Wednesday, November 22, 2017

More plant shopping

Since the weather cooled at the end of October, I've been making up for lost time shopping for plants.  The weekend before last, a friend and I visited 3 garden centers in Santa Barbara County and last Friday I drove to Orange County to visit Roger's Gardens.  As I'd arranged to meet a friend down there for lunch, I didn't dilly-dally much with photos but I snapped a few things that caught my attention upon arrival.

This mass planting of the new-to-me hybrid Aloe 'Safari Sunrise' was stunning 

I was also impressed with the massed planting of Crassula multicava next to the Aloes.  I've planted nearly a dozen of these plants in my own garden but it never would have occurred to me to mass them like this.

I was tempted by this display of tiny barrel cacti (Echinocactus grusonii) in 4-inch pots.  I don't usually get excited about true cacti but these are one of the exceptions.  Mature specimens are usually very expensive.  These weren't expensive but, between having no idea where I would put them and the time I expected it would take for them to reach basketball size, I turned my back and moved on.

This is one of the best specimens of Cordyline 'Electric Flash' I've seen.  Bugs of some kind ate away at the roots of 2 smaller specimens I planted from 1-gallon containers a couple of years ago but I may try another in a pot one day.


Although Roger's opened its Christmas Boutique before Halloween, preparations for the event were still in full swing when I visited.

The succulent display in the demonstration garden near the front entrance (on the left, photographed in September) has been replaced by the usual toy holiday train display (current photograph on the right), although the train itself didn't appear until I was on my way to the check out area.

Baskets meant to conjure winter (despite the pleasantly warm weather) were in place

An area intended to display wreaths was under construction


But scarier than any of the Halloween decorations that Roger's had on display on my prior visit in September, including the avenging angel...



Was this sight:

The back lot filled with fresh Christmas trees


I didn't peruse the holiday displays.  I selected the plants I'd been looking for and several more I wasn't and high-tailed it to my lunch appointment.

More frightening still, I looked out my home office window Monday night and saw the first house in the area totally bedecked in lights.  How did Christmas sneak up on me yet again?!  Our temperature is expected to reach 90F today!  I haven't even thought about holiday greeting cards, presents, decorating or celebratory get-togethers.  I still have gardening to do!

Filling this basket, hung on a screen on our south side patio, was my primary objective in visiting Roger's.  It doesn't look like much yet but I'm hoping it'll be gorgeous by January.  It contains: Lotus berthelotii 'Amazon Sunset', red pansies, 3 Butterfly Amaryllis (Hippeastrum papilio), and rooting cuttings of Alternanthera 'Little Ruby'.  The bulbs are currently hidden behind the Lotus foliage, which should soon trail down to hide the basket.

Among other things, I also splurged on an Aloe 'Safari Sunrise', shown here in place in my south side succulent bed


I hope all of you in the US take time to thoroughly enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow before facing down the specter of the year-end holiday festivities.  Best wishes!


All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

20 comments:

  1. It occurred to me when reading this post that I don't recall seeing many container plants in your garden Kris - this crossed my mind when you mentioned not having a spot for a barrel cactus, and 'clay pot' popped right into my head. Since I have an insane number of container plants it made me wonder if you just don't blog about them or if there is no 'them' to blog about ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The last time I counted, I think I came up with over 80 pots so, yes, Kathy, I do have them, although I've whittled down those containing succulents a bit of late as I've shifted more of those to in-ground beds. You're right that I could plant the barrel cacti in a pot but it'd have to either be a big pot for plants that are currently small or I'd have to sign up for repotting them up at regular intervals. Even if Debra Lee Baldwin makes that look easy, I'm not sure it's something I want to commit to do. I'd rather plant them and leave them be!

      Delete
  2. Aloe 'Safari Sunrise' is stunning esp. en masse!
    90 in November - hard to imagine. ;)
    Enjoy your Thanksgiving, Kris!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 90F for Thanksgiving is not something I could have imagined either, Eliza. It's ridiculous and more than a little scary, especially as the rain originally forecast for November AND December is now gone from the extended calendar and even January shows barely over an inch. Another ridge of high pressure is resolutely holding the rain in the north from coming our way - again!

      Delete
  3. We hit 60F here today which is CRAZY, but not unwelcome by me. Sill it is still that I start to worry about sudden arctic weather. Nothing is as scary from a gardeners perspective to have not had a frost and suddenly it’s in the low 20’s.

    Oh and it’s not you! Christmas is not here yet! People need to calm the heck down and take one holiday at a time. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving Kris.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel similarly about the errant heatwaves here, Loree - you think it's finally safe to plant and, wham!, summer pays an unexpected return visit. October is known to be dicey but I've always thought of November as safe. We're currently running about 25 degrees above "normal" and gardening, limited mostly to supplemental watering, is back to an early morning activity.

      Enjoy your Thanksgiving too!

      Delete
  4. Happy thanksgiving to you and your family Kris!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Since we moved to Italy Christmas always creeps up on me unawares! Coming from the UK where it was always cold and quite dark I blame the fact that I'm tricked by the light. Actually this year I am a bit more prepared as I've made the Christmas puddings and mincemeat. As usual I admire your plant choices, especially the Aloe. Almost anything planted on mass looks amazing I think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although our "winter" doesn't fit the usual holiday postcard model, the current decidedly summer-feeling weather doesn't come near to even our adjusted expectations. I'm wearing shorts this Thanksgiving, not a sweater! It breaks the holiday mood.

      Delete
  6. Oh, that mass planting of Aloes flowering is wonderful. I hope the one you bought thrives! Happy Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was tempted to buy more than one of those Aloes to create a mini-mass effect, Alison, but they were pricey. Hopefully, it'll spread out. It's supposed to grow 3 feet wide, while staying about 1 foot tall.

      Delete
  7. Happy Thanksgiving! Your post makes me want to go plant shopping NOW. You need to give me a list of your favorite nurseries so I can check them out on my trip.

    That aloe is awesome. I haven't seen it in Northern California yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, you know Seaside in Carpinteria - it's always at the top of my list. Terra Sol Garden Center in Santa Barbara (just off the 101 freeway) is also good, tho' relatively small. I call Roger's Gardens (Corona Del Mar) the Disneyland of garden centers - December isn't the best time to visit there but, even if their stock is low, you may enjoy their demonstration garden on MacArthur Boulevard. OC Succulents in Irvine, just a few miles from Roger's, may be worth a stop. Ditto Village Nursery in Huntington Beach. The last 2 aren't what I'd call destination nurseries but they're both generally well-stocked. Most of the garden centers closer to me will be poorly stocked until they clear out their leftover Christmas trees.

      Delete
  8. I always enjoy your nursery jaunts. I wish I could come with you. I love the aloe and your succulent bed looks wonderful.
    Christmas decorations in November should be banned.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel the same about Halloween decorations in August. Life moves fast enough - why hurry it further?!

      Delete
  9. Every so often Home Depot will have 5 gallon size Golden Barrels for 30 bucks. At that size they are a little scary to plant, tho.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I had a spot where they could remain planted for the foreseeable future, preferably an area that could use a barrier against traffic by beasts or other unwanted visitors, I might risk the experience of planting those. They are beautiful, especially when backlit.

      Delete
  10. Totally YES on that Aloe - it's gorgeous. I've started small with my golden barrels; it grows faster than I expected... as long as it doesn't get fried by summer sun. :( But it would take years to get it to traffic- (or raccoon-) blocking size. I'm eager to see your Papilio Hippeastrum, it always looks so tempting in catalogs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd buy a LOT of barrel cactus if I thought they'd keep the raccoons out!

      Delete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions!