Archive for the 'General Gardening' Category

Diversity As Natural Pesticide

Monday, November 13th, 2017

Scientists have published a study in Nature that explains why plant diversity discourages insect pests. Damaging insects love monocultures, large areas planted with a single crop, because they conveniently concentrate nutrients in one place. Diverse plantings have less of what they like, so bugs need to work harder in search of food. As a result, […]

Blooming in Our Garden

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Despite wind, fog, bugs, raccoons, and other gardening obstacles, our backyard in Pacifica is full of blooms for the start of summer. There’s lots of lush growth from our drought-busting winter. Even orchids that like a dry winter dormancy didn’t seem to mind the heavy rains, like the purple Zygo and white Dendrobium in the […]

Spring at the SF Botanical Garden

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

The San Francisco Botanical Garden is bursting with new growth after a rainy winter. Covering about 55 acres (22 hectares) of Golden Gate Park, the garden is always full of life. During a recent visit, there were lots of spring blooms, and everything from tree ferns to giant redwoods were sporting new greenery. Also known […]

Hawaii’s Native Species Face Uncertain Future

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Among the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai is the last refuge for many of the state’s endangered native flora and fauna. They face threats from invasive species, habitat loss, pollution, and climate change. With human help, however, some are recovering and rebounding. During our recent visit, it was a joy to see that many people on the […]

McBryde Garden

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

There’s much more to Kauai’s wondrous McBryde Garden than its orchids. Here are some more photos from our recent visit, starting with Dave’s incredible picture of two rare Hawaiian Moorhens looking for lunch in a stream. We were told that they are normally very shy birds, but these two didn’t seem to mind us snapping […]

Fall Color in Colorado

Friday, October 7th, 2016

Orchids may be our favorites, but natural beauty comes in many forms. That certainly includes the stunning fall colors of the Colorado Rockies. Dave and I recently visited Southwest Colorado, and enjoyed awe-inspiring mountains gilded in their autumn foliage. The bright yellow leaves belong to aspens. In the thin mountain air around 10,000 feet (3048 […]

Orchid Cactus

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Don’t be confused by the name — an Orchid Cactus isn’t an orchid, but it does have amazing flowers. Orchid Cacti are tropical succulents with big, vivid blooms that earn an orchid comparison. Also known as epiphyllums, epicacti, or just epis, there are many varieties in a range of brilliant colors, including yellows, pinks, reds, […]

The Longest Days

Monday, June 20th, 2016

The summer solstice brings the longest days and shortest nights of the year. Humans, like plants, love that extra sunshine. To help celebrate today’s solstice, here are more photos from Dave’s recent visit to the Montreal Botanical Garden. I’ve already devoted two posts to the garden, and there’s still more to see. No orchids in […]

National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Bonsai is the art of growing small trees in containers. Each potted tree is carefully shaped and pruned to evoke an idyllic natural scene. There’s no better place to marvel at them than the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum at the US National Arboretum in Washington DC. I was able to enjoy this spectacular little […]

A Very Tropical Solstice

Monday, December 21st, 2015

With the severe drought in California, I can’t complain about today’s chilly solstice rain in the SF Bay Area. However, I can find warm, tropical inspiration in these photos from our summer trip to London. No orchids this time — instead these feature the Waterlily House at Kew Gardens. It’s tough to take a bad […]