23 May 2006


Can't get enough Calochortus, can you? These are both C. superbus flowers. I know not only because they're in the same pot, but because I looked it up [Frank Callahan, "The Genus Calochortus," in Bulbs of North America, ed. McGary (Portland, 2001)] and identified the telltale chevron-shaped nectary.

On the same theme, I invite you to contemplate the variability of my hybrid Kniphofias.

16 May 2006



I'll be away for a while, but I couldn't leave that last post at the top for any longer, so check out Calochortus venustus. Bam!

Also blooming, and photographed with considerably less success, the stream orchid.

12 May 2006

Dork 2.0

Although this blog is not so much "designed", I did think, briefly, about how to make it work. This entailed using some exotic new technologies instead of the dread "static content" to put together the sidebar to your right. Namely: flickr, del.icio.us, and Google Reader. Flickr is more or less self-explanatory, but I have been screwing around with the other two.

I have been trying to make del.icio.us a kind of subject index for this blog, and while it doesn't quite work the way I want it to, the results might be useful in the future. All along I've been using it to display a constantly updated list of interesting links. del.icio.us is not quite on the change-your-life level of TiVo, but it's not far away.

Google Reader is also approaching Tivo: over the years I've used Thunderbird, My Yahoo!, and even Kinja (I know, I was the only one) to try to keep track of the internets. Thunderbird was starting to work pretty well for me, but Google Reader is portable and it lets you do something I've wanted to do for approximately ever: publish an updated list of feeds instead of a blogroll (see right). Or you can share a list directly at Google: viz.

Ok, let us never speak of this again.



I expected these red hot pokers ("flamenco", a dwarf cv. from Monrovia) to have more densely packed flower spikes. And to be more red hot. Thus illustrating the dangers of relying on nursery descriptions without being able to see the flowers for yourself.

Still, they ended up combining quite nicely with the Satureja mexicana, and the hummingbirds have already been checking them out before any of the flowers even opened, which was the original idea.

11 May 2006

Nature mort

Here's the "Double Delight," together with some, uh, unorthodox companion plants. Just to the left of this frame is the Cantua buxifolia, which was quite sad at the time that we bought it -- both because it was super cheap and, of course, because of the common name: "sacred flower of the Incas." The third reason -- yes, I know this is a problem -- was that I had never heard of it. I has sent out a solitary, late (I think) flower, visible in its early stages at the above link. Also posted, the profuse flowers of the other rose (yes, the aggressively suckering one).

You can get a sense of the variablity of "Double Delight" thanks to better photographers than I at flickr. Sadly, none were able to capture the smell.

10 May 2006

Annals of unfortunate cultivar names

Does one laugh, cry, or simply admire the innocence of the hybridizers at Weston Nursery for naming one of their azaleas "Golden Showers"?

I ask because a trip to the local rose garden has revealed that one of our inherited hybrid teas is called "Double Delight". This makes me uncomfortable even though it won the AARS two years before Fred Smoot was born.

[It does indeed have a delightful scent, though the color is not really my thing.]

09 May 2006

Who's your daddy?

[via hott wife]

05 May 2006



Even when not moved to my customary eloquence, I still upload pictures to flickr. So if you're bored enough to check this page, you might as well check the pix, which sometimes even come out ok, as did this volunteer love-in-a-mist, which wins the best common name contest. Conveniently, since I'm not sure if it's N. damascena or N. hispanica. Expert opinions?

01 May 2006

Planting restraint

Tulipa linifolia

You cannot assume that all the plants at a specialty plant sale are suited to your climate. I, of course, spazzed out and forgot this on Friday, when I bought these unbelievable species tulips, which are native to high elevations of the Pamir mountains, and are thefore as likely to thrive in my yard as in hell. But: wow. I might even have to clear out a space in the fridge to try to hang onto these.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I fucking scored at the plant sales this year:

asphodelAsphodelus albusLiliaciae/
beschorneriaBeschorneria rigidaAgavaceae
mariposa lilyCalochortus superbusLiliaciae/
mariposa lilyCalochortus venustusLiliaciae/
Cali. fuschiaEpilobium canum/ "Catalina"
Zauschneria californica
paintbrushHaemanthus albiflosAmaryllidaceae
mariposaHedychium coronariumZingiberaceae
copihueLapageria rosea "Nahuelbuta"Philesiaceae
Douglas irisIris douglasianaIridaceae
pincushionLeucospermum "scarlet ribbons"Proteaceae
coyote mintMonardella macrantha "Marian Sampson"Lamiaceae
king proteaProtea cynaroidesProteaceae
puyaPuya venustaBromeliaceae
tulipTulipa linifoliaLiliaciae

© 2006