Thursday, April 17, 2014


  Last summer I saw this amazing new Hydrangea in one of my client's gardens.  It had different leaves and each floret was smaller but the spray of flowers was huge!  After searching all over the internet, I discovered that it's Hydrangea arborescens "Invincibelle".   

It was spectacular and I started pining for one. I checked a few nurseries but only found the white one and it was spendy.   I took a few cuttings and tried to root them. One survived.   I still have it but it's one inch tall.   This variety of Hydrangea lost all of it's leaves in the winter and was a brown stick. It differed from our regular Hydrangea macrophylla whose stems are very fleshy and the new growth is green.  Flash forward to 2 weeks ago.  I was at a nursery and found a few of this special plant and they were just leafing out.  But they were $36.00.  I talked myself out of it.  Then I saw it again at the Descanso Gardens gift shop last weekend got $50.00.    Again I didn't buy it.   Then I saw this on Pinterest: 

And decided it was talking to me ;-)    So today I went back to Lincoln Avenue Nursery in Pasadena and bought the $35.00 plant.  I planted it in my garden as soon as I got home.  

Find all my pins here on Pinterest.
Happy Gardening!!!  

Monday, April 14, 2014

Warning Labels

Just a word of advice today.  Please always read labels before applying pesticides and herbicides.  Twice in the last two weeks I've been asked to apply products of which the homeowner did not read the labels.   One was a pre-emergent that prevents seeds from germinating(prevents weeds).  Today it was for snail bait.    Ortho bug geta.   Both products said they were TOXIC to animals and humans.  Both clients had dogs.  I showed them the labels and discouraged them from using it.   Both products were granular and dogs are attracted to stuff like that.  They think it's food for them.  Liquids are another story and do not attract pets.  Instead I squished about 20 snails today.  So be careful with products you buy.  We take care of our pets.  Take enough care to read labels.  Happy gardening!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dwarf Alstroemeria

I am in love with these dwarf Alstroemerias!!!    I might have posted on them before.  But I just got the red one below and thought this deserved another look!!!  The common name is Peruvian Lily and they are native to South America.  It used to be that there were just tall(3 feet or so) varieties.  They are a great cut flower.   But in the ground because of their height, they tend to flop.  So maybe 10 years ago I started seeing dwarf varieties in nurseries and a few years ago I got divisions of the yellow and pink from one of my clients and planted them in my(then new) garden.  They still are kinda spendy.  I saw one at a nursery last week that was $25.00.  That's why I was happy to pay $14.99 for this new red one at Lowe's.  They only grow about 16" and look great in the garden!  And they STILL make great cut flowers, just in shorter vases.  And who has space for really tall vases in their kitchen cupboards anyway? 

Last year I found this burgundy one at Trader Joe's.  It got a little frostburn but is spectacular now.  

White was difficult to find and I got this one at the Huntington Library & Gardens.  

They do die back for part of the year in winter.  But some of them stay evergreen.  Oh, the advancements made in hybridizing!   They also come in purples and more oranges that I NEED too.  Try an Alstroemeria in your garden.  You can thank me later :-)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Green Flowers

This time of year it's really difficult to NOT BUY plants!  It's Spring and gardeners everywhere are seduced at the nursery.

Either you love green flowers or you hate them. I think they're really fun, weird and cool. Today I found and bought a green Azalea! It looks white-ish but is green! I have to find a spot to plant it into garden. Do you like green flowers?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Roses Begin!

Just wanted to share this pic of the fabulous rose Pinnacle in full bloom in my garden! Pinnacle is a single stemmed Floribunda rose that's a bit difficult to find.  I had to mail order mine about 6 years ago.  It's super happy to have been in the ground for 2 years.  It's usually the first rose to bloom in my garden. Granted it's in the first or second batch to get pruned. And I didn't even begin my own pruning until the first week of February this year. And what a bright spot of light the Bearded Iris Frequent Flyer is in the foreground!

Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Last Autumn, just a few months ago I was at a nursery buying some other plants and thought I'd try a Borage plant. All I knew was it had beautiful BLUE flowers, was an herb and was good for bees. Research says it's used as an oilseed, a tea in other countries and is a good companion plant for legumes. The leaves contain some toxins though.

So what a surprise when it first flowered last week in WHITE!!! Ugh! I am not happy and am considering yanking the plant! It's already grown taller than my artichoke plant next to it. But it's an annual so maybe I should just wait until it dies. What would you do?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

First Poppy

Happy first day of SPRING! 

I just wanted to share my first Poppy bloom. Papaver somniferum is the opium poppy. I am of course growing them for ornamental purposes because they're pretty. I got seed from a friend two years ago and this is my second year growing them. One plants the seeds in about November here and they bloom in Spring. Once it gets hot, they're done. I have a mixture, some are single and some are double. I prefer the double ones and actually yanked two single variety plants today and chucked them(because they do reseed). They grow to about 3-4 feet tall.