Don't you love a good plant sale? While most of our local garden centers remained open even during the height of the pandemic, the special plant sales conducted by many botanic gardens were shelved. My local botanic garden now has a plant stand near the exit but the offerings can most charitably be described as meager and pedestrian. Even The Huntington's last plant sale was virtual - people placed orders online and drove to the garden to pick them up but that isn't as much fun as scouring tables of plants to discover specimens you didn't know you "needed." So, when Sherman Library & Gardens announced it was resurrecting its Plant-o-rama, I had to go.
My friend and I arrived almost an hour before the garden opened to ensure we could find parking. As the parking lots quickly filled and people lined up at the entrance, we took a spin around the perimeter of the garden, something we don't usually take time to do.
|This Agave 'Blue Glow' and its companions were planted atop a brick wall surrounding the back parking lot|
|The back area of the property had lots of Agaves and Mangaves|
|The plants out front along the busy Pacific Coast Highway were more colorful|
|I can't identify this Restio but I thought it looked great with the Phormiums|
The volunteers and staff expedited entrance to the garden once it opened and the sale tables were quickly swamped.
|The Hibiscus Society booth had the biggest crowd. The plants were good-sized but at $40-60 dollars, I took a pass. I've already got one Hibiscus in a pot I'm struggling to get to bloom.|
|The Orchid Society tables seemed relatively bare so I brushed by after a quick look|
|I focused on the bromeliad offerings. Great prices but the booth was crowded.|
After I'd made my purchases, I joined my friend in perusing the garden itself. The garden has a special exhibit going on but I'll cover that in a separate post later this week. For now, I'll focus on other highlights of our visit, starting with my favorite area, the Tropical Conservatory.
|Sherman changes out its plants on a regular basis so there's always something new to see. I noticed Tillandsias mixed in with orchids this time.|
|Bloomed-out orchids are regularly swapped for varieties in full flower|
|I don't remember seeing this chair inside the conservatory before. It looked like a great spot to take photos.|
|Closeups of a few things that caught my eye, including the resident turtles|
The Tropical Conservatory wasn't the only area deserving of notice.
|How many times have you seen bromeliads like this lining a path?|
|The Dykcias that used to be in this section have been replaced by a red-flowered Mimulus, adding a fresh punch of color. I noticed that there was a lot of red and other hot colors in the Sherman Gardens beds at the moment.|
|A simple but effective combination of Coprosma and Gazania outside the garden's office area (with begonias tucked into a corner)|
|More red flowers mixed with fresh green plants, including palms and Farfugium (syn. Ligularia)|
|There were butterflies, including Monarchs, flitting about|
And of course no visit to Sherman Gardens would be complete without spending at least a little time in the Succulent Garden.
|The Succulent Garden changes less than other areas but I noticed new pots on display|
|As impressed as I always am by the Aloes, Agaves and barrel cactus, the backlit bromeliad stole the show in this photo in my opinion, making me wish I'd looked for an Aechmea blanchetiana when I was shopping the bromeliad sale booth|
I'll come back to Sherman Gardens later this week with highlights of their greenHOUSE exhibit. As I know some of you will ask, I bought only a couple of plants at the Plant-o-Rama but I'll happily attend again if they hold the event next year. My friend and I also made a stop at Roger's Gardens nearby as I had a gift card burning a hole in my pocket so I'll wrap up this post with photos of the day's purchases.
|At the Plant-o-rama, at a total cost of $10, I purchased a noID Tillandsia and a more unusual Orthophytum 'Gurkenii'. The latter is a terrestrial bromeliad from Brazil. The foliage can have zebra stripes but this one is the "snake skin" type. It produces a bright green florescence with white flowers|
|At Roger's Gardens, I used my gift card to buy Mangave 'Night Owl' and Dahlia 'Mystic Illusion'|
All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party