Saturday, March 1, 2014

Rainy visit to Annie’s Annuals

Yesterday I met an old friend from San Francisco and took him to Annie’s Annuals in Richmond, CA. Annie’s is one of my favorite nurseries. Their selection is vast and quirky; check out their plant list to get a taste. The retail nursery also carries plants that either aren’t on the website or are listed as unavailable and the prices are lower than online, so a personal visit is the way to go.

The weather was fine when we arrived—overcast but bright. However, half way through our visit the sky opened up and the rain ultimately cut our visit short. Still, here are some photos to give you idea of what wonders await at Annie’s. Also check out my previous posts: 1 | 2 | 3.

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Beschorneria albiflora in the parking lot

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Beschorneria albiflora in the parking lot, getting ready to bloom

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Cussonia paniculata planted outside the wall along Market St. The towers and the barbed wired on top of the wall create a rather startling prison look but the security is apparently needed.

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Not sure which Cussonia this is but possibly Cussonia spicata

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I was oddly attracted to this thorny thing but I have no clue what it is. Does anybody know?

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Euphorbia characias

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Sea of 4-inch pots. Virtually all plants sold at Annie’s are in 4-inch pots, with prices ranging from $3.95 (yellow tags) to $9.95 (purple tags).

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So much promise and potential!

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One of the many demonstration plantings

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LEFT: Ribes in flower  RIGHT: Agave vilmoriniana and Aeonium nobile

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Crassula erosula ‘Campfire’

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Cotyledon orbiculata var. orbiculata

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I love how this miniature aeonium is forming on top of a thick stalk

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Turquoise-flowering puyas

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In addition to the usual suspects, I also found myself attracted to plants I wouldn’t ordinarily pay much attention to, like these primulas

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Primula polyantha

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Primula polyantha

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One of the prettiest edibles I’ve ever seen: Mustard ‘Ruby Streaks’

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Mustard ‘Ruby Streaks’

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What a riot of color! Maybe too much for my veggie bed.

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Peak inside the hoop house with rare treasures…

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…such as these acacias and cussonias

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This is where you pay for your purchases

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Helleborus orientalis ‘Peppermint Ice’

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Quite possibly…

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…the most beautiful hellebore I’ve ever seen

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Helleborus orientalis ‘Yellow Lady’

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Helleborus orientalis ‘Yellow Lady’

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Malcolmia maritima, another plant I wouldn’t originally look at twice but beautiful when massed like this

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This hypertufa pot caught my eye. The next time I make hypertufa pots I will try incorporate a row of contrasting rocks.

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My purchases

This is what I bought:

Most of these plants will go in the xeric planting bed I’m creating in the space currently occupied by a Japanese mock orange hedge (Pittosporum tobira). With any luck, the hedge will come out early next week.

8 comments:

  1. Someday you'll need to take me there too. :) I love visiting nurseries in the rain (as long as I have an umbrella or raincoat)!

    Echium russicum is the only thing on that list that I also grow!

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    1. Alan, I'll be happy to show you around the next time you're in the Bay Area. I didn't have a raincoat, just a hoodie. The temperature was in the high 60s so quite comfy.

      How is that Echium russicum growing for you? I've never actually seen one flowering, just in photos.

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  2. Didn't get the beautiful helebore I see, :^(

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    1. No, hellebores don't do that well here. I have two, and they never flower the way they do in cooler climates.

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  3. Both times I've been there I meant to go back outside the gates and look at the plants, but then once inside I'm overwhelmed and forget all about it. Thanks for the visit...and wow! You made it worthwhile with those purchases.

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  4. Great visit and love the photos! Can't to visit!

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  5. Google strikes again, my previous comment disappeared! Annie's Annuals reputation is reasonable well known even here. Great haul btw and that pot with the band of pebble looks great and also reminds me of 'rammed earth'.

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  6. Sorry Laura and I missed out this time - Next time when it is not raining!

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