Lifestyle

Discovering Evergreen Nursery – San Diego’s best nursery for novice to expert gardners

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With summer fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to dig those gardening gloves out of the garage and get started on that perfect yard you’ve always dreamed of. However, depending on where in San Diego you live, you’re going to need different plants. From the sea breeze of Ocean Beach to the desert heat of Ramona, San Diego’s weather may not be very kind to your plants. Instead of hoping for the best, why not get your flowering supplies at an establishment that will know what will thrive in the heat and what will wither?

For over thirty years Evergreen Nursery has been legend in the circles of San Diego’s green thumbs and is a welcome refuge for gardeners of every skill level. Strictly employed by experts who know everything there is to know about the plants they sell, Evergreen is full of unique characteristics that set them apart from other nurseries, making them the perfect choice for your various plant needs.

Resting on 80 acres of land, Evergreen has stood firm as one of San Diego’s Largest Wholesale Nurseries open to the public. Their grounds spreads out as far as you can see, filled with bright colors and beautiful plants, making them the perfect place for professionals and hobbyist gardeners and landscapers to roam. With Evergreen’s unique organization system and layout, the nursery makes plant shopping a stress-free and enjoyable adventure. One of the things that make this nursery so unique is the vast size of the grounds. However, don’t let the size intimidate you because there are many ways that Evergreen makes shopping easy and adventurous.

Evergreen founder and general manager Mark Collins, an expert in plant care, knows his nursery is something special and isn’t able to speak of Evergreen without pride swelling in his voice, “It’s intimidating but the way to start is to come in and stop at the cashier’s hut. At the very entrance there’s a little hut there, the same place you’re going to stop at on the way back, and when you stop there someone will answer your questions and give you a map.”

Once you have your map you can decide how you want to explore the grounds. You can either investigate by foot and wander the many acres, or you can hop back in your car and drive leisurely through the selections. Being able to drive your car through the vast nursery makes shopping even easier and is just one of many unique characteristics of Evergreen. The nursery layout is easy to navigate with the map and it’s even set up to resemble that of a little town, making the size even easier to handle. “The streets have all got street names, there’s section numbers, and once you realize that you can go anywhere you get a little less intimidated by the hugeness of it,” says Collins.

Being able to drive your car through the nursery has many benefits. It not only gives you the freedom and comfort to go anywhere, but it also makes it incredibly easy if you see something you like because you can simply park the car and hop out. There’s no need to push around an awkward cart that will only fit half of your needs, only to have to load it into your car later; you can load directly into your vehicle and cut out the middle-man, making it incredibly convenient for the customers.

Also making the customer’s life easier is Evergreen’s convenient pricing system. Plants are priced according to container size and each plant is color coded. That handy map you snatched at the beginning of your journey will show where each type of plant can be found and the color coding makes searching that much easier. Either by driving or walking, it is easy to look out over a vast area of ground cover and spot the color cards in your price range (yellow cards are the least expensive).

As a gardener himself, Mark Collins knows what it’s like to shop at a big retail nursery and why it’s so important for San Diegan’s to seek out the local nurseries instead. Unlike big chain nurseries who have plants delivered to their grounds from different vendors located in possibly different states, all plants at Evergreen were grown onsite, guaranteeing the customer that those plants not only survive in San Diego weather, but thrive in it. “These plants are grown in San Diego for San Diegans and they can take what we have here. We actually sell plants to the general public for less than more discount houses and depots pay for it,” explains Collins.

Evergreen also truly cares about the environment and makes that obvious with their green waste recycling program. With a recycling facility right on nursery grounds, Evergreen will give you store credit for bringing in recyclable items, especially those plastic pots that no one wants. Customers also don’t have to worry about the items having to be from Evergreen itself, they’ll take recyclables from any nursery and you’ll still get store credit for your part in saving the environment. “We have several different things that we do here that are pretty earth friendly. People get paid for doing the right thing by recycling,” says Collins. The nursery will also gladly take any yard trimmings you’ve been meaning to get rid of. Evergreen will take those trimmings and grind them up to manufacture their own soil products right on nursery grounds, like top soil, ground cover mulch, and compost.

While some people like to hire landscapers, others are more DIY (do it yourself) and like to get their hands dirty. If you’d like to learn more about plant-care and gardening to improve your knowledge and skills, Evergreen stands apart even further with their fantastic free gardening seminars available the first Saturday of every month (twice a month during Spring), open to the public and starting promptly at 10 a.m. rain or shine, with refreshments and seminar exclusive coupons, each seminar focuses on a different topic and groups of avid attendees never miss a day. The Evergreen website is also a fantastic source of information, filled with articles and links. You can send in a question on the site and be confident knowing that someone knowledgeable will get back to you as soon as possible.

If you happen to be in the area you can always just stop by and have a chat with one of the experts at Evergreen. Each employee is trained to be an expert in the field and would love to help you out with any problems you may have. Unlike some nurseries who sell other products like lumber and paint, Evergreen strictly sells plants so the employees are going to have good local knowledge about whatever bush you’re thinking about purchasing. “The western garden books are a fabulous source but right here we have microclimates and most of our nursery-men are going to know what’s going to work in your yard,” Collins affirms proudly.

With so many unique features, from the ease of driving through the grounds to the excellent seminars, Evergreen has the home-grown advantage over other nurseries, staying on top as San Diego’s premiere nursery for over thirty years. With a highly knowledgeable staff who genuinely love what they do, Evergreeen is the best place to experiment with and grow as a gardener. Begin your summer by driving over for some quality time at Evergreen Nursery and you’ll be guaranteed to leave with a car full of projects for your budding garden or those empty pots you’ve been meaning to fill.

To learn more about this amazing paradise, please visit the Evergreen website, or better yet, stop by one of the two locations (Carmel Valley and Oceanside) and find out all Evergreen has to offer first hand!

Also, be sure to check out the May 2012 episode of E&L TV where Evergreen Nursery was featured, including some gardening tips and more information on this spectacular local business.

All photos courtesy of Mila Pantovich, who also runs her own blog, Reel Obsession, where all of her articles can be found.

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