After visiting the Organic Mechanic and Matt Gil Sculpture Gardens, the Flingers headed over to Annie’s Annuals for a fantastic catered lunch and a sponsor talk from Dramm. I had never given Dramm much credit as a manufacturer of garden supplies – anything produced in a shade called “Berry” seemed to me more gimmicky than functional. But after watching and handling a few of their watering products, I came home and ordered some of their Touch N’ Flow rain wands and revolvers for the nursery. We abuse both these products like there is no tomorrow, and have destroyed just about every brand Home Depot has to offer. So I’ll be sure to put up a review of how the Dramm products hold up in comparison.
After lunch, the Flingers were released to roam Annie’s 2.5 acre growing grounds. I had been before, but I doubt if it’s even possible to get bored there, what with the ever-rotating crop of seasonal plants. For those who don’t know, Annie’s Annuals is a mostly mail-order nursery specializing in selections that are often hard-to-find, and always guaranteed to thrive in the Mediterranean climate in which they are grown.
Above, in order of appearance are Nicotiana ‘Lime Green’, Zinnia ‘Zowie’, whose colors are almost too bright to be captured on camera, and Sisyrinchium ‘Devon Skies’. As a brief anecdote: at the nursery we get a particular kind of customer that we call the Stumper, whose only intent is to prove that they have more garden knowledge than the staff. I once got a Stumper who wanted to tell me all about Annie’s Annuals, their fantastic selection and, in particular, a Sisyrinchium called ‘Devon Skies’ that he thought would sell well for us. I told him that I was well aware of Annie’s, that I had a grower who produced the ‘Devon Skies’ locally and that they did do well for us, which was why, at that moment, we were sold out. This guy was such a pain that I will never be able to look at blue-eyed grass the same.
Above are a few images that I took nine months ago, in October of 2012. You can see that the shade cloth has been removed and there is a misting system set up over the plants. Some of the plants that I saw are no longer available, like the Begonia bowerae, while others, like this Solanum pyracanthum, still are. I remember the first time I saw this peculiar plant in the greenhouse at the Oregon Garden. I still don’t have one of my own, but continue to be fascinated every time I come across it.
I told myself I wouldn’t buy any more plants unless they were on my Wishlist. Unfortunately, that list is rather extensive, and that’s how I ended up bringing home this group of gorgeous fellows: Aquilegia ‘Black Barlow’ and ‘Flore Pleno’, Hellebore ‘Peppermint Ice’ and ‘Pink Marble’ and Eucomis ‘Oakhurst’. And there’s more bad news: Annie’s is having a 20% off sale through July 14th, which means I’d be nuts not to do some more shopping. Oh, Annie. Ours is a lustful relationship indeed.