Friday, May 8, 2015

A quick stop at Roger's Gardens

I've let my posts about our December Southern California trip drag on F O R E V E R...so here's a quick refresher. We flew into San Diego, CA, on the 17th and stayed until the 21st, the morning of which we loaded up the rental car and drove north. Our destination for the night was a hotel in Pasadena, CA, but of course all I could think about was our stop in Long Beach at the garden that inspires A Growing Obsession. However because I knew we'd need to take a break en route, and I'm a sucker for nursery visits, I planned a stop at Roger's Gardens.

I’d heard a lot about this nursery and was excited to visit. Turns out Dacember 21st was not the best day to do so. Every family for miles had turned out for their annual photo with Santa. The parking lot was full, the line was long (above), and I don’t think there was an actual gardener in the place.

Unfortunately I was keenly aware of the mix and it turned me off, immediately. I halfheartedly snapped these photos, since I was there. But I remember thinking “this isn’t a nursery, it’s a place the rich go to buy the plant background for their outdoor rooms” or some such negative sentiment.

I didn’t even think it was worth posting about and almost deleted the file. But then I looked at the photos. Wow, not bad!

I wish I'd been in a better frame of mind when we stopped because there are some really lovely plants and plantings.

This table is following in the footsteps of many a planted up table with a center rill, and it's doing it oh so well...

Rustic. All about the plants. Nobody is going to be eating dinner here.

It's a mini-High Line!

Sigh, this is one of those plants I'll grow, someday. Russelia equisetiformis

Agave lust...

I've never seen so many Kalanchoe in one place before!

Damn. Agave 'Snow Glow'

I let it willingly slip through my hands...

Agave 'Blue Glow'

And so very many Euphorbia tirucalli...

Agave potatorum 'Kichiokan Marginata'

And this!

Is this normal?

It looks like a response to pruning.

Ya, looks like there's been some. But I think it's just naturally bizarre too.

Did you notice how devoid my photos are of people, well, people looking at plants?

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

29 comments:

  1. As with magazines I tend to scan the photos first and the place looks nice, especially the agaves and aloe. It wasn't until I went back and read all the text that I "got it" about this post.

    That table is why some ideas are best left at the garden show.

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    1. Oh see I loved that table, I thought it was inspiring and would do my own version if their were space in my garden!

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  2. I'm glad you did stop here. It is an iconic place in SoCal. However, you got it right. It has changed from being a good nursery to a place where people go to buy garden-themed decorations for their expensive houses.

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    1. Iconic, yes...that's a word I should have used.

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  3. That 'Snow Glow' is pretty darn fabulous. What a bummer that your visit was such a bad experience. I like the planted table. I wonder where I can put one...

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    1. You've got room Allison, do it!

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  4. Such a fab selection they seem to have there but alas come December they just become a backdrop for the non gardening Christmas fare. Never mind, at least you had the plant sections almost all to yourself :) snowglow and sunglow, love love love! And blueglow ain't too bad either!

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  5. So many cool plants, I love the agave blue glow and the way you caught the light. Putting it on my list for next visit! Maybe I will turn my Mom's garden in to a cacti and succulent garden : )

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    1. And take pictures please! I love your before and afters.

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  6. I'm glad you stopped, too, Santa Claus notwithstanding. I could look at nursery and plant photos all day long.

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  7. Full parking lot aside, I much prefer having places like this all to myself. I hate seeing mature Euphorbia tirucalli because it reminds me how tiny mine are. :(

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    1. Wait until you see Mondays post, (or maybe Tuesdays).

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  8. Beautiful plants and many good ideas!

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  9. I have one of those days every once in a while when traveling: grumpiness puts a splinter in my eye and I can only see the irritating parts. So glad you have photos to fall back on for California Dreamin.

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    1. I'm not the only one? Tank you Ricki.

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  10. It does look like a nice nursery, but I get how that crowd turned you off. I love that table. Who cares if it's useless for one of those boring "outdoor rooms." A garden should be about the plants! I love Russelia, too. Someday...

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    1. Maybe Burl will have brought in Russelia for the sale next weekend!

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  11. wow, those agaves are unreal! Makes me want to give it another try!

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  12. well...i shop (and buy) there... you just hit the wrong-est day, and new garden plants are thin at that time of year.

    Kiddies getting photos with Santa--how did you survive? The horror! The horror!

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    1. Seeing people actually looking at the plants along with me would have felt better. And your right of course, it was a fluke of bad luck to have visited on the day I did.

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  13. Santa's incursion on plant shopping would have put me off too. I call Roger's the Disneyland of garden centers but,although it caters to a wide range of customers and offers all sorts of ornamental gee-gaws, it really does have a good selection of plants. I personally steer clear of the decorative indoor stuff, although certain of my friends spend a good portion of their time there while I happily wander the plant aisles. It isn't easy for independent garden centers to stay in business anywhere and, in an area like Corona Del Mar where the value of the land it's on has to be worth many, many millions of dollars, I can't fault Rogers for playing to local demands. Next time, I recommend visiting on a weekday morning if you can.

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    1. I didn't even take the time to look at the indoor stuff. Now I kind of wish I had. And I also wish I had a weekday morning to visit!

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  14. I can almost hear you bristling as I read this post but with some concession when you reach the agaves. I used to go to this nursery when we lived there in the early 80s. Not an agave in sight at that time- or at least not that I remember. It was all about tree ferns and lush landscaping and pretty annuals for the winter. How things had changed when I went back there a few years ago. In the 80s they used to make these incredible hanging baskets with about 6" of packed sphagnum moss. I looked longingly at them but could never have afforded one.

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    1. I heard echos of myself in your "I looked longingly at them but could never have afforded one"...that was me at oh so many nurseries I regularly visited in my 20's and have revisited since.

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  15. It's true that one's mood can color how she/he perceives a place. The combination of those bright red blooming aloes and the Agave parryi is gorgeous! So many great plants. Too bad there weren't more plant people there!

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