Last weekend, my husband and I loaded up our two youngest kids into our truck and headed out to the Desert Botanical Garden’s spring plant sale.

My husband and kids wait patiently at the end of the agave aisle for me.
Now, it is always a dangerous situation whenever I find myself at a plant sale.  I am much like a small kid in a candy store as I am sorely tempted to buy more then my garden can fit.

The sale at the Desert Botanical Garden is huge.  There is so much to look at and see.  There are informative signs next to each grouping of plants with a photo and important details such as how much water they need, recommended exposure and how large they will become.

The main reason that I wanted to come to the sale was in order to keep up with the newest plant introductions and varieties so I could share them with you.

First, here are some familiar plants with unfamiliar colors that stood out to me:

Cape Honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis ‘Aurea’)

Cape Honeysuckle is a popular landscape plant that has beautiful orange, tubular flowers.  The variety ‘Aurea’ has yellow flowers.
*Which color would you prefer in your garden – yellow or orange?

‘Brake Light’ Red Yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora ‘Brake Light’)

Red Yucca is a very popular succulent with its succulent, grass-like foliage and coral-colored flowers that appear in spring and summer.  The variety ‘Brake Light’ has a deeper red flower, which I really like.

Polka Dot Prickly Pear (Opuntia microdasys ‘Albispina’)

The most common variety of this prickly pear has yellow ‘dots’ (glochids) and is often referred to as ‘Bunny Ears’.  The variety ‘Albispina’ had white ‘dots’.

Variegated Pink Bower Vine (Pandorea jasminoides ‘Variegata’)

I have a Pink Bower Vines growing on either side of my front entry.  I love their dark green leaves and pale pink flowers.  This variety that I saw at the plant sale and variegated foliage.  

Agave guiengola ‘Creme Brulee’

I must admit that I was sorely tempted to purchase this agave.  The original was called ‘Whale’s Tongue’ and has a nice blue/gray color.  But, I really like the color of ‘Creme Brûlée’ better – it seems to ‘glow’.

 Purple Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii ‘Purple’)

Autumn Sage are some of my favorite plants to use in areas with filtered sunlight.  I never get tired of seeing hummingbirds visit their tubular flowers.  Most commonly found with red and pink flower colors, there are other varieties that produce white, salmon and of course, purple.

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So, what do you think about these different-colored varieties?  Are you a ‘traditionalist’ or are you a ‘trend-setter’?

I did end up purchasing one of the plants that I’ve shown you.  Next time, I will let you know what one I picked. 

I have much more to show you from the plant sale including some plants that you have never heard of, but that would be beautiful in your landscape – including my new favorite flowering shrub. 

So, come back for a visit, but be warned – you may end up being tempted into running out and buying one of the new plants I will be showing you.

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, 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."

6 replies
  1. Aaron Dalton
    Aaron Dalton says:

    Personally, I'm more of a traditionalist, I guess.

    For instance, I find that plain green varieties of plants are usually a lot tougher in terms of withstanding heat and sun than the variegated varieties.

    That said, I do enjoy variegated aucuba…though I suppose that scarcely counts, since most aucubas are variegated and it's actually harder to find the green version.

    I've also had good luck with Golden Jubilee Anise Hyssop, though I'm pampering it in a partial-shade setting because I'm afraid it would burn up in full sun exposure.

    Reply
  2. dryheatblog
    dryheatblog says:

    Glad I was too far away,plus no books, to be tempted!

    Usually I'm traditional, but after seeing millions of pink and red Salvia greggii, the purple one is a must-have…one at a former neighbor's home really stood out.

    I know some bloggers, who if with you, *you* would be waiting for them at every aisle…

    Reply
  3. arizonaplantlady@gmail.com
    arizonaplantlady@gmail.com says:

    Hello Shaun,

    Great questions about the differences between Cape Honeysuckle and Orange Jubilee. Cape Honeysuckle is a more compact shrub with darker green foliage. Orange Jubilee grows much taller and has a vase-shape growth pattern. While the flowers are roughly the same shape, those on Cape Honeysuckle are smaller and a darker orange. The leaves have different shapes.

    I hope this helps!

    Noelle (azplantlady)

    Reply

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