Come Any Time

Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino (Pasadena), California. MB Maher and I visited on Saturday, May 28, 2011. As I wrote here, one of the reasons we visited on Saturday was to catch some puyas in bloom. But there’s always something more than you anticipated at the Huntington Botanical Gardens. Much more. Tons more.

Puya […]

A Memorable Day at the HBG

Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino (Pasadena), California.

With the Palo Verde in bloom among golden barrel cactus, I felt like I’d stumbled onto the gardens of the Lost City of Coronado.

Orange and gold. Forests of orange dyckias in bloom. Towering chartreuse plumes of Nolina interrata.

Reasons for making a […]

Walk the Walk

Long Beach Water Department is leading by example to gently ease citizens out of the mindset that wants to seed or unroll mowable turf grass as the default landscape. Who else is better positioned to educate the public on alternative landscapes for those expansive lawns that just won’t cut it anymore on Southern California’s average […]

Agave franzosinii

This photo was taken by MB Maher during a visit he made to artists Sue Dadd and James Griffith’s amazing Folly Bowl last summer.

Some agave, huh? I’m now fairly sure that this uber-undulating creature is Agave franzosinii, which develops this distinctive kinetic energy to its luminous, silvery leaves when mature. If there’s another agave […]

Occasional Daily Photo 5/25/11

In a few weeks, the leaf margins of this flapjacks kalanchoe have flared a deep red. Which composes quite a picture with Pelargonium ‘Splendide.’

Laurus nobilis ‘Aureus’

A potted bay tree is one of those timeless mediterranean garden features, like boxwood hedging, crunchy gravel underfoot, or urns planted with agaves.

Image found here.

Its leaves are useful for cooking just about anything that simmers. Laurus nobilis becomes a very large tree in zone 10, so keeping it contained also serves […]

Aerial Fizz

Thanks to the late plantsman and artist Kevin Nicolay for this phrase he coined to describe plants that possess elongated fireworks of some kind, whether seed capsule or flower. I think it originates from an interview with Kevin in Horticulture many years ago.

I suppose it’s possible to carry the idea too far, […]

Plant Sale Weekend

I was determined to get to the UC Irvine Arboretum plant sale this weekend, having had to miss the Huntington Botanical Garden’s big sale last weekend. But before I could browse UCI’s small sale, there were some minor roadblocks. (Just get me to a plant sale, please!) A faltering car had to be traded in […]

Occasional Daily Photo 5/21/11

Some new things in bloom I woke up to this morning.

Viscaria oculata from Annie’s Annuals. I grew this annual from seed many years ago. It’s amazing good fortune to have a nursery do all that work and offer up gems like these for sale, just a few plants if that’s all you need. I […]

The Reading Room

Decades before I first picked up a shelter/lifestyle magazine or a Restoration Hardware catalogue, Al Pacino taught me the art of luxurious multi-tasking while having a long soak in a tub.

Image found here.