Studies in Tetrapanax

Blooms in the classic rosette or composite shape would seem to be selected by many humans as the ideal flower, but gardens throughout the seasons reveal a much more complicated diversity of inflorescence.

Though it may not cause one to reflexively reach for a vase and shears, in morning light the otherworldly tetrapanax […]

The Montezuma Cypress

Wandering a botanical garden such as the Huntington, one cannot but give thanks to rich industrialists for their interest in botany, whatever their sins. We can only hope the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, or George Soros will follow in their footsteps.

Thanks to Henry Huntington, I finally made the proper acquaintance of this […]

Glasshouse Dreams

With the cold snap on in the western U.S., and the heat temporarily off in our home pending repairs, the Saturday after Thanksgiving found us heading for the warmth of conservatories. Last night’s temp inside the house was 57 (Fahrenheit), so it’s not that cold, but it’s not that comfortable either.

When I stepped through […]

One Smooth Agave

Not just one but a regiment of smooth agaves, A. desmettiana in bloom, a dynamic but also hauntingly melancholy sight.

As we agavephiles know all too well, flowering heralds their death, the definition of monocarpic. I wonder if the Museum of Latin American Art knows that the jig is up on a large percentage […]

Veltheimia bracteata

Yes, Joseph, this one will be a slow grower, so settle in.

My system for summer-dormant bulbs is fairly lackadaisical, as in if I’m lucky I just might trip over the pot tucked in an out-of-the-way spot and notice the new green growth. Which is pretty much what happened in early September with this […]

Flea Market Sunday

Yesterday was the third Sunday of November. When we first moved into this 1919 California bungalow, the third Sunday was kept holy each month for a huge local flea market. But once we found all the necessary vintage hinges and drawer pulls and school house lights and had filled this tiny bungalow to the rafters […]

Pennisetum spathiolatum

This pennisetum, the Slender Veldt Grass from South Africa, has been on my mind for some time. The form of it has, at least. I didn’t know its name until last week.

I was hoping to find this form in Stipa gigantea, low grassy growth, tall, waving inflorescences, which has been planted in the […]

Got Cranberries?

We stumbled into this sight, an impromptu cranberry bog, at Rockefeller Center this past October.

Who on earth could be behind such a spectacle? Exquisitely appropriate seating for the occasion in the form of picnic tables and benches running down the center of the bog, and sturdy, sensible place settings. An army of attendants. […]

Award-Winning Los Gatos Project

Jarrod R. Baumann of Zeterre Landscape Architecture designed this Los Gatos residential landscape with Jim Everett of Evland LLC as his lead contractor. Earlier this week it was announced that for his work as lead contractor on this project, Mr. Everett has won the Stuart J. Sperber Sweepstakes Award for 2010. That means that the […]

Hail To The Thief

Sub rosa footage taken through the kitchen door window late in the evening two nights ago. We thought a possum might be responsible for what was becoming the nightly theft of cat food, and that was exciting enough to contemplate.

I’ll have to explain that living solidly in urban Los Angeles as we do, […]