Saturday, January 9, 2016

In search of plants...

I've got lots of empty garden space but not the plants to fill it.  The available supply of garden-eligible plants in my local garden centers was reduced during the holidays as stock was pushed aside to make room for Christmas trees, poinsettias and other holiday decorations.  Since New Year's Day, I've visited 4 garden centers but the stock remains very limited.  With rain predicted this evening, I made a trek to Roger's Gardens this morning with a gift card burning a hole in my pocket.

As I was by myself, I took the time to check out the plant displays, starting with the ornamental grass and succulent garden that sits at the corner of the property along the street.  I've visited several times since its installation, usually with friends, but we've never hiked up to the front of the property to check it out.  With time to spare, I did so today.

This display garden sits at the intersection of 2 very busy streets

A gazebo serves as the focal point

Ornamental grasses and succulents are the mainstays of this display

Tall pine trees bordering the nursery's property provide a backdrop

Drought tolerant Arctotis was used liberally to add color

The orange red of the Aloes, many of which are coming into bloom, echo the color of the Arctotis, as well as the foliage color of some of the succulents, like the Kalanchoe shown here

Succulents in baskets add interest to the gazebo


Here's a look at some of the individual plants featured in the area:

My best guesses on plant IDs, clockwise from upper left: A mix of ornamental grasses (no ID), Agave attenuata, Agave 'Blue Flame', Aloe (no ID), Aloe dorotheae, Cordyline 'Electric Flash', Grevillea lanigera, Hesperaloe parviflora, Lomandra longifolia, and Opuntia (maybe santarita)


On my way to and from the corner garden, I took note of the plants along the sidewalks and the parking lot as well.

I was struck by how good Westringia fruticosa 'Morning Light' looked (shown in the 2 photos in the top row above) and I'm now considering adding some of these to the areas left bare by removal of 2 large Ceanothus along a slope in my own garden.  I think the plants used along the "parkway" (not actually open to parked cars) on the bottom left may be Chondropetalum tectorum and Aloe 'Rooikappie'.  The Grevillea on the bottom right (maybe G. 'Scarlet Sprite') was used effectively en masse and should be spectacular when in full bloom.

3 vignettes in the parking area


There was plenty to see in the front entry of the nursery area as well.

I'm a sucker for rusty metal things so I loved the displays at the front entry (top row, above).  Kids were still enjoying the model train display (bottom. left).  White and blue flowering plants were on center stage around the fountain (bottom, right).


The succulents on display in the sales areas also drew my attention.



While more well-stocked than the 3 garden centers I visited earlier, the plant stock at Roger's was more limited than usual, or so it seemed to me.  Pots, prices discounted, occupied prime plant space.



I wondered if Rogers was clearing stock prior to taking annual inventory, or if the construction at the back of the property was squeezing the area available for plants.

A restaurant is going in at the back of Roger's property, scheduled to open sometime this spring.  I have mixed feelings about this but, as land values are at a premium in SoCal, especially along the coast, a restaurant is certainly one way to maximize the value of this property.  The executive chef previously ran a restaurant I loved back when I worked in Irvine so I'm looking forward to eating there - as long as it doesn't unduly encroach on the plant inventory.


Plant stock may be low simply because the nurseries and garden centers are planning for light traffic during the heavy rain expected to accompany El Nino.  Despite the relatively light inventory of plants, I still managed to exhaust the credit available on my gift card and then some.  Here's what I came home with:

I brought home an Acanthus mollis, 2 Dianella tasmanica 'Yellow Stripe', several ornamental grasses (Seslaria 'Greenlee's Hybrid', Festuca californica, and Festuca glauca), more Gazania, Limonium perezii, Kalanchoe orgyalis, Cotyledon orbiculata, Coprosma 'Rainbow Surprise',  Tanacetum niveum, Aeonium 'Kiwi' and a Helichrysum I can't ecall the name of


But I'm still thinking of what I left behind.

Echeveria agavoides 'Vashon' and Protea cynaroides 'Mini King'


Maybe I'll get back next month.  There's still a lot on my wish list to fill in the vacancies left as as a result of removing my remaining lawn this past fall.  Planting what I've already bought is on hold for the time being anyway.  The ground is too wet to plant now.  It hasn't dried out from the rain we got earlier in the week, approximately 1.25 inches in my location.  We got a tiny bit more late this afternoon (less than 1/10th of an inch) but next week should be mostly dry before the rains return (hopefully) the following week.


All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

28 comments:

  1. Gosh, I always want to visit Rodger's Gardens Nursery, but never seem to make it there. Glad you did! Thanks for the tour, this nursery is truly inspiring. I think you got a very nice selection of plants, I like especially the Dianella tasmanica 'Yellow Stripe'.
    We got a lot of rain here in San Diego where I live, maybe 5 inch or even more over the last couple of days and I am so happy about that. Of course, in an ideal world the ground would dry off now and then we get the next batch of rain. I would love to get out in the garden tomorrow. The roses are waiting to be pruned...
    Wishing you a lovely Sunday!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. That Dianella was a great find! I'd intended to buy 3 but, with a pup poking through the drainage hole of one pot, I figure I should be able to divide it easily. You definitely need to visit Roger's at some point, Christina - it really is an experience and there are other things you may enjoy in the area that might make the trip worthwhile, like the nearby Sherman Library and Gardens.

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  2. Nice haul! That Dianella is gorgeous...now get yourself back there and buy the Protea!

    And I have to laugh at your saying the ground is too wet with 1.25" of rain. Up here that's prime planting weather.

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    1. I'm already going a little stir-crazy, Loree, so I'll keep your view in mind and get back to planting soon!

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  3. Rodger's looks like a nice place to visit. Personally I am not one for visiting restaurants/eateries in such places as I much prefer to spend the cash on plants rather than the often over priced snacks. Perhaps they are not like that where you are Kris and you get a decent bit of grub for a fair price.
    Nice choice of plants and always best to leave something behind, no better an excuse to go back again.

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    1. Oh, if the chef's prior restaurant is any indication, Angie, the food is NOT going to be inexpensive.

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  4. Wonderful! I haven't been visiting any nurseries lately, so its nice to experience them through you instead. And now I'm adding Roger's to the list for later!

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    1. I call Roger's the Disneyland of garden centers, Renee. If you're in the area, you should visit. I'd recommend that you wait until they restock, though.

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  5. I hate when that happens! I'm usually primed and ready to go in early spring WAAAY before the nurseries have stock on hand. I'm glad you found some plants to bring home.

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    1. Down this way, we can garden year round so I tend to expect to find that garden centers well-stocked at all times. I may not be remembering prior years as well as I think I am, but the shelves seem barer this year. That perception may simply be a reflection of my desire to get on with the work in my garden, a response to the El Nino forecasts, or perhaps a combination of the 2.

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  6. just planted 2 Limonium perezii - they nicely fit my blue and white theme.

    Most of our nurseries come with an attached restaurant / coffee shop - and I guess that helps to keep the business viable. Also a huge 'gift' shop, which I have less sympathy for.

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    1. I picked up what we call a "6-pack" (plugs) of the Limonium, Diana. It's one of my go-to plants as well. The attached restaurant is a not unheard of here but it's also not common; however, if it keeps this independent nursery solvent in a very high-priced real estate market, it's okay with me.

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  7. I checked out Rogers recently too, and came home with a 50 percent off concrete pot and a Leucadendron galpinii to go with it. I love when Rogers does those big landscape installations like the new one at the intersection and has lots of leftover plants for sale. I grabbed one of the leftover African spear lilies seen in your top photo (Doryanthes palmeri). I noticed how good those westringia looked on the slope, when other plants were struggling to cope with the free drainage (some had died). We should meet up there in a month or so when hopefully new inventory arrives.

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    1. I'm up for a meet-up when it works for you, Denise! Rogers does have a great selection of plants (although I do wish they's sell more in 1-gallon and smaller sizes). I had low expectations when I arrived but once I found the Seslaria (I cleaned out their inventory there), I was on a roll!

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  8. Well, a favorite nursery in downtown Birmingham has a new restaurant being built next to it! This must be a trend. The restaurant will have outdoor seating with views of the prettiest part of the nursery. I think both establishments will benefit from each other. The nursery you visited looks like one that would quickly drain my bank account.

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    1. This restaurant, which I think is to be called the Farmhouse at Roger's Gardens, looks as though it will have ample outdoor seating as well. Roger's prices are nominally higher than those of my local garden center (where I also get 10% off based on my local botanic garden membership) but they generally have a more extensive selection. I try to be selective about what I buy there. And I'm in their preferred customer program, which provides a credit applicable to purchase every 3-4 months.

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  9. I love buying plants. :o) I'm so glad you have nice, moist soil to pop these babies into.

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    1. The rain makes everything a bit better, Tammy!

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  10. I think January is limbo for nursery stock. I can't wait to see nursery tables bursting with newly arrived plants.

    Still, you walked away with a nice haul.

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    1. I may be deluding myself, Gerhard, but I don't remember the garden centers here being quite this empty of stock in January in the last few years. Of course, temperatures here aren't usually quite as cold as they've been of late and I suspect the specter of El Nino is a factor.

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  11. Nice shopping. Glad you found some good stuff for your empty spots. Hopefully they get some new stock in a few weeks--they were thin on plants, that's for sure, except lots of roses.

    I love that installation they did out front. So much better than the old lawn. They did a great job.

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    1. I made myself ignore the roses, Hoover Boo, but I was surprised that I found as much as I did. I would have bought more Seslaria if they'd had more in stock.

      I'm glad I took the time to check out the installation on the corner - there are lots of ideas there I can use.

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  12. Their planting is quite good, especially with the swathe of grasses that looks very airy. Nice haul!

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    1. I was impressed by the grasses too. I wish I knew which was what - except for the Lomandra, which isn't actually a grass, I was unfamiliar with the rest, although the short grass in front of the Lomandra might have been Seslaria or possibly Carex.

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  13. I love all those Aloes! I want to plant some, but I'm finding myself muddled with all the choices - and the fact that the box stores (where I impulse buy!) usually offer little but aloe vera. Your foliage choices are wonderful - as always! And that Echeveria agavoides must have been (nearly) irresistable!

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    1. I'd have thought that more aloe would be available in your area but maybe they're less cold tolerant than I realized. That Echeveria was expensive! Even marked down, I think it was $25 for a 1-gallon pot.

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  14. I would love to come with you on a nursery jaunt Kris. You always have such fun. I like your selection of plants. I love those olive green pots with the succulents in.

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    1. Anytime you're in the region, you let me know Chloris, and I'll gladly give you the grand tour, complete with running commentary!

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