February 15, 2015

Valentine's Day Aloe Walk and Plant Sale

An old dinosaur sings to his evolved-dinosaur neighbors — birds are nesting in the euphorbia to the left of the sign. 

Back to Jurupa and Granite Hill Nursery, this time for the early-bird plant sale. From the JMDC website: 
New plants coming to Granite Hill Nursery at JMDC. We will have an early showing of our 1900+ new plants following the February 14th Aloe Walk. A $5 donation before February 12th gets you a ticket and access to the new plants, refreshments, entered in a raffle for a plant valued at $20 or greater, and any purchases that day over $50 will get you a gift certificate of $5 for your next purchase on another day at Granite Hill Nursery. 
Granite Hill Nursery at JMDC has a large variety of species of cacti and succulents in a range of sizes. Much of our stock comes from our growing fields and propagation houses. The rest is from rescue, donations or outside suppliers.
We have many varieties of Ferocactus acanthodes, barrel cactus. Size range from 12 " tall to 4 feet tall. The best price anywhere for these extraordinary plants. Buy your own piece of California Native history. Our selections are always changing, so stop by often. Granite Hill Nursery's hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm and Sunday noon to 4:30 pm.
I would love to tell you that the place was packed, especially since the parking lot had been overflowing for Buck Hemenway's Aloe Walk the week before, and the nursery was full of succulent goodness. I was gobsmacked that only a couple dozen people were there for the February 14 Sale. I know, I know, San Diego... and Valentine's Day... but I think a big part of it was that the JMDC just doesn't loom large on anyone's radar. On the other hand, it's the kind of quirky place I love, because interesting plants seem to turn up, and prices are good. There might, for example, be an Agave guiengola 'Creme Brulee' that happens to be just as big and twice as nice as the one you've seen at that popular nursery across town, only theirs is $130, and the one at Granite Hill is $24.99. You might find a nice Aloe africana. You never know. (Should add that there were some hardcore, out-of-town plant nerds present that weren't at the walk, but came for the sale. Got some good tips on cheap Desert Museum Palo Verdes, and I learned that fave local native Salvia pachyphylla is available now at Rancho Santa Ana.)

I would also love to tell you that the JMDC gardens are terrific. Sadly, no — right now some areas look quite neglected. Word is that the gardens were once much nicer. But they have lots of potential, and I'm optimistic about their future, because the new director joined us on the Aloe Walk, manned the sales tables, and showed that he knows a thing or two about outreach — UC Riverside Botanic Garden partnership? Yes! I'm keeping an eye on the JMDC and Granite Hill Nursery.

Photos from the February 14 Aloe Walk and Plant Sale:

That color.

Huge Agave victoriae-reginae.

Victoriae-reginae with an old, OLD bloom stalk — yet the plant is still green...

"Hybrid," said Buck last week.

Euphorbia tirucalli, Portulacaria afra. Mounds and mounds of Portulacaria afra. Place needs an elephant.

Agave shawii. Love them.

Return of the Cactus Pad... of Doom!

Something reminds me: visit the museum.

We passed a forest of euphorbia on our way back to the nursery for the sale. (Cactus are in pots, waiting to be moved to their own area.)

Through a shade cloth, darkly — can it be...?

It IS. OMGuiengola. (Last week I bought two smaller pups like those on the right.)

Buckled up safely for the ride home. 

Also: Aloe africana. Some Kelly Griffin hybrid aloes. And yet another titanota, the FO-076 variety that looks just like this. What an awesome morning. Did I mention the chocolate-dipped strawberries? They were delicious. Thank you, JMDC and Granite Hill Nursery! 


  1. I was so wishing I could come to the Aloe Walk but it's just a tad too far from Davis. Someday.

    Great plant finds at the sale at outstanding prices!

    1. The Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center has the potential to be a real showplace. In the meantime, I'm sure loving the Granite Hill Nursery :~)

  2. Hope to see much more of your blogging in the coming weeks. Just found it. Not much out there from the Inland Empire. Did your lizards hibernate? Mine just woke up a couple of weeks ago. I put rocks around the garden for what I call "lizard lounges".

  3. Jane, thank you so much for commenting! I've just discovered your blog, and I love it. My backyard was a sterile little hardscape when I moved in a year ago -- the hardscape is still here, but I've added enough plants that there are now lizards, and I've even seen a tree frog! I'm sure the little critters are still hibernating -- tonight's low is supposed to be 36 F.


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