Limonium peregrinum

The shrubby statice, also goes by Limonium roseum, from South Africa. I just uncovered its true identity this morning using a Google Image search.

The one and only time I’ve seen it offered at a nursery, I bought it, and that was long, long ago. This is the first year it’s flowered. It […]

The Rhythm of the Heat

The cannas are finally head-high, but it’s taken them a while in this very cool summer on the coast in Southern California.

California is breaking records for cool temps, while record-breaking mostly everywhere else has been going in the other direction, up the thermometer.

But the Xanthosoma ‘Lime Zinger’ and Colocasia ‘Diamond […]

Up On A Pedestal

Which is where I place plants, figuratively and literally, as in this plinth of glass blocks for a frosty astelia.

If something is laying around here long enough, it will eventually be recruited to combine with plants in some form or another. Kind of an adult form of playing with building blocks. And if […]

Bivouaced with Pacific Horticulture

The July/August/September 2010, Volume 71, Number 3

Up front I have to admit I’m not a current subscriber to this venerable West Coast horticulture journal. At some point in the last 20 years, I realized my copies were piling up unread, that perhaps they were a little taxonomic-intense for the harried existence and hummingbird attention […]

Descanso’s Camellias are Short-Timers

From 7/27/10 New York Times on how public gardens are scrambling to keep visitors interested:

“Because of environmental concerns, Descanso Gardens, near Los Angeles, is doing the once-unthinkable: it plans to uproot its historic — but nonnative — collection of camellias, some as tall as 30 feet, which were planted decades ago under the shade […]

This Plant Stinks

Plectranthus neochilus, a very nice plant, similar to the Cuban oregano, Plectranthus amboinicus. but this plectranthus really stinks. I’m hoping it can fill nepeta’s shoes, a plant impossible to grow with cats roaming the garden. Something tough and textural, not too big. So far, so good; everyone is avoiding this plant like the plague. […]

School Gardens

The April 2010 issue of The Atlantic, which I grabbed for haircut reading yesterday, published letters to the editor (“Grading the Gardens”) in response to their January/February article by Caitlin Flanagan entitled ‘Cultivating Failure.” Readers of Gardenrant might remember the dust-up this piece incited on January 22, 2010.

Briefly, Flanagan argued a causal link […]

July in the Front Garden

The Spanish poppies, P. ruprifagrum, are still blooming, but if I pull out the wayward stalks with their seed capsules leaning every which way, I can manage to get some photos of the other plants that live here. This narrow garden is just two planting beds flanking the main walkway to the front door (you […]


You’d think selecting plants based on leaves, flowers, bark, and berries would be more than enough criteria to consider, but occasionally the quest for plants takes in other, less tangible considerations, at least for me, and certain plants can edge out others in desirability for reasons other than their good looks.

Take samphire. Isn’t that […]

Weather Report

A couple days of over 90-degree heat woke the tropicals up.

Tibouchina heteromalla

But we’re back to overcast skies and drizzle, lovely for late July.

In the Tom Waits-inspired, emotional weather report category, we’ve been frantic about a baby mockingbird, who either jumped or fell out of his nest this morning. Evie […]