Friday, May 31, 2024

There was visit to Rare Plant Research (plants were purchased)

The Rare Plant Research (RPR) open house came around again on the 3rd weekend of May, as it always does. I've attended this event almost every year since buying our house (garden) in 2005. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to attend this year, so I hadn't talked to Peter, aka The Outlaw Gardener, aka my bougainvillea fairy-godfather, and my regular partner in RPR "crime" about going with me. I was feeling a little blue about that, and then I walked into the first greenhouse and this greeted me.

It was a floral hug from Peter, and exactly what I needed.

This bizarre traction device was the next thing I saw. I think it's meant as a trellis for the dragon fruit?

The bromeliad stash is shrinking. I shop from this every year, buying at least one...

This year was no different, this blooming (and pupping) beauty came home with me.

This stopped me in my tracks, what the heck? That's a bizarre bromeliad bloom.

Ha, nope. Just a friend who needs a little support.

Love the many pots of Eucomis and their varied colors.

And I think I always photograph these Kniphofia.

My two favorite overheard quotes of this visit (listening to other people is one of my favorite things to do at RPR) were: "I didn't know those would grow here!" (I always have an extensive inner monologue with this one, do I tell them it's not gonna be hardy in the ground? Or let them learn on their own?) and then later a young fellow exclaimed (with an incredulous tone) "But I’m not a zone pusher anymore". 

Since I was there at opening on Saturday the line to purchase was long, so I stashed my plants and walked up to check out the garden around the owner's home and their winery Villa Catalana Cellars.

Crossing the parking area this cute little ride caught my eye, once I spotted the Washington plates and the Lewisia in the back window I realized it belonged to friends that I'd chatted with at the nursery. What it lacks in plant-hauling space it certainly makes up for in charm.

I do love the over-the-top plant drama Burl creates around his home. There is nothing else like it in the area.

The bromeliads (above) are sunk into the landscape each spring, I assume the agaves are here year-round.

Echium wildpretii

Inside the conservatory the bromeliad and tillandsia wall seems to be shrinking. Is it wrong to take solace in the fact I am not the only one who loses these plants over time?

A final look across the (man/Burl-made) lake at the home...

And now we've fast-forwarded to my home and my new plants in their paces. The colorful bromeliad is the one from RPR and helped to fill this new container in my SW corner...

... and a couple of pups help to spiff up the two older containers on the left.

This extremely congested little Nepenthes...

... and this colorful sarracenia...

Are new RPR additions to my collection of carnivorous plants. I'm feeling rather smug that all the plants I bought had homes waiting for them and are already tucked in.

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  1. I'm always happy to see the grounds on your RPR trips but I'm sorry that you didn't manage to connect up directly with Peter. I love your elevated plant displays, which had me thinking that something similar might be one way of thwarting the nasty gophers. The gopher population seems to have exploded in our entire neighborhood, along with the peacocks :(

    1. I realized once this post went live that I really should have taken a pulled back shot to give those elevated containers some context.

  2. Agaves pair so well with madrones. Can't believe I forgot the open house this year, though I don't miss the long, long lines. I guess they didn't get the check out procedure streamlined. Nice carnivore collection, you've got the knack for pairing the right plants with the right containers.

    1. I wondered if I would see you two and was bummed that I didn't. I used to do little announcements on the blog to remind people when events like this were coming up. Perhaps it's time to start again. As for the checkout, that's how it's always been, so I don't anticipate it changing.

  3. AnonymousJune 02, 2024

    Love the phrase "floral hug": I've recently thought of your bougainvillea fairy-godfather, wondering if your meet-up tradition is still going on, missing his fun (and funny) commentary.
    Around the owner's garden, the Sarracenia placement in the half moon rock (photo 19) is amazing. It looks massive...
    It's good to see your SW corner looking so good again and the robust collection of carnivorous plants. Did I spot Rhodi Williamsianum at the right corner of the last photo?

    1. You are correct with the rhododendron ID! That's the one I purchased earlier this spring.

  4. The elevated columns are super cool. And you should feel smug, getting everything right so quickly. The moss rocks from your visit are gorgeous, and I would love a few of those clay pipes they had stacked!


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