Our Plant Pick: Camellias

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Nov 10, 2016 10:11:24 AM

Our Plant Pick: Camellias

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Camellias are a hardy evergreen shrub native to eastern and southern Asia. They have a long history of cultivation there, as the leaves of one species - Camellia sinensis - are harvested to produce tea. Ornamental varieties such as the Japanese (Camellia japonica) and Sun (Camellia sasanqua) are commonly found in the United States, although there is nothing common about the beauty and diversity offered by this flowering shrub. 

GA_FOL_Janet-Camellia-s-WEB-658155-edited.jpgCamellia flowers come in six forms: anemone, formal double, peony, rose-form double, semi-double and single. These flowers come in white, pink, red or a combination thereof resulting in dozens of unique varieties. Sacramento is the Camellia Capital of the World, if you walk around the grid this winter you may be graced by the sight of 15-foot-tall camellia shrubs in bloom, some of them over 100 years old.

Despite their delicate appearance, Camellias are actually very resilient. They thrive in our climate when planted in rich, acidic soil with afternoon shade. Starting in late summer, fertilize with a low nitrogen fertilizer such as E.B. Stone Ultra Bloom to encourage cold hardiness and maximum flowering. Clean up flowers that have fallen to reduce your risk of petal blight, a fungal disease which causes rust-colored spots on petals. After bloom, prune to shape and fertilize again with E.B. Stone Azalea & Camellia food. 

Janet's plant pick is Camellias because:

"The sasanqua varieties start blooming in the fall, and then the japonicas go all the way through spring, keeping color in the garden all winter long."

Are you looking to keep your garden colorful this season? Check out some cool-season container ideas  Winter Container Ideas

 

Topics: Fall Shrubs, Winter, Flowers, Shrubs, Planting Ideas, Flowers for Shade, Camellias

Challenge Your Gardening Status Quo with 5 Bulb Recipes

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 25, 2016 12:04:21 PM

Every spring and fall bulbs arrive, and not to brag, but we've been told by our bulb suppliers that we have the most extensive bulb selection on the West Coast. Right in your own backyard, Sacramento.    

Bulbs...they are lumpy, bumpy, and downright ugly sometimes. But once planted under six inches of soil, add a little water, sunshine, and time, these bulbs turn into something magical. The flowers grown from bulbs brighten your garden and your spirits to let you know spring is on its way. 

If you are a novice gardener, you may not know there are two seasons to plant bulbs. First, fall bulb planting season is the end of August- November. If planted correctly, fall bulbs will bloom in late winter or early Spring. And, they are the most popular, probably because they include very recognizable varities like Tulips, Daffodils & Irises. Secondly, spring bulbs are planted in late winter and bloom in early summer.     

daydream_tulip_from_the_biking_gardener-783626-edited.jpgLet's talk fall bulbs in three settings. Once you choose your desired setting, you can pick one of our bulb recipes for a perfect fall planting weekend project.

Settings:

  • Plant bulbs in a container and plant winter annuals right on top of the bulbs. That way, you don't have to stare at bare soil for five months. As the plants emerge, they will compliment the colorful annuals and create a beautiful bouquet-filled container.
  • Plant bulbs within your borders, or intermixed with other perennials and shrubs for added color in spring.
  • Planting a container of 100% bulbs. You could tuck this container out of the way until they start blooming.  

 


Bulb Recipes

1. 'Daydream' Hybrid Tulips + Forget-me-nots

Hybrid tulips are the tallest and largest flowering tulips.  Best for cutting! The 'Daydream' Tulip opens yellow to orange. It pairs incredibly well with the vibrant blue of Forget-me-nots. With Hybrid Tulips, they need to be chilled in order to bloom. In our mild climate, it doesn't get cold enough for long enough, so pop these in the fridge for six weeks before planting.

2. 'Blue Parrot' Tulip + Purple Violas

Parrot Tulips are known for their spectacular ruffled and feathery edges. The 'Blue Parrot' tulip has mauve-ish blue flowers and 18" long stems. Try planting bulbs shoulder to shoulder in a 16-18" pot. Or plant them with a little more space in between and then plant those purple violas right on top! Come spring, your container will beshutterstock_187005626 red white tulip muscari pot container CUST-299504-edited.jpg overflowing with blooms.

3. Narcissus 'Salome' + Frostkiss 'Penny's Pink' Hellebore

Narcissus (Daffodil) 'Salome' is in one of the most popular classes of daffodils because of it's large, vibrant center cups. Narcissus is a welcome addition to borders, beds, containers, rock gardens, under deciduous trees and natural areas in the landscape. It's recommended to plant in groupings of at least six bulbs together to make an impact. Plant near a front door with a grouping of Narcissus 'Salome' with Frostkiss 'Penny's Pink' Hellebore for a stunning combination.

4. White Ranunculus + White Tulips + Grape Hyacinth

We got the recipe inspiration from wedding bouquets. There is something so pristine and fresh about pairing these flowers together. If mixing in a border, be sure to plan the Tulips in the back, the Ranunculus in the middle and the Grape Hyacinth (Muscari) in the foreground. You won't be disappointed with this recipe, especially if you like to cut for indoor bouquets.

shutterstock_424547380 daffodil tete bike tulip CUST-679284-edited.jpg5. 'Earl of Essex' Bearded Iris + Columbine + Lupine

The 'Early of Essex' Bearded Iris considered a "tall" Bearded Iris and is actually reblooming. Fun, right!? It's clean white petals are veined on the edges with violet markings and have a gentle and slight ruffling. Plant Columbine and Lupine next to your Bearded Iris for a look that is very much akin to being in a natural woodland setting. We love all the textures involved! This planting recipe would be best for a garden border.

These different recipes can be a jumping-off point for you to get out of the gardening rut of planting the same old things each year. Expand your horizons, grow as a gardener, and plant some bulbs this fall. A special thank you to Sunset Western Garden for bulb recipe inspiration.

 



Start your bulb garden this fall and when you least expect it...in the middle of winter these little bulbs with brighten up your garden and be a ray of sunshine for all who see them. Visit any of our store locations in Sacramento for hands-on help choosing bulbs. Happy planting!

 

Geek out on specific plant information for Irises, Tulips & Daffodils!

More About Bulbs  

Photo Credit: 'Daydream' Tulip from The Biking Gardener I  thebikinggardener.com 


 

Topics: Flowers, Cut Flower Garden, Bulbs, planting recipes, fall planting

Why Pollinators are the Bomb

Posted by Kellie Natoli on Jun 24, 2016 2:11:08 PM

We've spent this week celebrating pollinators...  

Birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles, and other small mammals that pollinate plants are included in this group of amazing beings.  Thank you for your enthusiasm celebrating National Pollinator Week from June 20- June 24, 2016.  In case you missed it, learn why we think so highly of pollinators.

The main reasons why pollinators are the bomb:

  • Pollinators provide pollination services to over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1200 crops.  That means pollinators are responsible for 1 out of 3 bites of food we take each day. 
  • Pollinating animals travel from plant to plant carrying pollen on their bodies in a vital interaction that allows the transfer of genetic material critical to the reproductive system of most flowering plants.
  • Pollinators provide pollination services to over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1200 crops.
  • If we want to talk dollars and cents, pollinators add 217 billion dollars to the global economy.
  • Honey bees alone are responsible for between 1.2 and 5.4 billion dollars in agricultural productivity in the United States.
  • Pollinators support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils, protect from sever weather, and support other wildlife.

 

Enjoy these photos of beautiful pollinators throughout our nursery.
#pollinatorweek #pollination #Sacramentonursery


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The infamous Buckeye Butterfly.  One of the most prominent and common butterflies in Sacramento.  They keep our gardens pretty and our tomato plants producing fruit.  

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One of the beetles that pollinates...a lady beetle or lady bug to be exact.  Did you know that lady beetles also eat aphids?  They can eat upwards of 100 aphids per day!  

 

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This photo was snapped by one of our favorite patio personnel, Deborah at our Elk Grove store.  She has a keen eye for insects, since her background is in entomology.

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 Yes, according to the Native Bee Conservancy, even frogs can be considered pollinators.  Do you see him?  Hopping from one plant to another he deposits pollen can be a pollinating powerhouse.

 

Butterfly.jpg

 

Butterfly on, that's right, you guessed it, BUTTERFLY Bush!  Any variety of Buddleia is a butterfly magnet.  Buddleia = Butterflies

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And of course the most popular type of pollinator, the bee.  First stop, hydrangea, and hopefully it's next stop is our veggie garden.

 


Thanks for celebrating National Pollinator Week with us this week.  We hope that you learned a thing or two about these beautiful and essential creatures in our habitat.  Without them, we'd surely be hungry, or at least lack much of the variety of fruits and veggies available to us in California.  

If you already have a pollinator habitat, consider registering it with the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge to help the cause.  If you would like more pollinators in your yard, next time you're thinking of what to plant, give a nod to a pollinator and plant something to keep them coming back.  
 

Interested in plants that attract pollinators seasonally?
download our guide!

 

Pollinator Plants



 **Credits**
Thank you to Pollinator.org for some interesting statistics about pollinators.  Thank you to Ashley and Deborah from our stores for your stellar photos.

Topics: Flowers, Butterflies, pollinators, Bees, Million Pollinator Garden Challenge

Our Plant Pick: Columbine

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Apr 13, 2016 6:18:56 PM

Our Plant Pick: Columbine
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Columbine (Aquilegia spp) is truly a perennial for the birds. It's botanical name comes from the Latin word aquila, which means eagle, referring to the flower's spurs which resemble an eagle's talons. It's common name is derived from the Latin word columba, meaning dove, as the inverted flowers of certain varieties resemble five doves huddled together. Finally, the beautifully spurred petals of this perennial are loaded with nectar, making them irresistible to hummingbirds. 

Nate_Aquilegia-158903-edited.jpgColumbines are happiest when nestled in dappled shade or morning sun; they're not suited to afternoon sun in the Sacramento Valley. Reaching only about 1-2' high and wide, they're excellent for filling a spring pot-up, or tucked into a shady bed. They can be found in a myriad of colors, and even when they aren't in bloom, their delicate foliage lends textural interest to the garden. Their best quality has to be the beneficial wildlife they attract- from hummingbirds to butterflies, very few pollinators can resist the charm of this whimsical woodland plant. 

It's Nate's plant pick because:

"It's very versatile, you can grow it in a container or in the ground and it's a hummingbird magnet!"

Want to make friends with small-winged wildlife? 

Appealing to Pollinators

Topics: Flowers, Container Ideas, Hummingbirds, Butterflies

Our Plant Pick: Flowering Dogwoods

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Mar 31, 2016 1:33:01 PM

Our Plant Pick: Flowering Dogwoods

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Flowering Dogwoods (Cornus florida) are small, deciduous trees with an elegant broadly pyramidal crown. In their natural environment on the east coast of North America, they are considered to be an "understory tree", meaning they grow beneath the dappled shade of taller trees in the woods. In our climate, they require afternoon shade, and prefer well-mulched, slightly acidic soil.

Carly_Dogwood-262330-edited.jpgDogwoods are slow-growing, eventually reaching 15-30 feet tall. Every spring before leaf-out, the branches are nearly obscured by showy flower bracts in pink or white. The true flowers are small, but the bracts which surround them can last for weeks, making these show-stopping trees truly worth the wait. The flowers, which are extremely enticing to butterflies, are followed by small red fruit which is adored by songbirds. It's Carly's plant pick because:

"I just can't wait for these to bloom every year. I love to pass by them in the nursery and stop to admire the enchanting flowers."

 

 Did you Know? Flowering Dogwoods are ideal companions to Japanese Maples in the landscape.   Our Favorite Japanese Maples

Topics: Flowers, Butterflies, Japanese Maples, Flowering Dogwoods

Our Plant Pick: Forsythia

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Mar 2, 2016 5:24:34 PM

Our Plant Pick: Forsythia

Forsythia_I._Lynwood_Gold_01-553637-edited.jpg

Forsythia falls into the category of plants which are show-stoppers only once a year, but they are very worth the wait. In late winter to early spring, you may start to notice them burst forth from dormancy in a flurry of brilliant yellow fringed flowers which spring directly from the branch. 

SandyForsythia-386565-edited.jpgThe rest of the year they take the form of an unassuming upright shrub with bright green foliage. Water wise, easy to grow and relatively low maintenance, forsythia makes an excellent hedge for a sunny spot. The variety pictured 'Lynwood Gold' reaches about seven feet tall by four to six feet wide, but there are dwarf varieties such as  'Show Off® Sugar Baby' which stay two to three feet high and wide. 

It's Sandy's plant pick because:

"It's so showy! Plus you can cut the branches when they're budded and bring them inside to bloom."

 

 

 

 

For more low water landscape ideas, check out our design ideas for California Landscape 2.0.
  CA Landscape 2.0  

Topics: Waterwise, Flowers, Shrubs, Low maintenance

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Wallflower

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Nov 23, 2015 12:18:13 PM

Our Plant Pick of the Week: Wallflower

Per-Erysimum_l._Bowles_Mauve_01-080622-edited.jpg

Wallflower (Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve') is an evergreen perennial for sun which forms a compact clump of cool gray-green foliage. The variety pictured bears short stalks topped clusters of petite purple flowers, and blooms most heavily in spring and fall in the central valley. In mild climates, it can bloom profusely nearly year-round, and its dense foliage and short stature make a wonderful informal hedge. 

RayWallflower-588202-edited.jpgReaching only about 18-24 inches high by 12-18 inches wide, Wallflowers are excellent for container culture. They can be found in a variety of colors such as orange, yellow, pink and sometimes combinations of all three. Many cultivars have a sweet-spicy fragrance, reminiscent of Stock or Dianthus. If all of that isn't enough to persuade you to give them a try, Wallflowers are also drought tolerant , making them an outstanding garden performer well-adapted to our climate. 

They're Ray's pick-of-the-week because:
"This perennial is indestructible! I love it because it's almost always blooming, doesn't need much water and looks good all year."

Looking for more California-friendly plant choices? Get inspiration from our California Landscape 2.0 design templates.

  CA Landscape 2.0

Topics: Flowers, Fall Flowers, Container Ideas, Drought Tolerant

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Gerbera Daisy

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Nov 13, 2015 5:46:20 PM

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Gerber Daisy

Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) is a perennial daisy which forms a clump of bright green foliage, topped by stalks bearing large (3-4") daisy flowers. When it comes to daisies, Gerberas are the top choice due to their incredibly long bloom season and bright, showy blossoms. They can be found in a myriad of colors including pink, orange, red, white and yellow.

Maintaining a compact size of one to two feet high and wide, Gerberas are ideal candidates for container gardening. They perform best when situated in full to partial sun, with good air circulation and drip irrigation. Avoid overhead watering, which can shorten the lifespan of the flower and spread disease. Gerbera flowers last for a long time after being cut, making them an ideal candidate for a bouquet garden. 

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

"Those big, beautiful flowers are like sunshine on a cloudy day and they just keep blooming!"

 

Want some more colorful container gardening ideas? 


Winter Container Garden

Topics: Flowers, Planting Ideas, Container Ideas, Cut Flower Garden

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Calendula

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Nov 6, 2015 5:35:37 PM

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Calendula

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Calendula officinalis, sometimes referred to as Pot Marigold, is a cool-season annual which bears vibrant orange or yellow flowers atop bright green foliage. It's relatively compact at one to two feet high and wide, but is known to free-seed around the garden and pop up unexpectedly. Calendula is a plant with a rich history, having been used as an ingredient in food, medicine and cosmetics for centuries. 

Calendula officinalis, a cool-season annual
Our favorite thing to do with this lovely Marigold-doppelganger is to plant them en masse in a sunny border. Or as a fun container "thriller" paired with Violas and Creeping Wire Vine. Or planted in your cool-season veggie garden to attract beneficial insects. The possibilities are endless for this cheerful, long-blooming, fuss-free, infinitely useful plant!

It's Sarah's pick-of-the-week because:
"Its brilliant orange blossoms never need to be deadheaded and it blooms fall through spring."
Did you know it's not too late to plant delicious winter vegetables such as Kale, Lettuce and Onions? 
Veggie Calendar

 

Topics: What Can I Plant This Season?, Winter, Flowers, Fall Flowers, Beneficial Insects, Container Ideas

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Bush Strawflower

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 15, 2015 3:06:53 PM

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Bush Strawflower

Strawflower_Dreamtime_Jumbo_Yellow_Bracteantha_bracteata-741127-edited

Bush Strawflower (Bracteantha bracteata) is a summer annual or short-lived perennial native to eastern Australia. Probably the most ubiquitous Australian native in California nurseries, Bush Strawflower has earned it's place due to its extremely long-lasting and dramatic blossoms. Its common name is derived from its papery bracts which are shiny and stiff, radiating from the true flowers in the center like everlasting sun rays. 

HeatherBracteantha-642605-editedGenerally reaching 10-14 inches high and wide, Strawflower is the perfect little "filler" for containers or nestled into sunny flower borders. There are a wide range of colors in cultivation, but the most common varieties are bright, warm colors such as red, yellow and orange. Its extreme heat tolerance and low water use makes it a brilliant choice for a summer pot-up, but its flowers will keep blooming all the way up until frost. 

It's Heather's pick-of-the-week because:

"I absolutely love this plant! The flowers are so bright and unusual and they last forever in the full hot sun."

 Want more plants that won't wimp out in the heat? 

Low-Water Plants

 

 

Topics: Waterwise, Flowers, Flowers in the Heat, Summer

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