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Highlights of the NW Flower & Garden Show…Plus Shopping!

I recently travelled to the second largest flower and garden show in the US, in Seattle, to give two presentations. Here’s what I enjoyed  most—a subjective collection, to be sure, and one dependent on the capabilities of my iPhone’s camera. Even so, 25 photos is more than double the number I usually show in a GGW post. (I think it might have been the shopping that did it. I kept thinking, “I can’t bring this home, but at least I can show it to everyone!”)

White glass flower

A recurring theme of the display gardens was blown glass. Famed  artist Dale Chihuly’s studio is near Seattle, and his influence is everywhere. For example, this white glass flower in a green-and-white garden. Continue Reading →

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Uh-oh. My agave’s blooming.

Agave potatorum

I’m going to miss my toothy Agave potatorum, shown here beginning to form a bloom spike. When an agave flowers, it is not a happy event, unless you’ve been waiting forever to collect its offspring. Agaves are monocarpic, meaning they die after flowering. Continue Reading →

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Great Repetitions at Steven’s Gardens

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At the Laguna Beach Garden Club recently, a young woman came to the book-signing table, introduced herself, and invited me to a nearby nursery where she works. I took her up on it mainly  to see the succulents, and didn’t expect such an impressive array of pots. Big ones, little ones, vivid ones, pale ones, and everything in between. Plus ceramic orbs, for which there seem no purpose, other than to do the same thing in the garden as glass globes (which I don’t understand either). Continue Reading →

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Jewels of the Cactus and Succulent Show

Succulent enthusiasts flock to the annual Cactus & Succulent Society Show at the Los Angeles Arboretum mid-August. It’s the largest of its kind in the US. Judges award ribbons and trophies based on how well a specimen is grown, its rarity, and how well it’s “staged” in its pot. Pots aren’t merely containers, they’re works of art, and may be more valuable than the plant. Below are what caught my eye and photographed well, but represent only a fraction of the unusual and beautiful succulents on display.

Agave victoriae-reginae

Above: Agave victoriae-reginae, named after England’s Queen Victoria. Continue Reading →

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A Wild Vacation

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I have been on vacation.  No gardens.  No professional camera.  It was wild – which is where I learn the best lessons for gardening.

If you have never been to Yellowstone National Park, put it on your bucket list.  Sure there are lots of people there during the summer season, but there are grizzly bears too, so it is easy (and only a bit risky) to go on trails where most folks don’t go. Continue Reading →

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