As any serious (and not so serious gardener) knows – Annie’s Annuals is the mecca for buying some serious ‘plant lust’ worthy annuals. On a recent trip to San Francisco on the Garden Bloggers Fling, I had the pleasure and opportunity to visit and actually buy plants from them in person instead of on-line. My only hurdle – it had to be small and portable enough to go into my carry on for the plane. So, I was looking for interesting and unusual, but in a 4 inch pot!
According to their catalog -Annie’s is known for heirlooms, natives, annuals, perennials, and shrubs, old roses, trees, and an incredible number of edibles. Located in Richmond, California, I never thought I would actually get to troll the aisles of plants at Annie’s. But when I signed up for the Fling, I noticed that Annie’s along with Flora Grub, were their two nursery stops. A future post will be devoted to Flora Grub which was also fantastic!! http://www.floragrubb.com/idx/index.php.
Let me explain the Garden Bloggers Fling. This is an annual event for garden bloggers to meet other bloggers with the same passion for writing about gardening, and to travel to far-flung and unusual gardens and nurseries around the globe. There were 80 bloggers from all over the U.S., as well as Canada and England. This year the Fling was in San Francisco, the epicenter of gardening in California. Many of the plants that I saw in gardens there I grow as houseplants like cactus and succulents, and the hardiness zone was a 10 compared to my zone 6b garden. A little zone envy was apparent with some of the participants, but I am quite happy with a 6b here in Maryland.
So, back to Annie’s. This is a 2.5 acre women owned and operated nursery with over 2000 varieties of plants. It started 20 years ago as a back yard hobby and has turned into a hugely successful “urban garden” operation. Annie’s caters to all plant-a-holics with old-fashioned seed grown plants. They specialize in cottage garden and Mediterranean climate bloomers that will knock your socks off as you enter the nursery and see all the demo gardens greet you at the entrance.
I was really intrigued with an annual plant called Clarkia or otherwise known as Godetia. A California native that is drought and clay tolerant, Clarkia blooms in dazzling drifts of pastel peach and pink. Unfortunately it is only available until April at Annie’s, so I was unable to pick any up though I will look for some seeds here for future plantings. Clarkia was a big blooming machine that filled many of the demo beds with billows of color and I was smitten! I will be looking into growing this next year for sure.
So what did I pick up? It was a tough choice. I took home an unusual Cuphea with gorgeous flowers, a honey bush, Melianthus major, which I have always wanted to try, and Helleborus lividus ‘Pink Marble’. The Helleborus is a variegated one with beautiful flowers and I am pushing the envelope with hardiness as the zone stated is either a 7 or 8 depending on what web site you look at. I really liked it so am going to chance it. The others are annuals and I will enjoy them this summer.
I limited myself to 3 plants as I had already picked up some others earlier, and I wanted to leave room for plants from Flora Grubb’s nursery. I had the perfect roomy tote bag brought just for the purpose of filling it with plants. They all made it home safe and I have planted them already.
Next up for the Fling- Flora Grubb’s nursery!
- Fling Flicks (gardenwalkgardentalk.com)