There’s nothing like warm spring days to inspire a trip to the garden shop to freshen up the plantings in your yard or even to undertake an entire makeover of your outdoor spaces. This year, how about heading to a locally owned garden shop or greenhouse for plants and advice? There you can talk with staff that understand our climate and soils and even get hands-on help with creating your garden.
Adding native plants to your yard is one way you can have a beautiful garden and help the environment. These garden shops all stock native plants and can help you select the right ones for your yard. In addition, many offer landscape design and installation services. Read on to discover the garden shop that matches your needs!
Garden Center of Las Cruces
4455 Bataan Memorial West
With 15 years of landscaping experience, Jesus Palma now offers Las Cruces a 10-acre garden center to experience a more joyful way to design landscapes.
With this new location, Jesus and manager Meagan Guerra hope to create Las Cruces’ “supercenter of gardening.” In addition to trees, shrubs, cacti, sod and artificial turf, sand and gravel, rocks, and other hardscaping items, they offer landscape design and installation and, for those do-it-yourselfers, they even rent and sell Kubota skid steer loaders, as well as selling basic gardening tools. This summer, they’re bringing in lots of pots, southwestern décor, chimeneas, wind chimes, and more.
“What we specialize in is one-on-one customer service,” Meagan says. They offer landscape design services that show homeowners where to put each plant and rock as a DIY project, or the Garden Center will bid on doing the work. For those who want help on a smaller scale, Jesus will consult with customers to help them determine how much rock and how many plants they need for their yard.
Often, people visit a “big box” store’s garden shop and bring home plants that don’t usually survive in the desert. Meagan says, “Our talented crew is educated on what plants would do well, what needs medium to low watering and low maintenance, and are always listening to what the customer needs and wants.”
Some of the native plants and trees they offer are desert willow, claret cup cactus, prickly pear, ocotillo, yucca, agave, and honey locust. Owner Jesus himself grew many of the trees from seed.
In addition to installing plants and hardscape, the Garden Center can create ponds, waterfalls, rock walls, pergolas, and fire pits to help create your backyard oasis.
They want the Garden Center itself to be a fertile spot in the desert where clients can enjoy an experience. They are hoping to collaborate with a local coffee shop to create a relaxing patio where people can stop by with friends and have some coffee in a plant-filled venue.
Color Your World
540 N. Telshor Blvd.; 575-521-0496
270 Avenida de Mesilla; 575-523-1520
With two locations and more than 40 years’ experience, native Las Crucen Gary Guzman knows a thing or two about which plants will thrive in our area. The larger location is Color Your World on Telshor Boulevard, and a few years back he added Guzman’s Greenhouse on Avenida de Mesilla. Color Your World has a large greenhouse with a variety of exotic indoor plants and a couple acres of outdoor plants, as well as a large store with all your gardening needs, including hard-to-find specialty soils and fertilizers, tools, hats and gloves, hydroponic equipment, plant lights, patio furniture and fountains, and more. This is one of the few places in Las Cruces to buy koi (in spring and summer) and aquatic plants for outdoor ponds.
Both locations stock a wide range of outdoor trees and shrubs, annuals, and perennials. Gary says, “We know the climate here, and what to sell that is tried-and-true for Las Cruces. We also have drought-tolerant plants that will take the heat and the cold, even if they aren’t necessarily native. We try to get as many natives as we can.” Native plants they offer include piñon pine, cottonwood, mesquite, and Apache plume.
In general, Gary summarizes, “We have the knowledge to help you make your plants thrive and we stock specialty products, off-the-wall things you can’t find elsewhere.” They offer delivery and tree-planting services.
4995 S. Main St.
Former Cooperative Extension Service Researcher J.F. Makk founded Natura LLC in 2007 after working with soils and plants for more than 20 years. The business started with landscape design and construction. Soon he decided he wanted to have plants available that are well adapted to our desert climate, so he established his own greenhouse, which evolved into a retail location. Now, he and his family specialize in design, plants, consultation, and irrigation systems.
Natura Greenhouse offers a variety of locally grown indoor and outdoor plants, fruit trees, and sod. “Our work is at the intersection of people and nature,” J.F. says. “We are trying to have something that is different from the typical big box store where they don’t provide plants and fertilizers that meet the specific needs of the climate, and there is no expert advice. Natura is seeking to provide advice and direction, and help people establish their landscape from design to installation and care.”
Robledo Vista Nursery
915-203-4385 – Jimmy Zabriskie
575-541-8083 – Marcy Scott
Jimmy Zabriskie and Marcy Scott operate Robledo Vista Nursery from their home and are at the Saturday Farmers & Crafts Market of Las Cruces at the northwest corner of Griggs and Main from mid-February through November. Jimmy, whose degree is in landscape architecture, says, “Our selling point is that we specialize in native and low-water-use plants. We don’t carry anything else. I’ve been promoting low-water-use plants for 35 years.”
Because the plants they grow and sell are either native to our area or from other desert climates, Jimmy explains they are resource efficient. He says, “If you buy something from us, you don’t need to amend the soil, you don’t need to water a lot after it’s established, and you don’t need to fertilize.”
In addition, Jimmy says, “The longer we’ve been in our business, the more I’ve seen how valuable native plants are for native insects and birds. Just a few plants can attract a lot of pollinators. We keep an up-to-date inventory on our website that lists our plants, sizes, prices, and what pollinators they attract.”
Marcy is the author of Hummingbird Plants of the Southwest, so they can provide expert advice about plants that attract hummingbirds and other pollinators. The book is available at COAS Books as well as at their booth at the market.
To peruse their offerings, head to the farmers market, or make an appointment to visit their nursery.
Sierra Vista Growers
2800 Highway 28, La Union
If you’d like to enjoy a leisurely drive along Highway 28 through the pecan orchards and even a visit to the iconic Chope’s Bar along with your garden shopping, head south of Las Cruces to La Union, where you will find Sierra Vista Growers. Serving our region for about 30 years, this nursery has nine acres of trees and shrubs, annuals and perennials, grasses and ground covers, and a greenhouse. They also offer compost, topsoil, and woodchips.
Retail Manager Nora Enriquez says, “We are a locally owned nursery where customer service is our priority. We specialize in growing native plants from the Chihuahuan desert, many types of cacti, and plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds.”
Some of the native plants that are available here include Mexican primrose, chocolate flower, claret cup cactus, damianita, creosote bush, sages, mesquites, and desert willow.
Nora adds, “We grow as many of our own plants as we can. We have bedding plants grown here by seed. People say our geraniums are the best! We have a farm in La Mesa where we grow our bigger trees like ashes, Chinese pistache, and pecan trees.” There’s some construction going on where they are adding a café, which will feature coffee, desserts, and ice cream in a lovely garden area that will be available to rent for parties and gatherings. They hope to have it operating by this summer; follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates. They also sell farm-fresh eggs and pecans, as well as seasonal produce.
Sierra Vista Growers offers military and senior discounts upon request as well as delivery services — and they’re pet friendly.
Nora sums it up: “Come visit us, enjoy a pleasant walk through our beautiful nursery and explore everything we have.”
Written by Cheryl Fallstead
Photography by Azalea Hughes and courtesy
Originally published in Neighbors magazine.
Posted by LasCruces.com