garden

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Late summer at the UC Davis Arboretum Valley-Wise Garden

Late summer at the UC Davis Arboretum Valley-Wise Garden

This morning I went to a presentation at the Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden at the UC Davis Arboretum. I learned that the garden was started in the early 1980s as a demonstration garden to showcase plants that would thrive in our Mediterranean climate. The garden is watered only...

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VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, BC

VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, BC

VanDusen Botanical Garden (VBG) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada may well be the loveliest public garden you’ve never seen. I almost didn’t visit either on our recent Pacific Northwest trip, but then I read this description in Donald Olson’s book The Pacific Northwest Garden Tour (Timber Press, 2014):

No...

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Meet my book aloe (Aloe suprafoliata)

Meet my book aloe (Aloe suprafoliata)

I won’t lie, agaves are my favorite group of plants, but aloes are right there near the top. They offer as much variety in size, texture and color as agaves do and many of them flower every year—unlike agaves, which typically flower only once, at the end of their lives (and then promptly...

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Grand opening of The Cannery farm-to-table community in Davis, CA

Grand opening of The Cannery farm-to-table community in Davis, CA

Last weekend was the grand opening of The Cannery, the first major new-home development to be built in Davis in over 20 years (Davis is renowned for its anti-growth politics). I’m not looking to move but like so many people in town I was eager to get a first look at...

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Three new aloes from Facebook

Three new aloes from Facebook

Did you know that you can buy plants on Facebook? While there aren’t any traditional online stores, there are many groups dedicated to buying, selling and trading. Succulents seem to be particularly popular.

I’m always excited when our mail lady delivers a box of plants—even more so when it’s two boxes.

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Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, WA

Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, WA

It’s been a while since my last post about our Pacific Northwest trip earlier this year. Time now to return to Seattle, Washington! I didn’t have time to visit any of the great public gardens, but I did spend a few hours at a very special place in the heart of...

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Harvesting bulbils from our Agave desmettiana

Harvesting bulbils from our Agave desmettiana

Two weeks ago we cut off the massive flower stalk from the Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ next to the front door because it was leaning too precariously. We rested the severed stalk against one of the bay trees in the backyard in hopes the bulbils would continue to grow. This didn’t happen....

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Independent Sacramento nursery succulent selection

Independent Sacramento nursery succulent selection

Last week I reported that the succulent selection at the big box garden centers in the Sacramento area has gotten much better than it used to be. I had some time on the weekend so I decided to see what Green Acres, an independent nursery with four Sacramento area...

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De-pupping an Agave ‘Cream Spike’

De-pupping an Agave ‘Cream Spike’

Is there a better recipe for lifting yourself out of the summer doldrums than buying a plant? I don’t think so. Here’s my weekend purchase:

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Agave applanata ‘Cream Spike’

This beauty is the largest Agave ‘Cream Spike’ I’ve ever seen for...

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Succulent close-ups at home

Succulent close-ups at home

Lately I’ve been focused too much on the ugly side of summer. But when you ignore the dried up plants and the brown grass and look closer, there’s plenty of beauty to be found. To see what I mean, check out these succulent close-ups I took around the garden in the past week.

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