Parking lot plantings at Green Acres Nursery in Elk Grove, CA

Green Acres Nursery & Supply is a family-owned garden center with seven locations in the greater Sacramento area. After acquiring Matsuda's, a Sacramento wholesale nursery, much of their inventory is produced in-house—a rarity in today's retail nursery industry.

My go-to Green Acres stores are the ones in Sacramento and Elk Grove. Both are about the same distance from my house. Elk Grove is one of the newest Green Acres locations. Fortunately, its parking lot has room for plants, not just cars. But instead of settling for the kind of commercial landscaping you typically see in shopping centers, Green Acres has opted for plants that need very little water. I imagine there is irrigation although I didn't see any sprinklers or tubing. Rocks of varying sizes serve as top dressing and discourage people from walking through the planted areas—it's not easy keeping a solid footing on these large pebbles. 

The beds in the parking lot at the Elk Grove store aren't densely planted. This may look odd to some, but I like how it turns every plant into a focal point. Each bed is anchored by a tree, and there are some small shrubs and woody perennials serving a similar purpose. The remaining plants are succulents, primarily agaves, mangaves, and yuccas. It's a straightforward design, but much more interesting than the usual parking lot greenery.

Agave americana 'Variegata'

Agave americana 'Mediopicta Alba'

Agave 'Blue Glow'

Agave desmetiana 'Variegata'

Agave geminiflora

Yucca rostrata

Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard'

Aloe sp.

Since this is a parking lot that's accessible to the public 24/7, it makes sense not to plant anything too valuable. I'm sure theft does occur. Having said that, Green Acres still selected really nice plants. My favorite, mostly because it was such a big surprise, is ×Mangave 'Whale Tale'. I have one in a pot where it has never quite lived up to its potential. In the Green Acres parking lot, there are several specimens, and they're all impressive. Clearly their roots are happy they can spread out.

×Mangave 'Whale Tale', about 3 ft. in width and 1 ft. in height

×Mangave 'Whale Tale' and Yucca gloriosa 'Bright Star'

×Mangave 'Whale Tale' is a three-way cross of Agave ovatifolia, Agave pablocarrilloi, and Manfreda maculosa. Released by Walters Gardens in 2018, it has, unfortunately, been discontinued already. I suppose it didn't sell as well as it needed to in order to remain part of their ×Mangave lineup

If you like the look of 'Whale Tale', ×Mangave 'Falling Waters' is another Agave ovatifolia hybrid with a similar growth habit (wider than tall), but with greener and wavier leaves.

One last one, with the main entrance in the background:

Green Acres is located at 9220 E Stockton Blvd in Elk Grove, just a block off I-5 (Laguna Blvd/Bond Rd exit).

© Gerhard Bock, 2021. All rights reserved. To receive all new posts by email, please subscribe here.


  1. All great specimens. Having recently priced Yucca 'Bright Star' locally, I'd certainly consider it a theft target!

  2. Excellent plantings! What caught my attention though was the size of the parking lot. Wow. Is it ever full?

    1. I've never seen the parking lot even half full. But then, I've never been to a special event there.

  3. I like the restrained planting. Not easy for plantaholics to achieve, and I struggle with it myself.

  4. What are the trees? Liquidambar? Fabulous fall color.

    Excellent xeric plants, good for a parking lot. And that is one impressive parking lot.

    There are so many many x Mangaves...what's one less?

  5. Gorgeous plants. I love those trees too. I see they have Agave desmetiana 'Variegata' in full sun. It would burn up here in Phoenix in all the sun! I wonder if Agave americana 'Mediopicta Alba' is prone to agave snout-nosed weevil like regular americana. I am sorry to hear about ×Mangave 'Whale Tale' not being produced for sale anymore. It is sure gorgeous there in that parking lot! And restraint, what's that?!


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