it’s oh so quiet

The house has emptied out, and I can’t help thinking how oh so quiet it’s become after the holidays. Yes, I do have a tendency to privately editorialize on circumstances using song titles. (I thought Bjork wrote the song, but I see now it’s a cover from 1951 by American singer Betty Hutton, written by […]

Wallaby, the Nursery Dog

When I last visited Austalian Native Plants Nursery this past June, I had the good fortune of meeting this little one:

Jo O’Connell, the owner of ANPN, is devoted to the Blue Heeler breed, which originated out of her homeland Australia. I’ve only encountered this breed twice, coincidentally both times at plant nurseries, and […]

Occasional Daily Weather Report; winter solstice

Happy Winter Solstice! Apparently, the place to be this shortest day of the year is Stonehenge. Here’s the personal, always emotional weather report: After a drizzly Saturday, a soft rain started falling again yesterday afternoon. All of which is the kind of gentle preparation the parched soil needs to absorb the predicted torrents of […]

I wish I had a river I could skate away on (reprise december 2013)

This post from 2013 holds remarkably true for for this holiday, except yesterday at the flea market it was chilly enough for an extra sweater. And I did start a couple batches of cookies about 4 a.m. this morning:: Digging out from under piles of work, with holiday prep woefully inadequate to date, I’ve been […]

Origanum ‘Rotkugel’ (or ‘Herrenhausen’)

I’ve often described this plant, what I’ve erroneously believed to be a calamint, as “oregano-esque.”

chilly morning today

Checking out High Country Gardens’ current sale offerings, I’m now fairly certain that I can drop the “esque.” This plant was shipped to me as Calamintha nepeta ‘Gottlieb Friedkund,’ but judging by HCG’s photo, its […]

streetside succulent garden

Some lucky neighborhoods have stimulating examples to study of successful front gardens made without a blade of lawn. This example is in my hometown, Long Beach, Calif, coastal zone 10, western exposure, December 2015, drought-stricken, irrigation restrictions imposed since last spring. The garden looks to be of a mature enough age where offsets of original […]

Senecio tropaeolifolius

Every once in a while I find a familiar plant grown with such sympathy for the plant’s innate qualities and needs that it feels like I’m really seeing it for the first time.

Sunset Nursery, at Sunset Boulevard near Hillhurst, had this small pot of Senecio tropaeolifolius staged high on a large urn. […]

let’s get potted for the holidays

Doesn’t that sound like a great idea? Oh, right, there’s still shopping to do. Malls, catalogues…these holiday shopping options for me are usually a) nerve-wracking b) spirit crushing c) oftentimes both. I’ve been working up near Griffith Park, off Los Feliz Boulevard, which in my personal geography means a mandatory visit to Potted. In Los […]

commercial landscape

Some commercial and business office plantings are really stepping up their game. Here’s another example of good plantsmanship I’m seeing around town.

Nicely done, I think. Ribbons of succulents along stone walkways, arbutus, olives, furcraea embedded in blankets of westringia. Solid, workman-like plant choices, getting the job done. […]

nursery hopping in December

Pulling into a favorite nursery’s driveway yesterday, I could already see from the street it’s a madhouse. I’d completely forgotten the split personality most nurseries take on in December. The usually empty parking lot is not only full of cars, moving and parked, but also Christmas trees, shoppers, and children darting among the cars. I […]