Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Weekend California Vacation

I went down to LA for an extended weekend to kick it with my family and see one of my cousin's tie the knot. It's been probably almost 10 years since I've been in the LA area and it was surprisingly chilly, especially at night, but the landscape there was just as I had expected.

Strelitzia in Hollywood

Seeing bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) all around was captivating and I've regained my love for Phormium as I've been so fed up with their unreliability as a perennial here in the Pacific Northwest.

Aloe composition
Aloes and other desert plants are simply amazing. These were in full peak bloom and required a reminder from my uncle to hustle or else we'd miss our flight back to Seattle.

Variegated Agaves in Hillside
Checking out the Hollywood Hills was pretty awesome (though I was kind of disappointed at how small the Hollywood sign was). Dodging the bright sun and the view of downtown LA covered in smog, I looked down and admired these variegated Agaves on the slope of the Observatory.

Pears from Tito Boys yard Guavas 1

My uncle's house, blocks from Sunset Boulevard, yielded some wonderful fruit trees in his back yard. A deliciously crisp and sweet pear (didn't think they would grow in a warm mild climate) and a fruit from our childhood, the tart and tangy Guava.

Auntie Lina picks tangelos
Call me silly, but I was so impressed with the number of citrus trees people had down there. I was so excited to see them with so much fruit, I started taking so many photos, but the one I selected is of my aunt who went after a tangelo in my other aunt's yard!

Crassulas and Aeonium 1
One of my most favorite images of the entire trip, with the exception of a hottie I couldn't keep my eyes off of during the wedding reception hee hee, was the red edged Crassula aka Jade Plant! Yes, they're very common, but seeing hedges of these things is remarkable to me and when the light hits them, they just glow and command attention.

Schefflera foundation planting
I've been on such a Schefflera kick lately, these totally caught my eye. Someone on my Flickr page identified it as S. pueckleri or Tupidanthus calyptratus. It seems to be fairly common around the LA area. This photo was taken in Long Beach.

Fall Color in LA
FALL COLOR?? I was a little surprised that warm, mild climates produce fall color in plants. I guess if it's naturally deciduous, it still picks up on day length and temperature drop in order for those pigments to be expressed. Tree's gotta lose it leaves, right?? This is a Sweet Gum, btw (Liquidambar styraciflua)


  1. That is a pretty sorry excuse for a Liquidambar! I'm used to seeing them a lot more red and purple and orange and awesome.
    And no picture of the hottie from the reception? I kept scrolling down in hopes of an image...

  2. Dude, it's LA, man. Cut them some slack! Here in the NW, they color up very well.

    Oh there's a picture. Just came out blurry and I thought, meh....I'm over it. LOL!