Happy New Year

The buses run free of charge tonight, there’s street music and food downtown, so we’re going to bundle up, step out, and see what the city has to offer this New Year’s Eve.

Reflecting on my first year in “narcissistic journalism” leaves me uncharacteristically mute. All I can say is, these are truly interesting times. […]

Red Pig Tools

Under a spreading chestnut tree, the village smithy stands. The smith, a mighty man is he, with large and sinewy hands. And the muscles of his brawny arms are as strong as iron bands. The Village Blacksmith by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Got everything you wanted for Christmas? Possibly while thoughtfully holiday-shopping for gardening friends at […]

Under Oxalis

Sweeping up this morning’s clippings, the crimson reverse of Oxalis vulcanicola’s leaves released a startling infusion of color into the silver dustpan.

This frost-tender “Volcanic sorrel” retreats almost to its crown in the heat and relative dryness of summer, just as the garden expands and throws off the girdle of winter, then always renews […]

Season’s Greetings From AGO

I was sent these images by MB Maher, who seems quite taken with this jaunty robot.

But why the fish? Maybe it’s really Captain Nemo out on a scouting mission from the Nautilus, tangled in bioluminescent seaweed. (Jules Verne meets Forbidden Planet?)

Hoping your holidays are filled with whatever delights you the […]

Is It Too Late?

Too late to depose the poinsettia and install the leucadendron as the preferred bracts and leaves of Christmas? Please?

Poinsettia has had a great run. Time for some fresh sap. (A sap that’s not caustic.) If the polls are still open, I nominate Leucadendron salignum ‘Blush.” It’s got green-and-red covered. Zones 8 to 10.


Memories of Rain

I didn’t get around to re-watching Blade Runner for the zillionth time the other night, that gorgeous cinematic meditation on memory. (“All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.”)

But these record-breaking rainstorms are doing a fine job of churning up childhood memories of past winter storms.

Fountain from […]

Another Seattle Export?

The usual state of affairs, I’m told, is Southern Californian hordes invading the Pacific Northwest, or at least such was the case before the great real estate unraveling after 2008. This past week proves that Los Angeles can stay home and still embrace the misty charms of the PNW. Having become accustomed to the ubiquity […]

Wrapping Rainwater With A Bow

There’s not much of a system in place here yet to collect the annual average of 15 inches of rainfall that arrives fall/winter in Southern California. This light but steady drizzle over the past couple days has already brimmed one 33-gallon trash barrel, but the other trash cans are too beat up to hold water. […]

Snowmen and Poinsettia Trees

I bet my neighborhood is not unique in offering examples of a wide variety of garden styles. There is ample representation from the meticulous lawn-and-hedge contingent, a style that dovetails nicely into holiday decorating. Many argue that lawns, while not really ever put to much practical use by their owners, can be important for adding […]

Foliage Follow-Up December 2010

When asked only for a show of leaves, my zone 10 garden in December can give a much less angst-ridden performance than, for example, yesterday’s post, which was drawing solely on flower output. Today I realized I forgot to include some things in bloom, like anigozanthos, among others. That’s probably because, overall, drizzly, moisture-beaded leaves […]