Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I need a P.O.W. fix

I need a nursery fix. My garden beds have some nagging gaps and one whole section of the yard (behind the pool) is just... yuck. I plan to hit P.O.W. this week, then other (pricier) nurseries. P.O.W has some really fun stuff and great bargains. All the plants I bought there last summer/fall (lavender, daylilies, penstemon, 'Moonbeam' coreopsis, a really pretty pink sedum, etc.) are looking great and blooming very nicely. Ok, so the lavender was mislabled and isn't compact, but I like it nonetheless. As long as it's English and relatively dark blue/purple, I'm happy. Nothing against the Spanish and French and their squatty little lavenders... kidding! And I'm 3/4 Irish, so it's not a solidarity thing. I just prefer lavandula of the English heritage. Can't we still all be brothers?

Yes, it's hot and I really shouldn't be planting in hot weather, but I just gots to fill in those gaps. Knowmsayin? In the yuck area behind the pool, I plan to add a mass of grasses... something arching and fountain-like and classy (like me). I'm thinking miscanthus or calamagrostis. Or if I see something fabulous at a nursery-- it doesn't have to be a grass-- I'll go for that. I don't like to plan ahead too much because I relish the thrill of finding something new and wonderful and unexpected when I'm out nursery hopping. Blueprints schmooprints, I say.

In a week, I'm escaping to beautiful Mendocino for a few days to celebrate the big 4-0. I won't be going alone. Two of my dearest friends who are "crossing over" at about the same time are coming with me... to Mendo and into old age. We'll kick back, enjoy the coastal views, wander the botanical gardens, check e-mail at the local internet cafe, eat decadent dinners, relax in the hot tub, toast to a few lovely local vintages... and complain to anyone who'll listen about our bursitis. Then we'll tell 'em again about it. Slowly. Isn't that what you're supposed to when you're our age? ;-)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Back from La La Land

Had a great time. Snapped a few pics on the drive (yes, the car was moving, and no, I was not driving), from the 17th floor of the Doubletree Hotel on Wilshire, and at the Hotel Bel Air for my cousin's graduation dinner and reception. That place is, well, wow.

Jacaranda trees were in bloom but it wasn't in the cards for me to snap a pic. Everything was moving too fast, literally and figuratively.

I plan to!

Haystacks are so cool!

I'd forgotten how bare these hills were. They're still interesting in their own way.

On a Starbucks pit stop, I spotted this dinosaur sculpture. There is a bird's nest in its mouth!

Good advice in general.

A view from the 17th floor of the Doubletree in Westwood.

Another view of a building across the street.

A view of the neighborhood abutting the hotels and apartments on Wilshire Blvd.

The Hotel Bel Air. Oh. My. God.

Care for a swim?

Would you care to sit down?

Contemporary sculpture fountains like this one are scattered around the hotel grounds. They provide an interesting contrast to the older, Mediterranean-style hotel and lush landscaping.

A pretty place to sit and chat.

Lush... lush... lush.

Expansive lawn out front. There was a wedding nearby.

The bougainvillea grows waaaaay up into the trees. Very pretty.

The walk to a guest entrance. You don't want to know how much a room costs.
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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Off to La La Land...

... for my cousin's graduation. Won't have time to check out any major public gardens (dang!), but will bring my digi cam to check out the overall green scene in L.A.

Back in a flash.

Plain Ol' Petunias

Yep, they're just plain ol' petunias but I love 'em.
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Salpiglossis 'Royale Mix'

This pic shows three different colors of salpiglossis, which I have growing in a pot. It's another one of my favorites. Germination rate in the greenhouse wasn't great, but I'm happy with even just these few plants. It definitely seems to do better in a nice, fluffy potting mix than in the ground in clayey soil. This one gets bright filtered light most of the day.
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Cerinthe major purpurescens

Cerinthe major purpurescens is blooming right now in the garden. I really love this plant. First spied and bought it in a 4" pot at Annie's Annuals, but now grow it from seed. Seems to tolerate full sun to dappled shade.
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Saturday, June 04, 2005

First Test Video!

Ok, here goes! This is just a little practice clip I grabbed off the camera where I'm telling my puppies (Oh, and did I mention I'm prone to high-pitched baby talk when I talk to my dogs?) how cute they are... over... and over... and over again... sheesh! But, hey, it's a step toward future educational or at least informational gardening-related videos!

Click image below to start the video.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Orchid cactus (Epiphyllum)

Grown from a cutting.
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Quick Gardenish Note

Happy June.

Been busy lately with family stuff... my little baby cousin is graduating from UCLA in a few weeks and we're making a family video before we all converge on the Hotel Bel Air like the Beverly Hillbillies we are. I volunteered to do the video editing for this little project because I wanted to give myself a crash course... but... turns out the slick new Sony DVD Handycam my aunt, the graduate's mother, bought isn't compatible with the video editing program I bought, Adobe Premiere Elements. What on earth does this have to do with gardening, you say? Nothing, except one of the reasons I'm forcing all this new information into my brain is so I'll be able to post gardening-related videos on the Garden Blog and

No videos yet, but let me just switch gears and say how pleased I am that my tomatoes are finally growing, well, except for one. My 'Celebrity' is still only 3 inches tall while all the rest are growing in leaps and bounds. I have no idea why. Ancient Indian burial ground?

I'm also soooooo excited because the Fairy Wand (Dierama) I brought back from the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens nursery is blooming!!! On top of that, an orchid cactus cutting a friend gave bloomed for the first time today. Specfriggintacular. As if that's not enough, my sapliglossis 'Royale Mix' (grown from seed thank you very much) bloomed for the first time today.

I'll post pics... someday soon, videos!!! Call your ISP now and order a faster internet connection so you'll be ready for video. C'mon, you know you wanna...