Friday, January 18, 2013

My first plant purchase of 2013…

Well it's official, I've made my first plant purchase of the New Year! Can you guess what it might be?

If you’d told me this would be it I would have laughed…

But the bargain hunter in me got so excited at the $19 price tag (on the two little ones in the front) I decided it indeed was time to see if a Blue Atlas Cedar could be happy in a container for a few years.

Because there's no way I’m planting a plant that could grow to be 40 to 50 ft tall and 20 to 25 ft wide (and larger?) in my garden…

The bigger guys were going for $50, which actually seems like a pretty good price too. Looking at these photos I'm reminded of a line (describing the B.A.C.) I read recently in the Timber Press Pocket Guide to Conifers: "It’s open and skeletal-looking early on but after several decades is handsome beyond description" hey! I happen to like that open skeletal look...

I've been on a bit of a nursery binge, part of my “getting through the cruelest month” program. This was my second in a week, and just so you know, I left the other one empty handed (the two plants I mentioned purchasing in this post were actually picked up in 2012). Today's stop was at The Gardeners Choice off Highway 99 in Tigard, Oregon, it’s an odd mix at this place. They've got a great selection of containers, with a few always on sale. In the summer the whole place is filled with lots of annuals (color spots ya know) and other plants I have no need for along with a few choice agaves and succulents. They do hold a special place in my heart though because this was where I came face to face with my big Schefflera taiwaniana, so there are amazing finds to be hand, on occasion.

After I bagged the “B.A.C.” there were even more temptations! Heading inside… I've never been a fan of this aloe hybrid, Carmine…

But they had it in the window causing the orange margins to glow just so. And look a double headed Aloe plicatilis!

And a little cactus with black spikes…

Even better an agave with white teeth!

There was no tag that I could see; I'm guessing it might be Agave horrida?

Heading back outside I was happy to discover a nice selection of spikes, including Yucca rostrata (not a bad size for $19)...

Yucca 'Bright Star'

And some gorgeous agaves! Including A. ovatifolia...

Agave parryi 'J.C. Raulston'

And this sexy number that had no name tag, just look at those long spikes!
And wouldn't you know it even though there wasn't a name there was a price...and it was too expensive for me, after I do I really need another agave! (no)

I do miss my dearly departed (3 years ago) Agave montana 'Baccarat' though...such a fabulous plant.

Not a bad inventory for January...

It may be too late?

Today, or yesterday? How do we know?

Sunshine!

Have you ever heard of Rudolph Spurge? (my what long legs you have Ru!)

I bet you can guess how it got it's name...

Kinda cute.

Temptation! Butia capitata...

But it was not to be...

Thanks for tagging along on another nursery visit! Have you made your first plant purchase of the New Year yet?

42 comments:

  1. Rudolph spurges are beautiful and bushy plants if, unlike the ones you saw, they aren't crowded together so tightly that no light gets to the lower part of the plant. I'd report that nursery for plant abuse!

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    1. I'm afraid this particular nursery probably isn't to blame, they are just a seller not a grower, I think the sin was committed earlier in the supply chain.

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  2. Good first purchase since you've been looking for a BAC. Good to see the sunshine there.

    No purchases yet although I've got a cart going at one online. I usually avoid the nurseries this time of year but your post and a recent email from one of my favorites might just get me out and about.

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    1. Good for you, it's fun to mull over the online purchases, especially when you can visit, adjust and revisit. I love it when they have a wish list function too (like Annie's does) that's a function I can't wait for us to get live on plantlust.com!

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  3. I have. It was an Agave, actually (A. victoriae-reginae 'Pinguino'), so I've gone ahead and imagined your approval already.

    I didn't need another plant, but they were sort of technically closed, and opened the place just for me, so I sort of felt obliged to buy something, and Agaves are usually pretty safe purchases for me, so.

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    1. You were right of course, here's a virtual high-five!

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  4. Oh how fun! I'm glad for your atlas, it's great! It looks like soo many temptations abound there. Those agave ovatifolia, that double headed aloe, those butia.... Wonderful!!!!

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    1. There were a lot of temptations that day for sure...

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  5. Atlas cedar has reached 100' tall with a crown spread of 87' in Seattle. Now who wouldn't want that in their yard.

    The cute little spiky cactus appears to be a giant saguaro. You should get it... LOL

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    1. That was my response, too. I went out and looked at my cardon and my saguaro and laughed at Loree's description: "And a little cactus with black spikes…"

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    2. Get out! Seriously? Uhm....I had no idea.

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    3. This is what mine looks like:

      http://gardendjinn.typepad.com/garden/2013/01/my-potted-saguaro.html

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    4. Very cute...maybe I need to go back and get this one?

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    5. Found what is probably the answer to your little spiny guy.

      HD had a pot of "toothpick cactus" in a 3" pot. Looked like a good match for your pic, and it's in the nursery trade. Still gets huge!

      http://www.desert-tropicals.com/Plants/Cactaceae/Stetsonia_coryne.html

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    6. Here's the 'little' guy:

      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151546206468814&set=a.10151158248408814.447826.734108813&type=1&theater

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  6. Wow, this looks like a fantastic nursery! I could go crazy there.

    I've stayed away from nurseries this far. I don't want to have to protect more plants from the ongoing cold. But as soon as it warms up, watch out!

    Oh, I love that Blue Atlas cedar, too. What color!

    And I agree with your ID of Agave horrida.

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    1. I'd be really be interested to see what you thought in person. There can be a lot of "filler"...

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  7. That's a gorgeous little tree. You have the right idea about containers, so please do preach a little sense to the Mulch Man about planting trees in the garden that will reach a huge size...he's in deep denial. I have seen Euphorbia 'Rudolph' in the past and thought it was cute too. At $19 I might need more Yucca rostrata, though this is a pretty tough time to buy them...

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    1. So you've got a forest in your future? More Y. rostrata are always a good thing!

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  8. Congrats on the new plants! My New Year's resolution to not buy so many plants didn't last the month. I bought some Hellebores (40% off) and Heucheras (50% off) at Molbak's yesterday! I really should have bought the Agave 'Quadricolor' that was $19.99, but I didn't, and now I'm kicking myself. It's a longish drive for me, so I don't think I'll be going back soon. They had quite a few of them, so I bet by the time I go back they'll still have them (I know, how many times have I thought that to my dismay?)

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    1. Sale plants don't count Alison, so you're okay. But yes you probably need the 'Quadricolor'....

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  9. Wow, I'm pining for a nursery visit now! The only thing is it's extra tricky at the moment as most of the country is blanketed with snow at the moment and driving around could be hazardous. We'll see....

    Well done on getting the conifer, it's a lovely one. And I do like that red nosed spurge!

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    1. I saw pictures of the palm house at Kew in the snow today, made me worry about your garden, hope it's all okay!

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  10. Hooray for the best bargain of the new year! Glad you finally got a B.A.C. Lots of temptations at that nursery! Rudolph Spruge is new to me & looks cute. Love the Aloe plicatilis and Butia capitata. How fast do yucca rostrata grow? Would this size grow to one with a trunk similar to yours in 5 years? Ten?

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    1. No, say it isn't so! It's only January and I've already got my best bargain of the year?

      I was just having a conversation about Y. rostrata today. My Sammy was estimated to be about 20 years old. So I'd guess it would probably be another 17 or 18 years?

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  11. I wish I could find a selection of Yuccas and Agaves like that locally. Sigh.

    I've also contemplated the Atlas cedar, and I think for $19 I would snap one up. We may be on the edge of its hardiness though, which is a bit scary. Also, I'd go for the 'Rudolph' spurge, but again, not quite cold-hardy enough. Shoot.

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    1. This is where I stop and think about how lucky I am to live where I do...

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  12. I am completely and totally head over heels in love with blue atlas cedar. For $19? I'd have probably thrown caution to the wind and bought a grove. Kudos for self-control!

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    1. Well there were only the two of them...

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  13. I totally agree with Andrew. I know the one I have on hold, lets just say there are three digits in its price.... perhaps because it is supposedly a dwarf? [Who knew being diminutive would cost so much!] E.'Rudolph' is a stunner for sure - does it get the fabulously chartreuse flowers as well? Good on you Loree! I jumped ship in the last week and work for another exciting nursery where I am hoping to revamp and update their perennial, trees and shrub departments! Guaranteed to be new and exciting plant material to choose as the first purchase of 2013!

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    1. Three digits! Uhm, wow. Good question about the chartreuse flowers, I don't know....

      Congrats on the new job! How exciting...do I see more agaves in your future?

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  14. I'm so jealous of your BAC...they are so gorgeous! There is a huge one just down the street that was unfortunately topped due to power lines (talk about a crime against horticulture). Even so, it's a beautiful tree. My dream is to have a huge estate some day with huge Blue Atlas Cedars...and Cedars of Lebanon.

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    1. Oh god Scott...you with an estate garden? That would be fabulous! By then my BAC will have probably outgrown it's container and I'll donate it to your garden.

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  15. First plant purchase of the year would put me on the spot, but I always tell myself that I can use them in a job eventually. I guess that is an advantage, in that I always can find a client's garden to add to, and my clients appreciate seeing new or unusual plants on occasion. Atlas Cedars can easily be kept as a container plant indefinitely, if you're willing to treat it like a bonsai and regularly root prune it.

    I'm looking forward to my first of the year wholesale Nursery shopping for some new projects, definitely down to Watsonville and maybe even Santa Barbara or San Diego. And I find it amusing you like spiniest but not anything with bumpy foliage. Those Kelly Coffin aloe hybrids and a previous comment dissing Kalanchoe 'Fang' as being too creepy :) What's your opinion on giant warty Echeverias or monstrose Cereus peruvianus?
    David in Berkeley

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    1. Giant warty Echeveria and monstrose anything are gross. They give me the creeps, why? They remind me of skin diseases, warts and boils. Yuck!

      I need to be better about root pruning.

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  16. Even your plants are alien to us, not growing here, except for agaves, they are so beautiful. That conifer i love too!

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  17. I have not purchased any plants this year, but I did receive the new Cally Gardens catalogue on Wednesday and there were some plants in it which took my fancy and will probably end up ordering.

    It's hard to think about gardening at the moment though as the weather has turned freezing again and we have had some snow on and off over the last week, brrr!

    I like that Rudolph spurge, I will have to have a search for a UK supplier of it.

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    1. Snow...I bet your bamboo doesn't appreciate that. Yay for catalogues...good luck with the Rudolph spurge, I swear that's the first time I've seen it here.

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  18. There are a couple of Blue Atlas Cedar in the neighborhood, still juveniles at 30' or so, and glorious they are. The shade they cast is light, so plants will grow beneath. I opted for a blue Arizona Cypress instead at a mature size of around 18'. More manageable.

    Lovely Agaves as well, looking healthy. I did get a half-price Aloe cooperi, but can't remember now if it was the last plant of '12 or the first one of '13.

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    1. Half price aloe....nice job! I wish I could grow more aloes here and have them bloom, such spectacular flowers.

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  19. The little black spined cactus looks just like my seedling Saguaro.

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