Our Plant Pick: Maejima Winter Daphne

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Mar 7, 2016 1:27:03 PM

Our Plant Pick: Maejima Winter Daphne 

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Maejima Winter Daphne (Daphne odora 'Maejima') is an evergreen shrub which forms a mound of glossy green foliage rimmed with gold. It has an upright, somewhat open growth habit, reaching about three to four feet high and wide with little pruning needed. It's an underrated problem-solving plant, which tolerates dry shade, is deer resistant and can withstand temperatures all the way down to 0°F. 

MelinaDaphne-272309-edited.jpgPerhaps the most enchanting attribute of this overachieving evergreen is its bloom. In late winter or early spring, clusters of deep pink buds open to reveal highly fragrant white flowers. The flowers may be small, but the fragrance carries- a sweet-spicy perfume reminiscent of ginger and citrus. Requiring afternoon shade and slightly acidic soil, Daphne make nice informal hedges, or even specimen plants in a container. Nestle one in your garden where you can walk past it occasionally and appreciate it's invigorating fragrance announcing the arrival of spring.

It's Melina's plant pick because:

"It looks great year 'round, and the flowers smell phenomenal."

 

Considering re-doing your yard with low water plants? 

Drought Tolerant Plants

 

Topics: Waterwise, Fragrant Plants, Winter, Shrubs, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Low maintenance

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

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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

Our Plant-Pick-of-the-Week: Mediterranean Carpet

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Sep 14, 2015 4:05:13 PM

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Mediterranean Carpet

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Teucrium cossonii majoricum AKA Fruity Teucrium or Mediterranean Carpet is an evergreen perennial with a low, mounded growth habit. It's soft silvery-green foliage smells pleasantly fruity, some liken it to pineapple. It hails from the Mediterranean, where it grows well in full hot sun in rocky, poor soil. Reaching only about 4-6" high by 2-3' wide, Mediterranean Carpet is the perfect small scale groundcover for filling in nooks & crannies in the garden. It requires no pruning, but benefits from the occasional deadheading in order to get the most out of it's extremely long spring-through-fall bloom season. 

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With the demand for low-maintenance low-water and beautiful perennials on the rise, Mediterranean carpet is earning a great reputation among California gardeners. When it's in bloom, which is more often than not, it's foliage is nearly obscured by petite mauve flower clusters.

A boon to a variety of pollinators, Mediterranean Carpet is truly a worthwhile perennial to try as a container "spiller" nestled among drought tolerant perennials or even filling in those awkward spaces between shrubs. 

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

"It's always nice to fall in love with a plant I've never seen before. Water-wise, beautiful and it smells good too!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thinking about re-vamping your garden with water-wise rockstars?
Check out some of our exciting workshops this Fall!

Workshop Calendar

 

Topics: Waterwise, Fragrant Plants, Low maintenance, pollinators

Let's Talk Lavender

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jun 5, 2015 10:59:00 AM

Lavender is one of the most versatile perennials you can grow. It does well in full sun or partial shade, stays green in the winter, blooms spring through fall, is drought tolerant, attracts beneficial insects and thrives in the heat. It also has numerous household uses, from aromatherapy to cocktail infusions. Be careful which varieties you harvest to eat- only Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula x intermedia are edible. 

Lavender_bush-286207-editedCare & Maintenance

  • 4-6 hours of direct sun per day
  • Well-draining soil
  • Low water
  • The essential oils that make lavender so fragrant are mostly concentrated in the leaves. If you want your lavender to have a very strong scent, fertilize sparingly using only organic fertilizers
  • Lavenders will repeat bloom when they are deadheaded, simply shear off the old dried stalks before new ones start to appear
  • Prune to shape in winter to keep them from getting woody in the center

At Green Acres Nursery & Supply, we regularly carry a wide variety of lavandula*. French, Spanish and English are the most common types, with many varieties within those subsections.

 

French Lavender (Lavandula dentataCharacterized by gray-green foliage and serrated leaf margins, french lavender grows about 3' tall by 5' wide and bears tall stalks bearing plump pale purple blossoms. It's fragrance is not as strong as that of the English or Spanish varieties, so it is best used in the landscape. 

'Goodwin Creek'- Most common hybrid of french lavender, dense growth habit and silvery toothed foliage bearing tall stalks topped with elongated violet-blue flower whorls.

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Spanish Lavender (Lavandula stoechas)  One of the more common varieties, it's appearance is distinct from other lavenders, forming a low mound 1-3' tall by 2-3' wide. It's flowers are held close to the foliage, more compressed than most lavender and topped with flag-like petals. Reseeds profusely, deadhead to prevent it from popping up in unexpected places. 

'Otto Quast'- Dwarf variety of the already compact Spanish lavender. Can be kept as small at 1' tall by 2' wide.

'Silver Anouk'- A variety with striking silvery foliage which contrasts nicely with deep purple flowers.

English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) English lavender is the most strongly scented variety available. It tends to form a neat, symmetrical mound of silver-green foliage with tall, elegant stalks bearing slender purple flowers. This variety performs well in the landscape, but it is also great for cooking and aromatherapy. 

'Hidcote'- A compact variety usually only reaching 2' tall by 2' wide. A mound of green foliage is topped with short stalks bearing deep violet-blue flowers. 

'Munstead'- usually only reaching 1-2' tall by 2' wide, bearing medium stalks of bright purple flowers. 

'Thumbelina Leigh'- The tiniest of the English lavenders, reaching only 6" tall by 1' wide. Short stalks bearing compact deep violet flowers. 

lavender_bee-681876-editedHybrid Lavenders (Lavandula x intermedia) Varieties of lavender bred for hardiness and tolerance of humidity. Usually characterized by their branching stems and interrupted flower spikes.

'Dutch'- Forms a mound of gray foliage reaching 3' tall by 2 1/2' wide. Stems branch to narrow, deep violet-blue flower spikes.

'Fred Boutin'- dense silvery gray foliage forms a mound 3-4' tall and wide topped with short spikes bearing violet flowers.

'Grosso'- Compact growth habit to about 3' tall by wide bearing stalks topped with deep violet-blue flower spikes. Grown commercially for its intense fragrance. Great for drying.

'Provence'- To 2' tall by 3' wide, forms a symmetrical mound of silvery-green foliage topped with stalks of light purple flower spikes. Makes a great informal hedge. 

 Now, What to Plant with Your Lavender

Salvia and lavender go together like peanut butter and jelly. Try adding penstemon, coreopsis, and poppies with lavender to bring a variety of color and pollinators to your garden. For a tidier look, you can plant compact lavender with some African daisies, euphorbias, and shrubs like barberry, Indian hawthorn, and 'Golf Ball' pittosporum.

Plant your lavender and join the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge.

Million Pollinator Garden Challenge

Want to learn more about plants that thrive in dry heat?

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* Check stores for current availability

Topics: Fragrant Plants, Edibles, Flowers in the Heat, Beneficial Insects, Drought Tolerant

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 

ROCKROSE
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. 

CLEVELAND SAGE
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.

LAVENDER
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.

'LITTLE OLLIE' DWARF OLIVE
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.

YARROW
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
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!

LAVENDER COTTON
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

Mosquito-Repelling Plants

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on May 1, 2014 4:03:00 PM

Certain times of the year we are bombarded by uninvited guests...mosquitoes. Try repelling them naturally with plants.

All three of these plants are suited to containers. All are available in seed and most are available as starters. Fill any containers you have with good quality potting soil and sow seeds or plant these mosquito repelling gems! Try starting in smaller containers and move them around the yard to wherever you want to enjoy some mosquito-free time.

 

mosquito repelling plants 

Lemon Thyme: 
This staple of the herb garden has many health benefits that also include mosquito control. Thyme is a perennial, so once you've got it started, you'll have it for years to come with proper care. There are several different types of thyme, although, lemon thyme has the reputation of signaling mosquitoes to bug off. 

 Sow and Grow:

  • Thyme seeds are tiny, so they shouldn't be sown too deeply; 1/8" is plenty.
  • Like any other shallow sown seed, keeping the soil moist throughout germination can be tricky. Try sowing the seeds into pre-moistened soil then cover the area or container with clear plastic wrap. As soon as you see green, remove the cover (this works for the rest of the seeds in this article, too).

Basic Care:

  • Thyme likes to grow in full sun, but in the heat of summer, this can be too much in the Sacramento area. 
  • Start by establishing the plants in a flowerpot in partial sun then transplant it during the fall into a sunnier spot.

Catnip: 

Many people grow this ornamental beauty for their feline friends. Some people grow it for teas and its medicinal qualities. Now we can all grow it for its ability to repel mosquitoes. Catnip is also a reliable perennial and will return year after year, like thyme.

 Sow and Grow:

  • Catnip seeds are very tiny. Scratch them gently into pre-moistened soil and keep moist, being careful not to cover too deeply.

mosquito repelling plant

Basic Care:

  • Catnip likes some room to spread out, so plan for about 2' of space for each plant. Also, catnip does grow well in containers, although it will be a smaller plant.
  • Catnip is both a low-water plant and a deer resistant plant.
  • If you have cats, you may want to cover your plants with wire mesh to make sure there is plenty of plant left to deter mosquitoes.

Lime Basil:

This less traditional basil has all the culinary acumen of standard basil with a distinct lime kick. This easy-to-grow annual is suited to almost any garden and is the ire of mosquitoes.

Sow and Grow:

  • Lime basil, like other basil, requires warm soil to germinate. Be sure to sow in a warm spot.

mosquito repelling plant 

Basic Care:

  • Lime basil likes to grow in full sun but will tolerate as little as 4 hours of strong, direct sun a day.
  • Lime basil is great in gardens with well-drained, moist soil and is also great for containers. In either setting, a steady supply of moisture is necessary for peak performance.

 

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Topics: Fragrant Plants, Outdoor Living, Garden Planter, Planting Ideas, Container Ideas, Mosquito Repelling

What's That Beautiful Smell This Fall?

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 7, 2013 10:15:00 AM

Shrubs for Sacramento

An Ode to Osmanthus fragrans

It’s that time of year! The leaves are turning, the weather is cooling, and neighborhoods in Sacramento are once again perfumed by the delicate, fruity scent of our favorite fragrant shrub- Osmanthus fragrans!

Culture

Sometimes referred to as Sweet olive, Osmanthus is an evergreen tree or shrub with deep green, glossy leaves which is native to China, Japan and the Himalayas. It requires full to partial sun, moderate water, and will tolerate clay soils. It grows best in Sunset zones 8,9 and 12-24 and typically reaches 10-15 feet tall and 6-8 wide.  If is certainly one of many fantastic shrubs for Sacramento!

History and Use

shrubs in sacramento

Osmanthus blooms most heavily in Spring and Fall, with tiny white flowers that you may not be able to see, but will certainly smell from yards away. Some people describe the fragrance as being reminiscent of ripe apricots or peaches.

It is a good background plant, and the flowers are so inconspicuous it will leave visitors curious as to where that delightful smell is coming from!

Osmanthus flowers are used extensively in Chinese cuisine to make tea, jam, sweet cakes and dumplings.

There is even a rare orange-flowered version of the shrub, Osmanthus fragrans forma aurantiacus whose brilliant orange blossoms are suitably festive for Fall! (See photo above).

This marvelous shrub does not grow very fast, so plant one today to enjoy it’s heavenly perfume in your neighborhood for years to come.  

 


Topics: What Can I Plant This Season?, Fragrant Plants, Shrubs for Sacramento Area, Planting Ideas

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