Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Silverberry

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 26, 2015 11:48:12 AM

Our Plant Pick of the Week: Silverberry


Silverberry (Elaeagnus 'Olive Martini') is an evergreen shrub which lends a subtle, understated elegance to the landscape. Its deep green foliage is rimmed with gold and covered in a soft silvery blush, which entices visitors to pause and admire its unusual beauty. In the fall, you might be lucky enough to catch a whiff of its inconspicuous flowers in bloom, which smell somewhat like Gardenias. 

Jan_Elaeagnus-060019-editedThough some species of Silverberry produce edible fruit, this cultivar is grown for its unusual foliage color and incredible drought tolerance. Reaching 10-15 feet high and wide, it is an excellent screening shrub to cover up an unsightly fence or provide you with privacy from adjacent houses.

It's Jan's plant pick-of-the-week because:

"The silvery-green foliage with just a hint of gold tends to pick up golden hues in surrounding plants, making them seem brighter."










Silverberry is a great alternative to thirsty screening shrubs and a great choice for the  CA Landscape 2.0

Topics: Privacy Trees & Shrubs, Waterwise, Fragrant Plants, Drought Resistant, Low Water Plants

What is WUCOLS?

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on May 22, 2015 12:34:00 PM

Nerium_petite_pilar_Salmon_001-465159-editedWUCOLS (Water Use Classification of Landscape Species) is a database of common landscape plants classified by their water needs in the main climactic regions of California.

Assembled by UC Davis, the California Center for Urban Horticulture and the California Department of Water Resources, WUCOLS is organized specifically to educate consumers about the water needs of the most common landscape plants available in nurseries. 

Only 1% of plants have been scientifically researched to determine their exact water needs, so WUCOLS utilizes the knowledge of experienced horticulturists throughout the state for the most accurate evaluation of the plants within each region. 

In the WUCOLS classification system, California is broken up into six distinct climactic regions:

  • North Central Coastal
  • Central Valley
  • South Coastal
  • South Inland Valley
  • High and Intermediate Desert
  • Low Desert

Each one of these regions is assigned to a committee of horticulturists, who test established specimens of plants in that region to determine what the ideal water requirements are for optimal health, appearance and growth. The plants are then categorized as having High, Moderate, Low, or Very Low water needs.

WaterWonk is a free website that allows users to search for plants by water needs specific to their region according to WUCOLS and then see the photos of the plants through Flickr. 

Green Acres Nursery & Supply offers a wide selection of the plants listed. Please check our stores for current availability. 

Elk Grove: 916.714.5600   Folsom: 916.358.9099   Roseville: 916.782.2273   Sacramento: 916.381.1625

Learn about another local water-wise resource, the WPA Rock Garden, which is a landmark garden known for its water efficiency.

Topics: Waterwise, Drought Resistant, Drought Tolerant

Be Water-Wise – Take Advantage of Water-Saving Rebates

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Apr 24, 2015 5:32:00 PM

Get the Most out of Your District's Water-Saving Programs*


Did you know that many local water districts offer free surveys and rebates on water-saving tools for homeowners? Check out the list below for info on outdoor residential water-saving rebate opportunities. 

If you don't know who your water provider is, check out the Regional Water Authority's website

UPDATE: As of 5/13/15, the city of Folsom is offering rebates.

California American Water

  • Residential Landscape Survey
  • Large Landscape Survey
  • Weather-based Irrigation Controller
  • Lawn Replacement Rebates
  • Converting old spray heads to high-efficiency nozzles

Carmichael Water District 

  • Single Family Exterior Survey
  • Large Landscape Survey
  • Irrigation Efficiency Survey

Citrus Heights Water District 

  • Single Family Exterior Survey
  • Large Landscape Survey
  • Irrigation Efficiency Survey

City of Folsom 

  • Lawn Replacement Rebates
  • Irrigation Efficiency Rebates

City of Roseville

  • Landscape Evaluations
  • Lawn Replacement Rebates
  • Timer Replacement Rebates

Up to $100 rebate when you upgrade your irrigation system with efficient parts and more. Click here for details.

City of Sacramento 

  • Single Family Exterior Survey
  • Large Landscape Survey
  • Lawn Replacement Rebates

City of Woodland 

  • Mulch Rebates
  • Rain Barrel Rebates
  • Weather-Based Irrigation Controller

El Dorado Irrigation District 

  • Weather-Based irrigation Controller

Irrigation efficiency upgrades including:

  • Converting old spray heads to high-efficiency nozzles
  • Converting fixed spray heads to drip irrigation
  • Improving existing drip systems
  • Replacing leaking control valve(s)

Elk Grove Water District 

  • Landscape Irrigation Reviews

Fair Oaks Water District 

  • Landscape Irrigation Reviews

Golden State Water Company 

  • Weather based irrigation Controllers
  • Converting old spray heads to high-efficiency nozzles

Orange Vale Water Agency 

  • Single Family Exterior Survey
  • Large landscape Survey

Placer County Water Agency 

  • Single Family Exterior Survey
  • Lawn Replacement Rebates
  • Large Landscape Survey

Rancho Murieta C.S.D

  • Weather Based Irrigation Controllers
  • Converting old spray heads to high-efficiency nozzles
  • Installing a drip system

Sacramento County Water Agency 

  • Single Family Exterior Survey
  • Large Landscape Survey

Sacramento Suburban Water District 

  • Single Family Exterior Survey
  • Large Landscape Survey

San Juan Water District 

  • Single Family Exterior Survey
  • Weather Based Irrigation Controllers
  • Replacing spray irrigation with a drip system
  • Improving exsisting drip systems

*Most districts have an application process for rebates. Click on your district for more information. 

Learn about water-wise gardening solutions offered by Green Acres Nursery & Supply.


Topics: Drought Resistant

Looking for Lawn Substitutes? We Have Ideas...

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Aug 14, 2014 2:31:00 PM

Now that the drought has done a number on our lawns, what are the choices for long-term water savings?

house with deadlawn 

Mandatory water restrictions put landscapes a little lower on list of priorities. Most of us enjoy a lush landscape, so it’s good to know water restrictions don't make it impossible to create a very functional and enjoyable garden space without lawn. While so many gardeners are faced with replacing dead lawns this fall, it’s probably a prudent time to consider other options.

There are endless possibilities for lawn substitutes, and making the change is easy to do.
Take a look at a few of the options we suggest for long-term water savings:
The popularity of edible gardens has grown substantially in recent years, often taking the stage in front landscapes. The average gardener waters their tomato plants a little bit every day. Did you know a tomato planted in the ground prefers water just a couple of times a week in the height of the Sacramento summer? Most fruiting plants enjoy a deep soaking occasionally.


Vegetable gardens and fruit trees with mulch or traffic-friendly groundcovers make beautiful landscapes with the benefits of some shade, a variety of edibles, and considerable water savings. 

describe the imagetomatodescribe the image   

Citrus and fruit trees are notable accents to an edible garden. A not-so-well-known fact is both are quite drought tolerant once established. Whether you enjoy oranges, apples, Australian finger limes or Jujube’s, the options and combinations are endless.  

Groundcovers and Sub-Shrubs 
Groundcovers are some of the more obvious choices for lawn replacements. They are best
suited for areas where there is light foot-traffic. Mix with a permeable surface, such as decomposed granite, gravel for paths. Sub-shrubs are placed where there is no traffic. They make the perfect filler for large areas.

California natives are high on the list of recommendations, although there are a number of non-native options. The benefit to natives is their built-in tolerance to the soils and water conditions in our area. Local wildlife thrives amongst native habitats. 

California Natives Make Drought Gardening Easy and Beautiful 

  • California Wild Lilac (Ceanothus) ‘Carmel Creeper’ and ‘Centennial’ are two evergreen varieties that spread and stay fairly low. Blue flowers come in spring and bees love it!
  • Manzanita (Arctostaphylos) ‘Emerald Carpet’ and ‘Massachusetts’ have pinkish white blooms that develop in spring. The dark green foliage contrasts well with dark red stems. 
  • California Fuchsia (Zauschneria californica) comes in a few varieties that
    fit the bill for sun/part-shade, summer to fall bloom, and, the hummingbirds love them.
  • Ornamental Strawberry (Fragaria) is a tight, very low perennial groundcover for rock gardens and slopes. 
  • Dwarf Coyote Bush (Baccharis pililaris ‘Pidgeon Point’) is an evergreen sub-shrub that grows to about a foot tall, but spreads wide. Ideal for slopes!
Zauschneria californica 'Olbrich Silver' 3Baccharis pilularisArctostaphylos x coloradoensis Panchito 2 D. Winger

Non-Native Groundcovers Well-Suited for the Sacramento Area
  • Thyme is an aromatic groundcover with varieties that are perfect for
    areas with foot traffic. Try 'Elfin' for a very tight cover, or a number varieties of Creeping Thyme between pavers. 
  • Sedum ‘Angelina’, ‘Dragons Blood’, and ‘Ogon’ offer color interest and require low water. 
  • Senecio ‘Dwarf Blue Chalks’ can add fun contrast and texture. Mature size is 1'x2'. Minimal water is required for this succulent, shrubby perennial.
thyme on paversSedum rupestre %27Angelina%27dwarf blue chalks
Red maple
Trees are a Critical Part of a Water-Wise Landscape
Plant trees for reduced temperatures and cooler soil. Once established, many trees require less frequent watering. The cooler soil temperatures will benefit everything planted in the soil below. 
  • ‘October Glory’ Maple  
    One of the most desired maples, with dark green leaves in spring, turning radiant red in late fall. A fast-grower with a mature size of 45'x30'. It provides a beautiful shade canopy for larger landscapes.
  • ‘Pacific Sunset’ Maple 
    A maple hybrid, its smaller size and tolerance for urban conditions makes this tree perfect for patios or small yards. Mature size is 25'x25'. Initially, it requires moderate to regular water but is drought tolerant once established.
  • ‘Emerald Sunshine’ Elm  
    This Elm variety is highly resistant to disease. Its vase shape is well-suited for a street or landscape accent tree. Mature size is 35' x 25'. Deep green leaves turn to yellow in the fall. 
  • Arbutus 'Marina' (Strawberry Tree)
    A one-of-a-kind evergreen tree. The mahogany bark peels back to reveal a cinnamon bark in the summer. Clusters of urn-shaped flowers draw hummingbirds, followed by bright orange-red fruit. Its mature size is 25'x25' and requires very little water once established. An eye-catching tree for smaller areas.
Strawberry Tree

California Natives

Low Water Plants

Topics: Native Plants, California Native Plants, Smartscape, Waterwise, Sacramento Low Water Plants, Edibles, Drought Resistant, Reduce Water Costs, Water Rebates

WPA Rock Garden is a Local Waterwise Landmark

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jul 7, 2014 5:07:00 PM

WPA Rock Garden 1 resized 600

WPA (Work Progress Administration) Rock Garden began as a depression era project, completed in 1940 and is still thriving today over 70 years later. 

The WPA Rock Garden is located approximately 200 yards west of the Sacramento Zoo in William Land Park. It is truly a gem! Not to mention a wonderful destination for any Sacramento garden enthusiast, especially those interested in waterwise plants.

The one acre garden is comprised of 37 beds containing trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants that perform well in the Sacramento Mediterranean climate. To fully appreciate the garden, it is recommended to visit it frequently as different plants bloom throughout the year. Best blooming time is from late January thru May. The WPA Rock Garden is full of water-wise plants that flourish with little summer watering. The garden has always been a role model of water efficiency.

daisy mah

The lady behind the magic…

Daisy Mah (pictured left*) – nurtured the garden from May 1986 until October 2013.  Many people call it Daisy’s garden since she planted most of the plants that made it the botanical wonder that it is today. Daisy started many of the plants from seeds that she cultivated in her own backyard. When Daisy took over the garden in 1986 it was in severe disrepair. 

The WPA Rock Garden was overrun by invasive groundcovers like Algerian Ivy, Vinca Major and Hypericum. It was quite an ordeal getting the garden in shape and removing all the invasive groundcovers and weeds. Daisy consulted various seed catalogues, local nurseries, as well as nurseries from around the world looking for interesting specimens. The garden now is chock full of interesting and rare plants. One example is a massive Bunya Bunya Tree (Araucaria) that Daisy planted from a seed cone given to her by a friend. One of Daisy’s prized possessions is a Cashmere Cypress that she also grew from seed. This Cypress is stately and looks like a weeping Italian Cypress. This tree is so rare in fact, that it would be difficult to find another one of these particular Cypress throughout the entire U.S.

Daisy retired in October 2013.  Duane Goosen, a well-known Sacramento City Arborist, took over the garden maintenance when Daisy retired. The garden continues to flourish with Duane’s expertise in pruning and horticulture. Daisy visits the garden regularly and offers Duane guidance as he familiarizes himself with his daily chores of maintenance. Daisy plans to return part time to the gardens. We are certain that both the garden and Daisy will continue to shine on.

The WPA Rock Garden is a living piece of history free to the public and open every day. Be sure and bring your camera and imagination along to capture the unique beauty of the WPA garden!

Enjoy these goregous photos from the garden earlier this spring.

water wise plants

flowering trees

water wise plants

water wise plants

water wise plants

*Photo of Daisy Mah credited to Inside Publications 

Topics: Waterwise, Drought Resistant, Sacramento Gardening

7 Incredible Deer Resistant & Water-Wise Plants for Sacramento

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on May 20, 2014 4:01:00 PM

If you live in the outlying areas of Sacramento or Placer Counties you might encounter the cute, but ever menacing deer destroying your landscape. What do you do?  

Well, there are plants that are considered deer resistant. These are plants that are less appealing to deer because of foliage texture, color, or smell. As a rule of thumb deer are deterred specifically by silver colored foliage along with pungent or fragrant foliage. 

In addition to the issue with deer, you want to be a responsible homeowner in light of the drought. You might be wondering your options for plants are both deer resistant and water-wise?  How to put these two problems into harmony, you ask?  We can help!

Deer Resistant & Water-Wise Plants for Sacramento 

deer resistant and water-wise shrub
This evergreen, carefree, Mediterranean native shrub is covered with flowers from spring to early summer.  They add texture and subtle color to any landscape.  Excellent plant on hillsides for erosion control. 

allen chickering cleveland sage resized 600 
Also known as California Blue sage, this is a native to Southern & Baja California.  Grey-green leaves with pale blue to lavender flowers.  Flowers & foliage are deliciously fragrant!  Growing 3-5' tall and 5-8' wide.

deer resistant and water-wise plants
Few plants are as strongly identified with fragrance and color as lavender.  Useful as a boarder edging or in herb gardens or as an informal hedge.  Plants thrive in full sun with no more than moderate watering.

deer resistant and water-wise plants
This dwarf, non-fruiting olive has a graceful, multi-branching habit.  Get the beauty of the traditional olive and it's silvery-green foliage without the mess.  Attractive choice for hedges or as a trained topiary.  Growing 4-6' tall and wide at maturity.

deer resistant and water-wise
This easy-to grow and beautiful perennial has upright bright yellow flower clusters spring and summer.  Attractive choice for flower borders.  Foliage grows 18-24" tall and wide.

coprosma tequila sunrise 
Also known as the Mirror Plant, this is one of our favorite shrubs.  Evergreen shrub with exceptionally interesting foliage.  The leaves stay glossy and depending on the variety there are a drastic difference in foliage.  'Rainbow Surprise' is a variety with green and white variegated leaves tinged with gold and pink.  Or the ever-popular 'Tequila Sunrise' (pictured) has foliage that literally looks like colored gemstones!  New foliage on this variety emerges emerald green and gold, and mature leaves are marbled with gold and orange hues.  Spectacular!

deer resistant and water-wise plants
Not to be confused with the lavender mentioned above, this plant displays small, bright yellow flowers in summer.  With silvery-fragrant foliage and a neat mounding habit it is a perfect choice for borders or walkways. 
Want more water-wise tips for your yard?  

Saving H2O in the Landscape


Topics: Fragrant Plants, Drought Resistant, Deer Resistant

Our Favorite California Native Plants

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Mar 25, 2014 2:13:00 PM

If you're rethinking your yard for water efficiency, it helps to know your natives.  Native plants, that is!  There are over 5,000 species of plants that are native to California.  Of those, over 2,000 are endemic, meaning they aren't found anywhere else in the world.

Why grow California natives?

  • They are tough.
    • Plants that are native to California are perfectly adapted to our climate, including our long, hot, and dry summers.
  • They are easy.
    • These plants require very little maintenance and add to the natural beauty of your landscape.
  • They are drought resistant.
    • Once established, they are low water plants, saving you money and conserving water.
  • They attract native pollinators and beneficial insects.
    • Providing food and habitat for native insects is the cornerstone of integrated pest management, and is the best way to build a healthy organic garden. 

The following is a small sampling of gorgeous, tried and true native perennials which have earned their place in our nursery, and in your garden!*

Check out our California Native Landscape 2.0 design for ideas

California Native Plants for Sacramento 


 low water plant


Red Buckwheat

Eriogonum grande var. rubescens

This compact beauty only grows one foot tall by three feet wide, and is covered in clusters of reddish-pink blooms summer through fall. It provides food for bees and butterflies and in addition is deer resistant.







 low water plant


Penstemon ‘Margarita B.O.P.’

Penstemon heterophyllus ‘Margarita B.O.P.’

The flowers of this penstemon can be sky blue or violet purple, or both at the same time! This dreamy perennial grows only two feet tall and wide. It is very attractive to hummingbirds and bees, and will bloom continuously spring through summer if trimmed back occassionally.







 low water plant 



Cleveland Sage

Salvia clevelandii

This evergreen shrub grows four-to-five feet high and wide and it’s greyish-green leaves emit a strong herbal aroma. Blooming in late spring and early summer, spikes punctuated with whorls of tubular blue flowers beckon hummingbirds, bees and butterflies to your garden. Deer resistant!







low water plant




California Fuchsia

Epilobium canum (Zauschneria californica)

Bearing little resemblance to other varieties of fuchsia, CA fuchsia is by far prettier, tougher, and more irresistible to hummingbirds! It forms a soft mound of grey-green foliage, topped with tons of striking red-orange tubular flowers summer through fall. Reaching about three-to-four feet high and four-to-five feet wide, it is a great choice to plant en masse on dry slopes. Deer resistant!







*Inventory levels are subject to change, please call stores for current availability


Drought Tolerant Plants

Do you like butterflies?  Learn even more ways to bring them in your yard.

Become a Monarch Waystation  


Topics: Native Plants, California Native Plants, Sacramento Low Water Plants, Drought Resistant, Planning Your Landscape, Low Water Plants, Beneficial Insects

Smartscaping Plants- Part 2

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 9, 2013 4:22:00 PM

If you joined us for part one  you know that now-a-days there are lots of  of smartscaping plants to choose from. Thanks to new introductions of plants from all around the world, Californians have access to a plethora of new water-wise AND good looking plants. Join us for part 2 to learn about more of these drought tolerant gems.


Shark Bay Boronia

Boronia crenulata ‘Shark Bay’

This Australian native is a dense, compact dwarf shrub with small green licorice-scented leaves.  It has dainty pink flowers bloom year round. 

Plant Highlights:

  • Low maintenance, requires little pruning.    
  • Prefers sun or part shade.  Good choice for containers.
  • Needs regular watering weekly or more often in extreme heat until established.  
  • Hardy to 20-25 degrees. 
  • Grows 2-4 feet all by 2-4 feet wide. 

Wooly Blue Curls

Trichostema lanatum

A native to California!  This plant has narrow aromatic leaves that are shiny green above and wooly white underneath with 1 foot long clusters of fuzzy blue flowers that bloom in spikes from May-August.

Plant Highlights:

  • Perfect for using as cut flowers. 
  • Plant attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. 
  • This plant needs full sun and good drainage. 
  • Cold tolerant to 10 degrees.
  • Grows 4 feet by 4 feet.

Mexican Marigolds

Tagestes lemmonii

Shrub grows 4-6 feet high by 6-10 feet wide. Leaves become aromatic when brushed against or windblown.  Foliage scent is a cross between lemon and mint. Beautiful yellow orange flowers resemble marigold blooms. 

Plant Highlights:

  • This plant will grow in very hot and dry locations.  
  • The Mexican Marigold is deer resistant.  
  • It is great for rock gardens and container gardening.

Topics: Smartscape, Waterwise, Drought Resistant, Veggies and Herbs

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