Purchases at the Payne Foundation

I used my short list of plants at the Payne Foundation members sale last weekend, managing to purchase only one plant that was not on my written list. The Payne Foundation has expanded their selection to include some nicely fired garden pots that seemed to sell at fair prices (though no additional members discount was offered on them). Juli bought two (shown below) for $15 each for her patio, which I thought a good price. I didn't buy any, though I considered it seriously.

Discussion with one of the helpers at the Payne Foundation confirms that the smart shoppers eschew the sale dates, but do go during regular hours a day or two before hand in order to get best selection at full price. I missed out on Sidalcea malviflora (checkerbloom) because they had one plant which sold before the official sale.

My purchases:
3x 1 gal hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea). These were oddly expensive. This salvia is supposed to grow easily in a wide variety of conditions, including dry shade (meaning that it ought to be easy to propagate) yet it was $10 ea. whereas most of the 1 gal plants were $8. Maybe the cost is driven by low growth rate. Payne Foundation online plant directory indicates well drained soil, but I'm sure it wouldn't be on my list if I didn't have another reference saying that it can take clay.
1x 1 gal yerba buena (Satureja douglasi)This one was on my interest list, but I don't have any idea where I will put it. Who wouldn't be curious to try to grow some "good herb"? Yerba Buena was the original name for San Francisco and supposedly the herb makes a nice, minty tea.
3x 1 gal carex praegracillus (sedge) for the meadow. These were each divided in four and planted the same day in what I hope is a random looking but uniform distribution across the meadow. It seems to be doing well after hand and sprinkler watering.
2x 1 gal seaside daisy (Erigeron glaucus "Sea Breeze"). Also planted in the meadow the same day and seemingly doing well. I have one other planted last year at this time that is now 14" across located where it gets partial shade from a citrus tree and doing well. Summer flowers were profuse and fairly long lasting. All three plants are visible at the same time from some vantage points - that's a useful design element (repetition and use of repetition to draw the eye into the landscape) that I have mostly ignored until now.
1x 5 gal western redbud (cercis occidentalis) for my back yard. This isn't planted yet, but it's meant to somehow join the one that I planted last year in the back yard.
1x 1gal California bush sunflower (Encelia californica). This was my impulse purchase. I think I can put it in the front yard behind the meadow, but I 'm a bit concerned about proper soil and water. Near the citrus might be a good since it will allow a bit more regular water.

I feel that I'm moving out of the experimental, "let's try one of these and see how I like it / if it dies" phase and into a more design-driven phase. I've learned some valuable lessons about how a meadow can and can not work in place of a lawn, and the fact that I am now buying multiples of the same plant seems to indicate that at least in part I'm focusing more on design than in the past.

The list of California native plants that don't like me or my garden includes:
manzanita - One of two different species killed, one going strong but poorly sited from a design standpoint.
Idaho fescue - It didn't like either of the two places I tried it and eventually faded to nothing.
California polypody fern - Maybe I watered it to death, maybe it died back to a dormant state.
Fremontodendron (Flannel bush) - Not the usual watering problem; this one died of thirst. I had it in a pot and didn't water it enough.
Deer grass (Muhlenbergia rigens)- This ought to be impossible to kill, but I planted it poorly and then moved it at the wrong time. Several others are going strong.

I'm sure there's more that I've forgotten.

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