Saturday, February 29, 2020

Telling you about my houseplants...

A few weeks ago, Loree at Danger Garden asked people to tell about their houseplants, and showed hers! It took me a while, but here are all of mine. I have, as it turns out, a lot? I've always had a lot of houseplants... for a long time, i didn't have a garden, and indoor plants is how i gardened. Now, i have the garden, and a lot of indoor plants. So it's the best of both. If "best" means more plants, which of course it does.

Let's start near the patio door, and go clockwise around the house. I'll warn you - I'm not all that good at taking pictures indoors... But i think i got most of the plants!
this combination of cacti and a few vining plants live to the right of the patio door
I should also note that i'm not very good at watering - everything that survives inside has to learn to do with watering every 2 weeks or so.
a big monstera, a draceana i rescued from work, and a pathos vine
The kitchen is to the right of the area we were just in. There's actually an orchid in between that i missed taking a picture of... The kitchen may be getting remodeled soon, and plant needs will be considered!
more cacti. They jump in my cart in stores

artfully cropped out the dishes! These plants can see their big siblings outside all year 
3rd kitchen window - more cacti and a giant jade plant
That Jade plant is going to have to move... or i need more counter space. (notes for kitchen remodel...)

Now we're in the dining room. Some people have centerpieces. I have plants:
a non-blooming christmas cactus, an "ikea plant" and a pilea

more christmas cacti (they are different colors!) and some cuttings
Now we're in the living room. Before we go around, here's the view back to the stairs:
aloes and hoyas
The aloes stay there year round. The hoyas (circled in green) go outside in the summer, or as soon as the temperatures at night stay above 50 deg F. 

Continuing around the living room - there's a weird open spot near the front window. That's where the Christmas tree was. We're still trying to decide whether the furniture moves back, or if there's more room for plants. 
these three are to the left of the window. 
That large pot is a pathos vine. It's probably dead, but it keeps putting out one leaf... and i have a problem with giving up!

Next are these (and yes, those are my fling pots!)
although with some new plants in 2 cases

almost forgot these two - the ficus is mad because i moved it a few weeks ago.  
Not quite done yet! Looking back at the living room, there are two more groups of plants:
two zz plants here

and two rubber plants (one variegated, one not) here
Now we're on to the office. This room was sadly lacking in plants up to a few weeks ago. Then this baby showed up:
a monstera (either obliqua and/or adansonii)
It came from Lowes, with the pot! Which ever one it is, it was a steal, considering. 

Outside of the office is the TV room. It has more plants:
this sansevieria probably doesn't get enough light
another zz plant, and an sansevieria cylindrica
There is another s. cylindrica i didn't get a picture of, mostly because it's very sad. It's below these two:
a begonia? that really needs a new pot, and another M. adansonii
almost around:
another sansevieria, and a lamp (not a plant, sadly)
This next plant has a story - it was given to me by a neighbor years ago, when he and his girlfriend broke up, they were moving, and she didn't want it anymore. I don't know how old it is, but i've probably had it for 10 years? It's the source plant for all the other zz plants i have: 
zz plant. It needs to be rotated again so it grows evenly
Now there is one more area to look at! I thought i had already posted about this on the blog, but i guess not. A few years ago, we remodeled the master bathroom. One goal was to increase the amount of light in the room. The combination of lots of light and more humidity than the rest of the house means that (of course?) the bathroom is filled with plants! This is the far side of our walk in shower:
so many plants! It's like a spa
Some of the plants in that picture: a nepenthes (bottom right), another monstera, a fiddle leaf fig, a yucca (weird, but it's one of the few plants that does well close to that window), a superlong senecio radicans, and a bunch of other stuff. Outside the shower, there are two other plants:
a spider plant next to the sink

a fatsia (i think)
That plant has been a trial and error - it's further away from the window than most plants want to live (the yucca was very unhappy) but the combination of a shade-happy plant and a bit of extra height seems to be doing the trick.

Phew - we made it all the way around! There are few odd and ends that i didn't get a picture of, but i think i captured most of my indoor plants. I would love to promise that i won't get more, but that would be a lie. I like my indoor plants just as much as the garden, so i'm sure they'll keep multiplying... just like they do outside! Do you keep houseplants?

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Wednesday Vignettes: Yellow is starting!

Design books sometimes talk about picking a color palette for your garden, to make it look better, more organized, etc. I'm definitely not good at any of that, but in the early spring, there is definitely a lot of yellow in my garden. Let's pretend that's on purpose?

Here are two yellows that always start the show in February:
Euphorbia rigida

also known as gopher plant. I assure you, it does nothing to deter gophers
 I have several acacias, but a. baileyana always starts blooming first
just starting in mid-Feb

it's amazing they're not more blurry in our wind...
Now waiting with baited breath to see what the Palo Verde does this year... After what happened to it, maybe expecting blooms is too much?

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Late Winter Pruning continues...

In the back garden, there is one corner bed that always takes forever to cut back in the Spring late winter, because there are so many plants. There are two Russian Sages (Perovskia atriplicifolia), at least 2, maybe 3 Salvia greggii, and a relatively new addition, rock rose (cistus sp). There are also several agaves and other spiky plants spread through the bed. In the summer, it looks great, lush and green. In the winter, it looks like:
a mess? let's go with a mess
So far his year, i've managed to get through half the bed before i ran out of room for the clippings. But it already looks like progress!
cutting back the russian sage and trimming back the rock rose

the little agaves always pop when everything else is dormant
I really have to move that furcraea foetida - it will be too giant soon. Perhaps i should try it in the giant pot?

However, the bed continues...
there are a lot of plants here
And pruning uncovers other problems, like giant mounds of dirt. Probably gophers, or ants, or who knows what.
also trimming back the lantana
A view from the other side shows what's still left...
i hate trimming back the cistus before it blooms!
That plant that's falling over is a winter casualty. It was upright before the snow, but hasn't really recovered. I'm not sure whether to stake it or do something else? It's a young eucalyptus, although i'm not exactly sure which one. That acacia baileyana var.  purpurea just visible on the left could probably also use some pruning. It doesn't appear to have any winter damage. I think i'm going to let it bloom first...

Meanwhile, i have to figure out what to do about this (other than have fewer plants, because no):
there's a yucca and an agave under there, i swear!
At least i have time to think - since the yard waste pickup is full! I've asked the city for more space, but they are out of bins (so they say). Progress will continue...

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Wednesday Vignettes: pretty pictures

This weekend, it was "too cold" and "too windy" to do much work in the garden. Those terms are in quotes because i'm sure some parts of the world would disagree that our weather is anything to complain about... But the wind was blowing, which makes getting rid of the leaves extra hard.

But I did get a chance to take few pretty pictures of plants. So instead of showing additional progress cleaning up, here are a few close ups!

grevillea lanigera in the front garden - actually blooming!

I don't have very good luck taking in-focus pictures...

this is grevillea juniperina in the back garden - it's a bit further along

the flowers are just starting to unfurl
 Are these close ups because the rest of the garden is a mess? Maybe yes? Here's to a less windy weekend soon!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Garden Visit: San Francisco Salesforce Park

Last year, I finally got a chance to visit the Salesforce Park in San Francisco. It's a large public park located on top of the new Transit Center. The park is only about 2 years old, but it already has an interesting history: it closed 6 weeks after it's initial opening due to major structural problems.

I think you can see that about a year went by after the plants were planted without much human attention. The park has a varied collection of plants, organized in themes, mostly by location. Not many of the plants are labeled, but i found this great walking tour on San Francisco Trees that identifies most of the plants.

My pictures aren't nearly as organized, or labeled, but it definitely is a gorgeous park! We started in the South African garden:
it's in the middle of high rises

everything is super lush and dense
 Also, how much would you like to live in one of those apartments?
so pretty
 Signs in each part of the garden let you know a little bit about what you're looking at:
there was one for each section
 More plants!
one that always dies in my garden


the combination of plants & buildings actually works

 Other signs tell you about the uniqueness of San Francisco. Although i can't imagine much fog actually makes it to the middle of this urban area.

one of my favorite plants - if only i could find one for the garden

aloes! (or Aloidendron, i suppose)
 The wildlife has found the garden, of course. I doubt the hummingbirds cared much about structural cracks:
all fluffy in the early morning chill
 Found the agaves!
there were a lot more
 and succulents:
most of the garden was focused on lush, leafy plants

but on one end, the beds were filled with agaves, cacti, aloes, etc

i may have taken a lot of pictures?
 In the middle of park is a big green area - a dought tolerant lawn of sorts:
the "lawn"

the lawn changes into low growing plants and a pine forest
 On the opposite side of the desert beds, are these giant leafy beds:
i think here you can really see how everything grew for a year

the leaves were giant!

back around the other side of the lawn with trees.
 There were so many beautiful plants and combinations! Just a last few pictures:
"heart eyes"

to be able to grow these beauties
The park was definitely worth a visit! Here's to hoping it lives up to it's potential in the coming years.