Advice on Thrips from Berkeley Horticultural Nursery

4 Sep

Tips on Thrips
Thrips has become a major pest in local gardens in recent years. Many people do not realize that their gardens are infested until the leaves of their plants are stippled and silver-colored with thrips damage. Colonies of these tiny sucking insects can be found on the undersides of infested leaves. The tiny white to yellow nymphs and yellow to black adults leave behind black spots of feces. Once leaves are damaged they cannot recover and are best removed.

Most thrips damage occurs during the warmer, drier months of the year. Plants in dry shady locations appear to be more susceptible with the lower leaves at greater risk. Well-watered healthy gardens and plants with overhead watering tend to be less susceptible. Forceful streams of water on the undersides of infested leaves can help control the pest. Plants most susceptible to thrips include Azalea, Bergenia, ferns, Luma, Pyracantha, Rhododendron, Toyon and Viburnum. Recently Camellias and evergreens have shown damage as well.

The sooner this insect is detected, the easier it is to control. Spray with a solution of Insecticidal Soap and a refined Horticultural Oil, at recommended rates. Test the spray on a small portion of the infested plant. If no leaf damage occurs within a few days of your test, proceed to thoroughly spray your plant with special attention to the undersides of leaves and the lower branches. Because of their short persistence, oil or soap sprays are less disruptive of natural predators.

There is evidence that plants with good mulch around their bases are less prone to thrips infestations, and Earthworm Castings are our choice for this. Mulching may provide an environment for natural predators plus improve the overall health of the plant by conserving moisture. Removal of badly infested leaves and any plant debris from around the base of the plant is recommended before spraying.

While there is no magic cure for thrips, keeping a close watch on established plantings, selecting plants that are less susceptible, deep watering during the warm season, and immediate treatment when thrips are first detected, will go a long way toward managing this widespread pest.

Annie’s has lots of California Poppies!

24 Jan

Effervescent & Easygoing Eschscholzias!

L to R: Eschscholzia ‘Apricot Chiffon’Penstemon heterophyllus ‘Blue Springs’Eschscholzia ‘Rose Chiffon’
The hardest thing about growing easy, breezy Eschscholzia is pronouncing its name!

Our gorgeous California state flower and all of its jewel-toned brethren are the epitome of easy: drought tolerant and deer resistant, adaptable to poor, dry soil, as well as rich, garden soil – they’re the kind of over-achieving plants that look oh-so-good with minimal effort on your part! In fact, Cal Poppies live longer if you keep them on the dry side over the Summer and they reseed reliably for free plants that will fill in here and there, making all of their neighbors sparkle and shine!

But the best thing? The BEST thing about these radiant poppies is the alchemy they create when mixed and matched with their fellow native Californian wildflowers or Mediterranean garden annuals. The possibilities are endless and the results – positively enchanting!

Eschscholzia californica ‘Apricot Chiffon’
“Apricot California Poppy”

You just can’t beat the luscious beauty of Cal Poppy ‘Apricot Chiffon’ matched with the harmonious blue-purple of Penstemon heterophyllus ‘Blue Springs’ – it’s my favorite bloom-at-the-same-time color combo!

Eschscholzia californica ‘Rose Chiffon’
“Pink California Poppy”

With swirling skirts sublimely shaded in rose and pink, each bloom is a work of art! Absolutely peerless for pairing with Springtime blues and yellows, try it with Laurentia axillaris ‘Blue Stars’ for a romantic vignette.

Eschscholzia californica ‘Alba’
“White California Poppy”

Sophisticated creamy white blooms give cool contrast for almost any other color in the garden. We especially love it with sky blueNemophila “Baby Blue Eyes” and cheerfulDianthus plumarius ‘Pinkerton’ – win!

Eschscholzia californica’Red Chief’ 
“Red California Poppy”

Vivid, satiny and long-blooming ‘Red Chief’ adds BIG COLOR to low water or native gardens, even parking strips! Combine with trippy-cool blue Cerinthe major purpurascens for an eye-popping blaze of garden glory!

Eschscholzia ‘Purple Gleam’
 “Purple California Poppy”

Totally harmonious and at home in any native or cottage garden combo, we love ‘Purple Gleam’s’ single painterly flowers! Try it with fluffy-cute and pet-able “Bunny Tail Grass” Lagurus ovatusfor a tactile thrill!

Eschscholzia californica ssp. maritima
‘Coastal Form’

Not the common California poppy everyone is familiar with but a superior, compact coastal form with pretty, tight bluish foliage. Blooms longer than all the rest, too! Perfect in parking strips!

More free learning… from Annie’s

11 Jan

Bare-Root Fruit Trees are In!
FREE TALK with Phil Pursel of
Dave Wilson Nursery on Sat. Jan. 18 at 11 am!

No matter what size garden you have, there’s room for at least one fruit tree!

January is the perfect time for us Bay Area gardeners to plant bare root fruit trees and we are thrilled to welcome back our favorite fruit tree expert, Phil Pursel of Dave Wilson Nursery on Jan. 18 at 11 am!

With enthusiasm and expertise, Phil will help you get your backyard orchards off to a fabulous start. Not sure what fruit trees are best suited to your growing zone or space? Phil can totally help with that.

And what about that all important “first cut” – the very first pruning cut that should be made to keep backyard fruit trees a manageable height for harvesting? Phil will walk you through that, too, and give you all of the compelling reasons why you should do it.

Whether you have an established backyard orchard, or are planting your first fruit tree, Phil’s extensive knowledge and passion will get you fired up about growing your own fruit! You’ll walk away with everything you need to know about selecting, planting, pruning, protecting your tree and more. Bring your questions!

BONUS: The fine and fabulous folks at Dave Wilson are generously donating a wonderful selection of beautiful bare root trees to RAFFLE OFF! No purchase necessary – just be here by 11 am to nab a free raffle ticket!

For a complete list of varieties available in the nursery only:


FREE pruning classes at Berkeley Hort!

10 Jan

Want to learn how to prune your roses? Fruit trees? Berkeley Horticultural Nursery in Berkeley is offering FREE pruning classes this month. Check out the link for more info:

Know someone who needs a little help with their garden?

6 Dec


With the holidays approaching, have you thought about giving someone you love a Berkeley Garden Coach gift certificate? Gift certificates available in all denominations from $120, for either coaching or design services.

Garden coaching makes a great holiday gift!

Contact me directly to purchase a Berkeley Garden Coach gift certificate for the holidays.

And all the best to you this holiday season.


16 Oct
The fall Plant Exchange is this Saturday

October 19th, Noon to 4pm

What?        Lakeshore Neighborhood Plant Exchange
When?       Saturday, October 19th, 2013
Time?        12:00 noon to 4:00 pm
Where?      3811 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland. Easy free parking.
Cost?         FREE!

All kinds of plants are welcome, of any size: seedlings, cuttings, or fully grown. Packets of seeds are welcome too. Want to donate plants before the event? There’s still a few days left. Contact us to arrange to drop off your plants ahead of time.

Don’t forget about those garden accessories and accents: Umbrellas, clippers, pots, books and magazines on gardening, stepping stones, tools and supplies – even goldfish.

For more information call (510) 866-8482 or email Full details can be found at our new expanded website

Lakeshore Neighborhood Plant Exchange
3811 Lakeshore Ave
Oakland, CA 94610

Don’t forget to check out the Fall Party at Annie’s Annuals in Richmond!

6 Sep


What’s the best time to plant here in our Mediterranean climate?
Why, the FALL of course!

Now’s the time to start thinking about your smashing Spring garden AND take advantage of the coming Winter rains. So in preparation for our favorite planting season and our Fabulous Fall Planting Party, Sept. 28 & 29, 10 – 5, we’re rolling out a huge selection of California natives, hardy annuals (think Poppies!), Winter veggies, plant-now-for Spring-bloomers and even Winter bloomers!

As always, we’ll have music, free snackies, gardens in bloom, talks, go-go dancers and of course, FREE RAFFLES and our ever-most popular SUPERMARKET SWEEP where two lucky winners win 15-MINUTES OF FREE SHOPPING each day! Bring the kids for amazing FREE facepainting with friendly Budderball The Clown and take a walk through our Pumpkin Patch!

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