Thursday, April 1, 2021

A visit to Dancing Oaks: the plants

So as I mentioned yesterday, our travels last week had us within shopping distance of Dancing Oaks Nursery...

It was cold, windy, and rainy... but I was determined. I realize now that I skipped the entire sun shrubs area. I passed it initially—headed for a greenhouse due to rain—but meant to go back. I did not, just as well though as I don't have any open sunny space for shrubs!

Fritillaria verticillata, cute!

Inside the first green house now and Diphylleia cymosa caught my eye, which dammit I meant to go back and grab!

This appears to be a table where things looking good can be highlighted, an excellent idea.

No label on this bloomer, a fuchsia of some fashion...

Trillium kurabayashii

Arisaema ringens

Epimedium wushanense 'Sandy Claws'

Outside things were still chilly, breezy, and wet so I wasted no time in heading into the next greenhouse...

There were a few containers from the garden tucked in for the winter...

Sonchus palmensis, I believe.

Tempting blooms...

But don't try and buy! (yet)

Even the foliage is gorgeous.

For some reason I didn't even think to ask about those big, luxurious, leaves.

I was hoping to be tempted by their pyrrosia selection, but no.

So many interesting things! I was however trying to not get to carried away reading every label as Andrew was patiently waiting in the car.

Veltheimia bracteata

Gladiolus tristis

Yep... I really (REALLY) wanted to go back there. Every time.

Another (HUGE!) Arisaema ringens...

Finally I found the spikes...

Note the agave arm on the ground, poor thing.

'Blue Glow' looking good...

I recognized these instantly, and was thrilled: creeping strawberry pine. More info at the end of the post...

A long, long, long table of carnivorous plants.

Sad aloes, winter did a number on many plants here at Dancing Oaks, I bet these will pull through, minus a few arms. The same can be said for the trees that surround the nursery. Lots of them will be powering on minus a few substantial appendages thanks to the wicked ice that blanketed the area in February.

So here's my (little) haul...

A tiny—hopefully hardy, with a ? mark—begonia.

This is a photo I borrowed from their website of the bomarea in bloom, you saw it's bright green leaves above. Truth be told this is actually my second as a friend picked one up for me when he visited DO last month. Since this is most likely an annual for me (Zone 9) two of them will provide maximum bloom enjoyment this summer.

These last two plants were an unexpected, but very exciting, surprise. Microcachrys tetragona, or creeping strawberry pine. I've killed one of these in the past, bought another last spring (paid way to much to mail order it from a nursery in California, an early COVID lockdown stress buy), and immediately grabbed two small plants when I saw them here.

What's so special about this plant? The strawberries! And it's creeping habit. Click over to this story on In Defense of Plants to learn more. 

So that's my small—but exciting—haul. Tomorrow I'll share photos from the display garden.

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Weather Diary, March xx: Hi 71, Low 34/ Precip 0 

All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Strawberry pine? That's a new one, and one I'd love to have. It never ends :-)

    The weather looked frightful. Looks like the depths of winter!

    1. No snow, no ice—that would be the depths of winter!

  2. So glad you made the stop, because I needed a nursery to spend birthday money! Maybe I can keep that bomarea alive this time (second or third time?), and they carry Euphorb stygiana, which I will do my best to keep alive this time too....thanks, Loree! Their availability list right now is pretty great.

    1. Shop on friend, and happy belated birthday!

  3. OMG! That cobra lily is to die for!! I now must have one...

    I would've been in HEAVEN amongst the carnivores ("carnies") - and probably emptied out my wallet, as well. ;>

    1. I seriously considered that purchase (the arisaema) but I imagined listening to Andrew grumble about having to rearrange the contents of the car and then my fear that he would take a corner too fast and bam! That would be the end of that.

  4. It'd be hard to cover a nursery that size quickly but you did well. I'll be interested to see how the Bomarea does.

    1. I thought I was moving quite quickly but Andrew said I'd been about an hour. The time stamp on my photos agrees.

  5. Love the Jurassic theme. The fuchsia is gorgeous. Does the soul good to be able to move into Spring-mania.

  6. Excellent haul Loree. I used to collect Begonia when I lived in San Diego a couple hundred years ago. I had a pretty nice collection. There used to be growers all along the coast there but land value and development pressure did away with many of them. Annies started offering A.'Indian Summer' this spring and now I have one of my very own ! It's been sooo long since I've visited Dancing Oaks,love that place.

    1. I'm sure you've got your next road trip north planning going on... add DO to the route!

  7. "It was cold, windy, and rainy" explained why Andrew stayed in the car.
    I'm totally charmed and fascinated by the Strawberry Pine! An incredibly cool find.

    1. Indeed, if it had been warm and sunny I'm sure he would have ventured further.


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