Pelargonium tomentosum ‘Chocolate Mint’

Temps dropped into the high 30’s last night, not enough to damage tender pelargoniums, but cold enough to need a blanket for the couch (Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent in the queue. If only Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant had the lead instead of Joel McCrae, the movie would be first rate rather than just interesting. George […]

Weird Plants

It lives!

Emergence of the aroid Pinellia tripartita, or ‘Dragon Tails.’ New shoots emerge almost a crime-tape yellow, maturing to a lurid yellow-green. The aroids seem to have weird covered, having in common, whether small or gigantic, jack-in-the-pulpit flowers. Amorphophallus, etc.

I was given this plant by the owner of a small nursery […]

Blue Intentions

In small gardens, a few feet of ground mean everything. This is not whining, merely observation. (Gardens, unfortunately, never respond to whining, but only to cold, clear-eyed observation.) I had some blue intentions for spring for the main garden border in back, which were necessarily whittled down to a couple 4-inch pots of the alkanet […]

The Occasional Daily Photo

MB Maher’s 4X5 portrait of musician Frank Fairfield (banjo, fiddle, guitar), who has another album coming out this year.

(Debuting a fluid, non-binding category of miscellaneous images.)

Polygonum aubertii ‘Aureum’

The Silver Lace Vine. Or, as this one is called, the Golden Silver Lace Vine. The new growth in spring bears colors more often seen with Japanese maples.

Shrimp-pink stems, lemony-tart leaves. Tangy. (Guess I’m still hung over from Sunday brunch.) Also goes by Fallopia baldschuanica.

For a few years this polygonum has […]

Tulip Porn

Tulip ‘Brown Sugar’

It would push me over the edge to have to write catalogue descriptions for tulips. A groundwork of deep apricot etched in grenadine feathering reaching just shy of the margins, emanating from a central upward brush stroke of cerise pink. Try doing that eight hours a day.


The Tree Collard

Just another brassica, right?

Let’s read the label, shall we?

(Plant label: “Tree Collards. Evergreen. 8-10′ tall. Old American heirloom. Very nutritious, high in protein. Excellent steamed or boiled. Full-part sun, water regularly.”)

No, that was not a typo. That’s 8 to 10 feet, with anecdotal reports of 20-year-old plants reaching heights of […]

Agave ‘Cornelius’

When I got home last night, Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element was streaming from Netflix. (Sidebar: TV is amazingly complicated these days.)

First thing this morning, I was of course snapping photos of the Agave ‘Cornelius.’ Or “Corneeleyoos,” as Mila Jovovich croons the name throughout the movie, swaddled in ribbons of cloth designed by […]

Foliage Follow-Up February 2011

This Salvia canariensis var. candissima from Annie’s Annuals is furrier than the species and has been incredibly difficult to photograph. Ever since I read a recent trashy news story on how beauties like Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe shaved their faces of any peach fuzz for the camera (Huffington Post here), that photographic challenge now […]

Bloom Day February 2011

What was I thinking, sleeping in on Bloom Day?

Getting straight to the point…

Grevillea ‘Superb’

Pelargonium echinatum



Salvia chiapensis

Ammi majus


The first flower of Salvia iodantha wagneriana in honor of Bloom Day. Thanks, Carol!