The Times They Are

 Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow'
I was expecting some local garden centers to go bankrupt due to the drought--that may happen eventually, but most garden centers and especially landscape and garden contractors have been hopping this spring, since the Governor's announcement of mandatory water reductions.   

People are trying to figure out what "drought tolerant" means, changing out plants, removing lawns in favor of hardscape or succulents,  getting their leaking swimming pools repaired, and upgrading or repairing irrigation systems.  

Although they've been promoting xeric plants for several years now, one local garden center seems more significantly changed to make the most of the demand for xerics.  The display garden, which last spring still had lavish displays of massed Delphiniums and daisies has given way to such austere plants as Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow'...
 Teucrium scorodonia 'Crispum'
 Gaura, weedy scraggly Gaura--well, it's not that bad, but...
 Sedum 'Frosty Morn'
 ...Seslaria autumnalis
 There were large signs to explain the virtues of unfamiliar plants:

All the plantings had a fresh, thick mulch (surprise!  they were selling mulch!)

 Still, there were little reminders of pre-drought favorites.  Beautiful, beautiful begonias...

Love begonias.  On a shaded patio, are they really all that profligate?  Back ten years ago, this garden center had a huge section of camellias and azaleas, long time coastal favorites.  There are still a few for sale, but only a few.  Camellias do well here--if the plants but especially the roots are kept cool, covered, shaded, they do fine on once-a-month summer watering, and no additional irrigation the rest of the year.  Being understory plants, they are used to drier conditions.  They'll live for a hundred years, too.  Azaleas--not so much.  Azaleas are fading from our region, as they should. 

Nice xeric pots here.
 Love the combo of 'Sunset Gold' Coleonema and Leucospermum out of bloom. In bloom with yellow Leucospermum flowers, even better. 
 There was a mass of fresh new Tibouchina urvilleana for sale.  The big purple flowers are nice, but how about this luscious foliage? 

Almost no tuberous begonias in moss lined pots.  Lots and lots of driftwood pieces planted with succulents seems to be the latest and greatest. 
So, that's what's up with the trendy garden center these days. 
The times they are a-changin'.


  1. Beautiful images dear Hoover, I love grasses and foliage plants and the yellow flowering Begonia is spectacular.
    xoxoxo ♡

    1. I found the yellow flowered Begonia quite enchanting, too! And the orange one.

  2. To give Roger's credit, they've been trying to shift tastes for awhile now - when they moved their succulent offerings up to the front area, I knew they were serious. My local Armstrong has more recently done the same thing. I do miss growing tuberous begonias, though...

    1. Yes they have been working at staying at the leading edge of garden trends. If I had a humid conservatory it would be loaded up with tuberous begonias. So Wowza! Remember the White Flower Farm Catalogs with the spectacular cultivars? How I would sigh over those begonias, with their huge vivid flowers--though come to think of it, very similar to Echinopsis flowers in their huge size and fluorescent I don't need a humid conservatory after all...

  3. It's great to see when nurseries and garden centres show adaptation to the climate of their area as their efforts will definitely trickle down to their customers, especially those who still need some guidance as to what will be good for their garden as well as able to cope with water restrictions.

    1. Lots (most) people need help with this. They do make an effort to educate.

  4. Wow, not only succulents, but vertical planted ones as well. They have really gone for it.

  5. So glad they are helping people out. Most people up here are in denial, but I have a feeling that we all will be digging less drought hardy stuff out before too long. Last night, I went to a spectacular Open Garden, entirely consisting of xeric plantings. It was beautiful and marvelously inspiring. The owners only water what has been newly planted. The rest gets no supplemental water AT ALL! Wow... Love the fuzzy foliage of Tibouchina urvilleana. We have it at the nursery, but are selling it as an annual. It wouldn't survive our winters here - at least not yet.


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