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Exploring mountain nurseries around north Tahoe.

Exploring mountain nurseries around north Tahoe Nestled among a grove of pine trees or along a bubbling stream, mountain nurseries make a pleasant stop even if you donht need plants or garden supplies. Such is the case with five nurseries around Lake Tahoe's north shore: one in Truckee, two in Tahoe City, and tow others along Lake Boulevard (State 28); see the map. All are open daily.

These nurseries sell an array of hardy plants--many of them familiar and widely adapted to the West. Others are specially suited to mountain climates. You'll find many varieties of columbine, phlox, yarrow, and other flowering perennials.

The Villager Nursery is at the west end of Truckee in the Gateway Shopping Center. From I-80, take the State 89 exit (Tahoe City). Follow the road left under the highway, then turn right on Donner Pass Road. The nursery, which looks like a storefront and is easy to miss, is two long blooks up the road on the left.

Behind the nursery, you'll find extremely hardy plants suited to Truckee's harsh winters--usually much colder than on the lake. Choose from flowering perennials and an arbor-covered selection of shade-loving plants, including ligularias and some unusual hardy ferns. Hours are 8 to 6.

Tahoe Tree Company has recently moved to a new, 11-acre location at 401 W. Lake Boulevard in Tahoe City. The nurseryhs new grounds include a gazebo restaurant (lunch 11 to 4 daily), paths along a stream running through a grove of quaking aspen, and a great selection of flowering perennials, trees, and shrubs. Open 8 to 6.

Watermelon Patch, also in Tahoe City, at 3225 N. Lake Boulevard, is part gift shop, part nursery, part demonstration garden. Paths take you to flowering perennials such as alpine asters and foxglove, in bloom this month. Also visit the vegetable garden near the gift shop. Hours are 8 to 7:30.

Perennial Nursery & Landscape, at 6891 N. Lake Boulevard in Tahoe Vista, has a wide selection of flowering plants (columbines are especially noteworthy) as well as fruiting shrubs--chokecherry, cranberry bush, elderberry, and sand cherry. Open 8:30 to 5:30 Mondays through Saturdays, 9 to 5:30 Sundays.

High Sierra Gardens, at 866 Tahoe Boulevard in Incline Village, Nevada, sits among tall Jeffrey and ponderosa pines and a meandering stream crisscrossed by small bridges. Walk neat paths to see landscape plants and flowering perennials such as Shasta daisies and daylilies. Open 8 to 5:30.

If you buy plants . . .

Before you load up your car with plants to take home, remember that not all of them will grow well in nonmountain climates. For example, excpet in parts of the Northwest, quaking aspen rarely do well at elevations below 2,000 to 3,000 feet. To be sure, check the Sunset Western Garden Book to see if a particular plant will grow in your garden.

Even plants suited to different climates may need to be handled with a little extra care when you get them home. Otherwise, they may not be ready for hotter weather at lower elevations. Blooming plants may abruptly stop flowering. Most plants will need partial shade and frequent watering before they go in the ground. After that, they'll probably need generous watering until established. (In areas affected by drought, keep your purchases to a minimum or wait until fall to buy.)

Check plants for insects. IF you head home through Truckee on I-80, you may be asked about your plants at the California Department of Food and Agriculture inspection station west of town. Tell where you bought the plants; show receipts to verify origin. Plants showing any signs of infestation may be confiscated.
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Article Type:Directory
Date:Aug 1, 1990
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