Monday, September 27, 2010

I've Caught Fall-Fever

 Many folks don't realize that us Californians have the advantage of two "Springs."  The conventional one that begins in March and the California Spring which begins when the rains come.  Manzanitas, Silk Tassel trees, Gooseberries and Currants begin blooming as soon as December and leaves begin to emerge after the sleepy late Summer heat has left us.  What does that mean for the significant others of garden geeks?  Well, they end up hearing all about the plants that will be planted, have to nod encouragingly at clusters of pots with spindly green things stuck in them (those are plants, honey!), and are left to their own devices when the plant sales come 'round. 

 Saturday found us at such a plant sale- the East Bay Wilds "everything must go, bring the truck" plant sale.  Lisa who I'm sure you're already aware of and Karen, my effervescent green-thumbed friend and I hopped into the Idora-mobile and headed out into the yonder of plant wonderment. 

Amorpha californica
 Poor Pete, running from end to end to help out his energetic and numerous clientele, hovered long enough to recommend a Pickeringia.  My response?  Okay!  And so it went.  The ladies scored some gorgeous pots and we filled the truck with armfuls of little green treasures. 

My haul includes:

the aforementioned Pickeringia, which through my obsessive Googling I have found attracts hummingbirds with its bright pink flowers.  It has a very fragile root system, which probably doesn't bode well for the number of times I've knocked the darn pot over.

Rhododendron occidentale

Rhododendron occidentale:  yes, California has a native Rhodie!  Not only that, but it's scented and has flowers colored like buttered popcorn.  Think I'll try this one in a pot.

Amorpha californica var. napensis or False Indigo:  a rare to the trade plant that attracts Bumble bees and hosts the California native insect, the Dog-Face Butterfly.  Cool!  Like the Pickeringia, it's in the pea family.

Dendromecon or Bush Poppy:  I think this is rigida and not hartfordii, but can't be sure.  What I do know is that the yellow poppy-shaped blooms pop against the blue-green foliage and will contrast nicely with...

Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman':  I'm aiming to get some Ceanothus Silk Moths in the back garden, not to mention a fast screen for privacy from the neighbors.  Oh, and it has lavender flowers that are lightly scented, bringing bees of all kinds from miles around?  Yes, please!

Penstemon centranthifolius or Scarlet Bugler:  Oh crap, I wish I had gotten more of these.  The perfect shot of red before the California Fuchsias appear and a natural hummingbird feeder. 

an unknown Dudleya:  my favorite kind, pictured up top.  What can I say, it's an addiction.  Perhaps he'll find himself in one of the terracotta tubes I've got sticking out of the garden.

Big 'ol mystery Wasp on a Cornus at the nursery

We capped the day with some Robb-made lemonade, with Lisa sending Karen and I home cradling jars of backyard honey.  As soon as the weather cools, I'll be in squirrel mode- digging around, planting and transplanting my Autumn away.  Thanks Pete of East Bay Wilds, for spreading that happy malady- Fall-Fever!


  1. So... if I'm her offspring, does that make me something like "Funnista Miniflorus"?

  2. I think you'd be a cultivar. Funnista grandiflorus 'Compact Form'