March 16, 2023

March 13, 2023

Repotting Bay Topiary with Root Pruning

 The multi-tiered topiary in the middle of this photo is a Bay Leaf tree that I've been training for maybe 10 years now.  It is currently potted in a large Airpot which makes pruning its roots easy.  

February 12, 2023

American Southwest

Flying to Texas, a trip I know well.  The landscape is not always visible but both legs of this trip showed the colors of this part of our country.   There's a light layer of snow or frost that turns some of the rock silver or white and along with reds and blues, this contrast makes the geography more pronounced. 

January 21, 2023

Hardenbergia violacea 'White Out'

This Australian vine-like shrub loves our climate and regularly produces a huge abundance of flowers every January.   That's if you don't prune it too hard.   Only lightly shear to maintain shape.   This is my first time with this white cultivar and it will eventually, next two years or so, climb this arbor leading to the upper terrace of this garden. 

October 04, 2022

Salesforce Park Revisited (Transbay Terminal)


Just south of Market Street in San Francisco a five block long bus and rail station has a public park on the roof in the forest of skyscrapers.   A friend and I decided to ride our bikes downtown to wander around this park after work.  

July 27, 2022

Growing Milkweeds in SF for The Monarch Butterfly

Today many people are concerned about our butterfly populations and particularly the western Monarch.   Overwhelming use of herbicides has decimated the milkweed, the Monarch butterfly sole food source.  Once in the millions, now down in the thousands.  

I was asked to plant some milkweed in my Noe Valley garden to help support the Monarch butterfly.  I recalled reading that some species of milkweed are not appropriate to plant in our area.  So I had to do some research and here's what I found.  I was looking for milkweeds that grow here and are easily available from local nurseries.

Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Weed), two cultivars available at Digging Dog Nursery in Mendocino

Going by its common name, this plant likes moisture.  Something that is not readily available in our California climate.  Only for the very few moist areas in San Francisco.

July 15, 2022

English Gardens Tour with Mike & Frank - 2022

So here it is.  I've been queried about my trip to England for the past three weeks and what are my main take aways from the trip.  What did I learn and make me inspired to try something new?   One of the reasons I love these trips is the introduction to new ideas, styles and plants.  But the one thing that I really like about the English and is another reason I travel there.  They appreciate, as a nation and culture, their love of nature.  Where that intersects the individual Brits own garden space is wonderful to experience.  I love how they have made gardening an art form.  

The list below is our itinerary and a short description or thought about my visit.  Click on the titles or photo to see more photos of that location:

Chelsea flower Show - London

Five hours walking around Chelsea looking at show gardens, tools, products and lots of design ideas.   What stuck with me, those small planting areas with pollinator friendly annuals and perennials.  Here’s a couple of the more natural displays. 

Burgundy lysmachia and apricot geum was the most interesting color combination for me.

June 14, 2022


Paul, Alex, sabrina juniper, carob, wild rosemary, pine, short mountain laurels?, beach Salinas, San Miguel, large pine, red oleanders, topped italian cypress, beaches, road side food, sun bleached wood, Claudia, jacaranda, avocado, red clay, no cattle, goats or sheep, few chickens, vodka and lemon sorbet, 900 yo pine?, couple types of palms, throbbing disco music, bougainvillea, outdoor church, 

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