K is for kniphofia

These get moved around the garden quite a bit, one of the reasons I can never keep track of their proper names. This may possibly be Kniphofia ‘Glow,’ but I wouldn’t swear to it. Currently, this remaining clump is deep in the back, near the compost pile, an out-of-the-way place for experiments, yes, but also […]

when plants aren’t what you expected

And I mean in the specific sense of mail-ordering one plant and then receiving a different one. With plants, impostors and mix-ups can be difficult to detect. It’s not like mail-ordering a rug, which when it arrives two weeks later it’s immediately apparent that it’s the wrong color or size. In the slow-paced world of […]

Occasional Daily Photo 5/27/13

Driving through California Heights for a recent garden tour, just before sunset I happened upon this house, seemingly fixed in amber during the rancho period of old California. This little house sits (as does ours) on the 300,000-acre tract that was granted by the Spanish crown to a Spanish soldier, Manuel Nieto, in 1790 as […]

friday flower studies

Is it Friday already?

Coreopsis tinctoria ‘Mahogany’

Large furry leaves of Plectranthus argentatus, spiky red orbs are Ricinus communis ‘New Zealand Purple, lacy gray leaves from Senecio viravira

Tiny, almost-black flowers on tall stems of Pelargonium sidoides

All together now, sing!

Let’s hope the most difficult decision to be made […]

pattern seekers

That’s one thing at least we all have in common. And a craving for pattern is thankfully one of the easiest (and possibly the healthiest) to satisfy.

Unknown objects found at flea market. The seller thought they may have been used in making chocolate.


plant hunting late May

I’ve been checking out local nurseries the past couple weeks, both independents and chains/franchises, which isn’t news since I do this quite a lot, but bringing a serious intent to change some of the garden late in May is news. I know a lot of gardens are just beginning to send out their personal shoppers […]

driveby gardens; more on the disappearing lawn

I got a very late start on the self-guided Lawn-to-Garden tour Saturday, thirty gardens from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., just because Friday was an unusually odd workday and I lingered and wallowed far too long in the glory of being home Saturday morning.

There might have been some extended Saturday morning puttering with […]

Bloom Day May 2013

It’s our blue period again, and not just ours. Jacaranda mimosifolia trees are painting the whole town blue. Spiky plants in the front garden will fly these pennants until July, when the blue period ends, and the trees in the parkway will be fully leafed out.

In the back garden, two-year-old clumps […]

unidentified fabulous grass/sedge (Chloris virgata)

I’ve gone through a couple online plant catalogues this morning and checked out the online index to John Greenlee’s Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses. Nada. Still no ID. I brought this grass home from Western Hills long ago, when Maggie Wych was running the Northern Californian nursery after the original owners bequeathed it to her. The […]

Ethan Hawke fondles switchgrass at the High Line

There’s an attention grabber. No, that’s not a recent tabloid headline and, yes, I am being facetious, but I find it amazing that the High Line (and switchgrass!) is casually slipped into a bit of puffery about the current goings-on of Ethan Hawke.

From the May 13, 2013, issue of The New Yorker: “Ethan […]