The good news, says Phyllis Pompei of Pompei Nursery, is that most people over-water anyway.
“It’s true: people just water too much; lawns and otherwise,” she said. “At this time of the year we tell customers it’s OK to start watering their lawns every other day for about 15 minutes.”
From shade trees to wild lilacs, poppies and Artemisia, Mother Nature has a variety of drought-resistant options available, especially as the weather turns cooler.
“This is a great time to plant everything,” said Pompei Garden Manager Yolanda Chase. “Regular shade trees, fruit trees, bulbs and winter vegetables are all popular and do very well. Adding some extra mulch around your plants will also prevent them from needing as much water.”
And buy a water meter, Chase added. It’s the best way to tell how much water your plants are getting and how much they really need.
Gauging customer needs and helping with the details are a big part of the customer-service experience at Pompei Nursery, opened in 2007. Owned and operated by Phyllis and her son Nino, the nursery is the culmination of a lifelong dream. “Nino and I used to talk about owning a nursery some day, so this has been wonderful for us,” said Phyllis. “We enjoy what we do, and it’s good time spent together.”
A member of Master Nursery Garden Centers Inc. and a distributor of Master Nursery soil and products, the Master Nursery designation is the gold star of gardening, and means customers are getting top-of-line products not found in all garden centers.
“It’s really an honor to be chosen as a Master Nursery,” said Nino. “It’s a very elite co-op of gardeners, and it allows us to carry certain specialty items that other places cannot such as high-grade fertilizers and other gardening products.”
Holiday happenings and special events are also a part of the landscape at Pompei. In fact, Nino’s wedding was the first to be held at the nursery. “Someone had to try it and make sure it all worked out,” laughed Nino. “So far, so good.”
Next month, Pompei will be decorated for harvest and Halloween, and feature an onsite pumpkin patch and an assortment of scarecrows and decorative harvest items throughout the nursery and in the gift shop.
Last Christmas, the nursery sold trees, piped in holiday music and was even graced by a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Ornaments and decorative gift items were also available.
“What’s special about Pompei,” said Phyllis, “is that we’ve worked hard to create not only a nursery, but as Nino says, a destination. That’s what it’s all about for us: creating a place where people can come and not only meet their gardening needs, but find so much more and enjoy themselves in the process.”
Pompei Nursery is located at 4701 Main St. in Oakley. Open seven days week, new fall hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For additional information, call 925-625-7330 or visit them online.