Saturday, August 8, 2015

Just looking...

After lunch with friends this week, I decided to stop in at a local garden center I hadn't visited in years, International Garden Center.  Not to shop, mind you.  Just to look around.  A while back, Denise of A Growing Obsession had remarked that International was carrying a good supply of plants from Annie's Annuals & Perennials, one of my favorite mail-order nurseries so I thought I'd check it out.



The place was bigger than I remembered.

The first thing I noticed was all the statues

Frankly, these 2 gave me the creeps but I suspect they've been hanging around the garden center for a long time

There were lots of fountains too (3 more Buddhas can be seen surrounding the middle fountain)

There were water lilies - in bloom!

And this wonderful fuzzy chicken (she had fuzzy feet too)

And the largest staghorn fern I've ever seen

And lots of succulents, of course


There were a few things that tempted me.

Agave parrasana 'Fireball' (which I've never seen before), Protea cynaroides 'Mini King', and Leucadendron 'Jester' (I have one but I think I may "need" more)

But the Annie's display was disappointing.



I left without anything and headed down Sepulveda Boulevard.   Another garden center I hadn't visited in months, Deep Roots, was just a couple of miles away on the same street.  It seemed silly not to stop.



It was well-stocked and everything was in pristine condition.

A Grevillea tree (G. robusta maybe?)

The intersection of the shade and succulent areas is always interesting

As is the area at the other end of the garden center with all the Australian and Mediterranean plants

There was a lot to tempt me here too.

Clockwise from top left: That Agave parrasana again!, Amaranthus tricolor, Colletia paradoxa (on my wish list but too expensive in a 3-gallon pot), a variegated Cordyline, Grevillea 'Superb' (now available in 1-gallon pots!), and Protea cynaroides

I don't usually go ga-ga over cycads but this Dioon was breathtaking

The UCLA/Bruins vs USC Trojan pots made me laugh (I never realized there might be a driving force behind my tendency to select pots in the color of my grad school alma mater))


But I headed back to my car without removing my wallet from my purse.

I took note of this impressive vertical garden display as I headed out


On my way home, after stopping by the supermarket, I passed Armstrong Garden Center and decided that, while I was on a roll, I'd stop in there too, just to see what's up.  They often have container sales in late summer and I wanted to see if they had any deals.

My local Armstrong (part of a chain) recently redid the landscaping around its front entrance in a more xeric style.



They've also moved their succulents displays up front.



They expanded the rest of their drought tolerant selections some time ago but they've recently restocked all their tables.

I noted that, now that I'm no longer looking for Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt' in 1-gallon containers, they're now carrying them but they made up for it by having Grevillea 'Pink Midget' in stock, which I've coveted since visiting the Australian Natives Nursery earlier this year

The wallet did come out this time.  After all, I had a $25 good customer credit available to me and, as a member of the local botanic garden, I get a discount on my purchases.  There were no containers on sale but I did get 2 Grevillea 'Pink Midget', some thyme, and a few succulents.

I replanted one of my succulent pots this afternoon.  It hadn't been touched in 4 years so it needed a refresh.

It's looking much better with a new Manfreda, Sedum, Graptosedum, and Echeveria (plus Senecio snipped from elsewhere in my garden)


Best wishes for a wonderful weekend.


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

30 comments:

  1. I've got a tiny Fireball, great to see what it will eventually look like :)

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    1. I'm already regretting passing up that agave even through it was a) expensive and b) I'm not sure where I'd put it.

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  2. Oh thank god, third stop is the charm.

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    1. You were thinking maybe I'd turned over a new leaf, were you?

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  3. I am not surprised that the table holding the plants from Annie's was disappointing. None of the stuff I bought from them earlier this year survived. The plants were born and bred by the bay and could not adapt to the hotter, drier climate of inland southern California even though I chose plants supposed to be OK here.

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    1. Annie's plant description do include a lot of hyperbole, Jane, so one does have to be careful but I've been satisfied more often than not. I like that the plants are offered in small-sized pots but those pots also require more watering in the garden center, which may explain the poor condition in which I found them at this particular location. While the plants in larger pots were generally in good shape, that wasn't true of all those in the 4 and 6-inch pots.

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  4. I would have been taken in by the clay pot display under the vertical garden.

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    1. I liked the way those clay pots looked under that vertical garden too, Jean. All in all, it's a very nice - and very well maintained - garden center.

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  5. Water lilies are stunning. I have one in my pond but it flowered for a very short time. I haven't looked anywhre for more info about it, but it may be the case for water lilies.
    Still pretty though :)

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    1. The water lilies were gorgeous, Aga. Sadly, given our water restrictions, a water lily pond will not be something I ever envision adding to my garden.

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  6. I love that spotty Manfreda in your last shot. I have actually had days where I walked into several nurseries and left without buying anything. Like with you, it doesn't last long. It's always nice to be able to shop somewhere that you will get a discount. I am still regretting never having gotten to any nurseries while we were down there. Next time!

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    1. I always seem to have difficulty leaving either a garden center or a book store without buying something...

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  7. I laughed when I saw the title of this post. I was certain you would not return empty-handed, but I began to doubt as I continued to read the post. Never fear! At last your wallet came out for good cause. I do love your pot makeover.

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    1. I've become very predictable, haven't I? Oh well, at least I've shifted from pouring money into clothes to pouring money into my garden.

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  8. Aren't pot do-overs fun! Tweak this, add that, and boom! Impact achieved.

    I'll add my relief to Danger Garden's.... I was starting to run down the list of possibilities that might keep you from buying any new plants - head injury, amnesia, held at gunpoint, alien takeover...

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    1. Through my rounds of the first 2 garden centers, I kept my latest mantra ("No more planting until fall") going. Apparently, mantras lose their power if they're overused.

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  9. I've been lusting after Agave parrasana 'Fireball' but every time I see one, in shocked by how expensive they still are.

    Gotta look into that Grevillea 'Pink Midget' you got. Acacia 'Cousin Itt' has been a disappointment for me.

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    1. 'Fireball' was in 1-gallon containers at both garden centers but priced at around $40 in each case. I'm going to try looking a little father afield to see if I can find it at a more reasonable price. Finding G. 'Pink Midget' at my local garden center was a huge surprise. As for A. 'Cousin Itt', the last few I got are taking their own sweet time to get established and I have to keep reminding myself that was also true in the case of the first 3 plants I got - it was a good 2 years before they took off (and they do like at least 1/2 day shade).

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  10. For a minute there I thought you were going to come home empty- handed. I was beginning to worry about you.
    I just googled Grevillea ' Pink Midget' - what a gem!

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    1. A momentary lapse on my part. I'm still tempted to go back for that agave - acquiring succulents at this time of year doesn't pose the risk faced with other plants (or so I tell myself).

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  11. I know not how you were able to resist at the first 2 stops Kris. Personally, I'd have bought for buying's sake.
    You made wise purchases and the pot looks great.

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    1. If either of those first 2 garden centers had a sale or discount on, I'm sure I would have caved in earlier in my trek, Angie. That $25 credit and the standing discount at the third place loosens my wallet at the slightest provocation.

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  12. Bona-fide shopping discipline there--you are stronger than I. 'Pink Midget' sounds great.

    I did indulge in a 'Fireball' a few weeks back, but justified it by getting one that had three offsets.

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    1. I'd never seen 'Fireball' before so I was surprised to find it at 2 locations in a row. At $40 a pop, though, I felt I needed to deliberate some (i.e. I need to at least identify a place to put it worthy of the price).

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  13. I just noticed a pup on my 'Fireball' that I should pot up for you. The Annie's selections at all the various local nurseries that offer her plants are thin now in August. Things should look better in fall. I've waited for 'Cousin Itt' in gallons too, and did find some, but still a little pricey. Maybe in fall if they're still around I'll grab one. It'll probably go in a container where they seem to get enormous.

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    1. Oh, Denise, you're too good! I almost ordered from Annie's on-line during the last 15%-off sale but I figured it would be money wasted at this time of year. I'm still trying to stick to succulent purchases - I like to think of the G. 'Pink Midget' purchase as an momentary aberration. The 1-gallon 'Cousins' seemed to be roughly 1/2 the price of last year's larger containers but, yes, still a bit pricey on average.

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  14. I don't think I would have been able to go to 3 nurseries and only pick from the last...I do admire your discipline!

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    1. Some of the other commentators don't seem to have the same high opinion of my self-discipline that you do, Matt!

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  15. Up this way, I've only seen 'Cousin Itt' in gallons, nothing larger. You exercised such control visiting three nurseries and only allowing the wallet out at one. The authorities are watching and considering whether or not this will lead to a demerit on your plant addict card.

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    1. I expect I'll more than make up for my temporary transgression this fall when weather conditions are more hospitable to planting. Right now, the plants are just struggling to survive.

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