Fall is widely regarded as the best time to plant in Southern California, although you wouldn't necessarily realize that scanning the stock available in local nurseries and garden centers. Daytime temperatures are generally cooler and there's a promise of winter rain, both of which help plants get established. I admit that I go a little crazy with plant shopping at this time of year and, despite periodic spates of ridiculously hot fall weather here and gloomy forecasts of low winter rainfall, this year has been no exception. I've already featured the results of some of my plant shopping expeditions (see here
) but there have been more so I thought I'd give you a peek at some of my other recent purchases.
I'd mentioned that I was considering a smoke bush for a difficult area on the south side of the garden, partially shaded by a large Arbutus 'Marina'
. I found one last month. Although it wasn't in perfect condition when I bought it, it seems to be settling into its spot just fine so far.
|Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' is planted in the bed formerly occupied by a very large Eucalyptus (removed in 2013). The debris around the plant consists of small prickly bits left over from a light pruning I gave our citrus trees, which I've strewn here in another possibly futile effort to deter the raccoons from digging.|
I also picked up a Duranta erecta
for the partial sun area behind the street-side hedge.
|The tag on Duranta erecta 'Lime' (aka 'Gold Mound') says it won't grow taller or wider than 2 feet. Of course, I believed a similar tag on the specimen on the right. Planted several years ago, it's now close to 6 feet tall.|
The Grevillea 'Scarlet Sprite'
I added to my dry garden last year has done well so I decided to add 2 more plants.
|I could only find 'Scarlet Sprite' in large (3-gallon) containers but eventually caved and bought them anyway. At least the 2 new plants shouldn't take too long to catch up in size with the the original plant (shown in the rear of the photo on the right).|
The local botanic garden held another of its special fall plant sales, which a friend and I attended the weekend before last. She left empty-handed but I did not.
|I picked up an unusual trailing Salvia, S. cacaliifolia (aka Guatemalan Leaf Sage). It has ivy-like leaves, no odor, and isn't sticky. It also needs regular water so it went into a large pot to be watered by hand.|
|I also picked up this Agave 'Kissho Kan' at a very reasonable price. The variegation isn't as pronounced as most I've seen but it's still a handsome agave.|
On our way home, my friend and I stopped in at a clearance sale held at a small local nursery and I came away with yet another agave.
|This agave wasn't labeled and 2 larger specimens of what appeared to be the same species had different labels. The nursery owner thought it is Agave angustifolia 'Marginata' but I think it may be the variegated form of Agave tequiliana, in which case it'll get too big for its current spot in my garden. |
Late last week, I made a trip to a nursery in Huntington Beach in search of a Mahonia
for the vacant spot in the area recently cleared of a dying hedge. I left with the Mahonia
and 2 other plants.
|I've wanted a dwarf Jacaranda 'Blue Bonsai' since the plant became widely available last year but I waited to see if the price would come down. It didn't but I caved. I didn't get it planted before Sunday's rain but hope to get it in place next weekend.|
|I picked up this Leucadendron salignum 'Summer Red' to add some height and softer texture to the succulent garden on the south side of the house.|
|And here's Mahonia x media 'Charity'. I'd scoured the nursery in a fruitless search for Mahonias, only to have a huge display of these plants set up in the front parking lot pointed out to me as I was checking out with my other purchases. They were on sale for half-price too.|
Is that all, you ask? Nope. Plants also arrived by mail! The first delivery was a complete surprise.
|I received a box containing 8 bulbils from Pam Penick's famous Moby, a massive Agave ovatifolia that bloomed earlier this year. Six of these tiny plants will be passed along to other local bloggers at a meet-up we have planned in early December and 2 will be planted out in my garden when they gain some size. Moby's progeny have been widely distributed - he's taking over the country, one garden at a time.|
I received advance notice of the second delivery. Loree of danger garden
contacted me on election night to say she had a Tetrapanax papyrifer
seedling if I wanted it. The offer, which I gratefully accepted, was the only bright spot in what proved to be a very depressing evening. Her package arrived this week.
|Loree packaged the seedling with expert care and it arrived in perfect condition. I've tucked the seedling into a pot out of the wind that can buffet plants here while it gains some size.|
So, is that it? No, but this post is long enough so it will do for now. For those of you in the US, Happy Thanksgiving!
All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party