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isoplexis and digiplexis side by side

There’s no telling which of these, if either, will be around for photos next year, so now’s the time for a side-by-side color comparison. According to this article, it was Isoplexis canariensis that was crossed with Digitalis purpurea to give us Digiplexis ‘Illumination Flame.’ The photo on the right is of Isoplexis isabelliana, but the […]

this is my brain on spring

Spring is such a massive distraction, and that’s coming from just my own little garden, which apart from work* I rarely want to leave. For the first time in my adult life, I drove by a multiplex theater on Sunday and wasn’t familiar with a single movie title on the marquee. I can’t keep plant […]

waxflowers in bloom at Grand Park

The last time I worked at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse prompted this post on Grand Park*. Yesterday the waxflowers were in bloom, an Australian shrub that most likely passed completely unnoticed at my last visit. The waxflower, or chamelaucium, is a member of the myrtle family. Its tiny, needle-like, evergreen leaves are arguably […]

sweet peas and orlaya

Finally made it to the garden plot, where mountains of old chard running to seed were thrown on the compost pile, aged horse manure was dug in, and all was raked and watered. After two weeks of pure neglect, I was surprised to find any sweet peas to cut. Silver leaves are prunings […]

planting notes 2014

Every year brings a new crop of preoccupations in the garden, such as: Will the beschorneria choose this spring for their first bloom? How about the puya in the gravel garden? Feel like blooming this year? Some plants really do take their sweet time. Judging by my own temperament, I’d say garden makers have a […]

rhipsalis in the Bay Area

I was up in the Bay Area for two days, helping to launch a vegetable garden, which was just enough time to squeeze in a couple brief plant shopping forays at Flora Grubb Gardens and Annie’s Annuals & Perennials. At both nurseries I found rhipsalis, that filmy epiphytic cactus that was born to spill from […]

Bloom Day April 2014

A day late for the Bloom Day report, with the above photo of the back garden taken this overcast morning and most of the closeups taken the past couple days. It’s all shockingly rumpled and disheveled already, but I still love waking up to it every morning. I’ll use this photo as […]

Iris a l’Orange

With certain heavily hybridized plants that people have been tinkering with for centuries, like irises, dahlias, and tulips, for instance, you only have to say Let there be orange, click the keys or fill in the catalogue order with your pen, and then forget all about it until orange erupts like Vesuvius in the garden […]

favorites 4/10/14

Loree at Danger Garden shares her favorite plants in the garden every week, and spring is a good time to join in, when so much is fleeting and the turnover in favorites comes at a rapid pace. True, that’s not the case with Stipa gigantea, a clumping grass from Spain which will grace […]

green walls around town

The Smog Shoppe, a special event venue in Culver City owned by Woolly Pocket creator Miguel Nelson, famously deployed the pockets on its cinder-block facade in 2009, which has since been regularly reported on by local media and blogs. I’d previously only seen Woolly Pockets at garden shows, with always more pocket than plant visible, […]