Interesting Plant: Poached Egg Plant (Limnanthes douglasii)

Interesting Plant: Poached Egg Plant (Limnanthes douglasii)


Source: via Douglas on Pinterest

Limnanthes douglasii is a species of annual flowering plant in the family Limnanthaceae (meadowfoam) commonly known as poached egg plant or Douglas’ meadowfoam. It is native to California and Oregon, where it grows in wet, grassy habitat, such as vernal pools and spring meadows. It can grow in poorly drained clay soils. The plant was collected by the Scottish explorer and botanist David Douglas, who worked on the west coast of America in the 1820s. —

I would love to have some more native plants in my garden. This one might like it a bit wetter than I could provide here, so it would probably be hit or miss. That said, I have an area that I would love to fill with this — one of my defunct triangular azalea beds. Maybe I could find a small pack of seeds just to give it a try.

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More information on Limnanthes douglasii :


Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Video: Container Garden Update 017 – Strawberries and preparing a recycled container into a seeding flat

Strawberries are almost ready to eat and watch as I turn a croissant container from the grocery store into a seeding tray complete with greenhouse top.

Can’t see the video above? Watch “Container Vegetable Garden Update 017” on YouTube

Watch the “Container Vegetable Garden” Playlist for all related videos

More info on growing strawberries:


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Music: “Whiskey on the MIssissippi” Kevin MacLeod (  – Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Free Native Sunflower Desktop, Tablet and Smartphone Wallpaper for March 2013

Here is a selection of free wallpapers for your computer desktop or smartphone. Right-click and select Save Image As… to download them to your own computer. On your smartphone, click the image to see the full-sized image, tap and hold, then select Save to Camera Roll. You can then attach the wallpapers using your phone’s preferences.

Desktop Wallpaper 

Download full-sized version

iPad/Tablet Wallpaper

Download full-sized iPad/Tablet wallpaper

iPhone4/Smartphone Wallpaper


Download full-sized iPhone 4 wallpaper

iPhone5/Smartphone Wallpaper


Download Full-sized iPhone 5 Wallpaper

 Previous garden wallpapers:

Garden Inventory: Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)

Garden Inventory is a series where I begin an inventory of all the plants and trees in my garden. Along with some of my own pictures, I will link to various sources of information about each plant and tree so we can learn a little more together.

I would also like to highlight your special plants and tress. Pass along your favorite plants in the comments and I will use them for future Garden Inventory posts. — Douglas

Garden Inventory: Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)

“Sequoia sempervirens (pronounced /sɨˈkɔɪ.ə sɛmpərˈvaɪrənz/)[1] is the sole living species of the genus Sequoia in the cypress family Cupressaceae (formerly treated in Taxodiaceae). Common names include coast redwood, California redwood, and giant redwood. It is an evergreen, long-lived, monoecious tree living 1200–1800 years or more.[2] This species includes the tallest trees on Earth, reaching up to 379 feet (115.5 m) in height (without the roots) and up to 26 feet (7.9 m) in diameter at breast height. Before commercial logging and clearing began by the 1850s, this massive tree occurred naturally in an estimated 2,100,000 acres (8,500 km2) along much of coastal California (excluding southern California where rainfall is not sufficient) and the southwestern corner of coastal Oregon within the United States. An estimated 95% or more of the original old-growth redwood forest has been cut down,[3] due to its excellent properties for use as lumber in construction.” —

We have 2 of these lovely trees in the garden and they are one of my favorite trees. First, their shaggy, dark red, bark is always attract and looks different from every angle. It requires almost no maintenance and survives well even in this heavily crowded back yard.

Of course, this tree will never reach the size of its native brothers and sisters growing in Northern California. For that they require a heavily organic soil and much more moisture than they would ever receive here in Los Angeles.  That said, they are stately and attractive trees. There are a few other examples in the neighborhood which appear to be much older, yet they still remain compact and attractive even as they grow larger.

At the bottom of the trunk, the redwood throws off a variety of what I guess would be called saplings, arising from its roots. These bring an interest to the trunk and contrast nicely with the red bark without obscuring it. You can see examples of this in the photos of the trunk below.

It is a bit difficult to get a good picture of its upper branches, as it is crowded by one of the ficus growing nearby, but there are a few examples in the photos, too.

 Garden Inventory: Sequoia sempervirens - 01

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Photos of Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) closeups of leaves, fruit, growing habit, trunk and bark

More information on Ficus Bejamina:


Previously on Garden Inventory:

Photo: From the garden…

From the garden today -- for better or worse :). Time for some Spring cleanup but enjoyable all the same!

From the garden today — for better or worse :). Time for some Spring cleanup but enjoyable all the same!

Garden Alphabet: Castor Bean (Ricinus)

Castor Bean (Ricinus)

While this plant is widespread throughout California, it is classified as an invasive plant and threatens to crowd out true native plants. That said, I have often seen this plant used as an ornamental in more temperate areas where is not hardy and therefore does not over-winter. This photo was taken during our hike in an area of the Hollywood Hills in the Santa Monica Mountains. You can read more about this trip in this post, Places LA: Trebek Open Space and Briar Summit Open Space Preserve, Santa Monica Mountains

Garden Alphabet: Castor bean (Ricinus)

The castor oil plant, Ricinus communis, is a species of flowering plant in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. It belongs to a monotypic genus, Ricinus, and subtribe, Ricininae. The evolution of castor and its relation to other species are currently being studied using modern genetic tools.[1]

Its seed is the castor bean, which, despite its name, is not a true bean. Castor is indigenous to the southeastern Mediterranean Basin, Eastern Africa, and India, but is widespread throughout tropical regions (and widely grown elsewhere as an ornamental plant).[2]

Castor seed is the source of castor oil, which has a wide variety of uses. The seeds contain between 40% and 60% oil that is rich in triglycerides, mainly ricinolein. The seed contains ricin, a toxin, which is also present in lower concentrations throughout the plant. —

More information on the Castor Bean (Ricinus):

Previously in Garden Alphabet:


A Gardener’s Notebook Videos for February 2013

Here is a playlist of all the A Gardener’s Notebook videos I produced in February 2013.

You can find all my past videos on my YouTube Channel. If you enjoy a video, please click the Like button or Subscribe to the YouTube Channel. Doing that directly effects how many other people see my videos.

Point at each video thumbnail for more information and scroll through the available videos using the < > arrows in the lower right corner.
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Garden History: John & Lizzie Wilson from Boston in Bradenton, Florida, 1951

A garden can grow wherever you wish.

This scene of “Snowbirds” over-wintering in Florida shows just that. Humans have an innate sense of gardening and growing, even if it isn’t required for our survival any longer. Perhaps it harkens back to those days when raising your own food was critical to life itself, Maybe gardening triggers some long buried instinct within us — a prehistoric touchstone in our mind that subtlety reminds us of its importance.

Sure, today we may grow beautiful flowers instead of food, but beauty feeds the heart and mind as much as any potato or carrot, these days.

John & Lizzie Wilson from Boston in Bradenton, Florida 

John & Lizzie Wilson from Boston in Bradenton, Florida

Local call number: JJS1975

Title: John & Lizzie Wilson from Boston in Bradenton, Florida

Date: 1951

Physical descrip: 1 photonegative – b&w – 5 x 4 in.

Series Title: Joseph Janney Steinmetz Collection

Repository: State Library and Archives of Florida, 500 S. Bronough St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250 USA. Contact: 850.245.6700.

Persistent URL:

Previously in Garden History:

Video: In the garden…Potatoes, sweet potatoes and blog series update – February 27, 2013

“In the garden…” is a series for A Gardener’s Notebook highlighting what is happening in my garden, my friend’s gardens and California gardens throughout the seasons.

Reviewing potato growth and planting sweet potatoes from the pantry.

Watch all the past “In the garden…” videos in this YouTube playlist.

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Garden Vocabulary: Deadhead/Deadheading

Garden Vocabulary Logo

This Garden Vocabulary series seeks to introduce and explain to you — and in many cases, myself — words and terms associated with gardening. Please let me know if  there are any terms you would like me to explore. You can leave your ideas in the comments section and we can learn together!


To Deadhead or te deadheading of plants is the act of removing spent flower blossoms in order to stimulate new growth and new blooms in plants. If spent flowers are left on plants — and they were fertilized — the plant will put all its energy into creating fruit and seeds in order to propagate more plants. This energy is then not available for the production of more blooms.

Since we humans usually grow plants for their beautiful blooms, it makes sense to deadhead these plants — especially roses — in order to encourage more blooms rather than the production of rose hips.

Roses from my garden

More information on deadhead/deadheading:


Previously on Garden Vocabulary: