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a garden visit with bixbybotanicals

It all started with a very sweet and generous offer of some foliage for vases. Via bixbybotanicals Instagram, I learned that his Leucadendron ‘Wilson’s Wonder’ was in full winter dress, and he was willing to share some of the largesse with anyone in Long Beach. The South African conebushes are prized for their long vase […]

a succulent garden in February

On the way to picking up a family member’s weekly box at the CSA Growing Experience in North Long Beach last week, I took the opportunity to drive slowly through the surrounding neighborhood of mostly Spanish-style homes. It was drizzling again, still a charming novelty after years of drought. Because of that drought, there’s very […]

chasing agaves

Last Saturday, while millions marched their way into the history books, I was driving south to San Diego to meet agave expert Greg Starr. I had been looking forward to this 2-hour road trip for some time, as a beacon in an otherwise fairly bleak January. Family medical issues against the chaotic national backdrop […]

a holiday visit with Dustin Gimbel

Now that garden designer Dustin Gimbel has branched off into ceramics, I can buy a few holiday presents and visit his incredibly inspiring garden.

Coming in the little side gate, there’s this silvery vision of Acacia pendula, faced down by a mature leucospermum loaded with flower buds. A new planting of aloes catches […]

friday clippings 12/9/16

There. How’s that for proof of some holiday spirit stirring? You can keep the poinsettias. I’ll take my holiday colors in the form of Aeonium ‘Mardi Gras.’

And then there was that very festive plant swap meetup this past week with Gail & Kris that helped start the thawing of my holiday-averse […]

Bloom Day November 2016

Daylight Saving Time and the electoral college. I think we can agree that these are two areas worthy of further study. May Dreams Gardens collects Bloom Day reports the 15th of every month. My excuse for posting on the 16th? The DST ate my report. I don’t know how you all manage with these shortened […]

Unforgettable Fire! Natural Discourse 2016

I usually have at least a hazy impression of the origin lands of the plants in my garden. Drawing from the five mediterranean climate regions for low-rainfall plant inspiration and choices as well as arid and semi-arid regions keeps my garden well stocked and me endlessly entertained. Island plants will always fire […]

Occasional Daily Weather Report 9/20/16

We’re having a spell of clammy, sultry weather, the kind that will boost passionflowers another foot in growth seemingly overnight.

Passiflora hybrid ‘Flying V,’ was a gift from Max Parker, who blogs at Hook and Spur. ‘Flying V’ is a cross between two Jamaican passionflower vines, Passiflora penduliflora and P. perfoliata. Jamaica’s tropical marine […]

reprising a 2010 visit to the Ruth Bancroft Garden

(Ms. Bancroft is celebrating her 108th birthday this month — yes, that’s not a typo — and we’re all awaiting the upcoming launch later this fall of the book chronicling the making of her garden The Bold Dry Garden.)

If you have an Internet connection and a love of plants, you probably also have many […]

at the Inter-City CSSA Show August 2016

The funny thing about hard-core succulent shows is there’s often non-succulent treasures on the sales tables too.

On arrival, I made a quick circuit around the tables and immediately became fixated on these decidedly non-succulent leaves.

And the mottling on these stems. No name tag, no price.

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