streetside; rainy day house & gardens

(alluding to Joni Mitchell’s Rainy Night House) I recently read that Taylor Swift wanted the part in a movie on Mitchell. I see Swift’s photo all over the Internet, but it wasn’t until Sunday that I finally heard one of her songs on the car radio. Yes, I do live in a pop culture-free bubble, not always by choice. All I’m going to say is, thank god Mitchell refused. (Oh, the travesty!)

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Rainy day house’s front garden in Venice; dymondia, agaves, sticks on fire, with a hedge of Acacia iteaphylla on the chimney side

I just had one of those Sunday afternoons where an absurd number of destinations are optimistically crammed into a 4-hour window.  The forecast was, again, possible showers.

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The clouds did open at Big Daddy’s

The itinerary:

  • 1. Check out International Garden Center near LAX (done)
  • 2. On to Culver City and Big Daddy’s (I became lost for quite some time but eventually found that weird intersection near National)
  • 3. Cruise the streets of Mar Vista, which has an excellent garden tour coming up this spring.  (I got tired of driving aimlessly and gave up. I’ll have to wait for the tour map. See Dates to Remember for upcoming tour April 25.)
  • 4. Stop by Big Red Sun in Venice (too much traffic on Lincoln Blvd., gave up.)

And did I mention it was raining? Los Angeles drivers, whenever challenged by the smallest drops of moisture from the sky…oh, never mind.

International Nursery had a $30 protea in a one-gallon in bloom, simply labeled “Orange Protea.” Tempting. And not a bad price for the plant, seeing that 7 stems of proteas go for $100 as cutflowers

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Merwilla plumbea nee Scilla natalensis.  I always plant new stuff out within a couple days. I hate waking up to the rebuke of homeless plants in nursery gallons.

I eventually dropped the protea for this South African bulb, Scilla natalensis. San Marcos Growers says it’s rarely dormant. The leaves are wide, almost eucomis-like. My problem with Scilla peruviana has been placement that allows for its dormancy needs, which means having a big gap in summer.  The peruviana have ended up against the fence under the lemon cypress, not optimal conditions for a sun-loving bulb. It’ll be exciting to watch this one’s performance.

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International’s Annie’s Annuals section is by far the best I’ve seen at SoCal nurseries. I grabbed a couple Asphodeline luteas again, though I think I’ve established beyond doubt the asphodels will only curl up their toes for me. I can’t remember if I’ve tried spring planting before though. The asphodel is now rivaling dierama for number of kills in my garden. But memory is still fresh of Asphodeline lutea in Portland, Oregon last summer, photo above.

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Pots on spiral staircase at Big Daddy’s

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Though there’s plenty of the ornate, BD has a nice selection of unadorned but aged-looking planters.

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I’ll take all three of these metal tubs, please.

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Giving up on fighting traffic enroute to Big Red Sun, I drove through a couple streets in Venice.  Thundery skies and bright orange, thunbergia-covered walls.

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And fabulous streetside succulent gardens like this one.

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Big clump of the slipper plant, Pedilanthus macrocarpus

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The long parkway was dotted with multiples of the Mexican Blue Palm, Brahea armata

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I once came very close to painting my house these colors, an agave grey-blue and mossy green.

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Aloe marlothii

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The coral aloe, A. striata

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I may not have made it to every stop on the itinerary, but it was still a fine rainy day in LA.

This entry was posted in agaves, woody lilies, Bulbs, design, driveby gardens, garden ornament, pots and containers, succulents and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to streetside; rainy day house & gardens

  1. Kris P says:

    You got some great street shots. I didn’t know International sold Annie’s plants – I haven’t been there in years but now must pay a visit…

  2. So you bought all three of the metal containers, right?

    Great garden shots, if I ever move to California I’m going to have always leave an extra hour between stops because I will get so distracted by the plants and gardens.

  3. hoov says:

    Particularly fine garden there with the Braheas.

    I admire your braving the LA traffic on a rainy day!

  4. Denise says:

    @Kris, they always have a good selection and leucadendrons, water garden plants, grasses. Worth a look.
    @Loree, I didn’t even check the price this time — I know it hasn’t gone down!
    @Hoov, I think that’s the one palm I’d try to make room for.

  5. Sue says:

    I knew you’d have something luscious, colorful and alive to boost my spirits and I wasn’t disappointed.

  6. I think you did better than any of those places on your list, by visiting those landscapes. The first photo my favorite, but the ones in Venice amazing, too. People who care!

    Since I cannot get into most anything by Joni Mitchell, I can only imagine Taylor Swift, who I’ve avoided (so far).

  7. Pam/Digging says:

    Beautiful pictures, and beautiful rain!

  8. Heaven. So close (relatively speaking) and yet so far away.

    Coincidentally, a friendly soul from Southern California just sent me a cutting of Pedilanthus bracteatus. But even with that in my garden there’s no fooling anyone: The Sacramento Valley ain’t Venice, LOL.

  9. David Feix says:

    Doesn’t sound any better these days driving LA in the rain, Iremember my first time doing so, and was amazed to see 10 car pile-ups and burning gas tanker trucks just on one section of freeway. One gets spoiled here by having Annie’s but 15 minutes away, and being able to buy pottery with 30% discounts from AW Pottery in Oakland, the mothership of pottery. That one garden with all the succulents is amazing!

  10. Les says:

    I’m not sure you you get any errands run. If the streets were lined with gardens like these, I’d have to stop at each one.

  11. ks says:

    I’m biding my time til Asphodeline comes to my house. I look at photos over and over.

  12. Denise says:

    @Sue, those are the very words I’d use to describe your garden. Hang on, spring is almost here.
    @David, finding interesting stuff in Venice is like shooting fish in a barrel, but preferably traveling by bicycle, not car. Didn’t care for the Mitchell I linked?
    @Gerhard, I know you have the other slipper plant macro-somethingsomething. Mine has been fairly slow growing. This parkway’s clump was the biggest I’ve seen.
    @David, thanks for the tip on AW Pottery…next time I’m north. Here the go-to spot for pots is off the Harbor Fwy near 190th.
    @Les, my head does swivel when I drive, which makes Marty crazy…
    @Kathy, I bet they like Napa’s zone 8/9 better than my zone 10. I swear this is my last attempt.

  13. Amy says:

    I wouldn’t say living in a pop culture free bubble is necessarily bad, especially when it comes to music. You’re not missing much. People can’t drive here at the first drop of rain either. And is that someone’s house where that succulent garden is, that they’ve planted themselves? It’s gorgeous.

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