So I Go Out To Buy A Hosta

…and come home with an astelia.

Astelia banksii.

Hostas intrigue me because, in Zone 10 gardening manuals, they can reliably be found under the entry “When Pigs Can Fly.” Yet there’s always a few for sale at nurseries in spring, usually some unhappy-looking, decrepit specimens, no doubt unhappy because they know they’re soon to […]

Photo Dump

Not an elegant title, bordering on the indelicate, but that’s about all I can manage on Wednesday, just some shots from the past few days.

Begonia ‘Bonfire’ and aeoniums. I was thrilled to carry this begonia over the winter, the pot turned on its side outdoors to keep it dry and dormant through the winter […]

Summer and Smoke

Starring Cotinus ‘Grace.’

Here glimpsed through a frame of chains (This Year’s Folly).

A confusion of smoke trees. The tropical Euphorbia cotinifolia is in the foreground, just now leafing out in June, a self-sown seedling from previous E. cotinifolias. Multi-stems give this very brittle, fast-growing tree strength to withstand strong winds, not […]

Dendromecon harfordii (David’s Catalina Tree Poppy)

Driving by, I slow down to shout at David, who’s laying a recycled concrete paver/DG (decomposed granite) path in the front yard. Don’t you love neighbors who drive by slowly and shout at you while you’re hard at work? I’ve been mystified by this shrub all year but was reluctant to knock on the door […]

Yucca Love

Laughter in the Distance

Not a title to a pulpy romance novel but a snippet of Hinkley’s hilarious prose from his infamous Heronswood nursery catalogues. (The nursery was opened in 1987, bought by Burpee in 2000 and closed by them in 2006.) The catalogues unfortunately haven’t survived office purges, but the context I remember for the quote is that […]