Rules To Live By

In the plant world there are so many rules. Maybe not rules, let’s call them guidelines. But I guess you can say there are a few rules to plants. Don’t plant a Rhododendron in the sun. Don’t plant a Japanese Maple upside down. And yes, certainly, never plant a tomato bush to create shade for your yard. If you are a Rose Fan, then surely you will learn the rules of the Rose. Do you want to keep pests out of your vegetable garden naturally? There are rules for that too. Plant Marigolds. They attract Parasitic Wasps. Garlic keeps gophers away, and vampires for that matter.

Besides all the rules and the laws of the land I’ve always tried to operate with just a few Universal Rules. When I walk my garden and I see a bird, I will stop and pause and stare at it for a moment. Occasionally I’ll see something very cool. The bird will sometimes show me a side of nature I’ve never seen before. Have you ever watched a bird feed her young? Have you ever watched a bird build her nest? Have you had a bird take you on and try to scare you away from it’s young? I realize it happens all the time around us but I think it’s something you should experience before you leave this Earth.

Whenever I see a lemonade stand on the side of the road I stop. Always pay more than the 50 cents. A Five Dollar Bill can change a child’s life. You never know. The child might think, “Huh, if I get better at this and improve upon my craft then maybe I’ll get more Five Dollar Bills”. And with that an entrepreneur is born. I don’t like the rule that says: No lemonade stands without permits. Shame on you rule-makers.

When was the last time you’ve seen the Sun come up? When was the last time you saw the top of the sun disappear behind a mountain?

I highly recommend it. Let the sun take the chatter of the day away with it.

I’ve added another Universal Rule to my life: I walk the Greenhouse of High-Hand everyday. Have you ever walked through the Greenhouse here at High-Hand Nursery?

Besides the obvious, the fresh blooming plants, I am reminded of the smell of dirt. I don’t know what it is, I don’t know what strikes me about this smell. Something subconsciously perhaps. Maybe it’s a reminder of my roots. I highly recommend that you come to the High-Hand Greenhouse and experience the fresh smell of dirt for yourself. You deserve it. Activate your senses at High-Hand.

The biggest Universal Rule that I think everyone should live by is really quite simple. If you have the ability to help somebody in need and you don’t then shame on you.

Since the Camp Fire broke out thousands of you have responded for our calls for help and thousands of you, whether you know it or not, are living up the this Universal Rule. Be proud of yourself and your choices to do so. I hope you will continue to carry forward this spirit of giving when the need arises.

A New Home.

We will keep building as long as there is a need and the funds to do so.

This home is for Inez and her three-year old daughter River.

Enjoy, Inez and River. I hope that the memories of the Camp Fire fade away as you move into your new home.

Our friend Tom from Burchell Nursery grows fruit trees for farmers throughout California. We got to talking one day and I asked him about the possibility of
doing a “Free Tree Giveaway”.

Tom, thank you so much for making this happen. Thank you for your willingness to be part of this vision to bring life back to a completely decimated area. Thanks for living by the most important Universal Rule.

It’s time to get growing

A special thanks to Team Teichert/Team Water. My appreciation goes to all the drivers and employees who made this happen. To Amy, Gary, Jason, Megan, Brad, Paula, Judd, and Samantha I can’t thank you enough. Some of you I have never met, but in your spirit of giving I feel as if we are the closest of friends. Thank you so much for delivering water over the past six months to Pastor Doug

I think you should add Dori to the Universal Rule list. Come join her for the first of our “Old World Inspired Pottery Series” in creating these Italian Countryside Pots. You’ll create two decorative planters influenced by Italian country garden finds. Starting with plain 7″ Italian Terracotta pots, you will layer chalk paint and hand made appliqués using a variety of Iron Orchid Design molds and paperclay. We will use texturing and finishing techniques to add patina that make your creations look aged and rustic. Bellissimo! Included is a beautiful seasonal colorful bloom from High-Hand Nursery, refreshing mimosas and scones from the High-Hand Café. Click here to purchase tickets.

Let’s talk about Lavender at Maple Rock. The weather has not been kind to our Lavender fields, the flowers are finally starting to show. Nevertheless, we have decided to open it up for Lavender picking Saturday, June 15th from 9-2pm. Parking is free. $15 per person gets you all the Lavender you can pick. Bring your own cutting tool, a bucket or favorite Lavender carrying device. Available will be Maple Rock Honey, Lavender Cookies, and Lavender Lemonade for purchase. Tickets are available at the event or online by clicking here.

Maple Rock is located at 100 Clark Tunnel Road. The nearest Cross Street is Highway 193. Make sure that if you use GPS that you find Highway 193 as a cross street. Do not listen to the lady talking, she will get you lost.

We all have rules that we live by. Think about your Universal Rules that are unique to you. Don’t be afraid to act when the need arises. Thank you for your continued support as we continue to help those in Paradise and Magalia find a better solution.

See you in the High-Hand Greenhouse this weekend,


How can you help out those impacted by the Camp Fire?

You have helped out so much! Here is what’s needed – Visa Gift Cards and cash. Gift cards and cash can be delivered directly to the nursery or sent to us by mail. Our address is:

Attn: Nichole
High-Hand Nursery
P.O. Box 2280
Loomis, CA 95650

You can also call us and give us a credit card over the phone. Our number is 916-652-2065. We will turn all checks and credit card transactions into cash.

Bloomtastic Is Finally Here

Today I had a chance to walk Maple Rock Gardens with Sherry, an editor from Garden Gate Magazine, and Debbie Arrington. You might recognize Debbie’s name. For years she was the Garden Writer for the Sacramento Bee. It was fun. Being garden enthusiasts we both looked at plants through the same lens. I have not walked Maple Rock lately looking through the lens of beauty. I’ve been hustling around getting ready for the tour this Saturday. Four weeks ago a major portion of the garden was torn up. The construction has been something that has completely dominated my mind and I haven’t been able to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. Walking with Sherry, Debbie and Photographer Jack I had a chance to reflect on the garden through the lens of beauty. What I gained today is something that I had lost. I had lost the perspective of how beautiful a garden can be and just how much it can give back. I guess the old saying is, “stop and smell the roses”. I can’t guess what your “stop and smell the roses” moment is, but mine is the boundless creativity that the garden gives me. The garden is patient with me. And as long as I am patient with it, nothing is asked in return.

I talked with Sherry about being patient with the garden. We agreed that people need to be more patient with their gardens. Today, while we walked around Maple Rock, I saw numerous things that were wrong and bothered me. The pressure of opening up your home to 2,000 of your closest friends can be scary. Given the fact that we had much of it torn apart due to construction I’ve come to the conclusion that I just need to release to nature and let it be what it is.The funny thing is that visitors to Maple Rock on Saturday might not be able to figure out what we did that was so invasive to the garden.

I hope you will join me this Saturday, May 11th from 9am to 3pm as Maple Rock Gardens gives way to Bloomtastic. We will be offering lunch, your favorite libation including a cocktail if you wish. Greg will be playing music in the garden and Earl will be running the trains.

Relax. Take time to smell the roses.

Take time to recognize the child within and watch the trains.

Take a deep breathe. Enjoy the view.

Simply breathe and enjoy.

— Click Here to Buy Tickets —

I have a different approach to designing a garden. I see things as noise. When I walk into a garden I mentally take out all the things that are noisy until my mind is calm. Then when deciding what to put back in the garden, I put back things that aren’t noisy.

After months of long rains and a very quick start to Spring my head has been completely noisy. Our projects were pushed further and further out with each storm this Spring. With Bloomtastic looming on the horizon the drumbeat of noise continued to pound. Thanks Sherry, Debbie and Jack for making me stop and walk the garden, however so briefly.

This Saturday I hope you can walk the garden and experience what I have experienced today.

See you this weekend at Maple Rock Gardens,


How can you help out those impacted by the Camp Fire?

You have helped out so much! Here is what’s needed – Visa Gift Cards and cash. Gift cards and cash can be delivered directly to the nursery or sent to us by mail. Our address is:

Attn: Nichole
High-Hand Nursery
P.O. Box 2280
Loomis, CA 95650

You can also call us and give us a credit card over the phone. Our number is 916-652-2065. We will turn all checks and credit card transactions into cash.

So Much Time, So Little To Do

As a child my favorite movie was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (I’m sure most of you know this by now, I’ve talked about Willy a lot). As he was leading Charlie and his cohorts into the factory he suddenly stopped and whipped around with his walking cane in hand. “So much time, so little to do”, Willy said. “Strike that, reverse that.” The funny thing about that part of the movie is that I have remembered it throughout my entire life. I still find myself saying it sometimes in conversation with others. I think it’s funny, everyone always just kind of stops and pauses, thinking about what I just said. When I start out a tour at High-Hand sometimes I’ll say that phrase as I begin walking through the nursery. More often than not I’ll stop and turn around and see the entire group befuddled wondering “do we follow him?”

The reality is that I have so much to tell and and so little time to do it in that I don’t know where to start. I want to talk about snails, weeds, Bloomtastic, hummingbird, a rescue horse, succulents, and Dory’s class. I just don’t know where to start so let’s just jump in and get at it.

We’ll start with the hummingbird and the horse.

The Hummingbird

I’ve always said that you’d stop traffic to save a ladybug. I’m going to add hummingbirds to that list. This mother is perched in her nest, hanging about 2 feet out into the driveway at Maple Rock. I’m shocked that with all the activity going on there that she has not been knocked from her perch. So I’ve put out orange cones to cordon off my driveway and we’ll have to drive around the cones until her baby is born. Some would say that is a lot of effort to protect a bird. But I would say to them “I’m a guy that will stop traffic to save a ladybug and I’ve just added hummingbirds to the list, so there.”

The Horse

This is Mother the rescue horse. Evidently the rescue horse was pregnant. We suspected that but simply didn’t know for sure. So I introduce to you, little Baby Horse. Mom’s a miniature horse, not a full size horse. She stands about waist high, so you can imagine how tall Baby Horse stands. Baby comes up to your kneecaps. For now Baby Horse’s name is Baby Horse. The obvious names might be Doughnut, Spot, or Target. So for now meet Baby Horse.

The Other 400 Maple Rock Mothers

Obviously we have a few new mothers at Maple Rock. I guess we can add the 400 chickens to the Mother List. Cranking an egg every day? I would qualify that as a mother. So by my math we have 402 Mothers at Maple Rock. And we would like add to that count by inviting all the Mothers and anyone they would like to bring to Maple Rock for Bloomtastic on Saturday, May 11th.

Come Meet The Mother’s of Maple Rock

All Mothers wishing to be added to the list of Maple Rock Mothers, join us for Bloomtastic, a celebration of Mother Nature.

Lunch will be available. Stroll the garden, listen to live music and enjoy your favorite glass of wine. Simply breathe and enjoy. Click here to buy tickets. Parking is free.

And Then There Are The Succulents

Join us for a great day of succulents. At this juncture in the email I usually talk about the poster above but since we have so much time and so little to do, “strike that, reverse it”. So much to do, so little time. (Read the above poster.)

Now It’s Dory Time

High-Hand Mercantile presents our Fairy Bloom Workshop! Come design a fresh floral arrangement with seasonal flowers and succulents in a rustic antique brick mold. We will also be creating a twig gazebo to house a fairy of your choice. All materials and supplies are included as well as enjoying mimosas and fresh scones.

Saturday, May 4, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM PDT, reserve your tickets by clicking here.

I was going to talk about the weeds and the bees but something has come up that I wanted to share with you instead. This morning at 6:30 am we handed off the keys to Luke and Colton’s tiny house. Your donations have allowed us to provide ongoing support until we found a solution. Thanks to the hard work of Alyssa and the volunteers that built it, along with your donations, we did find that solution.

I want to wish Luke and Colton the very best. They have been to Hell and back. I wish them nothing but the best as they embark on new beginnings. Luke wanted me to personally thank all of you for your help. He said to me, “I’ve never met all of the people that are behind you, Scott.” With a tear in his eye he continued, “Tell them all thank you. Colton and I are blessed.” We can all learn from this tragedy and the perseverance of the survivors. I would say that we are blessed for having an opportunity to help. We are blessed to be able to be in a position to serve. Luke and Colton, I wish you nothing but the best.

We have six more houses in production and we are still taking donations. I guess I just don’t know where to stop. We started this journey way back in the Walmart parking lot amidst all the smoke. I never imagined that we would be where we are today. What am I to do, just say we’ve done enough and stop? Quit? We started this together and we will continue to serve as long as we have the energy and the funds to make a difference. When there are no more solutions to find, then we will rest.

High-Hand Magalia is going to get their own phone number soon. We’re going to try and extend the hours as we continue to bring on staff. Built from the ground up, I hope it will bring jobs, happiness, and hope to such a devastated area.

High-Hand Magalia
14098 Skyway Road, Magalia, CA
Open Wednesday through Saturday, 9am-4pm

Sorry weeds and bees, you got preempted by Luke and Colton. I truly hope to meet you at Bloomtastic on Saturday, May 11th. We will be accepting donations so we can continue to find solutions for people affected by the fires.

Be proud of your support, we are making a difference.

See you at High-Hand Nursery,


How can you help out those impacted by the Camp Fire?

You have helped out so much! Here is what’s needed – Visa Gift Cards and cash. Gift cards and cash can be delivered directly to the nursery or sent to us by mail. Our address is:

Attn: Nichole
High-Hand Nursery
P.O. Box 2280
Loomis, CA 95650

You can also call us and give us a credit card over the phone. Our number is 916-652-2065. We will turn all checks and credit card transactions into cash.

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