Agave attenuata

Uh-oh. My agave’s blooming.

– Posted in: Succulents

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. Agave americana, the most common agave in the Southwest, has the common name "century plant" because it [...]

Oh, my, Malibu!

– Posted in: Garden Adventures

While on the Malibu Garden Tour, I hoped for high-end gardens that incorporated my specialty: succulents (plants with juicy leaves and stems). Homes in the hills of this tony enclave north of Los Angeles are huge, on multi-acre lots. My host had grown up in the area shown here, and recalled how neighbors helped Barbra Streisand protect her canyon home [...]

Hardy Succulents in California

– Posted in: Garden Photography

I have been unexpectedly ambivalent about telling California gardeners about the Hardy Succulents book I co-authored with Gwen Kelaidis (Storey 2008).   The reason I have been cautious about promoting the book in my home state is because for most people a hardy succulent is a small plant such as this Houseleek, Sempervivum 'Faramir' on [...]