Friday, September 7, 2018

Another shopping trip

It seems that once I break my self-imposed rule on summer planting I then feel free to run amok.  During the long holiday weekend, I decided to make a quick trip to Roger's Gardens in Orange County.  "Quick" in this instance means 3-4 hours as it usually takes me an hour just to get there and another hour to get back, assuming that traffic isn't heavy.  As it turned out I chose a good time and shaved about 10 minutes off both the trips there and back.  What I'd forgotten was that Roger's Halloween boutique had just opened so the place was swarming with people, although most of them were checking out the decorations rather than shopping for plants.

Roger's replants the vertical garden at its entrance at regular intervals.  It was looking very lush on this visit.

They'd also replanted the large oblong bed in the front area since I was there in May, styling it as a sensory garden.  I walked around it and photographed it in segments as shown above.

The colors in this display drew me in (and subsequently sent me home with a few new plants)

Some plants drew my attention immediately.  Clockwise from the left, these included Manihot esculenta 'Variegata', a new coleus 'Peter's Wonder' and Heuchera 'Obsidian'.  The last was deeper in color than this photo shows.

As always, there were a host of potted plants to admire


I made a pass through the Halloween boutique of course.  I've always enjoyed Halloween and, although it's a bit early to jump into decorating from my perspective, I don't begrudge retailers for using the opportunity to bring in additional revenue.

This year's Halloween boutique is called "Hocus Pocus" and conjures images of a magical school akin to Hogwarts

These are a few examples of the decorations for sale.  The demon babies emerging from pots are a popular feature on Roger's Gardens Instagram page.  All were marked as sold at the time of my visit but I overheard a woman say they were priced at $175.

Two portraits on the wall morphed as you watched them.  The pretty young woman in blue is gradually transformed into the crone shown on the right.  More scenes from the "Hocus Pocus" display can be found here.

I didn't plan on buying any Halloween decorations but I did.  I brought home one of the toads on the left, as well as a set of pumpkin vine arms and legs like those shown on the right.


My real objective in heading off to Roger's was to pick up 2 more planters like one I purchased there several months ago.  I didn't go crazy buying plants but I brought home a few of those too.  Other than a handful of succulents, all the plants have been tucked into place.

I bought the Artstone planter mounted in the middle here to hold Epiphyllum 'Queen of the Night' last May.  I picked up 2 more on this trip, one to hold Epiphyllum 'Monastery Garden' (right) and the other for another noID Epiphyllum (left) I've had for years.  This grouping is in my lath (shade) house.

I brought home Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit', Plectranthus scutellarioides 'Rustic Orange' (coleus), Oxalis 'Sunset Velvet' and a 6-pack of mixed orange and yellow Lantana.  Most of these went into a half barrel formerly occupied by seed-grown Calendula that had developed mildew.

I used the yellow Lantana to fill in this area on my west facing slope


I'd planned to work on garden clean-up this weekend in preparation for future fall planting but weather forecasters are predicting the return of 90F+ temperatures so that plan may be put off awhile longer.    Wherever you are this weekend I hope you manage to avoid any weather-related challenges and eke out some late summer fun.


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

30 comments:

  1. I saw that variegated Manihot up here at Sky Nursery recently and was very tempted, but I just don't have room in the greenhouse for it to overwinter. I love all the Halloween decorations, I'm a Halloween lover. There are some small transforming portraits at our local Michael's craft store that might end up in my garden before the end of the season. $175 for those demon babies seems like a lot for something you might be able to make with a doll head and some papier mache.

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    1. If I hadn't recently planted a plain green Manihot, I might have brought that one home myself - fortunately, winter isn't an issue here. I had similar thoughts about the demon babies.

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  2. Kris, what a wonderful place to visit! I'm glad you bought one of those toads, I liked them as soon as I saw them. I hope the fall with cooler days is arriving soon to you area. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Frogs and toads have always appealed to me for some reason - perhaps because the real things are a relative scarcity here.

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  3. Oh that variegated Manihot! Glad to read Alison's comment as I'll be at Sky this weekend for the Odd Plant Show and Sale and may just have to pick up one of those beauties up if they still have them. Love the demon baby plant thingies but not so much the prie. Hope you're able to play outside again soon.

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    1. It's only slightly warmer here thus far so I'm hoping that the forecasters may be wrong and the marine layer may continue to stave off the return of high temperatures. I've been so enjoying the touch of fall we've had...

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  4. Your enthusiasm for lantana is infectious! I brought home a couple of the variegated 'Samantha' hoping to add to the butterfly show, which has been really good this summer already. The Med Garden Society is doing a tour based around Roger's and other Newport gardens on the 15th in a couple weeks -- should we go?

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    1. That Lantana has done much better in its second here than its first but then the extra water I've given that bed may be responsible. As to the tour, that would be great! A garden tour in September is a rarity. It's a week from tomorrow - let me know if you have details.

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  5. I am itching to plant again and have a mail order coming in a week, but at the moment it is too wet and mosquito-y to work in my garden. Your purchases look good as does you bed. I am not much of a Halloween fan. I told a friend who always had a big costume party that I did not do dress up anymore as I was in costume all through the 60s and done with it now!

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    1. Ha! I never dress up for Halloween myself but I do like putting up some decorations, even if there's never been more than a handful of kids (if any) trick-or-treating in my current neighborhood.

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  6. Looks like a fun trip. I love to browse garden centers, but try not to stay too long so I don't spend too much money.

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  7. It's still too hot and humid to be out in the garden very much....other than cleaning up the endless leaves that fall because it's so dry. I am itching to get to the garden center and refresh things..but will hold off for a while. But I ordered some tulips~!

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    1. I just ordered some bulbs too, although not tulips as they're not happy here. At best they're expensive annuals for us and even then our Santa Ana winds or an early heatwave usually kills them off before they bloom.

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  8. I murdered on of those fabulous variegated Manihots and have not run across another yet. They usually will over-winter here but maybe that one was a little more tender. I am afraid I am a Halloween grinch,probably due to my child-phobia and memories of how stressed out I got trying to create costumes when my kids were young.I'm scarred for life !

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    1. I know a surprising number of people who actively dislike Halloween, Kathy. My own childhood exposure was relatively tame - and then I never faced the challenge of coming up with costumes for anyone else. Heck, on the few occasions in which we've had trick-or-treaters here, most of the kids haven't even bothered dressing up, so costumes don't seem to be such a big deal anymore.

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  9. Happiness is visiting a nursery and finding new planters, a few flowers/plants and decorations. Sounds like a perfect outing. We have had some real rain here. 2.5". I am a happy gardener.

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  10. Ever since Harry Potter, it seems Halloween has been ever-growing as a holiday. It's my birthday, so it is fun that the world celebrates it! ;)
    Our end of season sales have been either nonexistent or a disappointingly minor discounts. Who wants 20% off arborvitae?? As my garden winds down, your season renews. Lovely to watch!

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    1. You should celebrate Halloween then, Eliza! Much as I admire your climate in spring and summer, I'm happy with ours in fall, at least when fall really arrives. As forecast, the temperature is rising here as the weekend gets started but it shouldn't get too bad (hopefully).

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  11. I have a Facebook friend who was probably waiting in line when the Halloween shop opened. He's already posted photos of his version of the demon dirt babies. He does Halloween up big. I just don't have the zest for anything so autumn related I guess. Hope things cool down for you soon! (after 90's again earlier in the week we're looking at mid 70's with possible drizzle...).

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    1. Seventies and drizzle sounds heavenly, Loree! As to the demon dirt babies, properly called mandrakes according to an article in the home section of today's LA Times, they were apparently made using dollar-store baby dolls with "moldable foam clay" layered on top. They are indeed already sold out but cost "only" $130.

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  12. I've always loved the idea of a sensory garden but never done it; it's nice to see the ideas in your collage. Your planter combinations are luscious for heading into autumn. <3 As for the weather, we're still topping 100 here, but it's actually rather pleasant now that we're not getting dust storms. This summer has been a whopper!

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    1. Dust storms! Now that's something I've never dealt with, Amy. I'm glad your weather has improved even if it's not exactly cool yet. We've reached 86F with over 50% humidity today - not wonderful but definitely tolerable.

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  13. Looks like a very cool place! The demon babies do crack me up even though I'm not into Halloween at all. Our govt is scary enough. Love your pumpkin with the viney arms.

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    1. The price of the demon babies is what cracks me up, Tammy. Sticking vine arms and legs into a pumpkin is more my style.

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  14. I always enjoy your nursery visits and wish I could come with you. You were very restrained this time. Demon babies growing in pots? Goodness, who buys this sort of thing?

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    1. Well, Orange County has a reputation for conspicuous consumption but then the same could probably be said of Los Angeles County. Still, I was surprised that all the demon babies (properly called mandrakes apparently) were sold within days of the boutique's opening, especially given their price.

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  15. There is nothing better than a little plant or garden related shopping. The nursery looks an excellent one. An hour seems a long trip but when I think about it, I may well have to travel that kind of distance to find special plants.

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    1. Unfortunately, all my favorite garden centers are an hour - or more - away, Christina. However, maybe that's a good thing for my pocketbook.

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