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Interesting Plant: Blue Flax (Linum lewisii)

Blue Flax (Linum lewisii) Such pretty blue flowers. I could see these spread throughout a meadow or cottage garden. I don’t have a lot of blue flowers in my garden, as I tend more towards purples, but these would be a nice addition. It would also be great if I could get them to naturalize […]

Noted: Great Design Plant: Japanese Painted Fern Weaves a Garden Tapestry via Houzz

Great Design Plant: Japanese Painted Fern Weaves a Garden Tapestry via Houzz Spaces by Topsfield Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Andrew Keys   So much of the woodland garden is green. While shade gardeners appreciate verdant mounds of moss, swaths of sweet box and colonies of camellias, some color relief is a welcome respite from […]

Garden Alphabet: Olive (near Morgantina, Sicily)

Olive (near Morganitina, Sicily) Three years ago we visited the ancient Greek (later Roman) city of Morgantina. We ate our pranza (lunch) under this olive tree that shaded the parking lot. Olives seem to epitomize Italy and Sicily to me. Olives (and their flavorful oil) are an essential part of everyday life in Sicily — […]

Interesting Plant: Chestnut (Castenea)

Chestnut (Castenea) I am going to guess that these photos shows a Castenea saliva or Sweet Chestnut as they are older trees in rural Sicily, on the flanks of Mount Etna. We were visiting and old farmhouse that once was surrounded by orchards midway up the flanks of the volcano. These chestnut trees were quite […]

Garden Alphabet: Rosa ‘JFK’ from my garden

Rosa ‘JFK’ from my garden These JFK roses were planted by the previous owners of the property and we have kept the going in the ensuing 18 years. We also have Mikado roses and another hybrid which I can’t remember off the top of my head. I’ll have to do some searching on the blogs […]

Garden Alphabet: Zinnia

Zinnia Some more flowers from Francesca’s garden in Mascalucia, Sicily These zinnia grow in pots dotted about the patio and thrive. As you can see from the photos, the bees love them, too. Follow DouglasWelch in Instagram Zinnia is a genus of 20 species of annual and perennial plants of the family Asteraceae. They are native to scrub and dry grassland in an […]

Garden Alphabet: Vinca

Vinca These lovely Vinca flowers comes from the garden of our Sicilian family near Mascalucia, Francesca had several lovely pots of these flower scattered around the yard. This was her garden, close to the house and distinct from the more “productive” garden of fruit and nut trees and a large free-growing patch of basil behind […]

Garden Alphabet: Honeybee

Honeybee It took some time to make peace with honey bees. I grew up with yards that were more clover than grass, so summer days often involved accidentally stepping on bees in the yard while we played. Along with that we had nasty mud dauber wasps that seem to sting you for no other reason […]

Garden Alphabet: Ficus benjamina

Ficus benjamina Far beyond the small office or house trees you often see, my Ficus benjamina are large, dense trees that shade a large portion of my back garden. I don’t particularly like them — I find them a bit too pushy, but they do an excellent job of adding some green to the woodland […]

Garden Alphabet: Magnolia Grandiflora

Magnolia Grandiflora These large trees, with heavy, waxy leaves and large, blowzy flowers are quite common here in Los Angeles. They put on quite a show each year and seem to grep quite reliably and trouble free. As you might see in the photo, the bees like them, too. Follow DouglasWelch in Instagram Magnolia grandiflora, […]