Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday Greetings from the NGG!

Riz with Tree and Rug

I hope everyone is doing well, taking it easy and surrounded by the warmth and hearts of loved ones nearby.

It's already Christmas Eve and I'm just now starting to feel the grind of the holiday season as I've been so immersed in work. I went shopping today and almost cried as I didn't know what I was getting with my measly gardener's salary. hahah I've pulled off some creative, last minute ideas for Christmas, but it's certainly stressful.

As I really dislike giving people material things they probably don't want or need, I wish I could afford "experiences" for people such as a trip to the spa, a gym membership, tickets to a show or event, or dining out. Someday should my efforts lead to something more lucrative and something grand the horticultural world has never seen before, I will make it happen.

I've got a few more "Best of 2010" coming up before the New Year takes hold so stay tuned and my sincerest thanks for showing your enthusiasm for plants and gardens by following my blog!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas,


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Forever the Bridesmaid...

Always the Bridesmaid

With my cousin at another cousin's wedding where I somehow ended up with a bouquet of Callas.

Check out this lovely idea for an evening arrangement:


Please someone ID this Hydrangea for moi!

Hydrangea multicolor
A lovely hydrangea from a friend's garden. Kicking myself for not asking for cuttings (though it was getting late in the season). These are flowers all from the same plant! Starting out a pale blue, aging to pale green and then into a bright crimson red!!

Any thoughts on which one this might be. I'm assuming it's a serrata type??

Hydrangea blue green red

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)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Not quite dead, but a definite setback


I was actually quite surprised that this Schefflera taiwaniana I planted at a client's home in the View Ridge neighborhood of Seattle endured this much damage compared to my plants in Shoreline, which is typically colder.

The terminal buds seem to have been sapped, but the base, for the most part, looks quite viable and able to regrow barring any more serious drops in temperature this coming winter.