, too; a member of the Aster family, it does a good job of repelling "bad bugs" and attracting beneficial insects and wasps to help your veggies grow and bloom their best.

Double Click comes to us from France, and we feel lucky indeed to be able to offer it to this season.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tiger's Tips for March

Tiger has been busy not just at the nursery but outside doing a pretty large landscape job downtown yet he still has time to give us his tips for the month.
This is a good month to pay attention to your houseplants. It may have been awhile since you've repotted them so be sure to check and see if now is the time. Also feed them and consider adding a systemic for houseplants to keep those pesky little critters in check.
With temperatures warming watch for slugs & snails on your new plantings, Sluggo is an organic way to control them.

Pick up shamrocks for your St. Patrick parties or office gifts.

If you've been thinking of raised bed gardening come in and see our garden boxes which we have planted up. We offer these boxes unassembled or for a minimal fee we can assemble and deliver them to your home.

Gift yourself a gift on the first day of spring, March 20th plant a new flower. One that I am beginning to enjoy more each year is the Arctotis, African Daisy. A native to South Africa and North Angola these showy perennial plants are noted for their bright colored blooms. They enjoy a dry spot in the gawith full sun and cool nights. These flowers really show their beauty in the sunlight, then as they begin to seed they will curve their flowerhead down. Once the seeds are ready to be blown away by the wind they will stand up straight and release big fluffy seeds into the air. During this month and again in the summer fertilize with EB Stone Ultra Bloom, you will be richly rewarded with beautiful blooms and lush growth plus birds and other wildlife will enrich your landscape.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Peek into 2012 Rose Introductions

Want a peek into new roses for 2012? We have four that will be coming into bloom as we get warmer weather. One of the roses speaks of weather....

Stormy Weather:(PPAF) Hues of stormy blue flash from the depths of mysterious deep smokey purple blooms, the reverse side of the petals touched with lightning bolts of cloudy white for added special effects. The big clusters of double blossoms are set against loads of gray-green leaves that stay clean and attractive due to very good disease resistance. A dramatic rose for display- ing against light colored backgrounds or for contrasting with brightly hued annuals and perennials. Flower Size: 3-1/2 to 4-1/2". Fragrance: Moderate spice. Hybridizer: Orard, 2012.

How do you like your latte? Koko Loko might fit into your garden with it's milky chocolate buds opening into a soft lavender. Long lasting on the bush and in
your vase, fragrance is mild.

Now if you are looking for something that shouts Hello Look at Me! than All a Twitter is your miniature rose. The sparkling orange blooms stand out against the deep glossy green leaves.

The one I am really looking forward to is Sugar Moon, this rose will glow like the moon and the fragrance is why I believe we have roses. Intense true rose fragrance, it is a repeat bloomer and disease resistant.

Monday, February 21, 2011

South African necklace

When we went to South Africa a few years back my best friend who loves to shop brought back some of these really funky necklaces. You can put them together, twist them or wear them straight. We have them for sale at Mission Hills Nursery, once you've played with them you will need to have one or 2 or 3 for yourself. I was at a Christmas party one year wearing 2 when a woman came up to me and really really liked them, I took them off and gave them to her. A nice surprise gift for her.

Nature's Perfume

When walking through your neighborhood or even in your own backyard are there some days and evenings you are greeted by a lovely fragrance? Nature's perfume is there to be enjoyed by us and all of God's creations. I found this quote today and wanted to share it with you as I believe many days the flowers are singing to us and showing their delight through their fragrances.

Perfumes are the feelings of flowers. ~Heinrich Heine, The Hartz Journey