Thursday, July 18, 2019

Looking up

I took a much needed break from the noise and chaos of our home remodel for some retail therapy this week, meeting up with Hoover Boo of Piece of Eden at Roger's Gardens in Orange County.  There'd been quite a few changes since my last visit in April.  However, putting the focus of the trip where it belonged, we caught up on what was going on in our respective worlds, shopped a bit, and had lunch before I returned to make the rounds with my camera prior to heading home.

Roger's new vertical garden was of particular interest.  It serves as the backdrop for the free weekend seminars regularly held there.

One side of the new structure featured a range of foliage plants (Ajuga, Alternanthera, Dichondra, and Ophiopogon among others).  The other side was planted entirely with assorted succulents.  All the plants were inserted into soil-packed socks or what HB more descriptively called "sausages."

It looks as though there's an automated irrigation system of some kind but I didn't take a close look at the mechanics


Roger's features a lot of vertical plant displays, starting with its front customer entrance.

The current display is somewhat austere, featuring succulents in hanging metal containers

This was the lusher display I photographed in April

And this one, which may be my favorite, dates back to last September


Unlike the current entrance display, the earlier versions shown above utilized plant pockets.  On this visit, my interest was captured by another such display elsewhere in the garden.

This display combined wood boxes containing decorative items with a diverse range of foliage and flowering plants in felt planting pockets.  It spurred my thinking about how I might better use the vertical space in my lath house.  (My apologies for the poor quality of this collage, which I cobbled together from 2 separate images.)


I also liked these succulents mounted on a wall in metal pots.


I've seen similar pots for sale on-line, sans succulents, at reasonable prices


There were a number of other vertical plant arrangements to admire as well.

These rain chains had been filled with succulents

Densely planted succulent wreaths

Roger's has a houseplant sale going on at the moment and this hanging planter was stuffed with a Monstera deliciosa, wire vine (Muehlenbeckia axillaris) and a variety of ferns

There were conventional hanging baskets with flowers too


I didn't come home empty-handed of course but I didn't go hog-wild buying plants either.  Even though we've avoided major heatwaves thus far, summer isn't the smartest time to plant here.  I mainly picked up items to cram into the raised planters in my cutting garden as I continue to pull out cool season leftovers.  

Well, at least the Amaranthus and Cosmos are intended for the raised planters.  I picked up 2 more balloon plants (Platycodon grandiflorus) too as the one I have in a semi-shady area of my front garden did well.  The Festuca glauca plugs are intended to replace the Aeonium 'Kiwi Verde' that got out of control in the back garden this year.

HB also gifted me with a cutting from her Begonia 'Irene Nuss' which she wrote about here


After seeing the displays at Roger's I'm considering trying out a few felt planting pockets my lath (shade) house, assuming I can figure out where to fit them in there.  I also find I'm still thinking about a group of tiny (yet not inexpensive) vases I saw while shopping.  One of those may have to come home with me on my next trip.

The tallest of the vases shown here was 3 inches or less - and they weren't cheap but they looked like little works of art to me


If forecasters are correct, we're going to have a cooler-than-normal span of weather through the weekend.  Once the construction workers leave on Friday afternoon, I'm planning to make the most of it.  I hope you enjoy your weekend too.


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

14 comments:

  1. Looks like you and HB had a good time at Roger's! Thanks for showing all the recent permutations of their vertical display. I've seen vases very like the ones you saw, here at Molbak's, and they are a pretty penny. I'm going down to Portland tomorrow and staying overnight, so I'll probably be shopping at Joy Creek and who knows where else.

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    1. Have a great time with your own retail therapy, Alison! Plant shopping is the best. I can barely going to brick and mortar stores for anything but plants these days.

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  2. I do love these living walls - colors and textures up close and far away give different impressions. The concave side of this one looks like a herbaceous border from afar. I imagine getting the irrigation right, depending on the plants and the season must be a challenge.
    I'm also wondering about metal planters in your hot climate - don't they get boiling hot in the sun and fry the roots? Inquiring minds need to know, lol!
    Have a great weekend - sounds like our temps are going to be hotter than yours!

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    1. Well, succulents can take a good deal of heat but those at Roger's were mostly on shaded walls. I'm considering using something like that circular metal pot in my lath house where intense sun exposure isn't an issue.

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  3. I had to reread “replace the Aeonium 'Kiwi Verde' that got out of control” several times. The idea of having to remove an Aeonium because it was out of control is just so foreign to me. I can’t wrap my head around it.

    Also, I have a small vase in that series and love it. I have had it for years and I’m so glad I splurged. Do it!

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    1. 'Kiwi Verde' grew and bloomed MUCH faster than its flashier cousin 'Kiwi'. It's still a nice plant, just not in the spot along the patio I had it in. I've been thinking about those vases since my visit, which is a sure sign that I'll break down and pick one up on my next visit, if Roger's still has them.

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  4. Excellent survey of all the vertical stuff at Roger's. I too missed the lavish lush wooly-pockets display at the entrance. The new more spare one isn't as alluring.

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    1. That was my view too, HB. The display was nice but nothing to write home about.

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  5. It is hot as blue blazes here right now. Looking at all of these succulents and plants for warmer places I feel right at home. Those little vases are darling. Of course you need one...or two. Have a great weekend.

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    1. I DO "need" one, Lisa ;) I hope you get a break on the temperature. It sounds as though everything east of the Rockies is getting toasted this weekend!

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  6. Buy the vase ! You can't take it with you. One has to be discerning at Rogers when shopping. Back when I lived n Socal Rogers for me was all about buying Fuchsias which were abundant in table after table in the shade area on the sw side. Fuchsia gall mite put an end to that !

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    1. Roger's orientation to the market has changed over the years I think, Kathy. They now support an annual "California Friendly Garden" contest and emphasize waterwise plants both in their demonstration beds and plant offerings. They were among the first here to put succulents front and center. Ron Vanderhoff, their General Manager, is a CNPS chapter director. That said, their garden center stands on a large piece of VERY expensive SoCal real estate so they're also putting a strong emphasis on revenue, hence the introduction of an on-site restaurant, a boutique featuring baby clothes, etc.

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  7. Some time at a garden center with a fellow gardener sounds like the ideal way to spend the day! Cooler than normal sounds wonderful to me - we are sweltering here with temps in the 90's (and at least one day where humidity levels brought that up to over 105F - ugh!). I would love to make use of vertical planting ideas - perhaps an idea once the garden is at the tweaking stage :) I've seen those metal wall planters as well and love them.

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    1. It's almost weird how comparatively cool it's been here this summer, Margaret. With heat plaguing people far and wide, we're counting ourselves very lucky. Like avoiding "the Big One," the trend probably can't last indefinitely but I'm certainly enjoying the moment. I hope you get relief from the heat soon (and that it doesn't move down our way in the process)!

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