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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 […]

Digital Nature at the Los Angeles County Arboretum 10/21 & 10/22/16

When: 6-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, October 21 and 22, 2016 Where: Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia. Tickets: $16 adults and $14 children 5-12. Information: 626-821-4623, www.arboretum.org. Read more here.

Digital Nature opened last night at the Los Angeles County Arboretum, an event designed to be […]

Senecio glastifolius

I posted this photo Mitch took back in April 2010 under the title “Unidentified Giant Composite.”

Garden designer Kelly Kilpatrick (Floradora Garden Design) helpfully provided its true name. Annie’s Annuals & Perennials has been an off-and-on source for this giant South African daisy rarely offered elsewhere in the trade.

San Francisco Botanical Garden discusses […]

Happy Val Day

Interesting, isn’t it, that one of America’s most notorious authors of books banned under then-existing obscenity laws had the middle name Valentine? All true. Henry Valentine Miller. “The publication of Miller’s Tropic of Cancer in the United States in 1961 by Grove Press led to a series of obscenity trials that tested American laws on […]

roll out the barrel(s)

I know spiky agaves in the garden make some people nervous, but lovers of architectural plants for the dry garden can get into a lot more trouble than an agave. The golden barrel cactus has recently gotten under my skin, figuratively speaking only, thank goodness. Echinocactus grusonii holds the dubious distinction of being one of […]

postscript to Natural Discourse; Flora & Fauna

It’s been such a pleasure to see what shape and expression each successive Natural Discourse has taken. Developed by Shirley Watts and Mary Anne Friel for the Berkeley Botanic Garden, a group of artists were invited to make site-specific work for the garden and then give talks about that work. (‘Natural Discourse: Artists, Architects, Scientists […]

Agave ovatifolia

Treasured for being on the short list of agaves hardy to zone 7, this imposing agave is no less desirable in warmer zones. My recently planted ‘Frosty Blue’ has a ways to go before it looks like this:

Photos of the Whale’s Tongue Agave in a private Central Coast garden by MB Maher.

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a Shirley Watts’ garden

Monday features two long-time friends (and family) of AGO. Oldest son Mitch took these photos of a Shirley Watts-designed garden a few years back and kindly agreed to let me share them here.

The garden had a lot of formal, established features and furniture to incorporate into the new design, but nonetheless, to those who […]

Saturday clippings 2/14/15

Valentine’s Day would seem to demand a quote on love, and this one by Rilke sums it up well:

Love consists of this: two solitudes that meet, protect and greet each other.

No, I didn’t grab a book off the shelf and flip to exactly the right page, but noncommittally typed in a […]

Venice Garden & Home Tour suspended for 2015

Last year I mixed up the dates and foolishly missed the Venice Garden & Home Tour. So tonight, tra la la, I’m diligently checking the date early to mark in bold letters on my brand-new 2015 desktop calendar…which is when I discover that the tour has been canceled. Indefinitely. “For the foreseeable future.” There goes […]