The plants are here!

Whenever I watch a landscaping show on TV*, my favorite part is when the nursery truck rolls up and the crew starts to unload the plants. It’s a bit like Christmas even though the presents are for the lucky homeowners and not for me.

Today was a bit like that, except the truck was our 13-year old minivan and the crew was just yours truly, with my long-suffering wife lending a helping hand. But for once the lucky homeowner was me!

My plant haul came from Village Nurseries in Sacramento, the wholesale nursery where I’d previously bought two palo verde trees. What I picked up today will be the anchor plants for the new space I’m preparing next to the house (technically on the outside of the backyard fence).


A minivan full of plants: trunk…


…middle row…


Palo verde peeking out between the driver and passenger seat


…and front row

Here is a list of plants I purchased from Village Nurseries:


Happy and healthy plants full of potential

140304_plants_for_hedge_bed_redo_008 140304_plants_for_hedge_bed_redo_009

LEFT: Aloe ferox (15 gallon can)    RIGHT: Aloe ‘Hercules’ (15 gallon can)


Agave gentryi ‘Jaws’ (5 gallon can)


Caesalpinia gilliesii and Calliandra californica (5 gallon cans) and Parkinsonia ‘Sonoran Emerald’ (15 gallon can)


The nursery rep was concerned about the exposed roots of the palo verde but I don’t think it’s a problem. Still, I was able to get a discount.


The ‘Sonoran Emerald’ palo verde has a quite a few flower buds already…


…some had even started to open


The yellow bird of paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) also has flower buds


The two Baja fairy dusters (Calliandra californica) are actively flowering


Baja fairy duster (Calliandra californica)

The plants from Village Nurseries complement the plants I recently bought at Annie’s Annuals in Richmond…


4 inch perennials from Annie’s Annuals and Morningsun Herb Farm

…at Morningsun Herb Farm in Vacaville:

…and at UC Botanical Garden’s Landscape Cacti and Succulent Nursery in Berkeley:

  • Aloe cameronii
  • Agave macroacantha
  • Agave ovatifolia
  • Agave parrasana
  • Agave colorata


Aloe cameronii, Agave ovatifolia, Agave colorata, and Agave parrasana


Aloe macroacantha

Tomorrow morning the tree guys will remove the pittosporum hedge along the fence. Then I’ll be able to have dirt brought in for planting mounds. And then the fun can begin!


Front yard desert garden index


*My favorite landscaping shows are both on Home & Garden TV (HGTV):
Superscapes with Gary Gragg (now canceled) and The Outdoor Room with Jamie Drurie (season 4 will start on April 2).


  1. Wow! Looking forward to seeing your new area all planted up!

    1. Me too! The tree service guys just took our the hedge. It looks so bare!

  2. Wow wow wow, my heart just skipped a beat seeing your plant haul! Looks so exciting and looking forward to seeing the area planted up with all those gorgeous plants!

    1. These were the largest plants I've ever bought. I wanted to have at least a few larger specimens for instant impact. The van sure was packed!

  3. What a great collection of plants, some real beauties there. So jealous of the A. Hercules the sooner they arrive in the Uk the better, it has been a very long wait.

    1. Aloe 'Hercules' appears to be more widely available now, but only in 15- and 5-gallon pots. I've been looking for a smaller one for friends (you know who you are :-)) but haven't had any luck yet.

  4. i have photos from Cuba of a "Calendaria" tree and its flowers which look like they are the same as your Baja fairy duster trees. They were blossoming and were beautiful! Will post on Facebook when I get a chance.

    1. Lin, can't wait to see photos. The Baja fairy duster is actually a shrub, 2-6 ft wide x high, depending on how much water it gets.

  5. Amazing! You've got quite the stash there Gerhard. I think the Aloe ferox is my fav from your latest haul.I look forward to watching the project unfold, especially since I'm still a few weeks away from being able to plant here (just too darn wet!).

    1. A blooming Aloe ferox is a sight to see. I hope mine will get there within a few years. And most of all, I hope we're not going to have a freak winter anytime soon that might set back my new plants.

  6. Oh Gerhard, you must be giddy with excitement! So many cool plants and a plan for where they'll go - a gardener couldn't be any happier! Happy planting!

    1. Peter, this is the largest landscaping project I've tackled in a long time. What makes it even better is that I'll have a blank canvas--no existing plants or obstacles to work around. I'm giddy indeed!

  7. It's going to look great! There's nothing more exciting than a large empty garden bed to fill. :)

    1. I know! I've been going out there and looking at the empty bed for the last two days :-).

  8. I cannot wait to see the results. And what a cool nursery! Do you have a wholesale license? I should get one so I can get better prices. That tree Aloe.....Wow! So awesome! Wait till you see the post on my Ferox! Very sad!

    1. No, I don't have a wholesale license but you don't need one to shop at Village Nurseries. They do sell to the public. However, all the plants I bought had to be trucked up from their growing grounds in Southern California so you need to allow time for that.

      What happened to your Aloe ferox?


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