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Have you every thought of a nursery of more than just a place to buy plants?

How about one with secret corners where visitors are invited to sit and eat their lunch or read a book?
Or have you visited a nursery that is nestled underneath a 50 year old, flowering tree that shades everything below?
On a recent visit to California, I came upon a most unique plant nursery.

I hadn’t planned on visiting a nursery on this particular day, but I noticed a large floss silk tree (Chorisia speciosa) dominating the blue skyline with its dark pink flowers.  It took me a moment to notice the nursery tucked underneath the branches.
The gate leading into the nursery, had decorative wooden signs describing what was yet to be discovered within.

I was greeted by a large jade plant, which if you’ve ever traveled to California, must be the ‘unofficial’ succulent plant of this beautiful state – everyone seems to have one growing in a pot somewhere in their garden.
Walking a little ways in, I immediately noticed a small pathway leading into the depths of the nursery, beckoning the visitor to discover where it led.

Flanking the shady path were a variety of tropical plants, succulents and garden ornaments.

A galvanized container held a variety of wooden garden signs. 

 I decided to take the signs literally and to be on the lookout for gnomes 😉
Reaching the end of the pathway, visitors discover worn, yet comfortable garden furniture, inviting you to take a break and enjoy the shade on a warm summer’s day while being surrounded by the beauty of the plants.
Throughout the entire nursery were hidden corners filled with chairs and comfortable cushions.  

Visitors are encouraged to bring their lunch and eat in the garden or bring along a favorite book.

If I lived near this nursery, I would be tempted to spend a lot of time here where I would be able to enjoy two of my favorite things – plants and books!

The branches of the floss silk tree extended their shade over a large number of plants.

Floss silk trees have a very unique trunk.  It is green, much like the palo verde, but they have very large thorns.

As I continued my journey of discovery through the nursery, I found that it was hard to reconcile this place as your typical nursery.
Oh, they did have basic gardening supplies such as organic fertilizers, peat moss, compost and pots – but it was the lack of obvious organization and the randomness that I found throughout.

Small garden rooms were filled with an assortment of succulents, palms and unusual flowering plants.

White icicle lights were strung throughout the nursery, which made me wish that I had a chance to visit in the evening hours.

Plants could be found in a variety of sizes.  There was no plant signage or pricing information that could be easily seen.


Everywhere you would turn, there would be something new and unexpected to discover.

A row of old cowboy boots sat, ready to be used as planters.


A container made from grape vines in the shape of a swan held a variety of succulents.

A pair of rusty enamelware bowls sat empty on a plastic crate – maybe they will be filled with some succulents someday?  Hopefully sooner than later before the bottom rusts out.

While enjoying the unusual things throughout out the nursery, there were some more traditional areas with flowering plants available for sale.

Colorful begonias and fucshia plants beckoned California gardeners.

I found a corner filled with adeniums, which I must admit that I am fascinated by.

I just love this delicate, pink adenium flower, don’t you?

I must admit that there were so many different things that I loved about this little nursery – it’s lack of organization, the fact that it looked more like a garden than a nursery, the hidden seating areas where you could read a book, the unique garden art (junk) and perhaps most of all was that the focus was on enjoying your visit to the nursery whether you bought anything or not.

The roof of the little garden shop was decorated by a row of potted Yucca gloriosa and more icicle lights.  

As I got ready to leave, I took a few minutes to talk to the woman who worked there.  She directed my attention toward the flowering canopy of the floss silk tree and told me that 5 hummingbirds make their home in its branches.

Male hummingbirds are extremely territorial, but the tree was so large that they all are able to live in it somewhat peaceably.  I was told that each hummingbird has a specific section of the tree that belongs to them and if one oversteps his section, than there are little arguments.  

I enjoyed my visit to this 50-year old, unique plant nursery/garden and can’t wait to have a chance to come again.

**If you are ever near Carpinteria, California, I encourage you to take some time to visit the Carpinteria Landscape Nursery – but, be ready for a rather unorthodox nursery experience.

Have you ever paused to think about the events of the previous month?


I seldom do, but the other day I was going through my recent photos and was surprised at how busy the past month of September was.  

Here are a few snapshots from September…

My daughter, Rachele, graduated from her Navy Seabee School and was able to come home for 2 weeks after being gone for 5 months.

The newest addition to our family, Penny is continuing to learn what is okay to chew and what is NOT okay to chew on.
I did quite a few different gardening projects for my contributions to the Birds & Blooms blog

Freezing mint into ice cubes.
Starting lettuce seeds indoors using recycled plastic containers.

Many of the events this month, were celebrations…

My friend and I gave a baby shower to the youth pastor and his wife at our church.  I made the cupcakes and she made the cookies.
My nephews, Dean & Danny, turned 3-years-old and the party was held at our house.

I made some new discoveries while doing landscape consults…

I love this Adenium that a client of mine had.  This plant is native to Africa, but she obtained this plant from a nursery in Tucson.  I think I may have to get one for my patio.
I was asked to consult on the landscape of a fellow blogger, Diana Elizabeth, who is a fabulous photographer by the way.  I loved this unusual combination of Mexican Honeysuckle, Pink ‘Katie’ Ruellia and Liriope along her front walk.
After spending some quality time at home with her dad, fixing her 1970 VW Bug, my daughter left for combat school in Mississippi.  Soon she will be permanently stationed in Southern California.

While my son, Kai, playing football in the backyard isn’t an unusual event – it was extra special this month because he has finally recovered from his hip surgery in early June and has ditched his wheelchair and walker.
I made my first television appearance, showcasing fuss-free plants for fall.  I was nervous, but in the end, I enjoyed it.
Last Saturday, I was asked by Wendy, the ‘Cupcake Queen’ if ‘AZ Plant Lady’ would make an appearance at our local cupcake shop.  So, I showed up with my husband and granddaughter in tow and we all enjoyed the delicious sampling of Gigi’s delicious cupcakes.


The month of September ended with a visit to our local nursery to buy some vegetable transplants for my edible gardens.  My granddaughter, Lily wasn’t too excited about the vegetables.  Instead, she wanted to stop and smell every flower she saw 🙂



Well, that is September in a nutshell.  This month promises to be a busy month in the garden.  Did you know that October is the best time of year to add most ornamental trees and shrubs to your garden?


So, get up and go outside where the weather is finally cooling down and start planting.