Photo: Bewitched Rose 2011 via #instagram

Bewitched rose 2011

Previously in my Instagram Photos…

Theodore Payne Wild Flower Hotline 2014 now available each Thursday through May 2014

Theodore payne wildflower hotline

Looking to see wildflowers in Southern California? The Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants is running their 32nd Annual Wild Flower Hotline directly from their web site. Each Thursday they update the hotline with reports from all over the Southland. The Hotline is available in both PDF and MS Word format.

Wildflower report

Here is a small section of this wrk’s report, posted March 7, 2014.

Again this year, we are at below normal rainfall and time is running out for  significant rain events. Snow in the high elevations and high desert regions may  contribute to a nice bloom, but not until later in the spring. The drought makes   seeking out wildflower beauties more challenging but a lot more fun for Southern  Californians to get out there a cheer every flower sighting!

If you are driving on the 395 to the Sierra ski resorts, take a detour for wildflower  sightings along Nine Mile Canyon. Actually there are 3 or 4 canyons coming out  of the Eastern Sierra just above the Inyo/Kern County border that are fun to  explore. Nine-mile though has easiest access. There is a good smattering of  flowers along the shoulder and protected draws. You’ll see Fremont phacelia  (Phacelia fremontii), desert sunflower (Geraea canescens), forget-me-not  (Cryptantha cicumcissa), desert chicory (Rafinesquia neomexicana), Fremont  pincushion (Chaenactis fremontii), a sweet gilia species (Gilia sp.) and desert  dandelion (Malacothrix glabrata).The Joshua Trees (Yucca brevifolia) are starting  to bloom as well.

Read the entire report

Photo: Honeybees drinking at the birdbath – Animated GIF

An Auto Awesome animated gif from Google+ created with a series of photos I uploaded.

Previously in my Instagram Photos…

Photo: Gopher in motion

An Auto Awesome animated gif from Google+ created with a series of photos I took on our last camping trip. This guy popped up right in our circle of chairs around the fire ring. I don’t mind these guys in the park, but wouldn’t want them in the garden. They can be quite destructive.

Botta’s Pocket Gopher (Thomomys bottae) info on Wikipedia

Previously in my Instagram Photos…

Interesting Plant: Giant Chalk Dudleya (Dudleya brittonii)

Interesting Plant: Giant Chalk Dudleya (Dudleya brittonii)

After living in Southern California for so long (nearly 28 years), I have really come to love succulents of all sorts. The dudleya always catch my eye when we are out and about and at our local succulent show, which takes places just about a mile from our house. The chalky, white leaves of this dudleya is such a unique look and I could easily find a place for it in my garden. Maybe you could find a place in yours.

Discovered via Root Simple
Dudleya brittonii (DUD-lee-yuh brit-TON-ee-eye), with common names Britton’s dudleya and Giant Chalk Dudleya, is a succulent plant in the Crassulaceae family. It is native to Baja California, Mexico.

The leaves of Dudleya brittonii grow in a basal rosette and are covered with a dusty, chalky, mealy white epicuticular “wax”. The wax in its mealy state on the leaves is attracted to water and coats drops on the leaves and prevents their evaporation. The wax has the highest measured ultraviolet reflectivity of any plant.[1]

Dudleya brittonii is similar in appearance to Dudleya pulverulenta, native to California. — Wikipedia

More information on Giant Chalk Dudleya (Dudleya brittonii):


Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas

Photo: Tomatoes on the vine in HDR

Tomatoes on the vine in HDR from Google+ Auto Awesome

Previously in my Instagram Photos…

Garden Alphabet: Lavender (Lavendula)

Garden Alphabet: Lavender (Lavendula)

A closeup of a lavender harvest from my own garden. Lavender seems to do very well here in our Mediterranean climate, if we can get it enough sun, It deals well with our hot and dry summers and never fails to impress with its smell. I love the purple flowers too, and it fits in well with my casually applied love for combinations of purple and gold.

Garden Alphabet: Lavender | A Gardener's Notebook with Douglas E. Welch

Lavender (Lavendula)

Lavandula (common name Lavender) is a genus of 39 species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is native to the Old World and is found from Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, southern Europe across to northern and eastern Africa, the Mediterranean, southwest Asia to southeast India. Many members of the genus are cultivated extensively in temperate climates as ornamental plants for garden and landscape use, for use as culinary herbs, and also commercially for the extraction of essential oils. The most widely cultivated species, Lavandula angustifolia is often referred to as lavender, and there is a colour named for the shade of the flowers of this species. – Wikipedia

More information on Lavender (Lavendula):


Previously in Garden Alphabet:

Link Focus: Garden | Garden Bridge Over The Thames Moves Forward from Londonist

Link focus logo

Garden | Garden Bridge Over The Thames Moves Forward from Londonist

London, as busy a city as it is, already has some wonderful gardens and parks throughout the city. I was so pleased when I was able to walk from Westminster back to Kensington almost continuously in parks and under shady trees. That said, every city can always use more nature and this concept to create a nature-covered pedestrian bridge over the Thames sounds wonderful. The views of the river are amazing nearly anywhere along its length, but bringing scenes from the more natural parts of the river upstream down to the city would benefit both residents and tourists. I have walked across the Millennium Bridge and found its design beautiful and striking but it is a bit stark and exposed. Maybe it could benefit from some greenery, too.

London garden bridge

More info on London Gardens:

London Gardens from

Previously on Link Focus:

Link Focus is a series that comments on some of the links I share on my social media accounts and here on the web site. To get these links as I find them, subscribe to me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and elsewhere. Also look for the “My Favorite Things” posts that appear regularly in the blog. These include collections of links for each calendar month.

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Garden Decor: Crema Piatto Bird Bath

Crema Piatto Bird Bath

An elegant statement for any garden, formal or informal. Since it is ceramic this would need to be brought for Winter in colder climes, but would be OK year round here in Southern California.

Piatta birdbath

Discovered via Pinterest User Marie Soda

More bird bath ideas from 


Previously in Garden Decor:

Interesting Plant: Sunrose (Helianthemum nummularium)

Interesting Plant: Sunrose (Helianthemum nummularium)

I discovered Sunrose through this post on (Great Design Plant: Sunrose Dazzles on Dry Slopes). Since I live here in sunny (and currently, drought plagued) Southern California, anything that can stand up to our hot and dry summer is great appreciated. I think this might fit in the bed that lines the street in front of the house. It would cover nicely without taking over everything like the current lantana tends to do.

Landscape by Arcata Landscape Architects & Designers Genevieve Schmidt

From Europe and Asia Minor. A number of forms of this species are commonly sold under this name, as well as hybrids between it and other species. Plant grows 3 to 8 in. tall. Leaves are 1/2–1 in. long; they may be gray on both surfaces, or glossy green above and fuzzy gray beneath. Midspring to early summer display of 1-in.-wide, single or double flowers in bright or pastel colors–flame red, apricot, orange, yellow, pink, rose, peach, salmon, or white. Each blossom lasts only a day, but new buds continue to open. Shear plants back after flowering to neaten appearance and encourage repeat

More information on Leptospermum scoparium:


Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas