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I live in Orange County, California where the sun shines 365 days a year…at least that’s what the Chamber of Commerce would have you believe.  As a native SoCal resident I’m here to tell you we are pretty lucky with our weather and we do have seasons of a sort.  It takes practice, but you can detect season-to-season if you’ve lived here all your life.  (I was born and raised in the state and apart from a 2-year stint in Arlington, Texas hubby and are natives).

Rogers Gardens

In the background, through the trees (in this picture), you can see the gazebo that Roger's is famous for. It was built and modeled after the gazebo at Disneyland.

Image via Rogers Gardens website.

One of the jewels in the crown of “the O.C.” (does anyone remember that TV drama/soap series?) is Roger’s Gardens.  According to their website under History of the Nursery,

“The original Roger’s Gardens (in Costa Mesa) was opened in 1965 by Roger McKinnon. Retaining the name, Roger’s Gardens, Gavin Herbert Sr. became the new owner in January 1970 and moved the business in 1975 to its current location in Corona Del Mar, California.  Sitting upon seven acres across from Fashion Island, Roger’s Gardens has grown to be known as ‘America’s Most Beautiful Home and Garden Center’”.

In addition to blood-pressure lowering vistas this nursery offers events (artists display their plein air paintings, Halloween and Christmas previews) but they offer free classes on specific interests such as growing roses or perennials.

Plein air paintings are often featured in the gift Gallery at Roger's.

So, after deciding I’d procrastinated long enough on getting practice to improve my photography skills, or lack thereof, I drove to Rogers Gardens on my lunch hour and took a lot of pictures, hoping to capture the beauty of the place—I’m sorry to report the pictures I took don’t compare to those of their website so this post features some of both…sorry.  The photography student isn’t ready for prime time yet!

Roger’s does an amazing job with flower baskets.

I was going to try to take primarily Autumnal photos but it was already “Christmas” at Roger’s and there were dozens of Christmas trees decked out with ornaments for sale in the fabulous gift Gallery.  Not to mention the LGB train (a larger scale train) that circles the most amazing array of evergreen trees and seasonal plants.  Rogers manages to create a completely detailed fantasyland of beauty for all to see.  I’ll go back later and try my hand on some “winter wonderland” shots.

You will find so many interesting and uncommon plants at Rogers. The planting materials they stock are the highest quality plants and almost always perform beautifully in the garden.

In addition to their stock of amazing bedding plants, perennials, shrubs and trees, they have a florist studio where (for a price) you may have any kind of centerpiece or house plant arranged in a decorative planter of your own or one you have purchased from the nursery.  I’ve actually hired them to create a planter for a dinner I was giving in 2009 and the plants and planter still look great—the annual color I had them add has been removed but they do such a good job it is worth the dollars you will spend.

I love sunflowers and this arrangement reflects the season.

The gift Gallery always has great gift ideas whether you need something for a specific holiday or just want to spoil yourself.  The prices on most items seems very fair to me—there are some spectacular antique pieces where the items are displayed with flair.  The nursery has a complete line of patio furniture from Kingsley Bates teak to Lane indoor-outdoor wicker and dozens of others.

During the holidays the place is lit with tiny white lights from the trees surrounding the nursery to every large evergreen tree on the grounds inside the nursery.  I’ll have to go back to take more pictures/get more practice!

By the way, I don’t work for Roger’s Gardens and they do not give me anything for these compliments…darn, wish they did! 🙂

Do you like to work in your garden—do you have a favorite place to buys plants or just to get inspired?