Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Three days of plant focused madness…

I’ve got a horticultural hangover. I’ve just returned from a whirlwind trip to the Bay Area; a day to drive down, three days there and a day to drive back. With the exception of must make stops at CB2 and the Crate & Barrel outlet in Berkeley every other stop was plant motivated. Here’s the list:

The Ruth Bancroft Garden
Annie’s Annuals
Flora Grubb
The San Francisco Flower & Garden Show
Cactus Jungle
The Cornerstone Gardens in Sonoma

Of course I’ve got plenty of photos from each visit to share (lots of paring down necessary first) but for now I thought I’d begin with a few others from the trip, starting with one snapped in-route last Wednesday morning along I-5 near Eugene, Oregon.
“Late snowstorm of historic proportions” was how it was labeled, and it was disruptive as many people found themselves spun out in the ditch, or worse. Thankfully my partner in plant crime, JJ DeSousa, drives a 4-wheel drive Jeep and she skillfully navigated us right on through the chaos and on to California.

Our SF accommodations were in the Richmond district of San Francisco, and while I should have been helping to locate a parking space instead I was gawking at the plants, like these beautiful Yuccas.
I’m sure someone can tell me specifically which Yucca they are, as they were all over the city. How I wish I had a few of these growing in my garden!

Here’s a peek into the backyards of the flats adjoining "ours"...
I couldn’t help but feel sad that with all the fabulous plants they could be growing there didn’t seem to be a gardener in the bunch.

Well except for this neighbor…
Can you make out the espalier Magnolia?
Thankfully I did find a few street side Aeonium plantings.
I loved the determination of this Juniper to make it out to the light…
One of the many fabulous meals we enjoyed on the trip was at the renowned Chez Panisse in Berkeley.
Yes the food was amazing, but so was this tree standing watch over the restaurant.

Here’s my obligatory shot of that bridge…
And finally an image of the very full car as we were ready to start the journey home…
A smart person would have snapped a shot of all the plants spread out on the sidewalk before we started packing them in so you could have seen just how many there were. But at that point I was still a little concerned if they were going to fit (and what we would be leaving behind) so I wasn’t thinking clearly. I’ll just say you all are familiar with my plant addiction and JJ makes me look like an amateur, it was a jam-packed car.

So with that I guess I’d better get busy editing down the hundreds of pictures I took so I can share them with you!

39 comments:

  1. What a great teaser! I can't wait for detailed posts to see how you liked the other places. Some of them are among my all-time favorites, like Ruth Bancroft Gardens and Annie's Annuals.

    As for those yuccas, we have them all over town as well. I think they're Yucca gloriosa. At least our Yucca gloriosa began to look that way before I dug it out and gave it away.

    Gerhard
    :: Bamboo and More ::

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's an interesting article about the confusion surrounding the name of these yuccas: http://www.smgrowers.com/info/Yuccaelephantipes.asp.

      Often called Yucca gloriosa or Yucca elephantipes, their correct name is Yucca guatemalensis, as Adam said.

      Delete
    2. Confusing! I think my favorite line from the San Marcos article is this "To avoid the discussion regarding nursery nomenclature, I will submit that much of the nursery industry gets it wrong much of the time"...so true! I know everyone is trying their best but there are certainly a lot of mismarked plants out there!

      Some of the tender plants at the Ruth Bancroft Garden were still under their winter covers, which was unfortunate but didn't ruin the experience for me as there was still lots to see.

      Delete
    3. Oh btw...gave it away? It was starting to look like those and you gave it away??? Why???

      Delete
  2. Looks like tons of fun! Glad you made it there and back in one piece! My husband and I went nursery hopping in North Carolina for our honeymoon. Getting all the plants and all our wedding crap back to Texas was interesting.

    The juniper looks like its peeking around the corner. Too funny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At first I read that as wedding "cake" then I saw you actually wrote "crap"...haha. After we got it all in there we noted that there was actually enough room for 2 or 3 more gallon sized plants. Yes we considered making a stop on the way out of town.

      Delete
  3. Loree,

    I reckon our mystery Yuccas are Yucca guatemalensis, not the hardiest of things unfortunately, but where they do grow outside they end up looking great. They are sold in the UK as houseplants, but grow relatively poorly indoors and will certainly not look those beauties you have photographed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looks like you and Gerhard are in agreement after all. Aren't they great!? I can't imagine trying to sell them as houseplants.

      Delete
  4. Sorry, meant to post "your", not "our",

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kind of like how I always type plants when I mean plans?

      Delete
  5. I hope you didn't spend all your plant allowance. There's more plant buying fun coming soon! How was the trip out to Annie's? I'm going to be in SF for work in several weeks and wondering how easy it will be to sneak out there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did manage to keep all of the upcoming plant sales and our field trip in mind while I was shopping. It was hard though because there were so many cool plants there, my kind of plants!

      To tell you the truth I have no idea exactly where Annie's was in relation to SF. We started that day by traveling out to Ruth Bancroft in Walnut Creek and then cut through Berkeley for lunch, I was a little turned around. Will you have a car? If so then you should definitely do it. If not you might try emailing Megan of the blog Far Out Flora (http://www.faroutflora.com) she works there and commutes from SF so she'd probably have tips for you on getting there.

      Delete
  6. That is one impressive itinerary ! That drive is brutal --I always break it up with a stopover in Ashland. That snow issue is the one and only reason I've never made it up to the Seattle show--I just don't do snow. Sorry our paths didn't cross..I saw Denise after she met up with you, she was on her way out and I was on my way to a seminar. Maybe next time ! You need to come came back when they take the covers off at the Bancroft !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brutal indeed, and JJ drove the whole way there and back! When my husband and I made the trip a couple of years ago we did just that, a night in Ashland going and Medford on the return. Maybe someday you'll happen upon a free airfare to the Seattle show? I'd recommend the train but I know they can be painfully slow.

      Delete
  7. Looks like you had a great trip. I can't wait to see your posts on the places you visited.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, and we even had some sun!

      Delete
  8. I like the shot of the packed car...it could be "dangerous" to reach back there without a careful strategy. Looking forward to the rest of your trip!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How we managed to get all the Agaves home without breaking any of their arms is a mystery to me, I am thankful.

      Delete
  9. Wow...not as nice as having met you, Ms Danger, but close enough with those pics. The Yucca...probabably don't bother, but they are nice there as in San Diego. Perhaps try a true Y. gloriosa / Moundlily...tho not as tall as the Y. guatamalensis or Y. elephantipes, it is tough to Abq!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know isn't it crazy that we were in the same places but yet just missed each other? If Succulent Gardens had been open (or we knew we could cheat) we would have certainly crossed paths there. Ya, I don't plan on trying to grow one of those Yuccas...just admiring.

      Delete
  10. I always think SF is such an interesting city. With houses practically on the sidewalk it makes for some creative plant shoehorning. Love the pic of your crammed car: it's hard to imagine someone making you look like a plant-shopping amateur. Look forward to more about the trip...I'm appropriately tantalized!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just a few blocks from where we were staying was a very exclusive area where they houses had front lawns! Crazy huh? A few of them had planted all the way to the sidewalk but most of them just seemed to be enjoying the opportunity to live the American lawn dream.

      Trust me, I was in awe of her plant purchasing skills...I couldn't even begin to compete. Luckily we didn't end up fighting over any plants!

      Delete
  11. I agree with the MulchMaid...your companion sounds fearsome, I'd be afraid of someone who can out-shop you...I'm afraid I'd be left in the dust ;-) I can't wait for your future posts on the trip...sorry you got caught in the snow...I STILL have PTST from driving in blizzards back home...TERRIFYING!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep in mind this person buys at gift shows for her shop and also is frequently out buying and ordering for clients. She is a professional! And honestly I think had you been at Annie's with us you would have probably have out done both of us, combined. That place is HUGE...I hope you are able to go someday.

      Delete
  12. From the looks of your car... You had an AMAZING WEEKEND! I have super plant lust looking at those photos. San Fran has an amazing climate for growing things. They kinda get the best of both worlds. I can't wait to see all of those plants unpacked from your car!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should have taken a shot of my new plants and included it in this post, but instead I went about getting the Agaves and other succulents undercover (because we are getting TOO MUCH RAIN).

      Delete
  13. Also... the lizzard in picture 8 ish is epic! I want it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't he great? Just the right amount of moss growing on him...oh and when I called him a lizard my husband corrected me, saying (if I remember correctly) that he is actually a salamander.

      Delete
  14. Now that is a trip. And where will you put them all? Of course, I know you will find some little corner. Surely that is all you have left!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually it's amazing how much bare ground I'm looking at around here. Removing the cement blocks and Bishops Weed (project only 1/2 completed) in the front has opened up a huge expanse and then with the Rhododendron coming out in the back yard there is an equally large space. In fact I might have to buy more plants!

      Delete
  15. Is that a Clianthus I see in the Jeep? I was just admiring mine in the garden today. Also if you come with a backhoe you are welcome to my Yucca. Elephantipes or gloriosa or guatemalensis. Whatever you want to call it.

    Next year I will hopefully make it to the SF garden show. Too busy and too broke this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a Clianthus! I've lusted after the pictures in Annie's catalogue for years so I had to pick one up. What color does your's bloom? If I could show up with a backhoe I would! You and Gerhard both getting rid of your Yuccas...why?

      Speaking of you at the SF show I saw this guy several times walking around the display gardens and thought it might be you (based on what you look like in that 1/2" square above) but never was close enough to him to ask. Then when I went out to put some plants in the car it turns out he was parked right next to us and was leaving, I had to ask then. Nope...not you.

      Delete
    2. Haha! No I've been busy all week down here in Los Osos. No bay area trip for me! My Clianthus will be the red one. I don't really see the point of the white one because imo the red is one of the things that makes it cool looking.

      The Yucca is just gigantic and I feel like it is a bit out of scale for the property and oddly placed. They are so common in my neighborhood and I am not really in love with them. I also was not interested in the effort it would take to remove it even though my landlady would have been game so it stays where it is. I did saw off a gigantic lower branch for fear it would put my eye out. Even though for a Yucca their leaves are relatively soft they are still pointy and each one is like 4 feet long.

      Delete
  16. Some day I hope to make the trip to SF, to visit all the cool places you managed to cram into three days. If I can just talk my husband into it. Heck, I can barely talk him into a trip to Portland, which is also an ambition of mine. It sounds like you had a ton of fun, looking forward to your future posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To heck with the husband grab a couple of gardening friends and make the trip to Portland! Then start planning for a SF road trip next Spring...

      Delete
  17. You've been very busy Loree! For sure we'll be treated with photos of your trip in the next few days and weeks! The snow made me shudder but it was soon dispelled by the sight of those Yuccas. Interesting to see one of them growing so huge in such a small pot (shows their toughness). The juniper made me laugh, I like it and looks so quirky!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it amazing to see such tall stately plants emerging from a small bit of soil? There were some equally graceful Agaves doing the same but I was unable to capture good photos of those since I was in the car and not walking.

      Delete
  18. That juniper made me laugh so hard! And I am officially jealous that you got to go to Annie's Annuals. I can't wait for your recap!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh, what a great trip that must have been. I look forward to reading your posts about everything.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on, I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!