spring rush


Last Sunday we roadtripped up the coast about two hours near Carpinteria, where Seaside Gardens was having a “Spring Fling.”
The day before, Saturday, I drove myself two hours south to check out the San Diego Horticultural Society’s spring garden tour.
All told, I put 400 miles on the car. The spring rush is definitely on, and already I’m wondering if I’ve got the stamina to keep up.

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But it was so worth it. Everywhere I went the spectacular pin cushion flowers of leucospermum were stealing the show.
A Del Mar garden on the San Diego Horticultural Society tour was filled with these South African shrubs arrayed against a backdrop of Torrey pines.
Australian plants like grevilleas, isopogon, and banksias were well represented too.

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Even though it was a two-hour drive south, I took a chance on the San Diego Hort. Society tour this spring and was not at all disappointed.
Leucospermum and other members of the proteaceae family are grown commercially as cut flowers in San Diego, so it’s no wonder they flourish in private gardens too.
The steep banks of the owner’s ravine were a particularly favorable site.

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Looking down onto the floor of the ravine

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Grevillea ‘Peaches & Cream’ alongside the driveway at the entrance to the house and garden

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For a closeup view of these flamboyant pin cushions, these were some of the beauties Seaside Gardens had for sale on Sunday, about 200 miles north of San Diego.

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‘Tango’

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I think this one was labeled ‘Spider’

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This one was leaning on Leucadendron ‘Ebony’

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Leucospermum reflexum hybrid

9 thoughts on “spring rush

  1. Your report may be enough to get me to add the San Diego tour to my list next year. Hopefully, the timing won’t conflict with South Coast Botanic Garden’s spring sale then as it did this year. I made a trip up north the weekend before, taking in Seaside, Terra Sol, and the Australian Native Plants Nursery in one day. I salivated over the Leucospermum at Seaside but passed before finding a reasonably priced one (L. ‘Brandi’) at Terra Sol, where I caved. Fingers are crossed that I can keep this one alive.

  2. Kris, I bought a ‘High Gold’ leucospermum in a gallon, at 15 percent off too, at Seaside. And Jo was at Seaside answering questions so I was able to pick her brain a bit. The thing about garden tours is you never know who’s going to be on the tour year to year, so it’s a bit of a crapshoot. But that whole county does seem to be succulent and proteaceae mad, so it’s a reasonable bet, I suppose.

  3. Beautiful plants! Pictures like these always make me want to go get some… Even if they are only somewhat hardy here. I’m going to try again!

  4. Those leucospermums! You just can’t get away from them. They’re one of my Holy Grail plants….

    I’m glad you managed to make it to the Spring Fling at Seaside Gardens. I was so tempted but I couldn’t make it work, esp. since we had just been in Morro Bay and have a trip to Victoria, BC on the agenda this weekend (college tour for daughter #1).

  5. @Alison, and there’s the soil/drainage sensitivity. I’ve killed at least one already.
    @Renee, I have that very same problem of wanting all the beautiful plants!
    @Gerhard, those college tours are taking you some fine places!
    @Max, it was worth it, every traffic-congested mile. Seriously, even on Sunday 101 was jammed, and on Saturday the 5 was the same.

  6. Some really lovely images. Currently where I am in the U.K. the weather is overcast and the temperature is around 8C I can only dream of gardens like these so thanks for sharing.

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