Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Spring Plant Sale

A friend and I paid a visit to my local botanic garden last Saturday for its annual Spring Plant Sale.  We drove through the gates only minutes after the garden officially opened to find the parking lot was already full.  We managed to squeeze into a spot on the outer edges of the lot along with several other drivers, crossed our fingers that no one would decide to impound my car, and headed to the sale.  It was well-attended but, as it turned out, the big draw early that morning was the American Parkinson Disease Association's Optimism Walk.

Most of the plants offered for sale were propagated by South Coast Botanic Garden's own volunteer staff; however, there were a few outside vendors, as well as representatives from various plant societies

Here's what I brought home: Dendrobium kingianum, Pelargonium 'Coholo'*, Homalocladium platycladum (aka tapeworm plant), and a noID Tillandsia.  (*I've been unable to find any information on a Pelargonium under this name.)


After tucking our purchases into my car, we did a quick round of the garden.  It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm.  The bright sunlight made picture-taking difficult but here are some of the highlights I captured:

Lots of California poppies in bloom in the Mediterranean Garden

Healthy specimens of Salvia africana lutea in the same area, covered in the plant's unusual blooms

A few cherry and other fruit trees still in full flower

Penstemon eatonii, which grows really well in the garden yet I've been unable to find the species for sale in local garden centers

Not the best photo but this noID Magnolia looked lovely in the bright sunshine

The Living Wall is still looking good

Echium and Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica), currently blooming in spots throughout the garden.  I know Spanish bluebells are considered a scourge in the UK as they compete with the native English bluebells but they're the only species that performs relatively well in our Mediterranean climate.

Watsonia, aka Bugle Lily, a South African native, just beginning its bloom cycle


We stopped by my local garden center on our way to lunch.  I picked up a few plants, selected to fill a portion of the bed featured in my last Tell the Truth Tuesday post.  I'll share the results of that update when it's complete.  I passed on this fellow on display in the indoor plant area, although both my friend and I found ourselves drawn to him.

He was pricey but strangely appealing even if he is an improbable shade of blue


Other than the orchid, the plants I picked up at the Spring sale still haven't found spots in the garden.  Nonetheless, I plan to attend the cactus and succulent show and sale at the botanic garden this coming weekend.  In case you haven't realized it, I have a plant addiction problem.


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



26 comments:

  1. What a bummer that the plant sale wasn't better attended. The bulls-eye on the Living Wall does look good. That gorgeous heron does look good, very graceful with his wings spread like that, I would have found myself tempted too!

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    1. The heron was expensive for something I don't "need." I may put it on my b-day wish list, though, it they still have it in stock another month.

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  2. A plant addiction problem? You? Really? 😊 What fun you had. The garden looks lovely. Whenever I read your blog I see plants I've never heard of. That amazing penstemon for instance. And a tapeworm plant?

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    1. I'm not sure what possessed me to buy the tapeworm plant, Chloris. (Another of its common names is ribbon bush but I have another plant that goes by that common name, Hypoestes aristata.) It's certainly different. Its strap-like foliage serves the functions of both stems and leaves and it flowers (and fruits) along the joints in the foliage.

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  3. Wow, the garden looks even better than before. (I still have yet to post about it. I'm so slow with putting them up. ;) btw, Is it okay to post a pic of you? )
    I love the living wall, so eye-catching. The Mediterranean garden and the bluebells/echiums look wonderful, too.
    Did the plant sale do well for SCBG? It's a lot of work to put those things together, I imagine. Your haul looks promising - I love that you can grow orchids outside - I eventually end up killing mine inside. Tapeworm plant is a rather unpleasant name, I think I'd be using the genus name, lol!

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    1. Well, both Donna (of Gardens Eye View) and the Garden Bloggers' Fling have posted photos of me so go ahead. I think the back of my head is my best side.

      I doubt I'll hear anything about the revenue from the plant sale but as most of the plant material sold is grown from cuttings, divisions and seeds, I imagine the take is good, whatever the total. As the plants are inexpensive by comparison to what the local garden centers charge, the sale benefits buyers too.

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  4. I think that is most gardeners affliction - the "I can't leave empty handed" syndrome together with a condition known as "I'll find a spot for it when I get home" :) Can't wait to see how you deal with your problem bed!

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    1. Too true! And, with a plant sale like this, you have to add the element of competition (i.e. the idea that "if I don't grab this, someone else will").

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  5. Beautiful! The views of the fruit trees and the California Poppies are stunning. Looks like you had a great time at the plant sale!

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    1. I can't seem to stay away from a plant sale like this even if I need nothing, Beth...

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  6. Haha you and me both! I can't even enter a plant sale without succumbing to the urge of bringing more plants home... I love the Tape worm plant. I have had one in a pot for a while. It always suffers through the winters inside, but perks up again when I bring it outside for summer pasture. You're going to have to come back in fall, and sneak some seeds from that Penstemon...

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    1. I'm glad to hear the tapeworm plant has proved to be resilient for you, Anna. I think the botanic garden has their's in a full sun position but, as I don't use as much water, I'm looking for a partially shaded spot for mine.

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  7. Buying flowers and viewing beautiful gardens is always a great way to pass a day. Looks like you brought home some beautiful additions Kris.

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    1. I need a bigger plot of land to garden, Cindy ;)

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  8. The poppies scream spring to me. It all looks lovely. I would be tempted by the blue heron too if I had a chance encounter with it.

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    1. The California poppies are the most obvious sign that spring has arrived here, Lisa. Unfortunately, they disappear all too quickly.

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  9. You got some nice plants at the sale. Dendrobium for your shade house?

    I've been plant shopping at various places and coming home empty handed. Nothing as yet has been must-have. Well, almost nothing.

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    1. Yes, the Dendrobium's earmarked for the shade house as soon as I get the plant in a more attractive pot. I've been meaning to get to Roger's for the longest time but car problems and remodel headaches have kept me close to home. I'll ping you if/when I think I can get out that way to see if you're up for a browse.

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  10. Oh that sounds a good day out Kris :)

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    1. Any day wandering aisles looking at plants is a good day, Anna!

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  11. I have a kingianum inherited from my mother - needs some TLC so I get flowers again.
    We have 2 plant sales coming up ...

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    1. Fall plant sales are my favorites as that season is the best for planting here but, sadly, Fall plant sales are relatively uncommon here. People want to see flowers before they buy.

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  12. Plant addiction problem? I understand the words separately but when strung together like that they make no sense. It's an exciting time of year full of plant sales and nurseries filling up with all sorts of treasures.

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  13. It looked like the sale had lots of great plants, and your Tillandsia is a good looking one. Love that Salvia africana lutea and wish it was hardy here...

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    1. That Tillandsia disappeared late last week! My husband speculated that the strong winds may have blown it away but I'm blaming the usual suspects, the raccoons. I've looked everywhere for it. so much for my great buy.

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