Friday, June 19, 2015

On the road again (!)

Okay, I now admit that my announced intention not to plant anything more from May until fall was a delusion.  My friends and family knew that from the outset but they nodded patiently in response to my pronouncements and said nothing.  Even after I'd fallen off the wagon once, my friends only smiled when, upon receiving two nursery gift cards for my birthday, I declared that I'd hold onto them until September.  When one friend asked me what I wanted to do for a belated birthday celebration last weekend, I proposed visiting a nursery recommended by a neighbor earlier this year - only in the interest of research, of course.  My friend suggested that we stop by a couple other Orange Country nurseries while we were out.  It was like putting a cake in front of a dieter.  Fortunately, we called it a day after visiting just two nurseries - one of my gift cards is still intact.

Our first stop was the new-to-me Village Nursery in Huntington Beach.  It caters to landscapers but it's open to retail traffic as well.  The sign at the front gate gave us a moment's pause.



The vine hanging over the cashier's office and the container section also seemed a trifle ominous.

I meant to ask what this plant was before we left but I neglected to do so

I didn't notice the plants it seemed to swallow up, pots and all, until I looked at my photos on-line


I decided I really didn't need any new pots and focused on the plants.  The grounds weren't fancy but the nursery was well-stocked.  All the major growers were represented.

Monrovia had its own section right up front

As did Sunset

I became preoccupied with Coprosmas of all types for awhile but I eventually broke free of their spell (left to right: C. 'Marble King', C. 'Pina Colada' and C. 'Roy's Red')

There was a large selection of true Geraniums (in addition to Pelargoniums)

And Grevilleas

And Phormium


There were plants I've never seen before.

Like this dwarf Bougainvillea called 'Sunvillea Rose'


And plants I'm still thinking about (for my fall planting scheme).

On the left, more of the dwarf Jacaranda 'Blue Bonsai
On the top right: Grevillea 'Austraflora Fanfare' (is it supposed to have that wonderful variegated foliage?) and Alstroemeria 'Inticancha Bryce'
Right, bottom row: Leucadendron galpinii and Eremophila hygrophana

I don't "need" more Agapanthus but look at that dark-flowered variety! (no ID)


In an exercise of extreme restraint, I left with only two plants.

A variegated Caryopteris (without a tag) and Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Crazy Blue'


I'd like to say that I was as restrained when we arrived at Roger's Gardens but that would be untruthful.  I did start off just taking photos.

Succulent bed adjacent to the parking lot

A wonderful vertical display containing Acanthus, bromeliads, ferns and ivy

A collection of dahlias, including some of the huge "dinner-plate" varieties

Succulents in pots, baskets, drift wood and rock


But look at all the succulents in 6-packs.  No other garden center in my area provides such a range of inexpensive options.



So I got a cart.  In addition to the 6-packs of succulents, I picked up some Salvias.

Salvia 'Love & Wishes' and S. pachyphylla

Poof!  There went the gift card (and then some).  I did leave some choice plants behind, though.  Maybe they'll still be available this fall.

Clockwise from the left: Raphiolepis indica 'Fiesta', Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga and Sanvitalia 'Sunbini'


Best wishes for a wonderful weekend.


All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

36 comments:

  1. I wouldn't mind visiting those nurseries myself. What fun to see those special sections of Monrovia and Sunset plants. I want to go back in time to when I lived 6 years in Orange County. Did they look so wonderful then? Why was I not tempted to buy those plants? The plant selection was clearly different in the 80s.

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    1. My experience with the OC garden centers only dates back to about 2000, when I was working out that way and quickly got hooked on Roger's Gardens. I can tell you that its stock has changed dramatically just in those 15 years. While they still carry thirsty temperamental plants, they've made a conscious shift to emphasize "California friendly" plants in the last several years.

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  2. I want to visit Roger's so much! It looks like the coolest place. I'm still buying plants, but I haven't actually planted any. I really should get a few in the ground soon.

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    1. Next time you're down this way, Alison, I'll personally escort you to Roger's. I expect you'd really like OC Succulents, just 15-20 minutes away in Irvine, too.

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  3. Both nurseries look like they have a great variety of plants! I'd love to peruse the grevilleas at Village Nursery, and there's a dark grey geranium in the photo of their respective section that looks interesting. I'm still buying plants, but my main project requires moving plants, too, so I've been waiting to plant. It's harder on plants that have been in the ground to be moved in the early heat we've had, though I know it's nothing compared to your temperatures. I suppose I could be planting in the empty bed, especially now that we have a waterline out to it, but the other project has occupied most of my thoughts.

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    1. I spent the morning moving plants myself, Evan, but they were succulents so the risk is lower, even with temperatures in the high 80s this weekend. Best wishes with your ongoing project!

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  4. Lots to admire, even their potted plant display looks good!

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    1. Roger's does an excellent job with potted plants - they seem to have a crew out back dedicated to putting those together. They're beautiful - but pricey!

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  5. Visiting nurseries, buying plants, it's the best way to celebrate a birthday - in my opinion. (and happy late birthday!)

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    1. Thanks, Loree. It is my favorite way to celebrate. (And spousal rebukes of any kind are off-limits too, which is also a plus.)

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  6. You showed admirable restraint. It would be one thing if you weren't taking such wonderful care of all your plants but the photos of your spaces prove you aren't just good at plant shopping - you follow that up with thoughtful placement and proper attention after the sale. Besides - succulents in six packs - what gardener could resist!?!

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    1. The succulent 6-packs are genius, especially as succulents are so easy to propagate here. Once my garden renovations are done (an unlikely prospect but it's a goal), maybe I'll start selling my own 6-packs of succulents from the driveway. (I can only imagine what the difficult neighbor up the street would say about that!)

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  7. I think that sign on the gate of the first place you visited should have perhaps read Enter and shop at your bank account's risk :)
    I just knew you'd break your vow Kris. That's not a criticism - I'm quite addicted to visiting nurseries and GCs too!
    Nice wee selection you bought. Happy Belated Birthday wishes x

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    1. Thanks, Angie. I can only imagine that Village Nurseries must have been sued by someone and felt the need to protect itself. The grounds were rough (at least by comparison to the more Disneyland-like grounds of Roger's) and we've got a very litigious society.

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  8. My rationalization sounds like this: "I need to get as much planted as possible before it gets to be 100+ every day", knowing full-well that could be tomorrow so I technically should have stopped buying/planting last month. ;-)

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    1. That's a rationale I should adopt too. It used to be that our weather was reliably temperate through May (at least that's how I remember things) but now we can get heatwaves even in "winter." Last year they hit particularly hard in May but this year they came earlier still - in March.

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  9. It's fantastic to see the range of succulents in six-packs. I wish they'd do that here as well! Some of those plants that are available are new to me. I really like the dwarf varieties of Jacaranda and Bougainvillea (although neither of them would survive my winters!)

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    1. Both the dwarf Jacaranda and the dwarf Bougainvillea are new introductions so they may pop up in your garden centers too one day; however, that Jacaranda is way too expensive to treat as an annual!

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  10. I's nice to see an option in OC besides Rogers and Armstrongs--Village nursery looks like a great place to visit especially if you are doing a large project-no wonder it caters to the landscape trade ! I hereby support your inability to stop buying plants. I bought 4 on Wednesday and one this morning at the farmers market. I have an appointment with the hell strip !

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    1. I'm trying to focus on my street-side succulent bed now - at least those plants can tolerate the heat and stingy watering. I look forward to seeing photos of the improved hell-strip!

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  11. What are you doing to me....? I've managed to avoid picking up Eremophila hygrophana the last two times I've been shopping, but I'm not sure how much longer I can hold out. That cool blue and silver looks sooo good. I think it would be insane to try planting anything right now (and I might have heat stroke trying), but I'm already holding a couple of plants I couldn't leave behind... They're doing fine waiting in their little pots. Good thing your friend waited until your resistance wore down ;-)

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    1. If that Eremophila had been in a smaller pot (1-gallon instead of 3), I might have gone ahead but waiting until fall is the best thing (for both us and the plants).

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  12. It has to be done Kris. We've just uncovered an old rockery I wasn't expecting at all. It's completely turned on the head my plans for what to put there. Mike's first reaction was "I suppose we'll be visiting a nursery then".

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    1. A new planting area - how exciting! With your cooler summer temperatures and the addition of some rain, I trust that your new purchases will make a smooth transition to their new space, Jessica.

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  13. Hahaha, that picture of the out-of-control creeping plant with the plants on top of it is bizarre! Did someone throw them up there? So many questions

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    1. That plant was a bit scary even before I saw the pots up there. I walked a safe distance away - immediately.

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  14. Oh and a belated happy birthday! :)

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  15. I can understand the sign at the entrance of the nursery. It would be a warning sign for me for sure. Lovely selection of plants.

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    1. The warning worked, Aga - I didn't spend as much as I normally would.

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  16. I've risked my wallet at Village several times! I feel a trip in the near future may be inevitable, after seeing your photos. May I blame you? ;^)

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    1. Certainly, you may! I hope you find something you "need."

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  17. July is bringing temps in the 90s...the party is almost over, Kris (and I don't mean just the birthday party.) Happy belated birthday!

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    1. Summer is indeed off to a warm start. I wouldn't mind it if only it didn't regularly overstay its welcome.

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  18. Great post -- I need to visit this nursery. That Salvia pachyphylla...! I would have been tempted to buy a dozen.

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    1. That Salvia did reach out and grab me. I brought 3 home and, so far, they're doing well, at least by comparison to the Achillea I brought home during the same trip.

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