Saturday, November 28, 2009

Blue on Blue

My first 78 record was Blue on Blue when I was a teenager. I was never really fond of the song, but will never forget the title. Bobby Vinton was singing a song about having the blues.  And this post is about the blues, but in my garden, inspired by Kiki at Awake with Charm and Spirit.

First a huge thank you to two wonderful bloggers who have given me the best blog award.

I received it from Noelle at Plants Tips and Guidelines for the Desert Garden and from The Violet Fern.  Am I lucky or what. I am a great fan of both blogs. Do go and visit them. I love so many blogs that I will defer to others to list the best blogs. They've done such a good job.

Now for the blue in the garden. I have a variety of flowers and other garden structures in the garden that are blue. I'll start with the plants first.

Blue Glory Bower

Morning Glory


Plumbago ceratostigma

Some of favorites are blue gray, like the succulents.


Now into the things non-plant. Lots of blue pots, one of which if pictured below.

Echeveria in Blue Ceramic pot

My short blue picked fence

In general, I love blue, so have to hold myself back so that I do not paint all the wicker chairs blue. I'm due to repaint some of my flower pots blue. I really enjoy blue as an accent and flower in my garden.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wordless Wednesday- Roses

All roses found at LA Arboretum















Friday, November 20, 2009

LA Arboretum: Trees

I love the strength and stature of a tree.  They are the old and wise beings of the plant world. As they grow older their beauty shines in a new way. Some of the Arboretum trees had this sort of beauty.

Pink or Silk Floss Tree

Underneath this tree you can see young peacock fowl. This Ceiba speciosa belongs to the same family as the baobob and is originally from South America.  Being drought resistant it does particularly well in Southern California.  The bark is very unusual with very large and stout thorns adorning it.


Right now it has pink flowers.  Later in the year these flowers will become large pods from which silk floss will fall. This is how it gets its name. Now for the flowers, which shed such a beautiful shadow of pink on the ground.


Ginkgo biloba tree

This tree's leaves are beginning to turn in autumn's coolness.  This tree is unusual, as it has no living relatives, all others being extinct.   It's extinct relatives can still be found as fossils. It originated in China. It leaves bear a resemblance to the leaflets of the maidenhair fern, giving it the common name, Maidenhair Tree.


The leaves look beautiful in the early stages of gaining their autumn color on the outer edge of each leaf. Perfect symmetry!!

There were other trees showing signs of autumn in the Arboretum, mostly maples.


A glorious abundance of gold against the blue sky. Such colors fill our souls in autumn.

I couldn't leave out my favorite tree, the paper-white birch.  This far south they are small, but treasured sights.

The silver glow of the bark never fails to inspire me. When I lived in Russia, I was able to see many large specimens of this tree in the forest.  Russians love this tree and write many folk songs about it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

LA Arboretum: Desert

Madagascar Spiny Forest

Pachypodium (thank you JJ Glade)

This area of the Arboretum features some of the strange plants from this area of Madagascar.  Please pardon my lack of knowledge of the names. If anyone does know, please let me know so that I can post them.

The region of Madagascar where the spiny deserts are receives little rain and has no shade. Some of these plants have an other-worldly look, as they have evolved over centuries to be able to survive the harsh conditions of this desert. Many of the plants are endemic to Madagascar and have strange and amazing shapes in their efforts to live in this region. The plant above has a swollen trunk to preserve water.

This was one of the few flowering plants in this section.

A type of Euphorbia (thank you JJ Glade)

This is one of the stranger plants in the collection. This specimen is large and arches over the path. The spines are hidden in the plump leaves on the stems. The leaves and the trunk store water for the plant.


Here are some other plants that caught the eye of my camera.

a type of Crown of Thorns


Cactus Garden

The Arboretum has some beautiful specimens of cacti and succulents.


The fruit of the cactus

Just behind this cactus garden was the red fairy duster (thank you Noelle for the name of this plant), where I found the bees.

There are some wonderful succulents close by, some blooming, some just glowing with color.

A type of Aloe in bloom

Another type of Aloe in bloom

Euphorbia tirucalli "Sticks on Fire" (Thank you, Noelle

One of my favorites of the day with its bright orange and red succulent branches.