Annie's Awesome Newsletter Archive

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Dudleya Power! Life on the EDGE with our favorite CA native succulent!

Like sugar-coated sea anemones, our California native Dudleyas are a delightful and unmistakable sight all along the California coastline, where they tenaciously cling to rocky outcroppings and ledges. Tough enough to roll with the punches of ocean-side dwelling, they make life on a cliff face look both easy and awesome. They're also incredibly adaptable, living long and prospering in the garden, where their splendid geometry and spectacular stems and blooms bring drought tolerant drama wherever they're planted. Plus, they're deer resistant and reliably loved by our native hummingbirds. So sweet!

How best to grow Dudleyas? Well, there's a reason they're known by the common name "Liveforevers" – Dudleyas thrive on neglect and live, while not literally forever, pretty darn close.

Food for the Soil! Nurturing soil health with Sonoma Compost Company's Will Bakx, Saturday, August 6 at 11 am!

Compost, compost, compost! It's our mantra here at Annie's whenever customers ask what they need to do to take their gardens from blah to breathtaking!

Come learn how to make your own high quality "black gold" and improve the tilth of your garden soil with lifelong sustainability champion Will Bakx, owner of Sonoma Compost Company on Saturday, August 6 at 11 am! Will's company has diverted over a million tons of organic material from landfills and he's not stopping there. Now he's reaching out to home gardeners to help them understand the soil food web and why it's crucial to having a successful garden – whether you're growing edibles, ornamentals or both!

Hello Dahlia! You're still growin''re still glowin''re still bloomin' strong!

Unbeatable Summer show-stoppers, our rare and unusual species Dahlias produce big, bold, bountiful blooms from early Summer right through to first frost! Coming in a sumptuous array of jewel tones and bi-colors – some with glossy green foliage, others with deliciously dark chocolatey-colored leaves – they're the ultimate gateway-flower. No one can stop at just one! And bonus – we have our biggest selection of all the best varieties RIGHT NOW!

Here at Annie’s we specialize in super tough and hardy species that tend to be sturdier, bushier, more bloomiferous, and more robust. They never need staking and are powdery mildew resistant. Growing to their proper height of 4-5' tall, they're not the boinky and stunted dwarf varieties that you find at the big box stores. Plus, like all Dahlias, they’re deer resistant, virtually pest free, make gorgeous cut flowers and, possibly best of all, are easy to divide and share with all your garden friends!

Succulent & Botanical Oddballs! FREE Talk with Brian Kemble, Curator of Ruth Bancroft Garden Saturday, July 23 at 11 am!

We are thrilled to welcome Brian Kemble, Curator of the beyond fabulous Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek to the nursery on Saturday, July 23rd at 11 am to demystify some of the beautiful and bizarre, yet easy-to-grow succulents and other intriguing horticultural oddities grown in Ruth's amazing Summer-dry garden. Planted in 1972, the garden is open to the public and we heartily recommend you visit!

Inspired by otherworldly colors, textures and sculptural forms, Brian has travelled the globe in search of unique characters for Ruth’s renowned collection. His work for the Garden has included hybridizing Aloes, Agaves and South American Cacti. An enthusiastic walking encyclopedia on all things plants, we’ve been fortunate to be on the receiving end of several of Brian’s amazing discoveries – many of which you will find for sale here at the nursery! So come on down to find a few new treasures for your low-water garden and how to grow them beautifully!

Problem-Solving Plants! Show-stopping solutions for your most challenging garden predicaments!

You've got problems! We've got plants!

Here at the nursery, we get every kind of gardening question you can imagine. It seems no matter how much time and effort we devote to our little plots of plant paradise, there's always at least one problematic patch that has us gardeners tearing our gloves off in frustration.

Whether it's a parched slope, a sunny hot corner of doom where nothing wants to grow, dastardly deer, soul-crushing clay soil, shady side yards or unsightly obstacles – the list of potential challenges goes on and on! While you might find a few ho-hum plants that are adequate to the task at the big-box stores, intrepid gardeners don't just want adequate. We want color! Big Blooms! Drama! And for goodness sake, we want tried-and-true longevity and reliability along with our foliage and flowers.

Join the Monarch Brigade! Help Migrating Monarch Butterflies by PLANTING MILKWEED!

August through October is the height of butterfly season!

We're shining the spotlight on one of our most favorite groups of plants – the diverse and divine genus Asclepias – just in time for you to PLANT THEM NOW so that migrating Monarchs might find them in the late Summer and Fall and lay their eggs among the leaves. A prized nectar source for many butterflies, bees and hummingbirds, Milkweed is also the sole host plant for Monarch butterflies and absolutely essential to their survival!

Beautious Begonias Tropical Foliage and Massive Blooms Abound!

We’re bringing Begonias back! Too long have people suffered the horror of those ghastly, teensy-weensy dwarf Begonias that haunt parks, gas stations, and commercial landscapes. Our eyeballs (and gardens) deserve better!

So we’ve pulled out all the stops and are thrilled to present a plethora of bangin’ Begonias from massive tropical-foliaged cane types that can reach 8’ tall, to modern hanging basket-worthy hybrids with HUGE FLOWERS.

Smashingly Successful Succulents! Learn to mingle succulents with Mediterranean beauties with Ernesto Sandoval, Sat. June 18 at 11 am!

Come learn the habits of highly successful succulents with Ernesto Sandoval – Director, UC Davis Botanical Conservatory on Saturday, June 18 at 11 am!

We're excited to welcome Ernesto back to the nursery, for an entertaining talk about the art of growing succulents WELL alongside some of our favorite low-water Mediterranean climate annuals and perennials.

He'll be sharing practical advice about soil texture and drainage, root health, amendments and more. And he'll discuss his favorite plants and pairings with his usual charisma and flair! Don’t miss it!

Ode to AGASTACHE! Deer, drought, heat got nothin' on these toughies!

Ahh, the virtues of the genus Agastache are as long and as varied as the myriad ways we have of pronouncing its name! But whether you say "A-GAS-ta-key" or "Aga-STAK-ee" (heck, you can even call it Aga-STASH and we won't blink), there's a "Hummingbird Mint" for you!

Valued for their long-lasting vibrant blooms, stalwart nature and imperviousness to drought, deer, bugs and heat, "Hyssops" offer a smorgasbord of sustenance for butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. WHAT MORE CAN YOU ASK FOR? Well, you can make teas, jelly and sachets from their fragrant, minty foliage and brighten a room with their cut flowers. No wonder they're adored by gardeners far and wide – with several varieties hardy to USDA zones 4-6, almost everyone can grow them – especially as they make stunning Summer annuals where they're not hardy.

Join the MEADOW MOVEMENT! Learn the secrets of meadow making with grass guru John Greenlee on Saturday, June 4 at 11 am!

You don't have to live in the country or on an acre of land to make a beautiful meadow garden!

Any space currently inhabited by a lawn is a perfect place to start – as big or as small as you like! Join us and learn how on Saturday, June 4 at 11 am in an info packed talk by Master of Meadows John Greenlee.

John is passionate about helping homeowners convert their time, water and chemical sucking lawns into shimmering meadows filled with gorgeous grasses, bulbs and wildflowers that provide habitat for birds, beneficial insects, butterflies and bees! He's also the ultimate authority on grasses and he knows them like people: how they work, where they grow best, who they like to hang out with!