Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Plant Shopping: Green Touch and H&H Nurseries

Last Friday, a friend and I took a half-hour drive to two nurseries east of where I live.  The first one, Green Touch Nursery, is entirely new to me although it's been open for six years.  It specializes in succulents with an emphasis on the less common varieties you're not likely to find in your neighborhood garden center.  My photos don't do it justice but my friend Gerhard of Succulents and More provided more comprehensive coverage in a recent post, which you can find here.

Located under power lines, it isn't a glitzy place but it has an almost overwhelming selection of plants.

This colorful wheelbarrow was stuffed with some of the more commonly sold succulents


This open area showcased lots of the large pots containing plants often used by landscapers creating succulent displays.  The more novel specimens were to be found under the shade cloth in the distance.


As we visited just two days before Mother's Day, there were plenty of potted plants available to buy as gifts


I spent most of my time looking through the collectible succulents in sizes I could afford

The owner, Oscar, had a special selection of plants here

Clockwise from the upper left, the plants that drew my eye included: a crested Aeonium 'Sunburst', what I think was an Agave 'White Rhino' pup, a Euphorbia squarrosa, and what I'm guessing was a Sinningia.  When I saw the price on the Agave pup, I decided not to inquire about the price of the other plants.

My own attention focused on the following plants:

A nice selection of some hard-to-find Aeoniums.  From left to right: Aeonium canariensis (I think), A. dodrantale 'Grenovia', and A. 'Mardi Gras'.  I have two of the three in my own collection.

Left to right: Aloe polyphylla (aka Spiral Aloe, not yet spiraling), Agave 'Snow Glow', and Mangave 'Tooth Fairy'.  I'll get a 'Snow Glow' some day, perhaps when my 'Blow Glows' start their exit.  My 'Tooth Fairy', a slow grower, is nearing the size of the one shown here.

I found the name of the cactus on the left on Gerhard's site - it's Ferocactus latispinus.  The plants on the right are labeled Notocactus parodia but may be Parodia magnifica.


And here's what I bought at Green Touch:

Clockwise from the upper left: Andromischus triflorus (aka Calico Hearts), noID Peperomia caperata (something in the 'Ripple' series maybe), Aeonium sedifolium, and A. 'Lily Pad'.  As I seem to have collected so many Aeoniums unintentionally, I've decided to be more deliberate about it.


Our second stop was H&H Nursery, less than a mile away.  I've visited this nursery before but I was surprised when I checked the date of my last trip and discovered that it was seven years ago.  I'd forgotten just how big it is.  It outpaces my local garden center both in terms of the breadth of its stock and the average price of its plants.  Getting there requires navigating two freeways but, provided I don't travel the route during peak traffic hours, it probably only takes twenty minutes more in travel time, something I need to remember.  Like Green Touch, it's sited under power lines and not fancy.


A display of assorted plants showing how they might be combined

The edible plants section

This view provides a sense of just how extensive the nursery's grounds are.  All the shelves on the right were filled with plug plants in 6-packs.

The view from under the shade canopy looking out toward the selection of plants favoring sun conditions

View of a relatively small section of the shade plants are

Succulents, mostly in well-priced small pots.  Echinopsis 'Rainbow Bursts' on the lower right was tempting.

I love their selection of indoor plants


My purchases at H&H were fairly mundane but it was great to reacquaint myself with what the nursery has to offer - and my friend found a tree she'd been seeking for some time.

Most of what I bought at H&H, including two pony-packs of Gazanias and a few more succulents, were fillers for empty spots in my garden.  The exception was a new-to-me plant from South Africa with silver foliage and white flowers, Gomphostigma virgatum.  The label claimed it needs moderate water but online sources suggest it needs significantly more so it may not survive here.


I'll offer a final shot of one of the butterflies I saw flitting through the plants in the sun-lovers section.



Next up is my monthly Bloom Day post, which I expect to publish on Saturday.

All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party


27 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness what fun you had, plant heaven. Isn't it wonderful to get back to nurseries after a whole year? I would have been like a kid in a sweetie shop. What an amazing collection of succulents. I have just been potting mine on and wondering what to do with them all. I love the idea of displaying them in an old wheelbarrow.

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    1. Most of our nurseries and garden centers never closed, Chloris, and those that did, closed for a relatively short period. That said, I stayed close to home, only visiting my local garden center now and then when the COVID numbers weren't terrible so it's been nice to wander farther afield again.

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  2. Chloris is right - it definitely looks like plant heaven. Glad you had two such awesome places to shop. Did it wear you out?

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    1. It's driving our freeways again that I find the most draining, Barbara. "Pandemic light traffic" is definitely a thing of the past.

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  3. Such huge nurseries! But what else can you put under power lines? (I wonder if the EMFs affect the growth of plants? Curious minds... ;) )
    I gasped at the price of the Agave pup, ouch! The wide selection offered is impressive and certainly should satisfy most folks creative urges. I love your Peperomia - beautiful foliage. Can that grow outside in the garden or is it a potted plant? A nice haul, it must be sweet to be able to get out to nurseries again.

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    1. There were some very pricey plants at Green Touch and I don't collect on that level! I was thrilled with my itty-bitty Aeonium sedifolium. As to the Peperomia, I tried growing a different variety in my garden a few years ago. It didn't die but it didn't thrive either. I've put the new one in a pot in my shade house. I grow others as houseplants.

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  4. I am extremely impressed at your restraint Kris ! I hate to think how many plants I would have put in my cart at either one of those places.

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    1. I think I was a little overwhelmed, Kathy, especially at H&H. I didn't come close to checking out all that nursery had in stock.

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  5. Nothing helps boost the mood than plant shopping. Both places have great selections of drool worthy plants. I would have come home with the Sinningia. Wouldn't even have looked at the price. Some things are just not worth knowing about.

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    1. For some reason, Elaine, I do hesitate on expensive plant purchases - although my husband would beg to differ given my net annual expenditures! I tend to seek out smaller plants even when that means waiting for the plant's magic to materialize.

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  6. I love my pedometer readout after visiting H&H! I go down the length until the sign says keep out/employees only ;) At the back are a lot of large, remaindered succulents. And the new deliveries are always in the back too. There's a show/sale at Green Touch this Saturday that I'm planning on attending -- so cool that Oscar has picked up the mantle for these plant fairs.

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    1. Ah, I did miss out in not going the distance at H&H then, Denise. I was focused on looking for a few specific plants and missed out (literally) on the big picture.

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  7. What is it with SoCal and nurseries under powerlines? In addition to the two you posted about here there's the one I visited (Sunflower Farms) when I was there last. I guess it's cheap land?

    I adore 'Greenovia Dodrantalis' and wish they were more easily found up here. Aeoniums are pretty easy to find, but never the greenovia. Glad you got out and about!

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    1. I understand that the space under power lines is generally owned by power companies that will lease the land below at low prices to business operations that don't require much if anything in the way of permanent structures. I was tempted by the Greenovia, which is an Aeonium I don't have but, even in a small pot, it was a little pricey so I hesitated, later kicking myself.

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  8. You got some nice plants. I looked up the Gomphostigma virgatum--San Marcos says water needs "high". :( Pretty plant, though.

    I've been to H&H once, much longer ago than 7 years. Judging by your photos and the drop in Covid-19 cases, it's time to visit again and include Green Touch in the trip.

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    1. Yes, I saw the comments from San Marcos Growers and other suppliers about the Gomphostigma's water needs, leading me to double check the label to see if I'd simply imagined the reference to "moderate" water. I hadn't :( H&H and Green Touch are definitely worth visiting. GT's prices aren't low but the owner does have a LOT of the more unusual succulents.

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  9. First Green Touch, then H&H, that's exactly what Denise I did a few weeks ago. I love exploring nurseries like these where the focus is on plants, not lifestyle.

    At Green Touch, the plants sitting out on the concrete, esp. against the far fence, are particularly reasonable.

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    1. I'll keep that in mind the next time I make it to Green Touch, Gerhard!

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  10. Fun! And so colorful...oh my goodness! Any day with butterflies is special--I suppose that's common for you? From now until October it's also "common" for me. :)

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    1. We've been somewhat short on butterflies this year and last, Beth. I'm hoping we'll see more as the summer progresses.

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  11. They both look great well stocked nurseries to visit Kris and you have made some interesting purchases. I love the planted wheelbarrow. I don't think that I have ever shopped so near to power lines and wonder if the humming was distracting.

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    1. The humming of the electric lines didn't bother me at all, Anna, but the traffic noise from the nearby freeway at the first location drove me crazy until I got used to it.

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  12. PS Kris, a silly question but are you on Eastern Time US? I think that you are looking at what time my first comment is recorded as posted. I've registered for a Zoom webinair this coming week - a lecture by David Culp and now have a feeling that it will be midnight here 😱

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    1. No, I'm in California on the western coast of the US. I'm on US Pacific Time. The US actually has 6 (!) time zones when you count Hawaii and Alaska. Pacific Time runs 3 hours behind Eastern Time so, when it's midnight on the east coast it's 9PM here. When working at one company, we had a UK (London-based) affiliate and my (now vague) recollection is that the time difference between Los Angeles and London was either 8 hours or 8.5 hours. Assuming Culp's lecture is keyed to US Eastern Time, I'd guess the time difference for you is on the order of 5-5.5 hours.

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    2. Oh thanks Kris 😄 I should have remembered where California - hangs head in great shame! I will check an online world clock. Looks like I'm in for a late night.

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  13. Plant shopping, especially at a nursery I have not been to before was so fulfilling, especially with someone of your plant knowledge. I have seen Gomphostigma virgatum “Otter bush” planted in two locations. At Sherman Library & Garden, it was in the Moon Garden/Sun Garden, first planted in Oct 2019 with Delphinium etc. companion plants., which receives a lot of water. It remains at SCBG in the lavender garden, nearest the Garden for the Senses, which receives moderate water, and because it was planted much earlier, it was larger and woody underneath, but still beautiful.

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    1. Thanks for the input, Kay (and for forwarding a photo of the plant at Sherman Gardens). I can already tell the Gomphostigma gets woody but we'll see if I can manage that and its size - and water requirements - where I've placed it in partial shade.

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