I received an email recently about the upcoming Fascination with Orchids show that, regretfully, I will have to miss. But I have a good excuse and you’ll have to read tomorrow’s post to learn why I won’t be able to attend. I digress…There are countless varieties of orchid plants that come in a variety of beautiful shapes, colors, and sizes. They get a bad rap for being known as difficult to grow. My mother-in-law had the magic touch when it came to orchids and I always enjoyed seeing her collection. I will admit that they can be finicky. But if I can grow them anyone can. They need just the right amount of light and if you find that sweet spot where they are happy do not move them. Years back they seemed like the “it” plant in home decor and they would show up in almost every magazine spread. To me, they will always be a classic and one plant that I consistently keep in my own home and on my desk at work. If you live in Southern California and are looking for something to do this weekend shop by the show this weekend, September 23-34, from 10 am to 5 pm. at South Coast Plaza. There will be orchid vendors from around the world offering an array of unique varieties, as well as displays and helpful seminars. And if you need a few ideas on how to display your new orchids then here are a few bits of inspiration.
In Friday’s post, I mentioned wanting to buy a few new varieties of camellias for our garden this past weekend. I was keeping my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t rain because Mr. B and I planned on paying a visit to Nuccio’s Nurseries located in Altadena, California. We headed out to Nuccio’s yesterday. It was gloomy and wet but we had no rain during our visit. Mother Nature was on our side. We were off to a great start!
Since 1935 the Nuccio family has grown their nursery business into a one that has become somewhat of a horticultural niche specializing in camellias and azaleas known across the globe. We traveled over an hour to Nuccio’s and while we were there we encountered another couple from Montecito, California who happened to be repeat customers. That’s easily over a two-hour drive away…on a good day. And while speaking with one of the owner’s he mentioned something about an out of state customer. Even domestic goddess Martha Stewart has paid a visit.
As you walk up to the main entrance of the nursery you are greeted by a sign asking you not to start picking out flowers without the help of a salesperson. I was happy to see this because I came armed with specific questions and the help of a professional is something I already knew I would need.
When we walked in, Mr. B and I made a beeline for a display table filled with a wide array of camellia cuttings. We oohed and ahhed over the beautiful flowers; most of which we had never seen before. We were greeted by one of the owners, Jim Nuccio, who was very friendly and so very helpful. We mentioned a few qualities and characteristics that we were looking for in a camellia. Base on our needs, Jim was able to immediately narrow down a few varieties for us that were located on the cutting table. The cutting table is genius as it makes the selection process so much easier with so many varieties in one central location. Jim also brought out a huge photo album full of pictures for additional options. The book is not tabbed nor does it have page numbers but Jim went straight to the pages that would be most helpful for us and highlighted a few additional plant options. He definitely knows his stuff! I was originally concerned that the process might be a bit daunting but Jim made it easy-peasy. Thanks, Jim!
Here is the cutting table showing off the dazzling array of colorful blooms. Each flower is labeled by name. Below are some of the famous Nuccio’s Jewel variety.
We decided to purchase a couple of the Ferris Wheel camellias because of their beautiful show-stopping color and pattern.
Camellias are slow growing and they tend to grow upward. There is one area in our garden that we were hoping for a smaller variety. With the assistance of Jim, we selected Bonanza that has a smaller flower and grows bushier rather than upright. We debated about purchasing it in white but we selected it in red as shown below.
After we made our purchase, we wandered through the nursery and took a ton of pictures. Everywhere you turn there is something beautiful to look at.
I love that I was able to capture a few bees in my pictures. I have read that the bee population is declining so adding flowers to the garden is a great way to do our small part in helping them. Actually, it is something we mutually benefit from.
Nuccio’s Nurseries also has a cutting table for many of the azalea’s they offer up for sale.
I particularly liked the Green Glow for its unusual color and Baker’s Lavender for its feminine frilly petals.
We didn’t come to Nuccio’s expecting to buy azaleas. However, when we saw Duc de Rohan we fell in love with its unusual salmon/pink color and decided to purchase it also.
We ended up purchasing a total of six plants so if anyone needs me this morning you can find me in the garden planting our new lovelies.
If you are unable to visit Nuccio’s they will ship to you. However, if you are in Southern California I strongly urge you to visit Nuccio’s Nurseries for yourself. It’s tucked off a tiny road that we actually missed but once inside you will be rewarded with a beautiful selection and wonderful service.
Important note: Nuccio’s only accepts cash or check. If you find yourself short on cash they will allow you to mail in a check. Yes, you read that right! This is truly a family operated business and it is refreshing to know that they operate the good ‘ol fashion way.