Emma and I spent yesterday botanizing in the Santa Cruz area. Well, technically you botanize in natural settings, but we visited nurseries and gardens. I guess that makes us hortinizers. We hortinized.
Our first stop was Sierra Azul Nursery in Watsonville. I first came here in 2007 with some folks from the San Francisco Botanical Garden on a plant-buying expedition. Sierra Azul is wholesale/retail operation. The retail nursery is outstanding and features an extensive sculpture garden. The path through the sculpture garden was muddy and wet due to recent rains. Wear seasonally appropriate footwear.
If you drive down from the Bay Area, I recommend taking Highway 152 over Hecker Pass and making a stop at Mount Madonna for some hiking and a picnic. Sierra Azul is just a couple miles on the other side of the hill.
ADDED: Christopher implemented the bamboo bottle tree in his North Carolina garden, scroll down here.
The ceramic totems are by a woman named Carole DePalma. I caught a few of the other artists' names. You might see them if you move your cursor over the pictures.
That's a taste of it. There is quite a bit more. The sculpture garden doubles as a demonstration garden, obviously. Spring is just arriving now.
I bought this black cordyline. It was my one big purchase of the day. Loving me some monocots lately.
The plant selection is all mediterranean-climate stuff, with a lot of nice succulents and California natives.
Some big Protaceae too, if you're in the market for that.
Leucospermum reflexum? I'd never heard of it.
I could get in to dwarf conifers. Some day...