OAKHURST – The weather is perfect, business is brisk and there’s a new breed of pansy in town at Western Sierra Nursery.
According to local experts, this is an opportune time of year for savvy gardeners, scores of whom were out Friday to see “what’s growing on.”
“You can plant just about anything this time of year,” says Diane Wilkins, who’s worked at the popular nursery for 15 years.“We’ve got most of the bare root in right now, including all the berries: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries and strawberries.”
It’s also a good time of year to plant trees, according to Wilkins.
“They’re dormant, so they’ll get acclimated,” she says. “You’re not going to have to water them in the spring, they’ll just take off.”
Also on the list for late November into winter are vegetables like asparagus, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower and broccoli. The sweet pea starters look healthy, too, and with a successful planting, that delicate flower’s fragrance will waft towards you in spring.
Meanwhile, the new kid on the block is a special breed of pansy, in vivid yellow and also shades of violet, that’s said to have amazing powers to spread and survive.
“It’s called a Cool Wave pansy,” Wilkins says of the pretty petals hanging brightly in the nursery’s yard. “Each separate little plant is supposed to get two to three feet wide. It hangs really well and they have more flowers. They’re even tougher than the regular pansies. They’ll make it through the snow, and just pop back up. No kidding.”
With still some time left to plant bulbs, Wilkins reminds visitors that daffodils and tulips are still available, but only daffodil are repellent to deer.
“Deer love tulips and pansies, so you’ve got to plant them somewhere the deer are won’t get them,” cautions the experienced gardener. “It’s a good time of year for bulbs, and your ground is softer for planting since we’ve had some rain.”
It already smells like Christmas at the nursery, with its terrific live and cut trees ready for new homes, and soon it will smell like chili. Western Sierra Nursery owner Mark Holland will be cookin’ up his annual chili feed almost daily, beginning this weekend and continuing through the holiday season.
Western Sierra Nursery is located at 49266 Golden Oak Drive in Oakhurst.