Showing posts from April, 2011

Coolness at the Getty

  The Getty Foundations' gift to Los Angeles opened in December of 1997. I was long-gone by then; LA is my hometown, and even now I feel comfortable negotiating the freeways that I learned to drive on.  I feel happy to grab an LA Times from a newstand,  I like being on the 'beach' (up here in NorCal it's the 'coast') and I still refer to I 405 as the 'San Diego Freeway', the 101 as the 'Ventura Freeway'.  But back to the Getty.  Two of my favorite things, architecture and gardens, wrapped up in the same package. And here's the deal- the gardens there provided not a single moment of plant discovery- in fact one could almost describe the palette used as mundane. This is where the designer steps in, seeing things that are out of view of the amateur, and combining them in ways that make them seem new, edgy and hip-far removed from the trite landscapes of suburbia.  

Old California..Mission San Miguel

Pulled off the road a bit south of Paso Robles, into the town of San Miguel. Not a prosperous place, dusty streets and a sad downtown,but the mission !  

The Dracaena Circle

 Toward the exit of a shady grotto of tree ferns , cane begonias , Bromiliads, squinting a bit and reaching for the sunglasses, pulling the hat brim down.Beyond the Eugenia topiaries and across the sunny path you see more shade, really deep shade. It's compelling, the shade across the sunny path, what's in there ?   Shades on, shades off. Camera settings adjusted. Hate flash , so I'll take my chances. Crazy branching. How did this photo even come out ? It was dark in there . Nothing grows here, except for these enormous Dracaenas; there are no tags  , so I assume Dracaena draco.    The view from outside the circle.  

BloomDay April-Here and There

This bloom day finds me with photos from a road trip south to zone 10 , along with a few hasty shots this morning  at home as I prepare to back-burner all the indoor chores and spend the day outside.  Our native Ceanothus is blooming all up and down the state. Fully loaded, this specimen was holding court for the bees at Seaside Gardens on the south coast. Blooming Aeonium  Why can't I grow these Alliums ? Both the above and below shots were taken  in the central garden at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.  Banksia ! The first roses to open at home , Reinne des Violettes , and Banksia lutea   Happy Bloom Day  to all ...

South Coast Places-Seaside Gardens

 Last spring I literally stumbled upon this nursery after a mindless yellow page search for garden centers in the Santa Barbara area. Plant shopping was the goal (and isn't it always ?) and a display garden was completely unexpected. This visit a year later had this wonderful nursery firmly on the agenda, and timed for better light conditions for photos. Really a 'destination nursery' if there ever was one, and only a few minutes off the hiway, You gotta go.

Spring Succulent Clean-up

 Soggy March is gone, frost is laying low and it was time to spend a weekend shaking out the cobwebs of winter. The pop-up greenhouse was emptied, plants were installed, weeds were pulled and Dahlia tubers were planted . Busy ! These are part of the take from the SF Garden Show last weekend. Admirable restraint was shown. I am particulary taken with Senecio crassissimus 'Lavender Steps'  on the right of this group. Security was breached in the greenhouse. Though the frost protection was admirable, it appears I provided winter browseing fodder  for the snails . This was a full-up pot of Kalanchoe in October. Vengance will be mine. Apparently they prefer only certain Echeverias.  Only a few bites out of the Aeoniums. Perhaps they were just an appetizer prior to the Kalanchoe-ian main course.