Leaves, leaves, extravagantly shaped, juicy leaves. It’s all about the leaves with succulents. Or is it? There are a couple kalanchoes in bloom now I’ve been noticing around town, Kalanchoe luciae with striking vertical spires, and Kalanchoe orgyalis, with lime green candelabras hoisted over its copper spoon leaves. Subtle blooms? Maybe. But in flowering, these [...]
My garden has lived through lots of them and will most likely continue to do so while I’m in charge. The latest awkward age involves a flowering agave and a young tree. Or maybe it will be a shrub. Neither the Acacia podalyrfolia nor myself can make up our minds yet. So far the Pearl [...]
By November my garden has turned into a curiosity shop of oddities and seedpods.
Like the racks of antler-like blooms on tetrapanax, seemingly more blooms than leaves this years after I clipped away some of the sunburnt foliage.
Limbing it up allows for maximum shovage of other plants. (I may have just [...]
We all have our favorite months in the garden. Our sentiments aside, the November garden continues sending out dispatches, oblivious to any seasonal bias.
dispatches from plectranthus
urgent communications from Echeveria gigantea
Candy-corn-colored Morse code from Mina lobata, Spanish flag
Smoky signals from Verbena [...]
A few tropicals in pots can be a fine sendoff to summer. Here about a mile from the ocean, the big-leaved tropicals like colocasia, the “elephant ears,” bide their time until the temperatures start to really feel uncomfortable. By the time we’re whining about the heat in August, they’re in their element, coolly unfurling the [...]
I potted up some offsets from Agave desmettiana ‘Joe Hoak’ yesterday, and Pam’s focus on leaves the 16th of every month was all the occasion I needed to show off the proud agave mama and her pups. That Vanna White of cats, Evie, knows instinctively where the camera will be pointed. Rather than keep shoving [...]
I was in a wonderful garden the other night, but was caught flat-footed as far as having any photos to show for it. Although only 7:30ish, twilight doesn’t last long in this Los Angeles neighborhood but is quickly swallowed up by the hills that impart such a unique character to these Hollywood communities. Moody, atmospheric [...]
Or, more specifically, Agave filifera ssp. schidigera ‘Shira ito no Ohi’ (Queen of White Thread Century Plant). No one seems to know the origin of the variegated form of this wee agave with the big name, whose queenly title was bestowed by Tony Avent of Plant Delights. Another gorgeous agave for containers, I slipped mine [...]
I’ve brought a couple home under the name Yucca aloifolia ‘Purpurea,’ but I’ve recently been seeing it tagged as Yucca desmetiana ‘Blue Boy,’ as it was here at Cornerstone Sonoma, in the Transcendence garden designed by Delmar McComb and Peter Hanson. This yucca’s soft, recurved leaves are very unlike the typically stiff leaves of Yucca [...]
No, I haven’t done a recent tally. But, boy, do they ever count when the days heat up and stay hot. Nothing looks as composed under the sun as an agave.
Hard to say if their numbers are increasing, since I’ve been giving away the large americanas and seeking out smaller, slower-growing kinds. New [...]