Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My visit to Annie’s Annuals and Perennials…

I feel kind of like an Annie’s groupie! Does she have groupies? Probably. Last February I was in attendance at her talk here in Portland for the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon. It seems not a day goes by without my looking up a plant and ending up on her website (or plant lust, since Annie’s is a contributing nursery), and now finally here I was…at the nursery, and it is huge!....
I think it is a credit to the team at Annie’s and the excitement they’ve built around their brand that I’m even here, after all buying little seedlings in 4” containers (that’s what about 90% of the inventory is) is not normal behavior for me. Yet with the excellent catalogue (and in-nursery signage) with plant descriptions and photos I’m feeling like I can make the jump.
Do you think they’d notice if that Dyckia went missing? I guess the trail of blood from where I was stabbed by the sharp spikes might give me away.
I wanted the Protea…oh how badly I wanted it. But I was strong.

Didn’t buy any succulents either! I know…craziness.
So what did I buy? Well last year everyone in Portland but me seemed to have found Cerinthe major purpurascens starts or grown them from seed. This year I’ve got two seedlings from Annie’s which will soon look like this...
And a note for my fellow Portlanders: a visit to Cistus Nursery last weekend revealed they’ve got these gorgeous seedlings too, only $3…
My husband loves poppies, and I do in theory (after all what self respecting Wizard of Oz fan doesn’t right?) but for some reason I’ve not added them to my garden. But hey…black ones! I bought two Papaver 'Single Black'...

Another black flower…Kennedia nigricans ‘Black Coral Pea’

A perennial vine good for clay and hardy to Zone 7. I wonder where I’ll put it…

Hands down the plant I’ve lusted after the most from Annie’s catalogue is Clianthus puniceus…(photo borrowed from Annie’s via plant lust)...

So I bought one.

Also lust worthy are their white Echium simplex...although I'll admit it doesn't look like much now.
And it’s not technically hardy for my zone but I’m willing to try!

While I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Annie’s it’s also nice to know that I can mail order from them anytime and receive happy healthy plants which are very well packed. In other words if your lusting after any of these plants they can be yours at www.anniesannuals.com!

31 comments:

  1. Once you've paged through Annie's catalog or checked out their web site, you're hooked. And once you've visited their nursery, you'll have a new benchmark to compare other nurseries against. At least that's how I feel.

    GREAT plant choices. You've given me some ideas to add to my shopping list for my next trip to Annie's. It might happen as soon as this coming Sunday if everything goes according to plan :-).

    Gerhard
    :: Bamboo and More ::

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    1. Yay more plant shopping for you! Have you gone back to purchase that Araucaria araucana yet?

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  2. Wow, you had such an great trip. Seeing Annie's Annuals would be at the top of my list too.

    You selected some amazingly beautiful plants too.

    Thanks for all these special tours, seeing them from your point of view is fun.

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    1. Thank you Shirley, I'm enjoying reliving my whirlwind trip by editing down and posting the pictures. Only two more to go!

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  3. I wouldn't have been able to tear myself away for hours with all that wealth of plants. And ummm, just why did you resist that Protea susannae so hard? The description seems to say 8b-11, unless I'm missing something. Maybe it's going to be on your next mail order from Annie's....?

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    1. I wondered if some alert reader would notice that and question my decision. Basically it came down to the fact it was expensive and tiny. There were (if I remember correctly) 5 price levels and it was the most expensive, $16.95 online (slightly cheaper there in the nursery). I strongly doubted it's 8b "rating" and even if it did manage to live I suspected it would be years and years and years before it would ever reach any size. Also since The Desert Northwest is coming to the HPSO sale and he's got plants several fabulous plant in the Protea family I suspect I'll be rewarding myself with something similar this weekend!

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  4. Okay, here's the plan. Let Annie know what a great job you're doing advertising... And maybe that protea can be YOURS, ALL YOURS! ;-)

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  5. The clianthus puniceus is insane beautiful!!!!

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  6. Surprised to hear of Annie's hugeness. She manages to keep it feeling intimate, don't you think? The clianthus wouldn't even need to bloom to make it onto my wish list, but oh, what blooms. Beware the lovely, seductive Cerinthe. She is like the octomom, or "mother of thousands" quite literally (and I just heard someone chastised for using the term "literally" when they literally did not mean "literally".)

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    1. I do agree about the intimacy factor, but I can imagine that on a warm spring Saturday their tables could be wiped out in a matter of hours. They probably have to have the 30-50 of each plant on display just to keep up!

      Interesting warning on the Cerinthe, I had no idea! But then again when someone says a plant has a reputation for seeding around rarely do I see the benefit of that. Maybe this will be a first.

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  7. I wonder if I would have discovered gardening and Stayed put in the Bay area if Annies and Ruth Bancrofts garden were around when I was growing up? Enjoying the tour!!

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    1. Interesting to think of how much our location forms who we become. If I had stayed up in Spokane I would probably have taken out a second mortgage on my house to build an attached greenhouse out back where I could over-winter the plants I can grow in the ground here.

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  8. Another great nursery! With your trips and nursery visits you've done recently it's just made me long for a nursery visit myself!

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    1. It's only going to get worse/better too as tomorrow I'm going on a plant adventure with some friends and then Saturday is the big plant sale. My wallet is scared, very scared.

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  9. The thing that captured my attention the most was the.....blue sky. Not a cloud. sigh. double sigh. I love the black poppy you chose, it's sure to be a stand out in your garden! Great post :) Cheers, Jenni

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    1. Gosh I know Jenni! Since I'm still working through pictures from out Southwest vacation last Fall every time I come upon that blue blue sky it makes my heart skip a beat. Aren't we way over due?

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  10. Cerinthe is a delightful plant that for me was supposed to be an annual, but with the amount of seed that it dispersed, [quite large brownish black seeds that could be collected and give to friends] I have it every year and am more than thrilled as it is the only annual that gets to live in Teza's Hortus Magnificum. Your camera will also love it to death!

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    1. Okay second warning...heard. I'm going to be really embarrassed if this thing doesn't seed around in my garden!

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  11. Was this your first visit? My first visit I was a bit overwhelmed. Actually every time I go there I am overwhelmed. I got a Clianthus too so we should compare how they do in our respective gardens.

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    1. It was, and I was. We only had about an hour, maybe an hour and half and I started to panic that I wasn't going to see it all. Finally I stopped worrying and just started looking. We were the last ones to be rang up as they closed but I think I saw it all. Yes on the Clianthus comparison! (although I think yours is going to be much happier than mine)

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  12. Well Loree, there are at least 2 Annies groupies that I know of, you, and me ! I am planing my spring visit this month. I never ever get out for under 100 bucks, but I get at least that much in entertainment value. I got the summer catalog in the mail today so I can make a list. Lista are good at Annies !

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    1. I had a list, but I quickly forgot about it. Actually that's not entirely true...I bought two things from it and looked at another and decided to pass...everything else they didn't have (next time!).

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  13. WOW! I still have half a day in San Francisco with no scheduled activity. I'd love to try and plant chase but SFO is our first stop and I don't think my will is as strong as yours. My wife might kill me if I bring plants with us around the USA. Just in case, though, are there any airline / government restrictions for moving plants between states?

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    1. I'm sorry Bom but I have no idea. I know California has tight regulations about things coming into the state but I don't know about others. My guess is that if you packed them in your suitcase nobody would be the wiser!

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  14. I like their signage. Looks like you got some good stuff.

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    1. I did! Do you get Annie's catalogue?

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  15. What a great looking nursery and I love reviews like this. I am a bit skeptical on what nurseries to order from.

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    1. You can't go wrong ordering from Annie's!

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  16. I get a bit overwhelmed when I go to Annie's too (and I live down the road)...but it's the best overwhelmed ever. I was there last weekend for the awesome spring party. They do a raffle to win 15 MINUTES OF FREE SHOPPING. Can you imagine?? It's so exciting to think, What if I win?! Talk about overwhelming! I have been pouring over the catalog all week, and now I have a plan. Select what you want before you go. Then go pick them up. (Or order if you don't live nearby.)

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