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Garden Alphabet: Agave americana

Agave americana These agave are prominent all over the Southwest and used extensively in desert landscapes and even in the middle of lawns. Their large size and fairly long life make them a striking focal point of any garden. These agave are found on the grounds of the nearby Los Encinos State Historic Park, one […]

Interesting Plant: Bauhinia

Bauhinia I am propagating several of these small trees from seed gathered in my garden. They have a nice compact habit and produce beautiful flowers. I was captivated with it the moment I saw it, even if it took some time — and help from the Goole+ #gardenchat folks to identify it. You can find […]

Garden Alphabet: Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) A little early in the season, perhaps, but this poinsettia photo comes from a collection of photos I took in 2002. I often return to my archives to find good examples of flowers and plants I haven’t highlighted before here in Garden Alphabet. We actually have one poinsettia from a few years […]

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 […]