Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sonoma trip

Though I work at a wonderful nursery (Ace Garden Center in Oakland), it's still nice to visit other nurseries to see what hidden treasures they may have. It's also nice just to wander through other little paradises. One such place is Sonoma Horticultural Nursery up near Sebastopol. Not only do they have an amazing collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, clematis, magnolias and dogwoods but there's always some little treasure hidden away on the property. And they have a beautiful 7 acre landscaped garden adjacent to the nursery for the public to enjoy. Monday I found two rhodies, including a less common salmon-colored one called Roman Pottery. The real find were the Exbury azaleas. For those of you unfamiliar with them, they're a deciduous azalea that features oranges, golds and peach colors. The flowers appear first in the spring, followed by the foliage. They like more sun than many azaleas. I picked up three mostly orange ones, delighted at the find.
I found a few other treasures on this trip, including a red-leaved eucomis and a maroon-leaved stream orchid at the always interesting Cal Flora nursery near Santa Rosa. All in all a successful day and not too taxing on the body.
I encourage all gardeners to give yourself some time to wander in your favorite nursery, or in a new one, especially in the spring when many new selections appear. Now I just need to find space for my new additions!

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