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Shady Shopping

March 28, 2010

Wide aisles, no waiting

The Spring sale at the UCR Botanic Gardens was a decidedly low key affair. Maybe it was because everyone swooped down yesterday (the empty tables in the succulent area seemed to attest to that possibility); maybe they were all at Buck Hemenway’s sale today (in the reverse of what I did). Whatever the reason, the sale was so sparsely attended at 9:30 a.m. that we could actually park in the convenient lot up the hill near the entrance. The weather was the complete opposite of yesterday’s: no toupeé-threatening gusts, and it wasn’t chilly in the least. Perfect for shopping. Without any crowds to hinder access, it was easy to slowly peruse what was still available under the trees of what the botanic garden calls the Alder Canyon …

Beautiful weather, lovely setting

Approaching the sale I can already see that the succulent area’s been pretty much picked over. There’s still lots to choose from, relatively speaking, but it’s clearly the second day of the sale. Time to pull out my critical eye and find some good stuff.

Not much left.

Wow. Not a lot left and what is, is not something I’m lacking. I’ve already got plenty of aloes, so I’ve got to keep looking. Surely I can find something new and exciting for a forgotten corner of the Rancho.

None for me, thanks.

Hmm, the orchid table. I can’t. These temperamental divas of the plant world would never make it in the gravel and sun world of RR. Pressing ahead …

Air plant cellblock.

Oh-kay. Tillandsias — air plants — are easy to grow, right? Somehow I’m not inspired. Maybe it’s the way they’re displayed here that’s putting me off: little wild-haired prisoners in a suspended cellblock with mugshots attached. Next?!

Reminder of home.

Loved these Pride of Madeira blooms, but we’ve got some at home already. Maybe ours are not this splendid yet, but give ’em a couple more weeks and I’m confident they will be. I can’t wait!

The big haul

Lest you think after reading all that I couldn’t find anything to buy, you’d be wrong. I can always find some thing! Here’s what we came away with: a poinsettia, a euphorbia called ‘milk tree’, a crassula known as ‘propellor plant’, another aloe plicatilis, a ‘ribbon bush’ (homalocladium platycladium) and two plants we’d never seen before called veltheimia. There was a cluster of them near the entrance to the garden and they were causing quite a stir. They have tall stalks covered with what look like aloe flowers but in a very unusual dusty pink/purple color. Not succulents, they actually grow from bulbs and in the shade. Intrigued, I decided to buy them for an area between our house and the neighbor’s that stays shaded most of the day. And with that our Spring plant sale shopping for the year is done. We ended up with nothing huge — nothing major, at least — but it was a lot of fun being around fellow succulent heads and other plant freaks!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura King permalink
    March 29, 2010 4:37 pm

    We were there at the UCRBG and we agree, it was shady — perhaps in another way. When we got our succulents home, we noticed a second plastic tag pushed into the soil of one of the pots. It said, “Huntington Botanical Gardens — [name of succulent], $5.00” — that’s half the price we paid at the UCR Gardens. Is something shady going on??

    • reubix1 permalink*
      March 29, 2010 4:40 pm

      Yikes! I’d like to think everything’s on the up and up, and that when pots are recycled and repurposed an errant plastic tag might remain. I’d be disappointed to find out otherwise. Thanks for commenting

  2. March 29, 2010 5:18 pm

    I know that was fun!!! I am interested in the bulb that makes aloe-like blooms! Does it have aloe-like leaves too??? I saw something recently and I am trying to ID it, if you are interested, it is the fifth photo (spiky pink flower on a aloe-like plant) down on this post over at Evelyn’s Blog, Sensational Succulents. The bloom just doesn’t match the plant to me…am I stupid? Looks more like a bromeliad bloom! LOL.
    Hope you will find just the right spots for all your new beauties!!!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      March 29, 2010 5:51 pm

      Hmmm… not sure, Evelyn’s link wouldn’t work for me. But, this is a pic of the veltheimia like we saw:

      the leaves were very glossy, like these and the flowers were the same color… can’t wait to see if they take off at our place!

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