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Creek Running North

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January 23, 2004

Thanks, Annie

Home from work today and suddenly claustrophobic, I went to my favorite local nursery to do a little browsing. A dangerous thing to try, as I am now the proud owner of three Calochortus luteus which need to be put into a dry corner out front before the weekend is over, and some red clover and some delphinium and black hollyhocks and oh my aching bank account.

Annie - eponym of said nursery - and I are old friends, although we didn't know it for some years, traveling and working in the same circles for a decade or so and hearing about one another from mutual friends. It was wonderful, when we finally met, to find out just how many times we'd narrowly escaped meeting for years before that. She's one of those people who packs an incredible amount of enthusiasm and energy into a remarkably small package, and raising a son besides. We don't chat nearly often enough, but when we do I usually feel afterwards like running for six or eight miles... it's like grabbing a live wire.

I don't know of any single person who's had a greater effect on gardens in the Bay Area than Annie. Oh sure, Ruth Bancroft and Roger Raiche and my old housemate Marcia Donahue and a host of others have all had strong influences on hundreds of gardeners around here, myself being no exception. But Annie and her crew — especially her propagator, Anni Jensen — have taken the rare and unusual and made them accessible in retail nurseries all around the bay. When I started working in a nursery twenty years ago, we offered our customers a choice among pelargoniums, begonias, petunias, impatiens and marigolds. A few oddities like red salvia and celosia would occasionally creep in. Now, due to Ms. Hayes, weekend Bay Area gardeners can work with the likes of Ratibida pinnata and Puya berteroniana and Linaria reticulata "Flamenco". Maybe it's a stretch to say her work makes the world a better place, but it's certainly more fun with her around.

Posted by Chris Clarke at January 23, 2004 03:48 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:

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Chris, I think Annie herself needs to read this: what a blessing to know that you've made life more fun for at least one person. Even live wires grow tired at times. If Annie doesn't have web access, what a welcome gift it would be for "someone" to print this out & drop it by her nursery, "just because."

Posted by: Lorianne at January 24, 2004 04:35 AM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs