Design Inspiration for Our Mediterranean Climate

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jul 7, 2016 11:11:34 AM

Rethinking Your Yard? Let's Get Growing for The Changing California Landscape.

Each one of our CA Landscape 2.0 design templates was inspired by popular styles of landscaping with a focus on water-wise plant selectionsstylish accessories and efficient irrigation. Because we are a local, independent, family-owned garden center with established roots in the Sacramento Area, we've got a pretty good idea of what grows well in our area. Our plant options are not limited to what we showcase in the designs–we offer many substitutions to make sure your landscape reflects your style. 

California NativeCalifornia_Native_design-074294-edited.png

Inspired by the incredibly diverse plant life native to California, this template incorporates a diverse mix of native and non-native flowering plants, sure to attract beneficial wildlife. The most plant-packed design of the series, this one is for those who enjoy sitting in the garden, watching the birds, bees and other pollinators play.

Finishing touches: Bird baths, hummingbird feeders, pots filled with seasonal flowers, and a comfy chair for wildlife-watching.



Sure to appeal to those with simple, elegant style, the contemporary landscape focuses on sculptural plants and clean lines for a modern feel. Bold accents such as slate contrast strikingly with textural plants like Acacia 'Cousin Itt'. The contemporary landscape is the perfect backdrop to an outdoor dinner party on a summer evening. 

Finishing touches: Refined pottery in eye-catching colors, a soothing fountain, and a modern outdoor dining set. 


English_design-190508-edited.pngEnglish Style Garden

A play off the formal style of traditional English gardens, this design balances structure and whimsy in true California fashion. With brilliant perennials popping up behind neat hedges, this landscape manages to look both clean and casual. If you love to entertain friends in your outdoor living space, this is the design for you. 

Finishing touches: Clever container gardens, bird baths, and a bistro set complete with umbrella. 





Perfectly adapted to the many Mediterranean style homes in our area, the Mediterranean design invokes the rolling hills of Tuscany right in your own yard. Think colorful low-maintenance plants with casual chic pottery, cool colors and neutral earth tones to tie it all together. This design is for those who want the appearance of a well-kept yard without all the work. 

Finishing touches: Iron patio furniture, a soothing water feature, the scent of fresh herbs, and large terra cotta pottery with citrus patio trees. 




Ready to get started? Click the button below to learn more!


  CA Landscape 2.0

Topics: Native Plants, Waterwise, Outdoor Living, Planning Your Landscape, Drought Tolerant, Low maintenance, pollinators, Decorating

Come Meet the Experts at Dig into Spring

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Mar 17, 2015 3:37:41 PM

Green Acres is hosting our third annual Dig Into Spring Ideas Fair at our new location in Elk Grove, March 21 & 22, and we want you to join us!

Dig Into Spring Event

In addition to food trucks, music, raffle prizes, vendor booths and seminars, we are very excited to host book signings by two local gardening experts: Carolyn Singer & Michael Glassman!

Carolyn Singer is a local gardening guru and author of the Deer in my Garden series, as well as her new book: The Seasoned Gardener. Residing near Grass Valley, Carolyn's Deer in my Garden series is the result of much trial-and-error testing in her own garden, to determine which plants really have the best deer resistance in the Sierra Nevada foothills. 




Her newest book is titled The Seasoned Gardener: Five decades of sustainable & practical garden wisdom. It is a compilation of articles she wrote for her column 'The Seasoned Gardener', published by The Union in Grass Valley. 

Carolyn will be signing books at our Dig Into Spring Ideas Fair on Saturday March 21 & Sunday, March 22 from 11am-4pm. 



Michael Glassman is an award winning landscape designer and consultant with over thirty years of experience designing breathtaking landscapes in Northern California. He has authored and co-authored five books, including the Kinder Gardens series, a playful series of books geared towards getting young children interested in gardening. 



 His newest book is titled The Garden Bible, a step-by-step guide to planning and designing your dream garden, which will be published in Spring of 2015.  

Michael will be signing books at our Dig into Spring Ideas Fair on Sunday, March 22 from 11am-1pm.


Check out our seminar schedule below for details on our weekend-long Dig into Spring workshop series!
Seminar Schedule

Topics: Free Events, Planning Your Landscape, Sacramento Gardening, Deer Resistant, Green Acres Events, Landscape Design, Events

The Top Nine Japanese Maples for the Sacramento Region

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 22, 2014 5:09:00 PM

Native to Japan and Korea, Japanese maples are prized as specimen trees because of their handsome sinewy trunks and graceful branching habit. They come in a variety of sizes and forms, such as upright, weeping, broad leaf or lace leaf. Our Japanese maples are supplied by reputable growers such as Monrovia, Western trees, Kraemer's and Matsuda's. The varieties listed below are some of the most popular cultivars carried by Green Acres Nursery & Supply.


  • Acer palmatum
Height: 15-25ft
Width: 15-25ft
This is the basic, un-grafted seedling form. It has broad green leaves and a mottled gray-green trunk. Fall color is yellow, orange and red.
  • Bloodgood
Height: 15-18ft
Width: 15-18ft
A perfect specimen of a red, upright maple with deep reddish purple foliage. Foliage retains deep color well into the summer. Bright red fall color.
  • Crimson Queen
Height: 9ft
Width: 9ft
Beautiful weeping lace leaf type with striking burgundy foliage. Fall color is bright reddish purple.
  •  Emperor One
Height: 15-20ft
Width: 15-20ft
An upright variety with bright red leaves. It's comparable to Bloodgood, but grows slightly faster. Scarlet fall color.
  • Inaba Shidare
Height: 8-10ft
Width: 4-6ft
An elegant lace leaf specimen with unusually large leaves. Holds its deep reddish burgundy color through the summer. Crimson fall color.
  •  Red Dragon
Height: 4-6ft
Width: 3-4ft
A dwarf form of weeping maple with beautiful red lace like leaves. Does well in containers. Bright red fall color.
  • Sango Kaku
Height: 20-25ft
Width: 18-20ft
This beautiful coral bark maple has year round interest. Leaves emerge bright green in the spring, and turn yellow in the fall. Bright red bark is visible in the winter.
  • Seiryu
Height: 10-12ft
Width: 10-12ft
An unusual upright variety with delicate lace like leaves. Bright green leaves turn orange and gold in the fall.
  • Viridis
Height: 4-6ft
Width: 8-12ft
A beautiful example of weeping green lace leaf. Leaves emerge yellow green and have a showy yellow gold fall color.

Sun Tolerance

While most varieties of Japanese maples will not thrive in full sun in our climate, some can adapt to sun very well.  Varieties which have broad, red leaves tend to adapt the best, while lace leaf varieties don’t fare as well.  The key to successful adaptation is sufficient irrigation, and a thick layer of mulch to blanket the roots away from the trunk.

Tip:  When the Sacramento heat is unbearable, application of Bonide™ Wilt Stop can help your tree adapt to the afternoon sun by creating a protective barrier, slowing water loss through the leaves.


Japanese maples have very delicate leaves, with thin branches meaning water doesn’t move very quickly up from the roots, and their leaves will show damage if the soil becomes too dry. A 2-4” layer of mulch around the roots slows the evaporation of water in the soil, keeping the roots cool and moist. To avoid crown rot, keep the mulch a few inches away from the trunk of the tree.

The frequency of watering a Japanese maple depends on:

  • Soil texture
  • Sun exposure
  • Wind exposure
  • Size of the tree
  • Season

There is no single answer on how many times per week you should water your tree, because it varies so much depending on the factors listed above.  However, it is always a good idea to water deeply, yet infrequently.  Each time you water, thoroughly penetrate the root zone, and give the water a chance to evaporate out of the soil before watering again.


When planting, use a slow release starter fertilizer, rich in phosphorus, to help develop a strong root system.  We recommend E.B. Stone Organics Sure Start.  Japanese maples are sensitive to accumulated salts in the soil, using an organic fertilizer is the best way to avoid that. As the nutrients in organic fertilizers break down, they feed the microorganisms in the soil, slowly releasing nutrients and building the overall health of your soil.

Once the tree is established, feed it regularly with an organic tree and shrub food.  Apply fertilizer from the time leaves emerge in spring until dormancy.  If your tree is visibly stressed, avoid fertilizing it.  Fertilizers are for stimulating growth, and stressed trees need time to recover.


Japanese maples have a naturally graceful growth habit.  Accentuate their natural beauty by thinning to allow light into the canopy, and avoid “heading” or “shearing” cuts.

Each year, remove any dead branches or branches that are crossing.  It’s always better to prune off a branch while it is small than it is to prune a large branch; it will leave a smaller wound.  Avoid early heavy pruning if you would like your maple to acclimate to the sun. The tree will need as much energy as it can get from its leaves to build its sun tolerance. The best time to prune is in late winter, before the tree leafs out.  Because it is still dormant, you avoid shocking it too much, and because it has no leaves you can see the structure of the tree more clearly.


Signs of stress mean, it’s time to do an inspection.  Closely examining the tree from the roots up is the best way to assess the problem. Keep in mind, a newly planted tree may just be experiencing transplant shock and will likely recover once it’s established.  New trees acclimating to the sun may show signs of sunburn on the outer leaves for the first few years.


Inspection Check List:

  • Starting at the roots, probe the soil with your fingers (wait a few days after watering). Does the soil feel wet? If so, there may be a problem with the drainage, or you are watering too frequently. Tree roots need oxygen as well as water to thrive, so soil should never feel wet for long periods of time.
  • Examine the crown of the tree where the roots meet the trunk. Is it above or below the soil line? The crown should never be allowed to sink below the soil line, or become buried by mulch. The crown should be flush with the soil level. It is easier to add more soil than it is to remove it, so always plant on a slight mound to compensate for settling.
  • How does the tree trunk look? The bark on a Japanese maple is very thin, and damaging it will slow the growth and vigor of the tree. Apply white tree trunk paint to remedy this scorching.
  • Finally, examine the branches and leaves. Leaf curling, ants, oozing sap and yellowing leaves are some symptoms of a pest problem.

    Be Sure to Plant Trees Correctly With our Free Guide

    Tree Planting Guide


Topics: Tree, Planning Your Landscape, Pruning, Sacramento Gardening

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

Diversifying Space Through Plantings

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Apr 29, 2013 9:35:00 AM

We are working on a series of blog posts about how plan your landscape before you plant.  If you need a refresher on the first article in the series, click to read Landscape Programming Like a Pro.

In the last article, we touched upon landscape programming which combines the elements of your site with the activities that would be best supported. Now let’s expand that by diversifying space through plantings.  First things first, you need to learn an important defintion...transition space.

front door resized 600Transition space divides the passive and active areas in the yard as well as the public and private realms of the property. Take your front door as an example.  For privacy sake, most homeowners would prefer that their front door would not be directly open onto the street or sidewalk.  There are various practicical reasons for this, but it is also important for design and aesthetics.  A front door of a home needs transition space between the public and private realm. So, the front patio, walkway and swinging gate all act as a transition space or slight barriers between the street and your front door. Walkways and gates are great, but to better improve the transition spaces we can use plants, structures and materials to help with that transition.  All of these items should support the scale of the home or building. For example, tall, park-like trees or short, bonsai-type plants would be out of scale for a typical one-story residence in the Sacramento area.  We need to find plants in between very tall or extremely short to work as transition pieces in the landscape.  Here at Green Acres, we meet with homeowners from our area on a daily basis and many of them followup and tell us what worked.  Below are some plants that come highly recommended from Green Acres plant experts and our customers who planted them.

Evergreen plants are a nice choice for transition spaces.  Try these evergreen plants to help increase transition space in your yard:

diversifying Space through plantings

  • Sky pencil Holly (formal upright shape) available in 1, 5 and 10 gallon
  • SkyRocket or Spartan Juniper (formal upright shape) available in 5 and 15 gallon
  • Icee Blue Podocarpus (formal upright shape) available in 5 and 15 gallon
  • 2-Tier Privet or Boxwood Topiary (formal upright shape) available in 5 and 15 gallon
  • ‘Teddy Bear’ Southern Magnolia (informal upright shape) available in 5 gallon
  • Compact Cherry Laurel (informal upright shape) available in 5 and 15 gallon
  • African Boxwood (informal spreading shape) available in 1 and 5 gallon
  • Grevillea (informal spreading shape) available in 1 and 5 gallon

grevillea1 resized 600

Next, let’s work on diversifying the original 5 landscape elements from the last article:


  1. The Envelope: To diversity and strengthen the envelope of your property, plant a mixture of evergreen and deciduous plants. If you want privacy, try planting upright shaped plants from the list above.  'Icee Blue' Podocarpus is a wonderful upright choice. If you want to enjoy your view of the horizon plant lower plants from the list above like Grevillea, or African Boxwood.
  2. Openness to the Sky: To increase the amount of openness to the sky plant trees close to the house for summertime shade and perhaps along the outer corners or a tree cluster for visual impact. Having some openness to the sky means allowing full-sun and native plants to thrive (such as Western Redbud, California Lilac, Ground cover Manzanita, Flannel Bush, and Santa Barbara Daisy). Leaving some openness is valuable.  
    diversifying plantings
  3. Landscape Style: Hone in on one type of landscape style for your property. You can expand upon it later-but for now, try and emulate one style.  If it’s an English Cutting Garden-use lots and lots of spring-autumn perennial blooms: Spirea, Lilac, Lavender, Bachelor’s Buttons, Shasta Daisy, Salvia, Butterfly Bush, Penstemon, Coreopsis...If it’s a coastal or California native garden use: Arbutus marina, Western Redbud, California Lilac, Pride of Madeira,
    Coffeeberry, Flannel Bush, California Fuchsia, Santa Barbara Daisy.
  4. Architectural Footprint: If the architectural theme of your home is lacking a cohesive aesthetic try adding architectural elements such as welded-wire trellis’ (at the Roseville location for $50 and up), welded-wire arches, or oversized glazed pottery pieces to flank the left and right sides of the front walkway or back patio. This will rapidly increase overall visual appeal.
  5. Diversity of the Site: To expand site diversity, look at all the ways your yard is monotone or the same-and now change it. Use evergreens and deciduous plants together; push taller plants up against shorter plants in front of the planting bed. Place bright red Cordyline or Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax against a monotone wall of evergreens. 
Diversifying space through plantings

Look better? We thought so! These are just a few tips when trying to diversify your landscape space.  Visit us if you have questions about specific plants or would like more inspiration for your landscape.  If you need some professional advice, then we invite you to visit our store's contractor board.  We list contact information from local landscapers and designers that can help.



Contact Us!

Topics: Shrubs for Sacramento Area, Planning Your Landscape, Planting Ideas, Landscape Design

Get Digging with Green Acres

Have questions? Drop us a line.

We are here to help you with all of your landscape and gardening needs.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all