Archive | Garden Travels RSS feed for this section

Succulent Extravaganza Recap

See the seahorse? It’s sempervivums planted in vertical panels. This was one of many lovely and unusual sights at the second annual Succulent Extravaganza at Succulent Gardens nursery in Castroville, CA last week.

A terrace at the nursery is planted with Agave ‘Blue Glow’ (foreground) and Agave ‘Blue Flame’ (background). Continue Reading →

Comments { 9 }

A new look at the potager – Cambo innovates again

The potager – that ornamental version of the vegetable garden was always a bit precious. Too many people had visited Chateau Villandry on the Loire and thought they could do a mini-version. The results were all too often a neurotic assemblage of over-controlled vegetables that no-one dare harvest as it would spoil the picture. Continue Reading →

Comments { 8 }

I’m Liking Lichen

My husband and I had the lake in Colorado, at 11,000 feet elevation, to ourselves except for occasional hikers a mile away—colorful specks on a timberline trail whose voices carried in the thin air. While Jeff fished, although I wasn’t bored exactly, I began noticing lichens. I’m here to tell you, Rocky Mountain lichens are as impressive as lava flows.

According to Wikipedia, lichen is comprised of a fungus and a photosynthetic partner (usually green algae). Lichens occur in some of the most extreme environments on earth—arctic tundra, hot deserts, rocky coasts, and toxic slag heaps—as well as  bare rock, walls and gravestones. Continue Reading →

Comments { 5 }

Whimsy and Provocation

 "SOL Grotto" light tubes from Solyndra in art exhibit

Detail of light tubes from “SOL Grotto”

We interrupt the regularly scheduled garden photography lesson to bring you some breaking news.  While I was writing this lesson in The PhotoBotanic Garden Photography Workshop, controversy erupted.

Provocation in the world of gardens and art !  National scandal in “hip, pretentious art” at the Berkeley Botanical Garden where an on-site art exhibit using recycled glass tubes became an example of “phony intellectualism”. Continue Reading →

Comments { 6 }

How to Create a Succulent Tide Pool Garden

An article I scouted and wrote for Sunset is in all regional editions of the September issue. (Most Southern CA garden articles appear in the Southern CA edition only.) One reason is Brett Gum’s gorgeous photography. These are my own photos here.

The location is a bluff-top home in the Orange County community of Corona del Mar. The designer is Joe Stead, a horticulture teacher at Orange Coast College. The amazing colors in the tide pool-themed garden resulted from a phenomenon called “stressing.” To learn more, see my YouTube video, “How to Stress Your Succulents…and Why You Should”. Continue Reading →

Comments { 9 }