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Places to Go : Berkeley Horticultural Nursery

Doesn't one thing always lead to another? Four-legged creatures are coming into my basement which led to some foundation work before which led to a Butterfly Iris plant being removed which led to having to buy a replacement plant after the foundation was repaired which led me to Berkeley Horticultural Nursery last week. Whew! Let's see what happened.

Normally, I go to Lowe's or Home Depot and buy what looks most healthy. Connie's friend, Leon in Half Moon Bay, suggested a wonderful nursery I didn't know about. I needed the new plant the next day so I had to go out while the rain poured. You really have to want to buy a plant in weather like this.

Under my rose print umbrella, I parked by the recycle area. This nursery takes up almost a whole city block in Berkeley, CA. I parked as far away from the entrance as possible. Rookie mistake.

Along the perimeter fence stood this tall plant that smelled like cedar and showed delicate pink blooms.

That blue sky was just a mirage as it rained hard all day.

I bet this area looks great in the fall when leaves turn color.

For the new plant, it needed to be drought tolerant, fire retardant, deer resistant and happy in afternoon full sun. Leon had suggested a Blue Olive shrub. It would be perfect for my Mediterranean-look garden but the nursery was fresh out.

A nice lady walked me through the grounds. Variegated Tobira was a possible as is fire retardant. But the fragrance of orange blossoms discouraged me. I could imagine the smell wafting through the kitchen windows causing sneezing attacks.

A South African plant, Sweet Pea (Petite Butterfly) was a contender as it would feel right at home living next to another South African plant, the Butterfly Iris. One feel of the leaves made me think deer would also enjoy.

Sunrise Glossy Abelia was the winner. Leaves are bright yellow in the spring, moving to orange/red in the fall. It can grow to 4 feet, can be pruned and best of all, deer resistant. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are attracted to its flowers.

Remember when 5-gallon plants were $20?

Now that the foundation work has been completed, the Abelia will be planted on the right. To its left is the Butterfly Iris that got moved back to make room for the foundation work. I'll be back next week with photos of the refreshed yard. It was just raining too hard for a photo yesterday. In the meantime, have a great Sunday!

Berkeley Horticultural Nursery was started in 1922.

The nursery is located at 1310 McGee Avenue, in North Berkeley,

between Hopkins and Rose.

To learn more -


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