Weekend plants roundup

I had an extra relaxing weekend, due to the fact that today is a school holiday and I didn't need to leave Sunday mid afternoon to pick up my son. He'll be back this evening, and that allowed me to pace my weekend over two full days like a normal person.

Saturday early AM I was on the road to the Payne Foundation for their members fall plant sale. Even though I arrived shortly before 9AM on a cool morning that promised rain, they were still busy. The crowds only grew through the afternoon. For the most part the native plants people are mellow and slow moving, but at one point I picked up a mimulus with tangerine colored flowers, then though better of it and decided I'd go with a yellow colored one. However, before I could get to the yellow mimulus plants someone pounced on the remaining two with a triumphant cry and I was "stuck" with tangerine one I held in my hand. Something similar was going on in the tangerine colored mimulus area, so I thanked my luck at not having already put the one in my hand back.

By and large, I stuck with my plant interest lists that I wrote about previously but I wasn't able to overcome the urge to make a few impulse purchases. Here's what I bought:

Fragraria Nesus (Woodland Strawberry) - Two 4" pots. These are both now planted in the shady and forgotten NE side yard of my house along with a companion Fragraria chiloensis(?) (which is the sole survivor of two or three plants that I put in and may be misidentified altogether in my earlier Sept 2007 blog entry). I don't know why I'd plant F. Chiloensis in such a poorly lit area. Then again, maybe that's why I have only one of several plants left there.

Heuchera "Opal" (Coral Bells) - One 1 gal pot. This is planted with the Fragraria in the dimly lit side yard. The volunteer at the Payne Foundation told me that this was one of the easiest of the non-hybrid Heuchera to grow. I look on this purchase as plant trial.

Juncus patens "Elk's Blue" (Common Rush) - Two 1-gal plants. I split one and planted it in the SW side yard where I think the neighbor's lawn water will keep it hydrated. I don't really have a place for the second except to increase density in the side yard, so I didn't really need two.

Ceanothus "Ray Hartmann". I think I will put this against espalier it like I saw on the Payne Foundation garden tour. The only question is where? A fellow customer at the plant sale told me that one of hers that gets half sun does well, growing proportionately slower to one in full sun, but otherwise healthily. I could put it against the stucco wall next to my bedroom or against the wooden fence to screen the neighbor.

Encelia californica (California Bush Sunflower)- Two 1 gal pots. There require more water than I'm used to giving, so maybe I'll put them near the citrus tree in front or the vegetable garden in back. I think I should look for another Aster with dryer soil needs for the front if I want to plant anywhere else.

Mimulus "Jeff's Tangerine"

Ashy Leaf Buckwheat (Eriogonum cinereum) - This is to replace the too large buckwheat that I currently have planted. I have E. grande rubescens from seed sprouting in several places in the yard which I will also use.

Woolly Blue Curls (Trichostema lanatum) - One 1 gal plant. Love the name and it looks cool. The only question is if I can find a place it will flourish. It needs rocky, well-draining soil and no summer water once established. This plant was twice the price of the typical plant. I wonder why?

Checkerbloom (Sidalcea malviflora) - Two 1 gal pots. A little more reading has me hoping that the two I previously planted will come back from apparent death. Apparently this disappears in the late summer only to reappear in spring.

Desert mallow (Spharalcea ambigua) - Has beautiful apricot blooms, but not really well suited to my yard, so this will be a challenge to site and grow.

Deer Grass(Muhlenbergia rigens) - Have some that hasn't grown with abandon. Need to try more.

I hit the mother lode with the seeds and bulbs I needed:

Purple needle grass (Nasella pulchra) - Have some and need more.

Castilleja exserta (Purple Owl's Clover) - This one requires sowing with an herbaceous perennial (like yarrow). I was told that the perennial provides a little upward scaffolding but calflora.net calls it partially parasitic.

Clatonia perfoliatia (Miner's lettuce) - My second go round with this.

Miner's Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata)

Loco Weed, Angel’s trumpet, Devil’s weed (Datura wrightii)

Eschscholzia californica "Maritima" (Coastal form of California poppy)

Santa Susana tarplant or Tar Weed (Deinandra minthornii) This was formerly Hemizonia minthornii, which is how it was indexed in the seed library at TPF.

Allium unifolium (Single leaf onion) - this is a N Ca. native that likes some shade and summer water. Tolerates clay soil.

Juli came through with some little artichoke plants for the front yard. I'll be using them as a hedge just off the front porch, and I got them in the ground as night was falling on Saturday. These are from the farmer's market plant vendor.


  1. I had no idea how busy it would be -- husband and I did a 10k in the a.m. and headed over to Theodore Payne around lunch time. Missed out on some plants we wanted, including the Ceanothus Tassajara Blue....

    I think the wooly blue curls is expensive b/c it's hard to grow from seeds/transfering from pot to pot. Ours from last year is doing well on our rocky slope-ish area. We also have the mallow which really likes that area too.

  2. Last year the advice I got was to arrive a week early, pay full price, and enjoy the huge selection.

  3. Holy heck, we were there too. On Saturday, around 2 or 3. The place was packed. I bought some bulbs.

    I was down in LA for other things, but when a couple hours opened up, I decided to make the pilgrimage...

    Delighted to see the place was so busy...