Friday, December 2, 2011

Plants of the Southwest, a nursery visit

On the advice of Albuquerque resident (blogger, and Landscape Architect) David Cristiani we stopped to visit Plants of the Southwest on our recent trip to the Southwest.Plants of the Southwest is based in Santa Fe, NM, but our visit was to the satellite nursery in Albuquerque. We thoroughly enjoyed it! This nursery is rangy and wild, yet very organized and staffed with extremely helpful people. Their signage was also wonderful. I do love a sign with lots of information! There were a few plants I was startled to see in the desert, like this Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus). Which is actually native to New Mexico despite the fact that it looks like something I could findwing in the wilds of Oregon. And this Cutleaf Sumac. It’s striking tones a reminder of the fall color that I was missing at home… I had been charmed by sightings of their native Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis) trees and was happy to finally have an ID on it. Texas Tuberose (Manfreda x ‘Silver Leopard’) And so many Nolina! I had no idea; here are just a couple…Texas Beargrass (Nolina texana) Blue Nolina (Nolina nelsoni) There were also so many beautiful Yucca! Broadleaf Yucca (Yucca baccata), which I also know as Banana Yucca. Soapweed Yucca (Yucca glauca) New Mexico Yucca (Yucca neomexicana) Tree Yucca (Yucca torreyi) Mexican Blue Yucca (Yucca rigida) Soaptree Yucca (Yucca elata) Schott’s Yucca (Yucca schottii) Here we have a collection of seriously tough characters! Now granted all Opuntia are a little on the “don’t mess with me” side but these guys just say “STAY AWAY”… I loved this slightly chaotic trellis… With its shapely gourds. That’s a word from home! Mahonia…Mahonia haematocarpa Leadplant (Amorpha canescens) Pinon Pine (Pinus edulis), New Mexico’s state tree. So cute, I totally should have gotten one of these. But then again, cute when their tiny...not so much when they're big! Agave lechuguilla, Shin Dagger Agave, doesn’t that sound like something the danger garden needs!? Darn right! I got two. I also bought two of these, Giant Spatula (Coteledon orbiculata)… Total for all 4 plants, just over $7…they were on end-of-season sale! Notice how packable my purchases were! I was being a good girl, and it was difficult…


  1. Thanks for the excellent tour, I'll put Plants of the Southwest on the list for our next visit to NM.

    Great that they had small "packable" plants there too. Some local nurseries have moved away from offering 4" plants.

  2. Beautiful!
    Such an interesting nursery.

  3. What a great nursery! I love the slightly "wild" feel--what a refreshing change! Too bad Albuquerque is so far away... :-)

    :: Bamboo and More ::

  4. That chaotic trellis with the shapely gourds is right up my alley. I seem to spend all of my gardening time just keeping up with the weeding, but I think it's time to commit to some structural fun.
    These sunny posts lift my spirits.

  5. Shin Dagger, what a great name! Who wouldn't want one of those? It's cool-looking too. You CAN find snowberry in the wilds of Oregon and Washington. It's a PNW native too. Thanks for this nursery visit, they had lots of interesting plants.

  6. Sounds like you got a good desert plant fix there. Bargains too.

  7. Thanks for sharing this, Loree.
    In my next life (or when I get finished with teaching someday), my dream is to work at a family nursery. I love these tours you do. BTW...WOW!...What a fantastic entry sign.
    David/ :-)

  8. Great nursery visit report, and since you did it so well, I am off the hook to cover it!

    But even better you bought some goods...the Lechuguilla AKA Shindagger, that's a given. And I bet that Cotyledon will love a well-drained spot up in Cascadia. I have one in a pot, but I have to bring it in <20F to be safe. In ground, probably fine.

    They have mail order, too, in case you wish to add something like Devil's Claw to a well-draining spot in sun.....

  9. Shirley, so true...and yet 4" plants are perfect for tucking here and there, or just trying out a new plant that you're unfamiliar with.

    Aerie-el, even better in "real life" too!

    Gerhard, but who doesn't enjoy a road trip?

    ricki, glad to hear it (lifting your spirits). They are mine too.

    Alison, I suspected as much, thank you for the confirmation.

    Lancashire Rose, I did! But then again the whole 2 weeks was really one big plant (and sunshine) fix!

    David, that sounds like a great retirement plan! (assuming you mean after you retire...but then again why wait!?)

    DD, glad you approve (and that I can free your time up for more billable hours type of work). Right now both Cotyledon are snugged away in the basement. I will however put them in the ground next spring and hope for the best. Oh and yes...I grabbed one of their mail order catalogues, and interesting read! I'm hoping they'll want to join us on plant lust!

  10. Shin dagger, heh heh. You totally needed those for the Danger Garden. I have both of the nolinas you saw, although my blue nolina is just a baby. Love the signage at this nursery.


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