Tag Archives | California Cactus Center

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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Garden Designers Roundtable: The Suggestion of Water


These vignettes suggest water—flowing, tumbling, cascading, splashing or dripping water—yet there is none. Each illustrates the ingenuity of a garden designer in the dry, hot Southwest, where water is scarce. Yet the same concept, of creating the look of water, might apply to any garden. Continue Reading →

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Bling for Pots: Crushed Glass

Leave it to LA. Designers in that city are using crushed glass to snazz potted plants. The glass, tumbled so the edges are smooth (it’s often from recycled bottles) lends a splash of glamor. Continue Reading →

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Front Porch Ideas

Your front porch is the first room of your home guests see.  It sets the stage, reveals how tidy you are, and how much the aesthetics of your environment matter to you. A porch also can be a semi-public sitting area, combining elements of indoors and out.

A red aeonium in the garden echoes the color of the front door. Or maybe it’s the other way around. (Design by Gary Bartl, San Rafael, CA)

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Blue-Ribbon Succulents

The annual cactus and succulent show at the Los Angeles Arboretum is the largest in the world.  It’s a 2-hour drive for me, but I wouldn’t miss it. When I see a plant I’ve never seen before or a perfect specimen of something I’m familiar with, I go slack-jawed and stare. And this year there were dozens. Continue Reading →

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