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bromeliads for hanging planters? (yes!)

A lot of my bromeliads swing from on high now.

And it all started with an act of generosity back in January of 2014. A gift from Reuben, after our joint flea market venture. (It’d be fun to plan another flea market escapade for winter, or maybe a pop-up shop. But these are plans […]

Bloom Day January 2014

Scrounging around the garden for something to report this first Bloom Day of 2014 made me realize that although nothing big and splashy was catching my eye, there’s still plenty to give bees, hummingbirds, and other pollinators micro energy drinks throughout the day, especially the acacia and coronilla. But the star attraction for bees is […]

Coronilla valentina

Now that we all have a new phrase in our meteorology lexicon (“polar vortex”)*, it’s time to entertain our cold-blasted friends with talk of plants from warmer climes. Along with the unexpected germination of several triangle palm seeds (Dypsis decaryi), the coronilla also surprised me this year with more than a dozen seedlings. The mother […]

Bloom Day March 2013

If it weren’t for the few stems of Scilla peruviana in bloom I’d feel completely out of step this March Bloom Day, when so many participating gardens are sending forth crocus and iris and so many other traditional spring bulbs and blooms. We may have flowers every month of the year, as Carol’s Bloom Day […]

back in the garden

I’ve still got a big cosmic hangover from visiting the California Science Center last week. “Hubble 3-D” was at the IMAX theater. My brain was not built for IMAX movies, so what with the 3-D glasses and sitting too close because some in our party had stair issues, I thought I’d have to keep my […]

Bloom Day February 2013

I admit I’m a vulgarian, if there was any doubt left. By February I’m starved for brash and garish, even though it violates the subtle order of nature that has spring unfolding with a delicacy that builds by degrees to a late summer, over-the-top crescendo. I go straight to over-the-top, and containers of […]

under overcast skies at last

We’ve been watching an old Swedish detective show, Wallander, which is subtitled in English. I’m crazy for that soft, muted Swedish light, which I can only imagine is similar to what we’ve been getting the past few days, creating a pale backdrop for the tetrapanax’s lengthening candelabra of flower buds. Pearly, opalescent — all good […]

Bloom Day May 2012

Carol’s hosting of Bloom Day is one of the highlights of the month in garden blogdom. Yes, blooms can be had year-round, but instead of scratching around to find them as we do some months, May delivers them by the truckload. With the the South African aloe blooms almost finished and now the stirring of […]

Bloom Day March 2012

A dead car battery after work has me skidding and sliding to make the Bloom Day deadline. Some of the new plants I ordered for spring became candidates for March Bloom Day literally right out of the box. Like this Tibouchina granulosa ‘Gibraltar’ from Plant Delights. This photo was taken the day after it arrived […]

fertilizer and its discontents

My dainty coronilla reminds me of Cytisus battandieri a little bit, which is another member of the vast legume family. All legumes have the ability to convert and “fix” atmospheric nitrogen, making it available to plants as a natural fertilizer.

“Although it is the most abundant element in the atmosphere, nitrogen from the […]