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The Dog Days Issue Yamagami's Garden Center August, 2019
Store Hours: 7 Days a Week, from 9 AM to 6 PM
Featured Quote

Featured Quote:

"There was no air; only the dead, still night fired by the dog days of August."

~ Juan Rulfo

Our Picks This Month

Fall is peeking around the corner, but there's still time to enjoy all summer has to offer!

Here at Yamagami's, we're battling end-of-summer ennui with flamboyant foliage, fun flowers, and delicious recipes featuring all the fruits and veggies our gardens have to offer.

Read on, and kiss August apathy goodbye!

Shrubs & Color:

It's not too late to welcome heat-loving color into your yard! Whether you're in it for the foliage or the flowers, we have something to fit your bill. Here are a few of our current favorites...

Canna Lily:

This exotic plant can play many parts in the garden. Its exuberant foliage and bright flowers make it the perfect focal point or accent plant, and the larger varieties make excellent temporary screens.

Fun Fact: Canna Lilies are not "true" lilies at all, but are related to ginger and bananas!

'Pretoria' - Produces billowy orange flowers, but is grown mainly for its exceptionally beautiful and dramatic foliage; variegated leaves are large and bright yellow, with a thin red rim.

'Australia Compact' - Compact variety does not bloom, but spreads quickly as a groundcover; foliage is a lush, dark red.


A colorful showstopper, Coleus is a warm-weather go-to for a reason! Plant in pots to perk up your shady areas for the summer, then move to a bright indoor location when the weather gets cold.

'FlameThrower Chipotle' - Burgundy-painted foliage with a lime green edge.

'FlameThrower Habanero' - Fiery orange foliage with a touch of purple at center and edges.


A common sight in florist shops, Hypericum also makes an enchanting addition to the home garden. This deciduous shrub lends cottage charm to both containers and low hedges, and its signature fall berries are a wonderful accent in cut flower arrangements.

'Pinot' - Sunny yellow, cup-shaped flowers produce clusters of bright red berries on well-branched, rust-resistant plants with handsome dark green foliage.

'Sangria' - Clusters of golden, cup-shaped flowers on well-branched, rust-resistant plants with handsome dark green foliage accented by deep red undersides.

Shrimp Plant:


A unique tropical shrub for your paradise garden! Plant in pots and use to liven up patios and entryways. The bright, flower-like bracts are sure to attract attention with their unique shrimp-esque appearance.

'Fruit Cocktail' - Lime bracts, rose flowers, long bloom. Delightful!


Set your sights on stunning fall color! Here are a few eye-catching trees to fire your imagination...

Crape Myrtle:

Crape Myrtle needs heat to bloom, making it the perfect choice for some late summer pizzazz! Its namesake, showy flowers come in a variety of colors, including red, pink, lavender, and white. All the varieties below have outstanding color, with the added benefit of being drought tolerant.

'Tuscarora' - Small deciduous tree produces a profusion of crepe-like coral-pink flower clusters; bright green summer foliage develops into exquisite orange-red coloring in the fall.

'Muskogee' - Light lavender-pink flowers; glossy green foliage turns red in fall; smooth, cinnamon-colored bark; a large shrub or small tree that makes an excellent specimen or group planting.

'Dynamite' - An attractive ornamental shrub or small tree with smooth, peeling bark; showy, ruffled, fiery red summer flowers are followed by vibrant orange-red fall foliage.

North American Maple:

Maples are popular for more than just syrup! These stunning trees work well as shade, street, and specimen trees, and are renowned for their autumn colors. They can also tolerate drought, an important feature in our climate.

'Brandywine' - A male selection (seedless) that typically grows to 25' over the first 12 years, eventually reaching 35-50'; leaves turn brilliant scarlet in fall; color is intense and reliable.

'October Glory' - A female cultivar noted for its exceptional fall color; attractive red flowers appear in early spring before the foliage emerges; orange to red fall color is brilliant in most years.

Chinese Pistache

Chinese Pistache is one of those rare trees to provide a reliable fall color show, even in places with mild winters. Drought-tolerant, with few pests and diseases, this is a tree worth coming home to!

'Keith Davey' - Non-fruiting male cultivar makes an excellent shade tree for lawns, or for use as a street tree; foliage turns brilliant orange-crimson to scarlet as autumn progresses.


In the strange space between the summer garden and the fall garden, here are some edible delicacies you can plant now...


Figs are one of the few plants that produce fruit on a young tree! Get one in the ground now, and you may just reap your first harvest within the next couple months.

'Violette de Bordeaux' - Small to medium size purple-black fruit with a very deep red strawberry pulp and distinctive, sweet, rich flavor.

'Panache' - Small to medium-sized fruit with green color and yellow tiger stripes; pulp is blood-red in color, with remarkably fine flavor.


Enjoy one of the great treats of fall, straight from your own backyard! Commercial Pomegranate juice is a shadow of the homemade version.

'Sweet' - Self-fruitful tree is very suitable to espalier and container growing; more widely adapted (better quality in cool-summer climates) and sweeter fruit than Wonderful.

'Eversweet' - Self fruitful tree produces very sweet, virtually seedless fruit (even immature fruits are sweet); red skin, clear (non-staining) juice; harvest late summer through fall.


During the hottest part of summer, take your garden indoors! Here are some interesting specimens to round out your houseplant army...

Pilea peperomoides

We're always excited to get these hard-to-find houseplants in stock! We currently have a selection of both 2" and 4" plants. Come grab yours before they're gone!

Indoor Bonsai

Bring your bonsai obsession inside with our stellar selection of bonsai houseplants! For more ideas, talk with our staff - we'll be happy to help you brainstorm!


This month, treat your indoor succulents to an outdoor vacation! Our succulent selection is currently at its summer best. Come add to your succulent garden now, and enjoy them on a patio or balcony until the weather cools.

We Love 'Davey's Love'

Lavandula 'Davey's Love' is a superior form of Lavender, with silvery green foliage and vibrant purple flowers heavy in essential oils.

Originally created by Drew-Family-Ranch in Calistoga over 30 years ago, 'Davey's Love' is named after a son who passed away from childhood cancer. A donation of $0.50 from every plant sold will go to in his name.

PROJECT: Canned Peach Mostarda

In the dark and cold of winter, there's nothing like popping open a jar of summer sunshine. If you haven't tried your hand at canning, now is the perfect time to start!

Mostarda is a Northern Italian condiment similar to chutney. The recipe below is a "cheat" version, using ingredients readily available in the U.S. Try it the Italian way, alongside slow-braised beef or chicken, or serve it with your favorite cheese.

The actual canning process is surprisingly simple, and can be completed in an afternoon. Set aside a few hours and put up some of your best backyard peaches now - you'll thank yourself come January!


9 half-pint jars
New lids
Clean rings
Water bath canner OR large pot
Nonreactive metal pot
Canning tools (optional, but helpful) - jar funnel, jar lifter, bubble remover/headspace tool


5 pounds peaches
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon finely crushed red chili flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. Prepare a boiling water bath canner*, 9 half pint jars, new lids, and clean rings.

*See Tips for an alternative if you don't have a canner.

2. Cut peaches in half, remove pits, and peel. Cut halves into four wedges and dice each wedge into 3-4 pieces.

3. Place diced peaches in a low, wide pan and add sugar, apple cider vinegar, mustard seeds, red chili flakes, and cayenne pepper.

4. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes at a rapid boil, until the peaches release their juice and the syrup thickens slightly.

5. Using a slotted spoon, portion the peaches out into prepared jars and top each off with syrup, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Tap jars to remove air bubbles and add more syrup if needed.

6. You may not have as many as 9 half pints, but it's always nice to have more prepared rather than not enough.

7. Once jars are full, wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.

8. When time is up, slide canning pot off the hot burner and remove lid. Let jars cool slowly in the canning pot for at least ten minutes before removing the jars from the pot.

9. Place the hot jars on a folded kitchen towel and let them cool.

10. Once jars are cool enough to handle, test seals by pressing down on the lids. If they are firm and without wiggle, the jars are sealed.


Canning is a fun and simple home project, and it only takes one or two times to become a pro! That said, here are a couple things to keep in mind while you're starting out...

* DO NOT change ingredient amounts or cooking time. A canning project is basically a chemistry project. To get the results you want, follow the recipe exactly.

* If you don't have a water bath canner: substitute a large stock pot, filled with enough water to cover jars by at least 1".

* Use lids and rings to line the bottom of the pot. The boiling water will sanitize them, and you can place your jars on top of them so they aren't in direct contact with the pot.

* Make sure jar rims are clean BEFORE you put on the lids. Even a small amount of material on the jar rims will prevent the lids from sealing properly. Keep a wet towel handy and wipe each rim after filling the jar, even if it looks clean.

Product We Love: GrowMore Garden Molasses

A longtime secret of cannabis growers, garden molasses is a powerful tool in any gardener's soil-building kit.

Like the molasses you use in gingerbread, garden molasses is the viscous byproduct of sugar refinement. Unlike its kitchen counterpart, however, garden molasses is rich in soil must-haves like calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium, as well as sulfur and micronutrients. This incredible cocktail makes molasses the "secret sauce" for your garden, nurturing your plants literally from the ground up.

There are a few ways to use molasses in your garden. One easy and common option is to include it in your watering schedule. Another great choice is to add it to your regular compost tea. This gives your garden a straight shot of beneficial microbes that even the worst-quality soil is sure to love.

Look for garden molasses in our Garden Pharmacy department, give your soil a taste, then sit back and admire the difference!

Unleash Your Inner Guerilla Gardener!

Do your part to help restore California's native ecosystems, and indulge your rebellious side at the same time!

Wild Jules Native Wildflower & Grass Seed Balls are designed to be carried in your pocket or hiking pack. They are a simple and ingenious way to distribute native seed, perfect for both habitat restoration, and places where unpredictable rainfall, inferior soil, and rough terrain nix more conventional cultivation methods - including areas in your yard that may have resisted plants in the past.

You can find our seed ball display at the registers. Stop to browse our selection, and get guerilla gardening today!

Cultivate A Gardening Lifestyle!

Here at Yamagami's we don't just help you grow a great garden - we help you cultivate a gardening lifestyle as well! Come check out our Gifts department for fun knickknacks sure to bring a lively, whimsical touch to all your spaces, inside and out.

O Come, O Come Order Your Christmas Tree!

Starting this month, pre-order your best Christmas tree ever from Yamagami's Garden Center! Pre-order by mid November, and we'll give you 10% off your tree. Noble and Douglas firs will both be available, so you can deck your halls in style!

Coming Events

Sunday, August 25th | One-Day SALE

This August, we're celebrating 71 years of serving the Bay Area with our annual birthday sale! Spin the wheel for a discount between 20% and 71% off your purchase!

Garden Center Scrapbook

Just about everything is blooming, fruiting or both! Come visit and take a look.

Featured Recipe
Blackberry-Orange Cake

It's one of those August afternoons - you know the type. The sun is sizzling overhead, the outdoor thermometer is maxed out, and the air is so thick even the mosquitoes are struggling to slog through it. Fortunately, you have a secret weapon: this cake. Packed with the taste of sunshine and begging to be enjoyed with a cold drink, it's the perfect antidote to the end-of-summer blahs...

Serves 4.


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1-1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • Confectioners' sugar, optional
  • 9" springform pan


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9-in. springform pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and orange zest.
  3. In another bowl, whisk 1-1/2 cups flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Transfer to prepared pan.
  4. In a bowl, toss blackberries with remaining flour; arrange over batter. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.
  5. Bake 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake portion comes out clean.
  6. Loosen sides from pan with a knife; remove rim from pan.
  7. Cool on a wire rack.

Serve warm or at room temperature.
If desired, dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.
Perfect Pairings: chilled Sherry, Moscato, or iced tea

- Recipe from Taste of Home

Print Recipe

3 day forecast

3 day forecast


Rose Planting Mix
Especially formulated for all varieties of roses, flowers and blooming shrubs

Since 1948, Yamagami's Garden Center 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

Harvest Supreme
Improves a variety of soils for vegetable gardens or flower beds.

Rose & Flower fert
Use for roses and flowers for the best blooms possible.

Eden Vally
G&B Organics Eden Valley Blend Potting Soil with BiocharMax™. BiocharMax™ is a soft-wood biochar that provides soil, plant and environmental benefits.

Soil Building Compost
Great for breaking up hard clay soils to improve drainage.

Potting Soil
The perfect container mix. It drains well, yet retains just the right amount of moisture around tender roots.

Native Planting Mix
Ideal for CA natives and other water-wise plants.

Acid Planting Mix
Made especially for acid-loving, shade-dwelling plants.

Finally, the perfect soil for raised beds!

GBO Fruit Tree Fertilizer
Grow better tasting, more nutritious fruit, with more abundant crops.

Planting Mix
Great for in-ground projects including planting, amending, mulching or seed cover.

Vegetable fertilizer
Helps produce more abundant, better tasting and more nutritious vegetables.