My Favorite Pastime….Shopping For Plants!

local nurseries

Well, the title says it all.  I love plants and shopping.  Pair those two things together and I am in heaven.

Back when I managed landscapes, I had a company credit card which allowed me to purchase to my heart’s content….okay not really, I did have to stay within my plant budget, but it was so nice to spend someone else’s money.

My most recent journey into the plant shopping occurred last week with my mother, Pastor Farmer of Double S Farms.  She was purchasing some trees for their farm and wanted my assistance in selecting them.  And so, we journeyed to a local nursery (not a big box store).

Plant shop

Plant shop

Now this particular nursery is not what I would call a native plant nursery, although they do carry many native plants.  But they also sell tropical plants that thrive in our semi-tropical climate.  You can see Gabriel coming up to help us to tag the trees we selected.

On our way to the tree section, we passed a mass of Bougainvilleas.  It looked like a Bougainvillea forest.

Plant shop

Plant shop

Then we passed through the shaded area of the nursery where frost-tender tropical and shade-loving plants were kept.

Plant shop

Plant shop

Now, we were beginning to get into the tree section of the nursery.

Plant shop

You may have noticed that my pictures are taken from behind my mother and our helper, Gabriel.  Well, put me anywhere with plants….a nursery, a garden, it doesn’t matter – I will always be lagging behind as I love to look, touch and take pictures of plants.

We passed the flowering Palo Verde trees….

Plant shop

We passed some Olive trees….

Olive trees

Did you know that the pollen of the Olive tree is highly allergenic?  It’s true.  Actually, because of this, you can only plant a certain variety of Olive tree in our area, called ‘Swan Hill Olives’®, that do not produce pollen and therefore do not produce any flowers.

The ‘Swan Hill’ cultivar was found in Australia years ago from a 30 year-old Olive tree that had never fruited.  It is an interesting story and you can read more about it here.

Okay, back to our search for our tree.  Well, I wish I could say that I had a great picture to show you of the Chilean Mesquite (Prosopis chilensis) tree we selected.  But, it turns out that I was so busy helping to select the tree, I forgot to take pictures of it.

On our way out, I did take pictures of a bunch of Sago Palms (Cycas revoluta), which aren’t actually palms at all, they are cycads.  They grow extremely well here, but must be protected from full sun or their fronds turn yellow from sunburn.

Sago Palms

Well, we were at the end of our plant shopping journey, or so I thought….

our plant shopping journey

As my mother was paying for the trees, I noticed one of the resident chickens. 

resident chicken

Can you see her?  She is poking around the base of this plant fountain.

**By the way, I think I would love to have a plant fountain someday 🙂

One of the employees noticed my interest in the chicken and motioned me over to the side of the building, where on a potting table, there was a large container.  I looked inside and saw how busy the chicken had been….

Shopping For Plants

Every afternoon, at about 4:00, she sits up there and lays another egg.

Now, the father, is no absentee father.  He takes his job very seriously.  He was keeping a keen eye on us until we left the nursery.

local nurseries

Well, I had a wonderful time, I just love visiting local nurseries.

We selected some beautiful trees and the new Mesquite tree will grow very quickly and will be quite large.  Pastor Farmer envisions having an old tire swing being put up in the tree in a few years for the grandkids to play on.

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
17 replies
  1. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    I love visiting nurseries too! I don't go often because our company primarily buys wholesale. But in the last few weeks as I've been planting summer annuals for clients I've "had" to visit some good local independent retail centers to fill in with various plants. I almost never leave without something for my own back deck – recently it's been sempervivums and coleus (not in the same pot).

  2. Turling
    Turling says:

    That is a nice looking olive. You can tell by by monicker, I'm kind of partial to them.

    The Palo Verde's are beautiful, as well.

  3. Patchwork
    Patchwork says:

    Ah, yes…plant shopping is a wonderful thing. I do try to control myself and think about just where I have, that a plant will fit. Or, if I can work it into the non-deer infested areas.

    Our large sago, that I thought might have frozen, is alive, and putting on lots of new growth. Hurray!! Replacing that was going to really eat into the plant shopping budget.

    Have a good weekend.

  4. Rose
    Rose says:

    Plant shopping is definitely on my list of favorite activities to do, too! I used to enjoy any kind of shopping, but not so much anymore. Shopping for clothes has become more of a chore, but the great thing about plant shopping is that everything fits!:)

  5. noel
    noel says:

    aloha noelle,

    what an amazing nursery and huge, loved the tour and the amazing cycads…we love them here in hawaii since they grow so well with minimal care

  6. debsgarden
    debsgarden says:

    You managed to come away without a trunk load for yourself? I would have had a hard time doing that! What a great nursery! The chickens added just the right down home touch!

  7. sweet bay
    sweet bay says:

    Looks like a wonderful nursery. I love plant shopping too, in fact it's the only kind of shopping I like. That's a Bantam Rooster isn't it? He's beautiful.

  8. Ami
    Ami says:

    I also love plant shopping and visiting local nursery! It is wonderful to go shopping plants with your mom!

  9. Shady Gardener
    Shady Gardener says:

    What a great time you had! We have a little local nursery that I visited over the weekend. Even there, I can usually find something to bring home! 🙂

    Cute story about the chicken!

  10. Balisha
    Balisha says:

    I just sit here and enjoy the colors of your area. So bright and vibrant. A plant fountain…what a good idea. Have a nice weekend.

  11. Rosie@leavesnbloom
    Rosie@leavesnbloom says:

    Ah that explains why my cyad has yellow leaves in places – it was sitting in the sun – I thought it was because I had been away at Easter and had missed watering it alittle.

    Have a lovely weekend Noelle.

  12. T
    T says:

    Hi, I'd love to know what nursery that is! I live in Scottsdale – I guess you're down in Gilbert? I love visiting nurseries, even if I DON'T wind up buying anything.


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