Wednesday, August 19, 2009

More new plants

Here are some featured items that we have new in the garden right now:

Chocolate cosmos - always a favorite, great color, a fun, low growing perennial. Lots of blooms!

Hollyhocks are always a favorite! We have them in color packs right now: pink, yellow, and the awesome black!

Million Bells provide great perennial color to pots, borders and hanging baskets. These things are almost always blooming!

These nasturtiums are very cool - a red flower, and darker colored leaf than you normally see. They are displayed here next to some very cool new echeveria we got in that are just about to bloom!

Duranta Geisha Girl is another favorite - we are big fans of Duranta in general, and this particular variety has a stunning bloom to it!

Cordyline Ruby - SUCH cool red/pink color! This is a must have!

We are down to our last few Brugsmania - don't worry, we will get more soon! - but the white bloom on this is truly stunning! Pictured in the background is Imperata Red Baron, one of our all time favorite ornamental grasses!

Come in and see us soon! We have all sorts of fun stuff available to make your summer gardening fun, and we'll be gearing up on our fall inventory real soon as well!

Friday, August 14, 2009

More design work...

I finally uploaded some photos from another recent design project. This residence is in Corona Del Mar; the homeowner, Jenny, is a long time client - we first worked with her sometime back in '03 or '04, we think, but the years get a little blurry!

For Jenny's home, we provide a maintenance, going in about two or three times a year with new, fresh plants, helping with pruning and planting and sprucing things up in general. Her landscape is one that is fairly mature - again, some of the plantings we brought in are six or seven years old now - but a little 'fluff' a few times a year keeps a garden interesting and looking its best.

Jenny's landscape started out very English/traditional cottage when we first planted it. In the years since, we've incorporated more and more drought tolerant succulents, some fun tropical specimens, and a small veggie and herb garden for her four year old son.

These type of landscape projects are always fun for us. It's really rewarding to get to see a garden design mature and age and to be able to maintain and tweak it over time, not to mention the fun in keeping long lasting relationships with clients!

If your yard need a 'fluff' or a makeover, please don't hesitate to contact us. And don't forget, we also have a Garden Design Special this month, so if you have been thinking about recruiting some help planning your garden, now is the time to do it!

Our garden helper Harrison. The garden itself is about twice as old as this four year old!

Front walk way headed to the front door, which is planted with a mix of perennials, succulents, annual color and background height such as phormiums, cestrum and acacia.

Close up of some plantings - echeveria, sedums, euphorbia and a varigated iris in the background.

Another close up: geum, lavender, aeoniums, rosemary, euphorbia and loropetulum all live happily together!

One of my favorite spots in the garden: a semi-shady area where ferns, grasses, anemones and hydrangeas fill up the landscape!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Need some help?

We've been super busy out in the garden lately - it's been a great summer so far! We are excited to offer a design special this month. In addition to having great plants available, Johnnye Merle's also offers some great garden design services. Check out what we have available for this summer...


Feeling overwhelmed by all the different cool plants to choose from?

Let us help!

Johnnye Merle’s Gardens is offering a design special this August!

For plant orders of $250 or more, we can do the following:

1. Visit your home/project site to help you design your garden*
2. Select the plants you need for your project and make soil recommendations
3. Sell you our awesome plants at our discounted design rate to save you $
4. Deliver them to your home & set them up exactly where they go
5. You plant them and live happily ever after with an awesome garden**
*limited to a 30 mile radius of Orange; for projects outside of that range, a small fee applies
**or, for an additional cost, we can plant them for you!

Working with a garden designer can save you time and money, and help you finally get your dream garden.

We are here to help you, with over ten years of garden design experience and excellent plant knowledge! We can put your project together quickly, are reliable, and focused on helping you create a garden you’ll enjoy!

Email Us!
Or call and leave us a message: 562.296.5700

Sunday, August 09, 2009

New stuff...

So, we got LOTS of new plants in this Friday. As in, seriously, a LOT. I wasn't in when the trucks arrived late Friday, so you can imagine my surprise (dismay?) when I got the nursery Saturday AM and discovered this waiting for my attention:

All those plants on the ground for as far as the eye can see? All new. Five hours later, I finished pricing and displaying everything...but it was worth the effort, as we have some intensely cool stuff out in our gardens right now. I'll post some specifics later, but trust me, it's well worth your time to pay us a visit soon!

We've been doing a lot of garden design lately too. If you feel overwhelmed about what to get for your garden and how to set it up, shoot us an EMAIL and we can help. We have a special going on this month, for plant orders over $250, we'll come out to your house to see what you need, pick out plants for you, give you a discount on the cost of plants, deliver them, and set them up/place them exactly where they should be planted. You pay for the cost of the (discounted!) plants and take care of planting them, we take care of the design, delivery and placement.

It's the deal of the century! Well, at least the deal of this month...

Thursday, August 06, 2009


Echeveria are one of our very favorite plant families here at Johnnye Merles. There are versatile, easy to grow, and look awesome year round and mixed into virtually any garden design style.

They are technically a succulent, though we find them to be much more hardy than the tender succulents you might be familiar with. Native to Mexico through Central American into northwester South America, they seem do do particularly well here in Southern California as well. Cool fact? They were named after an 18th century Mexican botanical artist, Atanasio Echeverría y Godoy. They are low water/drought tolerant plants, making them a perfect choice for your water conscious gardens and pots. Even better though, is that based on our experience, many of them are able to tolerate a certain amount of shade and even some frost, making them even more versatile!

When designing with Echeveria, you have a lot to work with: versatile growing conditions, an amazing array of colors and blooms, and a cool, ‘architectural’ quality to their leaves and structure. I’ve worked them into garden designs of all types, with much success: native/drought tolerant plantings, ‘minimalist’ landscapes using a lot of grasses and succulents, as well as classic cottage and English style gardens. Care is very easy; clean out dead leaves, and I like to prune back the dead stalk once they are done flowering. Even though they are drought tolerant, occasional deep watering and fertilizing will get an even better performance out of them if you are able to do so.

I took a few photos of some of the Echeveria we have in stock right now at Johnnye Merles - check out the variety and diversity of these plants, and of course, be sure to stop in and take one home!

Echeveria "Pul-Oliver"
Echeveria Pul-Oliver

Echeveria 'Topsy Turvy'
Echeveria 'Topsy Turvy’

Echeveria 'Afterglow'
Echeveria 'Afterglow’

Echeveria 'Shaviana'
Echeveria 'Shaviana'

Echeveria 'Perle Von Nürnberg'
Echeveria 'Perle Von Nürnberg’

Echeveria haagai tolimanensis
Echeveria haagai tolimanensis

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Design project

In addition to offering a great, diverse selection of plants, Johnnye Merle’s also provides top notch garden design services. Below is a project we just worked on this past week.

Before #2

Above is the ‘before’ photo. For this project, the client wanted to help with a big area she recently had stone and brick laid out in. Having lived in the home for only a year now, this was one of her big ‘pet peeve’ areas; before the stone, it was a strange, elevated ‘platform’ featuring weeds and dirt! As it sits below a giant avocado tree and is in the direct line of sight from the other outdoor sitting area, we suggested she have it paved or set in stone, and turn it into a fun seating area with pots, a water feature and fire pit. Once she had the hardscape completed, she reached out to us for help with selecting pots and plants, placing and planting them, designing and building the water feature, and picking out garden furniture and accessories.

This is still a work in progress, but you can see from the photos below how much we were able to accomplish in one day! Last week, we helped her pick out a selection of pots that accented her garden and reflected her own design tastes, purchased wine barrels for the water feature, and we put together a plant selection for her as well.

Then, we put it all together - utilizing existing stones, bricks and random flagstone pieces, we created ‘risers’ for the pots, grouping them in interesting little vignettes. We are very big on using existing materials that a client might have - the previous homeowners left behind a huge selection of random stone pieces, so it was great to put those into use. The wine barrel water fountain also features lots of 'found' objects.

We also cleaned up and planted to flower bed areas that are adjacent to the patio area. We planted the pots using plants that are primarily drought tolerant and ‘architecturally interesting’, proving year round diversity in color and foliage structure. For the bedded areas, which are shaded and damp, we went with shade loving plants that could deal with the run off of water that happens because of the slope of the deck. Same goes for the water feature plants, which are in a shady corner that tends to stay moist.

(It was getting dark as we took photos - we’ll post better ones soon!)


'After photo'; not the best shot, sorry!

Water feature

Water feature - we built this using wine barrels, a galvanized tub, some rain gutter pieces and a small water pump. We love how it turned out!

Potted plant design

Potted plant design

Potted plant grouping

More potted plants - notice how we utilized existing stone materials to give the pots more height and to 'polish off' the groupings.

In addition to providing the design work and plant selection, partnering with Johnnye Merles on a garden design project can also SAVE you money. For this project, for example, the client was able to purchase pots at a wholesale price, saving considerable money, and likewise the cost of plants was discounted since she was also utilizing our design services. Plus, collaborating with a garden designer can help to avoid mistakes - small and large - than can sometimes cost money as well!

We’ll post more photos once the plants take root and fill out a bit more, and we find the perfect benches and chairs for our client...

If you are interested in our design services, please feel free to email us for more information!