December 2008

California Native Plants31 Dec 2008 09:33 am


Ceanothus griseus “Yankee Point”

Fast growing ground-cover shrub, 2 to 3 ft. tall, with glossy dark green leaves and blue flower clusters winter through spring. Can handle partial shade and as low as 20º F.

Well, that’s the technical info, but what about the feeling? The meaning? The purpose? Well, it’s an interesting photo…

News30 Dec 2008 01:28 pm

Lyn in Farragut, Tennessee got his Christmas Cactus to bloom on Christmas. And I know this because he writes for the Farragut Press and wrote an entire article about this.

Two years ago, I started letting my Christmas cactus spend its summers outside in a sunny location in front of the garage, giving it sort of a vacation.

Since then, it has grown more lush and, at least this year, bloomed in time for the holidays.

Good deal. Alas, no pictures.

California Native Plants30 Dec 2008 10:31 am


Ceanothus gloriosus “Anchor Bay”

These flowers are a bit more on the purplish side than most of the California Lilacs, which tend to be a bit more on the powdery blue edge, if my eyes don’t deceive me.

The leaves are some of the toughest of the Ceanothus leaves, which makes them great as a deer-resistant plant, along with the “Emily Brown.”

California Native Plants29 Dec 2008 10:00 am


Arctostaphylos rudis “Vandenberg”

This California native with very dense foliage can be used in your garden as  a deep green backdrop. On the other hand, if you prefer, with a minimal amount of pruning it can form a hedge to protect you from your annoying neighbors, naturally growing to about 6 ft. tall. However, the thickly growing leaves will tend to hide the deep red manzanita bark on the twisting branches.

We’re starting to get the small clusters of small white and pink flowers already, and they should last into early spring.

Hardy to 15°F. brrrr……

Gee, I feel like a garden blogger all of a sudden, taking pictures of plants in my garden and describing what they can be used for. Maybe I should talk about the berries next, and which urban and suburban animals will appreciate your providing them with this lovely smorgasbord.

Nursery29 Dec 2008 08:11 am

The nursery is now closed for winter break, and not a moment too soon. It’s freezing out there, what with temperatures down into the 50s on some days! And rain too! Brrrr…. I think the real problem is that I have a wonderful warm winter coat and a really rain-resistant rain coat, but there are days when it’s both rainy and cold and then what can I do? I can choose to be warm or I can choose to be dry. Some choice.

Anyway, for the past 5 years we’ve been closed for all of January, and this year we’ve reduced it to only 2 weeks. Bummer. It’s not enough time to catch up on all the work needed to get ready for spring, but the crew will try. We’ll be adding a new bigger Houseplant greenhouse, moving the potting stations to increase our dry-goods sales area, and preparing a spot to bring in organic vegetable starts for spring for the first time.

And I’ll be blogging straight through nonetheless. Maybe not at my furious pace like in the warm summer months, but I’ve still got my camera out and am taking pictures of winter bloomers.

Oh, and we’ll be reopening on January 14, 2009, 9:00am bright and early, and by then I’m sure temperatures will be back up into the 60s.

Photography28 Dec 2008 09:56 am

And it’s after Christmas!

I don’t understand, don’t these plants have calendars at the ready? They can stop blooming now if they want.

Nursery27 Dec 2008 10:44 am

Sam and Ian are talking about something or other in the rare plant house, probably mealy bugs on the Jatrophas.

Ian really likes his new safety goggles. A closeup after the break… (more…)

Misc27 Dec 2008 08:03 am

Keith was browsing the internets, no longer called a series of tubes since Senator Stevens lost to Mark Begich, and he found this picture of a giant cactus. Even bigger than that, I’d say. Let’s call it “gigantic.”

It’s a Pachycereus weberi from Oaxaca. Photo by Arturo Anaya from Columnar Cacti.

Did I mention that Hap went to school with Senator-Elect Begich? Oh, the stories he could tell. Or not. But congratulations.

Blogs&Photography26 Dec 2008 02:04 pm

Plants are the Strangest People has a long discourse on the care and feeding and his personal dislike of Adeniums. Lots of good information, notwithstanding the fact that I’m quoted.

Here, have a pretty adenium flower picture:

California Native Plants&Photography&Stories26 Dec 2008 09:11 am

This has been much blogged, but here’s the green roof on the top of the Academy of Sciences building in Golden Gate Park.

If you look very closely you can see that it’s all California native plants.

Oh, and look over there, I see some Dudleyas! So many succulents. What’s that? It’s a Sedum? It is!

These cell phone pictures aren’t very good. Maybe I should go back to using my camera.

Whippets26 Dec 2008 08:26 am

Christmas morning in bed

Photography25 Dec 2008 12:07 pm

Sansevieria “Skyline” on a frosty christmas morning.

Photography25 Dec 2008 11:18 am

No cactus in this sketch. Maybe behind the house.

Polls24 Dec 2008 12:08 pm

Misc24 Dec 2008 09:11 am

OK, so that was a lot of cactus salt and pepper shakers yesterday. But I’ve saved the best for last, and waited a whole day to post it. I was really tempted to post this yesterday, since it’s the best one, but I held back, kept my impulses in check, and saved it for today. But now that it is christmas eve, it’s time to share with you this final cactus salt and pepper shaker that I’ve found on the web. The best one, after all.

But you’ll have to click through after the break to find out who won the title of Best Cactus Salt and Pepper Shaker. (more…)

Misc23 Dec 2008 06:18 pm

Offered here is a Vintage Made in Japan Cactus Salt & Pepper Shakers in excellent condition. Marked on the bottom. So cute for your kitchen decor and even one is missing the cork still in perfect condition!!

The dimension of each cactus is 3” tall.

These are perfect for the guest house out back, with the little kitchenette. You wouldn’t want these on your dining room table in the main house, or even at your beach house on Martha’s Vineyard, but it will go perfect with your retro decor and all the other knick-knacks you hide out back in the guest house.

Misc23 Dec 2008 04:07 pm

i wonder how many cactus salt and pepper shakers there are in the world? I’m up to 5 already and I’ve barely scratched the surface. These are for sale on EBay, of course.


Well, I think we can debate that characterization.

Misc23 Dec 2008 03:05 pm

From the Wing Thing we find some classic styling.

Cactus Salt and Pepper Shakers

These are vintage salt and pepper shakers that would be perfect for backyard dining, retro casual fare. There is no chipping, but a little bit of paint has worn off a corner (see shaker on the top left – the right hand corner) from being used. Otherwise, the condition is very good. They both have cork in the bottom and are 3″ high. Most likely from the 40’s/50’s. Probably made in Japan, but unmarked.

I suppose these will increase in value since they’re vintage. Not yet antique, but well on their way.

Misc23 Dec 2008 01:01 pm

Now this pair is amazing. I think you’d want the salt in the cactus and the pepper in the vulture, but that’s just an opinion. On the other hand, I am the Cactus Blogger, so you will do as I say.

Vulture/Cactus Salt & Pepper Shaker Holder from Wrangler Iron
Length: 4.00″ Height: 5.75″ Width: 2.00″

Salt & Pepper Shakers are not Dishwasher Safe.  Sponge Clean Only.

Oooohh, that may be a deal killer.

Misc23 Dec 2008 10:57 am

A modern interpretation.

Cactus Salt and Pepper Shaker from EXPREZZO, the European design store for the home

I wonder what species these 2 are? I would guess Echinopsis terscheckii and Stetsonia coryne.

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