Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Really, I can't help myself...

My name is Kris and I'm an addict.  I'm addicted to plants.  I see all those holes left in my garden after that horrific heatwave in June and I start itching.  I pay a visit to a garden center - or two or three.  Just to look, you understand.  After all, one should plan ahead.  I fully intend to hold off on planting until the weather is more hospitable.  Okay, maybe I'll buy a succulent - or two.  After all, they can handle the hot, dry conditions of summer here in SoCal.  Actually, it's been a lot cooler of late but, yes, I know it's supposed to be a tough summer.  Then, lo and behold, there's a plant I haven't been able to find in a size or at a price that makes it absolutely irresistible - do I pass it by with the vague hope that it might be available in the fall?  That seems foolish, doesn't it?  I should be able to give a few new plants the care and attention they need to get through summer, right?  As long as I don't go crazy.

I met a friend for lunch in Newport Beach last week.  As the restaurant was less than a mile from Roger's Gardens in Corona Del Mar, it seemed silly not to take advantage of the opportunity to pop in there and have a look around.  The garden center itself was relatively quiet, although there was a lot of construction activity on the new restaurant that's being built in the back.

The Farmhouse is scheduled to open in August


The medians in the parking lot have been replanted since the last time I was there.



The vertical planter at the entrance has been replanted too.



The demonstration bed just inside the entrance was roughly the same, although I think it had been embellished with Celosia 'Intenz' since my last visit.



I admired a beautiful bromeliad in a hanging planter.



There were lots of succulents in 6-packs.  A great buy, I made a note to purchase some.



I grabbed a few 6-packs of succulents and 3 Yucca desmetiana 'Blue Boy' before rushing off to meet my friend for lunch but, when another friend paid me a visit on Sunday, we returned to Roger's.  I thought I might get just one or two things I'd left behind during my earlier visit.

Some of the things I deliberated over on my first visit included, clockwise from the upper left: Agave xylongacantha, Clerodendrum ugandense, Gomphrena 'Balboa', and the dwarf Jacaranda (still a pricey $100)


Choice as these plants were, I didn't pick up any of them on my return visit.  That's evidence of some will power, isn't it?  Please enjoy the lovely hanging begonia and ignore that cart in the background.  Okay, I did fall off the wagon but it was just a few plants.  Really - just a few.



And look here: I got this wonderful photo of a butterfly!

The Monarch butterfly is my Wednesday Vignette.  Visit Anna at Flutter & Hum to find images that caught the attention of other gardeners this week.



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

28 comments:

  1. Very funny. I ... um, too, .... have to confess. I bought some mail order herbs and chard starts and ordered some squash and container bean seeds. After all, there are at least three months of hot weather left, isn't there?

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    1. Hopefully, your seedlings will enjoy a comfortable start before the heat ramps up again, Jane. I'm going to pull out umbrellas and shade covers the next time the heat soars like it did on the first day of summer.

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  2. Love it, Kris! I'm about to succumb to temptation and visit a nursery I discovered last winter - maybe some yuccas or agaves...?? I did pick up some tiny cacti just before the weather got intolerable, and they're doing fine in pots on the patio, so that means I have plenty of leeway, right? ;-) I love that succulent wall! You and Loree have me thinking about vertical plantings now! And I've not seen Agave xylongacantha - it could certainly go on a wish list!

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    1. I just noticed that Plant Lust lists the variegated Agave xylongacantha as "heat tolerant" but, as is the case with "drought tolerant," I suspect one person's definition may not be the same as another's. Still, we all have to test our boundaries as gardeners, don't we?!

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  3. I suppose one of the advantages of a temperate climate is the ability to plant year round. The budget never gets any respite though, especially this weekend when I came home with ten. My position is always that if I find a good source of plants I make the most of it. Out here in the back of beyond such places are few and far between.

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    1. I hope your new additions settle happily into your garden, Jessica. I expect that I have access to many more nurseries and garden centers year-round than you do but unfortunately none of them stock all the plants I'd like at the optimal time for planting here, which is the fall. In fact, the pickings can be downright paltry at that time of year.

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  4. You know what they say, the first step is admitting you have a problem.

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    1. I'm still very good at rationalizing my behavior...

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  5. I say just enjoy yourself! That is a beautiful hanging begonia. Have never seen anything like it. Would imagine it likes water.

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    1. I love begonias but I've given up trying to grow them at my current location, Susie. Roger's gets more benefit from the westerly sea breezes than our property (on the "wrong" side of the peninsula by my husband's estimation) and I don't have either the shade or the water to keep begonias happy even during a relatively mild summer.

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  6. Glad to say we're part of your group!

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    1. There are worse addictions, that's for sure!

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  7. the Clerodendron is a beauty (but remember the ugandense - mine is very happy in afternoon shade and almost didn't survive in Porterville, despite being in the shade of two huge ash trees)
    I wouldn't describe that plant as waterwise, or happy in sun.

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    1. The Clerodendrum is a sentimental favorite but I haven't succeeded in growing it since I lived in Santa Monica, CA, which has very mild summer temperatures. It is a gorgeous thing, though.

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  8. You know you're confessing to a bunch of enablers, right? So good job, we would expect nothing less!

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    1. Yes, I look to my enablers to assuage my guilt over planting when I know I really shouldn't!

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  9. I think you set a shining example for me, by not buying all those other plants on your second visit. I probably would have gotten them all the first time! Oh, to be able to grow Jacaranda trees! I experience the same buyers remorse when I find myself back at home with all these plants that don't get planted for weeks - sometimes months. By the time they finally find a home, their appearance is usually a mere shadow of their former selves. Sigh... But, as you pointed out - there are worse addictions out there.

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    1. I keep telling myself that I must never buy anything more than I can get into the ground within a day or 2 of purchase. That would be a great constraint on my buying - if I paid any more attention to that rule of thumb than the one about never planting anything in summer!

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  10. Beautiful shot of the butterfly! How could you resist those Agaves? I would have been tempted. They would probably survive any more heat waves, right?

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    1. That agave had a really big price tag and, as I had no place in mind for it, I let myself get distracted by other plants I hadn't seen during my first round of shopping.

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  11. Yah, but what plants did you get? Don't tease.

    Lovely butterfly shot!

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    1. I planned to post a follow-up with photos of my summer purchases - but I thought I'd better get them in the ground before I start flaunting their photos. I'm about half-way there.

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  12. Last time I was there, I took photos of that begonia too. It is so hard not to plant through summer, isn't it? And like you say, when you find sought-after plants, they've got to be snapped up at that moment. I just planted a couple German statice, Limonium latifolium, I stumbled across locally. The cooler weather is cooperating, but still summer planting is high-risk behavior!

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    1. The return of cooler temperatures (and the morning marine layer) has been wonderful, hasn't it? I know I'm tempting fate. I thought of filling the empty areas left by the killer heatwave with temporary pots as those can at least be moved into the shade but I didn't listen to the sensible voice in my head. I've never grown the German statice - I like the fine texture of the flowers.

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  13. You say it like it's a bad thing. You go gardener! Handing money over to our dealers (I mean plant purveyors) is how we get green thumbs, right? Looks like you got a nice haul but it's hard to tell what's in your cart in that shot. Hiding something?

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    1. As you found, the plants I was hiding showed up in my next post.

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  14. You've lots of company in P.A. I expect. But what a healthy addiction. ;-)

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    1. As addictions go, gardening is a healthy choice (for everything except perhaps my pocketbook).

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