Sunday, June 17, 2018

Opuntia Flowers 2018 (and one cheat!)

Sometime this spring, i realized i have a lot of opuntias. And while they have their downsides (ugh, glochids!) when they bloom, they are so pretty! Here are all the mature flowers I got this year, plus names, as best i know them...

opuntia microdasys 
very pretty but covered in glochids. teeny tiny ones that bury their way into your gloves...
opuntia ellisiana (pretty sure this is "burbank spineless" 
one of the first i planted, and producer of many tunas each fall!
opuntia basilaris var. brachyclada

 one of the prettiest flowers, i think , for all that it is pink!
opuntia engelmannii 
 I got this one years ago in a plant exchange with Loree from Danger Garden! Gorgeous flowers and fruit!
opuntia sulphurea
 This one has huge white spines - and a pretty peachy flower color my camera did a bad job capturing.
opuntia macrocentra
 This one makes a bazillion flowers, but no fruit. It also has the longest black-and-white spines that hold on to the Palo Verde flowers forever (ask me how i know!)
optunia littoralis var austrocalifornica
This one bloomed for the first time ever this year - and such a gorgeous orange! I wanted an orange flower for the longest time... now it just needs to bulk up!

I have one more opuntia that flowers each year, but i just missed getting a picture of it this year. Here is a shot from last year:
opuntia basilaris
Yes, it's really that pink, and no, the camera cannot capture how bright it is...

You might think that's enough, but somehow, i ended up with three new plants this year (because i shouldn't be allowed near a nursery, apparently). None of them have bloomed yet, but maybe next year we'll see:

  • Opuntia 'Orange Chiffon' (in the front garden bed, next to the yucca)
  • Opuntia 'Pina Colada' (currently in a container on the top of the hill)
  • Opuntia polyacantha erinacea (also in a container on the top of the hill)

There's also one mystery opuntia that's never bloomed (yet):
any ideas?
It came from a Berkeley University plant sale a long time ago - i'm hoping i can figure out what it is when it blooms.

Someone referred to opuntias as "lotus of the desert" - and i can totally see that! Now i just need a red one. This seems like a never ending collection!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Wednesday vignettes

I have to catch up on posts, but wasn't sure where to start... With the reminder from Allison to just share inspiration, here are some of the things from this weekend that made me very happy about where the garden is this year...
Orange for the first time!

The yellow and blue sky!

The pine trees are really growing now

So glad I didn't pull this "weed"!

... the Palo Verde still needs trimming, but it looks too good right now.

Even if it's mulching everything in yellow

Always a standout flower
I will have to get organized, if for no other reason than the heat is setting in, and soon blogging from the air conditioned inside will be much better than gardening outside.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Coincidences & Community Gardens

Since getting back from Austin, I've been spending a lot of time in my own garden, trying to capture some of the inspiration and magic that came from that awesome weekend. However, the weekend after Austin, i ended up in Downtown LA, and came across a great garden i wanted to share...

While wandering in DTLA, i came across Spring Street Community Garden - they are hard to miss with the blooming nasturtium outside:
very pretty! and they provide them to local restaurants, i learned later
 Antonio saw me taking pictures outside, and invited me in to talk about plants!
Spring Street Community Garden - and note the block wall planter in the bottom of the picture!
 They had the expected veggie beds - all of them beautiful and already lush.

There were also a lot of ornamental vignettes - like this living wall installation.
a lot of succulents and ornamental plants, all mixed with the edibles 
The ornamental bed at the end of the garden - look at the size of some of the plants!
They are growing papaya - successfully! They've also harvested a pineapple...

papaya in LA!
 And here's the coincidence, and link to Austin - they were growing Piper auritum (Hoja santa / rootbeer plant) - a much admired plant in Margie McClurg garden in Austin.
i didn't get a good picture - but it's just the right of this one...
 Antonio was gracious enough to give me some cuttings - more evidence that gardeners are the best!

Now, i have been very unsuccessful at cuttings in the past, but fingers crossed these will take... It was so fun to see this garden, and talk to Antonio. If i lived near a community garden like this, i'd join in a heartbeat!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Wednesday Vignettes - From the 2018 Austin Fling

I went to my first garden blogger Fling this year, in Austin, TX. There were so many gardens to see and great people to meet! I had a lot of fun! Here are just a few of the pictures I took, all from Day 3's gardens...
So many leaves in the shade

Agave ovatifolia was everywhere, usually with great impact

Lovely spot of light in a semi-shady garden

More leaves!

All the trees made for dramatic back drops

It was warm the third day - even the plants thought it was pool weather!
I learned so much, and got so much inspiration for my own garden, I can't wait to get back out there. I'm also looking forward to seeing everyone else's posts on these gardens! And a huge thank you to the planning team and sponsors for making this fling a great experience!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Huntington on my Wall?

Visiting the Huntington is always great, but this was the first time I've ever gone with a specific goal - landscape oriented pictures to hang on my wall. Let's see some of the options...

So many pretty views... Now I just need to figure out which ones I'd like to crop a little bit and hang on the wall.

These are all from my phone camera, btw. I've never gotten a fancy camera. I'm sure my pictures would be better if I did! Now I'm nervous about going to the Fling... 🙃

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Wordless (almost) Wednesday

Or is that almost-wordless? Here are the fiery colors of spring at the Gretty Museum. I'm told the paintings are nice too, but the gardens are better, I think...

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The garden holds it's breath...

Scary things are happening... Aloes almost crushed by ladders...
 Plants a bit trampled, or covered
I wanted to redo that bed anyway?
 Scraping the paint off the deck means blue flecks are everywhere...
 The front garden hasn't been spared...
Good thing the roses got pruned last week?
Better to do this in February, I suppose. Next weekend, recovery can start and planting can resume. The crew has been very careful, which is appreciated!