Outing to Annie's Annuals, April 2021

On Saturday, I finally made it to Annie's Annuals in Richmond. It was my first visit of the year. I'm not sure why I waited so long, considering that temperatures are warming up and the fall/winter/spring planting window is almost closed. But I'm happy to report that all my purchases except for one are already in the ground or in pots.

A friend of mine went to Annie's recently in the middle of the week and had to wait outside for a while before being allowed in. An employee stationed at the entrance keeps track of how many customers are inside the nursery at any given time to maintain social distancing requirements. Once capacity is reached, people need to wait outside until somebody leaves. I arrived at 10 a.m., and to my surprise I was able to walk straight in. However, by the time I left at 11:30, people were lining up at the entrance.

The display beds near the entrance were as beautiful as ever—like living pages of Annie's Annuals' printed catalog. Which they are, seeing how many photos in the catalog are taken right at the nursery. I noticed improved labeling of the plants in the display beds. In addition to the plant name, the tags now also indicate the nursery aisle where the plant can be found for purchase. A terrific idea!

Here are some photos I snapped as I was pushing my Radio Flyer wagon around. I linked the plant names to the corresponding page on the Annie's Annuals website so you can read more information if you like.

Ground morning glory (Convolvulus sabatius)

Ground morning glory (Convolvulus sabatius) and Dianthus 'Raspberry Swirl'

Sisyrinchium 'Devon Skies'

Agave 'Blue Glow', Yucca 'Magenta Magic', and Golden Guinea everlasting (Helichrysum argyrophyllum)

Agave 'Blue Glow' and Arctotis 'Fire'

Aloe tomentosa and Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt'

Puya dyckioides, must be a new plant Annie's is trialing because it's not on the website yet

First time for me to see Puya dyckioides flowers!

Ferocious dinos scaring visitors in the spot where the famous Annie's cow used to hang out

One more dinosaur, this one a bit friendlier looking

Octopus agave (Agave vilmoriniana) and fan aloe (Kumara plicatilis)

Octopus agave (Agave vilmoriniana)

Octopus agave (Agave vilmoriniana)

Sea lavender (Limonium perezii) and Greek poppy (Papaver sp.)

Graptoveria 'Fred Ives', sea lavender (Limonium perezii), and Greek poppy (Papaver sp.)

Puya alpestrisGraptoveria 'Fred Ives'sea lavender (Limonium perezii)

Theeeeere is the cow! Glad to know it wasn't put out to pasture.

Towering flower spike from the Australian spear lily (Doryanthes palmeri)

Beschorneria yuccoides 'Flamingo Flow' with its signature flower spike

Beschorneria yuccoides 'Flamingo Glow' and Doryanthes palmeri in the background, Agave ovatifolia 'Vanzie' in the foreground

Agave ovatifolia 'Vanzie'

Another clump of Arctotis 'Large Marge' (I love that name!)

Red Pagoda crassula (Crassula capitella)

Crassula 'Campfire'

Arctotis 'Pink Sugar' and Arctotis 'Fire' (not on website yet). The "grass" is orange New Zealand sedge (Carex testacea).

Another flowering Beschorneria yuccoides 'Flamingo Glow'

Here are my purchases:

Six of these (three Lupinus albifrons and three Bukiniczia cabulica) are for a friend

Giving Yucca aloifolia 'Magenta Magic' a try. It's a dwarf version of Yucca 'Blue Boy' and supposedly less prone to flopping over as it matures.

Lewisia longipetala 'Little Raspberry' is another trial candidate. I haven't had much luck with lewisias (aka bitterroots), but I was told to give them excellent drainage and water only little in the summer. Unless most other species in the genus, Lewisia cotyledon typically does not go dormant in the summer.

Dudleyas planted in a community bowl. Left to right, start at the 9 o'clock position: Dudleya cymosa ssp. pumila 'Figueroa Mountain' (not on website yet), Dudleya traskiae, Dudleya cymosa 'Orange Form', Dudleya brittonii

List of my plants for future reference:

Drosanthemum micans
Dudleya brittonii 'Giant Chalk Dudleya'
Dudleya cymosa (orange form)
Dudleya cymosa pumila 'Figueroa Mountain'
Dudleya traskiae 'Santa Barbara Liveforever'
Lewisia longipetala 'Little Raspberry'
Limonium perezii
Lotus crassifolius var. otayensis 'Otay Mountain Lotus'
Pseudonoseris glandulosa 'Andean Aster'
Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Henry Eilers'
Yucca aloifolia 'Magenta Magic'

With warmer temperatures nipping at our heels, it's time to prepare for the long dry summer ahead—and start making plant lists for the fall.

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  1. I am so overdue for a trip to Annies. And your plant haul is very restrained ! Using the radio flyer instead of the double decker cart I've found is helpful on that score. I have Lewisia on my Annies list too-I have a spot that I think will work.

    1. It was the first time I used one of their Radio Flyer wagon instead of the two-tiered cart. Hence the restrained. Also, the fact that hot weather is in the forecast and I didn't want the responsibility of pampering a lot of newly planted plants.

  2. Your "friend" thanks you very much for your shopping and shipping energy! I'll have another Annie's plant in my garden this spring, a Telanthophora grandifolia (https://www.anniesannuals.com/plants/view/?id=5161) which was a gift from my friend Linda (I blogged about here garden here: http://www.thedangergarden.com/2020/12/visiting-garden-of-another-portland.html. I do wish I could grow dudleya!

    1. Ooh, I'd like to see how it does for you. Aren't you in Portland? I really like that plant. I know it will appreciate your greater rainfall than I get in the bay area and I hope to find out it is cool with the cold. Good luck!

    2. Anytime! Shopping for others is even more fun than shopping for myself. May the cloudy cabbages prosper and thrive!

    3. Mark—yes, Portland. I am only expecting it to be an annual, but if it lives then great!

  3. Your post is better than the print catalog! I so wish I was close enough to visit Annie's. I'll get there in person someday. In the meanwhile, even though I recently visited one of my favorite garden centers, I've already got a working list for another Annie's order by mail.

  4. Such great photos of a wonderful nursery, and special thanks for the fun links to the catalog. Most everything isn't zone appropriate, but still an eye candy. How can anyone resist Red Pagoda crassula? I'm smitten.

    1. Annie's actually has a lot of plants for colder zones. Go to www.anniesannuals.com and use the Zone drop-down list at the top right to see plants for any given zone.

  5. I have decided it is better that I live in Phoenix instead of southern CA. I would be totally broke and exhausted from buying and planting. Can't grow many of these but I so love them! Let us know how Yucca aloifolia 'Magenta Magic' does. I tried the big variety but, of course, the high, high heat last summer killed it.

  6. For a minute I thought those dinosaurs ate the cow. Good to know the cow is okay. ;^)

  7. The dinosaurs look like raptor stunt doubles from Jurassic Park....hmmm, I wonder if they have contacts with the movie biz. Euphorb 'Blue Haze' is on the short list of Annie's plants I've yet to grow. That new puya is very fetching!


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