This past Saturday, the Central Coast Greenhouse Growers Association held its annual open house where wholesale nurseries in the area open their doors, for one day only, to the public. What gardener wouldn’t want a behind the scenes looks at how their plants are grown? And better yet, how about some great deals on those plants? This was the first year I could attend because although I was still working, Native Sons Nursery just happens to be a short detour on my way to work.
Hidden in a grove Eucalyptus trees, there is very little to indicate the nursery’s presence. The tall fence and sloping ground all but hides the treasures hidden inside. But once you walk through the gate it is like you died and went to gardener’s heaven. Not Grandma’s gardening heaven, but the cool, hip part of heaven where succulents, drought tolerant plants and oddities are the norm. Now you have to understand that I can buy Native Son’s plants at work. We order them in fairly regularly. But nothing creates a feeding frenzy more than eager gardeners rushing through rows and rows of plants filling their wagons to capacity.
So it was probably a good thing for my budget that I only had a short amount of time to shop and browse. You can see my take above. Starting at the top and going clockwise, you have the plant I have been wanting for almost a year, Stachys byzantina ‘Primrose Heron,’ next Agave gentryi ‘Jaws,’ Sedum album ‘Nigra,’ Rhodiola pachyclados, and Sempervivum ‘Royal Ruby.’ If I had more time, there would be more. My “need to see list” that I created the night before was a full page long. There was the entire selection of Euphorbia that I had to skip and much of the 5 gallon shrubs that I missed. But all things considered, I’m happy with what I got. I got what I came for, the chartreuse Stachys.
If you are a gardener on the Central Coast, the open house is a ton of fun. Most nurseries have refreshments and drawings, and more importantly great deals on plants. You get to see what goes on behind the scenes. You get to smell that lovely greenhouse smell. And you get to blow your plant budget with tons of folks who are doing the same exact thing (and are pretty happy about it). If you don’t live nearby, however, all is not lost. You can check out Native Sons website at the link above. Not only is their plant list quite informational, but the photographs are gorgeous. If you are in California, you can probably find a nursery near you that carries their plants. You can also follow them on Twitter @nativesons where they might tempt you with chartreuse plants if you express your craving for them.