02 July 2012

Coast To Coast Plant-Grab


As I mentioned recently, I was on vacation in San Francisco last week; I got back into DC early Thursday morning. I didn't hit remotely all of the gardens in the Bay area (although I think I hit Berkeley almost every day of my trip for various garden-related adventures), but I did go to Cactus Jungle, a nursery I discovered through Plants Are The Strangest People recently. I also ended up at the San Francisco Botanical Garden and the University of California Botanical Garden in Berkeley, as well as a few local community gardens and public parks.

And yeah, I bought some plants.

I spent several hours browsing Cactus Jungle. Yes, that's right--it's not huge, but I was there for two hours wandering around, snapping photos, and chatting with the very friendly staff while my friend (who had just driven 7 hours to see me for the first time since my trip to California last year) followed along.

Eventually, after humming and hawing for a while, I ended up with only two plants: Stapelia (probably/possibly actually Orbea) variegata to complement the S. grandiflora I have and Faucaria felina because it looks a little like it might eat someone if it grows large enough.


A nice fellow who worked at the nursery also snuck in a little ceramic snail (you can see part of him in the back right of the pot) with my Stapelia (probably/possibly actually Orbea) variegata--I've named the snail Donald.

Faucaria felina

Although I wanted several plants from the San Francisco Botanical Garden, I (wisely) chose to forego their offerings: Most were larger than I wanted to travel with, and the smaller ones were not as interesting as the ones I later picked up at the UC Botanical Garden in Berkeley. With the beau (irritated about the long walk from the train to the garden after an exhausting several days traipsing around the city and with the onset of a cold) at my side, I selected a "reasonable" number of plants. He accused me, however, of "just grabbing whatever's nearby" when I said "Oh, look, a Ledebouria I've never seen!" and picked it up with one hand to show him while setting aside a Caralluma sp. with the other hand without mentioning it. Not that he didn't see that whole stealthy operation.

I picked up a Drimiopsis maculata, Ledebouria cooperi, Caralluma sp., and Helleborus argutifolius (The Plant List says H. lividus subsp. corsicus) 'Pacific Frost' from the UC Botanical Garden in Berkeley.

Drimiopsis maculata

Ledebouria cooperi

Caralluma sp.

Helleborus agutifolius (H. lividus subsp. corsicus?) 'Pacific Frost'

I also almost picked up a Sinningia tubiflora, but I already have a pot of tubers from a friend here in DC. During my travels around the garden in Berkeley, I met the rose gardener who introduced the S. tubiflora to Berkeley's gardens--and later discovered that my plant comes from his anyway. It's a terribly small world!

4 comments:

Sounds like a nice trip and plant souvenirs. Especially the Stapelia variegata and Ledebouria cooperi, those have amazing looks. And, truth be told, kind of jealous and disliking you for beating me to Cactus Jungle, just found out about them myself and I really want to visit. Trying their soils since that's all they ship.

Judging by your choices, we have similar tastes in plants. If I ever made it to the West Coast, I'd have to rent a U-Haul to get all my plant purchases home!

Peaches

Hey there. I just discovered your blog, and I am enjoying it. I also love plants, especially cacti and succulents, and when I read about your beau I had to stop and laugh. My boyfriend is the exact same way, but he manages to struggle along as I spend hours looking at plants (he usually finds a bench) :P I look forward to reading more in the future!

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