Plants At A Trendy Shopping Center

Ceiba speciosa planted long before the property was a shopping center.  Originally it was a small factory making night-vision goggles.

Family was here visiting recently;  they wanted to shop at the local hipster mall so I went along and took...plant pictures!
Grand entrance way from the parking lot is a tunnel of old CDs.  Looks like Cypress or Juniper is planted on the tunnel's exterior.  
 Fountain made of oil drums
 Euphorbia ammak under planted with the kind of Portulacaria afra that drapes.  In pots with macrame skirts.   
 Probably Portulacaria afra 'Aurea'.  Did you know Portulacaria is a "very efficient plant for absorbing atmospheric carbon (CO2) and has been described as a "carbon sponge", using both the more common C-3 pathway for carbon fixation in the photosynthesis process and, when the temperatures rise, can also use the Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) pathway that is found in many other succulents."?  Me, neither.   I know elephants--what elephants are left--eat an enormous amount of it in its native Africa.  Portulacaria grows rapidly, to stay ahead of the elephants.  One common name for the plant is "Elephant Food"

 Some sort of thing with tags hung on it, and Halloween decor
 Hipster seating
 There's another, similar place across the street. 
Cross here
Wasn't sure if this was Pennisetum setaceum, a known California invasive, or not.  With Euphorbia tirucalli, and some young hipsters. 
 This area is nearly urban, so the chance that this can invade wild lands is not large, if this is the invasive.  Since it was everywhere, it was sure acting like it. 
 Way better as a planter than as an ash tray
 Log and succulents and water feature and grass tufts. 

 More grass, and a Yucca, and more grass on the roof. 
 This was in a store.  I recognized the dried foliage as Grevillea. 
 A baby Cork Oak, Quercus suber, by the hipster bakery. 
 Cork oak leaves
Here's a more venerable Q. suber at Painshill Park in Surrey (tree on the right).  Planted in the 1740s(?)  Let us pause and meditate for a moment about a tree being allowed to grow undisturbed for over 250 years. 

Back in the 2010's, yet more of that grass
 There was a little store in an Airstream trailer that sold little Tillandsias and little succulent plants.  Dorm-room window sitter ledge type items. 
Walking back to the car, we went on the backside of the shops, which originally was the front visitor entrance of the night-vision-goggle factory.  Bamboo in the narrow planter, and the walls covered with Parthenocissus tricuspidata, Boston Ivy.
 Which colors up a touch, even close to the Pacific. 


  1. Nice shot of the Parthenocissus coloring up, it's so pretty in the fall, and even when not in color, the leaves are an interesting shape. It's one of those vines like Wisteria that scares me. I'd worry about pruning it to keep it in check.

    1. I have Parthenocissus on garden walls; it is helpful in reducing reflected heat from the walls in summer. About every three years I pull it all off the walls and cut it to the ground and it all grows back onto the walls. This works out well. It has a considerable root system, the thing I don't like about it. Not nearly the terror that Wisteria was. It took nine years to finally kill off the Wisteria after I first pulled it out. Roots were going 20 and 30' away from that beastie. No more Wisteria here!

    2. When my husband isn't looking, I might try that on discreet sections of our ivy.
      Haven't seen Portulacaria used to trail, looks good!

  2. Replies
    1. I shop Patagonia here at Christmas, but the parking is always insane. That florist in the Airstream always has interesting stuff.

    2. @AGO,

      My sister calls it Patagucci. I think that's an Alaska thing.

      Oftimes it takes out-of-town visitors to get you places right near by. Funny how that works.

  3. You know, I've never been there but then the only times I've even visited nearby South Coast Plaza in recent years have been to attend the so-called Spring Garden Show. At least they've put some effort into landscaping and, er, shop-scaping. I love the Boston ivy, which looks so good I'm wondering why it isn't used more often. The CD tunnel gives me a claustrophobic feeling, even just looking at the photo, but using the disks as decoration is better than dumping them in a landfill.

    1. Or the Spring so-called "Garden" Show. :( BI is deciduous, which I guess does not fall under the "low maintenance" umbrella, although turfgrass still seems to, which is a mystery I will never solve.

      As I remember the CD tunnel is quite a few years old, but the CDs still look brand new. Yes, better than landfill!

  4. A real great shopping centre with so many unusual and special things, the CD tunnel is marvellous.

    1. Very different from the mysterious courtyard garden you found in Leiden! I really enjoyed your post on that.

  5. They do have this area all planted up. Some nice plantings. I love those planters with macrame skirts. I think I have seen the Portulacuria before. I think I have actually had a small start of it. Things of this nature don't get to grow into large beautiful plants like this around here. I am not sure what a Hipster is, I wouldn't know one if I saw one probably. ha... Does this make me old??? Naw, don't answer that.

  6. I just like the repeated use of the word 'hipster'. Ok, the Euphorbia in the tall, clay pots was cool too.

    1. If I use the word hipster, am I hip? ;^) Plants are fun, but so are words!

    2. And original Mini in your hipster is that? :)

  7. I like that hipster mall, haha. Hate the parking. I've never seen the CD tunnel to I need to explore more. I love the silk trees though I wouldn't plant one at home. I didn't know that trailing plant was a portulaca variety! I thought jade...I have some in a hanging basket at home that I 'saved/recycled' after it was broken and laying on the sidewalk in Manhattan Beach. :)

    1. The CD tunnel is in the back by the back parking lot. We were lucky, the lot was full but suddenly someone pulled out right in front of us and we got a parking space. My Aeonium haworthii came from a broken piece laying in the street around the corner. Recycling is a honored tradition! The Ceiba is beautiful but I agree, like them but would not plant one. Slip and slide on the fallen flowers.


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