Retail Therapy Time

 Leucospermum 'Sunrise'.  Color like this is sugar for the eyes.  Note blogger in habitat fleetingly caught, Sasquatch-like, at the top right of the photo. 
 
Yes, it's time for some retail therapy--we took a drive to Village in Huntington Beach.  

All photos in this post are courtesy of Beloved, because your blogger was too busy with "therapy".    
 On our arrival we discovered they were fully restocked with fresh plants for spring.  Oh, the horror!

 The sign implied you should be worried for your shoes, but plant lovers know they need be worried for their wallet. 

 Blogger in habitat, looking for Callistemon 'Slim'.  I have spaces for more Callistemon 'Slim's.  I was there for that plant alone.  No succumbing to temptation. Discipline!  Focus!
 Lots of annual color to enjoy.  I love Ranunculus, but other bulbs like Hippeastrum hybrids, Brodiaea laxa “Queen Fabiola”, and "Dutch" Iris are a better value, coming back reliably year after year.   

"I don't care if they'll all be dead by Memorial Day!" cried the lady in front of us at the cash register, her wagon full of Ranunculus.  "I love them.  I want them anyway!

Easy not to buy (for some):
 Under the power lines are standard places for growing grounds in Southern California. 
 Camellias are still a very common plant in Southern California.  There were a lot for sale.  They struggle in my garden's strong Santa Ana wind conditions;  along the coast they do much better.  

A classic foundation shrub for the east and north sides of Southern California houses for a century.  Camellias can go all summer unwatered if the root system is heavily shaded and long established, but not only is the water disappearing here--so is the space for a garden.  The front yard of new homes is about the size of a sofa; the back yard is all concrete, the side yard is a sidewalk and a fence.
Camellias were once the premier winter color for SoCal, but Aloes and Grevilleas feed far more bees.  Still, beautiful. 
 There's the 'Slim's!  Good. 
 I don't do Phormiums anymore, either.  The Phormium mealy bug has become an established pest and kills off the plant by massing unseen at the leaf bases and sucking the crown dry.   Regular pesticide spraying of the base would take care of that, but I'd rather not spray.  Watch for this mealy bug on Cordylines, too. 
 This was a painfully wonderful aisle to look though:  many, many, many different Leucospermums and Grevilleas, all fresh stock.  Temptations galore. 
 Best to admire spring ephemerals and "annual color" and stick to the objective:  Callistemon 'Slim'. 

 But a thriller of a Leucospermum was before me:  'Rainbow'. 
 A new introduction?  The price was crazy.  All of the others were half this price or less.   
 Awesome, though. 
 Sugar-hit for the eyes. 
 This Aloe was labelled 'Conejo Flame', but it didn't look like 'Conejo Flame', which looks more like this, and there was an Aloe adjacent with a gall mite infection (indicated by purple arrow):
This looks more like 'Conejo Flame', but it also looks like plain old arborescens, and I didn't check the label. 
  Leucospermum 'Spider Hybrid'.  I unintentionally killed mine last year--still not sure why.   Either not enough water or too much. 
 Grevillea 'Poorinda Blondie' was a looker, too. 
 Another look at Leucospermum 'Sunrise' in the sunshine 
 Grow-houses full of plants.
 Three 'Slim's did come home with us, but so did a small 'Kings Fire' Grevillea at a great price, along with an Aloe, A. rubroviolacea.  My strict policy of never buying Aloes at Village because so many of them are infected with gall mite failed in the face of a large, apparently clean A. rubroviolacea.  It was from San Marcos, a more reliably clean source than whoever their other suppliers are.  I'll blast it with systemic anyway.  Temptation happens. 
 Special thanks to Beloved for the photos, and for everything else. 

Comments

  1. I am in the mood for some retail therapy too, but I need to know for sure that this ice cold weather and snow has gone. It's melted today and we seem to be back to normal, but you never know. These are some fabulous plants you showed us!

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    1. When do your local nurseries restock? Won't be long now!

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  2. Such restraint! I'm not sure I can be that good the first time I go to retail therapy!

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  3. Camellias! so gorgeous! can't wait to see my camellias in bloom.

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  4. Oh thank god. Had you not succumbed to a little of all that temptation I would have been worried about you! Thanks for all the eye candy.

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    1. Haven't had a lot of gardening enthusiasm lately--the "therapy" seemed to help.

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  5. I'm glad you got some therapy - and your 'Slims'. How big a pot was that $119 Leucospermum 'Rainbow' in? I could swear I saw it for $45 when I was at Terra Sol (Goleta) yesterday for some retail therapy myself but maybe I'm confusing it with 'Sunrise'. (I know I saw 'Rainbow' somewhere but it might have been Seaside and I didn't check the prices there as my resolve about what I "needed" was still intact at that point.) After much debate, I came home with the 'Spider Hybrid' from Terra Sol, also sold for $45. I came back with a lot more, almost nothing of which was on my list so I clearly lack your discipline - and now I find I may need to make a visit to Village next week.

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    1. Oooh! How was Seaside? I worried about it during the terrible fire.

      The 'Rainbow' was a 7 gallon. Village had a lot of good stuff--you are forewarned!

      My 'Spider Hybrid' from either RBG or SCBG died. :( It was pretty small...too small to leave the container, I guess.

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    2. Seaside looked fine. There were no signs whatsoever that it had been touched by fire or mud. My friend told me that Seaside was just outside the mudslide evacuation area, although Island View, less than a mile away, was within the evacuation zone. We visited Island View too but saw no damage; however, Stribling Orchids, roughly half-way between Seaside and IV had mountains of mud piled up on either side of their long driveway.

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    3. That's good news about Seaside. There was terrible damage in that area. Plant growers have it tough enough as it is.

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  6. Next month - I am going - to shop for my gaps. That looks so tempting!

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    1. Autumn or it's approach is as good a time for "therapy" as anticipating Spring.

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  7. Lovely retail therapy for those of us in colder climes, too, albeit vicarious. Thanks to Beloved for documenting your spree, and to you for sharing it with us. On this rainy, cold day in Portland, I'm snuggling up to the idea of sunny, warmer days ahead!

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    1. And low cost when vicarious, too! ;^)

      Rainy? Sigh. Talk about vicarious pleasures...

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  8. How uplifting to see all that lovely color and those tremendous shapes and sizes. Your Sasquatch approach did you good and your Beloveds photos were just right.

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    1. A sunny day in winter is so cheering!

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  9. I would have bought many of those gorgeous Camellias!

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    1. I miss Camellias, but this garden is just the wrong place for them. I will enjoy your beautiful specimens instead, from afar.

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  10. I'm glad I stopped at Village Nurseries in December--I know very well what kinds of temptation you're talking about it. It must have been even worse for you, considering they had fresh stock!

    Monterey Bay Nursery produces a lot of cool plants. But $119? That's crazy for that Leucospermum!

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    1. Well it was a pretty big plant, about a year of growth more than a 5. If you factor in the cost of water here, it might be about the same.

      It helps to keep asking myself, "Where are you going to plant that?"

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  11. I swung by Village late Sunday afternoon and was also impressed with the new stock. I seem to be on a silver-leaved plant bender, so couldn't walk away from Centaurea ragusina with stiff, almost succulent-like leaves. Got it in the ground Sunday night...and then it rained last night! Sometimes life is pretty good ;) Glad you bagged your callistemons. As of now I have no leucospermums in the garden, and I'm a little relieved not to have to nurse one through another summer.

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    1. I almost got that Centaurea also. What stunning foliage!!! Enjoy.

      Had to restrain myself several times--still have shrubs that need planting--where, I can't figure out.

      A little rain last night, and more rain predicted Thursday/Friday! What great news is that? (Of course hopefully it misses Montecito.)

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  12. I love your writing and your plant knowledge but I come for the photo captions! LOVE THEM! They make me laugh out loud. :)

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