Friday, March 5, 2021

If it’s a good plant, you’ll see it here—at the Cactus Club Resort Garden Show and Competition

As published in the Desert Times—June 10th, 1947, Palm Springs, CA

The gardening cognoscenti are turning out in droves to admire the new look of desert-style gardening. For as long as we can remember cactus and other plants from the desert have been viewed as undesirable—dry, spiny and just plain ugly. When it was announced the famous Cactus Club Resort would hold their first annual garden show and competition this month—coinciding with real estate offerings for the latest housing development to surround the resort—many thought the small garden displays would be dull and dreary. “Why would anyone pay to see those dead looking plants?” asked a local landscaper, whom it must be said has made his fortune by laying down miles upon miles of luxurious sod. But pay they have, people lined up by the dozens for an opportunity to gawk at the cactus and agaves. 

To assemble these “gardens” plants were brought in and “planted” in sand and gravel bordered with rocks—no irrigation whatsoever—yet the show spanned a 3-week-long SOLD-OUT run and the plants didn’t wilt or demonstrate even the slightest sign of dehydration. It looks like dry-gardening just might be the wave of the future…
Two landscape designers rumored to be working on Frank Sinatra’s new home that's being built in the 
"desert-modern" style eye a small garden chock full of spiky plants.

Of course this is all a fabrication, I'm having fun with tidbits from the old b&w photo and a desire to create a tall tale...

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Weather Diary, March 4: Hi 60, Low 38/ Precip trace 

All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

It was opening day at Joy Creek Nursery...

I saw the posts on Facebook, last weekend Joy Creek Nursery opened for another season of gardening fun, I made a mental note to visit soon. Then Andrew—husband with new wheels in the driveway, just itching to get out on the highway—said, let's go for a drive, where should we go? Hmmm, ya, I've got an idea...

He parked and I got out to walk the display garden. There were lots of hellebores.

Some flattened by the recent snow.

The Dasylirion wheeleri bloom from last summer was still standing tall.

I'm sure everyone who regularly visits this nursery has their favorite plants in the garden they head to first. The Agave neomexicana are mine, of course.

On the other side of the tall retaining wall grows a Euphorbia rigida, it was nice to be able to photograph it's bloom at nearly eye level, rather than sitting on the ground to take a photo as I do here in my own garden.

Moss and rhododendron buds, a good combination.

That Drimys winteri is arching over the pathway in a slightly concerning manner. 

Garrya elliptica bloom tassels winding down for the season.

It's always a bit odd to look out over a spot like this, one that is so lively in the summertime (classes and workshops happen here) and see it empty.

Of course the empty time is also when we can enjoy the spare bones of the place...

Nothing spare here, lots of evergreens to fill the frame.

Always on the lookout for wreath/vase material I almost gathered these fallen cryptomeria bits.

Looks like a project in the works?

And there were witch-hazels, of course...

I've finally made my way back around to the retail area, time to shop!

Chaenomeles 'Contorta', flowering quince.

Ipheion uniflorum, spring starflower.

One of the shady character table plantings, still a little dormant, but looking great.

I'll be scouring in the wild for a small bit of tree like this to plant in.

I was prepared to leave empty handed (yet with a mind full of excitement and inspiration), but then I spotted this group, Holboellia angustifolia var. angustifolia, a slightly different version of the sausage vine from what I currently have. I grabbed one of these!

And then took just a couple more photos of the display garden where it borders the parking lot...

Hardy bananas, Musa basjoo, cut down by winter, but ready to spring to it and become lush and lovely again by summer.

You guys.... it's here, another gardening season is on the way!!!!!!!!!!!!

Weather Diary, March 3: Hi 60, Low 33/ Precip 0 

All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Wednesday Vignette, R E S P E C T

The Pacific Bonsai Museum is located right next to the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way, WA. Unfortunately I didn't have time to walk through the bonsai museum during my February 2020 visit, but did snap this photo. I appreciated both the idea that you should RESPECT the RAKE, and the image of three rakes made to work in unison. It certainly makes the patterns in the rocks a little easier to create.

Weather Diary, March 2: Hi 55, Low 38/ Precip 0 

Wednesday Vignettes are hosted by Anna at Flutter & Hum. All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

A trio of whales and other interesting creatures

Here I am at yet another garden I was tipped off to by a friend. A friend who knows how happy it makes me to see other agave lovers doing their thing here in Portland...

I took these photos back on January 9th, and unfortunately some are quite blurry. Just pretend the wind is blowing the leaves on those Yucca rostrata.

Hey, look at those lovely creatures!

Although one did have a fin that looked little concerning (get it, fin... because after all Agave ovatifolia is the whale's tongue agave).

I would love to know how old these are, and what size they were when planted.

The same garden's hellstrip...

Agave bracteosa

And another...

Since the neighborhood looked like it had potential, I took a couple random turns before heading on my way, looking left and right, scanning for interesting plants. I was rewarded with this garden and it's gem of an agave. Hellstrip...

And corner of the garden "proper"...

Walking further up the sidewalk I discovered an interesting vignette (in the same garden)...

There was a lot to look at.

Walking back to my car now...

I feel like such an agave loser that I didn't have a firm idea what this is. I had a few guesses but sent a photo to my friend Bryon Jones at the PDZA to see what he thought. He had a couple ideas as well, but sent it on to Greg Starr to see what he thought. Greg says Agave havardiana—so there you have it!

It's certainly happy and healthy and pupping! But a little close to the sidewalk.

Nice work fellow Portland spiky-plant lovers!

Weather Diary, March 1: Hi 60, Low 39/ Precip 0 

All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.