giving thanks for rain

a very polite and well-timed rain arrived after the Thanksgiving holiday, sometime after midnight. On Wednesday I brought in chairs that summered in the garden for holiday duty.

The new rain gutters gurgled musically as they efficiently carried rain away from the 100-year-old foundations, a happy ending to the month-long gutter ordeal. (Marty […]

where would Holly Golightly keep her tillandsias?

For the holidays, it’s okay to ditch the earnest glass orbs that imprison tillandsias the rest of the year and take a leaf from Holly Golightly’s decorating book, the one that epitomizes her insouciant glamour. The one each of us imagines Holly would have written. And of course in my book Holly writes about plants […]

the awkward age

My garden has lived through lots of them and will most likely continue to do so while I’m in charge. The latest awkward age involves a flowering agave and a young tree. Or maybe it will be a shrub. Neither the Acacia podalyrfolia nor myself can make up our minds yet. So far the Pearl […]

on the subject of the southern hemisphere…

Remember the old surfing movie The Endless Summer, where summer is chased around the globe? Well, I do. My older brothers took me to all the surfing movies. You can see where I’m going with this…it’s summer in Australia, and that’s a fact.

one of the grass trees of Australia, Xanthorrhoea australis, photo found […]

Bernard Trainor’s Landprints

Ages and ages ago (last July in fact) a bunch of us garden bloggers visited gardens in Northern California at last summer’s meetup known as the Fling. For the temperate Bay Area, it was an incredibly hot day, and we were all slightly wilted as we trooped into the Testa-Vought garden, designed by Bernard Trainor, […]

Bloom Day November 2013

By November my garden has turned into a curiosity shop of oddities and seedpods.

Like the racks of antler-like blooms on tetrapanax, seemingly more blooms than leaves this years after I clipped away some of the sunburnt foliage.

Limbing it up allows for maximum shovage of other plants. (I may have just […]

glass artist Amanda Dziedzic

As someone who has had the same Vilmorin Andrieux prints of oversized vegetables in the kitchen since we moved in 20 years ago, I’ve always admired artists who respect vegetables. The Design Files recently did one of their signature, long-form interviews on Australian glass artist Amanda Dziedzic that has all the breadth and detail required […]

November garden dispatches

We all have our favorite months in the garden. Our sentiments aside, the November garden continues sending out dispatches, oblivious to any seasonal bias.

dispatches from plectranthus


and cryptbergias

urgent communications from Echeveria gigantea

Candy-corn-colored Morse code from Mina lobata, Spanish flag

Smoky signals from Verbena […]

So Cal Hort’s “Coffee in the Nash Garden”

Potted dwarf pomegranate

Southern California Horticultural Society sent out a “Coffee in the Garden” invitation to its members for a late October visit to Donivee Nash’s garden in Arcadia, redesigned by Judy Horton in 2009. Participation in hort. society events in the past always seemed to founder on the anticipated sludge of freeway […]

AGO/non-secateur flea market pop-up shop 12/15/13

I’ve been checking out local flea markets to get a sense of how this whole thing works from a seller’s perspective, which is totally foreign to me. I still have stuff from flea markets I bought when I was in my teens but have never been a seller. All that will change on December 15, […]