Saturday, March 16, 2013

Revisiting Green Acres Nursery in Folsom

A year ago, Green Acres Nursery opened its 3-acre location in Folsom on the outskirts of Sacramento. At the time, it was billed as the largest retail nursery in California’s Central Valley. Here is the blurb I posted about my March 2012 visit. Since Folsom is a 40-minute drive from here and Green Acres’ Sacramento location is much closer, I had only visited the Folsom nursery that one time.

However, on Friday I had the opportunity to go back for another look-see. The nursery is located on the edge of town on a hill overlooking the Highway 50 to the south and upscale housing to the north.

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View from Green Acres Nursery in Folsom, CA

While Green Acres has just about everything a gardener could want, their selection of shrubs is particularly impressive. There were at least a dozen different camellia varieties, many of them still in bloom.

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Camellias in bloom

Like last year, I was also drawn to the many different kinds of pieris. These two were my favorites: ‘Temple Bells’…

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Pieris japonia ‘Temple Bells’

…and ‘Flaming Silver’.

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Pieris japonia ‘Flaming Silver’

Another attraction that jumped out at me: heucheras in many different colors. Unfortunately, our hot sun bleaches their leaves to an unattractive dirt color in no time.

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Assorted heucheras

While I know a thing or two about restios, I’d never seen this one, Rhodocoma foliosa. It’s a compact grower, only 3 to 4 ft. tall. Did I buy it? No. Do I now wish I had? Yes.

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Rhodocoma foliosa, a compact restio with a dense growth habit (3-4 ft)

Coral aloe (Aloe striata) isn’t exactly rare but it’s still not very common in retail nurseries. This was a beautiful specimen in a 5-gallon container, reasonably priced at $25.

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Coral aloe (Aloe striata)

The agave selection was much larger than last year. In a weird quirk of retail pricing, the 2-gallon sizes were $27.50, the 5-gallon sizes $25!

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Agave galore

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TOP: Agave vivipara
BOTTOM: Agave ‘Mr Ripple’

I was positively giddy when I found an Agave desmetiana ‘Joe Hoak’. It’s been one my favorite agaves for a long time, but I had never seen one in a local nursery. I was so happy to be able to snap up a large 5-gallon plant for $25.

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Agave desmettiana  ‘Joe Hoak’

The selection of woody spurge cultivars continues to grow every year. Check out these three beauties. They are so different!

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Assorted woody spurges

This silver-leaved Euphorbia characias cultivar is similar to ‘Tasmanian Tiger’ or ‘Glacier Blue’ but it has wider leaves. It’s called ‘Silver Swan’.

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Euphorbia characias ‘Silver Swan’

Vertical gardening has gone mainstream: This is a beautifully made wooden rack, about 4 ft tall. I loved the combination of succulents and herbs—and a black mondo grass thrown in for good measure.

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Vertical garden rack

One of the biggest surprises were these tall (at least 5 ft.) African milk bushes (Synadenium grantii ‘Rubra’). I bought a smaller specimen last year, and it was awesome to see what it might look like soon.

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African milk bush (Synadenium grantii ‘Rubra’)

And finally the most beautiful sight of my visit: a Kanjuji granite lantern. This is my favorite Japanese lantern style. Green Acres had a half a dozen different granite lanterns. None of them are cheap, but they are beautifully made and will last a lifetime (or two). If I’d had $500 to spare, this one would have come home with me.

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Kanjuji-style granite lantern

7 comments:

  1. Looks like a nice way to spend a day. So you're not going back for the restio? It's only 40 minutes...

    Which reminds me: this is the year I get an Elegia capensis or similar. It will happen.

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    1. Alan, I'm keeping my eyes open for you. Plenty of Chondropetalum tectorum, but Elegias are impossible to find in local nurseries.

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  2. Ah you got a Joe....I am jealous. Now I wish I was driving down to the SF Fling and could stop in route and pick one up! Congrats!

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    1. Loree, my 'Joe Hoak' had two small pups. I removed them when I repotted the mother plant. If they live, I'll send you one of them.

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  3. Some very nice plants there! I've been thinking about getting a Joe Hoak for quite some time now but I only ever see them as small plants. Seeing that big one has sold it to me, must get one soon even if I have to start with a small one.

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    1. 'Joe Hoak' would be a deserving addition to your collection. If you can find one, you should definitely grab it.

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