Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Foliage Follow-Up

My first Foliage Follow-Up day, hosted by Pam Penick of Digging, follow up to Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Luckily I try to cram as much interesting foliage as I can in my garden. Here is a sampling:

Aeonium undulatum

Aeonium undulatum

Ageratum corymbosum (purple), Aptenia cordifolia and Dymondia margaretae (foreground), Helleborus x sternii and Geranium maderense (background). Yes, a few flowers snuck into this photo but just ignore them, they're green anyway so they hardly count.

Ageratum corymbosa

Vitis 'Concord Seedless' new growth.

Grape leaf

Tanacetum parthenium aureum (chartreuse), Graptoveria sp., and Euphorbia characias 'Dwarf'
in my parking strip.

Parking strip foliage

Dianella 'Cassa Blue' one of my favorite plants right now. Using it in many client gardens. Tough, drought tolerant, can take sun or shade, everblue strappy foliage, blue flowers and blue berries and probably deer resistant to boot.

Dianella 'Cassa Blue'

And yesterday I ended with edible flowers so today I end with edible foliage - Mustard 'Ruby Streaks', a new favorite of mine. The foliage is great in the garden and tasty too!

Mustard 'Ruby Streaks'

Monday, February 15, 2010

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Just came across the Garden Bloogers Bloom Day posts happening today over at May Dreams Gardens and thought I'd join in.

Agapetes serpens, like little rubies hanging from the branch.

Agapetes serpens

Ribes sanguineum glutinosum, the hummingbirds are ecstatic.

Ribes sanguineum glutinosum

Aloe plicatilis peeping out.

Aloe plicatilis

Euphorbia characias 'Dwarf', enlivening my parking strip so well in spring. Common enough, but it is one of the most asked about plants in my garden.

euphorbia unfurling

Helleborus x sternii, a subtle but pretty Hellebore. And tough as nails.

Helleborus x sternii

Helleborus orientalis hybrids, mostly from seed selected by Wayne Roderick.

Helleborus orientalis

Lewisia 'Yellow Form', my faithful Lewisia, blooming its head off all spring. It's been happy for years in a crevice of a rock wall.

Lewisia 'Yellow Form'

Broccoli 'Pac Man', can't forget those edible flowers!

broccoli flower

Happy to be participating in my first Bloom Day. Looking forward to the next one!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!

I hope you and yours have a wonderful day full of flowers, birds and the bees!

Happy Valentines!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Trails to Explore

During a break in the rain last weekend we headed out to a new park we hadn't been to before. The Sunol Wilderness was a great hike. We followed a creek up to some pretty waterfalls and got to see lots of interesting things along the way.

rainy day

On our way to the park we took a charming back road with lots of old barns. Some obviously closer to urbanity, some more remote.

Urban barn:

And less urban:


Passed a huge flock of wild turkeys. There must have been at least 40-50. I got out to get a closer look at this group. After they gobbled at me a few times I tried gobbling at them. I was totally tickled that everytime I gobbled, they would gobble back at me.

turkey lurkies

Some great trees there. The first hill we passed was spotted with grey Pinus sabiniana. Lovely, ghostly trees.

ghost trees

Later we passed a group of lichen covered Buckeyes I think, (Aesculus californica.)


The creek was running very well, although judging from the debris in the trees, it had been much higher. The top of the debris was about neck high. Would've been fun to have seen the creek back then.


high water

There were interesting clumps of grass growing in and around the creek. I have no idea what kind of grass they are though. Carex of some sort maybe?


Some really great stones randomly scattered among the more typical ones.

creek rock

creek rock

Love this random blue rock:

blue rock

Here is the beginning of a series of nice waterfalls. Or "cascades" as the ranger that day corrected us. This one has another of those odd blue rocks well placed near the falls.


A few other nice plants out and about that day:

Dichelostemma capitatum
Dichelostemma capitatum

Beautiful, white Platanus racemosa
Platanus racemosa

And on the way home I noticed an old tree gobbling up an ancient
No Trespassing sign. Going, going, gone.

tree, eating sign

Monday, February 1, 2010

Spikes and Spines

Claire and I stopped by The Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek the other day to collect some seed we had run out of at Annie's. Brain Kimble, the director, is always so kind and generous to give us material from the plants in the garden. We were collecting seed from Rhagodia spinescens, a very pretty silver shrub from Australia. The seeds are bright red and look like little alien eyeballs.

collecting seed
rhagodia seed

The winter protection was still on many of the Aloes in the garden. The boxes and tents add a comical architectural element to the look of the place.

aloe protection

And as always, I enjoyed photographing the wonderful wacky succulents in this extensive collection. The textures of the cacti and succulents are lovely layered upon one another and the details of these plants are what I enjoy the most. Fine hairs, robust spines, strange shapes, all are so fun to photograph.

The spiraling of Euphorbia flanaganii, Medusa Head Euphorbia, is quite nice.

medusa euphorbia

A soon-to-be gigantic Agave flower. I love them when they start shooting up. They look like asparagus spears for the Jolly Green Giant.

agave flower

Miscellaneous spines and prickles:

fuzz towers

bed head


And Claire noticed that the Glottiphyllum longum seed was germinating right in its intricate pods. I love Glottiphyllum longum, it looks as if it should be growing in the ocean with fish darting between the leaves.

glottiphyllum foliage

glottiphyllum germinating

It is always an enjoyable trip out to The Ruth Bancroft Garden. Always something new to see!