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.
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.
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!