Friday, 30 November 2012

The Warm Glow of Evening SoCal Style

I'm obsessed with that warm glow of evening. I love how it makes plants glow. I love how it warms your cheeks and gives you that happy fuzzy feeling.  Yes, fuzzy.  And when that warm glow is extended to the reaching fronds of an epic Canary Island Date Palm, I find that I truly am taken to my happy place.

I love how stately the CIDP's presence is.

And then there's that pineapple like crown.  Palm trees resembling a pineapple, does it get any happier?

Well It does get better! Because in the SoCal sunshine, CIDPs are combined with the classic washingtonia that evoke the happy feelings of summertime and California road trips.

For a while, I actually didn't care for washingtonia robusta. I know that sounds blasphemous. And I have since changed my tune.  It's actually quite beautiful how the ends of the fronds drape down gracefully. And then there is the way they reflect the sunshine with a golden shimmer.

And it's not just palm trees that shine in the golden glow of evening. I was so happy to see so many aloes when I was in California.  I think aloes are one of those plants that I could have a serious problem with. Problem being that I LOVE them so much! And another problem being that I can grow so very few of them in my garden.

So when I get the chance, I have to admire them all that I can.

Can't you just imagine the perfect spot for this in your garden!? I know I can.

And while you might be thinking, really, another washingtonia? This is not just any washingtonia. It's my favourite, the washingtonia filifera or California fan palm.  Distinctively different from most of the plantings of washingtonia you see in SoCal, the filifera is native to California, has a much fatter trunk and is actually slightly hardier than its close relative washingtonia robusta.

Not that hardiness is an issue in SoCal.  *sigh* Imagine picking up plants at the garden centre without worrying about the hardiness zone.

But back to the "glow" and one of my all time favourites ... Olives!

I love these sweeping branches of foliar heaven.  The undersides of each leaf literally glows gold in the evening sun.  If we ever get some sunshine this winter, maybe I'll snap a few pictures of my olives showing off in the same fashion.

It's raining rosemary in the California sunshine!

Well I hope that this warm glow warms your heart on this dreary PNW day.  For it to be dreary by November in the PNW standards, you know it has to be bad.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Succulent Container Garden Love from Disneyland

As some of you may know, I had the privilege of heading down south to California for American Thanksgiving! It was so fantastic to get to the land of warmth, sunshine, palm trees, and all things happy - the happiest place on earth (Disneyland!).  Last year I posted about some epic succulent plantings they had at the Rancho Del Zocalo Restaurant in Disneyland Park. So I thought I would start a series of happiness from California by re-visiting a favourite spot!

This is holiday colours SoCal style - agave cornelius and cyclamen!

But where succulents containers are concerned, I'm all about the exuberant colourful combinations that evoke the feeling of warmth and sunshine.

And If any plant says sunshine and happiness it has to be agave attenuata variegata. LOVE!

There's just something about that Southern California sunshine and the warm exuberance of succulents that makes my heart skip a beat.  In those moments I wish I could find the "pause" button.

Whilst making me exceedingly jealous, this succulent bowl inspires me to put together some epic planters next season.

I'm always on the search of my style. Some days tropical asian, some days Southwestern, some days Moroccan, and some days Mediterranean.  But more than anything, I feel like this could be my style - my hearts style that is.  Lush, fun, somewhat wild, and totally summer sunshine loving!!


I believe this is agave 'blue glow.' After losing one last winter I am now determined to replace it.

I have also determined that my succulent collection is far to limited! Uh oh!

Which do you prefer, bowl or strawberry planter? Right now I saw bowl.

But when strawberry planters contain agaves and the petals of fallen bougainvillaea I absolutely love!

I think I enjoy the gnarly trunk of the olea europaea the most in this group of happiness.

And while epic on its own, the olive trunk is the perfect backdrop to a group of succulents. It adds the right touch of rugged to the smooth bold lines of the yucca and agave. *Note to self: plant succulents around my olives!*

I just love succulent loving fun in the SoCal sunshine.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Bloom Day

Well November is not really what I would consider the most exciting of bloom days in my yard. It's actually more a story of November left over bloom day.  It's really not intentional, and for the first time in a long time I find myself wishing to have more luscious autumn blooms to grace the yard with.  Lessons in gardening I suppose. But there are still some happy blooms to be found throughout the yard.

This year echeverias have been nothing shy of epic.  I have really come to believe they are one of the best 'annuals.'  Now I just have to wait and see how well I do carrying them over inside.

Another winner has been crassula 'campfire.' It is just about to bloom again in mid November!!

Roses are still going albeit have turned a different colour late into the season.  In early spring they tend to look more pink, orange/red in the summer, and almost peachy in the autumn.

And the 'ole faithful' (fatsia japonica) is full of blooms this time of the year.

Geraniums don't seem to have minded our brief frost on the weekend.

And while most plants are hanging on in their summer glory, this lily seems to have a more 'appropriate' autumn state.  That is, in transition.  As the yard transitions from summer, autumn, and eventually to the word that starts with "w" and ends in "er" that I refrain from speaking of, I get both the joy of looking back on a season of growth and looking forward to the next spring.  How much will that grow next year? What will edited from the landscape.  Will I finally get around to moving that?  What blooms will tell the story of my current garden affections?  Time will tell.  But for now, I will enjoy the sunshine on this beautiful November bloom day.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

sunshine makes me think agave!

The sunshine this morning has agaves on my mind.  I go through moments where I feel like a cruel agave owner. I feel like they are saying, "why the heck did you plant me outside in the PNW?!" But then there are those days where the sun shines, I'm immediately transported to a state of euphoria and I have hope for my agaves once again. Today is that day! Hooray sunshine!! For those living outside the PNW, thats a big deal this time of year.  So I intend on soaking it allll up! And what better way to celebrate sunshine than an agave post? (Well, maybe a palm tree post would do too...)

Please forgive all the pine needles and leaves. I really need to get out and clean everything up, but for now, all I can do is just enjoy some much needed sunshine.  I have been sooo thrilled by the growth of this agave ovatifolia.

At first I thought I could do a wordless wednesday agave post... but apparently I've got the gab today.

I guess agaves make my gabby.  How could you now comment on the epic spikes!

Speaking of spikes, agave bovicornuta has been a real trooper. I have not figured out where I will store this bad boy for the winter, but it's sharp and huge!


This frosty blue outgrew his arm amputation and is starting to take one some stature.

I just can't get over this gorgeous icy blue. This is icy done right.  Icy in a way that evokes warm sunshine!

And I am a big variegated fan.  This morning agave cornelius was glowing for me!

I love being greeted at the front door by this!! Don't the arms kind of look like fingers? It's waving!

And lastly, the only plant to have been moved inside... agave americana medio picta alba.  Have a happy agave growing sunshine loving Wednesday!