Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Visiting the other Rolling Greens, and rediscovering plantlife

Even now, three and a half months later, these photos seem otherworldly to me...

On January 16th I left this...
And just a few short hours later was walking around and looking at this.

Giddy does not even begin to describe how I was feeling.

My world had been white and ice covered, now I was walking (in cloth shoes, with no socks!) among green, living plants. California might as well of been heaven, that's how I felt that afternoon.

I had just a tiny window of time after landing at LAX, to get the rental car and speed off to meet Andrew and company east of LA, in Montebello. I scanned any possible location to get a bit of green and came up with Rolling Greens in Culver City. Just 7 miles from the rental car pick up...YES! Plus I'd visited the other Rolling Greens last year, so I had an idea what I might find (high end, well cared for plants).

Centaurea ragusina, icy, yet very much full of life.


Prices didn't matter, I walked around dazed and confused. Not thinking about what I might take home, because how could I subject any of these beauties to the horrors of winter in Portland? (yes, I quickly got over that the next day)

Agave desmettiana...

Agave desmetiana 'Joe Hoak

Agave attenuata, maybe 'Kara's Stripes'...

Oh how I wanted to live here. Part of me still does. Part of me is happy back in Portland.

Aeonium 'kiwi' (I think).

This crazy thing! See the label on one of it's spikes?

Agave 'overgrown'...that's not a commonly seen botanical name, the price indicates it might be fairly rare.

Great spikes though!

Oh, and its sibling was blooming...

I'm convinced these are weeds in this part of the world.

Building? What building?

They had a few containers.

Oh good lord no. Glossy glued rocks? No.

Time was getting late, I needed to be leaving and they were about to close (only open till 4pm), still I had to peek inside...

FAUX, behind the sign...

Lots of FAUX...

This however, not FAUX.

So many Bromeliads...

And more containers.

Lots of them.

But my heart was about to burst at the thought of it all. I hopped in the car, window cracked, sunglasses on, and joined the rest of humanity on the Santa Monica Freeway, headed east to see my husband...

Weather Diary, May 1: Hi 54, Low 41/ Precip .01"

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. It's strange isn't it when you jump from one climate zone to another and the contrast is remarkable, like jumping from one dimension to another. Winter to summer in just a few hours (then winter again a few days later, yikes!). Won't be surprised if in the future you guys will eventually move south :)

    1. Being the analytical thinker, Andrew brings up the negatives like cost of living, and lack of water, when I talk about moving to California. I am trying to wear him down.

  2. Oh, that gorgeous not faux Bromeliad! Such a wonderful pattern on the leaves. What a shot in the arm this must have been after the snow and ice. And the red claws and spikes on that Agave are magnificent.

    1. The sheer quantity of Bromeliads available was breathtaking. And the prices weren't bad either. I couldn't have gotten into a lot of trouble.

  3. Love that building covered in greenery. I've suddenly realized that Agaves are the equivalent of Hostas in our climate. So many different shades of blue/green/yellow etc. and patterns and sizes. And one always has room for one more.

    1. Those that live where Agaves can achieve their full potential, size-wise, may disagree with your statement but it certainly works for me!

  4. You visited paradise! Like you I often wish to live in CA and sometimes appreciate our verdant northwest.

  5. Agaves, and broms and pots, what's not to like!

  6. I can only imagine how good it must have felt!

    I think the overgrown agave might be Agave guadalajarana.

  7. I'm glad you got a sunny break from all that snow on this trip (and that I got to meet you in person!). I haven't been to Rolling Greens in a decade or more - it's outside my usual travel path. I remember it being more about indoor plants and "decor" than outdoor plants but maybe I'll have to take a spin through there again one day.

    1. If you do go there was a Tillandsia place nearby, of course now I don't remember the name, and I didn't have time to stop, but wow...it looked very tempting!

  8. Oh, I know the feeling! It's why I prefer to travel in February and March, and I like to stay home May through October. There's nothing like flying out of a cold and brutal winter into a warm landscape with green and growing plants! Part of me would like to live year-round in a place like San Diego or Sarasota, but then the Midwest has a place of my heart. And it's so lovely during the late spring through early autumn. Thanks for sharing highlights from L.A.! Those Agaves are amazing!

    1. January trips to warm and sunny places are life-savers! Then again I've been fantasizing this spring about another warm, sunny vacation. It's been so cold and wet...

  9. Agave 'overgrown' is astonishing. If you lived in LA you'd be broke in no time :-)

  10. That is amazing. Great stuff from stem to stern. That Centaurea made my heart go pitter-patter. I need to look that up.
    The $375, overgrown gallon Agave? Ok, it's beautiful, but monocarpic and its sibling is blooming....so that's potentially $375 for an annual. Just sayin.

  11. I'm glad we finally have a couple of sunny days to remind you how lovely it CAN be here.

  12. That Centaurea ragusina is quite something.

  13. Some lovelies in your photos, and Culver City is so close to Venice Beach, but not quite so pricey. Too bad Gary Hammer isn't still alive with his fabulous plant nursery, Desert to Jungle in Montebello, I always felt like I was in heaven driving down to LA for a plant fix there, back in the day.

    The flip side of southern California living is 95°F weather even in November or January,(better not mind lots of heat), endless traffic and such expensive housing costs. California living takes both money and patience these days, but seemingly more recent immigrants appreciate the possibilities over long term residents, (I'm a bit jaded I'll admit after 58 years of residency here, but where else?).


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