Plant shopping in early January is a mixed bag even here, where we can garden all year. All the nurseries I visited are small independent outfits. Some of them effectively cease regular operations during December to focus on selling Christmas trees. And the plant stock often isn't replenished this early in the new year. I had some specific plants in mind but I didn't go into my trip with high hopes of finding them.
My first stop was International Garden Center in El Segundo. It's not a place I visit often and I'm not sure I've ever bought anything there but it's worth a periodic stop.
|Buddha exerted the calming influence I needed|
|The chickens were roaming the premises following an employee scattering bread crumbs. Right off a major highway in a densely trafficked urban area, a flock of chickens is a novelty.|
|I didn't buy anything but I do somewhat regret leaving this Agave guadalajarana behind|
My second stop was Deep Roots, the original focus of my afternoon jaunt. I was on the look-out for a large pot, as well as a few short-lived perennials. They didn't have any pots the size, color or price I was looking for but, with all their Christmas trees cleared out, they did have a lot of fresh plants on display.
|This was the selection of plants that greeted me when I pulled into the parking lot. Everything was in pristine condition. I ended up with 6 Gazanias and one tall-growing snapdragon.|
|They also had a fresh display of perennials. Deep Roots is one of my go-to nurseries for Grevilleas, Leucadendron, and other drought-tolerant Mediterranean plants but I didn't bring any of those home with me on this trip.|
|I admired this Begonia 'Red Fred' but it was pricey and my garden isn't an especially hospitable environment for begonias but I sigh every time I look at this foliage|
My third stop was the product of a last minute whim. Peter's Garden Center sits at a major intersection on Pacific Coast Highway. I formerly lived about a mile from there but I stopped in infrequently even then. While it generally had a decent selection of annuals and bedding plants, it didn't carry a broad selection of shrubs and perennials.
|The pickings were slim on this occasion. The friendly manager offered profuse apologies for the low stock, explaining that they'd just reopened following a 2-week holiday closure.|
|While stock was low, on this occasion I noticed that they did have some Grevilleas, Westringia and even Eucalyptus 'Moon Lagoon' for sale|
|They also had a nice display of healthy succulents|
Caught in traffic related to a public works project nearer to home, I decided to veer off my route yet again to check out another small garden center, Elwood Nursery in Rolling Hills. As the crow flies, this nursery is close to me but there's no straight route to get there so I don't stop by this one often either. However, I've found it's often a good source for annuals and perennials in small pots, although its stock was low on this occasion.
|They had nice selection of florist's cineraria (Pericallis) but I've sworn off these plants this year. They produce lovely flowers in shade but they're prone to leaf miner and the stems break easily.|
The main attractions on this visit were the furry employees, although I did come home with 2 reasonably-priced African violets.
|I almost missed this cat, sleeping on top of empty cardboard boxes. The owner told me there's a second cat on site too but I never saw that one.|
|The caretaker was asleep in the sun. I tried to warn off another customer to avoid waking her up but|
I didn't find the Dianthus or Lisianthus plugs I was looking for but I've already planted the Gazanias and snapdragon I brought home from Deep Roots. The African violets have been tucked away in my lath house, which I hope will offer them sufficient protection. More rain is on the way this weekend and, once I finish planting another flat of creeping thyme, I'll be ready for it.
Best wishes for a wonderful weekend, whatever your weather.
All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party