By Rick Gillies
Mountain Gardens Nursery & Pet, contributing writer 

The perfect time to plant


August 19, 2023


I just wanted to make people aware of some new and unusual plants that grow here in Tehachapi. It's always better to plant spring blooming plants in the fall or summer months. They get better established and you get the benefits of a longer bloom time!

Let's start with trees

Now's the time to plant Crepe Myrtle. There is a relatively new type out now, Delta Eclipse. It has purple foliage and pink flowers. We had it at Mountain Gardens Nursery & Pet all winter and it did great. Crepe Myrtles come in bush or tree form and are availble in purple, watermelon red, lavender, red and pink.

Chitalpa is also blooming now. Rose of Sharon is a hardy hibiscus, blooming now as a shrub. Large Silk Trees are available in 15 gallon and 5 gallon at the Nursery.

Chinese Pistache turns very red in the fall, so plant soon. Quercus Virginiana is an eastern native, and does well here. Evergreens, Pinus Leucodermis and Corsican Pine always look great. Baby Blue Eyes Spruce has new growth and is beautiful. Weeping Norway Spruce is quite unusual – come and take a look!

At the Nursery we also have a Siberian Spruce, Weeping Bruns, two Hoopii Blue Spruce (they are the bluest of the spruces), and Quercus Douglasii (Blue Oak). Be sure to check out our Paul's Scarlet Hawthorne (normally gone by now) and Golden Chain, Laburnum Watereri "Vossii" (flower clusters up to 20" long) and Red Oaks.

Some California native trees of interest: CA Buckeye goes dormant soon but is a nice plant, we have 5 and 15 gallons. Compound palmate leaf are available in 1 gallon. Redwoods and Douglas fir will be ready soon. Mountain Mahogany Montanus, a very nice plant, takes little care or water. We have Dr. Hurd Manzanita in 1 gallon this year. Check out Red Yucca, it's a very hardy plant that needs little water. I have native oaks in 1 gallon pots, including Quercus Lobata (Valley Oak).

We have a few fig trees including Chicago Hardy, which is very cold tolerant, and Brown Turkey, a staple here.

Note worthy shrubs

Ilex Crenata (Japanese holly), Luxus Globe looks a lot like boxwood and is 4-6' tall. We have Wild Blackberries. Euonymus Fortunei "Moonshadow" is 3' tall by 4' wide, and has yellow leaves with dark green margins. Texas Sage is here again.

Germander Chamaedrys, Cossonii and many hardy varieties of Lavender are blooming now at Mountain Gardens Nursery. Everyone loves Lavender. I like Angustifolia, but there are three fairly new varieties, Superblue, Sensational and Phenomal.

Viburnum Burwordi is one of my favorites that not many people know about. It blooms in the spring with pink fragrant flowers. Osmanthus Fragrans is another fragrant bloom!

We have up to eight colors of Butterfly Bush (Summer Lilac) with fragrant flowers. Be sure to deadhead for longer bloom time. White has been in short supply for years now, but we have 1 and 5 gallons available.

Forsythia is a late winter bloom; I love "Show Off." We also have Lynwood Gold, Spring Glory and Weekender with yellow flowers.

We have many varieties of Lilacs, but be sure to plant them in fall. We also have Redbuds, including Ruby Falls, a weeping redbud. Flowering Cherries, Peaches, Laurus Nobilis, Umbellularia (California Laurel) and a very hard-to-find, frost-proof Gardenia, which is hardy here!


We have Goji Berry, it's very popular and usually expensive, and we have some for only $15.99. We have many Blueberries, including a new one called "Pink Lemonade." The leaves turn red in fall. Check out Sambucus "Mexicana Elderberry," it has good antioxidants.

Perennial plants

At Mountain Gardens Nursery, we specialize in perennial plants so let me list a few interesting ones.

Germander Chamaedrys and Creeping Germander. We have many varieties of Echinacea. Hardy Geranium does very well here. Agapanthus. Society Garlic. Veronica Spicata (three colors). Ground Cover Gold (all gold grass). Hakonechloa Macra "Aureola." Upright Phlox, Phlox Paniculata (Summer Phlox).

We have Russian Sage, look around town to see them blooming. Be sure to check out Crazyblue Russian Sage! Heuchera "Fire Alarm" is my favorite, it's a beautiful, red color. Caryopteris "Bee Keeper" and Goldcrest Caryopteris have golden foliage, but they're blooming blue now.

Oriental Lilies have big fragrant flowers – check out Stargazer and Casablanca White.

Agastache attracts hummingbirds, while Japanese Anenome is more of a shade plant and flowers in fall. We have Penstemon Bev Jenson, and Pincushin flower is blooming now.

Visit us at Mountain Gardens Nursery & Pet at 503 S. Curry St., Tehachapi, and try something new to freshen up your yard.


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