Sweet Daphne are In Stock Now!

smells amazing!

It’s that time of year- fragrant Daphne is here.

We have lots of these old-fashioned beauties in stock right now, good-sized plants just loaded with flowerbuds.

I can’t get enough of the potently fragrant flower clusters, reminiscent of citrus blooms. Mmmmm- heavenly! I cut new bouquets every few days, putting them where the scent can be enjoyed the most. I’ll even bring some along when I go to visit friends and neighbors- perfect little hostess gifts.

There are more reasons to love this old-fashioned beauty than just the flowers:

Deer resistance. This is one plant that is reliably impervious to deer, regardless of where you live.Yay! No spray!

Drought tolerance. Not only is daphne tolerant of drought, but it requires low water (especially in the summer months). Wow, no problem- I like to keep that water bill down.

Evergreen. The glossy leaves are showy on their own, true green with nicely contrasting cream margins. Each leaf is somewhat different than the next, so you’ll see variations in the pattern of color.It really pops next to deeper tones- I have it against a dark wooden fence.

Daphne is a moderate grower, topping out at about 4’X4′ over time. It does well in a fair amount of shade, but also in a fair amount of sun, so where you plant will perhaps depend more on daphne’s water needs than the sun exposure. I have mine planted beside my front walkway, to best enjoy the delicious fragrance.

We have a great selection of big healthy daphne plants right now, so stop by.

Hello, Gorgeous!



Hot Color for the Cool Season- Plant Now

It’s nigh time to put in fresh color! This time of year is great for replacing those tired summer bloomers with a variety of cold-loving plants…

Iceland poppies

Start things off just like you would in spring, by adding a fresh layer of compost to beds and in-ground planting areas. This will refresh the nutrients in the soil that were depleted this summer. If you are planting in pots it is wise to use all new Potting soil right from the bag. Regardless of where you plant, it helps to mix in a little  Starter fertilizer like Masterstart to get the roots stimulated.

anemones in mixed plantings

There are lots of beautiful winter-blooming plants that do well here, and will give you nonstop color all the way into next spring- pansies, poppies, violas, flowering kale and cabbage, calendula, primrose, cyclamen and more.

 We love to use these reliable bloomers in our fabulous mixed pots with bulbs beneath. For a lush look, plant something upright along with mounding and trailing plants to give a 3-dimensional effect. If you want it over the top like we do at King’s, make sure and stash flowerbulbs in the soil underneath so, come spring, they will sprout right up through the plants above to create a stunning double-decked flower arrangement.


Make a bold show of color in the ground and along borders by planting one kind of plant en masse, or put in groups of flowering plants near perennials to add splashes of color to established plantings. Underplant the rose garden for some action while the roses are dormant- plants will be full and colorful beneath when the roses bloom again in spring.

Just remember: you don’t have to wait until spring to enjoy beautiful flowers- plant now!

cyclamen for days







A Big Crop of Camellias, in Bloom Now

‘Pink-a-Boo’ camellia sasanqua

Boy, are we tending to some hogs right now…….

sasanqua perfection- ‘Kanjiro’

This crop of camellias are extra-vigorous, dark green and glossy, with plentiful buds that are starting to pop open. Back in the day these types of plants were called hogs, due to their voracious growth, robust size and top notch quality.

You can get the best selection right now, no slop required.

This is an ideal time to plant camellias. The roots will fill in nicely during these winter months, providing ample support for the plentiful flowers and new growth of the season ahead.

Use some Planting Mix straight out of the bag when you plant in pots, or incorporate Paydirt along with Planting Mix 50/50 with your native soil when installing them in the ground. It’s important to include a starter fertilizer or camellia food into this mix as well, so as to put nutrients right near the roots; this will encourage strong, fast-growing  new roots to form.

‘Debutante’ camellia japonica, just starting to open

Camellias are low maintenance and fairly drought tolerant once established. There are different types available to suit different planting sites- japonicas are generally shade-loving, while sasanquas will accept full sun as well as shade. Some, like the statuesque reticulatas, grow upright and tall, while others are meant to stay shorter and wider without trimming. Many will sport large, showy flowers, while others bear prolific clusters of bloom. We even have specialty espalier specimens on trellis and topiary tree camellias.

They’re one of those plants that is really versatile. I’ve seen them grown as a flower-filled hedge, as a stately specimen allowed to assume it’s natural form, even potted with colorful bedding plants beneath. I also enjoy cutting branches for flower arrangements, or floating a large blossom or two in a bowl on the table.

So if you’re hankering for a new hog, come take a peek in our pen………

‘Yuletide’ blooms just in time for the holidays

‘Setsugekka’ camellia sasanqua


Sweet Peas In a Nutshell

Orange Dragon (photo by John Chavez)

At Kings we just love sweet peas mostly because they do a bunch of things. They are reasonably easy, they grow during the cooler months, they can climb or ramble or not, they are very cut-able and they smell wonderful. Here are a few tips on sweet peas so you can have fun and success.

When to plant: As mentioned, Sweet Peas like the weather on the cool side, on the other hand, they need a bit of warmth to germinate and eventually bloom. In Sonoma County you may direct seed into the prepared soil in August, September and October. This gives the plants time to sprout before it gets cold. Normal frosts will not kill the plants. Indeed, during the cool winter, the roots continue to grow providing strength in very early Spring. If you have missed the direct seeding time, you may start them indoors and plant them outside anytime during the Winter and all the way through early Spring.

Location: Full Sun to no less than half a day of full sun.

Germination: Most folks find this pretty easy. In the ground, care should be taken to prepare the soil deeply, to about 12” or more if you are energetic. After working the soil, add MasterNursery Pay Dirt and Master Start and work again. Water so the soil is moist, not soggy and plant the seeds about an inch deep.

Keep evenly moist, but not soggy. Over watering can rot them. Another method would be to prepare the bed early and plant the seeds right when the Winter rains are starting. For indoors we use MasterNursery Potting soil right out of the bag, filling six pack, small pots or greenhouse/flat kits designed for starting seeds. Again the seed is placed about an inch deep and watered several times thoroughly. Then we cover the flat with a layer of newspaper and moisten the paper. After this whole thing stops draining, I bring it inside to a warm cozy spot with some bottom heat if you have it. The top of the refrigerator, back of the stove, nice window. Water thoroughly again when it is dry. There is no need for daily water, only when necessary. Germination can happen as soon as 7 days. Once sprouted, remove the newspaper and put them in a sunny location until a couple of inches high, then outside to a sheltered spot, then into the garden or containers. Some folks soak the seed overnight before planting, we find that this is generally not necessary. However, some seed packets are marked nick before sowing. In this case you can soak the seeds or slightly chip the seed coat with a sharp knife on the opposite side of the seed eye.

Growing: Most sweet peas need a structure. The exceptions are dwarf and knee high varieties, which can be grown with or without support and even in hanging baskets and on the sides of containers of you do not mind the sprawl look. Your structure can be as plain or as fancy as you like, but please make it sturdy and bit bigger than you think that it ought to be. We have used bamboo hoops for smaller varieties, large wigwams of willow or tied together wigwams of bamboo or redwood. Trellis against or tie to fences or wire frames. We have also attached a trellis to a large container with great success. Whatever the method you choose, remember that when the young peas reach out for support, they will need to be gently tied, especially at first and in a timely manner. As the stems age they can become a bit brittle, making the job difficult. We find that once they are started out on the right track they keep on track fine just by themselves. Spacing for new plants should be about 6 to 8 inches apart in your prepared soil. Please remember to work the soil. Your ultimate results are always tied to the soil. Subsequent feeding can be any complete food. We recommend slow release Osmocote or MasterNusery Bud and Bloom. Whichever you choose, please do it. Those nasty snails can be a problem when your plants are young and defenseless. We now have pet-safe snail baits as well as the traditional type, put that out when transplanting.

Other Stuff: Keep the flowers cut. This is important and fun. Sweet peas are cool season annuals and will produce armloads of flowers if you cut the spent ones off as soon as they start to drop petals. This will provide you with non-stop bouquets with room-filling fragrance, and will bloom for weeks and weeks. As the weather warms in Spring, please water your peas consistently as this will also increase length of bloom.

At Kings we carry 30 to 70 different varieties of sweet peas depending upon the time of the year. We have standard varieties such as Winter Elegance and Royals. These are also many times available as plants. Also available are some very old fashioned varieties dating to the 1700’s. These usually have substantially smaller flowers but are wildly fragrant. We also have, and specialize in, English Spencer varieties that have enormous wavy flowers and extra long stems along with fragrance. These are the varieties that are featured at the world famous Chelsea Flower Show. Have fun, plant some of each.

The King’s Rose Garden

‘Midas Touch’, a hybrid tea

The roses are in full bloom!

‘Voodoo’ rose

We are the rose leaders! We only carry premium, grade #1 roses. They are planted, pruned and grown here at King’s-  get the plants, the things you need to plant them, and all the information to go along with it, right here.

Love is a red rose…

If you’re not sure which rose you’re looking for (or not that familiar with roses in general) here are some things to consider:

Location, location, location. Full sun or afternoon sun is best. Pick a spot that gets at least 6 hours a day for best vigor and flowering; any less than that and you may not see much color (and perhaps invite unwanted disease). Simply put, if you have a really shady garden this is not the best plant for you.

Size matters. Ever walked along a sidewalk that’s overgrown with roses? Not a pleasant experience….make sure to be aware of the plant’s expected size at maturity and put it where it can grow to full size. There are all different heights and sizes of roses, so you’re sure to find one that will appeal to you that fits a particular spot.

What’s your type? Choose a rose according to what you most enjoy- do you want to mainly view it in the landscape, will you want to regularly cut bouquets (or both)? Is fragrance important, or just the right color? There are so many types of flowers, in all kinds of colors- pointed, frilly, fully double, classic, open, clusters, single-stemmed. No need to settle!

‘Purple Splash’ climber

You’ll want to give roses regular water, but they don’t require a lot.  Consistent (monthly) fertilizer will keep the flowers coming, as will cutting off the spent blooms every week or two.

Contact us if you need to know anything rose related- we LOVE talking roses! Call us at (707) 542-4782 or come on in; we’re open every day 9-6 (9-5 on Sundays). (more…)

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