March 2010

California Native Plants31 Mar 2010 01:11 pm

Lupinus arboreus


Travel31 Mar 2010 06:57 am

I’m back from Boston and I see we’re in for thunderstorms today. Thank g-d I got back just in time! It would have been terrible to have to have missed thunderstorms on the last day of the pottery sale.

So what did we do in Boston? Besides the nephew’s bar mitzvah and the giant seder? Flower and Garden Show!

There were a lot of succulents at the Boston Flower and Garden Show. And they were expensive too, compared to California prices. But most of all the show was small, very commercial and crowded. The show gardens were different than we are used to. Out here, they are designer’s show gardens; in Boston they are nursery’s show gardens. The difference is immediately obvious – showing old product rather than inspiring with new designs. I was amazed that they all had clumps of evergreens on display. I mean, really, evergreens at your spring garden show? That’s what you use to inspire new customers?

I didn’t take any pictures, and I think that says it all. Since we missed the SF show; anybody know a good source for SF Garden Show pictures?

California Native Plants29 Mar 2010 04:26 am

Fremontodendron “Pacific Sunset” surrounded by the terra cotta sale.


News28 Mar 2010 08:16 am

It must be spring. While we’re out of town, Ian sends along this photo of the first Evhinocereus grandiflora bloom of spring.


Questions&Reader Photos28 Mar 2010 05:05 am

I bought this as a little plant from you guys two years ago an it’s grown an insane amount! What is this? I’m so curious about it.

photo-33 photo-34


Wow! That’s a very happy Opuntia (Austrocylindropuntia) subulata monstrose. Really a beautiful specimen. It probably has another year before it needs to be pruned back in that pot.

Misc27 Mar 2010 01:44 pm

We’re in Boston and got to see the latest Lipson Robotics installation, at Tripadvisor headquarters. Wow!


Reader Photos27 Mar 2010 09:45 am

We finish up this series of photos sent to us by Dan with desert wildflowers from the La Quinta Cove near Palm Springs. However, I refuse to ID them for you. I do all the hard work around here, maybe you could contribute your fair share today?


OK, that was harsh of me. One of them is an Indigo Bush. I just won’t tell you which one. That seems more fair of me.

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Alright, I give up, you win. From what I can see in the picture, the other one looks like a Desert Lupine. I won’t guarantee this though.

Whippets27 Mar 2010 09:42 am

Misc26 Mar 2010 12:03 pm

Heading to Boston today, so blogging may be light, although with my Droid phone, I can blog from anywhere, except on the flight, unless Virgin Atlantic has wifi.

They do have wifi!

Whippets26 Mar 2010 10:57 am

We think we might have found some of Benjamin’s progenitors.

benjamins other graddad

Teddy is a grandfather.

benjamins granddad striker

As is CH Surrey Hill’s Strike the Gold, or as he’s better known, Striker.

benjamins greatgrandmom penny

Penny is Teddy’s Mom, and thus is Benjamin’s great grandmother.

Benjamins uncle timmy

And here we have the irrepressible Timmy, Benjamin’s Uncle. Uncle Timmy!

He’s a cutey.

Reader Photos26 Mar 2010 09:42 am

Part 2 of Dan’s photos of Desert flowers in bloom at La Quinta Cove near Palm Springs.

I see now we have some cactus flowers in bloom. That is nice.

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I could ID these for you, but then what fun would that be? I think you should be IDing them for me.

Tomorrow we finish up with a few more wildflower blooms.

Misc25 Mar 2010 03:01 pm

It’s our first verbena we’re carrying.

Verbena tapiens


Misc25 Mar 2010 12:02 pm

“Cactus & Cowboys: The Art of William Spencer III.” is opening April 2 at the Turquoise Tortoise Gallery in Sedona.

You might think it is a traditional art, with a name like “Cactus and Cowboys” but you’d be wrong. There’s a lot of color in those desert paintings – it’s not muted.

Reader Photos25 Mar 2010 09:42 am

From reader Dan, we have these amazing wildflower shots in the desert near Palm Springs, at a place called La Quinta Cove. First we have the overview shots.

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More of these great shots tomorrow.

Oh, all right, one more now.

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Misc24 Mar 2010 01:39 pm

Can be purchased in New Hampshire. Probably Texas, too.


Misc24 Mar 2010 11:37 am


Misc24 Mar 2010 09:36 am

I’ve decided that today is goofy cactus photo day. Come along!

The boy appears to be named Gaston. Probably the french would know what this character is about, and why he has a cactus falling out of his hand.

Watch the cactus, Gaston!!!

Questions24 Mar 2010 09:17 am

A: Cut the wire.

I’m hoping for a little help regarding an issue I have with a very large and beloved peruvian apple (cereus) cactus. This cactus is probably 20 ft tall with a large trunk (about 2-3 feet in diameter) and many, many, many branches. The previous house owner bolted a wire to the house and then wrapped it around the cactus trunk (about 3 ft up from ground) and back to the house. The issue is of course… the cactus has grown and the rubber tubing around the wire has disintegrated allowing the wire to begin cutting through the cactus. Probably 1/4 to 1/2 inch divot into the trunk. So my question is… should I cut the wire and pull it out of the cactus? And is there anything I can put on the damaged area to prevent infection? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Yes, cut out the wire ASAP! It can girdle the cactus and eventually kill everything above the wire by strangulation…. Any injury to the skin can be painted or sprayed with standard hydrogen-peroxide to disinfect and help seal up the damage. If the green “Skin” is cut all the way around you may loose the top so make sure to take your time and remove the wire carefully so not to do any additional damage. If you can email us a photo we will try and give you more complete advice.

Good Luck,


Misc23 Mar 2010 01:40 pm

Wow! And it’s solar, no less.


Well, it’s not really a dancing cactus as the video will show. It’s more of a slow rocking back and forth. (more…)

National Parks&News23 Mar 2010 08:49 am

And the San Diego Union-Tribune takes you into the heart of the wildflowers.

The heavy rainfall this winter has given us an outstanding wildflower bloom in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park…

Nothing is as exciting to me as the bright fuchsia blooms of the beavertail, and they’re sticking out all over now. Besides the barrel cactus, you’ll also see the blooms on the fishhook cactus, as well as the cholla.

Among the amazing discoveries in a spring desert wildflower season are the tiny blooms that cover the sandy desert floor. You have to look closely for these little wonders. See if you can spot the yellow and pink sand verbena, the bright yellow gold poppies, and the tiny white rock daisies.

What? No pictures? I’ll find some for you.

From the State of California, no help from the SD Union-Tribune, we have a brand new wildflower map (pdf)! Now that is awesome.

And they have pictures too.

ocotillo buds monkey flower mt palm spring web barrel cactus

I must say I haven’t appreciated the State as much as I should. I went looking for wildflower photos and the private enterprises, like the local newspapers in San Diego, failed me. But the State came through. Good stuff.

DesertUSA also has good wildflower updates, right up to the minute.

Water When Dry is also a good place to find out about what’s blooming in the cultivated deserts of Arizona. Todays blooms include Mammillaria and Baileya.

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