Velvet Viking Japanese Maple Tree

Finally, a Japanese Maple that is a zone 4.  This is a dwarf maple that was discovered growing in a yard in Minneapolis by a landscaper. The maple was about 4 ft tall and 8 ft wide. Obviously this tree survived some very harsh winters, even the polar vortex.  The Velvet Viking was named for its rich velvety color and after the Minnesota’s Viking football team.  Monrovia Nursery received some cuttings and began the long process of bringing this plant to market. (-MPLS Star-Tribune 6/13/20) Presently there is only a limited supply of these trees available to the public.  Be the first in your neighborhood to plant this tree.  Since they are a dwarf variety, they also make beautiful patio plantings in a pot.

Hidden Gems Plant Them Now!

Hello October! It has been a long year with ups and downs. Fall is officially upon us and one thing is certain, we cannot wait to see nature transition into its fall attire! Fall is a friendly reminder that change is possible, necessary, and can be refreshing for the soul.

Being a season of change, now is the perfect time to refresh your landscape with some hidden gems that will add beauty to your landscape for seasons to come. Fall is the perfect time to put the spotlight on some of these varieties that may not get the attention they deserve earlier in the season.

Autumn Magic Black Chokeberry
Aronia melanocarpa ‘Autumn Magic’

Rounding out at five feet in height and four feet in width, the Autumn Magic chokeberry is a show stopper of a plant! White spring flowers invite a delicious tart berry excellent as a jam or they can be paired with a handful of pretzels or string cheese for a savory snack.  Aronia is also an exceptional fruit to be utilized in the fermentation process for those that like to create their own beverages. Once the berries are gone for the season, fall is around the corner and one can look forward to the rich tones of red and orange that provide the final act of the season.

Emerald Triumph Viburnum 
Viburnum ‘Emerald Triumph’

Exceptionally low maintenance, viburnums are a delightful addition to the landscape as a specimen plant or can be incorporated into a hedge. Emerald Triumph has a broad, glossy leaf which provides great texture and coverage along with the contrast against the white flowers appearing in spring. Berries transitioning from red to black extend the value this plant brings to the landscape.

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry
Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’

Ranking high in popularity, the serviceberry is one of a kind. Delicate white flowers are trailed by an edible purplish-black fruit excellent for fresh eating. Fall foliage is outstanding with shades of red and orange throughout fall until the showy grey bark and intriguing branching are in full display during winter. Not only will the tree provide the landscape with many seasons of interest, it also benefits wildlife who also feed on the fruit.

Tom Thumb Creeping Cotoneaster
Cotoneaster adpressus ‘Tom Thumb’

Ideal for any rock garden or dry location, the Tom Thumb cotoneaster will not disappoint! Is there a hillside that is too steep to manage? Are you in search of low lying fall color? Tom Thumb is the plant you need! This small sprawling plant is covered in delicate glossy leaves that come ablaze in fall. Reaching a height of about one foot and spreading to about six feet, this plant will prove its durability and low maintenance in no time.


If you are looking for hardy, durable plants for your landscape look no further than these hidden gems. These are both small and large plants that can bring a world of impact to the landscape. Hidden gems can be found just about anywhere you look. Stop in and find one today!


Fall Color Soon

If you drool over beautiful Autumn trees that put on amazing displays of color, now is the time to think about planting one. Of course maple trees are known for their exceptional fall colors, ranging from yellow/orange to deep reds. However there are many other dazzling, colorful fall trees. Imagine a grove of Quaking Aspens shimmering with their gold leaves. For those yellow/gold fall colors, consider the following trees:  Gingko, Quaking Aspen, Lindens, Honeylocust, Birch, Hackberry and Elms. For those of you who enjoy more reds and oranges there are the Serviceberry, Oaks – specifically the Northern Pin Oak,  and the native Blue Beech. Then for orange or red berries in fall we have the Showy and European Mountain Ash trees. Our staff will gladly help you choose the right fall color that will work in your situation.

FloralBerry® Rosé St. John’s Wort

What an outstanding and gorgeous small shrub this is as it has unique yellow flowers in summer  followed by rose colored berries in fall. The branches are thick with dark green foliage, making a wonderful hedge.   We recommend covering it with mulch in fall as it is a Zone 5 and we do not warrantee it.  However, we have grown and warranteed other Zone 5,  St. John’s Wort shrubs as they have proven to survive our winters.  The flowers also make great cut flowers.  For more information, click FloralBerry® Rosé St. John’s Wort

Floralberry Rose St. Johns Wort
Photo courtesy of Monrovia

New – Black Tower Elderberry

We are excited to be carrying this new variety of the Elderberry (sambucus).   Black Tower has stunning,purple burgundy foliage which will give you that much needed color among your green shrubs. In late spring it produces beautiful pink flowers followed by blackish red berries in fall that will be appreciated by wildlife.  Black Tower grows to about 6-8′ tall and about 3-4′ wide.  This shrub attracts birds and butterflies.  It grows well in full sun to partial sun.  Zones 4-8.   Photo by Monrovia.