Archive for the 'General Gardening' Category

Beautiful But Thorny at the Ruth Bancroft Garden

Sunday, July 8th, 2018

Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, California is packed with incredible cacti and succulents. As my mother-in-law said, “This garden just screams OUCH!” Spines, thorns, and barbs abound, along with stunning flowers, brilliant leaf colors, and striking plant forms. The 2.5 acre (1 hectare) public garden features thousands of drought tolerant plants, from tiny succulents […]

Now Blooming in Our Garden

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

When Dave and I moved to Pacifica a few years ago, our new home had a very sad front lawn, dead but for the weeds. Over time, we’ve put in a garden full of succulent plants and drought-tolerant natives. This spring, it’s full of life, with lots of colorful blooms, and a steady parade of […]

World’s Largest Glasshouse Reopens at Kew

Saturday, May 5th, 2018

The world’s largest glasshouse is open for business again!  Plant lovers can once again lose themselves in the newly refurbished Temperate Greenhouse at Kew Gardens in London. The 1863 building has been repaired many times, but this time it was thoroughly modernized. The Temperate Greenhouse dwarfs the nearby Palm House and Princess of Wales Conservatory. Thousands […]

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, […]