Emily's Picks: Selections for Your Garden From a California Insider

Emily's Picks: Selections for Your Garden From a California Insider

Emily's Picks: Selections for Your Garden From a California Insider
Emily Rosedale-Kousoulis in field of hydrangeas at Monrovia nursery

Photos by Monrovia: Doreen Wynja

Emily Rosedale-Kousoulis is the granddaughter of Monrovia founder Harry Rosedale, Sr. Based in Southern California where Monrovia began, Emily has had a passion for plants ever since her first visits to the nursery as a child. As a Monrovia Ambassador, she combines her keen eye for style and design with her love of plants to suggest ways to refresh your garden this season.

Emily Rosedale-Kousoulis

Emily's Holiday Plant Picks

'Tis the season to bask in the joy and magic of plants! Emily brings us creative holiday ideas and top picks for holiday décor and gifts. Find her favorites below. 


"I always try to do something fun and festive on my porch, something easy to grow in containers and that lasts all of winter and beyond. This year I am adding our Yuletide Camellia. I love its eye-catching red flowers and bright green foliage. Bonus: They make gorgeous cut flowers for festive holiday vases!" Up to 10' tall and wide.  Zones 7-10.

Little Ragu® 
Sweet Bay

"Have you seen our gorgeous tabletop topiaries in terracotta pots? If you ever spot one at a garden center, grab it immediately! I promise it won't be there the next day. Look for Little Ollie® Dwarf Olive, Lavender, and Little Ragu® Sweet Bay. These are my favorite hostess gifts." Up to 8' tall and wide in the landscape. Zones 8-11.

Nuccio's Bella 
Rossa Camellia

"This year I'm ordering my mom a Nuccio's Bella Rossa Camellia from our holiday shop! It has an abundance of gorgeous 4" crimson red blooms that bloom over a long period of time. They are the gift that will keep giving. I cannot wait to surprise her and have it arrive on her doorstep." Up to 8' tall and wide. Zones 8-10.

Emily's October Plant Picks

Emily loves to get creative with plants, and this is the perfect time to experiment with colors and unexpected autumn combos. We asked Emily about ways to transform the porch for Halloween, plants that look great with pumpkins, and fun ways to bring the garden to life during the increasing darkness of the season. 

Angel Wings® 

"Make your garden come alive after dark with a moon garden! Imagine enjoying your garden at night without flooding your yard with artificial light. Moon gardens include plants with white flowers and silver or variegated foliage, like Angel Wings® Senecio." Up to 16" tall and wide.  Zones 8-11.

Royal Hawaiian® Black 
Coral Elephant Ear

"When you think of Halloween, you most likely think of the color black. Black plants? Yes, they exist and they are gorgeous! Look at the striking jet-black foliage of our Royal Hawaiian® Black Coral Elephant Ear." Up to 4' tall and wide. Zones 7-10.

Silver Anouk 
Spanish Lavender

"The best designs also include some fragrant plants, like our Silver Anouk Spanish Lavender. Not only will its stunning silver foliage stand out, but you'll also enjoy its fragrance into the evening. It's especially great along pathways." Up to 30" tall and wide. Zones 6-10. 

Emily's September Plant Picks

This month, Emily is getting ready for the changing seasons by turning to her favorite indoor plants to create a relaxing retreat indoors.


"Our calathea has to be one of the most beautiful low-light plants around, with a gorgeous green pattern on top and a deep burgundy underneath -- and pet parents can relax, too, since it's non-toxic to dogs and cats." Up to 2' tall. 

Lucky Dark 
ZZ Plant

"Want to look like you have a green thumb all year round? It's so easy with our Lucky Dark ZZ Plant. Its gorgeous shiny green foliage makes it a no-fuss standout." Up to 3' tall and wide. 


"The look of the moment is definitely PINK! Have you seen our Triostar Stromanthe? With bright, bold pink, cream, and white stripes, Eco-leadership Barbie would be proud to add this to her home." Up to 3' tall, 2' wide.

Emily's August Plant Picks

This month, Emily is choosing her favorite plants to bring a tropical, vacation-like vibe to the garden. 

Bird of 

"How can you not love Bird of Paradise? Beautiful tropical colorful blooms that are easy to care for? Yes, please! They also hold a special place in my heart because my dad loved them." Up to 5' tall and wide. Zones 9-11.

Jazzy Jewel® 
Amber Hibiscus

"Hibiscus flowers are a must for bringing Aloha vibes home. I'm in love with Jazzy Jewel® Amber Hibiscus. Why? This beauty thrives in full sun, has blooms on blooms on blooms, and that color!" Up to 5' tall and wide in landscape where hardy. Zones 9-11. 

Shell Ginger

"Have you seen our Variegated Shell Ginger? G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S! Large drooping clusters of white and pink shell-like flowers are sweetly fragrant to wrap you in all the wonderful sensations of being on vacation." Up to 7' tall, 4' wide. Zones 8-11.

Emily's June Plant Picks

This June, she shares her picks for a garden abundant in life, beauty, and fresh, homegrown harvests. Embracing the trend toward mixing fruiting, pollinator-friendly, and ornamental plants in a lush melding of layers that extends to overhead vines like grapes (The Zestful™ Series is one that works well in her warm-climate garden), Emily suggests these plants for your garden of abundance:

Brown Turkey

"This edible plant is easier to grow than most people think. The figs are DELICIOUS! Aside from full sun, they only require light annual pruning." Up to 25' tall and wide. Zones 7-9.

Black-Eyed Susan

"All our black-eyed susans are really attention-getting pollinator-friendly perennials, with MASSES of golden yellow flowers that are show-stopping and pollinators LOVE!" 26" high, 24" wide. Zones 3-9. 

Bountiful Blue® 

"I love having these right outside my kitchen door. With the number of blueberries this beauty produces, this definitely gives you a bang for your buck! My friends and I have made so many pies with these sweet and juicy berries (get the recipe in the Blueberry Care Guide)."  Up to 4' tall and wide. Zones 6-10.

Emily's May Plant Picks

For Emily's first Mother's Day, she chose plants that are perfect gifts for all the mothers out there. 

Keiko™ (Adored) 
Itoh Peony

"Peonies are the perfect gift for new mothers. They're what I would want for my first Mother's Day. They look delicate but are surprisingly hardy. I call them a legacy gift because they can live up to 100 years!" Up to 20" tall and wide. Zones 4-8. 

Double Peony

"Give peonies as a special gift to your mom to thank her. They're so breathtakingly beautiful and special. Their blooms can grow up to 10" wide, pollinators love them, and they are truly showstoppers." Up to 2' tall, 3' wide. Zones 4-8.

First Love
Gardenia (Grafted)

"Gardenias are my nostalgic pick in honor of my own mother. They have always been her favorite. I can't walk past one without thinking of her. I love them planted in a spot you spend lots of time in or by a window, open to let in the fragrance." Up to 8' tall, 6' wide. Zones 8-11.

Emily's April Plant Picks

In April, Emily chose "small wonder" plants perfect for compact places, plus colorful, easy-care flowers. 

Strawberry Shake™ 

"As a Zone 10er, I can only DREAM of filling my landscape with these gorgeous clouds of Strawberry Shake Hydrangea. These beauties have sturdy stems, long-lasting blooms and thrive in Zones 4-8." Up to 5' tall, 4' wide.

Lemon Puff™ 
Shasta Daisy

"Incredibly flower power! A profusion of delightful double flowers with soft yellow petals and darker golden yellow centers. Bees and butterflies love and will thank you for including these in your landscape." Up to 18" tall, 22" wide. Zones 4-9.

Halo Sky Blue 
Perennial Violet

Do you remember the rude violet in Alice in Wonderland? Well, the Halo Sky Blue Perennial Violet couldn't be more different. Sweet, tiny, yet mighty. With its heart-shaped foliage, you'll love its heat tolerance and how long-lasting it is in your garden. Up to 10" tall, 12" wide. Zones 5-9.

Photo by Ball Horticulture. 

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2023-06-26 21:31:00