Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Flowers and Foothills Part II

Welcome back to part two of a day trip to the foothills. After we had stuffed ourselves silly with pizza, tested our trivia on things such as history, Knight Rider, and science and hit a few thrift stores we headed toward the town of Grass Valley and our second nursery stop.

Prospector’s Nursery is definitely a different experience from Bald Mountain. Yes, you’ll spend more on plants there than at Bald Mountain, but you will also be able to purchase harder to find ornamentals such as Burning Hearts (they do not carry edibles except for a few fruit trees). In addition to having rarer plants, they also just have a wider variety of non-tree plants than you will find at Bald Mountain. I do think Bald Mountain has them beat when it comes to tree varieties, but its close.

Out front you’ll find all their sun loving plants (I recommend bringing a good pair of sunglasses), but when you head out back you are suddenly surrounded by pine trees and can slowly meander through their shade loving plants. If you have a shady nook that you are having trouble finding the right plants for, look no further. Their selection of shade adoring ornamentals is impressive.

Another major difference between the two nurseries is that Prospector’s has a large indoor area of home and garden stuff. They carry all sorts of cute d├ęcor items (often with a garden theme), table cloths, serving wear, plant tags, lotions, cute garden tools, candles, etc. Generally I find some little reasonably priced thing that I never new I needed so badly. Inside they also always have complementary cookies with either hot or iced tea depending on the season.

Lastly, although Prospector’s Nursery is more upscale than Bald Mountain (and therefore charges accordingly) they are NOT snooty. In fact, I have always found their staff to be one of the most pleasant parts of their establishment. They are energetic, sincere and interested in the projects you have planned with the plants you are purchasing and are happy to offer advice and encouragement. I think the differences between the two nurseries make them a perfect match to visit in the same day. Visit Bald Mountain for a slow relaxing country stroll and to get your Johnny Jump Ups, Petunias, fruits trees, etc. and then take the beautiful drive up to Prospector and enjoy the more exotic varieties, the indoor goodies and of course, cookies!

When the trunk is full it's time to head home!

Mom and I had to get back to Sacramento after Prospectors, but if you have a little more time you should take a stroll through Nevada City or Grass Valley. There is a nice old theatre in downtown Grass Valley called the Del Oro where you could catch a movie and there are plenty of places in that area to grab some dinner. The two main streets in downtown Grass Valley are also far more level than the hill that is Nevada City.

*Pictures from the lense of K.E. Fisher

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