Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Garden Show Plant Shopping

This past weekend I attended the yearly Spring Garden Show held at a prominent Orange County shopping mall.  I reported on the display gardens here.  Whereas in the past I was able to draw some ideas from these displays to apply in my own garden, that hasn't been true recently.  Disappointed in the displays, I was nonetheless able to find solace in shopping for plants and related items on the top 2 levels of the mall.  Some vendors I enjoyed seeing in prior years were missing (there were no rusty welded metal items to admire!) but I still came away with a lighter pocketbook.

As the event is held a few weeks prior to Mother's Day (observed in the US on the second Sunday in May), there were lots of items designed for presentation as gifts, including more fairy garden displays than you could count, African violets, terrariums, and orchids of all kinds, shapes and sizes.  In fact, orchids occupied roughly half the space on the third floor of this mall.






I was more interested in the landscape plants and succulents.

This vendor always has a nice selection - I was tempted by the Cordyline 'Cha Cha' but picked up something else

More from the same vendor

A nice selection of Japanese maples from Essence of the Tree

I didn't even bother to look at the price - I just walked on

The cut Iris were designed to tempt one into buying the bloom-less potted Iris

A few vendors carried Pelargoniums but I didn't see anything I had to have

There were LOTS of succulent vendors

This one offered potted collections, as well as individual plants, but I don't know if he was serious about selling the pots - this one was priced at $485


I meant to go back for this Crassula 'Red Pagoda' and forgot!



There were lots of specialty items as well.

This vendor offered exotic seeds like these Dipterocapus alatus - most of his stock was apparently held up by the US Department of Agriculture

Rooted Epiphyllum (orchid cactus) was available - having failed with an unrooted leaf, I was tempted but passed the chance up this year

Epiphytes were everywhere - some in trays like these and others in hanging arrangements I found impossible to photograph

There were lots of Plumeria cutiings to choose from - some people in my area grow these trees successfully but I've failed to do so twice

This vendor had tropical seedlings for sale - I bought a Leucospermum cutting here last year but it failed to thrive



There were more vendors selling pottery this year than in years past.

These pots were designed for succulents and cactus

I loved these pots, which ranged in price from $25-$125



I've always liked these turned wood pots but the prices ($350+) put them out of my range



Needless to say, I didn't go away empty handed.  Here's what I hauled home:

Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream'

Miltassia Shelob 'Tolkein'

Close-up of the orchid's flowers

Euphorbia spiralis Crest, Gasteria x Aloe, and Crassula caput minima

One small pot




I'd like to say that this latest expedition extinguished my spring shopping fever - but that would be a lie.

14 comments:

  1. Well you came home with some amazing plants. I would never have guessed that that was a Euphorbia. The orchid is amazing, I have never seen it before. And what a gorgeous pot!

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    1. I saw the Euphorbia in an expensive pot of mixed succulents and was intrigued by it so I was gratified to find it on sale in a small pot. Now I just have to find the right setting for it...

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  2. Some interesting pottery there, and that Milltasia, wow!!

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    1. Miltassia is a hybrid of Brassavola and Miltonia orchids, both of which I like, so it was kismet to find it.

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  3. You got yourself some nice plants, the orchid looks amazing and I wouldn't know that it is an orchid if you didn't mention it. I also like the pots. I could easily find some plants to fill the up, and not only plants ;)

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    1. I'm slowly accumulating a little orchid collection in my home office - it could become an addiction if I'm not careful.

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  4. I think most people would stop to look at that display with the salvias, with those colors. I love the orchid you brought home. So striking!

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    1. The vendor with the Salvias and other perennials and shrubs always does a nice job with presentation. He drew me into the display - and I came out with that Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream.'

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  5. You got some great stuff at the show! I wish the Epiphyllum vendor would come to the Seattle show. I love these and would certainly fall for even more of them in person! Your orchid is spectacular!

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    1. Every year, Peter, I admire the full-grown, flowering Epiphyllum but, at $75 a pot, I just haven't been able to bring myself to buy one. I blew it with an unrooted cutting a few years ago but the rooted cuttings were new this year and I should have invested in one - they take years to grow to flowering size.

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  6. What an interesting sale, and I mean that in both a good way and a bad. Glad you found a couple of new treasures...

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    1. As the show/sale is situated in a high-end mall, I think there's a tendency to emphasize flashy merchandise rather than items that might appeal more pointedly to gung-ho gardeners, Loree. At one time, there were a lot more plant merchants but, sadly, the focus has slowly shifted.

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  7. That succulent seascape would be amazing, but not for $485. Yikes! I love the pottery and the tillandsias. I had a Miltassia 'Shelob Tolkien', but it just didn't have enough interest out of bloom for me to keep it and my year in North Carolina was very hard on it, so with some regret I discarded it.

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    1. The price tag on that succulent container led me to think the vendor didn't want to sell it, Evan - the succulents were nice but there's no way the cost of putting the pot together was anywhere close to a third of that price, even if he paid top dollar for the container.

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