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sunday clippings 6/22/14

Future shock for me has arrived in the guise of an orange wristband.

“Congratulations! You moved 24,995 steps, 12.07 miles, 249% of goal!” Jawbone’s UP pedometer calculates all that aimless garden puttering and tallies up some surprising stats. My orange UP came as a side benefit to Father’s Day, when Marty was presented […]

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 […]

reprising a visit to the Huntington Desert Garden

The recent storm surprisingly coaxed a bloom from my 6-inch Euphorbia atropurpurea, whose acquaintance I first made at the Huntington in 2011. That visit prompted a frustrating summer of scouring plant sales and nurseries for this rare, ruddy-bracted Canary Islander, until Annie’s Annuals & Perennials put me out of my misery by offering it at […]

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 […]

this summer’s dahlias

I moved my one dahlia, the deep burgundy ‘Chat Noir,’ to my community garden plot this summer. Performance was…meh. By August the plant was finished. The soil at the CG still needs work if it’s to grow anything but zinnias and kale. Maybe next summer.

On the subject of next summer, a dahlia I’d be […]

anatomy of a late-summer road trip

Is there a tinge of desperation in the road trips of late summer? By the end of summer are we stuffing itineraries with an absurd number of places to see in the dwindling opportunities to experience daylight until 8 p.m.? Guilty here. I’ll give a recent example from just this last weekend. And for the […]

scenes from the garden 7/6/13

There’s an unspoken Upstairs/Downstairs, front garden/back garden dynamic at home, as I suspect there is with most hands-on gardens. Most of the front garden isn’t tinkered with much anymore, needs little attention, more of just keeping an eye on sizes. I rarely think to chronicle the front garden, and the dyckias bloomed this year without […]

Garden Bloggers Fling 2013; Matt Gil Sculpture Garden

Second garden on Friday, designed for a work/live fabrication studio and sculpture display space in a light industrial neighborhood of San Francisco. We are an avid bunch, craning necks, snapping cameras, firing off questions (my bad habit). I have to constantly check an impulse to blurt out a question and query myself first: How would […]

more poppy drama

Ferocious winds all day Monday left the poppies leaning, some struck down entirely by Tuesday morning. I was clipping off broken branches and thinning, trying to trim their sail should the winds return, when Marty walked through noting, “Hey, that poppy opened.” I looked up at a couple still standing upright, saw some new blooms […]

birthday plants

My birthday took up just about every single day last week, and more days on the weekend, which is how I rationalized a trip on Saturday to find that hitherto unknown-to-me, unmet, spectacular plant that would forever after be marked as my, gollum gollum, birthday present. (Because we wants it.) At our house we always […]