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Photo courtesy of Annie's Annuals and Perennials

If your mom is a garden-lover and you're down to the wire to get a gift, Annie's Annuals and Perennials has got you covered. Their annual Mother's Day Soiree takes place this weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., complete with garden talks, music, and refreshments, and, of course, a fabulous selection of plants for sale. We promise you won't be able to leave empty handed.

The Richmond-based nursery is our go-to Bay Area source for unusual annuals, drought-tolerant perennials, and difficult-to-find varieties of edibles.

Photo courtesy of Annie's Annuals and Perennials

When we stopped by last week to pick up plants for the Sunset Test Garden, I was impressed to learn about a new system they have of cataloging which plants are drought-tolerant and qualify for the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) low-water rebates.

As you probably know, many counties are offering rebate programs for trading in water-hogging lawns and sprinkler systems for low-water landscapes with drip irrigation—some rewarding conversions with $2500/ family yard. But knowing which plants to pick up at a typical nursery that qualify as "low-water" can be fairly challenging. At Annie's Annuals and Perennials, they make it easy: look for the single water droplet designation for drought-tolerant plants in their plant cataloging system, plus keep an eye out for water smart plant tags on plants that qualifies for the EBMUD rebates. Some of our favorites to look for at Annie's include: Aeonium 'Sunburst', Aloe striataCeanothus 'Dark Star', and Hyssop 'Golden Jubilee'.

Featherheads photo courtesy of Annie's Annuals and Perennials

For this Mother's Day, I'll be hoping I can get my hands on a couple of what Annie's horticulturalist calls "the golden grail of plant-a-holics." The sign at the nursery reads: "If you're reading this sign and there are still plants left on the table, consider yourself chosen." The plant in question is the deliciously fluffy, low-water South African native, Phylica pubescens (aptly called "Featherheads"), and when it catches the late afternoon light it practically glows. And, trust me, if I am indeed one of the lucky ones able to take a few of them home to my parents this weekend, I'll have one happy mama.

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