Video: Lake Balboa Cherry Blossoms 2014 – A Video Montage

As I do each year, I took some time to visit nearby Lake Balboa Park today to see the Japanese Cherry trees that bloom around the lake each year. We are in a drought year, so the bloom is not as vibrant has it has been in the past, but there was still many blossoms to photograph and video. Here are a video montage from this year’s trip. 

Cherry blossoms 2014 


You can view a collection of photos from this trip in this past post — Photos: Cherry Blossoms at Lake Balboa 2014


Photo: Cherry Blossoms in pseudo-watercolor

Painted in Waterlogue

Created using the Waterlogue iOS app

Garden History: Every garden deserves a lovely garden gate – Wellington Stanley Morse House 1917

Every garden deserves a lovely garden gate and this one from 1917 California garden certainly fits the bill. Garden gates, in all their forms, give us a sense of enclosure while also inviting us inside for the beauty that might be found there. I find that in all my Internet travels garden gates and fences always attract my attention. I think it might be their regimented shapes enclosing the relatively wilder garden inside and the contrast sit provides that catches my eye.

[Wellington Stanley Morse house, 450 South San Rafael Avenue, San Rafael Heights, Pasadena, California.  (LOC)

Johnston, Frances Benjamin,, 1864-1952,, photographer.

[Wellington Stanley Morse house, 450 South San Rafael Avenue, San Rafael Heights, Pasadena, California. Garden gate]

[1917 spring]

1 photograph : glass lantern slide, hand-colored ; 3.25 x 4 in.

Site History. House Architecture: Reginald Davis Johnson, built 1919. Landscape: Paul George Thiene, 1919. Associated Name: Cora Dorr (Mrs. Wellington S.) Morse. Today: House extant , garden redesigned.
Title, date, and subject information provided by Sam Watters, 2011.
Forms part of: Garden and historic house lecture series in the Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection (Library of Congress).
Published in Gardens for a Beautiful America / Sam Watters. New York: Acanthus Press, 2012. Plate 120.

Rights Info: No known restrictions on publication.

Repository: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA,

Higher resolution image is available (Persistent URL):

Call Number: LC-J717-X110- 40

More information on garden gates:

Books on garden gates:

Previously in Garden History:

Garden History draws on “The Commons” a collection of historical photos from institutions from around the world and shared via Flickr, a photo sharing web site. Explore The Commons yourself!

Garden Decor: Driftwood Succulent Planter

Driftwood Succulent Planter

While I love great uses of recycled materials for the garden, sometimes the old classics just shine out. This driftwood branch, converted into a succulent planter, is absolutely gorgeous. It is both simple and complex at the same time, if that is possible. I am wondering if I could try something like this with any large branch or limb, although the sculptural nature of the driftwood lends its own beauty and complexity to the design.

Driftwood planter

Discovered via Pinterest User Tessa AraSmith-Cosby

More driftwood ideas from 

Previously in Garden Decor:

Interesting Plant: Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa)

Interesting Plant: Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa)

A lovely specimen of Kousa Dogwood found on the grounds of Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. Oberlin was founded in 1837 and is renowned as the the first US college to admit African-Americans and Women.

Oberlin College Visit - Kousa Dogwood

Oberlin College Visit - Kousa Dogwood

Download your own Free Kousa Dogwood Computer and Smartphone Wallpapers

Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa) 

The Kousa dogwood[1] (Cornus kousa or Benthamidia kousa) is a small deciduous tree 8–12 m (26–39 ft) tall, native to eastern Asia. Like most dogwoods, it has opposite, simple leaves, 4–10 cm long. The tree is extremely showy when in bloom, but what appear to be four-petalled white flowers are actually bracts spread open below the cluster of inconspicuous yellow-green flowers. The blossoms appear in late spring, weeks after the tree leafs out. The Kousa dogwood is sometimes also called “Chinese dogwood”,[2][3] Korean Dogwood,[3] orJapanese dogwood.[1] 

The kousa dogwood can be distinguished from the closely related flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) of eastern North America by its more upright habit, flowering about a month later, and having pointed rather than rounded flower bracts.

The fruit is a globose pink to red compound berry 2–3 cm in diameter, though these berries tend to grow larger towards the end of the season and some berry clusters that do not fall from the tree surpass 4 cm. It is edible, a sweet and delicious addition to the tree’s ornamental value. The fruit is sometimes used for making wine.[4]

It is resistant to the dogwood anthracnose disease, caused by the fungus Discula destructiva, unlike C. florida, which is very susceptible and commonly killed by it; for this reason, C. kousa is being widely planted as an ornamental tree in areas affected by the disease. A number of hybrids between C. kousa and C. florida have also been selected for their disease resistance and good flower appearance.

Fall foliage is a showy red color. —

More information on Kousa Dogwood:

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

Video: In the garden…March 16, 2014: Potatoes and chives and onions and flowers

Agn artwork

Potatoes are going crazy, our 2 weeks of Spring is probably over and chives are flowering

Itg 20140316

Check out what was happening in the garden a year ago: “Container Garden Update 19 – A failed container, worm castings and some new basil”

Check out my collection of gardening essays, “From A Gardener’s Notebook” now available as a Kindle eBook. (You don’t need a Kindle to read it, though. Read it on your PC, Link:


Watch all past episodes of “In the garden…” in this YouTube Playlist

Music: “The One” by the Woodshedders (

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“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. 

Garden Alphabet: Nasturtium

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

Previously in my Instagram Photos…

Garden Alphabet: Butterfly (Lepidoptera)

Garden Alphabet: Butterfly (Lepidoptera)

The garden is made up of more than just plants. The best gardens are filled with insects and wildlife as well as plants and flowers and learning more about these inhabitants can expand your understanding and the joy of keeping a garden. This butterfly photo was taken at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage California. I have also created 2 photo galleries and videos from the photos of my 2 visits. You’ll find a video and links to more below.

Garden Alphabet: Butterfly | A Gardener's Notebook

Butterfly (Lepidoptera)

butterfly is a mainly day-flying insect of the order Lepidoptera, which includes the butterflies and moths. Like other holometabolous insects, the butterfly’s life cycle consists of four parts: egglarvapupa and adult. Most species are diurnal. Butterflies have large, often brightly coloured wings, and conspicuous, fluttering flight. Butterflies comprise the true butterflies (superfamily Papilionoidea), the skippers(superfamily Hesperioidea) and the moth-butterflies (superfamily Hedyloidea). All the many other families within the Lepidoptera are referred to as moths. The earliest known butterfly fossils date to the midEocene epoch, 40–50 million years ago.[1]

Butterflies exhibit polymorphism, mimicry and aposematism. Some, like the Monarch, will migrate over long distances. Some butterflies have evolved symbiotic and parasitic relationships with social insects such as ants. Some species are pests because in their larval stages they can damage domestic crops or trees; however, some species are agents of pollination of some plants, and caterpillars of a few butterflies (e.g., Harvesters) eat harmful insects. Culturally, butterflies are a popular motif in the visual and literary arts. — Wikipedia

More information on Butterly (Lepidoptera):

Video: In the garden…Sunnylands Center & Gardens in Rancho Mirage, California 
Video: Sunnylands, Up Close – Rancho Mirage, California 

Previously in Garden Alphabet:

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