Shirley Watts in “Curbed”

The Garden Bloggers Fling hostess for the 2013 meetup, garden designer Shirley Watts, got a nice writeup in the Bay Area’s Curbed today. Very gratifying to see a primarily real estate magazine throw some love at landscapes and gardens too. Both Shirley and photographer MB Maher, whose photos were used, have been long-time friends of […]

community garden 2/26/14

After sowing some borlotti beans late afternoon in anticipation of rain, I tracked down all the sweet peas in bloom in neighboring plots. The results of my sweet pea safari:

And I always stop to admire how Scarlet Flax has woven through some kale.

A reseeding annual, Linum grandiflorum […]

agaves love company

At least I think they do, because I’m forcing them to get along. It might be closer to the truth to admit that it’s me that loves the company of agaves.

Because if that’s love Mr. Ripple is showing the little powdery blue A. potatorum, it’s his own unique brand of tough […]

What to do with your lawn when there’s a drought

Just lose the lawn and don’t look back. And if and when rainfall in California ever gets back to normal levels, which isn’t much anyway, you just might realize you want your lawn back about as much as you want shag carpeting and avocado-colored appliances again.

That would be my own blunt advice, but […]


“The more successfully a city mingles everyday diversity of uses and users in its everyday streets, the more successfully, casually (and economically) its people thereby enliven and support well-located parks that can thus give back grace and delight to their neighborhoods instead of vacuity. ” ― Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American […]

back at the ranch

All day long this past work- and appointment-filled Wednesday I clung to the idea of fitting in a short visit to Rancho Los Alamitos. I’d heard there were some changes with the barns, and there was a new foal, all reasons enough to go. And in late February the noisette roses just might be in […]

Modernism Week in Palm Springs

It’s Modernism Week in Palm Springs, so what architectural gem did I visit? A Wexler steel house? Maybe a Neutra? Nope, but I did visit a cactarium, the world’s first.

The cactarium belongs to the Moorten Botanical Garden, a small, idiosyncratic, family-run botanical garden right off the main drag in Palm Springs. If […]

Bloom Day February 2014

I wonder if I’d get tired of a garden with nothing but chartreuse flowers for months on end. I suppose it’s possible.

Helleborus argutifolius. Tough and beautiful, doesn’t complain, doesn’t expect any special treatment. All stellar attributes. Incredibly promiscuous in the seeding-around department, but nobody’s perfect.

Euphorbia rigida is also full of […]

mon petit chou

Members of the cabbage family were especially alluring at my community garden yesterday. No wonder “my little cabbage” is a French expression of affection.

This dry, sunny winter seems to agree with them.

Such a good-looking family. Exquisite chartreuse florets of the Romanesco broccoli.

All photos taken […]

echeverias in a vase

Valentine’s Day quiz:

A small vase holds the short stem of a ruffly rosette that’s not a flower. What can it be? a) some kind of kale b) I don’t know, but whatever it is it’s monstrous and obscene c) an overgrown, long-necked echeveria

Not much of a quiz, because of course […]