Annie’s Annuals and Perennials is unlike any other nursery I’ve visited. I’ll let Annie herself tell you why…

“From humble beginnings as a backyard hobby 20 years ago, “Annie’s” has evolved into a 2 ½-acre “growing” nursery here in Richmond, CA (across the Bay from San Francisco). We provide plants to about 60 independent retail nurseries and open our doors for retail shopping here at the mothership, 9-5, 7 DAYS a week! For fellow Plant-a-Holics living far away, we also offer our plants by mail order.”


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“Here at “Annie’s,” we grow most of our plants the old fashioned way – from seed – in the wind, rain and sun (no greenhouses), so your plants are already “hardened off,” healthy and strong when you take them home. All of our plants are grown in 4″ pots without the use of growth regulating hormones, commonly sprayed on almost all annuals and most perennials by large scale growers. These growth regulators slow plant growth and extend “shelf life” but can lead to disappointing results in our gardens.”
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This was my third visit to Annie’s and the first time my visit could be enjoyed at a leisurely pace. I made sure to walk out past the front gates and check out the plantings there, fun things like these Asclepias physocarpa.
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And this Cussonia paniculata.
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Annie is passionate about Passiflora.
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And has a wicked sense of humor. I visited on September 22 and the staff was busy preparing for the Fall Planting Party coming up that weekend.
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As noted above the plants you’ll find at Annie’s are all in 4” containers, no big landscape ready trees or shrubs. But lots of easy to tuck in (your car or garden) small things – which will eventually become large things!
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There are also inspiring plantings at the front and sides of the nursery tables.
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This Aeonium nobile has long fascinated me and would be growing in my garden if not for that hardiness issue…
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Annie seems to be a kindred spirit with her container collection.
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And I’m going to steal this trick of stacking two of the same containers in different sizes with a brick in between…
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What else caught my eye that day? Oh just a few things…

Dudleya caespitosa, these California natives are just a touch to tender to include in my garden – but oh how I love those ghostly green colors with a blush of pink.
Dudleya caespitosa

Greenovia aurea I had to bring one of these home with me, it’s proven a great container plant in my cooler climates – and I think next summer I’ll tuck one in the ground and see how it does.
Greenovia aurea

Brachychiton discolor those leaves! One of my favorite things about visiting Annie’s is the signage, you aren’t left to wonder about the plant – it’s all there in front of you (it’s almost as good as looking up, and reading, the descriptions on plantlust.com!).
Brachychiton discolor

Dierama ‘Cosmos’ I’m on a mission to include a few of these dark dierama in my garden. As Annie says…” As deeply dark as the night sky! ‘Cosmos’ is the darkest Dierama out there, giving a richer & more stunning visage to a plant that’s already over-the-top lust-worthy & dramatic. Come Summer, when the Dieramas begin their reign over the garden, there’s not a soul in the nursery who isn’t swayed by their delicate yet impressive display, a 3-4′ abundance of long, thin dancing stems decked with myriad bells.”
Dierama 'Cosmos'

And speaking of dark…Salpigossis sinuata ‘Chocolate Royale’ – this seems to be one of those treasures available at the retail nursery but not online. All the more reason for you to visit Annie’s in person the next time you’re in the Bay Area of California. In the meantime we are thrilled to have Annie’s plants listed on plantlust.com.
Salpigossis sinuata 'Chocolate Royale'