Thursday, January 29, 2009

Funky Connection

Hi you all. I have a rather temperamental internet connection. Maybe if I ponied up and quit scooping free internet access from the neighbors I'd be able to post more often. Not that there has been a lot of interesting things to blog about lately. Winter time is computer time. I've been spending more and more time in my office and the YeeHaw! moments I love to share with you have more to do with plans than plants. Any bureaucrats out there should feel free to email me for the stunning highlights. And I do mean stunning.

Today Tim and Meredith from the Tamarisk Coalition broke up the tedium of my winter office humdrum. They brought some folks to check out Watson Island for good planting sites. There will be a big push this spring to revegetate Watson Island. There was a heck of a lot of russian olive removed this past fall. There is more being removed along with the tamarisk over the winter. If you haven't been to Watson Island lately it is worth the trip. It is transformed. Anyway, it got me out of the office. And here is the picture to prove it.

It was good to get out even if it was cold. If you squint and look REAL hard at that black dot at the center island you'll see a gorgeous blue heron. Seriously, I've got to get a real camera.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Week?

Has it really been a week since I posted last? Really? I don't know. I think I'm caught in some sort of time wrinkle.

It has been suggested to me that "things slow down in the winter". Yeah, I fell for it last year. But not this year. This year I was going to be on top of things. And then more things came along. "What things?" you may be wondering. Nothing photogenic, that's for sure. A lot of paperwork. But it is good paperwork. Plotting and planning new gardens. Always a fun chore. We did get a great bunch of butterflies in last week. Here are the chrysalids just hanging around. They've just about all emerged so the butterfly house is filled with happy butterflies.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Muscle Man Mike

I don't think I've mentioned how much I love Elam Construction lately. Here it is only 9 days into the new year and I'm over there asking for a favor. There's one New Year's resolution blown. The gate in the Children's Garden went cattywampus and needed fixing. Look. Here is Mike with his welding gear, which he didn't need and his crane, which he did. The problem was fixed in about 20 minutes.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thanks for the heat!

So whoever it was who heard my plea for turning up the heat. Thanks. Although I think I should have my head examined if I think that temperatures going up into the 30's is hot. But apparently I'm not the only one. Just look at those footprints in the amphitheater. (Yes. That is "real" lense flare.)

Greenhouse Beauties

I'm certain that you will be wondering just exactly what you are supposed to be admiring in the photo below. The lovely green foliage? The tips of the fan palm perhaps? Maybe the fact that the sunshade is partway open. This photo is a reminder to me, and you, that the clarendendrom (aka glory bower) is about to explode into flower. And I do mean explode. While the flowers of this particular clerendendrom do not have a discernible scent, the flowers are really cool. They look like fireworks. I saw the buds today which means the flowers will be opening next week. As I remember from last year they stay open for a few weeks but don't wait until the last minute. Visit these beauties soon.

Another plant miracle. This cute pinky flower is from our coral vine (antigonon leptopsis, doesn't that sound like the name of a stuffy, British butterfly expert?) It died last year and I thought that was the end of it. We never got around to pulling up the "dead" root. And here it is. Not only growing but blooming. And yes, a little out of focus. But if you come in and see it in person you can adjust the focus anyway you like.

Saturday Morning Cartoon

This isn't a cartoon exactly but it is Saturday morning and it definitely is worth watching, especially if you are in to plants and have an Edward Gorey-ian sense of the macabre.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Every plant requires proper pruning. Pruning is a talent not everyone has. Pruning takes skill, knowledge and a good eye. Not all plants can be pruned the same. And to do a proper job it takes time. I recently got pruned and it took an hour and a half. But the plants will love you for it and it will make them very happy. See?

Of course I could be smiling because I just had the best brownie I ever ate in my entire life.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Would somebody mind turning up the heat?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Trees and Freeze

Happy New Year Everybody! I don't have any heartfelt words about the last year and the upcoming one. I think my Thanksgiving post covered all that pretty well so let it suffice to say all the best to you for the upcoming year.

Even though the temperatures dropped and there is snow on the ground there are some beautiful things to see at the Gardens. The junipers are purple and yellow. I'm still shocked that the snapdragons still have some green to them. I'm sure they are frozen stiff and would break as soon as you touch them but they are still a vibrant green. Of course all the critter tracks are super cool (no pun intended until now). I get a kick out of seeing so clearly where all our animal visitors are spending their time. Except you yutzes that insist on letting your dogs romp through the garden beds. Just because you can see it doesn't mean there aren't plants under there. Your dog is doing a lot of damage to my garden beds. We work hard to make the gardens nice so please keep your dog out of them. If you can't control your dog, leash it.

You'll see by the blue sky that I did not take this photo today. The new growth on this tree is bright red, really stunning.

And our pond is sensational with this incredible ice sculpture that has been building up since we have been having such cold temperatures.

Just because it is bone shattering cold outside doesn't mean you shouldn't come down to the Gardens. Bundle up! And remember you can always warm up in the greenhouses.