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this week on AGO

A new garden in Los Gatos, California, by Jarrod Baumann of Zeterre Landscape Architecture, re-explores formalism in the landscape and proposes that modern materials like steel do not necessarily equal chilly results. Not when forged with a plant lover’s sensibility.

More photos by MB Maher later this week.

seeing double

At Yamaguchi Bonsai Nursery in West Los Angeles yesterday, I was surprised to find double blooms on a couple of popular summer tropicals, abutilon and mandevilla, something to keep in mind for next summer’s containers. (Abutilon for shade, mandevilla for sun.)

Abutilon ‘Victorian Lady’

Perfect for those who enjoy grooming containers after a […]

Occasional Daily Weather Report 10/28/11

Days in the mid to high 70s (Fahrenheit to Celsius conversion), nights in the low to mid 50s. Finding just the right angle of morning sun and then holding absolutely still for maximum absorption is a morning’s work for Evie. My furry iguana.

And another little sun-loving beauty greeted me this morning, a pale […]

the uninvited

we are all on watch, just a little on edge here.

closer and closer to the gloaming, only the fiercest colors now pierce the gathering dark while shy creatures creep out of hiding, feeling emboldened to assert their elemental natures

This Monday we’ll be locking the gates, shutting off the porch lights, and […]

Chionanthus retusus

The Chinese Fringe Tree. A deciduous tree beloved by both gardener and birds for clouds of bloom in spring.

Followed by those indigo autumn berries. Now about 15 feet in height, at maturity reaching 20-25 feet.

True story: The fringe tree was dragged to its current spot in the back garden by […]

Lipstick Traces

Artful smudging. Irving Penn’s 1986 ad for Loreal.

Artless smudging. Kalanchoe luciae ‘Fantastic,’ Variegated Paddle Plant.

Gardeners’ World by Julian Barnes

Hearing the news this week that Julian Barnes won this year’s Man Booker prize for his novel The Sense of an Ending had me searching for my unread copy of Barnes’ Arthur & George buried somewhere in a disgracefully cluttered bookshelf amidst rhinos, rabbits and a snapshot of Madame Ganna Walska. Also brought to mind […]

Garden Party in Westwood, CA Oct 22 & 23

With speakers the likes of such SoCal horticultural heroes as Bart O’Brien from the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, which is hosting this inaugural event, Lili Singer, Emily Green, John Greenlee, all whose talks will be spread across both days, making it almost impossible to choose which day to attend…

“Rancho Santa Ana Botanic […]

Anatomy of a Pot of Tender Plants

There’s some great names in the plant world, and Cussonia is up there with some of my favorites. And for pure enjoyment, no history of the name is necessary, just an appreciation for vowels and syllables. Also lends itself to a good name for a cat (Pussonia?). And then there’s the visual enjoyment they provide.

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flowers for tori

A single nerine stem of congratulations for being the first woman artist whose new album simultaneously listed in the Top 10 of Billboard’s alternative, classical, and rock categories. A listen to the new Night of Hunters can be found at that link.

Because I find Tori Amos one of those nourishing artists, along […]