Did the recent nursery expeditions described in yesterday's post, Spring Wanderlust-Part 1, put an end to my plant shopaholism? I had thought they had when I attended the South Coast Botanic Garden's Spring Plant Sale this past weekend. I didn't plan to buy anything but I thought my friend would like the sale, which features reasonably priced plants grown by volunteers working for the botanic garden, as well a few local nurseries and the Palos Verdes Nature Conservancy. As a member, I can get into the sale before it opens to the public and I receive a discount on my purchases.
|The tables weren't as crowded with plants as was the case with the fall sale but there was still a lot available|
|Some of the native plants offered by the Palos Verdes Nature Conservancy|
|One of the many displays stocked by local nurseries|
However, just as an alcoholic is advised not to visit bars, a plant-a-holic should avoid plant sales.
|3 of the 4 plants I took home: Salvia discolor (which I'd sought unsuccessfully last year), Melianthus major, and Scabiosa ochroleuca (Not shown: Agave vilmoriniana, purchased in a 3-gallon pot for $12!)|
After lunch, my friend and I visited Rancho Los Alamitos in Long Beach. Denise of A Growing Obsession wrote about her visit a couple of months back and my friend and I been talking of going there ever since we read her post. The well-tended home and garden, built in the 1800s, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The area was originally settled by the Tongva tribe of Native Americans around 500AD. Interestingly, the Rancho now sits in the middle of a gated community of homes.
|Houses across the street from Rancho Los Alamitos|
There were almost as many docents as visitors when we visited but we took off on a self-guided tour of the 7-acre property.
|Lady Banks rose espaliered along entrance to the rose garden|
|Formal rose garden|
|I think this area is was identified as the Oleander Walk|
|Bad photo of butterfly (Mourning Cloak?) on Echium - there were dozens of these butterflies flitting throughout the garden|
|This was called the Friendly Garden|
|Very large, and presumably very old, California pepper tree|
|Jacaranda Walk long the tennis court - unfortunately, the Jacarandas won't be in bloom for awhile longer yet|
|Entry into the cactus garden, which covered a large area of the estate|
|View of 2 large Moreton Bay fig trees outside the house's screened patio|
|Massive roots that characterize Moreton Bay figs|
|Front of the house leading to the central courtyard|
|Plaque outside what I believe was referred to as the "secret garden"|
|Old farm equipment|
|Crow fountain on sale at gift shop|
I have to say that I really liked the crow fountain in the photograph above but it did not come home with me. However, we had a nice chat with the docent running the shop.
Rancho Los Alamitos, only about 30 minutes from my home by freeway is definitely worth a return visit.