Thursday, April 26, 2012

Plant Nerd Field Trip - Part 3 - Xera

Nerd Trip Header 3 Xera
Are you tired of my reports on this Field Trip yet...I hope not, but if so, have heart, because this is the last stop! Actually, since I'm going in reverse, this was our first stop of the day...and one I always look forward to. Not only are you guaranteed to find a few plants you never knew you wanted, but the prices can't be beat...can you say WHOLESALE!!!!

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Xera focuses on plants that are adapted to our wet winters and dry summers. On their website, they state: "...we offer many plants that are adapted to dry conditions during the growing season and will actually thrive on little or no irrigation and still provide the components to make a fantastic garden." You can hardly argue with that, right :-)

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Sedum 'Red Cauli'
While I've always like certain Sedums (mostly the taller ones like 'Autumn Joy', 'Matrona' and 'Postman's Pride') recently, I've found myself quite drawn to some of the shorter ones...thanks Sedum 'Angelina', there is something great about a plant that looks so good for so long...and requires NO special care! This one is definitely on my list...once I have the new front parking strip planted up, I'll see what room I have left, and see if I can shoe-horn in a few of these.

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Sedum 'Bertram Anderson'
Another Sedum I was loving...I'm not sure about the name.

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Rows and rows of tiny little Agaves.

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Anne and Lyle scope out the offerings.

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We were all intrigued by this little one point I think we figured out what it I forget.

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I'm still not sure what these plants are...the foliage seemed nice enough...

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...but it was these awesome seed pods that caught my eye!

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Loree & Derrick flip through the pricing guide...a useful thing as most of the plants don't have prices on their tags (this is wholesale, after all).

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More Agaves...I do think I like this type the most...with the blunter, blue leaves.

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I'm not generally a fan of variegated foliage...but the yellow on these Agaves positively GLOWS!

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Ah yes, one of my loves, the Manzanitas.

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What's that, you want a closer look at those awesome red you go!

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I could be wrong, I believe this is a Callistemon bud.

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Why settle for green-leaved Jasmine when you can go for the gold?

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One of the plants that Xera really seems to promote are the Epimediums. How can you not like the new, red-flushed foliage?

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I believe this is a type of that silvery foliage.

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Xera has a good selection of Phormiums, but after the past few years' winters proved how tender they really are, I just walked on by.

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Still...they are lovely, right?

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I can't believe I didn't grab some of these dark-leaved Geraniums!

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Love 'Ravenswing' Anthriscus...mine is just about to flower too. I'm always torn between letting the flowers remain, or cutting them down.

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This grouping of Libertia really stands out in the green house, doesn't it.

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I'll indulge you with a close up of that fantabulous foliage.

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In the center of this shot, you can see a little cluster of Eryngium venustum...aren't they cute! Yes...but they bite, be careful.

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Ryan and Derrick on the hunt for THE plant.

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I love the gauzy haze of these Luzula (I think) blossoms.

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Greg Shepherd, Xera employeeLyle, checking out a tag

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I'm not the biggest Primula fan, but these white ones were pretty nice :-)

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Another group of Epimediums...ahhh, so lovely.

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The gang gathers around Greg as he regales us with story of the trade.

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I'm sure there was some horti-humor at work here.

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As we left Xera for the day, I caught sight of this little Manzanita...and realized it's the same one I had bought a few weeks earlier from Joy Creek, 'Greensphere'! I can only hope mine looks so big and happy someday! So there you have it, the end of our little get-together this spring. I hope you enjoyed riding along with us!

Oh, and because I forgot to include it in my last post, here's my haul for the day:
3 - Geum triflorum (Prairie Smoke)
1 - Libertia perigrans
1 - Eryngium venustum

1 - Corydlopsis spicata aurea
1 - Aristea major


  1. The manzanita 'greensphere' is really a beautiful plant. It looks like you guys must have had a wonderful time there. The phormium conundrum the last few years is a tough one though. I admire your ability to walk on past them. I lost all of my phormiums that were in the ground a couple winters back and have not had the heart to replant any yet. I just keep them around in pots for now. Thanks for sharing pics from such a wonderful place!

    1. It was a great time, for sure...I don't know if I've ever seen a Manzanita that doesn't look good (but that's probably my bias )! Regarding Phormiums, to be honest, after I realized they weren't reliable for us here I just kind of forgot about them. It also coincided with my renewed love of ornamental grasses, which I like more anyway :-)

  2. I know the identity of your mystery shrub / tree, it's a crape myrtle. Our house came with one as a street tree, they are everywhere in California because they love heat and don't absolutely need water. Can be pretty with white flowers and purple but I can't stand the dark pink ones (mine's dark pink too! So disappointing but it is beautiful the rest of the year, especially as the leaves come out and fall off)

    1. Aha! I knew someone would know what it was! It's always kind of embarassing when I don't know a plants ID! I've seen a few of them around town and agree, in the right situation they are stunning!

  3. popping over from a comment you made on Gatsby's Garden post to introduce myself! i'm your newest follower & want to let you know that i host a garden party on Thursday's (starts up again next week, May 3rd....i can't wait) would love to see you link up to peek around more at your blog! ooxx, tracie

    1. Thanks for visiting, glad you're liking it! Very cool about the Garden Parties...keep an eye out for me ;-)

  4. The intriguing little mystery plant is Ozothamnus corraloides. There is an annoying dearth of information in books and on the interent about all the different Ozothamnus species and cultivars so I am going to grow a bunch of them to see how I feel about them.

    Not sure which dark leaved Geranium that is but I just bought a few G. 'Cheryl's Choice' or something like that. They are pretty cute.

    1. Yes! Thanks for the ID...I can't believe I spaced it out completely! I'm kicking myself for not getting the Geranium...but I figured I can always get one from a local nursery (many of them carry Xera's plants).

    2. Thanks for the ID on that -- I also think it's fantastic! Of course, not cold-hardy enough to grow outdoors for me. Do I have space for another indoor/garage overwinterer?

  5. Some great plants there. Many things that I would love to have. I can't wait to see your Manzanita growing this year.

    Cher Sunray Gardens

  6. Eryngium venustum... seriously? I can't wait to see yours in bloom and the pictures you'll take! Xera has a lot of agastaches listed, I can't believe you didn't get any! And I can't believe you didn't grab any of those marvelous dark leaved geraniums!!!

    The plant/shrub/little tree you like the seed pods is a lagestroemia. It's very common around here in public spaces but I decided to get one in my garden too last year and see how it does. I'll let you know.

    1. I know, right!?! I looked at their list of Agastaches, and most of them are of the orange/yellow variety...which aren't really my thing, so, unbelievably...not Agastaches for me! I know...I can't believe I passed up the Geraniums...can you believe how good they look with the Libertia...ugh...what WAS I thinking? Can't wait to see how the Lagerstroemia does for you!

  7. I love that you included photos of the gardeners behind the awesome gardens!! I also fell flat on my face for the photo of the potentilla..

    1. I know...I suddenly realized when this post rolled around I hadn't shown any pictures of my co-horts yet! Isn't the Potentilla lovely...and it was even better in person ;-)

  8. I love these posts. Looks like you had a great time and came home with some terrific plants.

    1. For sure...if I had a bigger garden, I would have many more ;-)

  9. See I knew you were being to conservative. For the record so was I (I know remember how many plants I bought!)...

  10. I love your plant nerd road trip series. It's like being a kid in a candy store with wholesale prices to boot. I don't know how you ever restrained yourself to just five! You must have amazing discipline!

    Btw, the idea of using an image and post title combined as a header for each of your posts is really nice. I hope you don't mind if I try a play on that myself...that is, if I can ever find the time ;) It really adds a professional/finished touch.

    1. I know...I shake my head now, wondering why I didn't grab more! Go for it...I'd love to see what you come up with, and I do agree, it "dresses" up a post so nicely, doesn't it!

  11. Scott, I've really enjoyed your field trip posts! Cheers, Jenni

  12. Geum triflorum, excellent choice! My town uses them in all their boulevard medians and it makes me so happy.

    1. How cool...I wish I could see that when they are blooming and full of seed heads! I don't think I've ever seen them used here in I'm pretty excited to see how they do :-)

  13. I SO wish that manzanita would grow here. What a great nursery. Thanks for taking us along.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the trip, Pam :-) Ahh...yes, it seems there are always things we wish we could grow, aren't there :-(

  14. Love the succulents. I have a few here, too. And one of these days I must plant Epimediums! I'm surprised you didn't buy any. :)

    1. I know! I really want to plant Epimediums, I just don't know exactly where to put them at the moment...I'm sure at some point I'll find a place to shoe-horn them in ;-)

  15. What a great shopping trip-- I feel certain you DO need the red-leaved geraniums, and so do I. I don't grow primroses because of the slug issue but those white ones are just pretty. Gosh lucky I wasn't with you on this trip I'm not good at all in dealing with gardening temptations...

    1. Hahahaha...I agree totally! Luckily, I saw them for sale at a local nursery recently, and think I'll get some fairly soon...they are gorgeous!

  16. Scott if you throw in a stop for a big American breakfast, I'd hop in the truck and head down to Portland to meet you all for hash browns and hostas; pancakes and penstemon. What a great road trip for you and your fellow plant hounds. On Vashon, I'm lucky that my favorite nursery DIG,, is a big fan of Xera's offerings. Hmm, I'm hungry now, for breakfast and bluebells.