Sandy’s Garden Nursery has all you need for fall planting season


The weather is cooling off and winter is approaching, but few realize that autumn is an ideal time for planting several types of vegetation.

Ungelbah Daniel-Davila News-Bulletin photo: Sandy’s Garden Nursery in Los Lunas is an “oxygen factory.” Pictured, from left, are office manager Angelica Munoz, owners Sandy and George Chandraan, and plant specialist Larry Sanchez.

Bulbs, shrubs, trees and cool weather veggies are only some of the plants that can go into the ground now and all of them and more can be found at Los Chavez’s newest greenhouse, Sandy’s Garden Nursery.

Owners George Chandran, a retired physician, and his daughter, Sandy Chandran, opened the nursery in April out of a pure love of plants. At 4883 N.M. 314, the business is in the same location as the former Native Sun Nursery, which Dr. Chandran, an Albuquerque resident, says he was fond of shopping at for their own garden.

When the business closed, he said he was at first disappointed and then realized it could be a great opportunity for he and his daughter, both avid plant lovers.

“Sandy loves plants and flowers,” said Dr. Chandran. “And I always wanted to have something for her to do with interest.”

Sandy says her favorite varieties of plants include orchids, roses and pink and yellow lilies.

“Ever since she was little, she used to have books and books of flowers, looking at them endlessly,” says Dr. Chandran with a chuckle. “I thought it would be a good line for her to do. Me and Sandy, we just love Mother Earth, plants and greenery.”

He says the first thing he did after buying the nursery property was plant about 40 shade trees for the ambiance and because they make an “oxygen factory.”

Larry Sanchez, who teaches special education at Dennis Chavez Elementary School and worked at Morning Star Nursery in Belen for 10 years, is the go-to guy and plant specialist at Sandy’s.

He says Sandy’s stands out from the “big box” nurseries through their expertise in growing.

“We try to do as much organics as we can. Right now in the fall this is the best time for planting trees and shrubs,” Sanchez said. “That’s kind of what we’re hitting now because of the root system, you want to get the root system going.”

He says the reason fall is the time to plant trees rather than spring is because they are able to put their energy toward establishing their roots rather than making leaves, flowering and trying to produce fruit as well.

“We brought in a whole complete line of fruit trees for the fall, landscaping shrubs, pansies, asters, and of course we’ll carry bulbs,” he says.

Sanchez and Sandy agree that the “personal care” at the nursery make it a special place.

“We care about our plants, we care about what we do, we have the expertise to help people find out, if there’s something we don’t know we’re willing to go the extra mile to find out for them,” said Sanchez. “We give honest advice.”

Dr. Chandran says as soon as he discovered Sanchez has 10 years of experience working in a nursery, he asked him to come help them out.

“He knows the people and we are not here to try to sell something and make some money, we are here to make them buy what they really want to buy to make their house or yard happy for them,” says the doctor, adding that when Sanchez joined the team he also brought a wealth of books to help all the employees continue learning about the plants.

“We created a tiny library here.”

The nursery’s fall hours through the end of October are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.

For more information, the nursery can be reached at 850-8546.

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