Everything listed under: Truckee Garden Center

  • WINTERIZING YOUR GARDEN

    Here are a couple of pertinent links:

    Winterizing your Mountain Garden.pdf

    Tree Winterizing Instructions.pdf

    Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture

    In spite of the moisture we received last week in the form of snow, the soils are still quite warm and this is the best time of year for planting.  The beauty of the snow (besides the literal beauty) is that it   s l o w l y  infiltrated our parched soils. It was a nice, slow, deeply penetrating watering.  Perfect for native and landscape plants to increase fall root-system expansion.

    October IS Planting Season.  Once the leaves fall, woody deciduous plants (trees and shrubs) begin expanding their root systems.  Our soils are warm, we'll get a little precipitation, the summer's worth of photosynthates are shuttled and stored in stems, trunks and roots. The root systems use this stored energy to grow. Most conifers ("evergreens") produce the majority of their root expansion very early in spring (March, April).  AND perennials planted THIS fall will rise aggressively larger and will grow and bloom in their appropriate seasons next summer.  We always remind clients that with perennials, you areplanting-for-NEXT-year, and when you plant in fall, you don't have to wait as long for spring. There is really no other time to plant bulbs so... for the next month... Dig, Drop, Done. Bulbs are the easiest perennial color in your garden.  We have a great selection of animal-proof Narcissus (every shape, size and bloom time) as well as wildflower-like alliums that are almost never touched by critters.  Bulb Class Hand-Out

    - If you missed the last newsletter, register for our occasional newsletters here for more specials coming soon.

  • Freeze-Drying Winter '11-'12

    January 2007 was similar to this December-January '11-'12. That cold dry year the ice skating was spectacular voles damage was minimal and many plants suffered.

    The process of preparing for winter in hardy plants goes something like this: Plants sense shortening days and cooling temperatures and produce chemicals to start the processes of dropping leaves or closing stomata (the holes they “breathe” through). Food is moved to the roots and important compounds in leaves are recycled and stored away. When freezing begins, water moves out of the cells and into the intercellular spaces (between the cells). This water freezes, but the cell’s contents, with higher concentrations of sugars and salts, have much lower freezing temperatures (like salt water or anti-freeze). As temperatures drop, more water moves out of the cells and solute concentrations in the cells increase, and freezing temperatures drop further. The cell membrane, which is inside the rigid cell wall, actually pulls away and makes room for the ice crystals between the cells.

    If temperatures drop too quickly, water cannot move out of the cell fast enough, ice forms inside the cells and in pores of the cell membrane. As you might imagine, jagged ice crystals inside the cells rip them apart and if enough cells die, the plant dies. This is damage we see frequently suffer in spring.

    This winter, before it finally began to snow, the days were sunny the nights were very cold, the north-east winds were blowing and several things happened.During the warmer sunny days, plant tissues warmed up enough to thaw and begin photosynthesis. Cells woke up and filled with water. At 3:00 PM in mid January, the warm afternoon sun had the plants thinking it was spring, just before the sun went down. The air temperatures were already below freezing and without the sun on the stems, leaves or needles, the temperatures plummeted and many plants suffered – This damage often shows-up as “freeze-cracking” , split bark or tissue damage on the southwest side of trees.

    In many other locations the dry wind and sub-freezing temperatures caused the ice between plant’s cells to sublimate (change from solid to vapor). When the ice around the cells was gone, the cell membrane was exposed and the little moisture remaining in the interior of the cells dried up – This is “freeze-drying”.

    This winter, some plants just dried-up. The soils became so dry that even roots died. I lost 2 of 7, 14 year-old currants. Sometimes there is no telling why some one plant dies and another survives. In the wild it is the same story, one manzanita is dead and 3 feet away another is fine and 12 feet further another is dead and so-on. It could have been one branch of a pine 30' away provided a few extra crucial minutes of shade in mid January or the one plant's roots just happened to be under a large rock... it is fascinating and frustrating at the same time.

    In home landscapes, many people may have saved their plants by watering in January and people with 3-4" of mulch throughout their garden suffered far fewer losses than most. NEVER underestimate the wonders of mulching.

    In the nursery, we lost huge numbers of plants in pots this winter. We tuck the plants together for the winter and put shade around them to trap snow but this winter they froze and dried. You cannot water a frozen container plant because the water freezes and suffocates the roots so we tried to lightly mist them and just raise the humidity but it was largely ineffective. We really need a cheap used snow-making gun for winters like this one (many larger nurseries in the mountain west have them.)

    We don’t have a huge variety of broadleaf evergreens that grow well here but there are a few. Manzanita, Huckleberry Oak, Live Oak and Ceanothus and Mt. Mahogany are some of our broadleaf evergreen natives. Many of these suffered this winter, especially those exposed to the north-east winds (see photo of fried manzanita and dead squaw-mat).  I have not seen damage on any Mountain Mahogany.

    I’ve also seen damage on Native Incense Cedar, Giant Sequoia, Lydia Broom, Hardy Holly, Hardy Rhododendron, Dwarf Alberta Spruce (it often suffers sun scald), Cotoneaster and Bear-Berry Manzanita.

    We are still waiting to see what has survived but many are pushing some new growth. Meanwhile, we've fertilized with Biosol and Dr. Earth and with seaweed to stimulate roots.


  • Dig.Drop.Done. Bulbs Demystified

    Fall is for Planting.  While Fall is the BEST time of year for planting trees and shrubs it is also the ONLY time of year to plant spring-flowering-bulbs. 

     

    I have ALWAYS been a fan of bulbs.  They are the simplest and most gratifying form of gardening, literally: Dig. Drop. Done.  Enjoy blooms in spring. "The flowering bulb is the little black dress of the flower world. It's one of the simple things that women can trust to make their lives beautiful. Flower bulbs are actually some of the most reliable and fail-proof blooms available."  Check-out the North American educational campaign, "Dig.Drop.Done".  "Books and websites are filled to the brim with numerous species, lengthy planting guides and tedious details on the ins and outs of gardening with bulbs. It's easy to infer that these plants must be time consuming and require a high level of gardening knowledge."

    Dig.Drop.Done brings to life how easy flowering bulbs really are. At the heart of the Dig.Drop.Done education is a clean, pared-down website that is easily navigable for the avid gardener and the first-time planter. The site is so simple, there is no need to know species names or soil conditions. Appreciating beauty is the only requirement.

    Check these out:  Bulbs 101  /  Meet the Ladies  /   Easy Bulbs Video  /  Dig.Drop.Done. Facebook


  • Labor Day and Early September Mountain Gardening Notes

    September really is a time of scurrying around.  Before I had the immense pleasure of raising children, my wife and I would leave this beautiful place every fall for the Rockies.  I have had family in southwestern Colorado (Ouray) since the early 70's and I LOVE the Colorado flora.   We would try to go for two weeks.  One week in Ouray, relaxing by the lake, fishing, hiking, botanizing and gardening for my Nana; and one week exploring the Rocky mountains. We would be the only people in the entire campground, MANY times.  Moose would walk through our camp and grizzlies would be browsing for berries two hundred yards away. I collected LOTS of seed over the years. I came to absolutely love fall.  (that was a change: growing up as a passionate amateur naturalist and botanist, I had always loved spring, things rising from the dead but fall was depressing, everything was dying...of course it meant going back to school which may have had some impact on my emotional bent.)

    I still love fall.  I love going hiking when no one else is around.  I love collecting seed (many of the native plants we have in the nursery are from our seed collections).  I love the warm days and chilly nights.  I love the hardiest of perennials that continue to bloom into the fall, in spite of frosts or even snows.  AND I love fall colors.  I think the show of fall colors is more dramatic and can be longer lived than the explosions of spring.  I love the colors of stems and the structure of bare branches.  I love rose hips,  persistent crabapple fruit and pendulous branches loaded with mountain ash berries.

    In spite of the FACT that fall is the best time for planting in our short season and to wait until spring costs gardeners a year's worth of root system expansion, we are slower in the nursery and I am looking forward to getting out and hiking and biking several more times.  By all accounts, the wildflowers in the high country are just beginning to explode and many just won't have time to bloom out before it snows.

    So... In the Villager Nursery... we have an amazing assortment of plants that deliver late and spectacular fall colors like Rudbeckia laciniata, R. triloba, Heleneum, Phlox, Physostegia, Aster, Erigeron, Eupatorium, Sedum, Campanula, Aquilegia (you know our native columbine blooms for about 3 months!), Spiraea douglasii, Potentilla, Hemerocalis, Clematis, and even more...     Under appreciated fall colors from Dwarf Birch (already going dormant), Skunk Bush (looks JUST like poison oak), Mountain Maple and Twin-flowering Honeysuckle (both have etherial, ghostly cream fall color... incredible in dappled shade), Wild Roses (the flowers are a flash-in-the-pan but the fall colors, the showy hips and the cranberry red stems are beautiful)... and AH!  Birch-leaf Spiraea (a Cascade native - perfect mounding shape, crisp white flowers in early summer and fluorescent red-orange - like GLOWING - fall colors)  AND the Villager only carries the hardiest of bulbs, specializing in wildflower bulbs, naturalizing bulbs and bulbs that animals are repulsed by.


  • August Gardening News

    In This Issue...

    ·Top 10 Things to Do in August
    ·In the Shop·Mosquitoes and Hornets
    ·Mulch and Compost
    ·Gifts and Pottery
    ·Get Out & Enjoy
    ·Troubleshooting Tips
    ·The Easiest Perennials on the Planet!
    ·What's In Bloom Now...
    ·Upcoming Entertainment and Classes
    ·Garden Center Shop Hours

    ·Cart-Load Sale 25% Off all you can stack or balance on one cart.

  • Hierloom

    Every day (that we actually have people walking into the Villager from the snow) someone will ask us where we keep our "Hierlooms" and I always give a different answer.  Without labeling them as antiques or relics, we focus on providing only (and all) the toughest, hardiest and most productive plants, seeds and bulbs that will thrive in our harsh climate and poor soils. We do offer hundreds of cool heirloom plants (trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, vegetables and seeds)... we are avid, fun-loving gardeners and we relish anything unique but we also like improved, hardier, showier, and more vigorous new varieties as well.

    An “heirloom variety”, or “heirloom vegetable” is a cultivar (cultivated variety or selection) that was historically popular (for reasons of color, flavor, scent, habit, etc.), but which is not commonly grown in modern industrial agriculture or horticulture. Many heirloom varieties are open pollenated, some are hybrids, and many have been propagated over the years through grafts and cuttings (think: "great aunt Mildred's Christmas cactus that she brought over from the old country in 1855"). Growing heirloom vegetables in gardens is a hugely popular trend of recent years (I love 'Brandywine' tomatoes but cannot grow them without a greenhouse).  Many, many commercially grown varieties have excellent color, flavor, vigor and production but they are just not quite as old, fun or interesting as some of the heirlooms.


    Another example: only a handful of varieties (of the thousands) of potato are commercially grown. All the others are considered “heirlooms”.  Some old "fingerling" varieties are so widely produced now that they may no longer
    actually qualify as heirlooms!  (Eric's harvest 2009)

  • New Millenium Delphinium

    A few years ago, New Millennium Delphiniums were introduced to the U.S. from New Zealand breeder Terry Dowdswell.   The New Millenium Series, are D. elatum types, the majestic English Delphinium Hybrid. They are generally regarded as far superior to any other varieties.

    In Truckee, we have found them to be hardy, strong stemmed and with incredible flowers. The plants are hardy, disease resistant and grow to 6' so they'll benefit from staking. If they are cut back to 8" after blooming they will resprout and re-bloom in late summer. We have an excellent selection of the 9 colors available.

    "On trial at the RHS Garden in Wisley they were awarded the coveted Award of Garden Merit, AGM. AGM indicates the plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit. AGM is given to plants, after trial, that have shown outstanding excellence for garden decoration and can be easily grown by the amateur gardener."




  • Sagehen Creek Camas Lilies

    Rob took his puppy smoke out Sagehen Creek this week and says the Camas lilies are yet to bloom.  What a dramatic difference from last year.  The blooms were fading fast by May 25, 2009. Though still looking good.

    Camas and Bistort 5_25_09

    We received a huge load of wonderful native plants including 3 species of easy to grow monkeyflower, 6 species of native lupine, Incense Cedar, Twinberry, Currant, Thimbleberry, Wild Strawberry, Wild Rose, Elderberry, Columbine, Arrow-leaf Balsamroot and more from hardy Truckee seed sources.  Dozens of other species from local Lake Tahoe and Plumas County seed as well.   The Villager Nursery collects seed throughout the west and has lots of great plants contact grown for our garden Center and our clients.

    The wildflowers should be spectacular this spring with all the late moisture and the delayed-melt snow pack.  Our consolation prize.  We'd better get out and enjoy it.


Contact Villager

Villager Nursery, Inc
10678 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA 96161-4834
Central Truckee, exit 186 off I-80
(530) 587-0771
www.villagernursery.com
info@villagernursery

Founded 1975, Incorporated 1990

California Nursery License 1975
No. C 3976.001, Co.29CA
Contractors License 1977
No. 413907-C27 LS
ISA Certified Arborist: Eric Larusson
No. WE-7983A

View All Events