Friday, March 2, 2018

Late February in Santa Barbara County

A friend and I made a trip up to Santa Barbara County last weekend to visit some of our favorite nurseries.  It was a beautiful day, cool but comfortable with sunny skies.  Our first stop was Seaside Gardens in Carpinteria.  By comparison to prior visits, I took remarkably few photos but I'll share some of the best ones of the demonstration gardens, most of which focused on the South African and succulent sections.

I was very taken with the mass display of Osteospermum here.  While I use a lot of these plants in my own garden, this view had me thinking about planting them en masse like this.

There's a nice clump of Phylica pubescens (aka Featherhead) in the middle of this shot.  Seaside Gardens was the first place I saw this plant and where I bought my first one.  I've killed a few of them since but I still haven't quite given up on them.

The pink-flowered shrub shown here is apparently some variety of Erica.  I've never grown these heaths in my own garden but they were used extensively in this demonstration garden, mixed in with Leucadendron and Osteospermum.  Sandy soil like mine is said to be ideal for them if it's amended with organic matter and acid fertilizer so perhaps I'll have to try growing it.

There were some Aloes in bloom in the succulent garden but I don't think the display has reached its peak yet



The strong sunlight near mid-day made photo-taking difficult but the Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire' stood out brilliantly behind the ponytail palms (Beaucarnea recurvata) here

The California poppies were just beginning to flower.  I'm afraid there won't be any in my own garden this year despite the seed I've sown at intervals since November.  There hasn't been enough rain and I haven't provided sufficient supplemental water to encourage germination.


We stopped briefly at 2 nearby orchid outlets but, as neither offered much beyond Cymbidium and Phalaeonopsis, we didn't linger.  One, Gallup & Stribling, clearly showed the impact of January's mudslides.

The piles of mud on either side of the driveway to the orchid showroom were roughly 5 feet high


Island View, our next stop, less than half a mile away, seemed unaffected by the mudslides as far as we could see, even though it was also in the evacuation zone.

Maybe these dinosaurs near the entrance were fierce enough to hold back the mud (Photo courtesy of my friend)

The nursery carries landscaping plants but its indoor plants are the main draw when we visit





After lunch, we visited Terra Sol in Santa Barbara.  At this point, I was very focused on shopping and I took no photos whatsoever.  After loading up my purchases, we headed south towards home.  I had very little on my shopping list when we headed out, almost none of which I found, but I still ended up bringing home plants.  Are you surprised?

Upper left: my take from Seaside, Boronia megastigma 'Lutea', Solanum hybrid 'Spring Frost', and 3 more Lotus 'Amazon Sunset' (to replace those something has eaten).  Upper right: my take from Terra Sol, Phylica pubescens, Aquilegia 'Blue Barlow', Platystemon californicus, and a passionflower vine I can't remember the name of at the moment.  Lower right, also from Terra Sol, my big purchase of the day, Leucospermum 'Spider Hybrid'.  And, on the lower left, minus a Rex Begonia, my take from Island View, several small succulents and a flat-backed pot.


Most, although not all, of my plant purchases have been tucked into the ground (or pots) in anticipation of our second rainstorm this week.

This is the unnamed Rex Begonia I found at Island view, sitting in the lath house

For now, the cheetah pot is serving as a tool holder in the lath house

A closer look at the Boronia megastigma in the back border.  It has a lovely scent, strong but not cloying, which my friend and I enjoyed as we traveled to and fro on Saturday.

And here's Phylica pubescens, in a spot I hope will be more to its liking than those I gave its now dead predecessors


None of the rain forecast for here Thursday night showed up and, thus far, the rain this morning is only a slow drizzle, yet there are evacuations up north.  If only the rain there could be lighter and the rain here heavier!  There's another chance of very light rain in the forecast for the weekend after this one but nothing else at all in the extended forecast until mid-April and that isn't expected to be much either.  Apparently, I need to learn some better raindances.  I hope you enjoy a bright sunny weekend, wherever you are.


All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

26 comments:

  1. I adore your new cat pot! (Of course you knew I would say that). I hope your new Phyllica thrives this time. What a bummer about the rain. I saw it on my phone (forecast for Anaheim) and hoped it would arrive for you too. Most of the time our winter rain here is a slow drizzle, but it's a constant drizzle, which is what gives us our reputation. We get mudslides too when it turns torrential. I love all your new plants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That pot was a lucky find. My friend was dilly-dallying over plant selections (something she never usually does), leaving me time to cool my heels after I'd paid for my plants. Once I saw it, there was no question about buying it. It's meant to be hung up on a wall but it's very heavy and not very deep so I'm happy with it standing on a shelf as a caddy.

      Delete
  2. Glad the roads were passable and that you're home safe and snug with your new plant friends. That's a well-grown phyllica. Here's some tips I got from a Bay Area designer: "amend the soil as for Proteas, give them regular drip irrigation, don't let them stress for drought nor fertilize except with alfalfa or cottonseed meal."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tips, Denise! The new Phylica is planted in a bed containing a Leucospermum (one I haven't killed) and 2 Leucadendrons so hopefully it'll be happy there. I'm wary about using any fertilizer on South African or Australian plants so it's good to know that alfalfa or cottonseed meal are beneficial.

      Delete
  3. I had hoped that you had received more of that storm that came inland, alas!
    I like your purchases, I wouldn't have come home empty-handed either. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our luck changed a bit this afternoon, Eliza. Although the forecasts had the rain ending early today, it grew heaviest in the late afternoon. Our daily total thus far here is 0.20/inch, which is more than we expected, AND forecasters are now saying the rain may continue into tomorrow.

      Delete
  4. Had you waited a couple weeks we may have crossed paths Kris ! I'll be paying a visit to Seaside a week from Saturday, and I'm glad to see it looks camera ready. I have a frighteningly extensive plant shopping list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bummer, Kathy! I wish I'd known. I would've shifted our visit. Happy shopping! Seaside was well-stocked when we were there.

      Delete
  5. You know, don't you, that I am becoming increasingly jealous of your climate and landscape? Rain or no rain... to have so many things blooming and growing at this time of year and all the time; well, it is swoon worthy to me! I know you need rain, but oh it looks so beautiful to me!!!! The massed Osteospermum is glorious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I had the kind of space Seaside Gardens has to spread out but I can manage some mini-masses of Osteospermum perhaps. In fact, I picked up 3 more of the plants this afternoon on my way home ;)

      Delete
    2. Looks like a fun day out and a successful shopping trip. Would the Osteopernums grow on your slope. I have certainly fount that where I have large groups/drifts of single plants the effect is very satisfying.

      Delete
    3. I think it might be too shady on much of the east-facing back slope to make the Osteospermums happy, although they might do alright on the sunnier southern end near the property line. That's were I'm currently trying to grow California poppies. The poppies did pretty well there last year with our heavier rains but there's no sign of them at all yet this year.

      Delete
    4. thinking back, in our Porterville garden, Osteospermum was happier with a little shade. Lush leaves and lots of flowers is less waterwise.

      Delete
    5. I hope I can strike a balance with placement, Diana. I've added several more Osteospermums in 2 areas since this post.

      Delete
  6. Thanks for the fun, sunny, trip. Naturally I wish I were able to purchase plants right along with you. Was the piled mud on the driveway to the orchid showroom dry? I wonder how they'll get rid of it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The mud pile, or at least the outer surface of it, was dry when we were there a week ago but it probably isn't now. I spoke to an older gentleman who lived and/or worked there (he thought I was lost when he saw me walking the driveway). I asked if the city had plans to haul the mud away. He replied with a rather terse "no" but didn't elaborate. I've heard that the city has no place to put any more mud and debris.

      Delete
  7. Oh Kris, I wish I could have come with you, this looks like heaven to me. I would love a garden like this.I know we gardeners all yearn for what we can't have. Actually, I would be happy to have any sort of garden at the moment, there's a thick layer of disgusting white stuff covering everything. I grew Boronia metastigma in the greenhouse once, it is a delightful thing. Of course, it didn't live long,even in the greenhouse it pined for sunnier climes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you would've loved the weather, Chloris! It was cool by our standards but was glorious, especially by comparison to your current weather. I hope the Boronia survives here - it likes more water than I generally provide my plants.

      Delete
  8. Que belo jardim!
    Adorei o gato feito de vaso.
    janicce.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I fell in love with that cat pot too, Janicce!

      Delete
  9. Must have been fun! The Tiger pot is very cool and you came home with great plants, too. Island View looks like it is worth visiting as well.

    Lots of poppy seedlings appeared after the first and only good (1.25") rain we got in early January, however I've had to irrigate to keep them alive since.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Island View hit a sad patch for awhile but the stock has been better during my last 2 visits. If I'd seen any sign that the poppies had germinated on the back slope, I'd have irrigated them by hand but they haven't provided that encouragement. I recently scattered more seed in an area of the back border too, which is irrigated, but it remains to be seen if that and the rain prompts a response.

      Delete
  10. The magic of Southern California gardens always thrills me! You got some great plants and that pot is fabulous. It's a joy to see you having so much fun with your new lath house!

    ReplyDelete
  11. The mass plantings of Osteospermum are stunning. So many interesting plants I haven't seen before at Seaside.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Osteospermums do very well in coastal Southern California, sweetbay. Off hand, I couldn't even tell you how many of these plants I have in my own garden.

      Delete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions!