Friday, August 04, 2006

Trip to Mendocino

Main Street, Mendocino Village

Ok... of the four new nurseries and one new winery I wanted to visit, I managed to make it to two of the nurseries, Fuchsiarama and Hortus Botanicus, and the Pacific Star Winery. Three out of five ain't bad and there's always next time to conquer Digging Dog and Simply Succulent. I made it to Hortus Botanicus and Fuchsiarama in the last hours on the last day of my seven-day stay.

When traveling with friends and family, I often forget that I'm mostly going to be spending time relaxing and enjoying their company... their very slow-moving, indecisive company. And that's ok! I wouldn't trade that time for all the nursery visits in the world.

Here I am at the house, reading my Mendocino Coast Glove Box Guide: Lodgings, Eateries, Sights, History, Activities & More
Buy this book before you go. It's excellent.

Candles were burned... wine was enjoyed.
Dinners were backlit by fiery sunsets. Sigh...

Either I'm shrinking, or my baby boy (the blond one) is sprouting like a weed.

Nasturtiums abound in the village

So does montbretia/crocosmia

MacCallum House Garden


View from the Pacific Star Winery... It was overcast on this day, which was not only fine but quite welcome considering the heat wave back home. I went another day and it was sunny.

It's a beautiful drive and a beautiful destination.
Taste some wine while you're there.
Spit only if you're the designated driver.
I didn't spit because I'm too much of a lady (ha ha).
I was the driver, however, so I only took two sips.
Buy a few bottles to take home!

Hortus Botanicus
10.2MI from Mendocino

Hortus Botanicus was my first nursery stop and the most exciting new nursery conquest for me. I can now tell people, "You must visit this nursery." Tucked into the woods of Fort Bragg, this hidden gem is an avid gardener's amusement park. From carnivores to orchids to succulents... to unusual perennials to seeds hand-packaged at the nursery... you will surely fill one or more of their little red wagons with botanical wonders that will take your garden to the next level.

After being dropped off at the nursery entrance, I was greeted by Dorothy, who showed me around and even fetched me a wagon. She introduced me to Robert, the owner. Both were kind enough to answer my questions while propagating plants and answering the phone. I went on a quiet Monday, but have a feeling weekends are quite bustling.

The entrance

Robert Goleman, owner

Peruvian Lily Vine (Bomarea species)... I bought seeds!

The water garden

Orphium frutescens

Isn't this a clever idea for edging a bed?

Alstroemeria 'Danny Boy'... I bought seeds of this one too!

23201 N HIGHWAY 1
10.2MI from Mendocino

Fuchsiarama was more of a quickie because I had my teenage son and his best friend getting antsy in the car... and eventually on the car.

The nursery was worth a stop because of the sheer numbers of fuchsia cultivars all in one place. You're sure to find varieties you like even if you're not a fuchsia maniac. I'm not and I bought two. There's a nursery and gift shop. I barreled through the gift shop and headed straight for the plants. Who knew fuchsias came in so many shapes, colors and sizes?

Fuschiarama is right!

View from the parking lot. That's the ocean in the background!

In other local nursery news, North Star Nursery (across from the botanical garden) in Fort Bragg has moved down the street and a new nursery is opening in its place.

In Mendocino, the Mendocino Garden Shop has moved to Main Street right off Highway 1 and now shares space with a bike and electric car rental company. We rented one of their little electric Zap cars for tooling around town. You haven't lived until you've driven one of these little cuties. Fifty bucks a day. Yes, it's a splurge, but so worth it for tooling around the village in an open-air fashion. They rent bikes too. And sell plants! In fact, you can drive your plants back to your rented room or rented house in your rented Zap car! Does life get any sweeter?

At the Garden Shop, I picked up a Kniphofia uvaria 'Flamenco', Lobelia x speciosa 'Fan Burgundy' and a bottle of Tiger Bloom fertilizer. Is it weird to buy fertilizer on your vacation? Hey, I had just used up the last of my bottle at home!

Here I am on Main Street with my aunt, Pat, in the back of the little Zap car! I was a little shy at first about taking the wheel ... but got over that in about two minutes. It's soooooo fun to drive a Zap.

How fast can 5 women go...
uphill... in a tiny electric car?
Not very.

A gorgeous sunny day at Jughandle beach. As always, I was torn between companionship and taking pictures. I didn't take nearly as many photos as I'd hoped, but did manage when I could. Yet another reason to go back. Soon.

I can be both photographer... and assistant


  1. Angela, thank you for such a lot of interesting photos. I want have such chairs in yellow and blue. I have problems to post at your blog, I can not come in. So do not wonder, when you sometimes nothing read from me.


  2. Hi Angela i nearly fell off my chair when i saw you without a baseball cap on.You look lovely.
    Oh my god too many photos for me to comment on.I love the succulent edging though, and the glass balls of Fuschiarama.welcome back with your new seeds, plants, and fertiliser.I wanna do that trip sometime.Its like plant heaven (my fav past time is plant/flower shopping.I can spend hours so i usually go alone).

  3. What wonderful looking "gardeners' amusement parks". You knew that you could buy plants and take them home - what torture it would be to fly in, see all this, and fly back to a place where none of it will grow. Okay, I'm willing to be torured.

    The photo after the one labeled 'snake' shows plants that appear to be Queen of the Prairie? Filipendula venusta rubra? The books promise 6 to 8 feet tall, but mine in IL never made it to that height. Those in your photos look splendid.

    Thanks for the tour!


  4. Beautiful garden playgrounds,thanks for the guided tour.Who could believe so much beauty so late in the season?I too love the colored chairs,but the rustic seats are also quite appealing.I love the hens and chicks as a edging,will have to work on propagating mine to fill in the long front edge of the front bank,a project that could take years,LOL

  5. Sigrun... Sorry you can't post to my Blogger blog sometimes. I have no idea why. Blogger can be flaky sometimes, but it's free, so I can't complain. Thanks for not giving up! I visit your blog regularly and love it.

    Snappy... Thank you for the compliment! "You look lovely" isn't something this middle-aged mom hears very often. Seriously... made my day.

    Annie... Yes, it is filipendula! I, too, have never seen it growing like this in my area. Let's just agree that coastal gardening can do magical things. The echium... have you seen the echium?!!!

    Tani... Yes, the coast is generally untouched by summer's wrath so even a late-season garden looks as fresh as springtime. It's comforting knowing perpetual springtime is only a few hours away by car.

  6. I really miss Mendocino. Been there twice, with my last trip being in 2004. Love Patterson's for a bite to eat and a beer, really love that road that leads west to one of the most spectacular sunset points I've ever been to.

    I wish I had more opportunity to get out there (I'm from Boston); perhaps there will be another trip at some point.

  7. Marc,

    Sounds like you're definitely due for a trip to Mendo. I love the fish and chips at Patterson's. The hint of dill in their tartar sauce is really nice. Yes, washes down nicely with beer. I like a crisp golden lager.

    Heeser Drive? That must be it...

    Agreed, the sunsets are incredible.

  8. Anonymous9:18 PM

    You have a beautiful website with engaging commentary and riveting photographs. Your trip to Mendocino is a sort of historical record now, as Horticus Botanicus is mail-order-only at this time, and FusciaRama has closed. I am writing at about 9 p.m. 11 May 2011, and suggest future travelers visit the world-class Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, a located just south of Fort Bragg, CA with beautiful paved and unpaved trails to the sea through spectacular and unusual plantings, a nursery containing many of the most appealing varieties seen along the way staffed by welcoming and knowledgeable folks with credentials, a little cafe' open from Spring 'til Fall, and a store full of books and garden-related tools and notions. The Mendocino area is particularly adapted to providing great food and accommodations to visitors, many of whom come for the simpler pleasures of a pressure-free trip to the Redwoods, beaches, rivers, and villages along the North Coast. You've got the right idea, and, by the way, North Star Nursery has moved about a half-mile south of their former site across the street from the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens! Change is the only thing that stays the same, I've heard. Duncan Rasmussen, Mendocino Tree Service

  9. Thanks for the update, Duncan. Sad to hear about the nursery changes, but you're right about the inevitability of change. Thank goodness MCBG and North Star are still there for us to enjoy.

    I've been Jonesing for a Mendocino trip for awhile now. Heck, I start Jonesing for Mendocino the moment I start packing for home. Your comment helped to bring that feeling back to the forefront of my mind. Time to start thinking about my next visit. :-)