Friday, January 25, 2019

Retail therapy

Two weeks ago I took a relatively quick spin through four local garden centers.  As I didn't find what I was looking for during that excursion, I decided to wander further afield this week, driving 45 miles south to Roger's Gardens in Corona Del Mar.  Although there was more going on at Roger's than at my local garden centers, it was clear that there's a way to go before the shelves are fully stocked.  I didn't go home empty-handed but I spent as much time perusing the plant displays on Roger's exterior grounds as I did shopping.

If you're interested in a tour of the exterior perimeter, here we go.

This was the view from my parked car, looking at a large Leucadendron in full flower, surrounded by Aeoniums

This is a view of the same Leucadendron from the sidewalk.  I like how the coral-colored Aloes pick up the color of the Leucadendron's brightly colored bracts.

Two Agaves were blooming.  The one on the right is an Agave 'Joe Hoak' but I'm not sure of the identity of the one on the left.

The Leucadendrons here were mixed with Agave attenuata

These noID Agaves were combined with Grevillea 'Scarlet Sprite' and rosemary

Even the hell-strip looked good.  The Chondropetalum tectorum here are much more well-behaved than my own.

Grevillea 'Scarlet Sprite', prostrate rosemary, and Aeoniums are mixed here with what I think is Westringia 'Morning Light'


At the corner of two busy streets on the outermost edge of Roger's property, a large demonstration garden surrounds a gazebo.  As it's Aloe bloom season, those plants were making a major statement.

I took my photos just after noon so their clarity is less than ideal

I vaguely recall hearing that this Aloe is a hybrid but I've no record of its name.  It's gorgeous, though, as are the Agave ovatilolia cozied up against it.

This area on the other side of the gazebo featuring Agave attenuata was more subdued

Close-up photos, clockwise from the upper left: Flower of the striking centerpiece Aloe, a noID yellow-flowered Aloe in front of an Agave vilmoriniana 'Stained Glass', Agave ovatifolia, and Cordyline 'Electric Flash'


Inside the garden center's sale area, I found the tall Dianthus I've been looking for.  I'm also on the hunt for a Japanese maple and, although they had a selection in stock, I didn't find one that demanded to be taken home with me.  So I stalked the succulent displays.  

Roger's has a great range of succulents in various sizes.  I appreciate that they always have some in wallet-friendly pony-packs.  They had an Agave 'Stained Glass' in a large pot but I couldn't quite bring myself to take it home at the price on the tag, especially as I don't immediately have a spot for a specimen that gets as large as that one.  If I do go with succulents for my back slope, that one may end up on the plant list, however.


The only succulent I brought home was Aeonium 'Zwartkop'.  After seeing my neighbor's combination of that Aeonium and Agave 'Blue Glow' earlier this week, I felt compelled to replicate it in my own garden.

The Aeonium is still in its pot here on its tryout between an Agave 'Blue Flame' and 3 'Blue Glows'


After several weeks of chilly temperatures, our temperatures are climbing.  They could get up to 80F/26C tomorrow.  Nice weather for working in the garden!  I hope you get some nice weather too or, if you're housebound by snow or rain, that you can plant yourself in front of a crackling fire to dream of your spring garden.


All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party


38 comments:

  1. Maravilhosas imagens!
    Bom final de semana.

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  2. Nothing like a little retail therapy to lighten the soul. Those agaves with Zwartkop look fabulous!

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    1. 'Zwartkop' had never been as vigorous in my garden as the the other Aeoniums I've tried but my fingers are crossed that it'll thrive this time as I do love the combination with Agave 'Blue Glow'.

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  3. What beautiful photos of the agaves and aloes that you captured with that beautiful warm light. I remember driving in LA in January last year and stopping on the side of the street to take pictures of amazing aloes.

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    1. I started all my own Aloes as very small plants and I've yet to get that kind of stop-the-car drama from mine, Diana. I'm seriously considering investing in a mature Aloe arborescens despite how big it gets.

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  4. I was hoping to get to Roger's this week myself, but remodel decisions were particularly demanding, and there was a whole lot of other stuff on top of that.

    Looks like you had a fun visit. There was much to look at out front, if not to buy. You got some beautiful photos. Have a great weekend in the garden!

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    1. I hope your project is nearing conclusion, HB! I'll contect you the next time I make a trek that way. This one was somewhat spur of the moment.

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  5. Love your Aeonium placement, and thanks for the tour...

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    1. I moved the Aeonium about a foot before I planted it but it's still doing a nice job accenting the 'Blue Glow agaves in that bed. (There are 7 of them there.)

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  6. Oh I enjoyed the trip round the garden centre Kris and after seeing your neighbour's planting combination in your previous post understand why you felt compelled to replicate it :) Good luck with your maple hunt.

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    1. I love Japanese maples, although they're something of a dicey proposition in my climate unless they'replanted in a well-protected spot. I've managed to keep 2 alive here and I think I have one more good spot for one but finding a small specimen at an acceptable price for what can best be described as a gamble is proving difficult.

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  7. Crackling fire option for me..
    The agave/aeonium combo is fabulous.

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    1. Enjoy the fire, Jessica. Toast some marshmallows for me!

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  8. One of my favourite ways to spend the afternoon is at a garden centre. Needless to say ours look very different from yours - all those succulents - wow! I've only been in the western US once (a day trip to Seattle) and didn't have the opportunity to visit one. Next time, I'll definitely make a point of it :)

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    1. I've only traveled to the US Pacific Northwest on business myself but, from the posts I've seen, the nurseries up there are the best! If the bullet train were in operation now, I'd be making regular treks up that way. Admittedly, SoCal garden centers operate year-round but even we have a slow period in December-January. Things should improve by mid-February, though! ;)

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  9. It is so nice to see all of this color. The gardens are spectacular. As they should be I guess to entice people to purchase more plants. I am surprised you could suppress the urge to purchase a half dozen plants.

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    1. Actually, in the interest of true confessions, Lisa, I bought 10! One Aeonium, 3 Dianthus, 3 Liriope, and 3 beach strawberries. I rarely leave a garden center empty-handed.

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  10. How I would love your kind of retail therapy right now! Even here in N.C. it's still chilly and winterish; I'm guessing I won't be buying at a garden center for another 6 weeks!

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    1. We can garden here pretty much year-round, Libby, but even our garden centers aren't fully stocked this time of year. Although I know that's generally the case, I always seem to be pushing the envelope, especially when we get near summer-like weather following rain - it's as if spring is calling "I'm a coming!"

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  11. What a beautiful garden before you even begin to shop! So many lovely combinations. We're hunkering down for more snow and cold. Went grocery shopping this morning so we are set.

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    1. I'm glad you stocked up with provisions so you can enjoy the beauty of winter from a warm and cozy distance, Linda!

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  12. Those aloes at Roger's are stunning. I think your new Aeonium will look great with the Agaves.
    All the rain we had that didn't drain off is now frozen in the low spots - makes for interesting walking in the woods! Thank goodness we have YaxTrax on our boots. I expect your weather is more hospitable than ours. ;)

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    1. Oh, I suspect our January wouldn't even feel like winter to you, Eliza. I had a look at those YakTrax. After reports of people having their shoes melt when they have to hike out of burn areas, my husband's after me to buy some fire-proof boots for use in such an emergency. Unfortunately, while that product is useful in snow, the rubber parts probably don't make it fire-proof.

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  13. What a tonic for a grey January day. And what fabulous succulents. I wish I could have come with you.

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    1. You need take a winter getaway in Southern California some time, Chloris - I know you like the Mediterranean climates and we have that.

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  14. Thanks for doing the legwork on the inventory status at local nurseries. I've been wondering if spring stuff is starting to arrive. Now I'm curious about that tall dianthus you've found...

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    1. It was labeled as Dianthus 'Cut Flower White' (D. caryophyllus), Denise. It comes in red and "purple" too. It's supposed to grow 18-36 inches tall but what I've purchased before has stayed nearer the low end of that range.

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  15. Lovely! This weather is so good for gardening and plant shopping!

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    1. As there's more rain in the forecast, it does seem an optimal time to plant! I hope you have some time to play in the dirt too, Renee.

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  16. I could do with some retail therapy myself but the best I can hope for at the moment is my local DIY store for Dahlia tubers. It has been so cold here already that one of my succulents which I thought was relatively hardy has died back.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear about the succulent, Christina. What's cold here doesn't come close to what you face it seems.

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  17. Love that last shot of the blue glow and blue flame.

    It has definitely felt like a mild winter so far. The California Buckeyes (Aesculus californica) here in N. California have buds that open and leaf out usually in the first or second week of Feb. - this year some started opening in mid-January. At this point I hope we can avoid a cold snap or hail storm

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    1. It's been very warm here recently but cooler temperatures and rain are in the forecast. I think we're going to be riding a weather roller coaster for awhile yet but hopefully the dips won't get too deep.

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  18. Always love a visit to Roger's. So much fabulousness!

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    1. I love my trips to Roger's too, Peter. Fortunately for my pocketbook, it's far enough away to prevent me from popping in weekly.

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  19. Maybe the well behaved restios on the verge get sheared back?
    But they look awfully sad when recently tidied up.

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    1. I fear I'd mar the plant's shape if I cut it back but I may have to try that at some point - before it reaches out to grab neighbors on their walks! It was supposed to be a dwarf variety...

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