Join Ploughshares at the Plant Exchange in Oakland

Ploughshares will be offering a quick workshop on care of container fruit trees at the Plant Exchange October 8th. What the heck is the Plant Exchange? The Plant Exchange is a twice-a-year free community event that began in Oakland, California in October 2007 as a way for our neighbors to get to know each other….

Pollinator Power Plant for September 2016

Hardenbergia violacea is the Pollinator Power Plant for September 2016.  This is a thick green vine which reaches 10ft + and keeps it’s leaves all year round.  She has low water needs when properly established and takes to container growing better than most vines.  The truly special thing about ‘Wandering Lilac’ is when it flowers. …

California Heritage Plant for September 2016

Yucca brevifolia ‘Joshua Tree’ is the California Heritage Plant for September. This is the famous Yucca of the Mojave desert that can live for a thousand years.  Joshua Tree can be grown in the East Bay climate and it makes a wonderful addition to any dry garden or succulent display, but expect greener growth and…

The Potting Bench is Open for Business

It occurs to most gardeners that potting up a bunch of beautiful succulents in an attractive pot or bowl makes for an excellent present!  But the mess is prodigious, you end up with more soil than you need and maybe sometimes your just not sure if your ‘doing it right’.   Save yourself time and…

Unusual Edible September 2016

Yes you can grow your own coffee tree in the East Bay Area. COFFEE ARABICA is a tropical evergreen shrub which will produce sweet cherries after 2-5 years, …. the pits are the coffee beans. Best grown in a container to facilitate moving from household to outdoor environment come summer.  That’s right, this should be…

We offer succulents from the superb ‘Succulent Gardens’ in Castroville CA

Ploughshare’s strives to grow as many of our plants ourselves in-house.  But sometimes we want something really special from a nursery with a dedication and focus on a particular plant type.  We search out the best suppliers who meet our social enterprise criteria; edible, drought tolerant or native …. and bring in their plants to…

Fall Planting Success

September 24th 12 noon at Ploughshares Nursery “Fall Planting Success” (How to install and care for drought tolerant and native plants in the best season for ornamental gardening) In 1607 they knew something about gardening we have forgotten.  They understood the rhythm of the seasons, when rain would come and when conditions were right to…

neighbor’s window looks right down into your bedroom?

Folks are living close together in Alameda and Oakland and we get a lot of people at Ploughshares asking for something, anything,  fast -growing, to create a screen between them and their neighbor.  The fastest plant is of-course Bamboo, but the ‘B’ word can be scary to anyone who has had to deal with the…

Unusual Edible for August 2016

Kiwi (Actinidia deliciosa) Originating in Southern China, the Kiwi fruit we enjoy today was introduced to Europeans in 1897 by the Royal Horticultural Society of London where it languished as a curiosity until Hayward Wright of Avondale, New Zealand developed Actinida delicosa ‘Hayward’ and began mass cultivation in 1924.   Kiwifruit requires a male and female…

California Heritage Plant for August 2016

California  Sage Brush (Artemesia californica) The unremarkable appearance of this California native belies its many uses by native peoples and its importance to wildlife.  Mature growth is grey-green on an upright shrub reaching 5-8ft.  Endemic to chaparral regions with coastal sage shrub and chaparral plant communities (it’s really, really low water needs!).   Artemesia californica is…

Pollinator Power Plant for August 2016

Caterpillar Flower (Phacelia bolanderii) Endemic to canyons and ridges from Northern California to Southern Oregon, this little drought tolerant pollinator friendly native grows 8″ high and 2′ wide.  Plant on slopes in part sun or half day exposure for best success.  Expect flowers April to August which attract and benefit hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.  Sometimes…

Introduction to Permaculture

Saturday August 13th at 12:00 noon  Introduction to Permaculture (FREE WORKSHOP) Permi-curious? We can design our way out of the social and environmental nightmare we’ve created on Earth – climate change, species extinction, poverty, inequity and more. Hear stories from real, on the ground, projects showing ways we can meet our needs while being beneficial…

How to Create a Habitat Garden

Habitat Garden Workshop Saturday July 23rd at 12 noon, its all about ‘Habitat Gardening’.  Join Ploughshare’s staff for a free workshop all about  planting  gardens which benefit  bees, butterflies, birds and lizards! Topics will include food, water and shelter and how to keep those cycles going throughout  the year!  We surround ourselves with plants the…

Pollinator Power Plant for July 2016

Erigeron glaucus or Seaside Daisy is our choice for Pollinator Power Plant for July 2016 This native of California grows in coastal regions from Oregon to San Diego.  Reaches 4″ to 8″ inches height and accepts sandy or clay soil and spreads via rhizomes, so expect a fast spread into the garden in just one…

California Heritage Plant for July 2016

California Native Heritage Plant for July 2016 Rosa californica or California Rose Found from Oregon to Baja California, this drought tolerant rose offers little pink flowers, lots of thorns and copious quantities of rose hips. In fact this rose produces so many rose hips that the government used it to supply soldiers with vitamin C…

Unusual Edible for July 2016

Basil or Ocimum basilicum is the Unusual Edible for July 2016 Now you might be thinking; ‘not much unusual about basil dude’ . But you’d be wrong, Basil has an fascinating history of use dating back 5,000 years.  Its always been everyone’s favorite spice, but did you know the ancient Egyptians put it in the…