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From Exotic to Native, Much to See

April 18, 1998|KAREN DARDICK

There's always a crowd around booths at the Southern California Spring Garden Show, especially those packed with plants, innovative tools and garden ornaments.

Some of the perennially popular participants are California Bonsai, Casa de Tortuga, Desert to Jungle Nursery, Greenwood Daylily and Iris, M&M Nursery, and Van Ness Water Gardens.

New to this year's show are Jungle Music, specializing in rare and exotic palms and cycads, and Papaya Tree Nursery, which will feature exotic spice plants, including caper bush, coffee bush, curry leaf and allspice.

More exotics can be found at the Exotics booth, specializing in tropical and carnivorous plants. Look for an unusual red Venus flytrap.

Orchids, bromeliads, ferns and palms will be available at several booths.

If your tastes run more to geraniums, Katie's Scented and Other Greens will offer 36 varieties of Angel geraniums, including pansy-faced, species geraniums and hard-to-find flower forms such as star and rosebud.

What's a garden show without roses? The South Coast Rose Society will have a colorful, fragrant display of cut roses from members' gardens. Look for exhibition varieties, David Austen English roses and some varieties of the new Romantica series.

Irises will be in abundance at both the Greenwood Daylily and Iris booth and the Southern California Iris Society booth, where shoppers can find historic varieties and the modern space-agers with horns or flounces.

Colorful hanging baskets filled with annuals and perennials will be at several booths, including M&M Nursery, which also offers baskets planted with vegetables or strawberries.

Garden art will also be on display, such as whimsical birds sculpted by Richard McGregor from recycled implements like rakes, shovels and pliers, and solid copper bird feeders, candle holders, bud vases and plant hangers by Creative Copper.

Denman & Co. specializes in garden tools. Selections include stealth hoes with heads shaped like the famous Stealth bomber to catch and cut large weeds. Furrow hoes resemble small plows and make furrows 4 inches wide and deep.

Big Hands, plastic scoops with rake-like fingers, strap to hands and simplify picking up leaves, trimmings and other garden debris without scratches or punctures.

Regional gardens will also have exhibits. At the Rancho Los Alamitos display, shoppers can find handmade, hand-painted jewelry from Wales for sale. Also, look for posy-sized glass vases with ribbons for wearing a flower as a necklace.

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