Showing posts from February, 2012

The Arboretum at UC Santa Cruz.

The California University system provides me with 3 botanical  gardens all within reasonable driving distance. This year, I have had to postpone my annual spring road trip due to unexpected business commitments, so last weekend I took a 48 hour whirlwind tour to the central coast to visit  the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum. This is a great winter garden; the Proteas, Banksias and Grevillias are all in bloom, and their collections of these genera are impressive. Unfortunately, the tags were hard to find, and I was intent on photos. Wish I had some better ID info to share.    

Why Does My Spiral Aloe Look Like An Artichoke ?

 I wish I could say it folded up to fend off the cold, but alas it has looked this way for several months. Last weekend I repotted it into a tall skinny container , half soil, half pumice. On a positive note , it is not dead.

Bloom Day February 2012

 Here in my garden , February is the month when the promise of spring starts to reveal itself , all kinds of foliage pushing up and out, with the danger of frost still hovering. I find myself starting to peer intently at the marginal plants--did they make it ? Is that new growth ? It's been a dreadful winter for the succulents, and anything else on a zone cusp. Our lack of rain meant night after night of 30's, 20's and couple dips into the teens. My 'hardy to 26 degrees' plants that usually prevail are DOA. Still, we have flowers !  Clematis Armandii is always a reliable spring signpost.  The basic Euphorbia  c. wulfenii. The Hellebores Rosemary 'Tuscan Blue' Pieris --common but hey, they're flowers ! Camellias are everywhere here, despite the petal blight affliction that can ruin the flowers . I never water or feed them. I only have a few, and they are all white . The white ones always seem less Camellia-ish to me. Wave

Blooming Berkeley

 Most winter Saturdays here involve hunkering indoors and looking forlornly out windows at mud and standing water . None of that this year-yet. I motored down to Berkeley which was downright balmy and cloudless. At the University Botanic Garden you won't find lush highly designed perennial borders or beds of annual color. The rose garden is full of Chinas, Damasks, and Noisettes, with a killer view of the Golden Gate. Areas are divided by global region; with plants diligently labeled and naturalisticly arranged. Clearly a teaching garden, with a consistently interesting plant palette. Cussonia spicata Echium Awesome gigando twin Banksias. More Aloe action Agave vignette Oooh la-la, I love Restios.