Where have you been?

I’m kidding, it’s more like where have we been. It’s been 11 months to the day since I have reached out. The last time we talked, we were talking about how all good thing start with a mess.
image of piles of debris


For the last 11 months we have been busy. High-Hand Nursery is still “nursery-ing.” Nursery-ing may not be a word but as far as I am concerned it is and yes we are still growing plants.

The cafe is still “cafe-ing” and serving great fresh food.

Which brings us to the fruit sheds. The flower market is beautiful as always and the shed is full of pottery.

The art gallery, featuring the best local artists is amazing.

My mother, who I have tried to fire several times, only because I feel she should finally retire for the third time, refuses to leave the olive oil store. Sue and mom continue to pour the best aged balsamic’s and single varietal olive oils that the world has to offer.

Adjacent to the art gallery is Kelly at Leo Eleven Designs, handcrafted and unique jewelry. I am not trying to put Kelly on the spot, but if you want something custom stop by and see her.

At the far end of the shed is Magic Sun Solar. Back in the day it was Brandon and his team that installed solar on the roof of High-Hand. It was not an easy project retrofitting a 110 year old building to bring it into the modern age. They executed flawlessly. Ten years later it is working just as well as the first day we flipped the switch.

We are thrilled to have in the sheds one of Sacramento’s premier family owned businesses, Berco Redwood & Berry Lumber. Visit their design center, they are an amazing lumber company with amazing people.

After 11 months of silence the big announcement.
Join us Saturday October 15th for the
Grand Opening Celebration of the
Mercantile at High-Hand

image of the mercantile announcement
Come meet Karen and Steve. Enjoy an evening in a great space, light bites and complimentary wine while it lasts.

One Last Thing

image of brewery announcement
Would you like to take a sneak peak in the brewery? You’re welcome to pop your head in and look around.

“ish.” Personally I think it’s a word. The word “ish” gives me a little space, an excuse to be delayed or held-up. To be honest the brewery has not necessarily been held up by construction delays or suppliers as the rest of the world has.

In the context of the word “ish,” as it relates to the brewery, it equates to passion. Passion has held us up. The same passion we put into great ingredients prepared well in the cafe, our olive oil and balsamic, and the plants that we grow at High-Hand, is the same passion that is building High-Hand Brewing Company. It is passion that has delayed the brewery, not settling for mediocrity. It is passion that drives the family of shops and businesses at High-Hand.

Join us Saturday October 15th, 5:00-8:00pm in the High-Hand fruit sheds for the grand opening of the Mercantile at High-Hand.

Enjoy 10 percent off at High-Hand Flower Market and on all pottery. Meet the artists at High-Hand Art Gallery, my mom and Sue, and Kelly too.

Come experience the passion at High-Hand.

See you at High-Hand,


All Good Things Start With a Mess

I’ve got this Crab Apple tree that grows next to my house. I like my Crab Apple tree. It’s a beautiful, well pruned tree that fits nicely in its space. But I can honestly say that the mess it creates this time of year is not fun. Stepping on a Crab Apple is not comfortable, nor is scooping out boiled Crab Apples from the spa. We’ve learned to coexist over the years, me and Mr. Crab Apple, but I will say in this case not all good things come with this mess.

This time of year, when it comes to my yard, the only good thing that comes from all the leaves and mess is the satisfaction of being done with a chore. We can’t control mother nature and her sense of humor, the redepositing leaves after a satisfactory conquest. It is bad enough that mother nature causes messes but at High-Hand we create our own too.

image of piles of debris
There has been a rumor swirling around that we are building a brewery. Let me dispatch the rumor and confirm that we are. We are excited about this project. It has been a long time coming. Check in from time to time and watch our progress.
image of a scissor lift
Recognize this space? This was the space of the old art gallery. Minus the walls. Now where did the art gallery go?
image of the inside of the new gallery
I am happy to say, it’s still here in the fruit sheds. We moved it as well as expanded it.


While it is always a great time to visit the art gallery, this weekend is special. This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday — November 12th, 13th, and 14th, is a great time to check out the art gallery.

  • Friday, Greg Perkins will be playing guitar from 10:30am to 2:30pm.
  • Saturday, visit High-Hand Nursery for Art in the Garden. Greg will be playing if you missed him on Friday. come check him out on Saturday.
  • Sunday, 12:00pm to 2:00pm join us for a free concert. Auburn Symphony Woodwind Quartet from 12:00-2:00. Greg Perkins from 2:30 to 4:30pm.

While Mother nature plays her games outside, did you know that High-Hand now has fresh flowers for the inside!

image of the flower arrangement

Would you like a fresh bouquet delivered to your table while dining at the High-Hand Cafe? You can do that. While making a reservation, a fresh bouquet can be purchased. How fun is that?

Brace yourself (it’s a real bummer)! We have made a collective decision to not host our annual tree lighting this year. The decision to not do the tree lighting and Christmas dinners was a hard one. The consensus was that due to limited staffing, we could not bring the tree lighting to you in a way that we could be proud of. We look forward to next year and all things normal.

With all the remodeling — our new brewery, the flower market, we could not forget about Petunia’s kitchen and master bedroom.

image of a cat dish
image of a cat laying on handbags

With new counter tops, dishware, and a handbag mattress Petunia is thrilled.

We are looking forward to seeing you this weekend at High-Hand.


PS. Love the rain.

What’s up High-Hand?

image of a pile of succulents

What is up? A lot is up. We will get back to the pile of succulents in a minute.

Big announcement: April 24th High-Hand Art Gallery is hosting a Grand Opening. April 24th 10:00am-4:00pm join us for “Art in the Garden.” Meet the artists of High-Hand and visit our newly remolded art gallery, it’ll be a great day.

Whats up? Well I decided to dive in and repot my succulents at Maple Rock last night. I don’t know why but I just came home put on my headphones, grabbed a water, and went at it. Over the last year certain parts of the garden had become neglected, especially my potted succulents. I am sure we all have a piece of the garden that needs a little bit of a face lift.

My process of repotting and rearranging succulents is probably different than yours. Most people, normal people, would prepare. You would get some soil and methodically go about replanting and repotting your succulents — whether it is dividing them and moving them to a bigger containers or just rearranging them. I guess you could say this is the DIY portion of the email. DIY seems to be the theme of the day, I can’t even open up Google News without someone writing an article about DIY brownies, or DIY bathtubs. I even saw an article about DIY reroof your house — no thanks. I don’t even change my own oil on my vehicle, why would I want to learn to reroof my house?

But here is how my succulent repotting project started. I went around and collected all the pots that had succulents. Picked up the broken pot that the wind blew over, and stuck it all in a pile as well, hence the picture. Once you have your pile of succulents gathered together, start making babies. Now if you’re snickering — don’t, that’s not what I am talking about. Take your clippers and start making your cuttings for your new arrangements. Typically I would let my succulent cuttings dry out for a couple days but I am a boy and I have no patience. If you use the “being impatient method” just don’t overwater.

image of a pot of succulents
So I grabbed my first pot and proceeded to go for it. Returning to my pile of cuttings.
image of a pile of succulents
I don’t overthink the process of creating something. Neither do I overthink what soil I am going to use, I just grabbed the closest bag I had. So with my G&B Organics Blue Ribbon Blend from Kellogg’s (total product placement), and my headphone playing my favorite tunes, I was in my zone. Within 45 minutes my project was done. My reward? The satisfaction of my new creations.
image of a pot of succulents
image of succulents in pots on a shelf
I suppose I should have removed the dogs watering bowl before I took the picture.
image of a square pot with succulents overdlowing over the edges
If you’re not a green-thumb, try your hand at succulents. They can be a lot of fun. I was having so much fun doing this that I didn’t even realize that my headphones were playing Captain & Tennille’s song “Love Will Keep us Together”. I don’t know why but hearing that song reminded me of being home from grammar school sick and watching the Merv Griffin Show.

Succulents are easy. I would challenge you to kill one. You will not receive an award for achieving this goal. No prize from High-Hand but you’ll find that they are addicting. Our selection of succulents at High-Hand has never been better.

image of a pot of succulents

Mark your calendar:

Join us from 10:00am-4:00pm on April 24th to celebrate the Grand Opening of High-Hand Art Gallery. Meet the artists and enjoy Art in the Garden.

I love succulents, you should too.

See you at High-Hand.


“Extra! Extra! Read All About it!”

image of old packing labels

“Extra! Extra! Read All About it!” Said the newspaper hawk. “Fresh off the press High-Hand Cafe is open for outdoor dining. Get your reservations online!”

No sooner was our email hot off the press when a newsflash came over the wire. “Outdoor dining is back at High-Hand Cafe.” Join us at High-Hand Nursery & Cafe or make your reservation online by clicking here.

Holy cow things change quickly.

See you at High-Hand.


Flowers Among Us

These days my mind drifts back and forth between color and black & white images. January is the new beginning to the new year, new resolutions, new commitments, recommitting to a new resolve and a change in life perhaps.

The lens that I look through is a little different this January. I know that new beginnings are just around the corner but to be honest I have mentally hibernated a little bit. So January for me feels like I am rounding turn three and entering turn four in a race. Typically in this race November should be turn three, December turn four, with the finish line January 1st. With all thats going on am I the only one who feels this way? I hope so. It seems like the finish line is similar to the end of a rainbow. The closer I get, the further it seems.

Rounding the fourth turn isn’t necessarily about the finish line or completing the race. For me it is about an accomplishment and the opportunity for new beginnings. While it may seem like we are rounding turn three in January, we are not.

image of a tractor and nearby flowers
January is about flowers. Walking through the nursery today with my “turn three” mentality and my black & white vision I was snapped back to reality. This isn’t turn three and we have crossed the finish line. There is nothing but new beginnings ahead. Walk your garden, look for the flowers, and be reminded of all the new beginnings to come.

New Beginnings in the Cafe

image of a loaf bread
The cafe will open tomorrow, January 13th, for to-go orders only and “picnic dining” at our nursery tables. Our hours are Wednesday-Friday from 11:00am-3:00pm and Saturday & Sunday from 9:00am-3:00pm. You can walk in and order in person from a friendly familiar face or you can schedule an order online for pickup. If you wish you can “picnic” at High-Hand at one of our self serve tables outside on the patio or in the nursery. Of course we can turn on the heater just let us know. Hats, coats, gloves, scarves, thermal underwear, and insulated boots are highly recommended.

They say life starts with bread but at High-Hand life starts with our baker. Come enjoy your cafe favorites and walk the nursery and enjoy new beginnings.

Look forward to seeing you at High-Hand.


What’s Happening???

It is safe to say, and I’m sure you would agree, that 2020 has been ANYTHING but normal.

It is very easy to slip into pandemic thinking and all that it brings into our minds. I was walking the nursery the other day and something just didn’t seem to be normal. “What is happening,” I asked. Maybe I haven’t noticed what has been going on in the nursery because my mind has been elsewhere but what I did notice, struck me as a bit odd.

image of a large red maple
Why do some of the trees at High-Hand still have their leaves? Why did some of the leaves just skip over the fall colors and go straight to brown? What is going on this fall besides the obvious, rainless warm weather. I don’t know if we can blame it on global warming, or maybe we can. Maybe we can just chalk this weird December up to a 1,000 year cycle that the Earth goes through and that we have never lived through before. For the record I am not a climate change denier but lets just keep things simple for now and not dive into the politics.

So what is happening? Let’s make it simple. Fall is supposed to work this way. Leaves are supposed to turn reds, yellows, and oranges in late October. Then they turn brown and fall to the ground. Then, you go out and work your tail off every weekend raking up leaves. That is how fall is supposed to work. Leaves turn color, you go to work. I actually think fall is responsible for creating the Honey-Do list, and the wives saw this as an opportunity to expand and exploit this new list nature invented.

But obviously something weird happened. Warm spells in October and November faked the trees into thinking they are still in the growing season. What happens next is the gradual color change of the leaves is short circuited. When the temperature nose dives after a hot spell leaves go from green to brown. There is really nothing you can do about it when this happens. They will eventually blow off with the winter winds or some may actually hold on until spring arrives. Basically, sudden temperature changes cause the tree to get stuck partway through the process. This doesn’t cause any significant plant damage, so don’t worry. Nothing about 2020 has been normal. Why should the seasons follow suit?

So what is happening at High-Hand?

Since the first rounds of closing and reopening the restaurant and then on to the second round of opening and closing the restaurant you can say that all of us at High-Hand have developed our sea legs. This third round of closing has created larger ocean swells as winter is “supposedly” looming.

Can I step away form the email for a moment to just thank all of you who have supported us through this difficult time. I have said this before but will say it again, “we are eternally grateful.”

High-Hand Cafe

Moving forward, in the short term, the Cafe is open for takeout and delivery only. You heard it right, High-Hand delivers. Disclaimer: be patient with us, we have never done delivery before and we are going to do it in-house to keep ourselves busy. You may see your favorite server at your front door delivering High-Hand favorites. For more information order online by clicking here.

Holiday shopping at High-Hand Nursery

image of fall colors on a maple
High-Hand Nursery is open through the holiday season and beyond. Shop, enjoy, and marvel at the leaves still hanging on the trees.

High-Hand Olive Oil Company & Art Gallery

image of oiive oil bottles

After a long COVID vacation the High-Hand Art Gallery and the High-Hand Olive Oil Company are slowly making their way back. Purchase your favorite High-Hand olive oils and vinegars online at by clicking here. If you would like to stop in to High-Hand Nursery and purchase your favorites form the HH Olive Oil Company, please do. We have a large selection available outside the new location. Safety first.

The High-Hand Art Gallery is nearing completion. We have 40 eager artists waiting to move in and set up shop. The new renovated High-Hand Art Gallery will be simply spectacular.

Final musings

image of a flower growing out of a crack in the ground
This flower has been a symbol of survival. When we closed down last March we started selling plants online. Appropriately named Dreamsicle this Calibrachoa has survived throughout the season. I have no idea how it got here other than the fact we had this plant sitting above in a flower cart.
To the best of my knowledge I can only assume that a small piece fell to the ground and happened to find its way through a hole in a plate of steel where it was able to take root. I have taken many pictures of this plant throughout the last six months. I was pleasantly surprised that when I checked up on it the other day that it was still there. Nature always amazes me.

The miracle of nature should not be taken for granted. Stop, breathe, walk your garden. Think about where you are at, touch the dirt, hear the sounds, and for a short moment just be present. Don’t look too hard for the miracles, they are right in front of you.

Happy Holidays from the family at High-Hand.


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