No, I don't have a drinking problem but I have to accept that I am a plantaholic. After our early heatwaves and notice of the new water restrictions to take effect in June, I told myself that I needed to forego any new planting until fall. Then a friend and I arranged a trip to Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
in early May. The botanic garden has a native plant nursery on-site so I picked up a few things. I told myself I was just doing my part to support the botanic garden. However, on our way to lunch afterwards, we stopped off at the Terra Sol Garden Center
My friend swears that she and I've been there before but I've no recollection of this whatsoever. It's not a huge place but it was full of succulents, pottery and spring bloomers.
|Some of the succulents and cacti on display|
|I have a soft spot for gargoyles, as well as cats and pigs, but I didn't feel compelled to buy any pottery|
|I didn't buy any bronze Gazania, even though they came with free bees|
Maybe it was that I was lightheaded because we hadn't yet had lunch. Maybe it was the unseasonably cool weather, or the fact that we'd had some rain and had reason to believe more might be more on the way. Maybe it was that I'd already slipped up with my purchases at the botanic garden, or that I was surrounded by eager plant buyers. In any case, when I saw the huge flowers on Gazania 'Sunbathers Otomi,' my will-power slipped away entirely.
I left the garden center with 3 Gazania 'Sunbathers Otomi,'
3 Agastache 'Sunset,'
and a Cuphea
. There may have been more. It's all a blur.
We stopped for lunch in Carpinteria on our way back south. Then my friend asked if I wanted to drop in at Seaside Gardens
given that it was only a stone's throw away. On this occasion, I didn't stroll Seaside's wonderful demonstration garden. I didn't even take out my camera. I shopped the sale tables. They had Anagallis 'Wildcat Mandarin,'
which I've never found anywhere else. The plants I'd over-wintered from the prior year had been hit hard by our March heatwaves so it seemed a good idea to pick up a few more. Why I also picked up a Westringia fruticosa 'Morning Light'
I'm not sure. There may have been a couple more things - I'm afraid I don't have a clear recollection.
As we neared my friend's home, we felt we had to stop at Sperling Nursery
. After all, the property is for sale. It could be my last opportunity to take advantage of their excellent selection of plants. My friend picked up a Salvia leucantha
with gray foliage and bright pink flowers we'd never seen before, labeled 'Danielle's Dream.'
There was one more on the table, not yet blooming, but how could I leave it behind? Yes, of course, I picked up a few more things - after all, I already had a cart to carry 'Danielle.'
My local botanic garden hosted a show and sale by the South Coast Geranium Society the following weekend. My friend had been looking for some Geranium 'Rozanne'
so I felt I should stop by on her behalf as the botanic garden is so close. They didn't have 'Rozanne'
(or any true geraniums) but they had some interesting Pelargoniums
at very reasonable prices. And Pelargoniums
are drought tolerant. I brought a few home.
Last weekend, I decided to stop by Roger's Garden
in Orange County to hear a presentation on Mediterranean plants. Roger's is easily a 2-hour round trip for me so it just made good sense to have a thorough look around while I was there.
|This is the updated succulent demonstration bed near the front of the property, which you can contrast with the garden as it appeared in February below|
|For reference: My photos of the same demonstration bed in February|
|There were lots of other succulents on display too|
|Massed planting of Aeonium on view in the back parking lot|
|This passionflower vine wasn't for sale but it was worth admiring|
|From the left: Monrovia's new dwarf Jacaranda 'Blue Bonsai,' too pricey for my blood at $99, Mahonia 'Lionel Fortescue,' and purple Cotinus|
|Left to right: Roger's offering of plants grown by Annie's Annuals & Perennials, a vertical garden constructed using wooly pockets, and decorative pots|
As some of the plants in my front beds were struggling, I thought I'd look for Artemisia
to replace them, since those should be able to handle whatever summer throws at them. I also thought I'd look for Eustoma grandiflorum 'Borealis Blue'
as the plants I'd over-wintered weren't doing as well as I'd like and I hadn't found double-flowered blue Eustoma anywhere else this spring. I found both. You'd be amazed if I'd stopped with those purchases, wouldn't you? I didn't. My birthday is coming up, and birthdays are a good excuse to break one's rules. No, I didn't take a photo of the trunk of my car as I've done in the past. That would only have made me feel guilty. But here are pictures of a selection of my new acquisitions from the various sources I've described.
|Clockwise from top left: Gazania 'Sunbathers Otomi,' Agastache 'Summer Glow,' Aloe dorotheae, Anagallis 'Wildcat Mandarin,' Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Arizona Apricot,' Geum quellyon 'Blazing Sunset,' Pelargonium 'Rembrandt,' and Salvia vasquezii|
|Left to right: Astelia 'Silver Shadow,' Salvia leucantha 'Danielle's Dream,' and Vaccinium ovatum, a California native|
In my defense, I bought a lot of plants in inexpensive 6-packs, including those shown below:
|I added small rooted segments of Aeonium 'Kiwi' in the dry garden to extend the massed planting of this Aeonium I've already established. The plants on the right, Calecephalus brownii (top) and Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi variegata 'Tricolor' (bottom) are new to me.|
I've also been planting a lot of cuttings this season.
|I've added Aeonium cuttings to an area left bare after the sudden demise of a large section of my Ceanothus hedge (with a goal of creating a mass of Aeoniums akin to those I saw at Roger's) and variegated Aptenia cordifolia cuttings to another area bordering my vegetable garden|
I even have seedlings that have, thus far, survived the scourge of raccoons which continue to visit me on a regular basis.
|Sprouted sunflower seeds and the first flowers on my Nasturtium seedlings|
Yes, I admit I have a problem but I really think I've just about got it under control...
All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party