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4010 Mt Diablo Blvd.
Lafayette, CA, 94549

Located in the Bay Area, CA, we're a family-owned garden center offering unusual and hard-to-find plants & gifts. Established 1946.

Life is Beautiful Blog

Meet The Queen Of The Pond, Shelly The Turtle!

Blaire Benson

Shelly came to live at the nursery in 1999. Barb, who used to work in the florist, had become a school teacher and was given Shelly as a classroom pet by one of her student’s parents. She had been originally found wandering in a median on a busy boulevard in Fremont. In the classroom, Shelly spent most of her days hanging out in a bathtub. When summer came along, Barb had trouble finding a family that would take her over the long break. We happily said we’d take care of her and set her up in her very own bathtub in Collector’s Corner. Once summer ended, Barb couldn’t bear to take her from her new happy home. We decided to keep her and made the pond her permanent habitat. 

Shelly is a red-eared slider, native to the bayou regions of the south. Upon arrival, Shelly was nameless. Thanks to our most witty employee, Dave Barnett, she was dubbed “Shelly.” She dines better than most of us: fork-fed smoked salmon, shrimp and the occasional strip of turkey bacon.

If you’ve been around Orchard, you’ve noticed her winter habitat we’ve constructed. Our pond isn’t deep enough for her hibernation, as she likes water above 50°F. You’ll still see her wading in the pond on any given day; she enjoys soaking up the sun and practicing yoga on the rocks. Sit near the pond and she’ll swim over and say hello. She loves the attention and is truly the diva of the pond! Just remember to protect your fingers or she’ll try them out for a nibble.

To the best of our knowledge, Shelly will be turning 50 this year! Come by and give the queen of the pond your regards!