Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Nursery hopping in San Diego County

A friend and I made the rounds of 6 nurseries in San Diego County on Saturday.  As all were relatively small and freeway close, it wasn't as daunting a trip as it might seem.  There are some larger, inland nurseries we'd like to see but we left those for another day.

Our first stop was Shore Gardens in San Clemente, selected mainly to provide us an opportunity to stop and stretch our legs after more than an hour on the road.  It appeared to cater to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood, offering a general range of plants but, as proved characteristic of all our stops, there was a good selection of drought tolerant plants, as well as some of the tropical plants you expect to find along the coast.






I didn't buy anything, although I did give a moment's thought to purchasing this, thinking that maybe the neighborhood raccoons would respect the newcomer's territorial rights:




Our next stop was Barrels & Branches in Encinitas.  Another general garden center, it specializes in selling barrels (for planting and water storage), as well as plants.  A large area was dedicated to succulents and other drought tolerant plants.  I heard the owner tell another visitor that she was making the garden available for special events, like weddings, too.




This beautiful variegated agave wasn't identified

But this one was: Agave celsii


The garden mascot (picture taken by my friend)


I took home a few plants but nothing unusual.

My purchases included 3 Lomandra 'Breeze,' obtained at a good price and 1 Pentas lanceolata (not shown)



We hit another nursery, Cordova, on our way to lunch.  It specialized in succulents, pottery, garden furniture and indoor plants.  The small succulents were very well priced and we spent quite awhile reviewing the large range of varieties available.





Cordova also had a greeter, a 31 year old female parrot named "Paco" who called hello but otherwise refused to speak



I left there with a dozen small succulents, already planted in my street-side succulent border, and an Anigozanthos, sold for a very reasonable price.

After lunch, we visited Solana Succulents, which is owned and operated by Jeff Moore, an expert in the creation of undersea-style succulent gardens and the author of a new book entitled "Under the Spell of Succulents."  You can find an article on him, written by Debra Lee Baldwin, herself an author of a few books on succulents, here.  His nursery requires exploration, as plants are crammed in everywhere.  Many were unlabeled but he was happy to identify them when asked.





Solana also had a mascot, Lucy - my friend captured this photo of her front half

But I got my own photo of her back half



Of course, I bought a few things at Solana Succulents, including Moore's new book.  The following plants came home with me:

Moore wasn't positive of the ID on this agave but he thinks it's A. applanata

This one is Dyckia marnier-lapostellii

And this one, which I've already planted in my street-side border, is Senecio amaniensis



From Solana Succulents, we headed back north, stopping at Glorious Gardens in Encinitas.  This is a retail off-shoot of a landscaping business run by 2 women.  The retail store is very small but was packed with interesting plants and decorative items.

The truck at the front of the store has a driver in seasonally appropriate attire

The store includes a miniature art gallery

I believe these photographs were taken by one of the owners

An interesting take on a plant hanger





Constrained by my checkbook and the space in my friend's car, I took home just one plant from Glorious Gardens but it's one I've been looking for:

Furcraea foetida 'Mediopicta' - the agave look-alike was in a one-gallon pot for $18 so how could I pass it up? 


There was a wholesale succulent seller next door to Glorious so we popped in there before heading home.  If the seller's establishment had a name, I didn't see it.  Advertised as a veteran-owned business, the owner and his 2 dogs were very low-key.  He checked a reference list to identify the plants he sold me.

The plant on the right is Kalanchoe orgyalis (aka copper spoons) but the seller identified the plant on the left as Echeveria pulv-oliver but I don't think that's correct as it doesn't have fuzzy leaves - can anyone identify it for me?



That was it for our trip to San Diego.  My friend is already planning our next expedition, however, I'd like to get what I've already purchased planted and complete my preparation of the new planting areas at the front of the house first.  Still, there's a fall plant sale at the local South Coast Botanic Garden this weekend that I don't intend to miss...


All material © 2012-2014 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

22 comments:

  1. Six nurseries in one trip, sounds really fine and you've found some cool things there (wouldn't mind one of those monkeys for ourselves)! Very nice haul and that Furcraea is going to look even more spectacular in just a few years.

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    1. I've never grown Furcraea and have been looking for a variegated one for a long while. I came across one large specimen in a local nursery but it had a $150 price tag!

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  2. I love days like that and you came away with a good haul. Not sure about the raccoon. It looks a bit on the sleepy side to me!

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    1. Yes, I decided that that sweet-faced raccoon wasn't likely to scare away any of the real ones, which look more like aggressive thugs.

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  3. Hi Kris, visiting six nurseries would be total overkill for me, but I truly enjoyed reading your summery, which is more digestible for me ;-)! Out of the six nurseries I only have visited Solana Succulents myself and was quite impressed. 'Dyckia marnier-lapostellii' is a totally fascinating plant, glad that you got it! Wishing you a nice rest of the week!
    Christina

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    1. All the nurseries were small and near the freeway corridor so it was do-able! I just planted that Dyckia and when, watering it in, found it takes on a delicious purplish and silver hue when wet.

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  4. I'm so glad you got a Furcraea, it's a plant I love but have horrible luck with (I think I've tried 3). The unidentified striped agave is (I believe) Agave americana ‘striata’...a beautiful specimen too.

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    1. Furcraea is new to me. Fingers are crossed.

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  5. Many exciting plants and nurseries you visited.
    Beautiful parrot!
    I have one called Harry.
    Best regards
    Mariana

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    1. We enjoyed the parrot and all the garden "mascots" we came across that day, Mariana.

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  6. What a fun nursery hopping marathon! I would love to have one of those colorful monkeys! I might try a Furcraea some day. Good luck with yours.

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    1. I didn't even look at the price on those monkeys, Alison - I knew it would be out of sight.

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  7. Shopping for plants with a friend, what could be better. Hardly any nurseries sell succulents here but I have heard of one that isn't too far away. I'll go in spring as not all are winter hardy here and spring planting may be better for them. I really like the colour and form of copper spoons.

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    1. Succulents have exploded here, Christina. I can't think of a single nursery nearby that doesn't offer a large selection and there are more and more that specialize in them. Their suitability to our climate, though, is a key factor in their increased popularity here. Good luck in finding the Kalanchoe!

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  8. Sounds like a fun way t spend the day. Totally agreeing with rusty duck. That raccoon was all kinds of dodgy. ;)

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    1. The raccoon was also a fraction of the size of the real thing - my neighborhood raccoons could probably toss it aside with ease.

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  9. This is my favourite sort of day, going on a nursery crawl with gardening friends. What an interesting trip you had, and great nurseries. I love all your succulents and I was interested to see that Fucraea. I didn' t know you could get variegated ones.

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    1. This Furcraea has beautiful variegation, Chloris. I just hope I don't kill it!

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  10. Great road trip report, Kris. I'm wondering how much that celsii was...mine looks like it's going to bloom and will be sorely missed. One of our fall projects was setting up our rain barrel storage system, but we've lost the urgency now that the dry weather looks interminable. I'm trying out a few Lomandra 'Breeze' this year too -- so many echoes from your post!

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    1. The A. celsii, like a lot of the plants at this nursery, had badly faded tags so I can't say how it was priced - most prices seemed moderate, albeit not bargains. I need more rain barrels too but loading one into my friend's car wasn't an option. Re the Lomandra, I expect you'll like it - it's done well for me in several locations.

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  11. You have nice nurseries within driving distance, with nice collections of succulents!

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    1. Succulents have become VERY popular here, sweetbay. While they were once uncommon, now every nursery and garden center seems to have a plentiful selection.

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