Thursday, March 10, 2016

Visiting Australia via Ventura, California...

Here we are, back in California on December 22nd 2015.

I think it was an internet search that first lead me to the Australian Native Plants Nursery, or maybe it was reading about Denise's visit on her blog? Either way I knew I had to see it for myself and our last trip to Los Angeles provided the opportunity.

Since were there at Christmastime I was concerned the timing wouldn't be good for Jo O'Connell, the nursery owner – especially given the nursery is located at her home, and not open regular business hours. However she could not have been more welcoming.

This cutie is Wallaby, official greeter and chewer. Wallaby was in a horrible accident just days after our visit and suffered a collapsed lung, broken pelvis, broken hip, two broken ribs and a huge cut on his side. I am thrilled to report that with the care of excellent doctors and the help (financial and emotional) of many people Wallaby has made an excellent recovery.

Banksia ericifolia

Xylomelum occidentale

Banksia spinulosa

In her post Denise wrote " have to make the trip to Jo’s nursery to experience that peculiar, out-of-body sensation familiar to plant-mad people when surrounded by unfamiliar, intensely desirable plants" yes! I was bouncing around, to and fro, snapping photos, smelling things, touching them, giddy at the feeling of the familiar and the foreign.

Above and below is Grevillea pteridifolia, it came home with me, along with a Senna artemisioides.

Here's what a larger specimen looks like.

Serruria florida

I did not get the name of this Grevillea.

Grevillea robusta (Silky Oak)

Just look at all the interesting leaf shapes...

Banksia grandis

And again...

Grevillea 'Royal Mantle'

Leucadendron salignum (I think...)

Eucalyptus ‘Moon Lagoon’– here you see the juvenile foliage with its blue green small narrow leaves. Later you'll see tall mature trees, well, assuming I managed to get the labels correctly ordered.

Protea 'Naoibi'

The wind was really blowing the plastic at the end of this hoop house. Add in that "other worldly" feel of the plants I was surrounded by, being in the space all alone, and it was quite the memorable experience.

Hakea elliptica

Why does a sign like this make everything more enticing?

Leucadendron 'Jester'

Leucadendron discolor (I think)

I'm unable to identify this Leucadendron but isn't it perfectly placed, growing against that wall?

I think this is Callistemon 'Little John' and I remember feeling rather smug that I had a beautiful plant at home, which I would be planting out this spring.

Little did I know my plant was at home dying...(too little water)...

Grevillea 'Ivanhoe'...a happier personal-garden story here as my three plants are all still alive and growing.

It's not just plants, Jo also has a number of containers available at the nursery.

Although Wallaby tends to eat them. Seriously.

Acacia elata

Eutaxia obovata...I swear every single one of these plants were ones you could stare at for hours. Such interesting foliage and form.

This is the mature Eucalyptus ‘Moon Lagoon’ – again assuming I've got my labels organized correctly.

I hope I've convinced you that a visit to the nursery is a must if you're anywhere near. It's magical!

We're winding down this visit however, it was getting late and I feared we may have overstayed...

Plus Andrew was looking a little tired...(note the Xanthorrhoea preissii bloom spikes in the container behind him!)...

Wallaby was doing his best however to make sure Andrew didn't drift off to sleep...

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. I'm so glad you got to visit Jo's nursery. I've been wanting to go for a long time. We were close last year on our spring break trip to San Diego but I didn't have the time. Your post has me drooling all over again...

    P.S. The Ruth Bancroft Garden nursery is slowly but steadily expanding its inventory of Australian (and South African) shrubs thanks to nursery manager Troy McGregor, a Queensland native himself. He has started to grow a lot of unusual stuff from seed. I call him the Northern California version of Jo O'Connell.

    1. You would have so much fun there Gerhard! My joy was slightly dampened by the fact most of what she grows wouldn't be happy in my garden.

  2. I lost a tiny little Banksia out in the greenhouse while I was out of commission, from lack of water, so I know how you feel. Love all these exotic leaf shapes!

    1. It was so ridiculous actually. That I put it in the SPG while we were gone. Of course it needs water and there was plenty of it falling from the sky.

  3. I'm glad you had the opportunity to see that nursery. I knew you'd love it. Now you've whetted my appetite to get by there again soon.

    1. I can't imagine the joy of going there and actually being able to plant most of what she offers in my garden...

  4. So sorry about Wallaby but glad he's on the mend! You painted a way cool word picture of other worldliness - alone in the place, wind moving the plastic, strange and wonderful plants. It's the stuff of dreams and Stephen King novels:) Thanks for the tour of this place and all of those way cool plants!

    1. I hope to, someday, experience the real Australia but for now it was a nice teaser.

  5. I have to admit that photos of Grevillea always left me wondering what all the fuss was about. But, be still my heart! Grevillea pteridifolia and G. robusta just stopped me dead in my tracks. That foliage rocks! Loving the eucalyptus, too, and that crazy Serruria would have leapt into my shopping cart. I think I found this nursery online while looking for anigozanthos a while back. Thanks for sharing your visit!

    1. You're so welcome, glad you enjoyed it!

  6. I think you have been to more great plant places in So Cal than I have. Must get there, must, must...thanks for the tour.

    So glad Wallaby is doing well. What a cutie.

  7. Poor puppy! Good to hear he's on the mend! And those are some beautiful plants...

    1. He was full of personality - I hope the accident didn't dash that.

  8. Who knew Australia was a source of such lust-inducing plants? Do they translate well to PNW gardens? Wallaby must have chewed on a lot of hands to inspire them to pitch in...but then one look at that quirky, comical face would have done it for me.

    1. Me! I've been lusting after what those Australian's have for years. But sadly no, a great deal of them aren't hardy here. I'll need to move south to be able to introduce them to my garden.

  9. Every Australian cattle dog I've met has been an intense dog. I am so glad Wallaby is doing better.


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