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Archive for month: August, 2009

Gardening for Summer and Fall

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By Cathy Hough, general manager & buyer

Remember to join us on Labor Day as we celebrate you, our loyal customer, with free hot dogs and beverages from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Our holiday hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Yes, lately the heat has been unbearable, even by the ocean, but gardeners can still plant and plan for summer and fall! Extreme heat means cool drinks, fans, water for cooling off in and enjoying the company of friends and family.

Make your Labor Day weekend one to remember with vibrant colors that will also perk up your fall garden.

Anything in orange says “sizzle” and will fit nicely into fall browns, reds, yellows, and greens.

ornage doulbe impatiens

The Marina Garden Center has a huge selection of plants that “sizzle,” in oranges, reds and yellows so be sure to stop in. Steve, Stephanie and Dago can recommend plants that will thrive in your growing conditions, as well as help you decide what to plant in containers and hanging baskets to spruce up your outdoor entertaining area for Labor Day weekend.

lion's tail perennial

vine with yellow flowers

We have a wealth of shrubs and vines in stock, many of which will make great privacy hedges or striking borders. Blue Sky Flower (below) is an amazing vine that blooms in spring, summer, fall and winter. It is a robust climber that can cover a 10-foot wall and make it awash in its stunning sky blue flower.

sky blue flower

And as we prepare to bid summer farewell, there is still time to enjoy roses (below, with a busy bee in it) and Clematis (two varieties below, each stunning in its own right). These gorgeous plants would fit perfectly into most any existing landscape, in ground or in a container.

rose with bee in it



Proven winners and conversation pieces for summer include Plumeria (below, in a box behind the metal bench, with smaller ones in front) and Bougainvillea (below, on a trellis). Plumeria is known for its use in Hawaiian leis and Bougainvillea can be seen throughout Southern California, twisting on an arbor or trellis.


bougainvillea on trellis

Part of what you can do now is fill in garden beds with hot summer color that blends nicely with fall colors. A great example of this is below with Begonia foliage, Caladium and ferns offsetting the magnificent orange of Begonias.


For fall color that will last through Thanksgiving, plant in several same-colored containers in varying sizes for a display on your front porch or a grouping on your patio or deck. Grasses (below) are just one of the many plants you can use in such a grouping. Stop in and put Dago, Stephanie or Steve to work for you. They can provide expert assistance with selecting plants that will do well through fall and advise you on what soil to use when you plant in containers.


The Marina del Rey Garden Center is fully stocked with practically any and every plant you might need in your garden/landscape. Wander our 2+ acres now to draft out your plans for a beautiful fall landscape. Remember, fall is the best time for planting.

Seashells (and Plants for Your Garden) By the Seashore

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By Cathy Hough, general manager & buyer

seashell designs indoor plants lamps gifts accessories

Be sure to step inside our store to see all of the great new products we have! And while you’re in the store, say hello to Pat (below), our newest team member. Pat is our indoor plant buyer who just happens to have a creative flair for fashioning eye-catching interior displays (like the one above).

pat tending plants inside the store

Pat (above) is a California Certified Nursery Professional, making her a great resource for all of your plant questions. We are pleased to welcome Pat to the Marina del Rey Garden Center team and know that you will enjoy making her acquaintance, just as we have.

With the days of August coming to a close and fall not too far away, we at MDRGC have been gearing up for the best planting time of the year: Fall. The warm rays from a summer sun have made the ground ripe for planting… The results you get from planting a Fall garden can be quite amazing! Ask Stephanie, Steve or Dago for assistance with your gardening needs.

monrovia growers plants

It also makes “dollars and sense” to begin your garden with the best plants around, and we have them! Most recently, we have received shipments of gorgeous plants from Monrovia Growers, horticultural craftsmen since 1926. And we stock a wide range of sizes, from one-gallon containers to boxed specimens and everything in between. Start your garden with smaller plants and anchor them with five-gallon or larger plants. 

And remember that Dago, Steve and Stephanie can provide you with expert advice, including what soil to plant with and how much sun or shade a particular plant needs.

pittosporum from Monrovia Growers

Indeed, when you start out with the best plants, they certainly deserve the best soil and conditions to thrive in.

Privacy hedges can be started with large or small plants, depending on your needs and budget. Trellised plants are also another nice way to have immediate privacy. We have Bougainvillea and Potato Vines on large trellises as well as more unusual plants such as the Cape Honeysuckle vine (below).

cape honeysuckle vine

We also specialize in unusual plants and have many on site daily. And if we don’t have what you want, we will comb our vast array of top-quality growers to locate what you’re after. We want you, our customer, to have the best possible experience at the Marina Garden Center.

thorny plants

Purple is always an amazingly vibrant color that adds intrigue to most any garden. We even know some gardeners who have planted their yards in as much purple as possible! To that end, we are awash in purple flowering plants. If you can’t fined them, just ask Steve, Stephanie or Dago to point you in the right direction.

Here’s a quick sampling of our purple beauties (below).

princess flower

small princess flowers

purple flowers

And, believe it or not, we even have colorful wind chimes (below) you can color coordinate to your garden, especially if it’s purple!

colorful wind chimes

And did you know that many of our colorful hanging flower baskets are offered at the same price points you’ll find at Target, for lesser quality plants?! When you shop at the Marina Garden Center, you shop in a gardening oasis of the best in plants, soils, advice, and customer service!

donkey tails and begonias in hanging baskets

So as the days of summer wind down to their glorious few, remember that we have the best value for your dollar. Our expertise, buying savvy, and knowledgeable, friendly customer service make for an experience you won’t find anywhere else.

So come in today to stroll our grounds and visit our gift store and indoor plants. We will give you what our loyal customers have come to expect: nothing less than the best.

water fountain and plants and bistro chair

Have a great day!

Succulents & Cacti For Waterwise Landscapes

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By Cathy Hough, general manager & buyer

Create a waterwise garden with Succulents and Cacti.


Any time of year, we have the best selection of Succulents and Cacti in the greater Los Angeles region. Count on us to have just what you are looking for or to be able to track it down.

more succulents and cacti

Ask Dago, Steve or Stephanie for assistance with any of your gardening needs or questions. Our professional staff can always find an answer.

Succulents and Cacti, though certainly waterwise, can be used to create remarkable landscapes that bring out the best of the western desert.

succulents galore

Our nursery is known for our friendly customer service and expert delivery services. Ask Dago, Stephanie or Steve how you can schedule a delivery.

delivery truck

Another way to enjoy a waterwise landscape is to plant a plethora of Grasses, particularly if there will be a breeze to sway the gently. Watching anything sway in the breeze, let alone a winsome plant, is particularly rewarding.


Phormiums can also deliver a cornucopia of fall color. You will want to speak with Dago, Stephanie or Steve to understand how these beauties fit into your landscape.


The hose you use to water your garden can have a profound impact. Ask one of our experts which hose will meet the requirements of your garden.

garden hoses

Grasses can create a soothing garden that evokes specific feels. Some grasses speak to breezes while others stand sturdy and proud in  water. 

horsetail reed

We at the Marina del Rey Garden Center also know how to help you fashion a garden that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. And we carry the best plants around, from the likes of Monrovia Growers and others who are meticulous about what they producer and offer.

sign of hummingbirds and butterlies

Scabiosa is a beautiful gorgeous purple/blue flowering plant that atttracts hummingbirds and butterflies, and is a perennial.


We are also known for stocking and procurring unusual specimens, such as this Banksia Serrata.

banksia serrata

Here’s another look at what makes this plant worthy of the name, “Australian Beauty.”

banksia serrata, australian beauty

We at the Marina del Rey Garden Center are proud to be your trusted source for plants, knowledge and expertise. Visit us today.

Thrilling Summer Color

By Cathy Hough, general manager & buyer

Join us on Facebook ( and become a fan so that you can get the latest updates on new arrivals! Our Facebook page is live. Just log into your FB account and enter “Marina del Rey Garden Center” into the FB search field and you’ll find us. Thanks for joining us there and remember to visit our website often.

School may be starting soon but there’s still time to get some groovy summer color in your garden! Our hanging basket plants (below) add immediate color without much fuss: Just find a place to hang them and you’re all set!Watering is a breeze, too, with hanging baskets and container plants. So stop in today to select a pot and some colorful plants to create your own pot of color.

hanging basket with bougainvillea and plumeria in background



You can plant virtually anything from bedding plants to citrus in containers. You just need to pair the right size container with plants that will do well in containers and add in the proper soil amendments when planting. Be sure to ask our gardening experts, Steve, Stephanie or Dago for guidance.

Our selection of bedding plants (some below) has all of the sizzling summer colors you could want. From Impatiens to Lisianthus to Verbena and many others, you can find pretty much any color that suits you.

colorful bedding plants

Unique to summer, Plumeria (below) is a fragrant flower known for its use in Hawaiian leis. We have a good supply of Plumeria in different colors and different sizes, so hurry in for the best selection. Our Plumeria come from a top specialty grower, CStars, and are sure to bring you much tropical pleasure.

plumeria from CStars

We also have some one-gallon Banana Tree plants (below) that feature gorgeous foliage. These specimens can be found in our shade plant section.

banana tree plants with deocrative foliage

As you may know, the Marina del Rey Garden Center is well-known for our large selection of containers and fountains, in addition to top-quality plant materials and expert customer service.

MDRGC is the place to come year-round when you have gardening questions. Our nursery staff of professionals are here to ensure that you have the best experience here and in your garden.

Now is still a great time to plant citrus in the ground or in containers. Ask Stephanie, Dago or Steve for assistance. Planting citrus means that you can contribute to the sustainable gardening revolution and enjoy the fruits of your own labor.

cocktail hybrid citrus

We have a large selection of citrus, ranging from dwarf sizes to full sizes. Some even come on trellises (below), simplifying your life.

lemon tree on trellis

Other plants suited for trellises include Bougainvillea (below) and this particular specimen is a dazzler with pretty pink and white pastel brachs.

beautiful bougainvillea on trellis

Trellised plants make good privacy screens and can be planted in containers for such uses. They also bring beautiful color to your private area, creating a relaxing ambiance for your and yours guests. Partner a trellised plant with just the right container (below) to create any look you want. Our containers are colorful, architectural, contemporary… whatever your style, we’re sure to have the right pot for you.


We have more Blueberry Bushes (below) in as well as a complete selection of herbs and vegetables (below), from seed and in small packs and containers. Ask Dago, Stephanie or Steve for assistance with the fine points of planting an edible garden. They can provide guidance on how to keep your garden pest free, naturally.

blueberry bushes sign

herbs and vegetables

And do remember that there are many ways to liven up an existing garden or patio or deck area (below).

hangin baskets

Roses (below) are still in bloom, and we have a few left. Plant them in ground or containers and enjoy them into fall.

Voluptuous rose

And do stop in to see what’s new, like this plant below. What does it remind you of? Perhaps, something you normally try to keep out of your garden?! Stop in and ask Dago, Stephanie or Steve to show you this remarkable “mystery” plant.

snail flower

Botanical Interests and Natural Pesticides

By Cathy Hough, general manager & buyer

Our 2010 season Botanical Interests seeds have arrived! What began in the spare bedroom of Judy and Curtis’ Colorado home in 1995 has now blossomed into the premier line of seeds… Botanical Interests. And even after all these years, their business goals are the same: to inspire and educate gardeners; to provide high quality seed to their customers; and to create an enjoyable work place for employees.

botanical interests seeds for growing food for thought

Botanical Interests’ goal is to inspire AND educate so that you can create beautiful and successful gardens. Every packet contains the following helpful information:

  • Inspiring, detailed botanical illustrations
  • More than 400 high-quality varieties to choose from with new varieties added very year
  • Untreated seeds
  • A large selection of Certified Organic varieties
  • Guaranteed–the germination rate of every variety is tested before we package one
  • No GMOs: They recently signed the SAFE SEED PLEDGE: We do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants.

Tom and his Giant Sunflower

(Above) This Botanical Interests sunflower was planted and grown by this young gardener.

sunflower and pollen up close

Tom’s magnificent giant sunflower has been the talk of the town. Quite the gardener, Tom is also growing tomatoes, squash, watermelon, and strawberries and shared some of his homegrown tomatoes just the other day. D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!

Tom also grew these sunflowers (below) from a Botanical Interests seed packet.

sunflowers galore

botanical interests sunflower seed varieties

Botanical Interets seed packets

Stop in today to discover the value of Botanical Interests seeds and while you’re here, ask Stephanie, Dago or Steve for expert planting guidance. They can hook you up with the right soil amendments, tools and whatever you need to grow a successful garden.

Organic gardeners will also want to know that we stock Dr. Earth. It has long been recognized that organic gardening is the superior approach to healthy, productive plants and soils. Until Dr. Earth products came along, this approach was tedious, slow and demanding, requiring a commitment beyond that of a typical homeowner gardener.

The Dr. Earth difference is in performance. Dr. Earth products provide fast growth results plus the long-term plant and soil health associated with true organic fertilizers. At the heart of all Dr. Earth products are the seven champion strains of beneficial microbes and fungi. Dr. Earth products also eliminate the environmental and safety risks associated with chemical fertilizers.

Dr. Earth

You, too, can have better bugs and gardens and we have just what you need to eliminate those pests from your garden. But before you use a natural pesticide make sure the bug you’re getting rid of is really a pest. Benefical garden insects include Lady Bugs and Praying Mantids, which help keep your garden free from the pests that can wreak havoc on your plants.

We carry natural pesticides that include ingredients such as Bachillus thuringlensis, Neem oil (azadirachtin), Potassium salts of fatty acids, Pyrethin and Spinosad. Just ask one of our gardening experts, Steve, Stephanie or Dago, for assistance.

natural pesticides

And if you need to eliminate your yard of mosquitoes, we have Mosquito Dunks.

mosquito dunks

And remember, our plant selection is enormous, probably one of the largest in the Los Angeles area. We get weekly deliveries and can special order plants. One of our top-quality vendors is Monrovia Growers (below), horticultural craftsmen since 1926.

monrovia growers

Stop in today to see what’s new and while you’re here, ask one of our experts, Steve, Stephanie or Dago, any of your gardening questions. We’re here to provide the best products, plants, knowledge and customer service possible.