Monday, October 29, 2007

Whole lot of new!

We brought in a ton of new plants last weekend, and have been hard at work cleaning up from the summer heat and intense winds of last week!

Lots of new plants in this week!

Check out some of our favorite plants in right now:

Daliah 'Mystic Dreamer' and Coleus Giant Duckfoot

Daliah Mystic Dream and Coleaus Giant Duckfoot look very impressive together - a nice color combo for this season too!

Clerodendron ugandense

Clerodendron ugandense is one of our favorite plants right now - this photo doesn't really capture the very cool little blue and white flowers this plant gets, and we love its loose open structure as well.

Encelia farinosa

We LOVE the gray foilage of Encelia farinosa, and the daisy looking yellow flowers are also a nice aspect to this plant! It's commonly called Brittlebush, and is a perennial that is also known as a wildflower in parts of the Arizona desert. If you are looking for a drought tolerant/low water garden plant, this is a great specimen!

Salix integra 'Flamingo'

Salix Flamingo is a very cool plant we just got in as well! You can't really see in from this photo, but the foliage of this plant is amazing - its leaf is light green and white, almost varigated, and it has a pink tinted stem that runs throughout. We've yet to see one bloom, but are told that it gets impressive pink blooms on it as well. We love it for the variety it adds to our garden - try it in your landscape as a contrast plant that will bring a little light to corners that are starting to look dense.

We are going to have a new website going up really soon - keep your eyes out for it! Be sure to come and visit us while all these new goodies are in stock - we're open at 10am every day, in the gardens of Country Roads at 204 W Chapman in Old Town Orange.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

An all new look coming soon!

We're wrapping up our big end of summer sale - clearing out our summer stock to make room for some changes for fall. Watch for a slight remodel and lots of new plants in the weeks to come!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

New plants in this week

If you haven't been in to see us recently, be sure to stop by - we've got some new plants in that are sure to add some color to your mid-summer landscape!

Gaillardia is one of our favorites - wonderful color, easy to care for, and it goes in just about any style of garden.

Gaillardia G Goblin

We love this new Oenothera - it's called African Sun, and you really need to see it up close and in person to appreciate how bright it's cheery little yellow flowers are!

Oenothera African Sun

Our schedule has finally freed up a bit and we have some space for some new garden design projects - if you'd like our help in make your yard all that it can be, be sure to call (714-744-4981) or email us!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Plant sale this weekend!

To celebrate this holiday-ish weekend, we're having another weekend plant sale!

All plants are 15% off Friday, Saturday and Sunday July 6 - 8th! We've got some great stuff in right now too - be sure to stop in and see us, your garden will thank you...

Kangaroo paws

See you soon!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Have you been in to see us lately?

Our garden is looking pretty awesome, and we have lots of new plants: stop by and see us! We're starting to carry even more drought tolerant plants and natives too, and would be happy to help you get your own low water garden designed and in place!

Johnnye Merle's Gardens

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Thanks for visiting us this past weekend!

Thanks to everyone that stopped by to see us at the South Coast Garden show last weekend. It was great to see so many familiar and new faces, and we are excited to hopefully hear from many of you in regards to our garden design services in the weeks to come.

Detail shot from our garden design

We came in third place in the garden design competition, in case you haven't heard, we are now totally famous too - check out our little write up in the OC Register!

Be sure to stop by and see us at the shop!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Spring Garden Show is underway!

Dr. Seuss Container Garden

If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to stop by the Spring Garden Show and check out our booth and our award winning garden design! We are very proud to have come in third place in the garden design competition! Stop by for some plants and ideas!

Dr. Seuss Container Garden

Our ‘Dr. Seuss Container Garden’ is on the first floor right at the base of the escalators by Macy’s, and our booth is on the 2nd floor in front of Villeroy and Boch and Baby Unique. Be sure to come see us – we have lots of great stuff including 21 flats of new Annie’s Annuals!

See you soon!

Dr. Seuss Container Garden

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

April updates!

Hi everyone! Just wanted to post a quick note on a few updates:

New stuff is coming in constantly to our gardens! Spring is in full swing, and our gardens are reflecting it! Be sure to stop in asap to check out some new treasures for your own garden.

Don't forget: we'll be at the Spring Garden Show at South Coast Plaza again this year! Dates are April 26 - 30. Check out the Garden Show website for more information! W

It is the season for garden design! We've been hard at work helping our fellow plant geeks get their gardens looking nice and tidy. Check out the photos below of a residence we recently did in Fullerton. Remember, if you are interested in having us help you design your garden, please feel free to emailus!

Steinle Residence

Steinle residence

Steinle Residence

Monday, April 02, 2007

April Monthly Newsletter

Garden Geek Monthly
the newsletter of
Johnnye Merle’s Gardens
where we grow weird plants....

Annie's Annuals

April News

It’s amazing how fast time seems to go by - 1/4 of the year is gone, but that also means it’s officially spring time!

New plants are coming in! We bring stuff in weekly during this time of year, so be sure to stop by and see what we’ve got available, and check out our own gardens that we are always replanting, providing new and cool design ideas!

Did we mention the Spring Garden show at South Coast Plaza? It’s almost here - stop by and see us, it’s A LOT of fun! Look for our booth that will be full of lots and lots of new, unusual and very cool plants and garden accessories. For the first time, we have entered the competition garden design! The competition gardens will be featured on the first floor of South Coast - you can’t miss ours, it’ll be the container garden done in the ‘Dr. Seuss’ theme! The Spring Garden Show runs April 26th through the 29th.
Visit for more information.

Our featured charity of this month is Tree People! Tree People is a Los Angeles based organization that we have long been a big supporter of. They plant trees all throughout Southern California - in parks, communities, schools and more. We’ll be donating a portion of our sales this month to them, and encourage you do think about supporting them as well. Check out their website at

April Garden Tips

*Color, color color! Shape, shape, shape! Foliage, foliage, foliage!
This is the prime time of year to be planting! Hit up the nurseries (especially ours...), check out what your neighbors are doing, get planting! Break out of your design rut and try new plants while you’re at it!

*Good plants for this time of year include your warmer season annuals, citrus trees, most perennials, and summer veggies. It’s also a good time of year to plant or replace your lawn, if you’ve been thinking about doing so...

*Don’t forget to pinch and prune! Deadheading (cutting off the dead blooms) is important to do this time of year to ensure that your perennials will continue to bloom throughout the year ahead.

*Feed your hungry plants! We always go organic here at Johnnye Merle’s - check out our great selection of organic fertilizers next time you are in, they are even on sale right now!

*Bring your garden indoors! We are big believers in having plants wherever we can, and that includes INSIDE of the home as well. Check out topiaries, start a kitchen herb garden or get some ‘carnivorous’ plants for the kids!

*Hit up the bookstore – garden design magazines are always full of great ideas and inspiration!

Watch for next months “Garden Geek” Newsletter in early May!

Don’t forget, Johnnye Merle’s is now designing gardens for our fellow garden geeks!
Leave a voicemail at 714-744-4981 or email us at for more info.

Check out our blog for weekly plant updates and garden advice:

Thursday, March 15, 2007

New plants! Garden SALE! Happy early spring!

Our title says it all. New plants coming in tomorrow, a sale to celebrate spring and St. Patty's day, nice weather - seriously, what more could we possible give? Maybe cookies and lemonade, but that'll have to wait till next month.

Anyway, 10% off ALL plants this weekend, including our new stuff! Don't miss it!

sedum 'dragons blood'

Thursday, March 01, 2007

March Garden News!

Garden Geek Monthly
March Garden News from Johnnye Merle’s Gardens!


March News

We can’t believe it’s already March!

New plants are coming in! We like to get a jump start on things, so we are already bringing in lots and lots of new and fun plants to liven up your garden this spring. We’ll be having a plant sale the weekend of March 17th – 18th, to celebrate St. Patricks Day– stop in and pick up some new treasures for your yard!

Did we mention the Spring Garden show at South Coast Plaza? We’re going to be there again this year, look for our booth that will be full of lots and lots of new, unusual and very cool plants and garden accessories. AND, as though things weren’t busy enough, we decided to also enter into the competition garden contest, just so we can show off more of our weird plants. Look for us on the ground floor of Crystal Court where we’ll have a very special garden! The Spring Garden Show runs April 26th through the 29th.

School gardens: we are finally getting to work on this project. We are looking for schools that are interested in starting or revamping a garden. We’ll be needing
volunteers to join us for this as well – if you are interested, please send us an email: johnnyemerle (at)

March Garden Tips

*Start doing clean up and pruning! That cold snap in January left many plants looking less than great. Prune off dead branches, lightly fertilize and work to bring back some of your plant friends to life. We also like to go through and thin out overgrown plants during this time of year as well.

*Get some veggies in the ground! It’s southern California, you can plant vegetables whenever you want! Have you seen some of those artichoke’s we have growing in our garden? They look amazing – very cool! We’ve got them in right now, as well as corn, early tomatoes and a wide variety of other herbs and edible plants.

*Start planning your spring. Get a sense of how you want your garden to look – and remember, we always suggest that you try something new. Maybe this is the year you give sedums or native grasses a shot – we’ve always got them in stock, and are happy to answer any questions about them that you might have.

*Do some accessory shopping! If the conditions just aren’t right for planting, you can still get ideas for the non-living parts of your garden. This is a great time of year to get out and check out umbrellas, garden furniture, fun accessories and more!

*Bring your garden indoors! We are big believers in having plants wherever we can, and that includes INSIDE of the home as well. Check out topiaries, start a kitchen herb garden or get some ‘carnivorous’ plants for the kids!

*Hit up the bookstore – garden design magazines are always full of great ideas and inspiration!

Watch for next months “Garden Geek” Newsletter in early March!

Don’t forget, Johnnye Merle’s is now designing gardens for our fellow garden geeks!
Leave a voicemail at 714-744-4981 or email us at for more info.

Check out our blog for weekly plant updates and garden advice:

Monday, February 19, 2007

Guerrilla Gardening

Happy rainy Monday, and a big thanks to all of you that came out and visited us this weekend! We sent off our plants to lots of new homes over this holiday, but we still have lots of new stuff to check out, and even more on the way!

We wanted to kick off this week with quick blog about a gardening movement that originated in the UK and is rapidly spreading across the world. We kept reading about these guys that go by the name Guerrilla Gardeners in gardening and art & culture magazines and finally got around to checking out their website. They are all about 'refurbishing urban blight' - going in and planting abandoned plots of land in urban areas...regardless if permission to do so is granted! Though it might be crossing a few public versus private land issues, we are really scratching our heads to come up with exactly what would be wrong with planting a garden in places that really need one.

Anyway, do take a second to check out their work and the network of gardeners/urban crusaders in their link section , and think about doing some urban guerrilla gardening of your own. If sneaking out into the night under cover with bulbs under arm is a bit much for you, keep in mind all the schools and community centers that always need some green thumbs to lend a hand. Us plant geeks need to unite and act on our ideals that gardening can indeed improve the world!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Big ole plant SALE this weekend!

Juniper Blue Ice

This weekend is President’s Day weekend, which means:

1. A lot of you have an extra few days off to work in your garden
2. We’ll be having a PLANT SALE!!!!

We brought in a TON of new plants to the garden this week! To kick off spring with style, and to celebrate the wonderful weather predicted for the week ahead, we’re having a plant sale!

10% ALL plants in the garden this weekend, Friday the 16 through Monday the 19th!

Plus, our gardeners will be on had to help you out with your gardening and design challenges all throughout the weekend.

If you haven’t stopped in to see us in a while, now is the time to do it!

See you this weekend!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

New Plants are IN!

The cold snap is gone, the weather is suppose to be perfect this weekend, and if your yard looks anything like our garden, you can probably use some new plants. And we’ve got you covered!

We’ve got some very new cool plants in this week – and more are on the way! – from our different growers. We wanted to spotlight a few cool ones we got from one of our favorite growers, Sommer’s Nursery.

Juniperus squamata 'Blue Star'

We brough in more of last years favorite, Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Ice’. You HAVE to see this plant in person to appreciate just how cool this color is! We are not normally a huge fan of junipers in general, but we absolutlely love this speciman!

Pieris japonica variegata

Pieris japonica variegata is one of our favs of the moment. Stunning colored foliage and branches, we love it’s dainty, drooping look. It takes full sun to partial shade, we are told it can take full shade but won’t bloom as much.

chaenomeles speciosa toyo nishiki

Also be sure to check out chaenomeles speciosa toyo nishiki – STUNNING blooms right now, and we love the structure of the plant itself. This too can take full sun to part shade, and will get to about 3 or 5 feet in height.

Corylus avellana 'Contorta'

Speaking of structure, another favorite from last years Spring Garden Show is Corylus avellana 'Contorta'. It’s spindly branches and cool little acorn looking seeds make it an excellent choice as an accent plant in a pot or key spot in your garden.

Pinus wallichiana 'Zebrina'

Rounding out the weird plants for this week, we have Pinus wallichiana 'Zebrina'. We love this moderate to slow growing evergreen oddity that we are going to add it to the landscape we are designing for the Spring Garden Show! It gets an even cooler shape as it gets bigger, from what we are told, and takes sun to partial shade in well drained soil.

All of these plants are in stock right now (and, if we happen to sell out, we can always order them in for you!) – and, as an added bonus, Friday through Monday, for the Old Town Orange Antique Affair event this President’s Day Weekend, all plants will be 10% off!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Plant of the Week February 12th

Plant of the week this week: Buddleia 'Silver Anniversary'. This plant has some AMAZING foliage - silvery white leaves and stems that branch out into beautiful little white buds. This buddleia is an excellent addition to any garden, it's a great accent piece, with it's silver/gray color really bringing in that needed contrast we are always talking about! Plus, it's a notorious hummingbird and butterfly target!

Here is what grower Native Son's has to say about the buddleia family in general:

"Butterfly bush or Summer lilac. Large grouping of evergreen or deciduous shrubs along with some trees and herbaceous perennials. Grown for their masses of often fragrant and nectar-rich flowers that attract birds and butterflies. Flowering usually occurs in summer and early autumn. Plant in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil. Plants may double in size when placed against a sunny wall. Ideal choice for rocky soils or near water courses. Cut back every year or two to maintain form and heavy flower production. Seasonal pruning will extend the flowering. Hardiness varies. Tropical and subtropical Asia, America."

We've got them in right now - stop by and pick one up for your garden!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Plant of the Week February 5th

Corokia, Frosted Chocolate
Originally uploaded by Brande Jackson.
This week's plant of the week is Corokia 'Frosted Chocolate'. It's our plant of the week because, well, we love it!

It's has beautiful glossy foliage in a very cool brown/grey color, we love it's open, loose structure and the tiny yellow flowers it gets in the spring and summer. We include it on our list of plants that provide diversity to a landscape - its unique colored leaves make it a real standout in the garden. We recently used a bunch of these in a landscape design, and the colors worked wonderfully against the blue grey tone of the home.

Here is what grower Native Son's says about the Corokia family:

Evergreen shrubs noted for their twisting, wiry, interlacing branches. Tiny yellow star-like flowers appear from spring to summer and are followed, in ideal conditions, by small variously colored fruits. Stems are ash gray to black with diminutive, sparse foliage. Most Corokias generally prefer full sun and well-drained soils that do not hold copious moisture particularly in winter. The unusual form can be used to dramatic effect when backlit by night lighting in the evening garden. Hardy to 10F. Native to New Zealand.

We have them in stock right now - stop by and pick one up!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Gardening in Baghdad

We just came across a great article about some other garden devotee's - those working in Iraq.

"Gardeners shed blood to beautify Baghdad
By Hannah Allam
McClatchy Newspapers

BAGHDAD — The flowers appear overnight, and in the unlikeliest of places: carnations near a checkpoint, roses behind razor wire, and gardenias in a square known for suicide bombings.

Sometimes, U.S. armored vehicles hop a median and mow down the myrtle, leaving Baghdad parks workers to fume and reach for their trowels. When insurgents poured kerosene over freshly planted seedlings, landscapers swore a revenge of ficus trees and olive groves.

It's all part of a stealthy campaign to turn the entire capital into a green zone.

Jaafar Hamid al Ali, the Baghdad parks supervisor, leads the offensive. He's got a multi-million-dollar budget, along with 1,500 intrepid employees and a host of formidable enemies. There's the fussy climate, salty soil, and nonstop violence that killed 30 of his workers in 2006. Every fallen gardener, Ali said, is a martyr in the struggle to beautify Baghdad.

"My principle is, for every drop of Iraqi blood, we must plant something green," he said. "One gives disappointment, the other gives hope." "

You can check out more of the article by clicking here. We always get inspired by those who fight all odds to make their community a better place in one way or another...

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Still want CHEAP plants? Better stop in soon!

Don't forget our 25% off ALL plant sale is ending soon! It was suppose to end today, but we're gonna keep it alive until Friday.

After Friday = no more store wide sale. For now.
HOWEVER, after Friday also = lots of NEW plants for those of you ready to start your spring garden, so we feel it's a fair exchange.

Hope to see you soon!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Plant of the Week January 29th

Phormium Sundowner
Originally uploaded by Brande Jackson.
Like all of our “Plants of the Month’ this January, we are picking those plants that have withstood those nasty cold snaps (believe us, our tropical plants are looking just as bad as yours are right now!) and still are providing us with some color. With that in mind, our plant of the week this week is Phormium ‘Sundowner’.

We are big fans of phormium, or ‘flax’ as they are commonly called, These New Zealand natives are a GREAT addition to any garden – their blade like leaf structure provides much needed contrast and interest to any landscape, and they come in some spectacular colors. We love Sundowner for its very awesome pink and green and brown shades – very trendy colors for all design this spring, we might add!

Phormium Sundowner takes full sun to part shade, little to moderate water and this giant variety (there are also ‘dwarf’ phormiums that only grow to two or three feet) can get up to 6 to 8 feet tall and another 3 to 4 feet wide, depending on where it is planted. And, as we said, it is cold hardy – the grower says it can withstand cold of 15 to 20 degrees, and it appears to have done fine in our garden during those nights early this month with the temperature dipped below freezing.

Plant it at the back of your garden for some spectacular looking color and foliage – and yes, we do have it in stock right now!!!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Plant of the Week January 15th

Originally uploaded by Brande Jackson.
This week's plant of the week is probably our favorite plant of all time: Scabiosa! Despite having a name that sounds like a gross skin infection, scabiosa, or 'pin cushion' plant as it is sometimes called, is a great addition to any garden. It's one of the few plants that you'll find blooming in our nursery right now - in fact, we've really never noticed a time when this perennial wasn't blooming!

Scabiosa takes full sun, though it seems to be okay with a little shade, average water, and when it's done blooming or just isn't looking so great, cut it way back and before you know it, it'll be looking better than ever!

There are purple, pink and 'bluish' varieties, and Native Sons, one of our favorite growers, also grows two unique varieties we frequently carry: one has a yellow flower, and the other has variegated foliage. Very cool!

Originally uploaded by Brande Jackson.

We like to plant scabiosa in nearly every garden setting you can image - it looks especially awesome with lavender and roses when you're going for an English or cottage garden look.

And yes, we do have them in stock right now - and they are even on sale this month, so stop in and give them a try!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Did you say SALE?

Annie's Annuals
Originally uploaded by Brande Jackson.
Yep, we said SALE!

As in, our annual January sale, where we clean house to make room for all the nifty stuff we've got coming in this spring!

25% off of ALL plants ALL this month - only keep in mind that stuff goes fast! And we aren't talking weed-infested-half-dead plants here - no sir, we mean our finest and best, from the last season, in need of nothing more than a little pruning and a new place to call home.

Be sure to stop in to get some great deals and get your garden looking its finest!

Don't forget, Johnnye Merle's will also design your garden - call us at 714-744-4981 or send an email to johnnyemerle (at) for more information!

Happy planting!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Johnnye Merle's January Newsletter

sedum 'dragons blood'
Originally uploaded by Brande Jackson.
“Garden Geek Monthly”
the newsletter of
Johnnye Merle’s Gardens
where we grow weird plants....

January 2007

This month, we are proud to start the year off with some resolutions!

We did the work for you, our loyal fellow garden geeks, and came up with a list of New Years Garden Resolutions for the year to come!

Enjoy your garden! This may seem obvious, but often times we are so busy pruning,
weeding and replanting that we forget to enjoy all that our gardens have to offer. Take some time to sit back and enjoy your garden space this year – add a comfortable seating area into your space so you can sit back, relax, and watch the flowers bloom!

RESOLUTION #2: Remember: color isn’t just limited to flowers! At Johnnye Merle’s, we are very big believers in the importance of utilizing uniquely colored foliage in one’s garden – it adds diversity and keeps your garden looking unique and interesting year round. Don’t pass up on plants that may not offer much •ower wise – they
probably have a lot to give when it comes to their foliage! And remember, flowers come and go, but foliage stays year round!

Break beyond your set garden preferences! Think you hate cactus plants? Try out some cool looking succulents this year! Not so into tropicals? Give some of our rare South American plants a try this year! The point is, one of the easiest and best ways to get out of a design ‘rut’ is to try something that you might normally have an aversion to – once you see it in the ground, mixed in with the rest of your garden, you might be shocked at what it can do! One of our biggest battles – and victories! - when working with our garden design clients is getting them to see beyond the boundaries they have set for themselves. Once we move past those assumptions and try new things, we always find that people begin to see their gardens and design taste in a whole new light!

Go native! There are so many great plants
native to California, and it’s a shame that they get overlooked! They have much to
offer – they’ll do better than any other ‘import’ you plant, they’ll usually not need as much care and water and they’ll be helping the
environment out in turn. Likewise, those
heavily pruned hedges and shrubs aren’t exactly what we would call ‘natural’ – let your garden take on it’s own natural shape, pruning with care only to keep plants manageable for the space they grow in. For more info on
pruning, check out our garden blog at, where we’ll be
featuring monthly gardening and design

Use your love of plants and gardening skills to do good! Plant a tree to improve air quality, donate to fight global warming, build a compost bin to help your household recycle, give your time and help your local school start a community garden: there are a million ways that gardeners can help out their community and world!

Watch for next months “Garden Geek” Newsletter in early February!
Don’t forget, Johnnye Merle’s is now designing gardens for our fellow garden geeks! Leave a voicemail at 714-744-4981 or email us at johnnyemerle (at) for more info. Check out our blog for weekly plant updates and garden advice:

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy New Year!

Originally uploaded by Brande Jackson.
Everyone here at Johnnye Merle’s is excited about what 2007 will bring us! As we enter our third ‘official’ year, we want to take a moment to thank all of you that have been supportive, AND we also want to let everyone know of some very cool changes that the year ahead will bring.

First big news: our annual January big spring cleanin’ sale is officially underway! All plants are now 25% off this month – we’re talking KILLER plants too, good stuff, but we’ve got it on sale so we can make room for all of the new product we are expecting. We’ll be replanting and remodeling the nursery all this month, so be sure to stop in and check out what we are up to.

We are, by popular demand, finally bringing back our garden design services! We’ve been designing gardens all throughout Southern California for some 10 years now – previously under the name Picket Fence – and we are excited to bring back affordable, innovative and unique design to our clients. If you are interested, call and leave us a voicemail at 714-744-4981, or send us an email: johnnyemerle (at) and we can get you more info. We’re real nice, easy going people, so don’t be afraid to contact us!

We’ll be the first to admit we’ve sucked at updating our blog – the garden takes up a lot of time! – but we’ve made a New Years resolution to start giving you all sorts of regular updates from here on out! We’ll be featuring weekly plant spotlights, gardening and design tips and more. Don’t want to miss anything? If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to our RSS feed by clicking that little orange button at the top of the left hand column. For more info on RSS feeds, check out this web page. Also, if you want to get on our email list – we sent out info on sales, and special email only coupons – send an email to johnnyemerle (at) with ‘Add me!’ as your header and we’ll, well, add you!

Also, mark your calendars – we’ll be at the 2007 Spring Garden Show this year. There are all SORTS of cool garden related things going on at South Coast that weekend – it’s definitely not to be missed!

We look forward to meeting even more devoted gardeners in the year to come. Feel free to call or email us at any time – we’d love to hear from you, and are happy to answer questions or give advice.

Happy New Year!