The upcoming winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year, but on the California coast we’re lucky to be able to garden year-round. Despite the pre-winter chill, my friend Kim has lots in bloom in her garden. She lives a few blocks from us near Dolores Park, and she’s an orchid nut like me! Her beautiful Maxillaria picta made a great display on the day we visited.

Maxillaria picta flowersMaxillaria picta flower

On the left, bromeliad flowers look like blue ribbons. In the middle, a little black bug tempts fate on the edge of a carnivorous pitcher plant. On the right, a tiny purple flower shows beauty on a miniature scale.

Bromeliad flowerPitcher PlantPurple flower

Hens-and-chicks sit among fallen ginkgo leaves, providing some autumn color on a San Francisco street. Back in our garden, the hot pink flowers of a Christmas cactus brighten up the short days. In the wild, Christmas cactus grow alongside orchids as air plants in tropical rainforests.

Succulents with fallen gingko leavesChristmas cactus flowers

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One Comment on “Solstice”

  1. Hanley Says:

    wonderful pictures! I love the yellow color of the gingko leaves.