An Unexpected Treasure at the Nursery

On a recent visit to SummerWinds Nursery, I rounded the corner to find this:

potted ficus with do not move tage

Potted Ficus carefully tied to a cart

They’ve pushed a shopping cart against a sheltered exterior wall. Resting on top is a potted Ficus, attached to the cart with twine. The warning is clear: Do not move!

So what is all the fuss about?

Potted ficus

Potted Ficus

Come have a closer look.

nesting Anna's hummingbird

Nesting Anna’s hummingbird

It’s a nesting Anna’s hummingbird, native to this part of California. She must be resting on eggs, generally two. The eggs incubate for about two weeks, then the young spend another three weeks in the nest.

There is something about a mama bird in her nest that makes my heart sing. I wanted to linger, but her comfort outstripped my desire to pull up a chair and just sit there all afternoon. I took a non-flash snapshot with my phone from a distance, then zoomed in when I got home.

On the subject of nests and homes, my older son is home from college for spring break. I’m looking forward to the weekend ahead with all three of my “men” in the house.

Ah, spring. Thank you for all these gifts.





SummerWinds Revitalized

Garden Mouse Whimsy

Garden Mouse Whimsy

Our local SummerWinds Nursery is back in full-swing after a fire last fall. Though firefighters arrived quickly, they made the unusual decision to let the fire burn, rather than risk toxic run-off in the nearby creek. As a result, the buildings burned to the ground. One of the bright spots, at least in my eyes, was to see the beautiful Acer still standing after the fire. Though damaged by heat and flames, the tree survived…and thrived.  It’s there to greet you (see photo, below).

My camera-shy friend C. joined me at the nursery last week. We prowled through the gift shop and then the nursery out back. We’re still kicking ourselves for not buying this lovely Oregano plant.

Camera Shy

Camera Shy

Isn’t it gorgeous?  (So is my friend, by the way). I went back a day later to buy it for her birthday, but they were already sold out.

If you live in the area, you owe yourself a visit. There is much to see and a courteous staff to help you out. Yesterday I bonded with Tracy over our mutual desire to humanely keep garden snails and slugs at bay.

I brought home a car full of flowering plants and herbs for my newly-minted planting bed, along with a few gifts. I found replacement Campanula plants for Betsy’s Craft-it-forward then weighed the car down with aromatic redwood chips. Mmmmm, what a pleasant ride home.  My car smelled like the forest floor.

Our new planting bed debuts later this week. In the meantime, checkout some of the treasures SummerWinds has in store.

SummerWinds Almaden

Revitalized SummerWinds entrance

Dark Red Fuchsia

Dark Red Fuchsia

flowering bedding plants

Flowering bedding plants  and lots of happy bees

ergonomic garden trowels

Ergonomic garden trowels in stunning jewel tones

There’s more in store at SummerWinds Nursery – San Jose’s Facebook Page:

SummerWinds Nursery Rebuilds

SummerWinds Acer

SummerWinds Acer survived the fire

It was a sad day for the community when SummerWinds Almaden Nursery burned to the ground in late August.  They’d done business in that neighborhood for 40 years.  The outpouring of support following the loss was amazing.

A few weeks after the fire, the nursery sold what remained of the undamaged plants and pottery at a three-day fire sale, with 10% of the proceeds benefiting the San Jose Firefighters Foundation.  Shoppers turned out in droves, contributing to the $14,000 raised for two of the foundation’s programs.

I learned this week that rebuilding plans are already under way.  The remains of the building are now in a heap.  The lot should be cleared in short order.  As the new building is under construction, the nursery will open an “Enhanced Christmas Tree Lot” on Tuesday, November 20th.  In addition to fresh-cut trees, they’ll be selling poinsettias, fresh wreaths and garland along with seasonal bedding plants.   They’ll have other holiday goodies for sale as well.
Summer Winds Demo

Enhanced Christmas Tree Lot

If you live in the community, please consider stopping by.

SummerWinds Nursery
4606 Almaden Expressway, San Jose
Corner of Almaden Expressway and Branham Lane

Opening Tuesday, November 20, 2012

For regular updates, visit their website at SummerWinds Nursery San Jose  or follow SummerWinds Almaden on Facebook.

SummerWinds Alyssum and Begonia

Alyssum and Begonias surrounding the nursery sign

Morning Glory Vine

Morning Glory Vine growing along the fence in front of the nursery

Halloween Countdown

Spooky Pumpkin

Spooky Pumpkin

SummerWinds Fire Update


An electrical fire destroyed the Almaden Valley SummerWinds Nursery about a week ago.  Although firefighters were quickly on the scene, they made the unusual decision to allow the building to burn, given the number of chemical fertilizers and pesticides inside.  It was better from an environmental standpoint to avoid contaminated water runoff into a nearby creek.

SummerWinds Fire Damage

Fire-Damaged SummerWinds Nursery

Plans to Rebuild

I drove by the site yesterday on my way to a fabric store, and noticed workers outside. Once I got over the ghastly sight of the burned structure, it surprised me to see so many of the outdoor plants and pottery unharmed. I stopped by and spoke to Joey, an employee of SummerWinds, who said they are planning to rebuild, and soon. In preparation for that, they are selling the surviving plants and pottery starting this Friday, September 14th.

SummerWinds Joey

Joey C. of SummerWinds

Fire Sale

If you live in the area, and are so inclined, please stop by. You can find regular updates about the nursery, the sale and plans to rebuild by “liking” the SummerWinds San Jose Facebook Page.

SummerWinds fire damaged plants

Planted at the nursery entrance.I love the resiliency of plants.

Recent updates from SummerWinds website:

September 10, 2012 We’re having a FIRE SALE! – Save the Date! It will start this Friday, September 14th at 9am. Special rules will apply. We’ll get you more details in the next few days.

September 07, 2012 Big News! We will be having a Fire Sale to liquidate all the remaining healthy plants and products. The logistics and permits are all still being worked out. It should happen in the next 2 weeks. We’ll keep you posted! As soon as we hear more… we’ll share.

SummerWinds Plants and Pottery

SummerWinds Plants and Pottery
Fire Sale Starts Friday, 9/14