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Blue Hills Nursery News March 19, 2020
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"I appreciate the misunderstanding I have had with Nature over my perennial border. I think it is a flower garden; she thinks it is a meadow lacking grass, and tries to correct the error."
~Sara Stein, My Weeds, 1988

Hello loyal customers,

We are open at this time and will continue to be open to serve you. We will follow the guidelines and feel fortunate to have 3 acres that we can all keep our "social distance"on.

Please be respectful of each other and our staff. Let's all give each other a smile and a little extra space at this time. We are fully stocked with herbs and vegetables. This is a great time to get your garden planted. Thank you for 70 years of business as of this year. We are grateful.

Blue Hills Nursery

Swiss Cheese

We have 4" pots of Swiss Cheese in stock for $6.99. Hard to find and a fun plant to add to your collection.

Blooms Galore

We have plenty of flowers, veggies, and herbs.

Spring is upon us!

Custom Designs

Blue Hills can plant your pots and patio with gorgeous spring blooms. Have a wedding or party coming up? Or maybe you just want your best spring garden ever. Contact Jen for details. Email

Amazing Azaleas

Azaleas are easy to love. Their amazing flowers put on an incredible display of color every spring like clockwork, helping to herald the coming growing season. Whether in a formal or a woodland garden setting, azaleas make a great addition to any garden. When these plants are in full bloom, it's almost impossible to see the foliage underneath.

For centuries, azaleas were grown only in Japanese gardens. But then native species were discovered in North America and eventually types from both countries found their way to Europe. Deciduous species (Exbury hybrids) are primarily from North America, while evergreen species (Belgian, Southern Indica, as well as Girard and Satsuki hybrids) are from Japan and Europe.

Azaleas are versatile and can be used in almost any spot in the garden provided they have good drainage. While Belgian, Girard and Kurume hybrids prefer partial shade in the afternoon, Exbury hybrids, Southern Indicas and Satsuki hybrids can be grown in full sun in all but the hottest areas. Azalea flowers come in almost every color shade imaginable, and the bushes range from dwarf shade varieties of 2-3', to the sun lovers that can grow from 4-8' high and wide.

Homeowners in mild climates can select almost any species of azalea for their garden. But in colder areas, Exbury hybrids and some of the newer winter-hardy hybrids should be used. They also reward gardeners with good fall colors in shades of orange and red. Many have sweetly-scented blooms. If you are short on space in your landscape, consider planting azaleas in containers to add another dimension to your garden.

Azaleas grow well in evenly moist and slightly acidic soil. They perform best when the soil is amended with peat moss or an acid planting mix like GBO Acid Planting Mix before planting. They also like to be fed every few months with cottonseed meal or an acid plant food. We recommend feeding from the end of the blooming season through early fall.

Azaleas don't require much pruning if the proper varieties are selected for the desired mature size. If occasional pruning is needed to control size or wayward branches, prune from one month after the blooming season has ended through August. Pruning any later can remove the new blooms that are starting to set for the following spring--these can start as early as September.

Whether pruned formally into shapes or left natural to blend in with the local surroundings, azaleas make a wonderful addition to any garden, with their extraordinary offering of beautiful spring flowers.

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Growing Dahlias

Dahlias are one of the most popular and prolific summer bulbs, and have been winning the hearts of home gardeners for many years. So much hybridizing of new varieties has been done over the years that one can find dahlias in almost every color combination possible. Their long blooming season makes them a perfect addition to any perennial border, and their exotic looking flowers and brilliant colors will make any garden shine.

The flower shapes vary. You can find anemone-type flowers, frilly cactus-type flowers, decorative peony-type flowers, pom-pom shaped, low-growing dwarfs, mignon, water lily-shaped flowers, and even the giant dinner plate dahlias, whose flowers can reach 8"-12" inches in diameter.

A member of the daisy family, this Mexican plant thrives in sunny locations and warm temperatures. Dahlia bulbs are not winter hardy; the first good frost will make them turn black rather quickly. The best time to plant them is in spring any time after the last spring frost.

Some gardeners will try to get a jump on spring by potting up their dahlia bulbs indoors 6 weeks before they plant them outdoors. You will increase the bushiness of the plant by pinching off the main growing tips three weeks after you plant--regardless of when you plant them. This helps develop more stems and a lot more flowers throughout the growing season.

Dahlias grow best in well-drained soil that has been well amended with an organic planting mix such as GBO Soil Building Conditioner. When planting, make sure to cover the tuber (bulb) with at least 2 inches of soil (regardless of size). Don't plant deeper than this, as it can reduce the flowering. Plant your tubers 12-18" apart, with taller varieties on the higher end of that scale and shorter varieties on the lower end.

Dahlias are long-blooming plants that can provide color from June to October. Because they bloom so heavily, it is important to make sure to feed them on a regular basis with an all-purpose flower food such as Gro-Power Flower 'n' Bloom.

To keep your dahlias healthy and producing flowers year after year, harvest them immediately after the first frost has blackened the stems. Remove the dead foliage down to the tuber and store in a cool, dry and frost-free location. Then plant them again outdoors each spring to enjoy another season of dazzling color!

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Garden Planning: The Power of Purple

Considering redoing the landscape a bit? Find the old one a bit boring? Perhaps it's time to add the power of purple to your landscape. Purple-flowering plants add a special grace to a landscape. The strong, vibrant purple color goes well with white, blue, or pink and is stunning planted next to orange. It looks particularly striking mixed with green and white variegated foliage. Purple just has a way of bringing other colors out.

Because purple-flowering plants are native to so many parts of the world, we have many to choose from. You can use taller purple-flowering shrubs or perennials to create a backdrop for shorter plants. You can also use purple-flowering vines to hide a fence or climb a trellis.

In front of those plants, you can layer in some purple-flowering perennials. Finally, add some low growing spreaders to fill in the areas between.

Do you have shaded areas? No problem. There are purple-flowering shade-lovers too.

Don't just limit your planting to the ground. Many purple-flowering plants look great in containers for patios and decks or even in hanging baskets. You can even create a blend of annuals, perennials, and ornamental grasses to make any pot, urn, window box or decorative planter look fantastic all season long.

Many purple-flowering perennials such as echinacea, monarda, nepeta, penstemon, salvia, giant scabiosa, statice and veronica are also wonderful at attracting butterflies and birds--particularly hummingbirds. But most of all, they will spice up a garden and make it come alive with color.

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Garden Primer

Is rainwater really better than faucet water for my plants?



Many municipal water systems put chlorine and other chemicals in the water. Chlorine is bad for soil bacteria, not to mention our air. Rainwater is oxygenated, un-chlorinated and warmer than tap water, qualities that make it a better source for plants and safer for the environment. Cold tap water can also "shock" your plants.

There is a growing movement to conserve water by collecting rainwater in plastic barrels. The water collected this way is better for plants, plus you don't have to pay for it. It also reduces energy consumption--every 1,000 gallons of tap water requires about one kilowatt hour of energy to be treated and pumped. Reducing such water use also slows the need to expand municipal water treatment and sewage plants.

If you decide to use a rain barrel, make sure it's childproof. To be safe for kids (and inquisitive animals), it should have a secure lid that can't be opened easily. You don't want anyone using your rain barrel as a swimming pool!

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Easy, Heart-Healthy Rosemary Tilapia

What You'll Need:

  • 4 eight-ounce frozen tilapia fillets
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary (if not available, use rosemary spice)
  • Olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Fresh lemon

Step by Step:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • In separate foil pieces (one for each fillet) place fillet in center of foil.
  • Drizzle with olive oil, black pepper and add a sprig of rosemary.
  • Seal foil on both ends and top.
  • Place fillets in the preheated oven for 55 minutes, or until done.
  • Drizzle with lemon before serving. Enjoy!
Yield: 4 servings


3 day forecast

3 day forecast

Whittier Weather


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Snails and slugs can devour young seedlings overnight, and do serious damage to the buds and leaves of mature plants. Control them with snail bait that is safe for pets and wildlife.

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