Since our recent trip to Southern California was a family vacation, I only visited two nurseries and only bought one plant (a kangaroo paw hybrid called ‘Red Cross’). I know, it’s a shocker, but there simply wasn’t time (or room in the car) for more.
The first nursery I checked out was Seaside Gardens in Carpinteria, a small beach town just south of Santa Barbara where we spent the first night of our trip. It had been recommended to me by several folks whose opinion I value highly so my expectations were fairly high. I was not disappointed.
What makes Seaside Gardens so special is its 3-acre demonstration garden. It’s subdivided into eleven “vignettes” created by local landscape designers. Each one showcases a different type of garden ranging from Asian, Australian and South African to Californian, Mediterranean, Grassland and Cottage. Needless to say the Succulent Garden, designed by Mary Pat Moloney and Donna and Bill Baker, was my favorite.