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Blue Hills Nursery News July 11, 2019

Featured Quote:

featured quote

"There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling."
~Mirabel Osler


We've got a great selectiion of these beauties!


HUGE 10” pots of Monstera for just $49.99.

Back in stock:

Mexican Flame Vine and Showy Milkweed. Expand your butterfly plant collection!

Container Gardens: Trees and Shrubs

A tree or a shrub can create a delightful focal point in your patio garden design.

Potted Trees

Many of our gardens have at least one specimen plant, usually a tree but sometimes a shrub. A specimen plant is one that is eye-catching, beautiful, often architectural in form, and can stand alone in a yard or garden. Such specimen plants do not have to reside only in the ground. You can bring one or more onto your patios, decks or balconies and create the same visual effect.

Many smaller scale patio trees are absolutely wonderful specimens, and they can remain perfectly happy living in a container. Even if you don't have a backyard, you can still have a tree on your patio.

Also, many people forget to consider shrubs for their containers. Many of our shrubs are just as happy and healthy in a container as in the ground. How simple it is to bring foliage and flower color into your patio gardens! Just pick your favorite shrub and design your patio garden around its color and form.

And you know what else is great? You can prune many shrubs into an open tree form, creating a beautiful specimen piece. They are beautiful in an open graceful form, like an oriental painting.

Potted Tree

Now, you may be tempted to plant flowers at the base of your tree. They will add color but their roots will compete with the root system space of your new tree or shrub. Instead, try mulching using colored landscape glass, stones in your favorite colors and textures, or bark.

Of course, container selection is very important--your container must be large enough for the plant's future root system growth. Potting soil and fertilizers are also very important. Select a high quality potting mix, and do not forget to mix in good fertilizer like Gro-Power Plus. Also, remember that moisture retention is frequently a problem with containers, so mix in a soil polymer that will hold on to the moisture between waterings.

We'll match you up with the correct products once you've selected your tree and/or shrub.

Well, what are you waiting for? Summer is here and it is time to redecorate your outdoor living space. So come on in! We'll be looking for you in our tree and shrub section.

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Blooming from mid-spring through early fall, the butterfly bush (buddleia) is particularly prized for its ability to attract butterflies, hummingbirds and songbirds. The most popular species originally hails from China, but buddleias are now grown throughout the United States.

Butterfly bushes are valued for their clusters of beautiful, tubular-shaped flowers. The blossoms come in a variety of colors including white, pink, red, blue, purple, orange or yellow flowers produced by different species and cultivars. Adding to their attraction is the fact that they are rich in nectar and often strongly scented.

The taller varieties add the most value to the garden when they are grown as a background shrub or as part of a mixed border, while the dwarf varieties look great as focal plants or as part of a colorful perennial bed. Butterfly bushes prefer to be planted in full sun locations but can tolerate partial shade if needed. They go completely dormant in the winter in colder areas but can remain semi-evergreen in warmer climates.

The butterfly bush is a fairly low maintenance shrub. Once established it can become fairly drought tolerant and needs only to be fed with a plant food, such as Gro-Power Flower 'n' Bloom once in spring and summer. It can be pruned back hard every spring if needed; this will produce a denser and more rounded shrub.

Every garden can use a few--and your birds and butterflies will thank you too!

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Waterwise Gardening

Watering properly is one of the best ways to ensure you have a beautiful lawn and garden, and will help lower your water bill as well. Here are a few water-wise tips that can make a big impact on water savings and plant health.

* First off, consider converting your overhead irrigation to drip irrigation for all non-lawn areas if you haven't already done so. This concentrates the water where it needs to be (around the plant root ball) while eliminating excess runoff and evaporation.

* Water early in the morning when the temperatures are cooler and the sun isn't as intense. Thus, more water will penetrate your plants instead of evaporating into the air. The best time is between 4:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.

* When hand watering, make sure to place your nozzle near the base of the plant instead of above the plant where water is wasted wetting the foliage.

* Water lawns more deeply instead of more frequently as it gets hotter. You should have your timers set to water only until your lawn reaches the point of runoff. After that no additional water can be absorbed. Most lawns can get by on 20-30 minutes of water every three days. They may not look as good but they will survive, and it will be better for them in the long run. Deeper watering encourages the roots to go down further to chase the water which results in less heat stress on the roots.

* Raise the mowing height on your mower. Taller grass cools and shelters the roots below, helping to reduce the need for more frequent watering.

* Add a granulated soil conditioner to the lawn to help break up compacted soil particles and aerate your soil, allowing roots to penetrate deeper into the soil. This also helps the lawn become more resistant to pests, disease and weeds.

* Cover open areas around plants and trees with a 2"-3" layer of mulch to reduce evaporation, keep the soil moist and cool, and to help prevent weeds.

* Make sure to pull weeds as needed to reduce competition for water, and feed your garden at least quarterly to help your plants stay healthy and strong. Use a plant food with lower, slow-release nitrogen to prevent rampant, soft, fleshy new growth that uses lots of water.

* Add a granulated soil polymer to potting soil when planting in containers. It expands when watered, holding water in the soil longer.

* Leave a two-inch space between the top of the soil and the rim of your container so that there is enough room for holding water without its flowing down the sides of your pot. Place a layer of mulch or bark on top of the soil to help retain moisture.

By incorporating these garden tips every year--year-round and not just in dry periods--your garden will not only be set up to survive dry conditions, but will also use less water all year round.

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Garden Primer
How do I know if I have bad drainage?


First, your plants won't look happy. (Surprise) The foliage will look dull and lack the luster and intense color of a healthy plant. If it is a blooming plant, it may produce few blooms or none at all. When the condition becomes severe, the plant will drop its leaves from the interior first, eventually working its way to the leaf tips.

The second sure sign is if you are not watering much but the ground stays continually wet or even has moss or algae growing on it. The soil may also have an odor to it. What is important to remember is that every time plants are watered, it lowers the soil temperature by up to twenty degrees. Most plants are stimulated to grow as the soil temperature warms up. If the soil is always wet, the soil temperature will be cooler than the plant desires and it won't grow much.

Poorly draining soil also attracts bad bacteria that can attack the root system, in addition to providing less oxygen for the plant. If you think you have bad drainage, gently lift the plant out of the ground with a shovel--being careful not to damage roots.

If the soil is wet at the bottom of the hole, dig it deeper and back-fill with at least six inches of gravel. Then build a mound that will raise the plant 3-6 inches higher than the surrounding soil level and re-plant so that the top of the root ball is level with the top of the mound. If you have clay soil, we also recommend amending with GBO Soil Building Conditioner. If that doesn't work, you may need to find a different location for the plant.

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Featured Recipe: Tomato Basil Egg Salad Sandwich

What You Need:

  • 8 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 10 leaves basil, thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 4 leaves lettuce
  • 4 English muffins, split and toasted

Step by Step:

  • Mix eggs, mayo, mustard, onion powder, salt, and black pepper in a bowl.
  • Fold basil into egg mixture.
  • Arrange lettuce and tomato slices on top of toasted English muffins.
  • Spoon egg mixture over vegetables to serve.


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Harvest your summer vegetables as soon as they are ready. Don't let them rot and drop to the ground. This can bring insects and cause disease.

Contact Information:

(562) 947-2013

16440 E. Whittier Blvd.
Whittier, CA 90603

Open 7 days a week, 8:30 am-5:00 pm

Gardner & Bloome




Gardner & Bloome

Gardner & Bloome