Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cactus Jungle, 2012 version


This was my second trip to Cactus Jungle, the first was back in 2009 when Andrew and I spent some time in the Bay Area on our way to Los Angeles.
Since the snow in Oregon slowed us down we arrived during the evening commute. Not wanting to just set on the Bay Bridge for an hour we instead got off the freeway and stopped in at Cactus Jungle. However since we arrived just before closing we didn’t get to see everything, so we came back on Saturday. Two trips! I felt like a regular.

Walking around the nursery, and again looking at these pictures, I was impressed at how clean and organized it was. The red gravel provides an excellent contrast to the plants, everything pops! The plants all were so healthy and gorgeous...needless to say I wanted EVERYTHING!
Isn’t this combination striking? The Corokia Cotoneaster I can (and do) grow, the Leucadendron not so much.

But oh how I wish I could!
Another trunked Yucca rostrata is on my wishlist, but even if we could have fit one of these in the car I wasn’t feeling up to the $725 price tag.

There were many beautiful Cactus in bloom…

Here’s Benjamin politely asking us to leave. Turns out when the gates close at night he gets to run like crazy around the nursery.
Did you see those lovely blue Dasylirion wheeleri to the left of Benjamin? Here they are again, two of them came home with me.

I was tempted by these Yucca pallida, aren’t their powder blue twisty leaves fabulous? There was a smaller one but the leaves were straighter, not as cool.

Super sharp spine on this Agave salmiana ‘Green Giant’…

And the almost glowing Agave ‘Blue Flame’…
These were the two largest Spiral Aloes (Aloe polyphylla) that I’ve ever seen in a nursery! No, I didn’t look at the price.
If you aren’t aware of it Cactus Jungle has a great blog, you should check it out. Just a few more spiky pictures from our visit…

A few blocks down Fourth Street from Cactus Jungle is The Gardener, from their website: “The Gardener is a collection of all the things that Alta (the owner)…has learned to enjoy and appreciate in her life”…I wonder what a store made of up those things from my life would look like? Yours?
Since we visited this shop after the SF Garden Show (and the Succulent Gardens booth), I wasn’t at all tempted by their succulents…

I wonder if they ever have trouble with kids attempting to roll these away down the sidewalk?
Inside the shop I was captivated by this hanging sculpture made from (I think) cast off palm tree bits.

At first I thought it was a light fixture but it’s not wired, I suppose that could be dangerous.
That's it for our visit to Fourth Street in Berkeley, Come back tomorrow when we visit the Ruth Bancroft Garden!

27 comments:

  1. Merci pour ce piquant reportage

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  2. Awesome photos from Cactus Jungle. It seems that every time I go, the weather is sunny so your photos are much better than anything I've ever been able to take there. It's a small nursery but that gives you the feeling that every plant was hand-picked instead of trucked in by the dozen. I've had my eye on one of those Yucca rostratas but would never be able to afford one. I have to be patient with the ones I do have.

    Never been to The Gardener but it looks like an interesting place to check out. Love those metal balls!

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    1. You make an excellent point about the plants all looking hand picked. Perfectly curated!

      I followed your lead and talked with the people at Poots about their Y. rostrata, I really hoped to be able to visit them when we were down in the Bay Area but turns out they are a little too far away.

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  3. That looks like such a wonderful nursery! I don't think I could pass up some of those great plants... and I especially like the dasylirions. I agree with you on the metal balls ... I can see them being rolled down the sidewalk.

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    1. If I lived much closer I think I would visit weekly. I think it's the kind of place where you can discover something new every time you walk an aisle.

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  4. Great photos! I never realized cactus flowers were so beautiful.

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    1. Me too! I think it was because they were so huge.

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  5. So glad you decided to go back, there's nothing quite as disappointing as having to rush through someplace that you've been waiting to see. So funny you mentioned those strappy metal spheres...I was tempted by some at the YGP show last month...but decided against them for just that reason...seemed far too likely they would disappear overnight.

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    1. I wonder how hard they would be to make? Granted they wouldn't be as professional (if I made them) but they would probably be cheaper!

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  6. Whoa. Two blogs collide. My mind is blown.

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    1. Sorry to do that to you (or am I?)...

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  7. Looks like you were in your element there. They have a lovely collection of plants. The price on the Y. Rostrata is an eyeopener. Makes the more typical $400 price around here look almost reasonable.

    I would enjoy the displays at The Gardener, we don't have a place like that here.

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    1. If I had a larger (real) green house I think I would have had to bring home a few of those Aloes...and maybe a couple more Agaves.

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  8. $725 for those Yucca rostrata! Sheesh! Do they have deep pockets in San Francisco or chancing their luck?

    The dog looks cool. You can tell who is the boss.

    I am a member of a few UK forums and I have just started reading about Yucca pallida. It looks lovely. Hopefully they will become easier to buy over in the UK as time goes by (and maybe then I will start buying Yuccas again because I have stopped buying them for the time being).

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    1. I doubt that price is too out of line. They were pretty tall, it seems similar to what Cistus was charging. Maybe a bit more but then that's in Oregon...things in the metro Bay Area are going to be more expensive right?

      Stopped buying Yuccas!? Why?

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  9. I read the CJ's blog, but I feel soooo inadequate because I've never actually been there.I've even driven past it! Bad gardener.Thanks for bumping it up on the spring visit list Loree..I could do Annies, Marcia Donahue, and CJ in one Sunday swoop.If only it would stop raining.

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    1. Yes! It must stop raining...we're closing in on 6" for the month. That is too much rain.

      Hope you do visit all of the above, and post lots of pictures!

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  10. I'll bet you were like a kid and a candy store. What a place. Must check out their blog.

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    1. Yes it's true...I wanted it all!

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  11. Gorgeous Agave 'Blue Flame' and Aloe polyphylla - that's an amazing structure to the arms, and I've always had a thing for spirals. That has to be one of the tidiest nurseries I've ever seen!

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    1. Indeed (tidy)...will I see you at the Lan Su sale this Saturday? No big Agaves or Aloes but hopefully a few cool plants.

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    2. Oh yes. Wouldn't miss it!

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  12. Great photos as always Loree! Two places I wouldn't mind visiting given the chance. I agree, Cactus Jungle looks immaculate and a great selection of succulents, whilst a lot of the accessories at The Gardener I wouldn't mind having too!

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    1. Thank you. I bet you guys would go crazy if you visited San Francisco and Berkeley (have you?)...but what torture! I imagine taking plants home would be nearly impossible?

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  13. My neighborhood! Loving these posts.
    -kelly

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  14. My neighborhood! Loving these east bay posts.

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