Trim off brown top growth on dormant perennials: November is a good month to cut back spring and summer-blooming perennials. Hosta, astilbe, some types of clematis, ornamental grasses and Shasta daisies can be pruned back to ground level. Other perennials such as daylilies, geraniums, scabiosa and iris should be pruned lightly--leaving enough leaves so the plant will still photosynthesize during the winter.
Click to e-mail us.
6220 Lakewood Blvd
Lakewood, CA 90712
Mon.-Fri.: 7:30 to 5:00
Sat. 8:00 to 5:00
Sunday: 9:00 to 4:00
"Gardening is a way of showing that you believe in tomorrow."
~ Old saying
We will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.
|Insects can be a problem
. Many customers come to our store asking how to handle garden pests like grubs. Sometimes when people use chemicals to solve the bug problem, they create even bigger problems.
We recommend our customers apply beneficial nematodes
. This solves the bug problem, and is also completely safe to use around kids and pets. There is no chemical, and you rid your lawn and garden of over 200 kinds of soil-dwelling and wood-boring insects.
This nematodes will destroy
- japanese beetles
- cut worms
- wire worms, weevils
- white grubs
- fungus gnat larvae
- flea larvae
- subterranean termites
- and many more
Each container includes seven million live beneficial nematodes.
With the onset of winter, even gardeners in relatively warm winter climates have a tendency to pull the covers over their heads, and hunker down until spring beckons. But our zone allows us to appreciate the beauty and colors of many winter-friendly plants, even if we're viewing them through the windows of our cozy, warm homes!
Camellias are easy-care evergreen shrubs with dark green, glossy foliage that do not require much pruning and look great year-round. When thinking of Camellias, most people visualize Camellia japonica, a beloved shrub that provides beautiful flowers in a wide array of (mostly) pastel colors in early spring. The winter-blooming Camellias are Camellia sasanqua, beautiful shrubs that provide masses of blooms in white, pink or red during the fall and winter.
Strategically choose an early, mid-season or late variety to provide color when you'd like to see it, or plant a mix of different varieties for an extended season of bloom. Don't have any garden space? Camellias make excellent container plants for the patio, porch or deck!
All varieties of Camellia sasanqua display a graceful, arching growth habit. Take advantage of its pliable branches and train it as a show-stopping espalier, or simply let it grow naturally as a single shrub, or use them in groupings under trees or in light shade.
Depending on the variety chosen, Camellia sasanqua will grow slowly to a height of 4'-10' tall and spread 6'-8' wide.
Some are low or mid-sized spreaders and some much larger, making these types good candidates for foundation planting. Because they are slow growing, they can be easily pruned to control their height and spread, but it is best to prune them naturally rather than in a more formal way (of course, wait until after the last blooms have dropped to shape them).
Camellias like ample moisture, but must have good drainage.
Their roots tend to spread out much farther than they go down, so when preparing the hole for planting them, dig it wider and just a little deeper than the rootball of the plant. They require an acid soil, so if your soil tends to be alkaline, make sure to use a generous amount of an shade plant mix in the planting hole. Lastly, position the plant so that the surrounding soil level will be about an inch below the top of the rootball (they like their roots high).
Wait to fertilize them until after they have finished blooming, using a shade plant fertilizer.
Camellias make excellent companions for plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, gardenias, ferns and Japanese maples. While they grow very well in light to medium shady areas, they will tolerate more sun than their later-blooming counterparts, making them a more versatile choice for the home garden.
Unlike many plants, camellias are most dormant during the blooming season, so don't hesitate to plant them as soon as you get them home from the garden center, even when they are covered with flowers. Come in soon to see our great selection of Camellia sasanqua plants and add some winter color to your garden!
Click to print this article.
Decorating the house with fresh greenery is one of the oldest winter holiday traditions. People have been decorating with greenery since the 1800s, with some homes elaborately decorated with garlands of holly, ivy, mountain laurel and mistletoe hung from the roof. Other homes went a simpler route, with greenery and boughs in the window frames and holly sprigs stuck to the glass with wax.
Today, decorating for the holidays with fresh greenery is more prevalent than ever. Greens such as cedar, ivy, pine, and holly add a fresh look and natural scent to our homes, and are good to use since they dry out slowly and hold their needles well. Hemlock, spruce, and most broadleaf evergreens can also be used, but will last longer if used outdoors.
In addition to using greenery in traditional methods such as wreaths, garlands and table centerpieces, you can also create beautiful arrangements in window boxes, pottery or vases. The key is to either immerse the cut ends in water before arranging or place them in an oasis inside the container, which you can keep moist.
Besides the more commonly used evergreens, consider using other plant parts such as acorns, berries, dried flowers, cones, seed pods and branches of dormant plants such as pussy willow or forsythia to give added color and texture interest. You can even incorporate fruits such as lemons, limes, apples, pears, kumquats and pineapple.
It's important to decorate safely during the holidays. Dried evergreens can become flammable when in contact with a heat source such as a candle flame, space heaters, heater vents or sunny windows. If you use lights near your green arrangements, just make sure that they stay cool and, if outside, that they are rated for exterior use.
Nothing can beat the look of real leafy greens scattered around the house and in arrangements. It's hard to beat the aroma of real needle evergreens decorating your house in the winter months. You can find all kinds of fresh greenery here, so come on in and join us in celebrating the holidays.
Click to print this article.
Are you tired of purchasing a cut Christmas tree every year--just to throw it away after the holidays are over? Consider buying a living Christmas tree instead. Living Christmas trees are becoming more popular every year because of their many advantages over cut Christmas trees, which include a lower fire hazard, repeat use, and an increase in value once planted in the landscape, where they can become a yearly source of cut greens for each holiday season.
After the holidays, you can leave your tree outdoors in its original container for year-round beauty and bring it back in again for a second Christmas. However, because most living trees used for Christmas trees are fast growing, they should not remain in a container for more than two years. There are a few other things to consider when planning to use a living Christmas tree indoors.
Living trees can stay in the house for only a brief period, no more than 7 to 10 days. Prolonged exposure to warm household temperatures would force new growth to develop on the tree and this growth would be apt to suffer damage when the tree is transplanted outdoors after Christmas. Longer periods in a home can lead to death of the tree.
Be sure to water the tree regularly while it is being used in the home. Line the tub or container in which you place a living tree with plastic or place a larger saucer underneath the container to keep excess water from dripping through onto your floor or carpeting. One good way to water is to dump two trays of ice cubes on the soil--this waters the tree slowly and evenly. It also helps keep the roots cooler.
Use only the newer low watt lights on your tree to avoid burning or discoloring the needles, and do not spray your tree with colored Christmas paint or snow, even if the product says it is washable.
After Christmas, if the weather should happen to be very cold, place the living tree in the basement or garage where it is cool, but not below freezing, for a few days only: Then, when the weather improves, take the tree out of the container and plant it.
Make sure that the tree will fit into your landscape. Most trees used as Christmas trees will eventually reach heights of 40 to 60 feet. The tree will be inside for a very short time compared to the time that you will have it in your landscape.
We stock living Christmas trees that grow well in our local area. With care and planning, your Christmas tree will serve as a living memory for many years.
Click to print this article.
Poinsettias are a wonderful worldwide holiday tradition. In fact, next to a Christmas tree, nothing else says Christmas quite like poinsettias. Displayed alone or in groups, they can add a festive splash of color to every décor. From a centerpiece on a holiday table to a miniature plant decorating the corner of an office desk, to a colorful hanging basket that can brighten any room, the poinsettia is the perfect holiday gift.
So how did poinsettias become so popular at Christmas--and where do they come from? According to Mexican legend, a poor Mexican girl named Pepita who could not afford a gift to offer to Christ on Christmas Eve picked some weeds from the side of a road. The child was told that even a humble gift, if given in love, would be acceptable in God's eyes. When she brought the weeds into the church and laid them at the feet of the Christ child, they bloomed into red and green flowers, and the congregation felt they had witnessed a Christmas miracle.
Poinsettias are native to the tropical forest at moderate elevations along the Pacific coast of Mexico and some parts of Guatemala. They are named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Ambassador to Mexico, who introduced the plant in the U.S. in 1825.
Poinsettias have come a long way from their humble beginnings. For years only variations of red flowers were propagated and grown. But now there are hundreds of color varieties available ranging from traditional shades of red, pink and white to burgundy, peach, striped, flecked and hand-dyed varieties.
Poinsettias are fairly easy-going, and with proper care can last long past the holiday season. Just click on the link below for a complete care guide including tips for re-blooming the following season.
We have an outstanding selection of poinsettias. The sooner you purchase your poinsettias, the sooner you and your friends will be able to enjoy the unique holiday beauty that only they can provide. So hurry in and pick some up today while supplies last!
Check out our Poinsettia Care Guide (click here).
Fungus gnats can become a nuisance indoors when adults emerge in large numbers from potted plants containing consistently damp or wet soil. While the adults are harmless to humans and animals, the eggs they lay become larvae or maggots, and can damage plants.
African violets, carnations, cyclamens, geraniums, poinsettias and indoor foliage plants can be susceptible and show symptoms of sudden wilting, loss of vigor, poor growth, or leaf yellowing and foliage loss. The larvae feed not only on fungi and decaying organic matter, but on living plant tissue, particularly root hairs and small feeder roots.
Overwatering is the usual cause of fungus gnats, so it is important to focus attention there. It's best to allow the soil to dry as much as possible, without injury to the plants, as an effective natural way of controlling them. Another natural solution is to cover the soil with a one-inch layer of decorative rock, gravel, or sand.
An initial infestation can easily be controlled with an application of a pyrethrin spray. It helps to do at least one follow-up application 7-10 days later to break the breeding cycle.
Click to print this article.
What Is Humic Acid?
Humic acid is a complex organic acid that is present in soil, peat, and coal, formed from the decomposition of vegetation matter. It is responsible for much of the color of surface water. Because of its vegetative origin, this material is very rich and beneficial to plants and gardens.
Almost anything that grows will benefit from humic acid. It increases nutrient uptake, drought tolerance and seed germination. It increases the microbial activity in the soil, making it an excellent root stimulator. Humic acid increases the availability of nutrients that are already in your soil and will naturally aerate the soil.
It also will help to lower the pH of your soil and helps flush high levels of salts out of the root zone.
If you use humic acid, your plants and grass turf will have a healthier green color, and smaller amounts of fertilizer will be needed throughout the year to keep them green. It helps support root development in plants and can also help increase the yield of fruit trees and vegetables. Humic acid is actually somewhat of a "professional secret"--it has been used by landscapers and golf course managers for years.
Click to print this article.
What You'll Need:
Graham Cracker Crust:
Note: You can also use a regular pie crust.
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
- 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 15-oz. can pumpkin purée (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/3 tsp. ground cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
- 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp. espresso powder
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream
- 12 ounces quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp sugar
Step by Step:
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Stir all crust ingredients in a 9 or 10 inch pie plate; press wet crumbs uniformly against bottom and sides.
- Bake 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.
- Turn up oven to 425°.
- Whisk eggs, pumpkin, brown sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and salt until lumps are completely gone.
- In a separate bowl, dissolve espresso powder in vanilla extract and milk. Combine with other wet ingredients, beating until silky smooth.
- Pour mixture into cooled pie crust, baking 15 minutes at 425°. Reduce oven to 350° and bake about 30 minutes more, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean and the filling jiggles slightly.
- Cool completely on a wire rack.
- In a microwavable 2 qt. bowl heat cream at 50% power until bubbles form at sides.
- Remove and add chocolate all at once. With a clean whisk, begin gently stirring in center of bowl. As chocolate melts, continue gently and evenly stirring until all chocolate is incorporated and no lumps remain, 2-4 minutes.
- Fold in sugar; when incorporated, fold in butter until mixture is glossy. Allow ganache to rest loosely covered on counter until slightly thickened.
- Spoon ganache onto cooled, baked pie. Tap pan against counter to remove air bubbles so surface is glossy and smooth.
- Store in refrigerator, allowing to come to room temperature before serving. Refrigerate leftovers promptly.
Yield: 8-10 servings