Monthly Archives: January 2010

Look at mine too!

My tree, Christmas 2009

Tulle angel

tulle angel

I was just reading my friend Jenn’s blog and saw a post she wrote last month about the pros and cons of a live, potted Christmas tree. Now I know I’m a total “Jill-come-lately” on this, but… I love, and always have, a live tree too! Here’s some pics of mine this year.

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Filed under personal, potted gardens

Now, that’s better!

Fountain under the Acacia

Originally, when these clients looked out the glass doors of their lovely living room they saw an aged lawn, the trunk and lower branches of a sickly ornamental pear tree, and a picket fence against a very tall, very white wall of their neighbor’s house. Not so pleasing. They probably kept the blinds closed most of the time!

So, they wanted something nice to gaze upon, and thought they might like a fountain, and this is what I gave them. This picture was taken about a year after the garden was planted and it has all matured nicely together. I planted a bamboo hedge up to the fountain, and not very visible in this image is a clump of Papyrus directly behind it. The Acacia baileyana ‘Purpurea’ on the left side of the fountain is filling in quickly, as they do, and is on it’s way to shielding the offending white wall. Around the sides there are Chondropetalum tectorum (Cape Rush) and Iris, and to finish it off, clumps of Sempervivens right in the front. The only part I’m not totally pleased with is that the water plants aren’t doing what I want them to. Yet.

This is one of my most favorite jobs I’ve done so far. (top 3!) Not in small part because the clients were so great to work with, but also because I was able to completely wipe the slate clean and be as creative as I wanted to be!

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Filed under fountains, jobs, Ocean Colony, succulents, Uncategorized

New Favorite Author

Wicked Plants, by Amy Stewart

Wicked Plants

The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother and other Botanical Atrocities

by Amy Stewart

Did you know that Abe Lincoln’s mother died from “milk sickness”? Well, I didn’t, and why milk sickness is caused by a weed is something you’ll learn if you read this delightful book by Amy Stewart. Yes, I did just describe her book about “Botanical Atrocities” as delightful. The descriptions of the annoying, toxic and often deadly plants are accompanied by interesting anecdotes that make this book fun to read. Even if you’re not knowledgeable about plants or not interested in gardening, but you do you love a good story(s), you’ll like this book.

Take,  for   example, (but  don’t really  take it or you’ll  get   terribly  sick,  or worse!) the castor bean plant. A deadly poison extracted from it was allegedly used by the KGB in the London “umbrella murder” in 1978. Stewart goes on to describe how and where the plants grow, what parts are toxic and why castor oil, from the same plant, is safe to use. And then there’s Freud, who’s entire outlook on life was changed by the coca plant, or more accurately, the extract from it called cocaine. To quote him, “…I have felt wonderful, as though there had never been anything wrong at all.” This he attributed to a plant that Stewart describes as being able to inspire humans to go to war, both against each other and against the plant.

See what  I  mean? It  sounds cool, doesn’t  it? I bought   my copy at Coastside Books in Half  Moon  Bay, but  it’s available anywhere  fine books are sold. This author has also written some other books worth reading… Google her!


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Filed under book review, garden articles, Uncategorized