Quick trip to Annie's Annuals—20% off sale until October 11, 2020

I unexpectedly found myself with some free time on Thursday morning so I decided to make a quick trip to Annie's Annuals in Richmond, about an hour's drive provided traffic cooperates (it did). It was a surprisingly cool morning in Davis and even cooler in Richmond. In fact, the sky was so gray that I thought it was going to rain (it didn't). As an added plus, the even light did make for good photography.

Here are some pictures of the public plantings along the entrance and along the sidewalk:

This view, as seen from Market Street, changes frequently

Alstroemeria hybrid 'Tricolor' and Carex testacea

Alstroemeria hybrid 'Tricolor' and Yucca gloriosa 'Variegata'

Sonchus palmensis

Beschorneria albiflora and Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Raven’s Wing’

Agave ovatifolia and Helichrysum argyrophyllum

The purple shrub is Plectranthus ecklonii

Considering it's early October, I had expected the demonstration beds inside the nursery to look a little tired. Wrong! Quite the opposite, as you can see below.

These plantings look like living pages straight out of an Annie's Annuals catalog. Well, they are. Most photos for the catalog are taken right at the nursery.

If you don't follow Annie's Annuals on social media, you should. Their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/anniesannuals/) has hundreds of photos, many with plant IDs. Often the plants are cleverly tagged the way you would tag people. That's how I was able to ID quite a few plants in this post. By the way, you don't need to have a Facebook account to visit Annie's Facebook page.

Dahlia 'Dark Side of the Moon', Salvia 'Mystic Spires' and Salvia 'Faye Chapel'

Salvia 'Mystic Spires' and Salvia 'Faye Chapel', Verbesina enceloides, Dahlia 'Dark Side of the Sun'

Abutilon 'David's Red', Salvia 'Mystic Spires', Salvia 'Faye Chapel', Dahlia 'Dark Side of the Moon', NOID Abutilon

NOID Abutilon and Verbascum chaixii 'Wedding Candles'

Scabiosa anthemifolia and Dahlia 'Natasha'

Datura wrightiiScabiosa anthemifolia, Gomphrena 'Fireworks', and Dahlia 'Natasha'

Geranium 'Rozanne'

Aloe arborescens hybrid and  Dudleya brittonii

Aloe arborescens hybrid and Helichrysum argyrophyllum

Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt' and ×Graptoveria 'Fred Ives'

Echeveria 'Afterglow' and Oscularia caulescens

Aloe striata, Anigozanthos 'Harmony' and others

Agave 'Blue Glow'

Agave vilmoriniana

Agave vilmoriniana

Bos taurus 'Artificialis'

Russelia equisetiformis in an old washing machine

Agave ovatifolia, Dyckia 'Cherry Cola' and Cosmos sulphureus 'Klondike', among many others

Agave ovatifoliaDyckia 'Cherry Cola' and Cosmos sulphureus 'Klondike'

Beschorneria 'Flamingo Glow' and Sedum × adolphii

I was very surprised to see this Fockea edulis. It's clearly “just” a show plant since Annie's doesn't grow it (or any other caudiciforms that I'm aware of).

Pixie looking glamorous as always

To my great delight, Annie Hayes (the Annie) was at the nursery for a photo shoot for the 2021 spring and summer catalogs:

Yes, I asked for permission before I took these photos

Annie Hayes is every bit as sweet in person as she is in photos, and I ended up having a long chat with her. She'll start working on the 2021 spring and summer catalogs in a couple of weeks. It usually takes her a couple of months to get them finished (she works on both of them at the same time). 

I told her how happy I was that this has been such a good year for Annie's Annuals (and for the industry in general), and she graciously acknowledged the massive role her hard-working staff has played in the success of the nursery. Annie truly is a class act. No wonder she's such a beloved figure in gardening circles!

If you live within driving distance of Annie's Annuals, now's a particular good time to visit: Through October 11, 2020 you get 20% off all 4" plants (which is most of their inventory). To better plan your visit, you can download the current retail location book from their website; it lists all the plants they have available and where they're found in the nursery. 

If you live further away, you can order from their website and still get 20% off.

Here's a list of what I bought (mostly to refresh my memory down the line):
  1. Agave vilmoriniana 'Stained Glass' (I couldn't resist a small plant with extremely wide creamy margins and just a thin strip of green down the middle; it could turn out to be very cool) [LINK]
  2. Aloe karasbergensis [LINK]
  3. Alonsoa meridionalis 'Apricot' [LINK]
  4. Arthropodium cirratum [LINK]
  5. Campanula celsii subsp. celsii [LINK]
  6. Catananche caerulea [LINK]
  7. Dianella intermedia [LINK]
  8. Dudleya cymosa 'Orange Form' [LINK]
  9. Dudleya pulverulenta [LINK]
  10. Echinacea 'Guava Ice' [LINK]
  11. Helichrysum argyrophyllum [LINK]
  12. Justicia rizzinii [LINK]
  13. Lampranthus aureus 'Orange Form' [LINK]
  14. Oscularia caulescens [LINK]
  15. Sedum dasyphyllum 'Major' 2× [LINK]

Some of these are plants I've grown before, others are completely new to me. There's quite a bit of outrageous flower color, which may or may not work. We'll see next year!

Here are my purchases. I'll start getting them in the ground on the weekend.


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  1. Great plants! Lots of color for sure. Looking forward to see how you blend them into your garden.

  2. I have not been to Annies this year. I have done 5 mail orders but I sure miss visiting. I long for a nursery crawl.

  3. I'm so jealous! A friend came across a new shipment of Annie's plants at a local garden center and called me to see if she could pick up something for me but I'd already placed another order of 12 plants under the sale for delivery next week (after receiving another just 2 weeks ago, including 'Stained Glass'). A couple of local garden centers routinely carry Annie's plants but the selection is far smaller than what you get at the nursery itself and shipments from Annie's to those garden centers had been halted for months during this pandemic.

  4. Sonchus palmensis has terrific leaf pattern, I'm in love. Same with Datura wrightii, which you captured in a beautiful vignette on the elevated bed with very good accompanying colors. Good luck with all your new purchases; Aloe karasbergensis is especially caught my eye.
    I chuckled at the bovine ID.

  5. I'm not sure which photo had me swooning the most, the Sonchus palmensis or the Agave vilmoriniana.

    Annie was such an enthusiastic presence when the bloggers visited the nursery in 2013, for the Fling. She talked to the group and then mingled and chatted with individuals. It was a stark contrast to that other famous female Bay Area nursery owner who was no where to be seen when we visited her nursery.

  6. I Have not been to Annies one single time this year, I hate that ! I have however mail-ordered probably 5 or 6 times-the most recent will arrive next week. Not the same as being there though. I love your haul--I have been eyeing Sonchus palmensis for some time and have created a spot. I'm going t make an effort to head down there late October. It may calm my election anxiety-at least for a few hours.

  7. This place is heaven for plant lovers .It would be my pleasure if you join my link up party related to gardening here http://jaipurgardening.blogspot.com/2020/10/garden-affair-fruit-harvest.html

  8. Annie's perennials beds looked amazing. Wish salvias grew to such huge dimensions here. Exciting to me moving into your planting season. Look forward to seeing where they all get planted.

  9. Drat. Missed the sale. Next time.

    Enjoyed your photos! Great you got to chat with "the" Annie!


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