Friday, October 21, 2016

Fall Plant Shopping

Fall is unequivocally the best time to plant in Southern California.  It's also the time of year I spend the most time plant shopping.  The weekend before last, a friend and I hit 4 nurseries/garden centers on Saturday and a sale at my local botanic garden on Sunday.  This post provides a rundown of our expedition.

Our first stop was Australian Native Plant Nursery in Casitas Springs.  It was late morning when we arrived but already very hot.  The sun was high so my few photos are sun-drenched.

From left to right: Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset' (I think), a beautiful if chlorotic Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream', and the nursery's goodwill ambassador, Wallaby


Before heading back to the freeway, we dropped in at Ventura Cactus & Succulents.

The nursery had a wide selection of plants, a portion of of which can be seen on the left, most unfortunately unlabeled.  The plants on the right were part of displays.


After lunch in Carpinteria, we spent a little time perusing Porch, a retail store offering nature-inspired goods for indoor and outdoor settings.



From there, we headed to Seaside Gardens, also in Carpinteria.  Seaside is one of my favorite nurseries.  In addition to a fabulous collection of plants, they have an extensive demonstration garden featuring mature specimens of many of the plants they sell.  I took fewer photos than usual because the sunlight was intense but you can find photos of a previous fall trip to Seaside here.

View of the pond with a mass of pink and white Japanese anemones visible in the distance

The grassland area

Clockwise from the left: Russelia equisetiformis, which I don't think I've even seen not in bloom at Seaside; another view of the Japanese anemones; Gaura lindheimeri gone wild; a Banksia; and a beautiful silver shrub/tree for which I have no ID


Our final stop before heading homeward was Terra Sol in Goleta.

Clockwise from the upper left: Piper auritum (aka Mexican pepperleaf), which I wish I'd bought; Aloe polyphylla, which I may buy someday if it ever comes down in price; Echinocactus grusonii, which IS coming down in price; a pretty orange mum; a flowering Tillandsia; and Halloween-themed pottery


The next day we headed to the South Coast Botanic Garden, which is about 5 miles from my home.  The botanic garden has discontinued its annual fall plant sale in favor of smaller "shop local" events.  After checking out the plants for sale, we did an abbreviated walk through the garden.

More Japanese anemones here surrounding a tree-like Senna, possibly S. bicapsularis

Dracaena draco (aka dragon tree), shown here with close-ups of the  developing berries and bark

From the left: A monarch butterfly enjoying Salvia leucantha, a clump of Agave 'Blue Glow', and a sprawling mass of asters of some kind

A tree I can't identify in full flower


So what did I bring home?  I featured my succulent plant purchases in an earlier post but here are the rest:

Grevillea sericea (left), purchased from Australian Native Plant Nursery, and Echium handiense, purchased from the South Coast Botanic Garden

Clockwise from the top left: Crowea 'Parry's Hybrid', Leonotis leonurus, Leucadendron salignum 'Blush', and Trichostema 'Midnight Magic' (all except the Crowea add to specimens of species I already have growing in my garden)


After getting some rain earlier this week, the Santa Ana winds turned the heat up again here but temperatures are expected to drop once more this weekend.  I'm already anticipating another plant shopping run.  How about you?  Have you picked up any new plants?


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

30 comments:

  1. Wow, that was an epic buying spree. You have access to so many great places!

    Could the flowering tree be Ceiba speciosa?

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    1. I think that's exactly what it is! I remember seeing the cotton-like fluff earlier. I don't see the characteristic spikes on the trunk - I'll have to have a closer look the next time I'm at the garden. My parents had an immature tree in our backyard when I was small but my father took it down after a neighbor kid ran into it and got cut up.

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  2. Wow! How fabulous it must have been to see that enormous Aloe polyphylla. I have three tiny little ones, I can only hope some day they get that big. Plant buying expeditions with a friend are a lot of fun.

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    1. That Aloe at Terra Sol is fantastic - it's a perfect specimen. I've wanted one for a long time but even the relatively small plants I've seen here go for $50.

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  3. What an adventure! While I am excited about all of your purchases I was most thrilled to see that photo of Wallaby. The poor little guy had a run-in with a car right after we visited last December and it was touch and go for awhile. Good to see he's back to being a camera ham.

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    1. Wallaby is a sweetheart! On both of my last 2 visits, he's shown up within minutes of the time I walked in and plopped himself down, offering his stomach for a rub.

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  4. What fun with a plant shopping trip !!!
    It was a long time since I went ...
    Here it is also very dry.
    Mariana

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    1. Hopefully, you will get snow when winter comes, Mariana. Sweden without snow is impossible for me to imagine!

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  5. Kris, your garden shopping expedition sounds like so much fun. Wonderful to have such interesting and extensive nurseries nearby. I haven't invested in the garden much lately, but there is still time here to pick up a few things.

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    1. It's close to a 3-hour drive north from my house to Terra Sol, the farthest point north on our Saturday trip, which makes a long day but it's probably a good thing (for my pocketbook) that I can't drop in on those places every week.

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  6. Well, I had a good haul from a half price sale last weekend but my constant gripe is the scarcity of good nurseries around our neck of the woods. I wish I had your choice. You did well and what better way to spend a weekend.

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    1. I'm always envious of the bloggers in the Pacific Northwest, who seem to have fabulous nurseries on every other block, but, as you point out, everything is relative!

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  7. Oh, what fun! You have so many great nurseries to choose from, it seems. You've picked up some lovelies. I remember seeing Leonotis on my trip to Huntington and fell in love with it (and many other plants, of course).

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    1. I inherited one Leonotis with the garden but, trying to get beyond the "one-itis" problem, I picked up 2 more plants on this trip. Reasonably priced and as healthy as could be, I couldn't pass them up.

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  8. How great it would be to live within a reasonable drive to Seaside ! But how to navigate that damnable traffic ? I could see myself taking Sepulveda as far as I could without getting on the freeway. Probably not as practical a solution as it was in the late 60's !

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    1. Well, "reasonable" in this case means close to a 3-hour drive each way, at least for me but, luckily, I drive to my friend's place (1 hour) and she takes us the distance. I remember taking Sepulveda from the Valley to the west-side when I was a kid - it's a nicer drive than the freeway but takes longer and there isn't much of an alternative to the 101 from the Valley to Carpinteria.

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  9. Univ of California Riverside Botanic Garden has plant sales twice a year. List of plants published on the Friends of the Botanic
    Garden website prior to sale.

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    1. I'll have to check that out! Thanks for the heads-up.

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  10. Wow, Kris. There's hardly anything more fun than an epic plant shopping expedition. Love what you purchased. Fall is far-away mail-order time for me. I received a small order from Augi's bulbs in Lithuania this month and I am looking forward to receiving an order from Yuzawa Engei in Hokkaido in November! Fun, fun, fun in the mail.
    That's a wonderful Aloe polyphylla at the shop and it gives me hope seeing it in a container. I mail ordered a small one for cheap a couple of years ago and it has put on quite a bit of bulk, but it is still hard to see the spiral. The leaves look a little waterlogged, but it keeps growing and seems healthy. Fingers crossed!

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    1. You're clearly more adventuresome than I am with your mail orders, Tim! However, I did get some plants from High Country Gardens just this week and on-line shopping at Annie's has become a regular habit.

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    2. I received my first order from Annie's last week. Man, nobody does packing like they do. Shipping out my way from Annie's is fairly expensive. It's not unreasonable, but I always have to do the math and think about how many plants I could buy with those shipping charges! :) How were your plants from High Country Gardens? I used to order from them regularly, but was fairly disappointed in the years before they closed. I haven't ordered since they were bought and reopened, so I'm curious.

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    3. Annie's packing is the best I've seen too. They sell through a couple of SoCal garden centers I visit regularly and I buy through those outlets when I can but of course they don't offer the same range of choices.

      I think this is just the second time I ordered from High Country Gardens and probably the first since the turnover. The packing was good, although I thought the size of the box and the filler material was ridiculous for the 6 tiny plants I ordered - my impression was that they don't modify their boxes to fit the volume or size of the plants shipped. In retrospect, I felt that I probably should have looked into getting the plants through special orders with local retailers.

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  11. Ooh, all those lovely anemones! It looks like you've already gotten your newbies in the ground -- good for you! I still have some waiting...!
    I would also think the tree was a Ceiba, except for the lack of spines, but can't they lose the spines with age?

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    1. I was actually a bit shocked to see the masses of Japanese anemones at both Seaside and the botanic garden as I consider them relatively thirsty plants. I have vague recollections of hearing the same thing about the Ceiba's spikes.

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  12. Like Loree, I'm so glad to see little Wallaby looking relaxed and fit. And happy to see you're back in your element, road tripping for plants with the planting season ahead. Could that be a silk floss tree in bloom? I'm seeing them all over town. Ah, I see Gerhard has suggested the same.

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    1. I made another, more abbreviated, plant shopping trip on my own yesterday. Now, to get those purchases in the ground before any of that rain forecast for this week falls!

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  13. That sounds like a perfect weekend Kris. I'm trying to be restrained this year so only a couple of plants purchased this autumn - well so far :)

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    1. One day I too will learn restraint, Anna, but it's not going to be this year I don't expect.

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  14. So many plants I wish I could grow, Kris. Most especially that Russelia equisetiformis. Dang! I am plant shopping too and moving plants around. We've had record-breaking rains here but tomorrow is supposed to be decent so I'm going spend it getting dirty, again.

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    1. I spent time this past week getting ready to take advantage of the rain the forecasters were pretty sure was coming here, Grace. Sadly, it seems it's not going to reach my corner of SoCal. Barring a near-term miracle, I expect to be running the irrigation system tomorrow.

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