OPEN DAILY 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Gardening in the time of Drought

Drought is back and continuing in just about all of California. With water availability a concern for all, we receive a lot of questions about low water plants. We are proud to say that beginning with our initial year as owners of Merced Gardens we have stocked California Natives, California Friendlies and a large variety of low water plants.
As water usage becomes even more restricted, smart gardeners will begin to explore the variety of low water plants, and “garden eyes” will need to give up nurturing the lush green patch of thirsty lawn in favor of water-wise ground covers, shrubs, bulbs and even succulents! As you look to fill in your garden, maybe you aren’t ready to make the low water switch, but don’t want to put in another thirsty plant, consider a statue, or piece of colorful ‘yard art’ as a NO water alternative. This drought won’t last forever, but lower water usage WILL be a requirement. Consider maintaining a ‘luxury’ plant area (just a section or two of medium water plants) but trading off for more low water areas in your yard.

Gardeners have already begun to convert at least a part of their lawn into a water-wise zone. But remember to adjust your sprinkles and drip systems to accommodate the water needs of your plants!(Join our Free Seminar to learn more) A word of caution! “Low water” does NOT mean NO water. A low water plant may not need as much water once it becomes established, (and in future years may only need occasional watering) but still requires regular water until it becomes established. Also, some plant families may be considered low water, but varieties within the family still may not be low water— Finally, some garden locations may require more water or the right plant: a western exposure with a brick wall backing and rock or gravel hardscape might be considered an OVEN on a July afternoon.

To give you some ideas for your garden….consider these California Friendly, Drought Tolerant varieties.

Arbutus (Strawberry Tree) as a low water tree in either a standard (single trunk) or multi trunk tree. We carry Marina (the largest variety up to 40 tall), Unedo (up to 30 ft tall) and Unedo Compacta (to 12 ft tall). Strawberry Trees have a distinctive red bark, similar to Manzanita with an edible, but not terribly tasty, fruit.

Ceanothus (California Lilac) is available as a low spreading ground cover with different varieties growing in size up to a large shrub. Ceanothus has a verdant green leaf with a striking blue flower varying in blues from a light blue to a dark sapphire color. The verdant green color is ‘cool’ on the eye and a contrast to the gray-greens of many low water plants. Some varieties require regular water.

Cistus (Rock Rose), has the tell-tale low water gray green color, with a spring flower. Varieties include low (but not ground cover height) up to 5-6 ft tall with white, light pink or bright pink flowers.

Manzanitas (Arctostaphylos), a water-wise native, available as ground cover, low, medium and large shrub varieties. The distinctive red bark is familiar to all that take a drive into the Sierras.

Tree Choices: Palo Verde Desert Museum (Cercidium), Desert Willlow (Chilopsis), Australian Willow (Geijera), African Sumac (Rhus Lancea), and Olives (fruitless and fruiting) available as a multi-trunk tree, or standard tree; “Little Ollie” can be used as a shrub, or small tree. Pineapple Guavas (Feijoa Sellowiana) can be used as a shrub or small tree with the tasty fruit making this a smart ‘edible landscaping’ choice.

Shrub Choices
: Flax (Phormium) in different colors can add a change of texture and accent in your garden; there are smaller varieties that make it possible to use this as a foreground shrub without screening background plants. Texas Ranger (Leucophyllum) comes as a small (3’X3’) shrub, or large screening/hedgeable shrub, and can flower throughout the summer. Lavenders, Russian Sage, Mexican Sage (Salvia Leucantha), and Bird of Paradise Bush (Caesalpinia Gilliesii, not the subtropical Bird of Paradise) will be lower water. Many of the ‘accent’ grasses including feather grass (Stipa) and fountain grass (Pennisetum) also make the list.

Some ‘Standard’ landscaping shrubs will be lower water after establishment including Indian Hawthorne (Rhaphiolepis), Coral Beauty Cotoneaster, and Bottlebrush (Callistemon) . For COLOR: Yarrow and many of the colorful Salvias will flower throughout the summer in shades of pink, red, lavender, blue, purple and white.

And the list goes on. Don’t let water restrictions get you down, as you replace plants or re-landscape areas of your yard start using low water alternatives! Our employees are happy to discuss drought tolerant options—stop by today! (And, mulch, Mulch, MULCH!).


Just In: Our 2015 shipment of Bare Root Fruit Trees

Now available the largest selection of bare root fruit trees in Merced County!
Apples, Apricots, Apriums, Cherries, Nectarines, Peaches, Asian Pears, Pears, Persimmons, Pluerries, Plums, Pluots, Plumcots, Pomegranates, Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts. Fruit Salad Trees, Multiple budded Cherries and Pluots! Many varieties of each. 12 varieties of Peaches, 8 varieties of Cherries.
In addition, bare root flowering quince, lilacs, and rose of sharon.
Still available, the largest selection of blueberries (the varieties of blueberries is just ridiculous!), blackberries, boysenberries, gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries, artichokes, asparagus, horseradish, rhubarb, grapes, figs, olives, kiwis.
Shop now for best varietal selections!

For more information check out our Free Seminars on Drought Tolerant Landscaping on April 25th and Drought Mitigation on May 9th.


Show your support for your locally owned small business on Saturday November 29th. SHOP SMALL
At Merced Gardens we will be celebrating with storewide savings, giveaways, refreshments and more. Enjoy hot cider and snacks while browsing these savings”
Register for Raffle Basket valued at $200!. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY* Just stop by on Small Business Saturday and fill out a raffle entry. Purchase $50 and receive a second raffle entry. Raffle Baseket 2014
• First 15 customers making a purchase receive a free canvas shopping back stuffed with garden and holiday goodies!
• 25% off All holiday gift items, garden art, birdhouses, wind chimes, hats, and more!
• 50% off spring blooming bulbs
• Shop our CLEARANCE CORNER stacked with savings up to 80% off!

Register your American Express card at this LINK and get up to $30 back just for shopping at Small Businesses like Merced Gardens!


Fall is just around the corner (although the thermometer seems to disagree)!

Fall specials:

50% off all remaining 2014 seeds!

seeds 4Did you know that Merced Gardens & Nursery is the only place you can purchase Renee’s Garden Seeds in the Merced area?
Fall Fruit Tree & Tropicals Sale. (Easy as 1-2-3)

Buy 1, get 10% Off
Buy 2, get 20% Off
Buy 3 or more get 30% Off

Offer good on all Fruit Trees, Grapes, Berries, Citrus, Avocados, Bananas, Guavas, Bougainvillea, Datura, Split Leaf Philodendron, Aralia, Tropical Hibiscus, Canna Lily. Varieties are limited so shop soon for best selection!

(No special orders or rain checks, limited to stock on hand, excludes Palm Trees).


Plant Fall Vegetables Now!

Now in stock: Fall vegetables including: Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Kale, Onions*, Spinach, Chard, Collards. Lettuce and more.

*Bulk Onions will arrive in November.
Please call us at 209 384 0513 to pre-order!



f=””>wisteria in bloom

Happy Easter! Our plants need watering daily so we will be open from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on Easter Sunday. Blessings from our Merced Gardens Family to yours!




2014 seeds are in! We are proud to be the only retailer in Merced to carry Renee’s Garden Seeds with many selections of organic and heirloom varieties. We also carry Cornucopia seeds. We have worked hard to bring in a wide variety of seeds carefully selected, with many heat tolerant varieties.

Reness SOLD HEREseeds 4seeds 2

 When to Start Seed Indoors in Merced?


Start your seeds about 8 weeks before the last expected spring frost date. According to the UCCE Co-operative extension program, the best estimate for that date this year is April 2, 2014.


Here is a link to an excellent step-by-step article on seed starting from Renee’s Garden Seeds.



To our valued customers: Thank you for supporting locally owned Small Businesses this Holiday season… Happy Shopping!

Pre-Christmas Clearance

40% OFF all Christmas Décor! (excluding Susan Regert & special values)

25% off all Susan Regert Art (including holiday Designs)

25% OFF all California Artisan jewelry

25% OFF remaining citrus & avocado trees

Special Values:  (while supplies last)

“Plantable” tabletop Fountain

                   Reg. $129.99 NOW $89.99

Nature Inspired Ornaments

Reg. $8.99 – $9.99     NOW $5.99

Crystal Ornaments

Reg. $4.99         NOW  $3.99

40% OFF all other Christmas ornaments



GET $10 BACK WHEN YOU SPEND $10 OR MORE on your American Express Card.

How? Register your eligible American Express® Card and get a $10 statement credit when you make a purchase of

  $10 or more at a qualifying small business location on Nov 30. Registration is limited.  Click HERE for details

Our Black Friday and Small Business Saturday Specials:

25% off all Garden Art by Merced artisan Susan Regert

25% off California artisan jewelry

Special in store Christmas values abound: Nature inspired ornaments: (Reg 8.99 – $9.99) Now $5.99

 25% off all Christmas items (excluding special values)


25% off Citrus and avocado trees

Clearance: 50% off all Harvest

And more specials throughout the gift shop and nursery!











One of the wonderful things about living in Merced is that we have a unique California climate that allows us to plant a variety of spring and fall flowering bulbs that people in Southern California can only dream about ( or choose to plant them and treat them as annuals). Stephanie grew up on the East Coast were spring flowering bulbs were a much heralded tradition.  Moreover, we were thrilled to discover the first spring we lived in our home in Merced, that a previous owner had planted a variety of tulips, daffodils paperwhites and Stephanie’s favorite: gladiolas.

We are excited to bring a complete assortment of popular varieties of spring blooming bulbs to plant in your garden this fall.


lisa bulbsHere is Lisa, our Nursery Supervisor pointing out that all you need to know about planting any specific bulb is right on the side of the package!  And as always, our knowledgeable nursery staff will be happy to assist you and answer any questions you may have: Whether it be planting  bulbs, fall vegetable gardening, landscaping , pest control for a myriad of other gardening topics.

Fair Warning: supplies are limited and because of the nature of the short window for fall bulb planting ,re-ordering may not be an option. So shop now for the best selection.

As  Merced’s only Independent Garden Center, we continue to strive to meet all your gardening and landscaping needs with the most knowledgeable nursery staff in town, and the best selection of affordable plants and accessories to help insure that you have a successful gardening experience.






assorted fall veggies


It’s time for Fall Vegetable planting. Great selection available including: Broccoli, Lettuce, Celery, Spinach, Kale, Chard, Onions,Brussel Sprouts, Peas and more!





BEAT Summer’s Heat, plant a SHADE Tree!

Great selection of shade trees including: Raywood Ash, Chinese Pistache,009Colorful Maples, Elms, Oaks, Fruitless Mulberry and Crape Myrtles.–we have the vivid RED Dynamite and Arapaho Crape Myrtles in assorted sizes.




Father’s Day Specials  –


*All Spring Vegetables  Clearance 35% off

*Plantable Patio Fountain    Reg.  $129.99    SALE $99.99                      

*Garden Art 20% off    

 “Made In Merced” by Local Artisan Susan Regert.




Spring Vegetable  Clearance  35% OFF


As Merced’s only Independent Garden Center we take pride in providing our customer the best  and most varied selection of garden vegetables you will find in the area – year round.

It’s not too late to plant your favorite spring vegetables in Merced!

On Clearance Now- while supplies last:

Veggie varieties


Choose from a wide variety of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, green beans & more

Available in 6 packs, 4 inch and individual cell size.



Also available ~ one gallon tomato varieties specially priced at $3.99

(discount applies to spring vegetables only….herbs not included)

Stop by today to start (or add to) your veggie garden for a bountiful fall harvest!




Mother’s Day Specials!

Plantable Fountain 2

Delight your Mother with this “plantable” tabletop/patio fountain.

Unique design allows you to select and plant your favorite flowers or herbs around the exterior. The interior is a self- contained “bubbler” fountain.

Regularly 115.99 Now 99.99

Hat Sale


All Sunday Afternoon UV protective Hats are 25% off .Supplies limited so shop soon!



All Nature Inspired Jewelry 25% off. California artisan Alise Sheehan. Includes all Wishnest products, jewelry, hanging word signs, bird nest night lights, and fragrance nests.


Nest necklace

Wishnest family

wishnest bird on branchWishnest Lighted birdwishnest fragrance nest



All hanging baskets are 15% off. 

All Birdhouses, Windchimes and Cosmix Spinners 25% off.

And if you can’t make up your mind, we have gift certificates available~ Give Mom a gift certificate and join her for a leisurely stroll around our 3 1/2 acres where she is sure to find that perfect gift!

Sale prices valid May 3,2013 through May 11, 2013.



Vegetable Gardening

Look no further! As Merced’s only Independent Garden Center we take pride in bringing you the best selection and widest variety of vegetables for your gardening pleasure, and everyday our customers tell us we have the best selection available in Merced!

Veggie varieties






Available now!

TOMATOES: Over twenty varieties  including local  favorites such as Ace, Mortgage Lifter, Big Boy and many heirloom varieties.


PEPPERS: Over twenty varieties including, Bell Peppers, Sweet Italian, Anaheim, Jalapeno, Serrano, California Wonder and more!

CUCUMBERS: Six varieties including the popular Armenian Long, Sweet Success and more.

We also have  Green Beans, Eggplants, Squash, Watermelons, Melons.

And yes we have TOMATILLOS!

And don’t forget  HERBS. We have all the popular varieties of Basil, Sage, Slow Bolt Cilantro, Rosemary, Thyme and more.

Additional shipments of veggies and herbs arrive weekly.

Check our EVENTS tab for upcoming Free Seminars: The More You Know: The More You Grow.- next up: Tropical Fruits and Avocados.

And just in time for this weekend’s seminar: multiple varieties of Avocados, Strawberry and Pineapple Guava, Passion Fruit, grafted mangoes, ornamental bananas and more.

We also have strawberries and blueberries.






Spring has arrived and with the recent rain in Merced, your soil will be primed for starting your backyard vegetable gardens. As Merced’s only Independent Garden Center we take pride in bringing you the best selection and widest variety of vegetables for your gardening pleasure

Available now:

TOMATOES: Over twenty varieties  including local  favorites such as Ace, Mortgage Lifter, Big Boy and many heirloom varieties.

PEPPERS: Over twenty varieties including, Bell Peppers, Sweet Italian, Anaheim, Jalapeno, Serrano, California Wonder and more!

CUCUMBERS: Six varieties including the popular Armenian Long, Sweet Success and more.

We also have  Green Beans, Eggplants, Squash, Watermelons, Melons.

And yes we have TOMATILLOS!

And don’t forget  HERBS. We have all the popular varieties of Basil, Sage, Slow Bolt Cilantro, Rosemary, Thyme and more.

Additional shipments of veggies and herbs arrive weekly.

Check our EVENTS tab for upcoming Free Seminars: The More You Know: The More You Grow.- next up: Edible Landscaping on March 30, 2013.



Our 2013 CITRUS shipment has arrived! Shop soon for best selection. Some varieties are limited!

  • Navel and Valencia Oranges
  • Blood Oranges,
  • Pummelo
  • Eureka Lemon
  • Variegated Pink Lemon
  • Myers Lemons
  • Grapefruit
  • Limes
  • Keiffer limes
  • Tangelos
  • Mandarins
  • Cumquats
  • Limequats
  • Orangequats


We have brought in a limited number of 15 gallon containers for those that want a faster start. In addition, while most of our citrus is considered “dwarf citrus”  growing 8-12 feet tall, we also have brought in a limited number of standard trees which will get taller. Shop early for best selection






2013 Bare Root season is just around the corner.


Our Bare Root Trees and Berries are locally grown which means they are best suited for our climate!

Pre-order bare root products now to ensure that your favorite variety does not sell out. Additionally, all pre-ordered bare root trees receive a 10% discount at time of pick up. Call us at 209 384-0513 for more information or to make you selections.

Our knowledgeable staff will be happy answer your questions, help you select a variety and assist you with planting instructions that will insure  quality fruit production for many years to come.


Here is a partial list of varieties that will be available  at Merced Gardens & Nursery starting the second week of January 2013:




Granny Smith

EZ Pick Fuji


Pink Lady







Spring Satin



Bada Bing


Black Tartarian


Royal Ann



Semi Dwarf Montmorency (sour for pies)



Black Jack

White Kadota



Ruby Grand









EZ Pick Babcock

EZ Pick Desert Gold (semi freestone)

EZ Pick Donut





Red Bartlett


Asian Pears


Twentieth Century







Santa Rosa












Garden Prince

All in One




Western Schley







Black Monukka

Seedless Concord

Seedless Flame

Golden Muscat

Lady Finger

Red Glove

Thompson Seedless


Black Berries

Black Satin Thornless



Heritage Red





Sharp Blue









Albion Strawberry


Welcome to Merced Gardens & Nursery website. Feel free to browse our tabs and links for information about our products and services. Coming soon: Our calendar of events for 2013.  Sneak preview:

February 2013

Backyard Orcharding 2.0  “My favorites”  by popular LE Cooke grower James Shao.

March 2013:

Success with Roses by Weeks Roses

California Native, 2.0 “My favorites”   by  Cornflower Farms

April 2013

Subtropicals Fruits and Avocados  by  LaVerne Nursery

Edible Landscaping       by UCCE Master Gardener

Backyard Vegetables:Spring     by UCCE Master Gardener


And more!!

We will post a final schedule and details on how to register for these popular FREE seminars soon under our EVENTS tabs.





22 Responses to OPEN DAILY 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Amanda,

      THanks for asking. We did sell Ghost Pepper plants last summer. We started them from seeds. If the seeds are available again this year, we will do the same. We will know sometime in April. Sorry it took so long to respond to your post. We had technology issues well into fall last year. We do not have a web manager, just hubs & I doing it when we can. Hope to see you soon and Thank you for shopping Local!

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Amanda,
      Thanks for asking. We have some ghost pepper and trinidad scorpion seedlings in our greenhouse right now. The plants be available for sale mid-April to early May. Please call our nursery staff at 209 384 0513 for availability.

  • Karen Palmer says:

    I know it’s early… but do you know which tomato plants you wil be selling? I’m specifically looking for the”Mortgage Lifter” and “Brandy Boy”. I’d rather get them from you than order online.
    I’ll wait to hear from you.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Karen,
      Thanks for asking. We carried Mortgage Lifter and several “boy” varieties last year. I assume our local growers will have the same or similar varieties available this year although we will not know until they show up on our official availability lists later in the spring. I am pretty sure we can provide both these varieties for you. I will keep you posted.
      Thanks for shopping local!

  • irene sisneros says:

    what are the prices for a:
    mission fig
    bing cherry
    black satin thornless blackberry

    also, do you have avacado trees
    and fruited mulberry trees.. i would like there prices also…

    • Stephanie says:

      21.99 for all the trees, blackberries are $6.49 and no, we do not get fruiting mulberry. And remember, our fruit trees are grown locally which makes them uniquely adapted for the SJV and are all 2 year + rootsock. Both measures = better fruit, faster. Thanks for asking

  • Greg says:

    I’d like to try and grow some assorted fruit trees on some property in Midpines. The elevation is 3,000 ft., however the property is situated between some large hills, which protect it quite a bit, from the more severe winter storms. I have 40 acres, with mostly east and west facing slopes. Direct summer sun is not an issue…..

    I’m intersted in apples, peaches, apricots, plums, and cherries.

    I’d really love to be able to get a couple lemon trees to grow/produce lemons here.

    I guessing that trees grown from “local” stock and your knowledge of this area has to be a great asset, in my quest.

    Do you have any input or words of wisdom?

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Greg,

      Thanks for contacting us. And yes, trees grown from local stock will be an advantage! All of the fruit trees that you mention should do just fine there. Some individual fruit tree varieties are more cold tolerant than others. We would be happy to recommend those to you and show you varietal options. However, you should try and locate them to get as much sun exposure as possible. Citrus may be a challenge in your zone. Would you consider Dwarf variety that can be moved and sheltered in the winter? We have several varieties that do well in containers. Citrus must have winter protection in Midpines environment to survive. I know it is a drive from Midpines to Merced, but it would be well worth your time to meet with us and see your options. Also, we have a seminar scheduled on February 23, 2013 at 11:00 am featuring Success with Fruit Trees with guest speaker James Shao of LE Cooke. This would be an excellent resource for you. Don’t hesitate to call us at 209 384 0513 for more information. Our knowledgeable staff is available daily from 9 am – 5 pm and love to answer questions.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Janet. We do not carry or have access to any of the fruits that you mentioned. We do bring in Avocados, Loquats, Dragonfruit, Strawberry and Tropical Guavas, and occasionally some bananas and mangos. We will have a subtropical fruit tree seminar, here at the gardens, on April 13 at 11am, with a guest speaker from Laverne Nursery. ( Please call us directly with additional questions. We cannot go into more specifics on the website. We are happy to answer your questions by phone. 209-384-0513

  • Karen Prine says:

    I have been searching for Thai Basil. Do you ever have it? If so, when? Could it be a special order? Thanks , Karen

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks for asking! Super bells is a trademark name for millions bells petunias produced by Proven winners. We have a variety of petunia hanging baskets, some include million bells.

  • Lance says:


    Do you carry myoporum parvifolium?
    It’s a low growing, fast growing groundcover. I saw it at the entrance to the UC Merced and want it for an area at the front of my house.

    Thank you!

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks for asking Lance. We have some in stock right now. It is the white variety in one gallon container size. It is also comes in pink. Both colors are available in “six packs” from one of our local California wholesale growers. We would be happy to order it for you if the variety to desire is not in stock. We are open daily form 9-6 and any of our knowledgeable nursery staff will be able to help you. Hope to see you soon!

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi John, Thanks for asking. We are currently working on our 2014 schedule. We just posted information on our events page about our first seminar which is this Saturday, 2/15. The topic is Backyard Orchards! We will continue to post updated information ans more dates are confirmed. Hope to see you soon!

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