Do I have your attention yet?

Lets talk about Peonies, why? Because they’re cool. I was walking the nursery yesterday and came across a crop of Peonies that we have grown. I am sure at this point most of us whom are stuck at home have gotten out into the garden and found little surprises here and there. Natures details. At Maple Rock Gardens we have a hill full of Peonies, every year in the fall they go dormant. Every spring, after I have forgotten they are even there, their power emerges from the ground faithfully.

I was never a fan of the traditional garden Peony. I would have to tend to it, stake the flowers, and just wasn’t willing to put in the work. Yes, I have been know to be a lazy gardener.

Well don’t worry lazy gardeners, I have the perfect Peony for you! As you can see by the flowers in the picture they are pretty friggin’ awesome. Awesome blossoms you could say. The Peonies we grow at at High-Hand are Itoh Peonies — these aren’t your grandmother’s Peonies.

With the schools closed down let’s do a little bit of home schooling. In the early 1900’s plant breeders scoffed at the idea of breeding a regular garden Peony with a tree Peony. They were simply considered to be incompatible. Fast forward to 1948. After over 1,200 failed attempts a Japanese horticulturalist, Dr. Toichi Itoh succeeded. Can you imagine the patience it took to cross pollinate these plants and wait year after year to see if it worked?

Well sadly Dr. Itoh passed away, never seeing his creations bloom. Years later, an American named Luis, not to be confused with Luis and Clark, bought some original Itoh Peonies from Dr. Itoh’s widow and continued Dr. Itoh’s work. For some reason when I think of Dr. Itoh I think of Mr. Miyagi, the wax on wax off guy from the Karate Kid movie, both men had incredible patience.
It’s been four weeks since we closed the High-Hand Cafe. It’s been almost three weeks since we closed High-Hand Nursery. This allowed our team some time to settle their family, and create space between our families and the uncertainty we find ourselves in. After much thoughtful consideration we have decided to open up the nursery Thursday to Sunday from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. While Disneyland may be closed, we are still on Wild Toad’s Wild Ride.

We welcome you to High-Hand Nursery, but we ask for your patience as we adhere to social distancing practices to keep ourselves and you safe. We encourage you to wear your face coverings and please help us remain at a safe distance. Don’t be offended by our Plexiglass sneeze guard when you meet us at the counter.

High-Hand loves you, please be patient with us while we are lightly staffed.

Great Peonies, a fresh shipment on Friday of vegetable starts, and of course what you have all come to love us for — our Japanese Maples.

Curbside Pickup? Click here to get some. WOW what a success! Did you know that you can buy fresh produce boxes, flower baskets, and other great High-Hand Nursery items online? Don’t forget about Collin’s farm fresh eggs — his girls are cranking out eggs for your enjoyment.

Check This Out

Here’s how the High-Hand Curbside Marketplace works:

  1. Click here to order online or visit our website and look for the banner.
  2. Select a time for pick up. We are open for pickup Friday–Sunday 12:00–4:00pm.
  3. Now here’s the tricky part, toggle our menu options at the top. The menu options are listed as Grocery, Beverages, Nursery, and don’t forget the Olive Oil Company.
  4. Make your selections then head to check out and pay online. We will have your order ready at your scheduled time in the Cafe parking lot.

Let’s Recap:

  • High-Hand Nursery is open Thursday through Sunday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • We love you!
  • Buy a Peony, why not? And buy one for your neighbor too.
  • Help us help you to be safe.
  • Please respect our social distancing practices.
  • Visit the High-Hand Nursery Marketplace for curbside pickup. It’s fun!
  • Most importantly relax and stay safe.

Over the course of the last four weeks its been an emotional and wild ride for all of us. We have all been forced to re-calibrate and find our equilibrium. There is an eternal flame of optimism that burns in all of us that says tomorrow will be a better day.

And it will be,


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