Monday, May 25, 2009

The annual Watters visit

When my neighbor invited me into her pickup truck for a big plant spree at Watters, you can be sure I jumped at the chance. Yes, I had already bought several 6-packs of annuals at KMart. But, though Watters is pricey, it's beautiful, fascinating, tempting -- and, yes, I always spend more there than at Sears' ailing Big Box.

What's hot this recession year? The veggie department was the headliner as soon as we stepped out of the truck. A huge variety of big, ready to bear tomatoes, plus a scattering of other popular items. I bought a small container of strawberries to fill the holes left remaining in my big strawberry pot, which I've decided to devote to berries for a change. Also up front: a fine selection of herbs, if that's your schtick.

Perennials are completely covered -- no problem of frying under the hot June sun; annuals are at the back of the lot, presided over by two gigantic butterflies. Both sheds were pleasantly cool, thanks to a breeze today.

Flowers, all sorts of flowers. I'll start with two on my taboo list. Unfortunate, but French marigolds (above) are a favorite food for grasshoppers. I bought red and purple petunias last week at KMart; the snails absolutely stripped the reds and are now considering the purples.

Don't know the specs on the white-tipped red number above; the yellow guys are gazanias, an annual which will sometimes over-winter here in Prescott.

A semi-double rose, somewhat like those wonderful Austrian coppers at the Sharlot Hall museum rose garden. Below, the hanging basket department. Twenty-five bucks a pop, but they sure would look beautiful along our streets downtown. If a small Alaska town can afford hanging flower baskets, why can't Prescott?

Handsome ornamental grasses are among the less common goodies to be found at Watters... well as the occasional palm or big, beautiful pot. Wish I could afford those!

One major feature not for sale -- the H.U.G.E cottonwood in front of the annual greenhouse. Those succulents above are not hens-n-chickens; no, those are 5-gallon containers sitting in front of a trunk that must be a good 5 feet in diameter. It is next to impossible to get a proper image that demonstrates just how wide the canopy of this venerable giant. It definitely spreads beyond the 48 or 60 foot span of the greenhouse!

The back room at Watters -- I'd never seen where they store the junk and gear needed to keep the customer areas beautiful, but the gate was open for a change. Even this part of the nursery is tidy, however.

In case you were wondering what I dropped roughly 50 bucks on, here are two, both natives. Above, desert marigold, usually found at 2500-4000 ft. elevation, and, below, wild zinnia, which grows on a couple of small buttes near SR 89A, just before the highway enters the mountain headed up to Jerome. Also in my cart: a well rooted blue flax, an unusual yellow-orange gallardia, a small pot of portulacas plus the above-mentioned strawberries. Tomorrow I make holes in the ground and fill more pots.


meggie said...

When we lived close to the sea, I found the Porulacca loved the sandy soil. I loved their brilliant colours.
Gom just cut all the buds off one his climbing vines yesterday. I despair of the man!! As he said, it is 'his' vine.

Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

Lovely display of flares(oz pronunciation). You might try a small bowl of beer in the petunia pot, s-niles(also oz) love it.


Anonymous said...

A.C. is spot on about the beeyah (beer in oz) and slugs/snails. Our local nursery sells a plastic frog whose insides are 3-4 chambers to fill with beer. The critters slither inside, drink up, and die. :)

The desert marigold is gorgeous... you're going to have a lovely garden.

Our strawberries are going great guns, but our tomatoes are looking a bit anemic. Gave them a shot of iron Chelate.

~Anon in AV.

Granny J said...

meggie -- for some reason, there haven't been many portulaca on the market this season. It may be early -- or that I'm too late.

bro -- I did try the beer caper one year & had a veritable slug soup. Turned my stomach, it did.

anon av -- the frog sounds neat. My problem is that I hate to waste a bottle of good beer on the critters, but equally I hate to buy a six pack, as the only way to waste a can of bad beer on them. My tomatoes are the 6-pack variety & still pretty small, though stout, Javelinas pulled one up to sample it.

Photo Blog Blog Top Sites Blog Directory for Prescott, AZ

Local Blogs - Blog Top Sites