24th Annual Arboretum Spring Plant Sale
Friday, April 8th, 4:00-8:00pm – Turtle Bay Members Night Event (Memberships available at the gate)
Saturday, April 9th, 9:00am-3:00pm – General Public Sale
Traditionally, heirloom tomatoes and other vegetables are a main feature of the spring plant sale! In addition, we have unusual, drought-tolerant, hard-to-find perennials, shrubs, and trees, as well as California native plants and ornamental grasses, all grown here in our Nursery and acclimated to Redding’s vigorous climatic conditions. Sale includes a 20% discount for the public and a 30% discount for Turtle Bay members. Check out www.turtlebay.org/nursery for the updated inventory list – which includes plant growing guides (just click on the name of the plant).
I just did the math and this is my 22nd Spring Plant Sale: first as customer, then volunteer and, for the last 14 years, staff member at Turtle Bay. Always exciting for plant people (the majority of people I know included!), purchasing plants from a botanical garden’s nursery is an opportunity to grow plants that you see as mature specimens growing throughout established gardens.
In our case, it is also an opportunity to grow a wide selection of drought tolerant plants, including native species in our California native sections (sun and shade). Even with substantial rain this year, our climate has very little rain in summer; drought tolerant plants are always a good pick for our area. They are also typically lower maintenance – added bonus!
I love sharing information about plants that grow happily in my v-e-r-y dry garden (I only watered three times last summer!), 99% of which I have purchased in past plant sales. My home garden is “Darwin’s Garden”- survival of the most drought-tolerant. I think it’s relevant to share first-hand experience growing plants in a really dry garden, because plants grow very differently, not only in different climates, but with different watering situations.
Below is a partial list of my happily dry plants (remember to water newly planted drought tolerant plants once a week, or as-needed, until established). These are also available at the 24th Annual Spring Plant Sale.
Click on each botanical name to go to a plant information page:
Agave americana Century Plant – Southwest US, Mexican native
Agave americana ‘Variegata’ Variegated Century Plant (at right) – Southwest US, Mexican native. All Agaves are “architectural” plants, perfect for single specimen garden highlights!
Amorpha californica California False Indigo – an exotic-looking, but very hardy, large CA native shrub with beautiful dark purple blooms
Atriplex lentiformis breweri Saltbush – A medium-sized CA native shrub with iridescent silver leaves
Baccharis pilularis subsp. consanguinea Coyote brush – a pollinator magnet, it is a dense, bright green evergreen CA native shrub with fine foliage. There are also dwarf forms.
Caesalpinia gilliesii Bird of Paradise (shrub) – South American native desert wash shrub with out-of-this-world blooms! In my experience, this plant typically re-blooms a couple of days after watering (many desert wash plants have this habit in common).
Centaurea gymnocarpa Velvet Centaurea – Large silver Mediterranean native shrub with textural, over-sized silver dusty-miller type leaves.
Chitalpa (xChitalpa) tashkentensis ‘Pink Dawn’ Pink Dawn Chitalpa – Fast-growing tree with a CA native desert species as one of its parents. Chitalpas sport beautiful tubular pink blooms on and off April-October!
Epilobium californica California Fuchsia – Brilliant orange blooms in late summer through fall highlight this vigorous CA Native groundcover
Eragrostis chloromelas – Weeping Love Grass – this South African native starts blooming in Spring and has decorative seedheads all season
Eriogonum fasciculatum California Buckwheat – (at left) another pollinator magnet, this medium-sized CA Native blooms for months starting in spring.
Eriogonum nudum Naked Buckwheat -a diminutive CA native with blooms atop a slender stalk, that like all buckwheats, is a major attraction for pollinators
Euphorbia rigida Euphorbia -an adorable Mediterranean native groundcover Euphorbia with bright chartreuse-yellow blooms starting in February. Around the end of March the blooms fade to salmon color, looking attractive in bloom for several months overall!
Hyalis argentea var. argentea Olivillo – South American native silver (with metallic sheen) shrubby evergreen plant that grows and blooms extremely well with almost no additional water in summer
Lobelia laxiflora Mexican Lobelia – Arizona and Mexican native (most drought tolerant in our area with afternoon shade) has red tubular flowers with yellow “lips”
Muhlenbergia rigens Deer Grass (at right) – a CA native grass that looks good alone or en masse in large areas
Myrtus communis True Myrtle – a favorite evergreen Mediterranean native shrub with dense, pine-scented foliage
Myrtus communis ‘Compacta Variegata’ – Variegated Dwarf Myrtle – a Mediterranean native variegated little-leaf version of True Myrtle. Both types of shrubs benefit from early structural pruning to encourage dense branching.
Nassella (Stipa) tenuissima – Mexican Feather Grass – is a very attractive 2 foot Southwestern US and Mexican native grass that will joyously seed in a watered landscape. Fortunately these little grasses are easy to pull up and transplant (or compost) in spring.
Phlomis fruticosa – Jerusalem Sage – a Mediterranean Native large shrub that is usually evergreen. In the spring bright yellow whorls of flowers decorate the tops of branches
Phlomis lanata Jerusalem Sage – is a dwarf Mediterranean native shrub with similar, but much smaller, features of Phlomis fruticosa
Punica granatum ‘Nana’ – Dwarf Pomegranate (at right) – another Mediterranean native, this surprisingly tough drought tolerant shrub has bright green leaves, deep red/ orange flowers and mini-pomegranates!
Ruellia brittoniana – Mexican Petunia – a Southwest US, Mexican native (most drought tolerant in our area with afternoon shade). This vigorous grower has showy purple Petunia-like blooms, spreads by roots and tends to do best with winter protection. Mine grows up against my house and tends to be evergreen, blooming most of the year. In the open this plant is herbaceous (dies to the ground in winter), usually not making an appearance again until May.
Salvia clevelandii ‘Allen Chickering’ – Cleveland Sage – this CA native selection (natural cross between two CA native Salvias – clevelandii x leucophylla) is a favorite evergreen shrub. It has dense foliage if pruned annually and whorls of purple flowers in the spring. The scent of this plant is a surprise, like a cross between lavender and sage (both are in the same family, Lamiaceae) – it is just divine.
We hope to see you at the Spring Plant Sale!
Lisa Endicott, Horticulture Manager
and Turtle Bay’s Horticulture Staff
Email Turtle Bay’s Horticulture department at email@example.com for more information and/or questions.
Along with spring and fall biannual plant sales, the Arboretum & Botanical Gardens Nursery is open to the public year-round Fridays and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Turtle Bay members receive a 20% discount. Visit our interactive Nursery inventory list at www.turtlebay.org/nursery