Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Plant shopping!

The weekend before last, a friend and I headed north to visit two of our favorite plant nurseries.  As my friend wanted to connect with her nephew and his fiancee while they were in town for a wedding, we drove directly to Santa Barbara first, spending a little time with them at the Terra Sol Garden Center before stopping for lunch at a nearby restaurant offering outdoor seating.

I didn't dilly-dally at Terra Sol.  My focus was on locating plants to fill the many empty spots in my garden so I snapped only a few photos.

This Passiflora vine was too large to even consider hauling home

Terra Sol isn't big but it's always packed with good quality plants at reasonable prices

A nice display featuring Cordyline, Coprosma, Agastache, Plectranthus (coleus) and Pelargoniums

The shade plant area featured 2 arresting sculptural pieces

And of course I had to say hello to the friendly garden cat

After leaving my friend's nephew and his fiancee following lunch, my tour of Seaside Gardens in Carpinteria was  somewhat more leisurely, although my focus was still on plants to fit the needs of my garden. 


I always make at least 2 rounds of the sale tables to ensure I don't miss anything

Seaside had a garden cat too

After I made my plant selections, there was time to check out Seaside's demonstration gardens, starting with the Cottage Garden.

The Buddlejas and Salvias were going a good job of attracting butterflies.  We spotted both Monarchs and Gulf Fritillaries.

Although there were butterflies all over, this was the best photo I managed to catch

After a very long dry season, most of the garden spaces, including the Grassland area, were subdued

The Echiums in the Mediterranean Garden finished blooming long ago

The Succulent Garden always looks good, even without floral color


The Leucadendrons provided spots of color in the South African Garden.  As in my own garden, the Osteospermums were just beginning to bounce back in response to cooler conditions.

We were surprised to see a few Lotus still in bloom in the Asian Garden's pond

I bought plants at both garden centers but I'll share my purchases later this week.  In the meantime, here are some plants I didn't buy but did stop to think about.

If I thought Banksia spinulosa 'Schnapper's Point' (upper left) would be happy in a pot I'd have bought it but it really needs a lot of room.  I was surprised to see the Pyrrosia lingua 'Ogon Nishiki' (upper right) labeled as drought tolerant but I've been disappointed by drought-tolerant ferns before.  Two Tibouchina heteromalla (lower right) died in my current garden years before drought conditions reached their current state.  I mainly sighed over Yucca 'Bright Star' (lower left) - smaller than the specimen I recently cut to the ground in the hope it'll regenerate, this one was priced at $110.

I've spent much of my time the past week working in my garden.  Most of the 3 cubic yards of mulch I had dumped in the driveway two weeks ago has been distributed, with just a little held back in reserve.  I've continued to dig out plants that didn't weather conditions well over the past year.  As our temperatures have cooled, I've taken some cuttings and I've begun installing my new purchases.  I even have an order of plants scheduled for delivery by mail on Friday.  Fall is a very busy season here!


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

16 comments:

  1. You left the Pyrrosia lingua behind? So sad. I think it would have been worth a try, but then I'm a pyrrosia fanatic.

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    1. I thought of you when I saw the Pyrrosia, Loree, but I've lost so many ferns, some also described as drought tolerant, I just couldn't bring myself to add it to my cart, which was already quite full at that point. Maybe next time!

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  2. Così non vale però :D Mi fai venire troppa voglia di compere ma il portafoglio non me lo permette! Sto aspettando almeno i saldi sui bulbi di novembre :D

    Ti auguro una buona continuazione e delle belle compere :)

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    1. I'm trying to ignore the cost, Gabriel! I pulled out many dead or dying plants in my back garden as summer came to a close here, as well as others that created more problems than they were worth, leaving me with more blank space that I can tolerate ;)

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  3. Quality plants, reasonable prices and a gardener on a mission: all the ingredients for a successful day at local nurseries. I don't think I've ever seen Lotus leafs sticking out of the water like they do in the Asian pond... remarkable. Love the leaping frog too!
    The only thing that could possibly distract me from looking at plants are garden kitties.

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    1. It seems late to see Lotus flowers, doesn't it?! I can never resist a kitty...

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  4. Your fall is like our spring, an exciting time for plant shopping and planting! I can imagine how pumped you are to begin working in the garden under pleasanter conditions once again. :)

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    1. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by the selection and replanting process this year, Eliza. I don't think I've done so much planting at one time since I tackled the beds created after pulling out our lawns. The number of plant losses this year and the specter of a worsening drought is forcing me to make some decisions about the composition of my garden I wasn't entirely prepared to face. At least we're lucky that, without freezes to worry about and with the prospect (no matter how dim) of rain on the horizon, fall is the best time for planting here.

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  5. My Banksia 'Schnappers Point' kicked the bucket this summer-it was in a pot as well.I knew it was a risk when I bought it but just had t give it a try. I never fail to find something to buy at Terra Sol and Seaside. I'm hoping to visit next spring .It will have been 2 years since my last trip down there--I hate that !

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    1. If those 2 garden centers were closer, I'd be there every couple of weeks, Kathy. I've been staying close to home in general for my plant shopping but I did make it to Terra Sol and Seaside twice this year. I still need to make visits to some of the garden centers within an hour's distance I've been woefully slow about visiting. Plant selections vary a lot by location!

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  6. Oh, what a wonderfully fun day you had! I need a day like that... That passiflora is almost iridescent - gorgeous!

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    1. I think you should reserve a date on your calendar for plant shopping, Anna! ;)

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  7. Sounds like a grand day out. Happy to see your butterfly photo! These garden centers look like fun places to explore. I haven't been to one since the lockdown. It's time...

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  8. Plant shopping--and room to plant them--what is better than that? 'Ray of Light' has been a great Agave here, and as it matures it gets more variegation.

    What a treat to go to Seaside Gardens--wonderful place.

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    1. I'm glad to hear that about 'Ray of Light', HB! Re Seaside, I'd be there every week if it wasn't a 2.5-3 hour commute in each direction.

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