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Walking Tour: Roger’s Gardens

October 15, 2010


Holiday greeters


Going to Roger’s Gardens yesterday I was pretty excited. Directions online indicated that it was located in Corona Del Mar, somewhere I’d never been to before. What I didn’t realize was that Corona Del Mar is literally across the street from Newport Beach! That Newport Beach landmark of commerce and consumption, Fashion Island, was staring me in the face as we pulled up … instantly I thought this would not be a bargain shopper’s paradise. I was right. Checking the pricetags on rusted steel obelisks flanking the entry I wasn’t surprised to see them going for around $1,500 … Since this was an inspiration-seeking mission, more than a shopping venture, we tsked and went inside. Passing through the checkout area we emerged in a courtyard decorated for the upcoming Halloween holiday. Pumpkins in every shape, size and color were arranged in planters and along paths. Excited by all the festive hues I forgot that initial sticker shock and was heartened: There had to be inspiration here, right? …


Colorful mix


Walking in from the parking lot, there were signs informing us that the grounds were landscaped by Roger’s, and they were appropriately gorgeous. A mix of natives and succulents, the colorful plantings were a major draw. Inside, the gorgeousness continued. Interesting trees mingled with shrubbery and succulents in charming groupings. The morning was very cool and damp near the Pacific, and this amplified the artful foliage mixes and their colors.


Succulents abound


Of course, I was very interested in seeing what succulents Roger’s would have on offer, and they did not disappoint. Large and small, they had quite an array for sale. Single succulents in pots were plentiful, as well as container arrangements with my favorite plants as either the focal point or backup players. Prices by-and-large were higher than at many nurseries, some outlandishly so. Crested euphorbias (last picture) were on sale near the entrance.


Orange, and more


The pumpkin displays were not confined to the entrance courtyard, they seemed to pop up everywhere. Plump, red-orange pumpkins joined their white, blue-gray, terra-cotta and pale-and-bumpy cousins in spreading the message that Halloween was around the corner. A massive rusted steel sleigh bed was filled with the most amazing collection of green gourds, their long, crooked necks making them seem like swans who’d OD’d on chlorophyll. Amazingly heavy when lifted, I wanted one but somehow couldn’t bring myself to check how much they might cost. I was beginning to have that “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” feeling … those carved wooden pumpkin-headed figures in the first picture? About $1,500.


Accessorize away


Roger’s is big on accessories, for both outdoors and in. Planters and pots are available in an assortment of materials including concrete, ceramic and metal. They had some large hypertufa troughs that were very interesting — and inspiring … at $900 each, I’m inspired to make my own! Not only were there extensive Halloween decorations available (at a sinister-themed toy factory called ‘Funn and Gaemes’), but Christmas was already in full-swing in a major way in-store. In need of blown-glass ornaments from Germany for that 25-foot flocked spruce? They’ve got them! Looking for reproduction Asian antiques for that Zen atrium at the seaside mansion? They have them! Rustic artisan birdhouses, faux antique botanical charts, gourmet foodstuffs, glam-divalicious boudoir bijou, and all manner of high-end outdoor furniture and dressing — they have it all, and at Newport Beach prices. It’s kinda fun to check this stuff out, but ultimately it all feels a little pat.


Quiet beauty


Amidst all the gew-gaws and tchotchkes was a small gallery featuring early California impressionist landscape paintings. Quietly romantic, these small pieces depicted lovely vistas from the state’s early days; one canvas featuring a field lush with red-orange poppies was particularly affecting. Roger’s Gardens also features tours, classes and landscaping and florist services on its long roster of activities and services.


Roger's entry


Visiting Roger’s Gardens was interesting, but not the inspiration trove I was hoping for. I suppose I was too distracted by the prices … Oh, and this: While  Paul and I navigated the various shopping areas at Roger’s at different paces, I couldn’t help but notice that sales staff would greet him, and offer help (one complimenting him on his seasonable saffron-colored shirt), while I was ignored completely (except for sidelong glances). Later when I thought about it, it occurred to me that maybe it was because the only other people in the place that looked like me were workers there. Maybe they thought I was a recently-hired lost weeder, and that I’d eventually find my way back to the compost area … whatever. Roger’s is very Newport Beach in feel … and like the Escalades and Mercedes SUVs in the parking lot, maybe a little too rich for my blood.

Roger’s Gardens is located at 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona del Mar, California 92625. For more information call: 949-640-5800.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Megan permalink
    October 16, 2010 1:42 am

    Whoa! Looks like a fun place to visit and take pics, but not really buy. Flora Grubb is pretty spendy. We’ve officially decided that we’re finally going to take a trip to Southern California the week between Christmas and New Years. It’s about gosh darn time.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      October 16, 2010 2:45 am

      Omigod… Flora’s pretty outta line, too… I called about this really cool metal planter that looked like truncated bomb I saw in Sunset magazine or somewheres, and it was like $2000! and welcome to SoCal, holiday 2010!

  2. October 16, 2010 5:43 am

    Those carved punkin people are enough to give me nightmares.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      October 16, 2010 12:12 pm

      The price tag did that for me…! I honestly can’t imagine why they would be so costly … unless they were created by the now-extinct lost tribe of orange-fleshed Lompa Oompas of Papua New Guinea from reclaimed wood originally intended for the timber version of the Sistine Chapel. Using only tin forks as tools. While blindfolded. Underwater. Dead.

      Barring that … no.

  3. October 16, 2010 1:14 pm

    Back in my SoCal past Rogers was my go-to place for 4inch fuchsias..I believe that was all I ever bought there–they had tables and tables of them, a better selection than I could find anywhere. This was in the pre-gall mite era -I wonder if they still have tables and tables of them ? I would have bought one of those crested Euphorbias in a hot minute though !

    • reubix1 permalink*
      October 16, 2010 2:28 pm

      Hey, there… I don’t think I saw one fuchsia at Roger’s … maybe they were set aside in favor of something more in-season? The crested euphorbias were tempting but I bought a couple a while back and they suffered a horrible fate in the heat here. They were very cool, though … almost like plastic fantasy plants!

  4. alladrm permalink
    October 16, 2010 2:46 pm

    Used to live near Rogers and loved to look around there though I never bought much. It’s a great place to find the more unusual plants that you only ever see in magazines. There’s an Armstrong’s right on the Coast Hwy not more than a mile from Rogers. They have a good selection too and better prices.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      October 16, 2010 3:21 pm

      Thanks for the comment and the tip!

  5. October 22, 2010 4:27 am

    My friend Cathy W. told me about your blog and it appears that we’re on similar paths. Just visited Rogers Gardens two days ago. Your photos are fabulous and I’m enjoying reviewing your posts!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      October 22, 2010 4:37 am

      Hi, Lori, welcome! I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog, stop by often…. there’s always something going on and say hi to Cathy for me!

  6. Guida Quon permalink
    November 1, 2010 2:10 pm

    Have just discovered your blog…am loving it.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      November 1, 2010 2:14 pm

      Thanks, Guida … Welcome!

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