Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ruth Bancroft Garden 2013 fall plant sale

This past weekend was Ruth Bancroft Gardens big fall plant sale. The member sale was on Friday afternoon, and the public sale was all day Saturday. Not wanting to miss out on the best plants, I was there at 4:30pm sharp on Friday. The selection was a little smaller than at the spring sale but everything was 30% off. This made for some great bargains, especially considering that a lot of the plants they carry fall in the “unusual” category and are impossible to get elsewhere in Northern California.

Instead of organizing my photos by plant group, I’ll present them in the order in which I took them. This lets you share in the sense of discovery I felt. (The plant tables are in various places throughout the garden so to see them all, you end up doing a garden tour without initially knowing it.)

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_05

Purple tradescantia (Tradescantia pallida 'Purpurea') and aeonium sp.

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_Leucadendron-argenteum_02 131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_Leucadendron-Ebony_02

LEFT: Leucadendron argenteum. I still want one but these 5-gal plants were $40, a bit too steep for what would be an experimental plant in my garden.
RIGHT: Leucadendron ‘Ebony’; $35 last year, now just $15. I got one
this summer when I met up with the Garden Flingers.

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_86

Large selection of grevilleas. If only I had room for a few more of these but they get big.

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_Chilopsis-linearis_01

Desert willow (Chilopsis linearis)

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_Agave-titanota_02

Agave titanota (2 gallon pot)

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_Agave-titanota_03

Agave titanota (4-inch pots)

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_55

Impressive agave flower stalk…

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_12

…and close-up of flowers

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_Agave-elgonica_01

Aloe elgonica. In hindsight I wish I’d bought one.

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_Agave-elgonica- -kedongensis_02

Aloe elgonica and Aloe kedongensis

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_45

Prickly pear table

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_24

These were labeled as Opuntia ‘Santa-Rita’. The pads were amazingly round…

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_37

…and flat like a wafer!

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_Ceiba-speciosa_01

Kapok tree (Ceiba speciosa) still blooming

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_39

Ceiba speciosa and Opuntia ficus-indica

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_38

Prickly pear fruit is called “tuna” in Spanish. It makes great jam.

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_Ferocactus-pottsii_01

Fruit on Ferocactus pottsii

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_palo-verde_06

I was thrilled to see this palo verde. I don’t know what species it is but it could be ‘Desert Museum’. My own palo verde saga had a happy ending; look for a new post very soon.

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_42 131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_41

Sale tables. The tree in both photos is a Mexican palo verde (Parkinsonia aculeata)

131004_RBG_Fall_Agave-titanota-white-form_01

Agave titanota. This is the classic white-leaved form described by Howard Gentry.

131004_RBG_Fall_Agave-americana-marginata_01

This undulating Agave americana ‘Marginata’ never failed to impress. Awesome if you have the space but definitely not suited for small gardens.

131004_RBG_Fall_Agave-franzosinii_06

Tree-sized flower spike on Agave franzosinii

131004_RBG_Fall_Agave-franzosinii_05

Agave franzosinii. Dying rosette up close.

131004_RBG_Fall_Agave-franzosinii_01

Agave franzosinii

131004_RBG_Fall_Agave-franzosinii_04

Agave franzosinii

131004_RBG_Fall_Agave-bovicornuta_01

Cow horn agave (Agave bovicornuta)

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_71

Agave mound

131004_RBG_Fall_Agave-parryi-truncata_03

Agave parryi var. truncata

131004_RBG_Fall_Agave-parryi-truncata_02

Agave parryi var. truncata, possibly the most beautiful specimen I’ve ever seen

131004_RBG_Fall_Agave-parrasana_02

Agave parrasana, my new favorite agave. Look at the color, the shape, the bud imprints! Fortunately I found a smaller 2-gallon size plant that was for sale. I’ve already planted it in our renovated driveway-size succulent bed (post to come).

131004_RBG_Fall_Agave-guadalajarana_01

Agave guadalajarana. This is the same species as the one I wrote about in my “Agave sunburn” post although it varies in leaf shape  from the specimens I saw at Succulent Gardens. This seems to be a species with a great deal of variability.

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_74

Agave attenuata with pups

131004_RBG_Fall_Nerine-sarniensis_02

Nerine sarniensis, a South African bulb. These intensely red flowers emerging from the rocky ground without even a hint of leaves made for a strange sight.

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_80

Baja fairy duster (Calliandra californica), another desert favorite of mine

131004_RBG_Fall_Callandria-california_03

Baja fairy duster (Calliandra californica). One plant came home with me and is now planted outside the front yard fence.

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_79

Sale area outside the nursery; the trailer on the right is the office

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_88

Rusty red clump of aloes. These desperately need some rain to perk up

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_104

Ruth Bancroft’s own manzanita cultivar, Arctostaphylos 'Ruth Bancroft'. The bark is a particularly lustrous red-brown.

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_102

Agave parryi and Agave parryi var. neomexicana (pointy leaves)

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_96 131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_98

Agave parryi and Agave parryi var. neomexicana (pointy leaves)

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_105

Tree aloe (not sure, possibly Aloe barberae)

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_110

Flats of Australian natives

131004_RBG_Fall_Agave-mitis-albicans_04

Agave mitis var. albicans

131004_RBG_Fall_Aloe-capitata-quartziticola_05

Aloe capitata var. quartziticola, still my favorite aloe

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_123

Ruth’s Folly, one of the two entrances to the Ruth Bancroft Garden (the other is via the office parking lot). By the time I left, the line of members waiting to get in had dissipated.

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_117

Check out these inquisitive epiphytic cacti growing through holes in the shade cloth (or possibly making their own holes)

131004_RBG_Fall_Beaucarnea-recurvata_05 131004_RBG_Fall_Beaucarnea-recurvata_04

Ponytail palms (Beaucarnea recurvata) and Agave parryi var. truncata outside the entrance

131004_RBG_Fall_Agave-parryi-truncata_08

Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria) and Agave parryi var. truncata

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_129

My haul (yes, my 40+-year old Radio Flyer wagon came along, too)

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_133

Agave stricta ‘Rubra’

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_131

Agave titanota (green and blue form)

This was was another great plant sale, and in spite of my initial misgivings about having to deal with rush hour (and early weekend) traffic, I actually enjoyed visiting the garden at this time of day. By the time I was back on the freeway heading home, the sun had set and the sky was bathed in beautiful shades of pink, purple and blue:

131004_RBG_Fall_Sale_128

5 comments:

  1. Another great garden and sale. Agave parasana is a greatly under-rated plant. See any well grown one like the one in your photo and any agave fan is going to want one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree more. The problem is that as a small plant--the size you're most likely to find it for sale--Agave parrasana doesn't look like much so people don't give it a chance.

      Delete
  2. Great looking plant in a great looking place that I never get tired seeing photos of. It'll be a dream to visit this place one day...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ah so wonderful! I thought of 50 things I wanted to say as I read through and looked at your photos but now of course I can't remember any of them except how gorgeous that combo of dusty miller and agave parryi is...wow!

    ReplyDelete
  4. So did you get an aloe kedongensis? Love that color. And can you plant dusty miller in our area? I have one and not sure what to do with it yet.

    ReplyDelete