Archive for the 'General Gardening' Category

Winter Is the New Summer

Tuesday, February 15th, 2022

Over a dozen years ago, I was at an orchid show here in California, talking with a Hawaiian grower. I remember him saying that his orchids hadn’t gone dormant properly that year because they had a “hot winter.” That paradoxical phrase stuck with me. It seemed like an omen of climate change. Now it’s 2022, […]

A Succulent Oasis at Ruth Bancroft Garden

Tuesday, February 8th, 2022

In Walnut Creek, California, Ruth Bancroft Garden is a succulent oasis. We recently enjoyed a visit, and were awed by the astounding array of cacti, succulents, and trees suited for arid climates. Many of the blooms are colorful architectural masterpieces. On top of that, the incredible geometry of the plants themselves is some of Mother […]

Coast Redwoods Tower Over the Forest

Thursday, December 9th, 2021

I doubt that any photo of ancient Coast Redwoods can convey how massive these giants are. When standing before them in person, it’s impossible to comprehend their height. Looking up their straight trunks, and then looking up some more, you finally see the tree canopy against the sky. It’s hard to avoid straining your neck. […]

Wildflowers by the Ocean at Mori Point

Friday, May 21st, 2021

Revel in spring blooms with these native wildflowers growing by the ocean near San Francisco. Mori Point is a 32 acre (13 hectare) park in Pacifica, California with stunning coastal views. It’s part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which encompasses much of Pacific coastline outside the Golden Gate. Dave and I recently took […]

California Lilac Season

Monday, April 19th, 2021

At this time of year, the Northern California coast is full of blue flowers. They’re not orchids, but they’re one of my favorites nonetheless. California Lilacs, or Ceanothus, are a North American genus, with many species native to California. They’re a staple of local gardens, currently blossoming in front yards, on hillsides, next to parking […]

Bromeliads Make Great Orchid Companion Plants

Thursday, November 12th, 2020

Bromeliads don’t have the fame and glamour of orchids, but they’re fascinating, beautiful, and easy to grow. Some have otherworldly flower spikes, with remarkable shapes reminiscent of exploding fireworks or fantastic creatures. Others have foliage with spectacular variegation that provides year-round color. Bromeliad flowers are often tiny and fleeting, but their stunningly colorful bracts can […]

Is That Rare Plant Illegal?

Monday, September 28th, 2020

In The Guardian, British botanist James Wong offers tips on figuring out if that rare plant you’re buying is illegal. Rare plants, including endangered orchids, are taken from the wild by unscrupulous sellers. It’s illegal, and contributes to extinctions. In addition, wild plants are unlikely to survive in cultivation. So how can responsible gardeners know […]

Fuchsia Flower Power

Friday, September 18th, 2020

Fuchsias have lots of flower power, and are perennial garden favorites for humans and hummingbirds. They feature charming blooms which dangle like bells in soft pastel colors, or bright reds, pinks, or purples. They’re great companion plants for orchids, too. Our fuchsias, shown in the first two photos above, grow happily in the sun alongside […]

Spending Time in the Garden Linked to Better Health and Wellbeing

Monday, June 1st, 2020

It’s well-established that gardening is good for our health, and a new British study augments the evidence. Researchers from the University of Exeter and the Royal Horticultural Society analyzed data from almost 8,000 people. The study found the benefits of gardening to health and wellbeing were similar to the difference in health between people living […]

Pacifica Gardens

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

As we continue to shelter in place and stay close to home, Dave and I have been taking walks around nearby neighborhoods, and enjoying great Pacifica gardens. Of course, we follow public health guidelines, keeping a safe distance, and wearing masks when we’re near other people, but these areas aren’t crowded, so it’s easy. While […]