seeing double

At Yamaguchi Bonsai Nursery in West Los Angeles yesterday, I was surprised to find double blooms on a couple of popular summer tropicals, abutilon and mandevilla, something to keep in mind for next summer’s containers. (Abutilon for shade, mandevilla for sun.)

Abutilon ‘Victorian Lady’

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Perfect for those who enjoy grooming containers after a long day, secateurs in one hand, glass of wine or mixological concoction du jour in the other. I didn’t find a label on the mandevilla, but it’s most likely Monrovia’s ‘Tango Twirl.’

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Aging double flowers famously do not go gently into the night, and like Norma Desmond they stubbornly cling to the stems of their youth whether on roses, daylilies, abutilons, hibiscus or mandevillas. So like all divas, they do require some extra maintenance. Personally, I put up with very few diva tantrums in the garden, but I concede there is something undeniably sumptuous about all those petals, especially as the buds swell.

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Yamaguchi Bonsai Nursery, despite the name, is an all-around general purpose nursery, with fine selections in pottery, annuals, perennials, shade plants and succulents. Bonsai allows for close-up appreciation of a ginkgo’s leaves turned buttery yellow in autumn.

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This little block of Sawtelle Boulevard had me seeing double in nurseries too. Right across the street from Yamaguchi’s is The Jungle, which has one of the best succulent selections around town. And just down the street is Hashimoto Nursery, but dwindling lunch break time prevented a visit. Tucked in among multistory office buildings, all three nurseries are enduring examples of neighborhood nurseries, each as useful as a Swiss Army knife and all worthy of a nod at the tail end of Support Your Independent Nursery Month. I’ve blogged about these West LA nurseries before here.

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6 Responses to seeing double

  1. Pam/Digging says:

    What a great block, to have all those specialty nurseries in one spot — heaven! Thanks again for participating in Support Your Indepen. Nursery Month.

  2. Christine says:

    I love that little collection of nurseries on Sawtelle. Plus you can keep wandering down the street and find lots of tasty restaurants, Japanese grocery stores and two Giant Robot stores.

  3. Grace says:

    And these are all distanced within lunch hour range? Lucky girl. Love the double abutilon. I thought it was a rose. And that last succulent chair, gimme, gimme!

  4. Kermit says:

    This was one of my old stomping grounds, back in the days. I remember Hashimoto Nursery fondly. There was also a nursery just off Hyperion a bit more to the East – I’ll mine my brain for the name.

  5. Denise says:

    Pam, it’s nothing like Austin in LA yet. Great meme you started.
    Christine, I saw a cluster of restaurants down the block, so will give them a try. Thanks!
    Grace, that abutilon has your name on it!
    Kermit, I needed more time to get to Hashimoto. What a busy part of town this has turned into.

  6. A double flower is a plant in which extra petals are present, giving blooms a full or doubled appearance. Prized since ancient times, double flowers are somewhat difficult to cultivate, as many are sterile and must be regrown from cuttings rather than simple propagation. Genetic studies have shown that a double flower is the result of a specific genetic mutation, one rarely found in the wild.

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