Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Desert Garden at Balboa Park

The Desert Garden at Balboa Park is separated from the rest of the park by a busy street. To get there you cross over the boulevard on a footbridge, which provides a nice overview of the park as you approach.

According to their website: "The Desert Garden contains more than 1,300 plants, including succulents and drought-resistant plants from around the world, within its 2.5 acres." I tried to find out how old the garden is but the best I could do was a brief mention on a sunglass website that said the garden came into being in the 1970's.

I did locate a rather odd map that highlights various plants in the garden and gives you an aerial view, see it for yourself here.

That's the footbridge we were walking over at the beginning of this visit.

And I believe this is Euphorbia ingens, the only other place I've seen a crazy contorted form like this is at Lotusland.

We first visited the garden in the evening, as the sun was getting lower and lower in the sky. The light eventually faded and we left, vowing to return the next morning.

I wonder if Dustin was slapped with a fine?


The Agave attenuata seem to be favored targets, perhaps because they don't defend themselves well?

Agave colorata perhaps?

(close-up photo taken as later as the light got worse)

A small, blooming, aloe Dichotoma.

That bench provided a nice spot to sit and take it all in.

What a nice way to honor a loved one.

This is where the photos from our morning visit start.

It was such a thrill to visit Southern California when the aloes were in bloom.

Perhaps an Aloe bainesii, on the left?

I think that may be a Furcraea macdougallii, in the bend.

Idria columnaris, the boojum tree

Dracaena draco, the dragon tree (and my 6ft-2inch husband, for scale)

Agave pups on a stalk!

Agave vilmoriniana

And finally another, much larger Aloe dichotoma.

It's a wonderful garden, don't you agree?

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Monday, March 30, 2015

In a vase, on the last Monday in March

So there was pruning. The end of last week was sunny and warm and amazing, I pruned, evidently that’s what I do now since it seems to be all that I talk about.

Waste not want not.

I didn’t intend to end up with the mindset of someone who lived through The Great Depression but at times I realize that’s exactly who I am. I do believe in occasionally buying cut flowers (crazy wasteful? No, not really, cuz they make me SO HAPPY). I also see the value in every stem I cut from my garden, prune something? Don’t toss it in the bin, put it in a vase!

I pruned on the Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Harmony’, then cut a few out of control clematis branches (attempting to rule over the bamboo). Looking at those stems I decided it was time to cut a few of the Magnolia laevifolia branches that were too low and laying on the ground. I'd been waiting until those soft brown buds were about to burst before I dared to do so.

It's a mash-up.

As it turns out clematis make great cut stems, they went briefly limp but are fine now.

I'm counting on those flower buds to open.

This was a fun exercise, but I'm not sure the "mash up" look is one I really enjoy.

A single type of cut stem in vase is much easier to appreciate, for example here are a couple extra Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Harmony’ branches on their own.

And I had to share this. There was another random branch on my Fatsia japonica that was calling out to be pruned. I finally did it, but (you know) I couldn't just toss it in the bin. Into the vase it went!

As is the custom I am joining up with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. She started this vase-centered Monday blogging meme. One I enjoy but have rarely participated in.

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Friday, March 27, 2015

My favorite plants in the garden, for March 2015

I don't believe I've ever featured Rheum palmatum as a favorite plant, but it is. And this just might be my favorite stage...

Dark purple leaves emerging from a papery lifeless "stump"...

Felty wrinkled fists...

With furry pink undersides.

As I photographed the rheum I became distracted by the Fatsia japonica's new growth.

Then I noticed the bright yellow-green spring foliage on the Ponciris trifoliata.

Then I realized there are a few blooms! We might see fruit this year!

You know where this post is going right? How can I be expected to write about a favorite or two when the entire garden is springing to life? So let's just say I've got a lot of favorites this month, deal?

Remember the echium rescue last August? Sadly the ones I planted in the ground didn't survive winter (21F is just touch too cold). Out of the original haul of 16 there are 6 that made it. They were in planted up in nursery pots and sunk into the soil in one of the stock-tank planters in the drive way. When the coldest temperatures were predicted I lifted them and brought them indoors.

They were planted out in the garden a couple weeks ago. Will they bloom this year, or will they provide those big silver/green rosettes I love so? Only time will tell.

The plastic looking foliage of Podophyllum 'Red Panda' continues to expand.

The Podophyllum pleianthum are catching up quickly.

The are one of the "funnest" plants to watch emerge.

The very funnest has got to be the Syneilesis aconitifolia, I know I just shared an image of these last week but they're bigger and there's more of them!

The best pleated foliage in the garden belongs to the Veratrum Californicum.

The Podophyllum peltatum is spreading like mad. That's not a bad thing, yet.

I forgot how green the new foliage on Melianthus major 'Antonow's Blue' is.

Ditto for the new foliage of Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Atropurpureum'...

It's more of a yellow with hints of brown for the Mahonia eurybracteata 'Soft Caress'.

Hosta 'Samual Blue' emerge with purple tips.

I'm glad to see the Geranium phaeum 'Samobor' coming back so healthy. Last summers heat and dry conditions kind of did a number on it.

New foliage on Leptospermum lanigerum.

And the blooms are opening on the Magnolia laevifolia!

I love the new growth on Eriobotrya japonica, both it's light green color and upright stance.

Especially exciting this year is that it's up over the fence, yay! (the metal containers are upside down to keep the rain out).

The hunk of Persicaria runcinata 'Purple Majesty' that Scott shared with me last year has really taken off!

And what a happy accident that I planted it near the Rhododendron 'Ebony Pearl', they flatter each other don't you think?

This one has me very happy! Acanthus syriacus, a purchase from Joy Creek during the GB Fling, I thought summers heat had killed it before it had a chance to take hold.

I can't remember if this is Pittosporum illiciodes 'Fine Green' or Pittosporum illicioides 'Strappy', whichever it's going to bloom!

Daphniphyllum macropodum v. humile

Daphniphyllum himalaense ssp macropodum 'Variegated'

And we'll end here, with the Macleaya cordata. I planted a couple near the fence last summer, looks like it's already spreading. That little bit in the lower left corner is new. I should probably warn my neighbor that she might see some on her side soon! As always with the monthly favorites wrap-up please share links (below in the comments) to any posts you've done on plants you're appreciating in your garden this month. Or if you're not a blogger just tell us about them!

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.