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Edition 13.13 Yamagami's Garden Center March 28, 2013
  Store Hours: 7 Days a Week, from 9 AM to 6 PM  
featured quote


"Plants give us oxygen for the lungs and for the soul."
~Linda Solegato


Itoh Peonies

Itoh Peonies are a hybrid of tree and bush peonies, offering the best of both. Their large, dramatic flowers resemble tree peony blossoms. The Itoh Peonies grow up to 3 feet tall and wide. Their beautiful blossoms are disease-resistant and long lasting. The older the plant gets, the longer the blooming season. They make excellent cut flowers so you can enjoy them indoors too.

Currently we offer these three varieties:

'Keiko' has large, semi-double to double pink flowers up to six inches across. As the flowers mature, their dark lavender pink petals slowly fade to a soft pink, revealing a cluster of yellow stamens in its center. The flower is lightly fragrant.

'Takara' has large flowers (up to six inches across) that provide an unusual and exquisite ever-changing blend of colors. When opening, blooms appear mostly pink, but are actually light yellow heavily flushed with deep lavender pink. As the flowers mature, the pink and yellow fade to pale white, with a large dark burgundy flare in the center.

'Yumi' has large, double, yellow flowers, up to seven to eight inches across. It puts on a spectacular show with masses of clear yellow flowers with a light and very pleasant fragrance.

Add one of these beauties to your garden and enjoy the spring drama every year. Plant them in mostly sun, although a little filtered shade during the hottest time of the day can help prolong the flowers. Itoh Peonies are available in limited numbers, so come in today!


"Guac" This Way!

Yes, you can "guac" around here, and many people do! Making an informed choice as to the avocado variety you plant makes a big difference. If all you want is the type you usually find in the grocery store, you are looking for 'Hass.' 'Hass' and other Guatemalan varieties require more protection from frost than Mexican strains like 'Jim Bacon' or 'Mexicola.'

Deciding how much protection you are willing or able to provide will influence your choice. One option is to choose 'Holiday,' a Guatemalan variety, which is a small (to 9'), weeping tree that is easier to protect with frost fabrics and sprays. Its fruit is a large Hass type and well worth the effort of protecting it from frost. 'Holiday' is an excellent choice for containers, as is 'Little Cado.'

If what you want is a more frost-hardy tree that will provide tasty fruit reliably in our area, you have several options. Nancy Garrison, our local fruit expert, has a very productive 'Jim Bacon' avocado tree and a 'Pinkerton' tree that not only produces well--it produces over a long period. Both provide very tasty fruit.

Despite popular belief that you need a pollinator for avocados, they are self-pollinating. Avocados are divided into "A" and "B" varieties. Commercial growers will intersperse them, but the average homeowner in our area does not need to have both types. For more avocado information, including variety descriptions, see our Avocado Guide.

Guac on over to Yamagami's Nursery for a great selection of avocados, as well as a FREE Citrus and Avocado Planting Guide. We are here to help you succeed...the first time.


Growing Tomatoes in Containers

Tomato season is moving into full gear in the next few weeks. If you have planted them in the same plot for a few years, it's time to replenish that area and let it sit out a season. Maybe your clay soil is so compacted that you'd need a jackhammer to dig a tomato-sized planting hole.

Luckily tomatoes grow very well in containers, and heirloom varieties may even prefer them. When space is an issue, choose determinate (bush) varieties, which will bear even in a 12" to 16" pot. Cherry tomatoes will also tolerate smaller containers, although the plant itself becomes quite large. Larger plants appreciate larger pots.

Because you will plant in straight Gardner & Bloome Potting Soil, your plants will have perfect drainage. It also means the plants will be safe from soil-borne diseases and pests. This is a great benefit to many heirloom tomatoes that may not have much disease resistance bred into them. Heirloom or not, large-fruited tomatoes like beefsteaks will benefit because the sun will warm the rootball, tricking the plant into believing maybe it is in the Central Valley where beefsteaks thrive.

Yamagami's Nursery offers many container choices. Smart Pots are a popular choice because they are reasonably priced and come in large enough sizes to comfortably hold even the largest of plants. Smart Pots even come in sizes large enough for a raised bed vegetable garden. Come see the entire line of Smart Pots.

200 gallon size Smart Pot with a veggie garden including three tomatoes.

The All-in-One Planter is a complete system. It features a 20 gallon plastic pot and saucer with a clamp-on cage. The pot and saucer are made of 10% recycled material in the USA.

We recommend that you fill the saucer with rock so that the bottom of the pot cannot sit in water. We even have some attractive rock choices for an attractive finished planting.

We also offer lightweight plastic pots in a range of sizes. Of course you can plant tomatoes in dressier ceramic pots too. Yamagami's Nursery offers many options for the container gardener.

Other vegetables can also be grown in containers. Newer compact varieties of squash and cucumbers bear delicious crops in little space. Peppers and eggplants grow well in pots too.


Raised Beds, Elevated Beds and
Vertical Gardening

Looking for an instant garden bed? Gronomics is a manufacturer of ergonomically designed, 100% Western Red Cedar garden planters that offer tool-free assembly!

With high quality construction, they are as beautiful as they are functional. We are thrilled to offer these good-looking, sturdy garden bed kits.

The raised beds are available in two sizes. Use these beds for herbs, flowers or even a small vegetable garden. Constructed of 100% Western Red Cedar and handcrafted in the USA, they come in a boxed kit with easy-to-follow instructions. These beds can be set up in minutes. Then just add soil, and plant a garden today!

The Elevated Garden Beds make gardening easy and more accessible for all ages. Herbs, vegetables and flowers can be tended while standing or sitting, and the unique design even allows easy access for those in wheelchairs.

The Vertical Garden makes gardening easier than ever. It's perfect for strawberries, herbs or for a stunning wall of succulents. With a small footprint, just 2 sq. ft., it's possible to have a garden just about anywhere.

Comes pre-assembled and includes a drip line irrigation system, so you can water less and enjoy growing more.

If you want a good-looking garden that does not require a lot of digging, come see Gronomic's kits. No longer do you need a plot of land to have a garden. Just imagine what a great Mother's Day gift an instant garden would be!


Coming Events

Yamagami’s Nursery is closed Easter Sunday, March 31.

FREE Tomato Talks

Learn tips for growing healthy, abundantly producing tomato plants.

Saturdays, April 13th and 27th, at 10 AM, with Carolyn Villa-Scott

Sundays, April 14th and 28th, at 11 AM, with Lorena Gorsche.

May 12th is Mother’s Day.

Rather than cut flowers, how about giving her a rose bush that will continue to blossom. How about giving her a pot full of herbs or flowers for a long lasting reminder that you care.


Ongoing Events

Most Fridays from 11 AM to 1 PM, Dianne Jensen can guide you through the design and planting process of creating your own colorful container gardens and salad bowls. All you pay for is the plants and container--the soil, fertilizer and instruction are FREE!

Call ahead (408) 252-3347 to make sure Dianne is here.


Lemongrass Crabcakes

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 lb. crabmeat
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, minced (tough outer leaves removed)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • about 1/2 cup carrots, julienned into 4"-5" pieces
  • about 1/2 cup daikon radish, julienned into 4"-5" pieces .
  • 2 cups baby greens, washed
  • sprinkle of rice wine vinegar
  • sprinkle of toasted sesame oil
  • 2-3 tbsp canola, light olive or peanut oil

Step by Step

  • First, make the crab cakes. Begin by shredding the crab in a bowl.
  • Mince a stalk of lemongrass--removing the tough outer leaves until you get to the tender inside of the stalk--and add to shredded crab.
  • Add about 1/4 cup mayonnaise, about 2 teaspoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, salt and pepper (to taste), and a few tablespoons of panko, folding until well combined.
  • Form into firm patties, coating both sides in more panko bread crumbs, and place in the refigerator 10-15 minutes to firm up. (The picture does not show firm patties; mold them firmer than this, or they will fall apart!)
  • While the crab cakes are firming, julienne your carrot and daikon into pieces roughly 4-5 inches long, being sure to make them equal lengths and thicknesses.
  • Plate your salads by setting down a small bed of baby greens and a row of daikon.
  • Sprinkle with rice wine vinegar and toasted sesame oil. Finish with a row of carrots. Set aside.
  • Cook crab cakes by adding 2-3 tbsp. oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. When hot, add the crab cakes. Cook each side until golden brown, flipping cakes once.
  • Remove the crab cakes and let drain on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Place on top of the salad, and serve!
Yield: 4 servings


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"The very best for your
container gardens!"

Since 1948, Yamagami's Nursery has been committed to the promotion of beauty and the plants, products and friendly, professional support needed to attain and maintain that Beauty. In my parents' footsteps (and Taro Yamagami's before them), I promise to continue that tradition. I invite you to visit us in the nursery and on our website, for help in making your yard into a beautiful garden.
Thanks for visiting,

Preston Oka

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1361 S. De Anza Blvd
Cupertino, CA 95014

7 Days a Week:
9 am to 6 pm

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