Rancho La Puerta

Glass That Enhances Gardens

– Posted in: Garden Adventures

I'm enraptured by anything that glistens. I enhance my living spaces, indoors and out, with prisms, rhinestones, crystals, globes, mirrors and more. As the sun shifts during the day, these objects flash and glitter. I become a child again, living entirely in the moment. Sometimes this happens in other gardens, too. Like this Aloe marlothii in [...]

Spectacular Succulent Flowers

– Posted in: Garden Adventures

  Is it any wonder I'm such a fan of succulents? In addition to being easy care, low-water and having architectural shapes, they send forth spectacular flowers. Some of the most amazing are those of aloes, most of which bloom in midwinter (in temperate climates). Shown above is Aloe x 'David Verity', in Patrick Anderson's Fallbrook, [...]

Art in the Garden

– Posted in: Garden Adventures

  This is the gist of my 2/12/11 presention at the San Diego Botanic Garden. What defines "art" is subjective, and its forms are infinitely variable. But in general, when positioning a delicate sculpture in your garden, silhouette it against a solid surface or the sky. Otherwise, the piece may disappear.  (Photo taken at Taliesin West, near Phoenix.) Substantial art [...]

Shadowplay

– Posted in: Garden Adventures

When I run across something visually engaging in a garden, I take a photo of it, even though I'm there to see or shoot other things. Intriguing shadows are among my favorite finds. I love the way a camera preserves something so transitory. Sometimes shadows transform an ordinary object or scene into something magical. Normally shadows are best early in [...]

The Flora of Rancho La Puerta

– Posted in: Garden Adventures, Garden Design

Kudos to designer Sara Livia Brightwood for her work at Rancho La Puerta fitness resort and spa in Tecate, Baja California (just across the border from San Diego). The  world-class resort, in a drought-prone region, is a model for low-water landscape-design. For example, fields seeded with poppies and lupines. I was there when the aloes were in bloom. Massing them really makes an impact. [...]