My guru and I took a field trip to Santa Cruz yesterday. Right now we're in nearby Aptos purchasing plant material for one of her clients in Woodside. Later on, we're going to visit the UC Santa Cruz Arboreteum.
Native plant nurseries usually don't bother with the merchandising and flowery presentations of general interest nurseries. Maybe people who shop at them don't want that kind of experience anyway.
Native Revival's prices cannot be beat. How much for this 5-g Ceanothus 'Julia Phelps'?
Wow! That's like wholesale pricing. I don't even need it, but I bought one. Maybe I'll plant it at my dad's house.
1-g sizes seemed to be selling at $8.45 for the most part, and 4" pots were going for $3.99.
The demonstration gardens have seen better days, and the sun has bleached many of the garden signs. Still, they have some nice specimens to view and examine.
Proof that Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman' can be happy in a pot.
And you can hold it in a nice compact structure.
A little pruning would really help this plant, and say what you will about Ceanothus, they always tell you right where to prune.
And they're very variable. That dark shrub in the center of the picture is Ceanothus
'Dark Star'. It's almost black.
A black plant could be very interesting to use, but mostly people plant Ceanothus for the blue flowers, just about to pop.
They've underplanted it here with a gray-green salvia. Sage green, I guess you could say.
Buckeyes (Aesculus californica) always have interesting trunk structures. Which is nice, because the tree is dormant half the year.
Fragaria chiloensis spreading out from under Muhlenbergia rigens.
Coffeeberry, Rhamnus californica. Love the big berries. Would love them more if they actually tasted like coffee, but they don't--although they are bitter; better to leave them for the birds anyway. Take away the berries, and this is a handsome green shrub--which is what makes it a hard sell for us at the Botanical Garden plant sales. Is there something wrong with a green shrub that I'm not aware of? Green shrubs, especially ones that take varying conditions like this one does, and which can be pruned into any form, are vital garden features. If your garden isn't working for some reason, you might need a green shrub or two. That's my two cents.
Speaking of green shrubs, this is Carpenteria californica. And I'm thinking this one looks very unhappy in a pot, but it also looks interesting and sculpted. I wonder if you could get away with having look in a planted specimen. May-July this plant has fragrant, anemone-type white flowers.
Eriogonum giganteum, St. Catherine's Lace. People like to leave the dried inflorescences on--and I do too--but people usually leave them on for too long, imho.
At this point, it's time to snap them off.
Ribes speciosum, Fuchsia-Flowering Gooseberry.
Fuchsia flowers hang pendant from heavily armed stems. Usually used as a shade plant, they can take full sun at the coast. Hummingbird magnet.
Inside the store...
I want this book.
I like this kind of garden furniture. Looks flimsy, but it's quite sturdy.
I like the details, I like the rustiness, I like it the whole package.
And it rocks lightly on these simple joints.
These kinds of metal chairs always look so uncomfortable but my skinny butt always finds a happy place.
Speaking of booty, it's time to collect our bootie and go.
My share: 2 x 1-g Aster chilensis, 1 x 1-g yarrow something, 1 x 1-g Styrax officinalis, 1 x 5-g Ceanothus 'Julia Phelps',and 1 x 4" Juncus patens. The total was around $48.