Monday, January 30, 2012

The Happiest Place on Earth

We had another wave of Santa Anas come through between Friday and Saturday, wreaking havoc on backyard landscapes and the allergy laden, but leaving us with summertime temperatures to enjoy smack dab in the middle of winter. Only in Southern California will you get 80 degrees in January.

Sunday was particularly surreal. Everybody was out. I'm talking t-shirts and shorts, biking, lunching on patios, driving the coastline. So I do what I always do when the weather is this nice. I headed to the Happiest Place on Earth. Disney has nothing on this place. 

Behold- Roger's Gardens in Corona Del Mar, California. 

This is not your regular garden variety garden center if you know what I mean. Roger's Gardens sits on seven acres, perched on a hilltop with ocean views just to the east of the famed Fashion Island in Newport Beach. It's laid out across several tiers of carefully curated landscape, with various indoor gift shops meandering off the perimeter featuring everything from a floral studio to candles to gourmet food fare.  They also host weekly classes and events that draw garden enthusiasts from all over Orange County, particularly in Springtime. 

Catering to the coastal gardner and the drought tolerant landscaping that has become so popular throughout Southern California, Roger's is just as famous for their selection of succulents as they are their rare rose bush offerings.

Though I always manage to take home a few things on each trip, I frequent the garden center mostly for inspiration. 

Potted Japanese Maples flanked with black beach pebble and Sedum
A colorful display of Coral Branch Maples awaiting their Spring leaves.
Those are Cherry Blossoms to the left. Told you it has been warm.
Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar on a trellis- very much a possible solution for our patio.
They did this with Japanese Maples last Spring as well and it was insane just how pretty it looked.
Funny little display of Owls as garden sculpture
Elegia- a non-running reed that eventually may find a home near our fountain.
How pretty would a few cut stems look in a floral arrangement?
My long lusted after Nagami Kumquat Tree. Someday you will be mine.
A raised vegetable bed display in the "Victory Garden"
Construction idea for our own eventual DIY

Lots of ideas and yes, a few things made it home with me like two Pink Jasmine vines which I promptly planted behind our row of Kangaroo paw and Feather Grass once I arrived home. But mostly it just felt good to defy the season and walk about, bare armed in the sun with the smell of a warm ocean breeze.

All images via Holtwood Hipster


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