Event: 24th Annual Southern California Spring Garden Show – April 25-28

I just received notice of this year’s Southern California Spring Garden Show event and wanted to share that information with you. I really enjoyed visiting it with the family last year and will probably try to make it down again this year. Here is a slide show of photos from my 2012 visit.

For the love of trees design garden copy 

Here is the information on this year’s show, direct from their press release.

“The Garden as Art”

WHAT: The 24th Annual Southern California Spring Garden Show, the most highly anticipated garden event on the West Coast, is back at South Coast Plaza from April 25-28, 2013. “The Garden as Art” is this year’s theme featuring display gardens that represent a specific art piece, an artist or a period of art. Attendees will browse The Garden as Art displays created by landscape architects and university horticulture students during the four-day show (images attached).

Guests will also enjoy:
· Over 85 specialty garden lifestyle vendors offering everything from exotic plants to the latest garden accessories
· Competition/display gardens designed by landscape architects and designers
· Seminar and book signings by national garden professionals and authors
· For the kids: garden projects, crafts, storytellers and exotic animal shows
· A 20 foot tall floral centerpiece, inspired by Andy Warhol interpretation of Botticelli’s Venus and designed by Fiesta Floats of Arcadia
Continue reading Event: 24th Annual Southern California Spring Garden Show – April 25-28 →

Garden Inventory: Clytostoma callistegioides

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: Clytostoma callistegioides

“Evergreen vine with rapid-growing woody branches. Glossy dark-green leaves are a lovely contrast to the light lavender, trumpet-like flowers over a long blooming period. Easily grown in sun or part shade. — Monrovia.com”

These vines have been in the garden since the beginning of our time here 16 years ago. Like most plants in the backyard, they don’t get nearly enough sun, but they seem to hang on and even flower on occasion. I am looking to make some cuttings from the existing vines so I can grow it in a more hospitable area, if possible.

This was one of the first Latin plant names I learned of the plants here in the garden when we first moved in. I have never really found a satisfactory common name and I sound fancy when I say it, so I use it to impress people. (LAUGH)

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Photos of Clytostoma callistegioides with closeups of flowers, leaves,  growing habit, and stems.

More information on Clytostoma callistegioides:

Previously on Garden Inventory:

Video: Container Garden Update 22 – Propagation Project Begins – Rosemary

Agn artwork

I start my long delayed propagation project by taking and preparing rosemary cuttings for rooting. I am looking for transplants to use as rosemary topiary and also to build a rosemary hedge, if possible. This could take a looooooong time, but you have to start somewhere.

PS Make sure you watch all the way to the end. 🙂

What’s happening in your garden? I’d love to know! Leave your questions and comments here or on any of the web and social media sites linked below!


Can’t see the video above? Watch “Container Garden Update 22” on YouTube  

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Music: “Whiskey on the Mississippi” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  – Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Video: In the garden…April 5, 2013 – Checking in on old and new plants

“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.

Checking in on our potatoes, looking at blooming rose suckers and checking in on our recent additions


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

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Garden Alphabet: Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale)

Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale)

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Another poppy this week in Garden Alphabet, but something quite different from our native California Poppy. In fact, as you can  see by the latin names, these poppies are an entirely different genus from the California variety.

The Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale) is probably more familiar to most people, as it is grown in many gardens throughout the US. The poppies in the photo were snapped at a local garden in La Cañada Flintridge I passed in my travels. 

Papaver orientale (Oriental poppy) is a perennial flowering plant[2] native to the Caucasus, northeastern Turkey, and northern Iran.[3]

Oriental poppies throw up a mound of finely cut, hairy foliage in spring. After flowering the foliage dies away entirely, a property that allows their survival in the summer drought of Central Asia. Late-developing plants can be placed nearby to fill the developing gap. Fresh leaves appear with autumn rains.

” — Wikipedia.org

More information on the Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale):

Previously in Garden Alphabet:


Photo: Popcorn via Instagram

2013 04 03 20 56 57

Photo: Agave via Instagram

Found along my consulting travels today.


Garden History: Tatham Garden

I originally grabbed this photo because it showed a lovely formal garden, but as I examined it more closely, I could see a lot that was wild about this picture, too. Yes, it has large lawns, stonework and a fountain, but looking at the edges it is also exuberant, with the beds threatening to spill out into the lawn at any moment. Maybe that is the goal of any garden — to maintain a bit of control but also expose the wilderness that could be.

The truth is, we only carve our gardens out of the wilderness for a small amount of time. I only have to look at properties in my neighborhood that remain empty for a short time. The lawn and garden beds quickly revert to weeds and saplings. Given a few months, I could see the entire property yielding to the overwhelming pressure of nature. Even more, this is here in the relatively dry and inhospitable San Fernando Valley. if you live in a more temperate climate, your lot could go from a cultivated garden to meadow to woodlot in just a year or so.

Tatham Garden [slide]

Tatham Garden [slide]

Creator: Van Altena, Edward
       Tatham, Edwin, Mrs
       Bedford Garden Club

Type: Projected media

Date: 1930

Topic: Summer
     Walls (building)
     Lavabos (Architecture)

Local number: NY054001

Physical description: 1 slide: glass lantern, col.; 3 x 5 in

Place: Tatham Garden (Somers, New York)

Persistent URL:http://siris-archives.si.edu/ipac20/ipac.jsp?&profile=all&sour ce=~!siarchives&uri=full=3100001~!183159~!0#focus

Repository:Archives of American Gardens

View more collections from the Smithsonian Institution.

Previously in Garden History:

In The Past: Planting Vegetables in 2009

I came across these shots from April 2009 in my TimeHop.com feed today. I think it is always great to look back on what you have done and where you have been, both in your garden and in your life.

What was happening your garden 4 years ago, or last year, or yesterday? Share it below in the comments.

Planting vegetablesPlanting vegetables

Planting vegetables

Planting vegetablesPlanting vegetables

Planting vegetablesPlanting vegetables

Garden Decor: Japanese Garden Water Fountain

Japanese Garden Water Fountain

A lovely and heavily naturalized Japanese fountain. I love the way it fits in the garden and the contract between the dark stone and light-colored bamboo. There is another form of fountain that I also like called a “deer scare.” These fountains use the water to tip a piece of bamboo so it knocks against a stick or the basic each time it fills. This fountain could be easily modified into such a fountain, too, I think.

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Previously in Garden Decor: