Above: that must be the tree they're talking about.
The previous post was about a local fire station going native-plant; Tree of Life Nursery in San Juan Capistrano is where the fire station's plants originated.
Although there is a retail store and a small demonstration garden with examples of native plants, the largest portion of the business is wholesale, supplying native plants throughout California and some other portions of the West Coast. Plant prices are on the low side.
California poppy, Eschscholzia californica
Lots of shoppers on a Saturday morning in spring. Cupressus arizonica var montana 'San Pedro Martir' is the blue conifer.
The nursery grounds contain native plants and many trees so old they are from a time when San Juan Capistrano was a mere stagecoach stop between San Diego and Los Angeles.
The retail shop has cliff swallows nesting in the eaves. Baby birds await their parents, who we saw flying around the nursery grounds catching insects for their chicks. It takes thousands of trips to mud puddles by the parents to build the dried mud nests.
The buildings are old and of various origins, some dating to the era when the land was a vast cattle ranch. This little building houses planters and botanical posters.
There is a short trail through native plants. Visitors are warned to watch for rattlesnakes.
Support your local native pollinators!
I took a photo of the instructions for building a bee post. Sounds easy.
Aren't the Agaves on those pillars great? I'd like to replace the lights on our driveway pillars with potted Agaves like this.
This is what California looked like before 35 million Homo sapiens invaded.
Gorgeous huge Agave, not sure which. It was quite toothy.
An Opuntia even bigger than the Agave:
Fremontodendron It's cautionary to see how large most California native shrubs can become by looking at the specimens around the nursery grounds. Most gardens have the space for only a few.
This is the driveway to the nursery. It's easy to miss. Nice big fat Agave parryi truncata there on the right.
Most of the growing houses are shade houses. Only the propagation house is a more climate-controlled building with the humidity required for rooting cuttings and sprouting seeds.
The tall tree is Sequoia cellutoweris:
Big gorgeous mature Arctostaphylos.
A few native Iris are to be found in the dappled shade of big oaks.
Posts in the employee lunch room are a cache for woodpeckers storing acorns.
Another lovely little Iris
The grounds are so serene to wander, and then you get to buy plants!
Got: Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman', long-desired Arctostaphylos 'Austin Griffiths', Salvia 'Winnifred Gilman', and a free Tidy Tips, Layia platyglossa, a CA native wildflower--they were giving them away as a bonus since the wildflower season is nearly over. The little plant may be able to bloom just enough to reseed in our garden.
I've been interested in 'Austin Griffiths' since seeing it on the Portland Blogger's Fling. I planted it in this area here, but I think I need to move it--maybe not enough sun. Sometimes you have to put a plant in the wrong place in order to figure out where the right place is.
Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman' on the left, Saliva 'Winnifred Gilman' on the right, Layia platyglossa below them. Prices as I said are very good, the Ceanothus and Salvia were $8 or $9, 'Austin' in the five gallon size only $24, and the Layia was free.
Ceanothus went there, in the back gully. It will be tall enough to get sufficient (full) sun.
The roses I removed last year from that spot didn't get enough sun, and the Hydrangea there I removed the year before last got too much sun. Neither the roses nor the Hydrangea got enough water. So the Ceanothus might work there. Or maybe not. I was planning on pruning it into a tree-like shape, if I can figure out how. Since it grows 15-20' tall it would be visible from the koi pond area. It will get good drainage...yes I guess it might work there...