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Archive for category: What’s New

All Things New

By Cathy Hough, general manager & buyer

Change is afoot in the United States and as we prepare for new days and new times, the same is true with gardening. Though it is winter, we can look forward to spring, when new life appears and there is much beauty and color available for our gardens and homes.

Japanese Maples and containers for them

The Marina del Rey Garden Center already has new plants and containers to change your home and garden now. (Above) New styles and colors of containers have arrived and are perfect for planting Japanese Maples (above) and Citrus Trees, which make a stunning combination when planted next to each other.

Japanese Mazploes and Citrus Trees with metal arbor and bench

There is nothing quite like a Japanese Maple for adding variety, versatility and year-round beauty to the landscape. Watch the seasons, even in So Cal, through the lens of a Japanese Maple, and you will know why these beauties have a seat of honor in gardens around the world.

Japanese Maples new styles and colors of containers

Ask our expert staff about which cultivar is best suited for your growing requirements.  Japanese Maples come in innumerable shapes, including dwarf, upright, mounding, rounded, weeping, spreading, and vase. At maturity, they reach heights from two to over thirty feet. Most Japanese Maples thrive in full sun, others prefer open shade and some do well in any degree of light in between.

Their colors reflect the rainbow. Spring finds many bedecked in pink, orange and red. During the summer, some turn lime-colored or bronze, while others maintain a true red or green. In fall, the traditional yellows, golds, oranges and scarlets are enhanced by purples and blues. In winter, when the beauty of the vibrant leaves has fallen, the trees’ graceful structures of textured and colorful bark become visible and are as exquisite as the lush color of warmer months.

Japanese Maples can be paired with Citrus Trees, either in containers or in ground. Our citrus are robust and will produce abundant fruit. Their colorful fruit brings life to the visual landscape and can bring delicious tastes to the table in your home.

citrus tree with fruit on trellis perfect for patio

A citrus tree is often a great choice as a landscape fruit tree. With its appealing shape, fragrant blossoms and edible fruit, a citrus such as an orange, grapefruit or lemon tree can enhance areas that receive an abundance of direct sunlight.

Citrus trees can make very attractive container plants for those who have the space and the access to natural light indoors. The smaller members of the citrus family like limes, kumquats and calamondins are the best choices for houseplants but all citruses will adapt to containers until they reach a certain size.

Dwarf citrus trees produce delicious, full-sized citrus fruit, making them a welcome addition to your garden where they’ll grow to a manageable average of about eight feet tall. They are also are well suited to grow in containers or as houseplants. Dwarf citrus are evergreen, bringing year-round beauty with the green foliage, seasonal fragrant flowers and colorful fruit.

2009 Is Here!

By Cathy Hough, general manager & buyer

In short order, 2008 flew by and 2009 arrived. Here’s to 2009 and all the gardening pleasures the year will bring!

exotic indoor flowering plant

Anthuriums in bloom (above).

As the world continues to gain an increasing awareness of all things “green,” did you know that indoor plants help to purify the air by filtering out common pollutants and continuously releasing oxygen and moisture?

Former NASA research scientist Dr. Bill Wolverton, author of “How to Grow Fresh Air” says, “Houseplants perform these essential functions with the same efficiency as the rainforest in our biosphere.” To maximize the health benefits and freshen the air in your home or office, he recommends at least one houseplant for every 100 square feet.

 Boston Fern

Boston Fern (above)

Mike Rimland, research director for Costa Farms (, the largest indoor houseplant producer in North America, recommends Epiphytic Bromeliads and orchids, particularly in your bedroom. These natural botanical air purifiers make perfect bedroom buddies to refresh and beautify your room for a truly healthy, restful night’s sleep.

Rimland’s favorites are anthuriums. “They come in an array of colors with stunning blooms that last up to 13 weeks, are easy to grow, refresh the air, and add exotic beauty to your bedroom.”

indoor plants

The Marina del Rey Garden Center offers a large selection of indoor plants year-round. Our top indoor plant vendors visit weekly so that we can hand select the best indoor plants for our customers. That’s why we’re able to stand behind our plants with our unconditional guarantee.

outdoor water fountain surrounded by plants

Greenery also looks great around a fountain. First, the sound of flowing water catches your ear, and then your eyes take in the accompanying landscape. Beauty surrounds you.

At the Marina Garden Center, we pride ourselves on offering the best plants, products, service and knowledge. Stephanie, Dago, Steve and Herbert are available to answer any of your questions and can assist with any special order you wish to place. Our on-site plant material, fountain and container selection is the largest in the greater Los Angeles area and special orders are always welcome.

More than 10 years ago, we planted a japonica camellia in our front yard, next to the porch. As Camellias do (this one is Nuccio’s Pearl), it continues to produce glorious flowers (below) each year.

Camellia Nuccio's Pearl

Nuccio’s Pearl Camellia (above)

And don’t forget that Japanese Maples are on their way! We’ll be receiving shipments of these maple trees that are known for their exquisite foliage, which comes in a variety of colors, including green and brown (below).

green foliage of a Japanese Maple

Japanese Maple foliage brown

Remember to ask Stephanie, Dago, Steve or Herbert for assistance. We at MDRGC are here to help.

Looking Forward

By Cathy Hough, general manager & buyer

As we bring 2008 to a close and look forward to a bountiful 2009, the garden can be a place of respite, beauty, grace, growth, renewal and transformation, even in challenging times.

japanese maples in landscape

Two stunning plants that create magic in the garden are Camellias (below, in bloom) and Japanese Maples (below, a Bloodgood Maple).

cammellia blooms and glossy evergreen leaves

japanese maple bloodgood red

Together, this duo brings stunning color to woodsy areas.

Camellias, which come in an abundance of varieties (flowers below), are an evergreen shrub whose flamboyant exotic flowers brighten winter and fall. They can be grown in containers, as an individual focal point in a garden and added to an already woodsy area.

real camellia flowers

Japanese Maples provide stunning color that reflects the rainbow. Spring finds most bedecked in pink, orange and red. During the summer, many turn lime-colored or bronze, while others maintain a true red or green. In fall, the traditional yellows, golds, oranges and scarlets are enhanced by purples and blues. In winter, when the beauty of the vibrant leaves has fallen, the trees’ graceful structures of textured and colorful bark become visible and are as exquisite as the lush color of warmer months.

fiery fall foliage of a japanese maple

On my October roadtrip to visit growers, I walked acres and acres of gorgeous Japanese Maple specimens (below) so don’t hesitate to ask us to locate the specific variety you’d like.

cathy at sommers 10/08

Japanese Maples at Sommers

At the Marina del Rey Garden Center, we constantly strive for excellence… in the plants we offer, in our customer service, in our expert gardening knowledge.

All of us thank you for your patronage.

Winter Wonderland

By Cathy Hough, general manager & buyer

Hear ye! Hear ye!

Marina del Rey Garden Center Gift Cards are an easy way to please the gardener in your life. MDRGC Gift Cards make a great gift  (or stocking stuffer) that can be enjoyed whenever one’s gardening spirit strikes.

This week, before Christmas, is also a good time to stroll our many acres to see our huge selection of plants and what remains of our special Christmas items, including fresh-cut trees, wreaths, garland and poinsettias. We also have a fantastic selection of indoor plants. Bring a cup of something warm and enjoy the charms of nature and our holiday decor.

Remember: We offer delivery year-round seven days a week.

Joy To The World

By Cathy Hough, general manager & buyer

Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas… Each is a celebration of life, a time for reverance, dedication, family, community, culture.


We, at the Marina Garden Center, are here to make your holiday festive and bright.

Stop in today for holiday wreaths, fresh-cut Christmas trees, poinsettias, hostess gifts, stocking stuffers, plants, fountains, decorative containers and much more.

fresh holiday Christmas wreath

Enjoy watching the cycle of life with one of our amazingly “fruitful” citrus trees. We have 5-gallon sizes and larger, suitable for planting in containers or in ground. Dwarf citrus are especially suited for container growing which allows gardeners to overcome poor soil conditions or limited space in a landscape. Citrus trees can often be enjoyed in decorative pots on a patio, deck, balcony or porch.

lemon tree in container

Make winter your friend. Plant your own vegetable garden and grow delicious home-grown peas, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, radishes, carrots and lettuces.

marina del rey garden center gift card

The gardener in your life will appreciate a Marina del Rey Garden Center Gift Card. We’re the trusted nursery with more than 30 years and an expert staff that will go the extra distance for you.

MDRGC Gift Cards make a great Stocking Stuffer. We have lots of fun small gifts (below), too.

badger sleep balm sore muscles stocking stuffers

Badger Sleep Balm works wonders when you’re having a tough time sleeping. I was happy to discover how soothing its scent is and how well it works.

We also have Tree-Free Greetings gift bags and cards.

And if you need to add some quick color to your landscape, we have Snapdragons and Ornamental Cabbage, in addition to loads of other choices. Ask one of our gardening experts for assistance.

snap dragons

ornamental cabbage

Tis The Season

By Cathy Hough, general manager & buyer

Ho, ho, ho! The holiday season is in full swing and the Marina del Rey Garden Center is where you want to be—for fresh greens, fresh-cut Oregon-grown Christmas trees, gifts and gift certificates. Stop in to select one of our amazing fresh-cut Noble or Grand Firs from Oregon.

Have us deliver your tree. Local Christmas tree delivery is free and we deliver seven days a week.

noble and grand firs christmas trees

Consider MDRGC your “Poinsettia Country.” With deliveries arriving weekly, we’re sure to have the freshest and best quality product available.


Be sure to check out our holiday gift selection inside the store. We have Lighthouse lights (above, on the white picket fence) and many other gifts, personally selected for the California lifestyle and gardeners in particular. A Marina Garden Center Gift Certificate also makes a great gift!

eco friendly gift wrap bags and cards

holiday gifts

(Above, right) Exquisite vases reflect an African American heritage. These interesting vases make great containers for all sorts of items. We also have a limited supply of eco-friendly gift bags and cards so that you can contribute to a greener planet!

Our indoor plant selection is huge! In addition to poinsettias, we feature orchids, year-round. You can count on us for the best plants in Los Angeles.

Orchids make great host and hostess gifts. Visit us any day of the year to see our amazing selection.

If you’re sprucing up your home for guests, Iceland Poppies and Snapdragons are a great way to get “quick” color.  Plant them in the ground or containers. Either way, they are an attractive and colorful addition. 

Iceland Poppies

Remember that we’ve got the largest selection of fountains and containers on site as well as a wealth of plant material. Ask one of expert staff members for advice or assistance.

Tis the Season! Enjoy!

Thanksgiving & The Holidays

By Cathy Hough, general manager & buyer

From our place to yours, all of us at the Marina Garden Center wish you a happy Thanksgiving filled with peace and gratitude.

As is tradition at MDRGC, our garden center is bustling with the spirit of the season.  Poinsettias and living Christmas trees are in, and our Oregon-grown, fresh-cut Christmas trees arrive today. This Friday, we receive our first delivery of fresh-cut greenswreaths, garland and boughs.

Orange Spice (below), a brand new poinsettia variety, is an irresistible addition to the Thanksgiving table and makes an excellent hostess gift.

poinsettia orange spice

Come in to select a Poinsettia from our large assortment. Take one to a Thanksgiving gathering or to any of your holiday parties. The party host is sure to enjoy your generosity throughout the holiday season!

The staff at the Marina del Rey Garden Center is ready to help you pick the Christmas tree of your dreams. We are pros at making a fresh cut on every tree and then placing them in water to ensure their freshness.

Stop in to pick your Noble Fir or  Grand Fir. Ours range in size from a two-foot tabletop tree to 9-foot wonders. And we deliver!

For those who want a living tree, we have select Italian Stone Pines (below).

living christmas tree italian stone pine xmas

Nothing heralds the holiday season like Yuletide Camellia (below). These beautiful specimens are in bloom and will put a smile on your face. Wrap them in holiday lights for an extra touch of Christmas.

Yuletide Camellias in bloom sasanquas

Be sure to check out our indoor plants and home decor shop. We’ve got lots of wonderful gifts, from zen to green to colorful to fun!

indoor plants with color holiday gifts

These radiant indoor plants make great gifts. Ask Steve, Sandra, Teresa, Dago, Stephanie or Herbert how to care for whatever indoor plant you choose.

Orchids (below) also make incredible gifts. And our selection is always among the best.

orchids indoor plants gifts white yellow purple

“… all things share the same breath – the beast, the tree, the man … the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.” Chief Seattle

Have a bountiful & beautiful Thanksgiving!

Holiday Happenings

By Cathy Hough, general manager & buyer

The Marina del Rey Garden Center is excited about the holiday season! It’s a time of year for giving and receiving and celebrating with family and friends. Mark your calendar for the arrival of our fresh-cut Christmas trees (the week of Nov. 24), greens, boughs, garland, and wreaths (deliveries on Nov. 28, and Dec. 5 and 12), delivered fresh from Oregon.

Poinsettias arrive on Tuesday, Nov. 18, including the brand new Orange Spice, perfect for Thanksgiving! We’ll have all of the traditional red and white poinsettias you expect and are pleased to also offer other varieties — Cinnamon Star, Picasso, Jingle Bells, and Country Quilt.

Yuletide Camellia (below) is one to get into the spirit of the season and can be planted in ground or in one of our container options. We have an abundance of container options so be sure to ask Dago, Stephanie, Steve or Herbert for assistance.

Yuletide Camellia

Even though it’s a difficult time of year to find half oak wine barrels, we have just received a new shipment, from our supplier on the Central Coast. The fall/winter wine crush has just been completed, so our supplier was able to send us the barrels now that the harvest has taken place.

We’re probably about the only nursery where you can get some just now.

half oak wine barrels from central coast wineries

My recent roadtrip took me to growing grounds in Central California and I recently traveled shorter distances to some of our nearby growers, including Hawthorne Nursery, which has been around for 80 years.

sign Hawthorne Nursery

We purchase select bedding plants and perennials (below) from their stock.

perennials bedding plants

Roadtrip continued

By Cathy Hough, general manager & buyer

I’m excited to begin my new blog, sharing with you my recent roadtrip. I spent a week visiting a few of my favorite growers that supply us with some of the quality plants you’ve come to expect from the Marina del Rey Garden Center.

phormiuns pittosporums silver sheen

When visiting Monterey Bay Growers, I walked through acres of Phormiun, an increasingly popular and water-wise plant, and Pittosporums (above). I’ve just received a delivery of these plants. Come in and check them out.

(Below) On my trip, I had the opportunity to hand pick plants  for the Marina Garden Center.

Cathy hand picks plant specimens maples

A few Blue Glow Agaves (below) stood out. These striking plants, limited supply, are in now.

blue glow agaves hand picked by marina del rey garden center staff Cathy

We stock one of the best selections of succulents and cacti, not to mention a special selection of pre-planted container succulents in striking combinations.

Here (below) is just a small sample of the succulents we have in stock.


Fall is the best time to plant perennials and Camellias (below) are no exception. Our Camellia selection is so large it looks like a small forest. And, we have the best quality Camellias, sasanquas and japonicas. Jean May, a sasanqua, features a delicate pink flower and the one in my garden is in full bloom, its first buds opening in early October. Our Nurseryman’s Acid Planting Mix is the one to use when planting Camellias.


leucodendron plant planting shrubs trees color fall foliage

Leucodendron (above), a water-wise shurb or tree, has quickly become a favorite of mine. Native to South Africa, the foliage is interesting, with colorful brachs. The color comes from the leaves and brachs.

Given its striking appearance, smaller plants are picturesque for container gardening.

Turn your living space into a zen-like oasis with our “zen” lamps (below).

zne lamps indoor decor home patio outdoor living

Be sure to check out our home decor area inside the store. With the holidays coming up, you’re sure to find a special something to enhance your decor. OR, look for hostess and holiday gifts.

Next week we’ll talk some more about my Roadtrip and I’ll let you know more about our special plants and products.

Cathy Hough, general manager

Our GM and buyer, Cathy, traveled to visit our select growers’ nurseries. Chia Nursery (below) was one of many she perused.

Chia Nursery supplies us with gorgeous California natives and perennials.

Plant camellias now! Many Sasanqua camellias are already in bloom while Japonicas will bloom in early 2009, in most cases. Ask one of our plant experts for advice about where and how to plant these beautiful specimens.

Yuletide Camellia, in bloom now, brings the holiday season to life, with a gorgeous deep red color offset by its yellow stamen, contrasted by deep green foliage. String some lights on one!

Hanging baskets bring color alive anywhere!

“Beverly Hills Chihuahua” might be a super popular movie but we also have chihuahuas, as in a stunning collection of Talavera chihuahuas.

Talavera chihuhuas Beverly Hills