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Echeveria ‘Opal Moon’

I’ve been passing this echeveria around all over town (Gail, Kris), so it’s a good time to discuss what it is and what it isn’t.

It is not one of those tight, amazingly concentric echeverias like imbricata that draw you in as though the birth of a galaxy is unfolding before your very eyes. […]

this week in plants

My Portland friend Loree at Danger Garden collects impressions of favorite plants at the end of the month, so I put together a contribution of what’s catching my eye this week.

I’m enjoying how the Verbascum bombyciferum echoes the rosette shapes of surrounding agaves, but a softer, feltier echo against the stiff, silvery-blue […]

Salvia ‘Love & Wishes’ (a salvia revue)

Yes, another salvia post. (You’re looking at a person for whom the ’90s publication of Betsy Clebsch’s master work A Book of Salvias, was a life-altering event.) The two new salvias in my garden are so far living up to their reputation for sturdiness and early bloom, the ‘Amistad’ I mentioned recently and this one, […]

Monday clippings 3/23/15

March is certainly a fast-moving month, isn’t it? Some incidents from the garden:

Protected under the pergola, the ‘Stained Glass’ octopus agave came through an early March hailstorm without a mark. Agaves tucked against the house, under the eaves, like Agave gypsophila ‘Ivory Curls,’ also escaped the dreaded hail pockmarks. The furcraea in […]

driveby gardens; sundown on the Miracle Mile

I worked in the “Miracle Mile” stretch of Wilshire Boulevard on Thursday, approximately the 5600 block. In the surrounding neighborhoods, the houses had gardens that looked promising and full of interest, so during a 20-minute lunch I dashed out to have a look. There have been discrete garden design phases in Southern California, and this […]

CSSA 2015 Biennial Convention, June 14-19, 2015

agave at South Coast Botanic Garden, a former open pit mine for diatomite extraction, then landfill, now botanic garden

I should probably split this glut of information into several posts, but if I don’t sit down right now and do it, the churning river of obligations that is my life at the moment will […]

a Shirley Watts’ garden

Monday features two long-time friends (and family) of AGO. Oldest son Mitch took these photos of a Shirley Watts-designed garden a few years back and kindly agreed to let me share them here.

The garden had a lot of formal, established features and furniture to incorporate into the new design, but nonetheless, to those who […]

streetside; rainy day house & gardens

alluding to Joni Mitchell’s Rainy Night House I recently read that Taylor Swift wanted the part in a movie on Mitchell. I see Swift’s photo all over the Internet, but it wasn’t until Sunday that I finally heard one of her songs on the car radio. Yes, I do live in a pop culture-free bubble, […]

san francisco door project

“Ah! There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” — Emma, Jane Austen

I can be a bit of a homebody and go days without leaving the house. The best thing about some days is coming home to the sight of our old, slightly beat-up oak door. The solidity and comfort of […]