Annie's Annuals Labor Day visit (and sale)

Annie's Annuals in Richmond, CA is having a big Labor Day sale: 20% all plants, both in the nursery and online. If you can't make it to the nursery, you still have until midnight Pacific Time tonight (September 3) to place an order on their web site.

I made the 1-hour drive to Richmond on Saturday morning, armed with my wish list and camera. As an Annie's follower on Facebook and Instagram, I knew that their display beds were bursting with color. Unfortunately, the battery pack in my camera gave out early—I'd grabbed the one that doesn't hold much of a charge anymore—but I still got a few dozen good photos so you can get an idea of how picture-perfect the plantings are right now.

Always a sight for sore eyes

Yes, this place got attitude—the right kind

Lilium 'Miss Feya'

Alstroemeria 'Tricolor'

Senecio candicans 'Angel Wings' looking great in Richmond's mild coastal climate

Dudleya brittonii, Lavandula 'Silver Anouk', and Salvia 'Ignition Purple'

Dudleya brittoniiLavandula 'Silver Anouk', and Salvia 'Ignition Purple'

Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt', Dudleya hasseiSalvia 'Ignition Purple'

Brachychiton discolor

Cosmos bipinnatus 'Xanthos'

Sedum spathulifolium 'Cape Blanco'

Phygelius capensis 'Magenta' (left), ×Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' (right)

Echeveria elegans and Scleranthus biflorus (Australian Astroturf)


Digiplexus 'Illumination Flame' 

Agastache 'Black Adder' (back)

Geranium 'Rozanne'

Eucomis autumnalis

Mask flower (Alonsoa meridionalis)

Agave polyacantha

Agave polyacantha and Eriogonum nudum 'Ella Nelson's Yellow' 

Agave vilmoriniana
Aloe africana

Serpentine columbine (Aquilegia eximia)

Puya alpestris (back), ×Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' (front)

Agave ovatifolia and Tanacetum haradjanii

On my way to the Succulents section...

Always the first section I check out

I wish I could grow sempervivums. They hate our summer heat.

Who can resist a sign that says "Rarities!"

Looking towards the Gift Shop/Checkout trailer

Knautia macedonica, a recent addition to my garden from Digging Dog Nursery (I didn't know Annie's had it, too)

I agree with the sign, definitely one of the most beautiful trees I've ever seen. I had no idea it grows in the Bay Area. It needs a ton of water and can't take any frost. Check out this photo I took on Maui in 2013.

Abutilon 'David's Red', a cultivar growing in the garden of Bay Area garden designer David Feix for the last 20 years, now available exclusively at Annie's. Check out the massive flowers!

This is why I've been trying repeatedly to grow Lupinus albifrons! I just lost another one. Our summer heat is a killer.

I was very excited to spot this compact version of Salvia apiana. I love ours (the regular form), but it's too tall for its space. I could have sworn I put one in my cart, but it wasn't there when I unloaded my plants so I must have left it at the nursery. Next time!

Family jewels tree (Asclepias physocarpa)

Bye, Annie's! See you in the fall. (The plant on the right is Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia.)

And here's my haul. I bought more than I had expected. But that's hardly a surprise, considering there are temptations wherever you look. Annie's signage may be heavy on the superlatives and exclamation marks, but it works like a charm on me!

List of purchases for future reference:

Abutilon ‘David’s Red’
David’s Red flowering maple
Agave havardiana
Havard’s agave
Aquilegia chrysantha ‘Flore Pleno’
Flore Pleno golden columbine
Arthropodium cirratum
Renga lily
Blechnum spicant
Deer fern
Clematis ligusticifolia
Western white clematis
Dicliptera suberecta
Uruguayan fire cracker plant
Dudleya farinosa
Powdery liveforever
Dyckia ‘Brittle Star’
Brittle Star dyckia
Geranium ‘Rozanne’
Geranium Rozanne
Helichrysum splendidum
Cape gold
Ipomopsis rubra
Lippia repens (syn. Phyla nodiflora)
Lupinus sericatus
Cobb Mountain lupine
Plectranthus barbatus var. grandis ‘White Rhino’

Salvia reptans ‘Giant West Texas Form’
West Texas grass sage
Solanum umbelliferum ‘Mount Diablo’
Mount Diablo bluewitch
Sonchus palmensis
La Palma sow-thistle
Tanacetum haradjani
Silver tansy
Yucca harrimaniae
Harriman’s yucca

Agave havardiana and Yucca harrimaniae are hardy to zone 7 (maybe lower); I'll plant them in my mother-in-law's garden in the mountains of far Northern California. I've started to experiment there with cold-hardy succulents.

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  1. Oh no, I got one of the Eucalyptus degulpta!

    1. I'm sure it'll be fine in a pot for quite a while. I can't wait to see when the colorful bark will appear.

  2. I bet you passed Dustin in the aisles. Pretty sure he was there on Saturday too. Superb haul for fall planting!

  3. What a bounty those plant shelves hold! I'm not surprised you came away with a tremendous haul. I was tempted to shop the sale but I'd received an Annie's order just last week. However, I did check out Roger's yesterday for what they had on offer from Annie's, not that it compares with what's available in their own nursery.

    1. Did you make it to Annie's when you were in Nor Cal a few months ago? It's like being in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.

  4. I'm so looking forward to visiting Annie's in person next month! It will be my first time. I'm not sure Eucalyptus deglupta does grow in the Bay Area. I remember David Feix either on Facebook or Instagram expressing doubt and asking Annie if she knew of any actually succeeding in the area. When I visit, I'll try to behave myself and not point out all the illegitimate names, like Salvia apiana 'Compacta', which is invalid because cultivar names made after 1959 aren't supposed to be latinized.

    1. Wow, will this be your first visit to Annie's? If you make it my way, let me know! Would love to see you.

      Re: 'Compacta', you're right, they could just as easily say 'Compact'.

  5. Excellent haul, of course I’m a little jealous that you can just pop on down to Annie’s. Regarding the Lupinus albifrons, I keep trying too. Your summer heat, our winter cold (wet?), curses!

    1. My Lupinus albifrons lasted until August, then it croaked. It was in a challenging spot--full late afternoon sun.

  6. Great haul! I recently got Sonchus palmensis in the mail from Annie's as my elderly specimen finally gave up the ghost. What a dream it would be to garden in the bay area's mild climate and how lucky you are to be able to drive over to Annie's. The gardens are, indeed, looking marvelous!

    1. I had a Sonchus palmensis that did great in the front yard. I decided to transplant it to the backyard but it didn't survive. It may be one of those plants that don't like having their roots disturbed.

  7. Happy I missed the sale--too many plants right now as it is. Looks like it was wonderful. Photos to warm the heart of every Flower Floozy.

    Eucalyptus deglupta, there is a sizable specimen (for CA) at the LA Arboretum.

    Geranium 'Rozanne' is one of my favorite plants, even though it isn't an Agave.

    Heat killed my Lupinus albifons too, though supposedly it is native to right around here. Plant was too small to leave the pot.

    1. I've surprised myself by getting most of the Annie's plants into the ground right away.

      I've been looking for a reasonably prized 'Rozanne' for a long time. The royalties on 'Rozanne' must be pretty steep, considering it's close to $15 for a #1 can in regular nurseries.

      I don't know what the secret is behind growing lupines. I always thought too much fussing and watering kills them. That's why I left my L. albifrons to its own devices (it did get a bit of water every 10 days). But it still died.

  8. I am putting off my late season Annies visit til after PDX. God only knows how many plants will come home with me then. I still have several awaiting cooler temps for planting.


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