Thursday, April 5, 2012

Flora Grubb Gardens 2012 visit…

When my husband and I visited the Bay Area in 2009 the cult of Flora Grubb was just forming, I was ecstatic at the prospect of visiting and the nursery did not disappoint. Since then I’ve had the opportunity to visit a lot of nurseries and I wondered how this one would hold up.

Quite well actually! Especially if they were being judged on how many plants I wanted to take home with me.

I did bring home one of these about to bloom Beschorneria decosteriana.

Not so for the $995 Yucca rostrata…

Love Agave 'Felipe Otero'…
Interesting “room” divider, I like it!

The fact that images of this planted car continue to show up all over the internet told me it would still be here 2 ½ years later…
I wasn’t going to take any photos of such a well documented thing, but heck…it’s cool!
Also still here... the framed vertical wall planting.
Here’s what it looked like when I first saw it in October 2009…
The wall of colorful folded furniture is still hanging in there too…
Leucadendron on fire!

Leucadendron argenteum or Silver Tree. I’ve bought several cut stems of this plant over the years and I can’t even tell you how excited I would be to have one in my garden!

So why didn’t I buy one? Pick a reason…they were $54 and they are only hardy to “about” 24 degrees F… (okay it’s the $54 that was the real issue, I would risk the hardiness thing and try and keep it alive)

Grevillea 'Long John'

A green Dasylirion…

Speaking of things I want, I finally got to see the Circle Pot in “real life”…so beautiful!
So is the Bauer Canoe on the right…
Lest you think I only bought the Beschorneria I also snagged one of these Aloe arborescens variegata.
And my shopping companion snapped up this Agave 'Royal Spine' (among other things…)

40 comments:

  1. I've never been to Flora Grubb but now I want to go even more. A large variety of plant families I'm partial to, combined with funky decor and interesting pots, how much better can it get? (OK, it could be cheaper, but we're talking SF here.)

    I got a Aloe arborescens variegata myself recently and just planted it. I hope it'll keep its variegation.

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    1. You know I kind of remembered you getting that Aloe while I was picking out mine. I love it! I hope you do make it to Flora Grubb, soon!

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  2. Especially if they were being judged on how many plants I wanted to take home with me.

    What other way to judge a nursery / garden center / greenhouse is there?

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    1. Really? Quite a few. I can immensely enjoy the overall nursery experience but not want to take anything home with me. The layout, displays, the customer service, and the plants all influence how I feel about a nursery. There are so many plants I love looking at but have no desire to own. Then there are the nurseries that have plants I want but because of other "issues" I don't visit.

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  3. Glad you went, since I missed the planted car, accessories, and chair wall. All so cool. To have more time, sit out and sip coffee there at that Ritual place, then blow a wad of bucks for a hipster garden! Thx for the tour

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    1. Geez louise what were you looking at? (I kid...probably the plants huh?). Not to get to personal but did you use the restroom? It's pretty stellar too.

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  4. The wall of chairs really grabs my imagination. Makes me wish our HOA didn't have such an attachment to six foot fences!

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  5. I was also at Flora Grubb last week and took a load of pictures. But your pictures show a bunch of things I didn't even notice! I came away with some lovely pots but no plants since I was flying. But I did get lots of inspiration!

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    1. Oh what pots did you buy? They had so many lovely ones. Hope yours all made it home with no breakage.

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    2. I bought a white, flat spherical planter, and two small ceramic bright green urns. I also managed to "borrow" several great (some big) succulents from a relative's house. My bags were full. On my last visit to FG I got one of the Esther pots (which are now available here in Portland), and another white pot that looks like an emerging bud.

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  6. Lots of good stuff. Agave 'Royal Spine' is one of my favorite Agaves, Grevillea 'Long John' is my favorite Grevillea, and I am thinking of getting a Leucadendron argenteum when I work on my side yard this fall.

    Looks like you had a successful trip!

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    1. I might find it hard to visit your blog if I learn that you decided against a Leucadendron argenteum...they are simply beautiful!

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  7. living the dream! quite honestly it is a dream of mine to visit Flora Grubb. I don't know if I could ever leave!!! I don't know how you could ever decide on what to buy in a fantastic place like that. I am major plant crushing on that agave royal spine. I think Southlands brought in those circle pots... I was hearing rumours about it. hmmm maybe I have to go pick one up. they are beautiful!

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    1. I hope you get the chance to visit Louis, you would love it. Just plan plenty of time and have an extra suitcase for the plants you buy (where there is a will there is a way).

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  8. Great review of such a well known place! I especially enjoyed the "then and now" aspect. This would be one to visit if I'm ever in the area again.

    Now we need to see where you placed all these plant acquisitions in your garden. No wonder you were so quick to get rid of that rhododendron.

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    1. Not quick at all unfortunately. It's the project that just keeps on "giving" I've been hacking of limbs and filling my, and the neighbors, yard waste bins for three weeks now. I'm almost down to the really big bits (some might call it a stump) and that's when the husband has to take over. Hopefully some (dry) Sunday soon.

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  9. What an exciting nursery - wonderful plants and some wacky landscape ideas - just love the Leucadendron with the multicoloured foliage and the Agave 'Royal Spine'. Must make a visit when I am back in SF next autumn.

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  10. I can't see a plant car in your sophisticated garden, but if the urge ever strikes, our neighborhood is rife with car candidates.
    Super, wanderlust-inducing tour.

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    1. Maybe a cute little rusted out MG?

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  11. Such a quirky looking place full of inspirational ideas! And lovely plants! The room divider reminds me of a mondrian painting and the planted up car is fab (is than an infamous Ford Edsel car?). The variegated Leucadendron has been on my wishlist for years now!

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    1. Good eye! I believe that it is. And you are spot on about the divider.

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  12. I actually live RIGHT near it and go to the nursery a lot. It is a great store to choose from species. But you are right that it is expensive, which is why I am a member of the SF Botanical Society and get either 10 or 15% off each purchase or I wait until they have their 20% off sale. They just had one about 1 month ago and I think the next one is at the end of the season. They may have some on the 4th of july or memorial day weekends.

    Great selection of plants all the time. Some you just do not see at other nurseries.

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    1. Lucky you! I'd probably be there weekly if I lived close.

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  13. Great mix of plants and design ideas!

    I would love to be able to wander around a new to me nursery like that one.

    Oh well, I will be going to Cally Gardens on Saturday morning, whilst it is one that I have been to before I am hoping that they have some new plants that interest me and make their way into the back of my car - I will also take a photo of that monster Mahonia gracillipes I had told you about before.

    We had some snow a couple of days ago and an air frost this morning and when I came home from work today I noticed that some of my new growth has been damaged and my clump of Podophyllum "Spotty Dotty" has completely collapsed, so I am in a bit of a sad mood at the moment :(

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    1. Oh Adam I'm sorry to hear that! I hope your Cally Gardens visit produces enough new plant lust that you can (almost) forget all about the Podophyllum loss.

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  14. Request for your future nursery visits: take more photos of sculpture! I want to see more of the rusty metal "boulder" and giant "tusks"!

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    1. Uhm...I appreciate requests and will try to sneak in a little more sculpture just for you. However since I am not a fan of "Art" in the garden it might be difficult to do.

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  15. Some of those plant vignettes are really dreamy, like the big agaves backed by twisted hemlocks and filled in with lime-green plants of some kind. It's instant calm, somehow. The vertical wall planting is looking even more compelling now - that Annie has a way with design. The aloe you bought and JJ's A. 'Royal Spine' are great additions to your two collections.

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    1. Cistus has baby 'Royal Spine' (40% off!) and while they aren't as "impactful" as this one they still are wonderful. And yes both Flora and Annie have a way!...

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  16. Er, Flora...that would be FLORA's designs, not Annie's!

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  17. Aargh! I want to go for a visit. Must be the masochist in me.

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    1. Maybe they'd agree to ship?

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    2. We'll see. A cousin has already volunteered to drive me around and watch me drool.
      *fingers crossed*

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  18. I'm glad you didn't buy the $54 Leucadendron, as I've seen them for $9.99 here. However they are horribly fussy--they want SF conditions, cool and foggy summers and and cold and foggy winters. Beautiful place, I'm glad its far enough away to be non-threatening to my charge card.

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  19. Looks like you had it to yourselves -- it was mobbed last time I was there in Feb. Royal Spine is just too gorgeous to resist -- must keep an eye open for this one!

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  20. I MUST go to Flora Grubb next year during the Fling. It looks wonderful.

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  21. Quite a blog you have here! Loved reading everything. :)

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  22. Thanks for the nice write up and lovely pictures! That Agave 'Royal Spine' is one of the nicest I've seen.
    Maybe you should do a yearly update ,>) ~ Clarke de Mornay buyer, Flora Grubb Gardens

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