Warming Up

Edging into the high 80’s the next couple days here at the coast, about a mile from the Pacific, in the 90’s for the inland cities like Pasadena.
The castor bean plant and Salvia canariensis are reveling in the heat, leaving little ground uncovered.


Salvia canariensis should be in bloom in a couple weeks.


The annual quaking grass, Briza maxima, self-sown, ripening in the heat.


Grapevine already past the top of the pergola. Beans, squash, and kale in the silver circular containers (air vents).


Solanum marginatum, about 4X4 feet of undulating leaf.


Unlike me, dyckia welcomes the heat, sending up a half dozen bloom stalks, this photo a couple weeks’ old.
This garden has been thinned a bit since this photo was taken. Stipa gigantea leaning in on the left.


The leeks undulating even more wildly in the heat.


This spring I’ve craved pots of wispy, diaphanous annuals like linaria, anagallis.
This is Linaria ‘Licilia Peach’ with potted agaves and Senecio medley-woodii.



As a kid, I loathed summers in Los Angeles. It’s taken decades for me to warm up to the prospect each year.
Having a garden of my own is probably solely responsible for changing my mind. Plants like these make it…bearable.

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11 Responses to Warming Up

  1. laguna dirt says:

    all your plants look very happy! as usual, fabulous photos! a joy to see.

  2. For comparison when I’ve been asking after Castor Bean at the nurseries I get sort of a quizzical look and then they say “No, not yet, it’s still too cold!”…love your use of the mental vents. That would fit right in with mu stock tank vegetable garden. What do you use on the bottom, to contain the soil?

  3. Denise says:

    LD, when the plants are happy, I’m happy!
    Loree, the vents are sitting on the dry brick paving, bottomless, so to speak. An experiment I meant to blog about, but working out really well. I want at least four more. Cheap and easy!

  4. Denise says:

    Dustin, I think so too, a gift from Gimbel’s Extraordinary Plants.

  5. Ryan Miller says:

    great stuff! So many great textures in these plants, this could easily have been a “Foliage Follow Up” post. What kind of grape is that? Is it the light or is it just a tiny bit gray-green leaved?

  6. Denise says:

    Ryan, that is a lot of leaves! And your garden is probably bursting into flower. The grape is a dwarf purpurea variety, nonedible, though the birds like it.

  7. reuben says:

    Sheer spring gorgeousness, Denise … and I think I need one of those concrete pots with the button detail near the ductwork planters, where’d you get that?

  8. Denise says:

    Reuben, I got four of those concrete planters on sale for cheap — the nursery was getting rid of concrete containers! Probably because they’re so heavy. It’s a good nursery for pots and succulents called International, on Sepulveda and El Segundo by LAX. I’ve misplaced one of the matching pair of pots and cannot figure out where it went. Impossible to break, so maybe buried in the garden somewhere?

  9. Les says:

    Opposite feeling here, give me the heat as I can’t stand cold. Perhaps being born in July or growing up where the winters were cold and wet, but I prefer the summer. Now if I could garden in a winter climate such as yours, and grow some of these fabulous plants, perhaps I would sing a different tune.

  10. Pam/Digging says:

    I loathe summer’s heat too, but the plants I love (agaves, etc.) love it, so that does help. A pool helps too.

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