On our recent spring break trip to Santa Barbara I managed to squeeze in a visit to a nursery that came highly recommended: Terra Sol Garden Center. As it turned out, it was only a couple of miles from our hotel. It’s not a big nursery but the second I pulled into the parking lot, I realized that I wasn’t in Kansas anymore (or, in my case, Davis). Our nurseries just don’t have displays of bougainvillea out front!
The photos in this post show plants that are unusual or exotic in one form or another. Terra Sol also has most of the basic nursery staples—flowering annuals, plenty of veggies, bagged soil, fertilizer, etc.—but I decided to skip those.
View from the parking lot
Agave attenuata ‘Variegata’, super rare and—not surprisingly—not for sale
Agave attenuata ‘Variegata’
Agave macroacantha ‘Blue Ribbon’—another specimen that wasn’t for sale
Agave potatorum ‘Snowfall’—very nice but I have enough similar-looking agave varieties
Miscellaneous succulents—that large golden barrel in a talavera pot was a stunner!
Unidentified aloe and Euphorbia leucadendron
Kalanchoe orgyalis ‘Copper Spoon’ and Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire’
Dasylirion quadrangulatum and Yucca rostrata
Tylecodon wallichii—the large specimen wasn’t for sale, but the small ones were
Gerrardanthus macrorhizus—how many nurseries carry this particular plant? I had never even heard of the genus before, let alone the species, but since it’s similar to my first name, I will henceforth claim it as my own!
Leucospermum praecox—one of several stunning proteas from South Africa. Oh, to be able to grow those outside!
Asian section—I loved this corner of the nursery!
I wanted this face statue in the worst way!
Since we didn’t have much room in the car, I was very good and bought only one plant, a 7-gallon Beaucarnea stricta. Here is a photo after I transplanted it:
Beaucarnea stricta on our front walkway.
A Yucca rostrata of a similar size would have
set me back by an additional $100!
Santa Barbara is also home to my personal Shangri-La of nurseries, San Marcos Growers. This wholesale nurseries produces some of the most stunning plants in existence, including many rare succulents. Unfortunately, it’s not open to the public, but I’m hoping that I will eventually find a way to visit.
To access an index of all my posts about our Santa Barbara trip, including my 5-part post about Ganna Walska Lotusland, please click here.