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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 […]

Wallaby, the Nursery Dog

When I last visited Austalian Native Plants Nursery this past June, I had the good fortune of meeting this little one:

Jo O’Connell, the owner of ANPN, is devoted to the Blue Heeler breed, which originated out of her homeland Australia. I’ve only encountered this breed twice, coincidentally both times at plant nurseries, and […]

bug report & EOMV

“None of the ants previously seen by man were more than an inch in length – most considerably under that size. But even the most minute of them have an instinct and talent for industry, social organization, and savagery that makes man look feeble by comparison.” — Them! (1954 movie on gigantic, killer, atomic-radiated ants) […]

All About Evie

All of my cats have been garden cats, but none more so than Evie. The usual drill for my cats has been lounge all day in the garden, then come into the house at night. Not Evie. She insisted on sleeping in the office (former garage), whose screenless window on the garden was always left […]

Bloom Day October 2014

Guest-hosted by Evie the Cat.

Not another Bloom Day…and you’ve got nuthin’

Wait, I got it! Why don’t you show them your nerines?*

Let’s see what else we’ve got…

Evie, those aren’t blooms!

I better take over. Bloom on the snaky succulent Senecio anteuphorbium

Oh, that was […]

pandemonium revisited

The New York Times has a very nice article today on Pandemonium Aviaries (“362 Birds, and Unruffled“), which MB Maher visited and photographed in 2012 Since that time, bird rescuer Michelle Raffin has written a book “The Birds of Pandemonium; Life Among the Exotic and the Endangered.” Also since that time, her marriage of many […]

Euphorbia ammak’s big impact

Despite its small and underwhelming size, I finally decided to plant this euphorbia in the ground, hoping it grows faster here than in its pot. Surprisingly, everybody seems quite impressed, including Evie, who wrapped herself around it like a snake Sunday morning.

She seems to be enjoying her status as the last […]

young grasshopper

Helping himself to a serving of Aeonium ‘Cyclops.’ I admit to being just ever so slightly phobic about grasshoppers. I have no idea why. No other insect rattles me like these. This one’s tawny color and freshly minted exoskeleton drew me in, and for a brief moment I forgot to be repulsed. Shedding one’s skin […]

cowboy corgi and the giant hesperaloe

The corgi got a bath, the hesperaloe got away.

Bathed and brushed and made to wear a silly bandana, which he bears with his usual dog grace. Just like cowboys, everybody gets a bath here for the weekend.

A recent temptation, spotted earlier in the week, the giant Hesperaloe, H. […]

Cinema Botanica Pick: More Than Honey

I’ve been enthusiastically recommending the documentary More Than Honey whenever the subject of what to watch comes up, and I’ve been getting a lot of “Oh, I noticed that in the queue” as the limp but polite response (streams on Netflix). My youngest son, who’s made a career out of deflecting my advice […]