Poor Man’s Jewels

Aeoniums and Helichrysum petiolare, very common in these parts. Matte and fuzzy riffing off each other, spangled in morning dew.

I’ve always felt plants more than hold their own in the world of precious objects. Lucky for my family, there’s really nothing else I’d rather gaze upon. My wedding ring is a […]

The Trouble With Etsy

Yesterday morning, in the shower, I wondered if men were writing the code and starting up sites like Etsy, and if women were thereafter predominantly the ones selling their wares in this virtual bazaar. There’s no point to a lengthier prefatory explanation. One just never knows what ruminations a hot shower will bring about, though […]

Winter Storms

The long-awaited winter storms did arrive with a vengeance, drumming rain deep into the soil. Don’t you want a subterranean view of a cross section of the earth moistening sequentially into ever richer chocolate layers as the rain percolates down in fudgy rivulets — how far down, who can say? (It’s both limiting and freeing, […]

Cat on Pedestal

The pedestal being a stack of concrete that occasionally holds a pot or, as in this case, a cat named Newt, or is just left empty, a plinth crowded on four sides by the horticultural Darwinian struggle that is the front gravel garden.

The South African restio seemingly grazing Newt’s cheek behind the […]

Pelargonium echinatum

From Robin Parer’s Geraniaceae site comes possible confirmation as to the identity of my 3-year-old, winter-flowering, summer-dormant pelargonium, P. echinatum, whose winter performance in a 6-inch pot thrills me no end. Just as cold-climate gardeners haul their tender beauties out of mothballs every spring after danger of frost has passed, here in zone 10 the […]

Foliage Followup (and other digressions)

The answer to Bloom Day, the 15th of every month, is the Foliage Follow-up, the brainchild of Pam Pennick of the excellent blog Digging, whose garden has endured both record high temps in summer and now record low temps this winter — kinda why “climate change” is more apt a term than “global warming,” since […]

The Best Zwartzkop in the Neighborhood

lives at David and Crissy’s house a few doors down the street and is obligingly in bloom this 15th of January in honor of Bloom Day :

Nomenclature issues for Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ are discussed by San Marcos Growers . The dirty leaves in the San Marcos photo are usually how my dark aeoniums look, […]

Timing is Everything

in garden design. Really enjoyed the cyber garden summit on regionalism held last week, and found myself nodding along with comments by West Coast writers, such as the Germinatrix and Garden Porn, about being led down the primrose path by a good deal of the anglo-centric garden literature written in the last half of the […]

All My Agaves

My love affair with agaves runs deep and goes back decades. Now their sculpted beauty and Fibonacci flare are gaining widespread appreciation, surpassing their heretofore cult status, with gorgeous new hybrids popping up as prolifically as feather grass in gravel. Which is great news, if you ask me.

Now on to the burning question: Potted […]