4/07/2007

I went to a native plant sale

in Los Altos.

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It's not such a remarkable thing for me to go to a native plant sale, but anytime I leave the city for plants it seems reasonable to blog it.

This is Highway 280 southbound. Something about the four lanes, the wide open sky, and the regular, subtle changes in grade make it impossible for normal people to take this road at anything less than 85 mph. I'm a conscientious driver, but I don't keep an eagle eye on the speedometer. I go with the flow. Well, the flow moves fast here, and the shock of discovering that you're pushing 90 is not at all uncommon.

We've had a couple cold, foggy days and the weather was like this all day long.

I guess you could say this is what people at native plant sales in California look like. The place was packed.

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It was hard to take pictures inside the shopping area.

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All the usual (native plant) suspects were here. The plant specimens themselves were, I hate to say it, unimpressive. I guess I could spin that around and say I'm proud that Strybing would never put out the twiggy cuttings on offer here. Still I found some things to buy. The most interesting thing was probably Dicehlostemma ida-maia syn. Brodiaea ida-maia. The specimen was mostly dormant, so take a look at what Google will show you.

Quite an elaborate display pushing native grasses.

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I'd already picked up two pots of Muhlenbergia rigens (Deer Grass) before I saw it. My garden is a little too small to accommodate deer grass. In fact, there's absolutely no place whatsoever for it to go. But I love deer grass and I was swept up in the shopping fervor.

(Some weeks ago, I actually bought seed of the Texas deer grass, M. dubia, which is supposed to be smaller than the California version, but I'm not looking forward to the day when someone comments on my native deer grass and I have to choose between silence/lying or coming clean.)

I don't have much else to say about the plant sale. I did two circuits to make sure I saw everything, and then I was ready to go.

I stood next to this mahonia while I waited in line to pee.

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Salvia spathacea in the parking lot...

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And then I saw this. Who can resist a farm trail.

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I took the west loop, and it looked like this.

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Actually, that's looking east on the west loop. And those are buckeye trees overhead. I read somewhere the flowers are poisonous to honey bees. These are native trees found in nearly all areas of California. I love them and they're one of my favorite trees.

Anyhow, here's the garden. Gardens always have welcome signs, don't they?

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And the welcome signs are always filled with negativity. Don't do this. Don't do that. I don't know what's more depressing, that people don't have the sense to not do things they shouldn't do without expressly being told not to (is it because people don't smack their kids enough anymore?), or maybe gardeners just like being scolds.

I approve of all the other signs.

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Especially these:

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In the garden:

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Does a radish have a caudex?

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Lexxuce? What's Lexxuce? Even Google doesn't have anything about Lexxuce.

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Just kidding!

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Is this what deer fence technology looks like in your part of the world?

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I've always fancied those for some reason.

Oh, dear. Another trailhead. I can't say no.

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Switchbacks all the way up.

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Some plants people use in their garden...

Snowberry
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Clematis
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Maidenhair
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This is the view before the top; I was sweating and it was cold out so I decided not to continue.

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4 comments:

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

So that's what people wearing clothes look like. Very nice. That crowd of gardeners looked very trim and fit too.

Both the Palo Alto garden and the plant sale garden seemed very naturalistic and low on hardscape and strong structure. It seems like a low impact, high yield wander through the beds method where the plants are the main focus.

I look at them and wonder how am I going to approach my new garden? The land there speaks like these scenes in the California foothills.

I tell myself wait until I get there and give it time, listen, draw a plan. I dream.

lisa said...

Another cool-ass tour! You guys sure have a lot of public gardens to see...I like the aztec-looking scarecrow, very fashionable. I noticed the cougar warning on the one sign...ever have any encounters? I'm told they have been a real problem in various parts of California.

chuck b. said...

I've never seen one--knock on wood (Chuck knocks his head). Mountain lions are on the news distressingly often, hurting/maiming someone, and then getting hunted and killed. I've heard they're a problem nationwide.

Jenn said...

"Keep dogs on leash." Reads as a positive to this dog owner!

I guess I'm just sad that folks have to be TOLD how to behave these days. Did it used to be common sense? Or has it really always been this way?