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Archive for month: January, 2010

More Succulents, More California Natives & More Vegetables and Herbs

By Cathy Hough, general manager & buyer

There’s a whole lot of change going on at the Marina del Rey Garden Center and we look forward to introducing you to an expanded succulent selection, more vegetables and herbs growing in a raised bed you can buy and easily assemble (coming soon),  more one-gallon California native perennials, a larger sun-loving ground cover selection, and everything that spring brings with it!

Winter to spring is a time of new beginnings and there are many plants that seem to magically spring forth out of almost nothing. The delicate, ever-changing foliage of a deciduous Japanese Maple pays silent tribute to each season even in the mild Southern California climate. The stunning, fragrant Lavender Lady Lilac (above), developed by Descanso Gardens for our warmer Southern California climate, bursts into color in spring.

We’re always on the lookout for exciting new plants as well as for top-quality growers and have just received an awesome selection of succulents (below) from our newest grower. The plants in this shipment were hand-picked by us so stop in today to see these amazing succulents and our expanded succulent section. All of the photos of succulents on this page are in our new, expanded succulent section!

Succulents (above and below) are great water-wise plants. They store water in their leaves, stems, and/or roots so that they can thrive in arid climate or soil conditions.

Succulents, which have become very popular throughout Southern California, can be grown in ground and in containers. They are a versatile plant with nine families that originate in places that include Madagascar, Africa, Australia, the Americas, India, Europe and Arabia, essentially worldwide. Ask Steve, Pat and Stephanie for more information about these water-wise plants.

(Above) Sticks on Fire, a very striking succulent shrub, is a form of Euphorbia tirucalli. It turns a striking red in cooler weather and is frequently used as a focal point in succulent gardens or planted separately in containers. Branches on this unique plant are as thin as pencils and a reddish-golden color that fades closer to yellow in the summer.


Part of the fun and intrigue of succulents (above and below) is that they come in many shapes, textures and colors. Visit our newly expanded succulent section to see the many varieties that are available. You can create quite an unusual and diverse garden or container with these water-wise plants and feel good about how they look and the water-saving contribution you are making.

Succulents can also be used as a protective barrier thanks to those that have thorns or sharp edges (below). The best known succulents are cacti (family: Cactaceae). Virtually all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti.


Ask Pat, Steve or Stephanie for expert guidance when you’re here. (Below) They can help you find a sun-loving ground cover in our newly expanded ground cover section, tell you about the variety of foliage colors available from Japanese Maple trees, help you select shrubs and trees for use as privacy screens, and much more!

Remember, we are your plant and garden resource, offering you the best quality plants, fountains, containers, statues, gardening products and home decor items matched with unsurpassed plant and product knowledge.

If you need a water-wise landscape, ask us. If you need to know how to successfully grow an orchid, a camellia, a citrus tree, or a vegetable or herb, ask us. Stephanie, Pat and Steve are very happy to answer your questions and to provide expert guidance.

Do take a look around the inside of our store. We always have an excellent selection of indoor plants and lots of home and garden accents (below).

We look forward to seeing you soon. Happy New Year and Happy Gardening from all of us at the Marina del Rey Garden Center!

Japanese Maples and Indoor Plants for Beauty and Quality Air

By Cathy Hough, general manager & buyer

As our unseasonably warm January weather turns to the rain we need, I’m reminded of how much can be done now to prepare for the splendors of spring. Stop in to learn about the different Japanese Maple tree varieties (below) to see which ones you’d most enjoy. Plant cool-season vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, peas, cauliflower, collard greens and lettuces like a mesculin mix. Find some indoor plants that not only create a soothing indoor environment while filtering and purifying your indoor air.

A new shipment of Japanese Maple trees (above) from Monrovia Growers has just arrived and our experts Steve, Pat and Stephanie are ready to help you select the trees that will add distinctive foliage to your landscape. They can also show you accent plants, such as Camellias and Azaleas, that do nicely with Japanese Maples.

Japanese Maples are great for creating a serenity garden. Add fun touches with Buddha (above) and Kuan Yin (below) statues.

Even without their leaves, the graceful silhouette of a Japanese Maple allows the winter sun to shine through. As one of the few deciduous plants we have in Southern California, Japanese Maple trees go from green to orange to red in the spring when they begin to leaf out.

Japanese Maples are considered a small-to-medium shrub or tree and can be planted in containers.

In March, our Japanese Maple tree expert from Monrovia Growers will talk about these magnificent trees during our Annual Japanese Maple Tree Festival.

Our landscape is ever-changing and always a work in progress. Stroll the pathways and you’ll see Ornamental Kale (above) in striking white and purple, a variety of succulents and agaves, and a family of friendly deer.

Bring the greenery and color of the outdoors inside with indoor houseplants.

Did you know that indoor plants remove carbon dioxide and airborne toxins, supply oxygen that improves concentration and our sense of well-being, and provide humidity to dry rooms?

Ferns (above) are especially good for reducing tobacco smoke, and Peace Lily (below, white flower in foreground) and Orchids help eliminate VOCs, volatile organic compounds, such as ammonia, formaldehyde and benzene, as well as tobacco smoke.

Orchids (below) come in a variety of colors, some of which are very exotic and are actually easy to care for. Ask Steve, Pat or Stephanie for assistance with indoor plants.

There are many plants that provide stunning indoor color. Have a look around inside our store and be sure to ask for care instructions.

We have a large variety of indoor plants and containers. No matter how much space you have to work with, from a small tabletop to a large floor area, we have containers and plants to meet your needs.