What's for sale at the San Francisco Botanical Garden plant sale this weekend?

I helped a little bit with set-up for the big sale this year. The members' preview sale is Friday night, May 1, from 5 to 9 p.m. You don't have to be a member to attend. You just have to be a member to buy, and I believe you can even buy a membership when you buy your plants. The sale opens to the public on Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will still be plenty of plants on Saturday, so don't worry about that. Many people think the Saturday sale is a lot mellower too. Some of the members can get a little hot under the collar when you put a bunch of plants in front of them.

Shop for perennials and natives under the blooming Shogetsu cherries...


You can buy Gunnera, if you have room to plant it. These are just waking up from dormancy and will get, oh, 10 times bigger before the season ends.


My favorite ground-cover for dry shade: Omphalodes cappodocica in a 1-gallon pot for a mere $6!

Omphalodes cappodocica

Scroll over pictures for plant names...

Anchusa capensis


It's nice to see Restios available in 1-gallon pots; usually you have to buy them much larger. A whole slew of them.


many grasses


I'll bet these will go quickly:

Eryngium proteiflorum

California natives are a specialty, and they sell many obscure manzanitas.

Many manzanitas

Solanum xanti var. obispoense

They always have a lot of native iris, including the purple hybrid 'Joey'. (Sidenote: If you can be a passenger on a drive down highway 1 [or ride your bike?] to Santa Cruz, you can see an amazing Iris show right now.)

Iris douglasiana 'Joey'

This fern caught my eye. Sorry for the blurry picture.

Blechnum spicant ssp. nipponicum

Inside, they have a lot of vireyas for sale, in various sizes and prices. (And several tables full of regular rhodies, too.)


Many agaves and succulents in small pots--perfect for your fitting into your rock wall.



They always have Crassula corymbulosa for sale.

Crassula corymbulosa

Kalanchoe beharensis--this is one my favorite succulents for container planting. These become quite remarkable after a few years.

Kalanchoe beharensis

Epiphyllum cuttings.


Variegated kerria in 6" pots.

Kerria japonica 'variegata'

Abutilon city.




I know almost nothing about begonias, but they've been on my mind ever since Lotusland. Begonia luxurians.

Begonia luxurians

There are at least a dozen different Clematis available, including 'Mrs. N. Thomson' here,

Clematis 'Mrs. N. Thomson'

Wigela florida 'Wine and Roses'

There are four tables of Protaceae, but the only picture that came out was Grevellia sericea.

Grevellia sericea

I have houseguests this weekend, so I won't be able to attend. Which is good, in a way.

Also for sale: a slew of fuchsias, cloud forest plants and shade shrubs, trees, vegetables, rock garden elements, bonsai, roses, vines...


No news in the small garden

The lovely native bush anenome (Carpenteria californica, native to, well, Fresno County) continues to bloom. I have two, but only this one is blooming. The other is just a couple feet away; I'm not sure why both aren't blooming. Maybe this one got a bit more sunlight over winter...? It's possible.

Carpenteria californica

New leaves on the pajaro manzanita (Arctostaphylos pajaroensis 'Lester Rountree') add a bronzy cast to the garden this time of year.

Arctostaphylos pajaroensis 'Lester Rountree'

I really dig it.


I think the purple honeywort (Cerinthe major 'purpurascens') is starting to dry out a bit. Nothing but rainwater for this plant. I can see some seeds have ripened and dropped, guaranteeing next year's crop. Actually, some of those seeds will germinate in the fall when the rains come; others seed will wait until next spring.

Cerinthe major

The top-setting onions are photogenic. I harvest them as green onions once in awhile, but mostly I just let them be groovy.

walking onion

The freesia flowers have dried all dried out. They remain remarkably colorful! I don't have a design plan in place to take advantage of that; it is what it is.

dead freesias

Bright sun seems to be whitening the yellow 'Charlotte' rose. Not loving that, but the sun isn't this bright all year. Also, the rose hasn't opened all the way. Maybe it's yellowier inside.


Here's my grape. I thought I saw flower buds, but now I can't find them. Maybe I was just hallucinating. Sigh.

Vitis californica

Gilia tricolor is one of my favorite wildflowers.

Gilia tricolor

Stylomecon heterophylla is pretty good too.

Stylomecon heterophylla


Secret Gardens of the East Bay

I only saw four gardens on this tour today. Here is the one that I liked, designed and maintained by Sequoiah Wachenheim and Jay Tidwell, owners and operators of Earthly Arts. This is their home garden.

The backyard is dedicated to food, including "raspberries, loganberries, mulberries, kumquats, Asian pears, pomegranates, and plums" not to mention all the greens and onions you see here:

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They bought the property six years ago and pickaxed out the weedy back lawn. Thirty cubic yards of horse poop later, voilĂ .

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A meditative side yard with a small lawn connects the front and back yards.

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Note the yellow Chiranthodendron-type flowers floating in the water. Long-time readers may remember seeing the flowers of Chiranthodendron pentadactylon many times on this blog. That Latin American plant is cousin to California's Fremontodendron which you've also seen many times. The flowers in the pool are from a cross generic hybrid that you can usually find for sale at Dry Garden.

This side-yard used to be a rabbit run, but I overheard Ms. Wachenheim tell a visitor that the bunny was incompatible with their strawberry patch. Now bunny is only allowed out on supervised release. (They also have chickens of course.)

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The ornamental front yard uses many of the plants you commonly find in contemporary Californian dry designs.

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But I would say the kapok tree (Chorisia speciosa) is more common in Southern California. I recently drove by a mile of it on Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills.

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Aeonium 'Schwarzkopf'--a lovely black aeonium. I've tried this plant a few times, and it always reverts to green! Which is, like, totally inexplicable to me.

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