Arboretum’s stars now being stocked at retail nurseries
April 24, 2009
By Pat Bailey
Arboretum All-Stars have gone retail, at nurseries around the Sacramento region and in the Bay Area, and eventually all over the state.
The UC Davis Arboretum has been developing the All-Stars over the last several years, cultivating plants that have proven to be ideal for low-input, water-thrifty California landscapes. Many of the All-Stars are California natives, providing food and habitat for wildlife and beneficial insects.
Some of the All-Stars have been available for some time at arboretum sales.
Now, even more gardeners have “the opportunity to save water and address other environmental concerns while making aesthetically pleasing additions to their yards,” said Dave Fujino, executive director of UC Davis’ California Center for Urban Horticulture, which is working with the arboretum, commercial growers and retailers to expand the availability of the All-Stars.
Plants are grown and tested at the arboretum before being considered for the All-Star designation. The majority of the selected plants thrive in the arboretum with infrequent, deep irrigation — once every two weeks during the dry season.
The plants are described as reliable and easy to grow, with few or no problems with pests or diseases. Also, the plants boast standout qualities such as color, fragrance or winter interest.
The Arboretum All-Stars program is designed to provide science-based horticultural expertise to help home gardeners make better planting choices.
“Currently, half of California’s residential water use is for home landscapes,” said Melissa Borel, program manager for the California Center for Urban Horticulture. “By promoting plants that use less water, the All-Stars program addresses the state’s water restriction issues. And because the All-Stars do not need pesticides or fertilizers, they help prevent chemical runoff into the state’s waterways.”
ON THE NET
Nurseries that sell All-Stars (click on "selected retailers").
The Web site also features a searchable All-Star database with photos, descriptions and information on how to grow the plants.
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