A Visit To The Growing Lands

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Down the I-15 to an area south of Temecula where a lot of wholesale and contract growers produce ornamental plants.  We had time for only two places.  The first was trying hard to be a retail visitor type of destination, and was pricey.  
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The second was a contract grower and wholesaler who might sell some plants retail provided you knew him well and bought a lot of plants at once.  Bargains to be had. We shopped the first place thoroughly and studiously, and didn't buy a thing.  At the second place, we bought hand over fist with ruthless efficiency and gleeful speed.  


I love the area, which is rolling hills with a good bit of the native flora still in place:  California buckwheat (Erigonum), native Sumacs, Opuntia, Coast Live Oaks, the grasses their tawny summer blonde. 


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Their poly houses like giant fat caterpillars nestled in the undulating landscape, there are growers everywhere.  It's all doomed, of course.  Eventually the wave of suburban homes will flood the area, and the growers will move on to cheaper land.  But with the housing crash, not for a good while. 

Different type of architecture:
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The cultivated ornamental plants with their native backdrop, some in row upon row of plastic pots...
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Others planted like hedges in the ground and harvested for cuttings. 
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Agave as groundcover?
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This I thought interesting:  Portulicaria afra as a groundcover on a slope.  It looked quite fetching, but how much trimming will be involved?  And here without trees to scatter litter upon the Portulicaria, it was immaculate and beautiful.  Would it be the same if littered with leaves?
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Golden Barrel Cactus, always stunning with sun hitting the spines:
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A lone cactus flower, though I'm not sure this was on a Golden Barrel.  There was a lot to look at.
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In retrospect, I wonder if this was A Plant That Got Away--one of those plants you kick yourself for not buying because you'll never see it again:  Athanasia cerosa.  It was so silvery it seemed to sparkle:
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There was also this Pereskia grandiflora, quite a stunner, but how hardy?  How reliable?  How perskickety?  I had no idea.  It had nasty clusters of needle-y spines under the leaves. 
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Like a prickly undersea gossip session.

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A long (100 m) wide (2 m) hedge of Society Garlic in front of a long wide hedge of Chondropetalum:
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A 'Medusa' Euphorbia blooming away:
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Lots and lots of the standard Agaves:
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Dasylirion and Aloe...
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A variegated Opuntia, glossy as if waxed:
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I took almost no photos at the second place--too busy shopping.
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I bought just a couple of Echeverias at good prices.  It would have been well worth visiting to buy nothing at all.  That rolling land is so beautiful, plants growing everywhere is wonderful, and cool ocean air was flowing over all.  Lovely day.  
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Comments

  1. Thanks for taking us along - the 1st place gives an idea for a less-hot site like on the immediate coast (or inland with ramadas) - no trees, so the groundcover can shine on a large slope, like that P. afra. Sometimes we don't need trees while sometimes we need plenty...but tree often prescribed when not needed, or assumed.

    Inspires me for my future business:)

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  2. "Tree often prescribed when not needed"

    Very true! There is usually a need for height of some kind, but it doesn't need to be a tree.

    The prescription is often a tree far too close to the house, so that the tree is cut down before maturity. Sad waste.

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  3. Danger, was it the Agave-as-groundcover?

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  4. What a great day trip! I spy Senecio anteuphorbium, a plant on my radar since I've just given mine a good watering and it's getting flower buds but still no leaves after summer dormancy. I do love that "elephant food," the light leaves and reddish stems. I've been seeing that athanasia around town, you'll find it again. The ones in the parking lot at the Huntington scared me a bit because they look like crap when they get tall and leggy. I'm going to keep an eye on mine to try to keep it full and bushy. What a fun post, Hoov.

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  5. Thanks for the info on the Athanasia, Denise. The 100 meter hedge of S. anteuphorbium there was something to behold.

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