Fall is the time when a gardeners who have California natives get ready to plant. So imagine my delight when I heard about not one but two native plant sales this weekend. Native Revival in Aptos is having their annual sale, and East Bay Wilds is closing the nursery at the current location in Castro Valley and they're having a BIG blow-out sale (though they hope to reopen elsewhere in the east bay).
I had carefully studied both plant lists and decided to take a chance and drive over to East Bay Wilds. I had heard about Pete for a long time. He owns a design/build company that specializes in native plants, he's a frequent contributor to the Gardening with Natives Yahoo! Group, and he has amazing photo collections of natives on Flickr here.
But I digress. Because I have a lot planned for tomorrow, I sent Pete an email and asked whether someone would be at the nursery today. He replied he'd be there in the afternoon, so I got in the car a little after lunch. It was surreal to drive along the 4-5 lane highways linking the east bay cities, and to then be rather suddenly transported to a decidedly pastoral setting.
I actually missed the nursery the first time -- the signs were not up yet, but I persevered, and made it all the way to the nursery door, where a beautiful mallow greeted me.
Pete's staff was hard at work getting everything ready for the big sale tomorrow and Sunday, and I took a little time to have a look around. And it was truly impressive! Rows upon rows of healthy-looking perennials, shrubs, succulents, and grasses. Sure, not nursery pretty, but strong, well rooted plants.
I spent a little time looking around, and then went to Pete with my list. He took me around the nursery, and we picked up plants as we went. It was so much fun to listen to a true expert talk about the plants. GWN group members know that Pete has actually collected and propagated several very interesting species from the wild, and I was sorely tempted to buy even more than I did. "This is a once in a lifetime chance," said the devil on my one shoulder. "You just don't have a spot for this plant," said the angel on the other shoulder.
But seriously, it was just so inspiring to be at this nursery. Did I mention the container plantings (and Pete does have some beautiful pots, also on sale tomorrow and Sunday). Then the enticing colors and shapes of everything, below a redbud turning color in the front, and gray Artemesia behind that.
Well, it was a good thing I had my list. Sure, a few things slipped on it, but it wasn't bad. So, there's lots of plants left! Tomorrow everything is 50% off, Sunday everything is (gasp!) 75% off. Directions are here. Have fun if you're in the area -- and if not, I hope you enjoyed the virtual visit.
And what did I get? Here's the list, as much to help me remember as to tell my esteemed readers.
Arctostaphylos standordii Louis Edmunds (1)
Arctostaphylos hoovery (1 "a rare plant" says Las Pillitas. My, hope I don't kill it)
Acer circinnatum (1, for a pot)
Asclepias fasciculatum (3 - Need more butterflies)
Eriogonum arborescens (2)
Grindelia (2 Need more yellow in the yellow corner)
Unknown aster (1)
Solidago (3 - Pete has the one that does not reseed agressively, but I forgot the name)
Zauschneria 'Select Matole' (3 for color in the fall front garden)
Heuchera micranta (3 Native Coral Bells that change color in dry season)
Penstemon centrantifolia (4 Scarlet penstemon to interplant with Arctostaphylos)
Ribes Aureum aureum (2 Yellow blooming current from the Sierras, beautiful fall color)