potted plants on the move

The summer containers in nondrought-stricken gardens can become quite a virtuoso display. I’ve understandably pared things down the past few years but am always amazed at how even a relatively small group of pots can exclaim “Summer!”

All the pots scattered through the garden become candidates for a massed summer display. I appreciate how […]

the indomitable Lotusland

Following the blue glass slag-lined path on a recent visit to Lotusland in Montecito, Calif.

We came upon the startling sight of a greenhouse in the jungle. Not startling in the expected, operatically flamboyant Lotusland sense, but because it was relatively humble, almost modestly functional.

The docent made […]

Monday clippings 6/22/15

It’s almost the end of the month, a good time to unpack some random June impressions.

Dustin’s potted Aloe ‘Johnson’s Hybrid,’ the mother of my little one I mentioned recently. See how spectacular? Blooms nearly year-round, and Dustin says it’s much better than the similar ‘Grassy Lassie’ and especially fine for container culture.


Seaside Gardens, Carpinteria, Calif.

By now it’s fairly obvious that visiting plant nurseries and gardens are two of my favorite pursuits. The ultimate in garden touring is possible when occasionally, though all too rarely, both pursuits can be accomplished at one location. The list of West Coast nurseries with attached gardens include the fabled Western Hills and Heronswood, […]

Bloom Day June 2015

I documented the extent of the back garden earlier in the month. It’s pretty clear it’s a battle for inches here. Relatively cool, overcast June means I’m still shifting plants around and planting some new stuff too.

I’ve been playing around with the idea of a small patch of dry summer meadow […]

terraced Spanish Colonial Revival house & garden

For those of you who enjoy gawking at houses and their gardens as much as I do, here’s a look at the house that belongs with this post from September 2014. I don’t think I looked up much from the ground level in that 2014 post.

I do have a tendency to […]

traditional with a twist

Here’s another house nearby that warrants a second look and always brings a smile.

It’s the traditional front lawn setup with a bit of a twist. All the supporting plants are exclusively dry garden plants, some rare like the cycads.

Every plant in the landscape is a “specimen,” like the dasylirion, […]

Pepper Tree courtyard

Spotted locally around dusk, a front-house courtyard with Pepper Tree (Schinus molle), stone paving “grouted” with Dymondia margaretae.

Planting includes euphorbias, agaves, phormiums (or dianella) a small Cercis ‘Forest Pansy,’ and purple irises in bloom near the side gate. There may possibly be bauhinias as well (pink flowers at roof height).


more on the east fence

I might as well continue with the east fence, the dark blue/black of which can be seen in the distance looking under the pergola. The pots shown yesterday are on the brick patio to the left of the cypresses, and the fence continues on to the right, hidden behind the cypresses. I need […]

the east fence

In case I’ve left the impression my only collection of pots resides on that little table under the pergola, there are more. Lots more. This group of pots lines the east fence. Morning shade, afternoon sun.

The topmost plant in the iron stand is a ponytail palm, Beaucarnia recurvata, entangled in […]