Articles in Category: New Plants

Fruit Tree Season is Here!

on Friday, 06 January 2017. Posted in Fruit trees, Classes, New Plants

New Fruit tree varieties by Joey Sparks

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With these cold winter months ahead many gardeners are eager to get back outside and work on projects. Bare Root Fruit tree season is here!  So many great varieties of fruit trees are available this time of year that become harder to find during the rest of the growing season. While we carry all of the classic favorites like apples, cherries and pears, we also bring in some in some unusual fruit trees such as persimmon, walnuts, and Chinese Jujube.  

Most people prefer to grow fruit varieties they are more familiar with, like ones they purchase at the store (Pink lady Apples, Santa Rosa Plums). While these varieties are popular for good reason, consider planting a lesser known fruit tree like the ‘Chocolate’ Persimmon or a Mulberry. You’ll never find them at the store- often because they aren’t bred for a long shelf life.  So, you can enjoy unique flavors right from your yard!  


chocolate persimmonThe non-astringent ‘Chocolate’ Persimmon has bright orange skin and brown flesh, thus it’s reference to chocolate.  The fruits form and color late in fall and resemble lanterns hanging from the tree after leaf drop. Letting the fruits freeze on the tree a few times before harvest is recommended to enhance sweetness. The rare ‘Chocolate’ variety has a hint of nutmeg spice along with the sweet flavor.



black beauty mulberryMulberries you will almost never see at a store or even a farmer’s market because they are best picked ripe from the tree and tend to get juice down your arms in the process.   But they are worth the mess- with a flavor and look similar to blackberries, but almost more complex.  They have elongated black fruits and can make a large bush or small tree that could be hedged.  Just plant it far away from the family vehicle.  We carry the variety 'Black Beauty' which is hardy to Zone 7.



One confusing topic when it comes to fruit trees is pollination. Fruit trees are either self-fertile or they require a pollinator. If a tree is self-fertile that means that it will produce fruit on its own without the help of another tree. If a tree requires a pollinator than you need to plant two or more varieties of that species that are compatible.  There are several pollination charts out there to reference.  Our fruit tree descriptions tell you if they are self-fertile or need a pollinator.


class pruning older fruit treesExample: A Granny Smith apple is self-fertile as well as a pollinator for the ever-popular Fuji apple. They would make a great pair! One type being sour and one sweet.  But even if a fruit tree is self-fertile, it will set more fruit with other fruit trees of the same species nearby. Don’t stress too much about how close they are to each other, bees are pretty good at traveling. The important point is that diversity is a good thing .Growing fruit is a rewarding experience. It allows you to share food that you’ve grown with friends and family. It’s important to grow fruit that you not only like but will also use. You would be surprised how fruitful a couple of trees can be once they mature.


class asian pear espalieredWhat if I am limited in space? You’re not alone: if you would like to grow more varieties than your space will allow there is a way. One solution is to plant genetic dwarfs like the ‘Dwarf Empress' Peach or 'Golden Prolific' Nectarine. These compact trees only reach about 5’ tall and wide, while still producing a healthy amount of tasty fruit! Another solution is to use a technique called espaliered pruning. This allows you to control the size and form of your trees. Espaliered trees are also a very beautiful way to incorporate fruit trees into your landscape and garden space


Be sure to pre register for any upcoming classes you are interested in.  Many of them have limited spaces and the fruit tree classes are always popular.  Looking forward to seeing you!

 You can also see descriptions of most our fruiting trees and shrubs here.  Our availability is always listed here.

Garden tour

on Wednesday, 16 September 2015. Posted in Deer resistant, Drought tolerant, Landscape architect, Landscape contractor, New Plants

Checking out our plants in the outside world

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Shooting Star Garden Tour 2015!  Our friend Tracy suggested we go on a tour of some gardens that she and her company- Sage Hill Landscape had designed and installed using some of our plants.  We thought that sounded like a great idea!  We don't get out much and it would be such a good learning opportunity to see how our plants were doing outside of their little nursery environment. As well as what plants were winning the fight against deer, heavy clay soils, drought, and a hot summer.  First off, we were all stunned by this Chilopsis 'Bubba' pictured behind Erik.  It was huge and covered in burgundy flowers.  In the foreground are Salvia 'Caradonna' and Stachys byzantina (or Lambs Ear). 

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First off, let's say what a great job our designer, Bonni Criswell, did on this landscape design.  We were truly impressed with the beautiful combos and textures she created of silvers, blues, purples, and whites.  This client is nearby the nursery on Old Stage Road and the garden was planted in April of 2014.  So this was it's second summer when we visited and it looked filled in and thriving.   The client needed drought tolerant, deer resistant, and all season interest plants and Bonni delivered.

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Dwarf conifers were requested by this client so this combo includes a Papoose Sitka Spruce, Nepeta 'Walker's Low' and the ornamental grass Panicum 'Northwind'.

More fun combos!  On the left:  Panicum 'Northwind' with Agastache 'Heatwave' and Salvia 'Heatwave Glimmer'.

On the right:  Salvia 'Caradonna' (purple blooms) and Feijoa sellowiana (Pineapple Guava) with Picea Globosa, and Salvia x 'Heatwave Glimmer' (creamy white blooms).  Evergreen textures mingle with early summer and late summer blooming perennials so you'll never be bored.

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New Plants for 2015

on Thursday, 04 June 2015. Posted in Landscape architect, New Plants

Exciting new varieties and ones we wanted to highlight

New Plants for 2015

Shooting Star Nursery- New Plants for 2015
Abies concolor 'Fastigiate'- this columnar fir has really interesting thick blue needles and is heat tolerant, 8-10' x 3-4' w
Acer ginnala 'Flame'- always on the lookout for interesting multi trunks and that are deer resistant, will have some nice specimen multis
Akebia Purple Incense--Unique hybrid of the five leaf and three leaf Akebias features very dark purple, deliciously fragrant flowers
 and exceptionally large fruit.
Akebia Silver Bells--Light pink to white flowers, pale blue fruit & very fast growth!
Alstroemerica Ina Joli--Zone 5 hardy Peruvian Lily.  Compact bushy habit is topped with vibrant orange-red tubular flowers with a 
splash of gold in the middle.  Long bloom season.
Amelanchier- 'Autumn Brilliance' and 'Princess Diana'- again, looking for interesting multi forms, an all season interest small tree to large shrub, 
fall color, nice spring flowers and edible fruit and handsome in summer
Amelanchier 'Northline'- an especially large fruiting American native variety, good for wildlife or for eating, we have these in 5 gallons
Anthemis 'Susana Mitchell'--Fine lacy silver foliage is adorned with daisy like flowers.  Drought and deer resistant.
Asclepias tuberosa 'Hello Yellow'--Hassle free butterfly weed with three months golden yellow blooms followed by ornamental pods.
Deer resistant & attracts butterflies.
Asclepias tuberosa--Hassle free butterfly weed with three months tangerine orange blooms followed by ornamental pods.
Deer resistant & attracts butterflies.
Belamcanda chinensis--Blackberry lily.  2" flowers vary  in color from yellow to orange to red and are spotted with red.  
Seed pods burst open to reveal very showy clusters of black shiny seeds.  
Carpinus caroliniana and 'Native Flame'- we are trying to keep this Hornbeam in stock, usually at 1-1/2" size and are growing the Native Flame- 
a heat tolerant  variety with nice red fall color
Carpinus 'Emerald Avenue'- this stout hornbeam is reputed to be more heat tolerant and very urban tolerant, gets 40' tall x 28' wide, 
we have in 1" and 2"  caliper 
Caryopteris 'Longwood Blue'--Grows to 4' tall and starts blooming in August up to 8 weeks.  Deer resistant.  
Cedrus 'Divinely Blue' and 'Snow Sprite'- dwarf forms that are in the 6' tall range.
Cedrus 'Prostrate Beauty' and 'Feelin Blue'-  we have a nice collection of this dwarf Deodar Cedar- 5 gallons that are more upright, 30", 4-5', 
and some specimen trailing 16"  boxed ones
Cephalotaxus 'Fastigiata'- deer resistant, upright evergreen with thick, dark green needles.  Can be slow growing but good in a pot 
or part shade, 6-10' tall, 4' wide
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana'- we have some really nice 25 gallons of this mounded dwarf Hinoki Cypress- has a nice windswept look.
Choisya 'Aztec Pearl'- not new for 2015 but proving itself very useful, deer resistant, evergreen, can do sun or part shade
Cimicifuga 'James Compton'--Black Snakeroot.  Small compact version sporting dark purple foliage and white bottle brush flowers that 
smell like grape soda!  Deer resistant & attracts butterflies!
Coreopsis 'Big Bang Cosmic Eye'--An explosion of bicolor petals, rich burgandy red & sunshine yellow.  Attractive to buttlerflies left
alone by deer
Cornus 'Venus', 'Eddie's White Wonder' and Cornus kousa 'Galilean' and 'Milky Way'- everyone wants a dogwood so we are always
 trying to carry the most disease resistant and heat tolerant Dogwoods
Cotula hispida-- low cushions of ferny silver-grey leaves sit below taller wiry stems bearing yellow button flowers.  Drought & deer 
resistant and generally evergreen
Cupressus 'Wilma Goldcrest'- we finally have these at a useful size- really nice 5-6' tall ball and burlap specimens, makes a great statement
avoid reflected heat, Zone 7, drought tolerant, good in pots, 6-8' tallup to 15' eventually x 2' w
Delospermum 'Wheels of Wonder' series--Flower continously from spring untl frost.  This series offers new colors to design with!
Dictamnus albus 'Albiflorus'--Classic long lived deer resistant perennial.  Very stong tall stems carry interesting white flowers for
 weeks.  Aromatic leaves and star shaped seed pods.
Dictamnus albus 'Purpureus'--Classic long lived deer resistant perennial.  Very stong tall stems carry interesting pink flowers for
 weeks.  Aromatic leaves and star shaped seed pods.
Eupatorium 'Baby Joe'--A miniature Joe Pye Weed.  Attracts butterflies in droves.  Deer resistant.  Broad panicles of mauve-purple
flowers appear on dark purple-red stems and are great for late season color!
Fallugia paradoxa--Apache Plume is one of our showiest native western shrubs. Beginning in late spring and continuing
 through summer the plant blooms with single white flowers that set fluffy pink seed heads.
Fruiting trees and shrubs- we always try to carry a huge selection of Fruit trees, berries, and shrubs, new this year is Honeyberry!  
Can do part shade.  And we have  a few specimen Pears, Persimmons, Figs 
Geranium 'Biokovo'- this is the best Geranium against deer with its strong scent and the Perennial Plant of the Year!
Geranium wall. 'Havana Blues'--Compact variety sporting large soft blue blooms from May until frost!
Geranium wallichianum 'Pink Penny'--Large lavender pink flowers with pronounced dark veins sit atop neat mounds of foliage, long blooming
Helictotrichon 'Sapphire'--Sports wider foliage and brighter blue coloring than the species.  Also more resistant to disease & heat.
Hemerocallis 'Ruby Spider'--Gigantic 9" ruby red flowers with a radiating golden yellow throat have long petals that open wide, spider type
Hemerocallis 'Steeple Jackie'--Up to 5' tall makes for a very architectural look.  Carpeted in light canary yellow flowers.
Hemerocallis 'Strawberry Candy'--Long reblooomer.  Winner of numerous awards and very popular!
Heuchera 'Georgia Peach'--Foliage has an eye-catching glow to it that is unique.  Very heat tolerant.  
Heuchera 'Southern Comfort'--Huge Southern Comfort colored leaves up to 9" made a bold statement & the plant excells in heat!
Hibiscus 'Lord Baltimore'--This dinner plate Rose Mallow has 10" wide crimson-red ruffled flowers.  Tried & true plant.
Hibiscus 'Midnight Marvel'--Compact form that sports deeppurple maple leaf like foliage & 9" cranberry red flowers. 
Iris 'Albo Variegata'--Green & ivory striped foliage sports light lavender-blue flowers.  Excellent disease resistance and deer resistance
Iris 'Aureo Marginata'--Striking green and yellow variegated foliage adorned with dark blue flowers.  Fragrant!
Lavandula 'Silver Anouk'--Outstanding silver selection of Spanish Lavender
Leucothoe 'Scarletta'- evergreen, small shrub that does well against deer and shade!  This Leucothoe has vibrant red foliage 
in new growth and in fall and a modest size of 24" tall and 3-4' wide
Osmanthus h. 'Rotundifolia'- held up well in cold winter, evergreen, usually deer resistant, fragrant white flowers, 3-5' tall and wide
Paeonia 'Bartzella'-(Intersectional Peony)  6"-8" semi-double to double pastel yellow flowers are fragrant.  
Paeonia 'High Noon'--(Tree Peony) A very stong grower sporting 6"-9" semi-double clear yellow flowers that are fragrant.
Paeonia 'Hoki'--(Tree Peony)  Lipstick red, semi-double blooms.
Panicum 'Hot Rod'--Grass blades emerge blue-green & redden rapidly until the whole plant is a rich, deep maroon.
Perovskia Peek-A-Blue--Very short at just 2 feet tall!  Sports lacy leaves, true dwarf Russian Sage
Pinus 'Hillside Creeper'- we have this great cascading Pine in a few sizes- 2, 5, and 7 gallons, looks great around boulders
Pinus 'Hornbrookiana'- a nice stand alone or specimen Pine- more rounded- 2-3' tall and 6' wide- we have nice 7 gallons
Pinus mugo 'Gnom'- we have some specimen 25 gallons of these compact Mugo Pine
Pinus nigra 'Oregon Green'- we will always try to have this compact Austrian Pine in stock, nice 10' tall specimens and potted 4-5' tall ones right now
Pinus parviflora 'Cleary'- a narrow Pine with blue/green needles and a more open form, 6-10' tall and 3-5' wide
Pinus t. 'Thunderhead'-  dwarf Japanese Black Pine--  6-8' tall and 5-6' wide, makes a nice single specimen with very showy white candles and long needles
Polygonatum 'Variegatum'--Classic ground cover. Green & white variegated leaves line the arching stems.  Moderately drought tolerant.
Rosa- Kordes types- these are the only rose type we will regularly carry, they are very disease resistant, no spotting whatsoever.  
We have hybrid teas, groundcover types, similar to Knockout types, etc.
Salvia 'Endless Love'--Purple Hummingbird magnet. More robust and longer flowering then other verticillata salvias like 'Purple Rain'. 
Salvia 'Suncrest Golden Girl'--Lovely pure butter-yellow flowers with an orange blush on the upper exterior.  2' x 4'
Salvia 'Suncrest Orchid Glow'--Large, magenta purple flowers. Small-leaved foliage is nicely scented, sturdy and upright. Excellent,
 long-blooming garden performance.  Compact at 15" x 15".  
Saponaria ocymoides--Semi-evergreen foliage works well for crevices & walls.  Prolific bright pink flowers in early summer.
Deer resistent and attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.
Sedum 'Class Act'--Superior autumn sedum does not flop or fall apart!  RHS award of garden merit!
Sedum 'Mr. Goodbud'--Improved autumn sedum DOES NOT FLOP OR FALL APART.  Award winner.
Sedum 'Sunsparkler Cherry Tart'--6'' tall.  Low masses of cherry-red leaves topped by bright pink flower clusters.  Low water.
Sedum 'Sunsparkler Dazzleberry'--8" groundcover.  Sports big clusters of rosy-red florets over dusky blue-grey foliage.  Low water.
Sedum 'Sunspkarler Lime Zinger'--Lime green succulent leaves tinged with red picotee.  4" groundcover.
Ulmus 'Emerald Sunshine'- a heat tolerant and disease resistant elm, we have these in 2"
Viburnum x 'Allegheny'- Leatherleaf Viburnum-- should be deer resistant with thick leaves, cold hardy, evergreen to zero degrees
fast grower to 8-10' tall and wide, good screen
Viburnum trilobum 'Baileyi Compact'- a more compact version at 3-6' tall and wide
Viburnum trilobum 'Redwing'- a nice form of Cranberry Viburnum that gets 8-10' tall and wide and has red new growth
Yucca 'Excalibur'--Uniform, compact habit of evergreen blue green leaves with a glaucous grey caste.  Lots of curly white filaments.
Thrives in heat and deer and rabbit resistent.  Great xeric look.