above left:  Nemophila menziesii, a striking California native, Duboce Park.

  right: Papaver atlanticum, Duboce Park.

below: close up of a butterfly that frequented Duboce Park in the Indian Summer of October of 2014.


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December 2014 

Dec 4 - off the clocks for now 


This week, in a show of optimism, I've been turning off more irrigation clocks. Last year at this time customers were making sure I still had them on. I had heard somewhere that by the end of December, we had received more rain than the whole season the previous year. The pic above was actually taken in October, with a hose, but very judiciously.

November 2014

Nov 8 - Strybing Arboretum 'End of Season' Plant Sale

"I wasn't planning on getting anything", no one believes that anymore but that doesn't stop it from flying out my mouth. I volunteered for the last sale of the year (not exactly true, the Arbor next to the bookstore has a plant sale every day, and the nursery brings out its best every week) and brought home some 'new to me' plants that I'm excited about.

Still salvia-crazed, I picked up the elegant S. lavanduloides and  an unusual looking S. trijuga to trial with a customer who has the sun and space needed.

I picked up Pelargoniums: the 'species' P. sidoides , which has larger leaves and nearly black (not florist 'black', aka maroon) flowers, and another which grows giant leaves and has as its species name an anagram of 'from Ernie', the man who originally brought the plant to Berkeley.

Still salvia-crazed, I picked up the elegant S. lavanduloides and S. trijuga to trial with a customer, and for me, a hard to find white form of Francoa.

above clockwise: the 'real' P.sidoides; introduction has its privileges; Lippia formosa from Grow Native, green flowered Knowltonia cordata.

Nov 1 - Rancho Santa Ana

above clockwise: a yellow fruited Heteromeles; Philadelphus microphyllus; manzanita; Baileya multira

If you've bought any gardening books on California natives, then you've seen pictures of the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, located in the town of Claremont, just east of Pasadena. It's a paradise for native enthusiasts, even in November.

And I was not prepared for the astoundingGrow Native Nursery, the largest of its kind I've ever visited. Below is what you see from the parking lot.


I made a beeline for the table of salvias, as I'd been lugging around The Plant Lovers Guide to Salvias in my truck for the past couple weeks, and sure enough, the first pot I pick up is S. spathacea 'Avis Keedy'.

I grabbed a couple other cultivars of hummingbird sage, a 'Point Sal Spreader', and Salvia 'Aromas', then turned to see the rest of the sales floor:


The tables under the shade cloth seemed to stretch to the horizon (and this is just the sales floor, the nursery is another whole country). Scurrying around like a kid on candy, I scored another find, Venegasia carpesiodes, and a 'new to me' Lippia (see above, with pics of the plants from Strybing's end of season sale)

 Dean Ouellette   415-820-1623   garden_together@hotmail.com