Events and Classes at Farmington Gardens

Follow Us


How to prune a hydrangea

So, how do you prune a hydrangea?

How you prune your hydrangea and when depends on whether it blooms on old wood or current years growth. Have no idea what variety or type you have? Here are some clues:

A lot of the Mophead varieties bloom on old wood. They tend to bloom early summer and peter out by midsummer with a few continuing scattered blooms.

Pruning hydrangeas that bloom on old wood

It's important to know that pruning isn't a necessity for the health of the plant. If you are happy with your plant and the plant in turn also seems happy, you can just sit back and enjoy!

Plant of the week: Grasses

Learn about some of our favorite grasses and what they can do for your landscape.

Here's our Plant of the Week Video.




Summer Blooming Trees

During these warm dog-days of summer when we expect to relax and slow down, our senses are tantalized by the scents and sights of what seems like clouds of blossoms from some trees. That’s right – trees blooming now in the Pacific Northwest.

Clerodendron trichotomum, also known as the Peanut Butter Tree or Harlequin Glorybower, can be covered with buds and blossoms of sweet smelling white flowers. As the flowers bloom at different times, you can often find buds, open blossoms and colorful seeds on the same umbel at one time- a long lasting show.
The seeds are a deep metallic aqua color surrounded by a bright fuchsia calyx.
Easy to grow in part to full sun with regular water in dry summers.


  Albizia julibrissin, also known as the Silk tree or Mimosa, is tropical looking with its fern-like leaves yet is hardy. The bright pink fluffy stamens look like a spray of silk. Easy to grow in sun to part sun.


Lagerstroemia indica, or Crape Myrtle, has really been putting on quite a show this year with our hot temperatures. Drought tolerant and sun loving, the masses of white, red, pink or purple panicles are worth the wait. Interesting bark gives it year round interest.


Heptacodium miconioides, the Seven-Sons Tree, has small, snow-white, fragrant flowers that fade away to a pink-red calyx. These hold on well through fall. The tree has unusual peeling bark. Drought tolerant in part to full sun.


Oxydendrum arboreum, or Sourwood, thrives in moist but well drained soil in full sun. The tiny fragrant white bell shaped flowers remind some of lily of the valley. Glossy, dark green leaves make the tree shine again later in fall with their bright red color.


How wonderful it is to see these clouds of color against the blue skies we have had this summer.            

Click on photos for larger view.

Fall Vegetable Gardening

Want to enjoy fresh vegetables this fall and even winter?
With the proper planning and plant choices you can! Now is the time to start thinking about and planning out your fall and winter vegetable garden. Come visit us on Monday the 31st as our expert Jenny shares with you her knowledge and experience. She will help you be successful in your own garden this fall and winter whether this is something brand new to you, or you just want to learn how to do it better.

What: Fall Vegetable Gardening Class

When: Monday Aug 31st at 10 am

Revitalize Your Plants with a Little Brew

Are your plants in the garden and in your pots looking a little tired?
This summer’s heat has been tough on them and it doesn’t look to end any time soon.
Surfing Cow to the Rescue with Bu’s Brew!

Bu is the cow on the surfboard. Yes, there really is a cow called Bu with offspring called Baby Bu, Bu Bu, and Honey Bu but they do not go surfing. The company just started in the Malibu area.

Bu’s Brew Biodynamic compost tea bags are made from manure from cows that graze only in organic pastures. The process takes over 5 months of turning the material and adding specific biodynamic preparations.  This ensures that the tea will have the beneficial microbes and nutrients your plants need.

Revitalize your plants now by using the tea as a foliar spray. It will be like taking them for a beauty treatment at a health spa!
The brew can also be used as a root stimulant or aid in avoiding transplant shock.

Tomatoes have their own Bu’s Brew. You can bring out their best by pouring them some of the organic tea. It is derived from Compost (dairy cow manure, Biodynamic vineyard chips, concentrations of Biodynamic preparations: equisetum, dandelion, chamomile, stinging nettle, yarrow, oak bark, & valerian), worm castings, & kelp.

Rose of Sharon is an Exception

Gardens seem to be going through a sleepy period at this time of year. The evergreen plantings and hardscapes are holding the scene together. Colors in the flowerbeds are changing from soft pinks, mauves and whites to stronger yellows, oranges and deep purples. There are fewer flowering shrubs - most were in their glory earlier.

'Woodbridge'                    'Diana'                                   'Blue Chiffon'

The hardy hibiscus syriacus or Rose of Sharon is the exception!

These shrubs started blooming in July and will continue through the end of September. Although the flowers fade after only a day, there is such an abundance of them that the shrub always looks fresh with the new ones.The large flowers range in soft colors of white, mauve, fuchsia, and lavender near blue– all with deep reds at their throats. The Chiffons have a lacy center of the same color making their solid pink, blue, lavender and white even more of a showstopper.


  'Blue Satin'                              'Danica'

What a find for a time when we are all looking for plants that do well in these hotter summers we are experiencing! If you get them well established with a strong root system the first year, they are fairly drought resistant after that. They like sun or part sun and with regular pruning to trim and shape, they form a dense upright shrub. The buds form on new wood. They are deciduous and late to leaf out but reward you with dark green foliage and showy blossoms when other shrubs are laying low gathering strength for next year.
A Rose of Sharon is an easy care shrub that can fit into any style of garden as a specimen or even as a hedge or screen. The choices of flower color keeps expanding so you may find it hard to have only one!


Click on this photo of 'Red Heart' to see how much the bees love hardy hibiscus, too!

Planting in this Heat

Farmington Gardens has some great sales going on right now.

The annual Parking Lot Sale is not to be missed! There are a variety of large size bushes and trees ready to go home with you.

Getting these plants in the ground takes more effort at this time of year.  You may even need more than one day if you count all the soaking time. These bigger plants require big holes. It might be in an area that has not been getting irrigation this summer because you are not wasting water and have been concentrating on the plants not empty spaces.

  • Dig a regular size hole – two times as wide and as deep as the plant is in the pot.
  • Now, fill the hole with water and let it drain. This allows the surrounding soil to absorb water so it won’t be sucking up the water intended for your new plant.
  • In the meantime, really soak the potted plant. This makes sure the plant is well hydrated before planting in the ground and makes the roots less susceptible to damage. If you have a container large enough to fill with water to let the pot sit in, that is great.
  • In a wheelbarrow, mix your compost with native soil and dampen before using.

Are you getting the drift here? Damp hole, damp potted plant and damp soil. At this point, during these hot summer days, you may need to give yourself some hydration too.

  • Plant as you normally do, making sure you add water halfway through and tamp down to get out all the air pockets.
  • Finish backfilling, water, and then add a few inches deep of mulch farther out than the plant’s drip line. This helps keep the soil and roots from drying out too quickly. Make sure you do not build up mulch around the trunk. Leave a few inches. You can mound the mulch on the outer edge to create a well. This makes watering easier and helps avoid run off.
  • Plan your watering routine – use a drip, soaker hose or slow and long release from the hose. The plant will be producing new tender roots to grow into the new soil and should never be allowed to dry out.

These extra steps will help ensure your Bargain Priced Plants

will reward you with Top Dollar Beauty.

Garden to Table: Brunch in the Garden

Saturday's Menu


• Two toned smoothies


• Garden Frittata


• Greek Potato Hash with herbs


• For dessert: Roasted Pear Stuffed French Toast with Caramel Sauce


Garden to Table Cooking Classes focus on cooking with fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables from your garden. Complimentary samples of every recipe we feature are provided.

What's New and Blooming 7/08/2015

Create a checkerboard of color with hardy and drought tolerant sempervivum, sedums, or delosperma. Low growing or up to 24 inches tall, it is easy to find a sunny spot in your garden or planters for them. The taller sedums bloom later in the season.


Create Your Own Tropical Paradise With Mandevillas

With trumpet-like blooms all summer long, the Sun Parasol Mandevilla Vine – 'Pretty Crimson' cannot be beat for setting a tropical scene. The velvety red flowers with their darker throats are prolific on deep green vines that can grow to 30 feet in one season! They intertwine with each other making it perfect for growing in smaller spaces like a balcony or patio.

Whether you let them hang down from the basket or climb up a trellis, their beauty and delicateness will take you away to your own tropical paradise.


These mandevilla prefer full to part sun and moist, but not wet, soil. They definitely do not like to sit in water nor do they want to dry out. Think tropical rains every day.

Fertilize weekly with a flower boosting formula like Dr. Earth Flower Girl Bud and Bloom Booster.You want to keep those large flowers coming.

Treat the Sun Parasol Mandevilla as an annual – a yearly vacation away to the tropics. You might even try sipping on a fruit drink with a flower tucked in your hair!