May 12, 2020

Back from an overnight in Oakland to check on the house. I took the opportunity to visit the Ace Hardware Garden Center on Grand Avenue.  The Trailing and Cascading Plants section was thin, but I did find a deep purple trailing petunia and lamium.  The great surprise was a variety of ceanothus with a lime green leaf with deeper green outline, apparently producing the expected small blue flowers in the spring.  Neatly solves the problem of what looks best against the orange cement planters.

I will christen the Experimental Box in the front border garden for interesting plants I would like to try.  For instance, Ace Hardware had a deep purple bronze grass called a Red Hook Sedge.

Berkeley Hort reopened today, and I was a faithful returning customer. Customers waited outside after making their selections, and the cashiers want in and out to ring up the sales.  Another thoughtful approach to the public health orders.

I found a white osteopernum and different variety of aptenia – dark green leaf with a purple flower.  The Sun Shrubs section was not inspiring – all plants that I already have in the garden. A few surprises among the California natives – a dwarf lavender cotton with small yellow pincushion flowers and a dicliptera otherwise known as a Uruguayan firecracker plant, with a orange-red tubular flower.  I also found a lewisia cotyledon, pink to white flowers above a fleshy leaf rosette, billed as a rock garden plant. The three surprises all belong in the Experimental Box to see if they thrive and become established.  All three plants require low water, the dicliptera perhaps a little more.

I bedded the front garden plants by the end of the day, with generous applications of amended potting soil and Plant Starter.


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