Monday, January 17, 2022

Into the mountains, the San Gabriel Mountains

The San Gabriel Mountains are part of the Transverse Ranges that lie between the Los Angeles Basin and the Mojave Desert. I think of these mountains as the (sometimes) snowy peaks that lie beyond the Huntington Garden, the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (now the California Botanic Garden), and the Los Angeles County Arboretum

While planning our November trip to the Los Angeles area, Andrew hatched a plan to fish an area up in the mountains. I was thrilled to have the chance to venture up and see them close.
It turns out they're full of Yucca whipplei, aka Hesperoyucca whipplei, aka chaparral yucca, our Lord's candle, and Spanish bayonet

We drove for miles up, up, up on very curvy roads, I was in awe of the yuccas hugging the rocky sides of the cliffs.

There were small yuccas, huge yuccas, and bloomed-out dying yuccas.

The plan was I'd drop Andrew off, he'd fish for a few hours, and I'd backtrack down the mountains and visit the LA Arboretum. Then—at the appointed time—we would meet back up by the side of the road. Except he had no cell phone service, so if anything went wrong (broken leg, nefarious visitors) I'd have no way of knowing where he was, or how he was. I left him here, and hiked back to the car...

When the time came for my return trip I was worried (would he be there?), but still managed to stop to take a photo of the mountains and the reservoir on the way. 

I arrived, parked, and waited. I decided to get out and take a few more photos to pass the time.

Oh! Pay attention to the base of this tree...

It's grown and busted the rock, taking some of it along as it grew.

Thankfully Andrew walked up to the car as I turned after taking this shot. We both had a great day and were off to enjoy dinner and a glass of wine...

All material © 2009-2022 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Friday, January 14, 2022

January 2021, Bloomday

Well, I may not have many blooms, but at least I had sunshine for bloom hunting. While rain and dark skies have been in abundance the last few months here in Western Oregon, there have been a few sunny days scattered in. As always this time of year, my Bloomday post is less about actual flowers and more about the potential for future flowers (buds) and the result of past flowers (fruit).

Real flowers though, that's what is covering the Arctostaphylos x 'Austin Griffiths'. They are small but mighty when it comes to making the flying garden visitors happy.

As for the humans passing by on the sidewalk; Austin's dark bark and muscular structure makes them happy enough to pause and admire—maybe even stop to reach out and touch, and massage those limbs.

I know small white flowers will follow these scarlet buds on Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rainbow', but I kind of prefer this stage of their development.

It's the hummingbirds that alert me to the opening of the tiny florets on the Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Nanjing Gold'. I swear they actually pry them open with their tiny beaks. Only a couple have opened all the way, but they're visited frequently.

I've given up trying to track how many months in a row the rosemary has been blooming. It's just ALWAYS in bloom, not a bad thing.

The Euphorbia rigida is such a fun plant to photograph. I never tire of it's many stages of bloom activity.

Interestingly the Tetrapanax papyrifer buds have not gone completely limp, even with a few days of below freezing weather. I hold no hope that they'll actually bloom, but it's nice to see they still have structure.

The Mahonia x media 'Charity' is almost done with the blooming for this year. It's still being visited by the hummingbirds though as they enjoy every last bit of nectar.

There are many hellebores around the garden on the verge of flowering. In the front garden here is  'Onyx Odyssey'...

Walking around to the back garden, Helleborus x ballardiae Pink Frost is the most advanced hellebore I could find.

Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Akebono’ is always a little behind 'Nanjing Gold', but even these buds are getting fatter.

The buds on Magnolia laevifolia are still quite small, but they do catch the sun and shimmer.

As do the slightly copper-tinged undersides of the shrub's leaves.

Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae buds keep this nodding pose right up until the chartreuse bracts are ready to show themselves, usually sometime next month.

Fatsia japonica 'Murakumo Nishiki' has mostly crossed over to the fruiting side of things, as the blooms have all been worked over.

Ditto for this Schefflera delavayi, I must admit I was surprised to find fruit, I hadn't even noticed this one was blooming.

Mahonia x media 'Marvel'

Close-up of the blooms and small banana-ish fruit.

The tiny berries on Mahonia eurybracteata 'Soft Caress' are definitely being enjoyed by some creature—they're disappearing.

Stachyurus salicifolius inching closer to the big show, when those tiny buds open to reveal soft-yellow flowers.

And finally, from the basement garden, Aechmea recurvata 'Artichoke' is sending out some brightly colored blooms.

As always Garden Blogger's Bloomday is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens, thanks Carol for the continued inspiration to track the state of the blooms. I suppose this is also where I should confess I am posting a day early, Bloomday is the wait until tomorrow to click on that link above and see what blooms others are sharing!

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All material © 2009-2022 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

My visit to The Well and Porch—in Summerland

I had the entire final day of our November trip to SoCal free to soak up the sun and explore area gardens and nurseries. I had no specific plans other than to drive up the 101 towards Santa Barbara, final destination Terra Sol Garden Center in Goleta. As I neared the exotically named Summerland, something "planty" caught my eye and so I took the exit, wondering exactly what it was. I'll share that planty place in a later post, but today we're checking out The Well, which I passed while backtracking.

The Well was a treasure trove of fabulous planters, expertly planted. I just wandered and snapped photos. Not much editorial to this post, just enjoy the inspiration...


The feeling I got walking around the displays encapsulated everything I find so enticing about the SoCal lifestyle. That is living outdoors year-round. It was November after all and 90% of their inventory was outside. Color me very jealous. It was a very inspiring place to visit.

Just down the street from Well, I spotted Porch. I visited the Carpinteria, CA, location of Porch back in 2015, it was fun to follow them here.

I took this dreamy shot right outside their front door.

Sadly they don't have a large outdoor space at this location, just an upstairs balcony.

But this pot and plant combination I spotted there was pretty outstanding.

And the pot alone, for your viewing pleasure. It's pretty fabulous.

All material © 2009-2022 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.