Wednesday, June 25, 2014

New Love

Well, just when you think you'll never fall in love again... bang it hits you.  Yesterday I had a little time to kill so I went to Roger's Gardens as I was right in the area. Not having much time I asked my friend and horticulturist Suzanne Hetrick if there was anything new that I needed.  Suzanne took me directly to a beautiful new flowering sage.  Named Salvia 'Love and Wishes',  it's basically a darker version of another favorite of mine, Salvia 'Wendy's Wish'.  S. 'Love and Wishes' is decidedly plumy while S. 'Wendy's Wish' is more of a pink-magenta.  Both are excellent hybrids as they have beautiful dark stems, colorful calix, and velvety flowers. Not to mention that they bloom all year and in my experience can do full sun to part shade with little direct light and still perform.  And as with all of the bigger salvias they are hummingbird magnets. I bought one plant, but of course now I wish I had taken 4 or 5.  I must be patient!


Salvia 'Love and Wishes'

Monday, March 3, 2014


Ok,  I've been getting some well deserved grief about not having posted about my nearly month long trip to Oaxaca City in southern Mexico.  I had wanted to post while I was away but I found using this blog from my phone was too difficult.  Having wanted to take a little sabbatical, I decided to head south and take an intensive Spanish language course.  While I was based in Oaxaca I had many adventures,  made many friends, ate loads of food and of course admired many lovely plants.

For this first post I'll share with you my favorite spot in the city, which is the church called Santo Domingo.  This spot like the Zocalo is a gathering place bustling with people but Santo Domingo has beautiful plantings all around and the far side of the compound is the home of the famous ethno-botnical garden.

Check back soon for more posts I promise.  ;)

Agave guingola

Big beaned tree


Monday, December 9, 2013


Interested in any of the lovelies above?  Come to the Long Beach Swap Meet this weekend! Specifically Sunday Dec. 15th.   Come hang out with me and my cohorts Denise of A Growing Obsession and Reuben of Rancho Reubidoux.  Come for handmade, local, vintage, and super cool stuff!!!

Reuben's large art work

Denise's photo of my concrete and her rope creations

Friday, October 11, 2013

Post apocalyptic gardening

Driving around on the west side I saw this beauty...  Evocative of a post apocalyptic dystopia, I thought this was a great example of extreme urban gardening.  It looks like they're mostly growing tomatoes and aloe vera, but the whole set up is kinda fun. I also thought the water bottles in the front were interesting, not sure if they are collecting rain water or something else. Maybe it's just watching too much "The Walking Dead", but I think I could get into this. This may be my future.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Constant Gardener

I'm very pleased to share Cindy McNatt's profile on me and my garden in last Saurday's OC Register! Most of the photos are from a year and half ago, but the article was just sweet as pie!

Playing rough: Blog inspiration turned mini obsession

So last week I read one of Denise's posts on A Growing Obsession about "a diamond in the rough".  She was reposting on a concrete diamond project. Well, I printed out the original template and kinda went nuts.  And to my critics I say isn't this better than most addictions?!!

Take a look at will most likely be the tip of a big iceberg.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Designing with Jonathan

In the afternoon on the day I was at Chanticleer Jonathan asked me if I wanted to have fun with some of the containers on the porch (I'm sure there is some official name for that part of the house).  He gets arrange and rearrange lots of lovely ferns and other shade denizens for really excellent effects. What a job!  It reminded me of the front porch at Great Dixter.

Jonathan thought I should create a new container planting to add to his scheme.  I chose a low bowl and added some odd terra-cotta sewer pipes, I'm not sure what they were, but they were fun.  Then I loaded them up with mossy lovelies and bromeliads and we carted it off.

As you might imagine two garden designers arranging  a space took a fair amount of give and take, I think the final product was very nice. And it was certainly fun to work with Jonathan in the garden.

I will take credit for putting that half round terra cotta pot at such an extreme angle 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Visiting Jonathan at Chanticleer

Chanticleer Garden in Wayne Pennsylvania must be one of the most unique, beautiful and well run gardens in the country. I'm very fortunate to be friends with Jonathan Wright who lives and works at the garden. I have also been fortunate to see the garden several times over the years and have seen the progression of plantings, furniture and art. This morning when the garden was closed I had a long stroll. Below is what I found.

Jonathan has an amazing eye,  I have these same incredible natural concretions at home but not perfectly arranged like this. 

Jonathan created what I would call hanging meadows

very unusual Dahlia 'Obsidian ', Jonathan's find

Dan Benarik's tower of some variegated Coprosma

Dan's tropical design is fantastic, subtle color play with Philodendrons

This year's Tea Cup Garden

Ginormous hibiscus

Zinnias in the veg garden

Loving this huddled family of Ilex 'Sky Pencil'

Erie stone faces a la Marcia Donohue

all weather furniture

Spectacular kale fields

Alocasia 'Sting Ray'

Jonathan's temporary meadow

Love Jonathan's color combos!

Jonathan again, lemony fun

This urn has been covered with this same ivy for many years... I recognize it from The American Hort Society's A-Z

Erithrina variegata?

Schaueria flavicoma (LOVE)

Angelica gigas

Aechmea blanchetiana

golden Tupidanthus

lumbering hulks of Picea abies 'Pendula'

playful acorns and oaks

coffin or dinning table

comfy ;)

Gingko espalier

bridge as art


not a plane crash but tree bridge, more bridge as art.  Love this though they were toning down the color of the "bark".  What a wonderful and ambitious project.  Only a place like Chanticleer can do things like this!