Tuesday, March 31, 2009


What's that sound you hear? That distant buzz? It is the sound of hummingbirds flocking to Annelle's new hummingbird feeder in the garden! She and Gary put it up yesterday and I had to stop and admire it this morning.

It may take a while for the little guys to find their new feeder but when they do, we'll be able to lounge on the bench (to be built) and watch them congregating around the trellis, which one day will be convered in star jasmine (scented) and sits between the Ceanothus (scented) and the loquats (scented) - it's going to be an experience! The photo below shows what the view from the bench will be like, looking to the right.

This morning I also managed, despite a severe crick in my neck, to dig a hole for our newest, biggest, bluest Agave americana. He now sits at the end of the storm drain and will have some of his smaller friends around him, effectively blocking off easy access to the storm drain by hooligans. Unless they like to be scratched by spiky leaves, who knows?

No doubt our new Agave (whose possible name due to his sharp looks is "Agavin Newsome"? Anyone?) will grow a bit bigger, but I've left enough room at the sidewalk for spread, and access to the biodegradable dog bags is not blocked at all. As you can see from the picture, behind him is a massive pile of branches (for borders) and our Fuchsia. I suspect the Fuchsia is being a bit fried by the heat being reflected off the wall there, so I'm planning on moving it to the large left bed and putting a tall Opuntia in it's place. The whole entrance area will have a cool Southwestern feel - I just hope little kokopelli windchimes, stained glass mosaic howling coyote toilet roll holders and other assorted tchotchkes don't start showing up, as is the tendency in community gardens...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Extreme gardening: big game hunting up north

Today I met Top Plant Donation Coordinator John and P. Garden's very own Caltrans personality Jes at the garden for a field trip up north. We went to Sonoma to dig up Opuntia (Pricky Pear) and then to Larkspur for Agaves and it was a helluva dig.

Jes can rip an 8' tall, 200# spine-covered Opuntia out of the ground with her bare hands, and John can flip them over his head into a truck, so the whole thing was like some sort of bizarre and dangerous circus act. Extreme gardening, people. It's the new thing. I was able to contribute my knowledge of the "trucker's hitch" knot to the fray (thanks Gary) while securing our succulent load, but it just doesn't have enough pizazz to top cactus juggling. H'm.

Despite John's predictions to the contrary, the Agaves were keen to stay in Larkspur, so we ended up using Jes' truck to rip them out of the ground (take that, roots!) and we made it home by 2pm. We got so much done in such a short time - what a blast! Thanks for a great day out and all your help, guys. (Photo shows Matt posing with one of the "big game" Opuntias, and several large Agave americana in the background that have been subdued - briefly!)

Back at the garden, I moved the Brugmansia to a better spot, watered with the new hose (heavy) and soaking wand (great) and enjoyed some time with neighbors Diana, Mara, Jim, Carrie and John.

Matt came home from baseball and moved some of the new plants around for me, then we picked up half a trees' worth of branches from down the street for more cunning twig weavery this week. A quick cleanup of spare bricks and trash, a refill off the top poop bag dispenser and a spot of daffodil deadheading and we were done for the weekend. Phew!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bricktopia and composterella

Today we toiled in the hot sun - Gary's wall reflects it onto the succulent bed and it was roasting! I planted Aloes, Agaves, Aeoniums and other assorted succulents along the wall and on the back slope.

We also put in the Cordyline "Festival Grass" (left) and were visited by Jess, Adolfo and Sophia. We met Elizabeth and her happy dog Peeka, and Jim and his two lovely dogs. After that we headed up for some coffee at Farley's. We met Randy of Potrero Hill Garden Club on the street - he was tending his sidewalk garden. I have been admiring it for ages. Coincidence!

Fueled by breakfast, Matt got to work on the wavy bricks. He pulled together a beautiful entrance way patio. We plan to put our two half wine barrel planters on each side, hopefully framed with an arch. Ooh, it's going to be nice.

Leah came by and dropped off a fantastic composter we can fill with household scraps, coffee grounds, horse poop and other compostables. Unlike the, um, "organic waste heap" in the corner, we won't put weeds, pine cones, twigs and other less than ideal items in it, and it will produce great compost a lot faster than the heap does.

She also brought two big flats of Cineraria stellata which will make a lovely colorful carpet in the shade. Thanks Leah!

In other news, the Starbucks coffee grounds got picked up... they suggested 2 other Starbucks we should add to the rounds. What volume of coffee grounds is too much? Not known.

Next we went to the barn, and on the way home dropped by Lowes and got a 100' heavy duty kink proof hose (sadly, having used a non-kink proof hose I now find this incredibly thrilling!), a brass splitter, trigger nozzle, and last but not least a soaking wand. You heard it here first: I can't wait to water stuff!

Finally, at about 8pm we drove up to see a couple of kids emerging from the storm drain area of the garden, rubbing their hands. I knew they'd been trying to hop the fence back there. "Get a few cactus spines in your hands?" I asked... they took off and jumped in a car. I hope they don't come back... time for my solar powered security light to go up back there.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Got branches?

Last night Matt and I went to the Mission to pick up a load of branches for the borders from friendly craigslister Elizabeth. She was pruning a tall tree and I was able to use my trusty Swiss Army knife's saw blade to remove a couple branches. I can hear you scoff, but that knife goes through wood like a, um, hot knife through butter!

We need more branches though. Long, up to 2" diameter, and a bit bendy (ie not pine etc) for our borders. Anyone pruning trees out there who can help?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Aloes and sedums and... more sedums... oh my.

Last night I planted the entire muck bucket of Aloe nobilis that John gave me to extend and thicken up the Aloe hedge that stops mulch from falling in the storm drain.

The Aloes now extend over what had become a little step from the drain up to the path. While this is a bit inconvenient for me, I hope it's so inconvenient for people who shouldn't be walking back there that it effectively stops them. I need a place to store pots and so on, and that's the only somewhat hidden area I can use: I don't need people walking back there and stealing or destroying stuff.

I also did a little weeding, and planted five Sedums along the wall, and one ("Hab Grey") in the large middle bed.

I would love to have my little ground cover Sedums trailing over the edge of the storm drain, but have had to move everything back from that edge to prevent them being crushed when homeless/kids tramp through there to hop over the fence at the back.

When the Opuntia cactus back there get established that route will close though - they will have to get under the freeway bridge from the other side.

Plant profile: Yucca

Yucca guatamalensis
There are 40-50 species of perennials, shrubs, and trees known as yuccas, which are in the agave family. They're pretty common as houseplants, and grow well in San Francisco gardens too.

Latin name: Yucca spp. ("YOU-cah")
Common name: Yucca
Originally from: hot and dry parts of North America, Central America, South America, and the West Indies.
Blooms: Not very often, but when they do you'll see a big spike with whitish flowers on it.
Light: Full sun, or partial shade.
Water: Rain is enough.
Where to find in P. Garden: In a row along the wall, as well as several dotted around on the back slope by the compost heap, and one in the large middle bed.

Yucca guatamalensis
We got most of our Yuccas from dedicated plant finder John, who brought us about a dozen large branches of Yucca guatamalensis (Spanish Dagger). We let them sit for a while, and then planted them against the wall of Gary's building, where they are currently considering the option to root and be well-behaved, or die and make a fool of me.

(UPDATE: they all rooted and are growing well!) They're very tough plants, so I expect they'll take up the challenge and I'll be hacking them back with a machete before you know it. John also gave us a full-on rooted Yucca tree (top) which is very impressive and gives the other Yuccas something to aspire to!

Yucca recurvifolia
We have a Yucca elephantipes "Silver Star" by the steps - taking it's time to get going like any variegated plant, but it'll be nice when it does.

Then we have a row of Weeping Yuccas (Yucca recurvifolia) (left) along the steps donated by John. Weeping Yuccas are native to Georgia and Mississippi and are less likely to poke your eye out than the others, with their softer leaves.

Yucca linearifolia
Also by the steps is one of my favorite plants: Yucca linearifolia. This narrow-leaved plant will eventually grow a trunk with the mesmerizing pom-pom of thin leaves held aloft on top of it. In about 30 years. Oh well.

We also have several Yucca flaccida "Garland's Gold" which is a yellow and green variegated Yucca with floppy leaves, which has a compact form - it doesn't turn into a tree like many other types. Then we have three Yucca whipplei on the steps. Yuccas are lovely, bright, tough plants - I'd love to get more species of Yucca for the garden, too. Any suggestions?

Yucca flaccida
"Garland's Gold"
We've seen a lot of Yuccas growing in the front yards of Daly City and surrounding suburbia, and have noticed they are always immaculately trimmed with all dead leaves removed. Perhaps we will keep our Yuccas groomed like show poodles too... I've trimmed the big Yucca tree recently and it looks sharp. Both literally and metaphorically!

UPDATE June 2016:
Yuccas are now a staple at PG and PRG due to being impervious to drought, fire, freezing, direct nuclear strike... The Y. guatamalensis cuttings we planted on the cactus wall took off and we have since taken cuttings from them. We added several variegated Yuccas to the gardens as well and they are awesome: Y. aloifolia "Marginata"  Yucca "Bright Star"  Y. elephantipes "Marginata"  Y. gloriosa "Variegata" and a couple others.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Wine country plant spree

This weekend I was away in the wine country being spoiled by Matt. Naturally this involved trips to nurseries and the inevitable plant buying happened. In fact I went on a Sedum bender. I really tried not to buy stuff, but it was futile. (Yeah, really!)

This is what we got:

Cordyline australis "Festival Grass" (expensive, not easy to propagate, but red and fancy!)
3 x Sedum rupestre "Angelina" (cheap, easy to propagate)
Sedum spathulifolium ssp. pruinosum "Carnera" (ditto)
Sedum telephium ssp. ruprechtii "Hab Grey"
Sedum telephium "Autumn Delight"
Dodonaea viscosa (Purple Hopseed Bush)
Trachelospermum jasminoides (Star Jasmine - for the other side of the trellis)
Senecio cineraria (Silver Dust)
Puya venusta
Brugmansia of some sort - it's white.
Heuchera "Dolce Key Lime Pie"
Cotyledon orbiculata

...and another succulent (above - Senecio? Dudleya? Cotyledon papillaris?) I'll need to ID later.

I planted several plants, and watered before it got dark (wow - Caltrans gets some amazing water pressure!) and I also met neighbor John and his dog Riley who have been enjoying the garden for a while. Yeah! Pics to come soon.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Forecast: Rain - anytime you want it!

Today I feel like I got the keys to the city: wonderwoman Jessica came by on her day off (!) and hooked me up with a brass key device that will turn on water for the hose on the lot. I can't tell you how happy I am! She had another Caltrans employee there, and he fixed the broken pipe. Between them they figured the right combination of little silver things I need to twist to make water gush out on the lot, and what to do if it stops gushing.

Thank you so much Jessica!

Barbara, Annelle and Gary were also out having a gossip and we discussed the youth of today (and their habit of climbing the back fence) and bird feeding ideas. Annelle kindly offered to call Safeway so they'd come and get the abandoned shopping cart; as Gary pointed out it does encourage more vandalism.

On the way back to work I took my two trays of seedlings to stay with Kepa for the weekend, as we are away. No doubt they will love it in her greenhouse and probably won't want to come home on Tuesday! Thanks Kepa :)

(Photos: Calla lilly and red Dianthus)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Prickly issue

John, who is P. Garden's Official Plant Acquisition Specialist, came by tonight, with his assistant Harold, as I was emptying my fourth muck bucket of weeds onto the compost heap (only about 20 more to go...) and brought me an almost embarrassing quantity of succulents! Among them:

Three huge prickly pears (Opuntia) now situated by the chain-link fence to hopefully deter people from climbing over it.

Dozens of Aloe nobilis (Gold-Tooth Aloe) to add to the Aloe hedge along the storm drain, some in pots.

Two big juicy Kalanchoe blossfeldiana (I think - with white flowers) whose name it turns out I have been pronouncing incorrectly all this time. It's ka-LAN-ko-ee, not "um, uh, KALLAN-cho? mumble, mumble" as I have been butchering it.

And two gorgeous big blue Agave americana that are dying to get out of their pots and grow even bigger.

To get back to the fence problem though, last night someone drove their shopping cart into the garden, crushing a few smaller succulents along the front edge of the storm drain. No doubt they hopped the fence at the back and spent the day under the freeway bridge doing whatever they do. I really hope the prickly pears deter them - they don't look very spiny, this type, but believe me when I say the spines get under your skin and cause you misery later on. John was kind enough to help me tie the cactus up to the fence so they're not kicked aside while they root: hope it works.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More twig weaving

Last night I used up all of the loquat branches Leah pruned off, as well as the other branches she brought me, in making a strip of edging along the top bed. I need more branches though - a call to the tree company that did the pear trees on the street was not returned, and a craigslist posting went unanswered.

So, if you see trees being trimmed anywhere in the city, let me know and I'll drive over for a couple carloads!

I also pulled off the dead leaves from the Yucca tree John gave us, and it's looking very trim now.

Jessica from Caltrans has been by too - she removed the broken spigot we dug out, and she'll give me a key and a new spigot so I can water the garden soon. *squeal!*

Monday, March 16, 2009

Plant profile: Narcissus (Daffodil)

Daffodils are essential in a garden, in my opinion. In late winter, when things look really bleak out there, and you are thinking "why do I bother? Why is life so hard? When can I move to the Bahamas?" daffodil bulbs spring to life and show off some beautiful yellow, white and orange flowers on long stalks, accompanied by long, thin, vertical leaves.

After flowering, the leaves store energy in the bulb for next year's flower, and then shrivel and die. You can cut off the dried up leaves when they have done their job, and you'll forget all about your daffs until next winter, when they'll start poking up again.

Latin name: Narcissus spp. ("nar-SISS-uss")
Common name: Daffodil
Originally from: Europe, North Africa, and Asia.
Blooms: Late winter, spring
Light: Likes full sun
Water: Rain is enough
Where to find in P. Garden: In a circle around the two front plum trees, and also in strips along the front of various border edges.

Daffodils are the national flower of Wales, and people wear them on St. David's Day (March 1st) - being from Wales, naturally I am fond of a proper daff display!

We put 400 mixed daffodil bulbs in when we first started planting P. Garden, and another 550 or so since then. Many are plain yellow (Trumpet style "Dutch Master") but we have a few white, pink and orange ones too: specific cultivars we have bought (they grow in groups of about 5 in the garden) are listed below, and this site is a good source of information abotu them.

I don't think you can have too many daffs, so I might get more, as well as some more paperwhites (a sweet-smelling version called Narcissus papyraceus) Daffodils multiply too, so each year the show will be more impressive.
Tazetta "Geranium" (Multi-headed white with a small orange cup)
Double Tazetta "Cheerfulness" (Multi-headed cream and yellow double)
Triandrus "White Thalia" (Multi-headed white with swept-back outer petals)
Small Cup "Barret Browning"  (White with a small orange cup)
Large Cup "Ice Follies" (White with a wide lemon cup)
Large Cup "Flower Record" (White with a wide orange-rimmed yellow cup)
Large Cup "Fragrant Rose" (White with a wide pink-rimmed cream cup)
Large Cup "Salome" (White with a wide pink cup)
Double "Golden Ducat" (Double yellow)
Double "Tahiti" (Double yellow and orange)
Double "Replete" (Double white and pink)
Double "White Lion" (Double white and yellow)
Trumpet "Dutch Master"  (Yellow)
Trumpet "Mount Hood" (White)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

This and that

No gardening for me yesterday but that didn't stop Gary from putting up the poop bag dispenser that Erin had donated. He painted it, added a P. Garden logo, and put the whole thing on a sturdy post up at the top of the garden! Thanks Gary - nobody needs to walk more than a few steps to get a bag now.

Today I tidied up. I widened the "urban-rustic" brick path, and added edging. I re-stacked some bricks (found a California Slender Salamander in the pile!) and moved some branches. Matt and I dug out the broken pipe for the irrigation so it can be fixed by our friends at Caltrans. I planted a Yucca tip and 4 Cordyline tips that had been "seasoning" out back, as well as a packet of nasturtium seeds. I also picked up two bags of Starbucks coffee grounds for the garden, and weeded.

We also had visitors: Georgia and friend from www.localecology.org came to interview me about wildlife habitat and other plans for P. Garden. She found out about P. Garden from the Sunset blog post about us - I had a great time talking with her. Gina (Mrs. Iron Maverick) dropped by for a lovely chat about Potrero Hill history, too, and Jim with his sweet dogs came by and scared me with stories of DPW garden bulldozing antics! ;)

Friday, March 13, 2009

P. Garden Dead Sea Scroll-type document discovered!

Today I met with the always enthusiastic Jessica from Caltrans, who was able to dig out the irrigation boxes and discovered a broken pipe. But wait - she can fix it and she can help us out with some drip pipe and all the goodies needed for us to have water at P. Garden (goodbye 8 gallon buckets filled in the bathtub and hauled across the street!)

This, my friends, is a miracle. And Jessica is an angel.

I was all agog at her knowledge and basically stood around with drool hanging from my mouth while she dug and assessed and was useful. Even Gary came out and had a set of wrenches and a screwdriver and all sorts of helpful stuff.

Jessica told us that the head of maintenance at Caltrans had been by and he also loved the whole thing. And the sun was out and the bird were chirping. It was great.

Last but not least, Jessica also left me with a copy of the original landscaping plans - where all the junction boxes and pipes and sprinklers were, and what plants they put in - how cool! And lo - the plans were drawn up 8 days before I was born and have survived 30-something millennia! How surreal.

I think this is a sign from the universe. On the First day, Godlike Landscape Architect, whose name I cannot read, created an offramp. Days 2-6 he planted it up and installed irrigation. On the Seventh day he had a rest because it was bloody hard work. On the Eighth day he woke up with a jolt and said "Let there be a Gardener born in a far distant sheep barn. And let's give the weeds a good 30+ year head start on this game, so she stays busy. Muahahaha!"

Here's a list of what was planted originally (surely the numbers are off???)

10 Cissus antarctica (Kangaroo Treebine)
31 Boston ivy
133 Pittosporum tobira
469 Rapholepsis Indica "Springtime"
27 Ficus retusa
28 Bronze loquat
7 Pinus radiata (Monterey pine)
8 Pittosporum eugenoides (tarata)
29,700 (!) Hedera helix "Hahnii" (ivy) (yeah thanks a lot for that mister! I will be picking ivy out of that lot until the day I die... at which point they will quickly grow over me and absorb me as nutrients)
9 Platanus acerifolia (London plane tree)

So, of all those plants planted waaaay back then, one Monterey pine, a couple of Pittosporums and one loquat remains in P. Garden, with I think 5 loquats over behind the traffic barrier and oh maybe 70 bazillion ivy plants too... the planes and so on went down as far as Brannan street - don't know if they're still there but they'd be huge by now.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Plant profile: Agapanthus

Agapanthus plants are a perennial commonly used in city plantings here in San Francisco because they are as tough as old boots, look good all year round, and have lovely blue flowers that go on for ages.

When I moved here I thought they were great, and bought some to put in the garden. That was before I realized that they are common as muck, and often people will try to give them to you. Pretty soon you will become strong and start saying "no" to the common variety. However, I still think they're great.

Latin name: Agapanthus spp. ("ag-ah-PAN-thus")
Common name: Lily of the Nile
Originally from: South Africa
Blooms: Spring to Fall
Light: Likes full sun or partial shade
Water: Likes a drink in the summer, but they're pretty tough
Drainage: Well draining but rich soil - hates soggy toes
Height x width: Clumps grow to 3-4' tall and wide
USDA Zones: 9 - 11
Where to find in P. Garden: All along the front border

There are about 6-10 species of Agapanthus. They come in a mini version (we have some variegated ones in the middle back bed) and a white version (ours are mixed in with the blue ones) as well as several shades of blue.

UPDATE June 2016:
This plant is 5 year drought proof!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Full sun

Hot and sunny today. I popped round to Starbucks and picked up my first weekly load of coffee grounds: if nothing else they smell great! Then, while drinking a coffee, I enjoyed the newly opened daffodils. I'd ordered mixed bulbs - supposedly they are all different colors. However, so far, only plain yellow... hm...

Next up, the usual plant triage - get things in the ground that have been waiting probably too long. Today this included:

Grevillea rosmarinifolia (top bed)
Banksia spinulosa (left side bed)
Grevillea synapheae (between Moby Dick and the variegated Echium)
Berberis linearifolia (top bed)
Psoralea pinnata (up by the bench area - it smells good)
3 dozen yellow Corn Marigolds (Chrysanthemum segetum) (in all the edge borders)
I also moved some California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) and Nasturtium seedlings around to fill in spots in the new front edge border, moved the Trachelospermum jasminoides (star jasmine) to the trellis, and a Heuchera to sit with the other specimens in the shade.

While this was happening, Jess and Sophia came by and chatted - always fun. Sophia says whole sentences now and some of them make sense. Mindboggling.

I was also visited by Jessica from Caltrans. Now, this visit had been making me a leetle bit edgy as I thought she might want me to get rid of some plants / trellisses / steps / trashcans / the whole damn thing.... eeek! But no: she was soooo nice, and very enthusiastic about the garden! Pretty much every concern I had was erased, and not only that but she brought me a whole flat of yarrow plants, 2 bags of nasturtium seeds and a bag of sunflower seeds. Yeah! Thanks Jessica!

Then along came today's winning team from the 1860's baseball reenactment league, the Pacifics! OK, basically that means Matt, Sage, Barbara and Dan. All covered in mud and drinking Miller Lite. So, enough gardening! Off to the barn.

While I was toodling around on the horse, Leah came by and went to town. She pruned the loquat, picked up cigarette butts and needles (gag!) and left me all sorts of plants too. I'm so sorry to have missed her - how often do you get someone dropping by to clean up biohazards for you?! Anyway, I can't wait to see the results of her work in daylight. Thanks Leah.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

San Francisco Botanical Garden - land o'temptation

The SFBG has a monthly plant sale, and it was there that I got my first load of plants, waaaay back in December '08... I'd missed recent sales but was determined to go today, and also determined not to spend loads of money.

The place was mobbed and I didn't see anything I had to have, so I was feeling like I might leave, but remembered I wanted a Grevillea and asked a volunteer. Too bad, so sad - they had two, that were already sold. But wait - here's Mark who knows all about them, maybe he can tell you if we have more.

Mark remembered me from December, when he sold me an aeonium. He showed me a few plants then said "follow me" and we went back to the private nursery area. The mother lode! I left with 5 plants from Australia:
Grevillea rosmarinifolia
Banksia spinulosa
Grevillea synapheae
Berberis linearifolia
Psoralea pinnata (Scurfy Pea Shrub - sounds... great...)

And of course I had to join the SFBG - you get a free plant and 10% off your purchases.

Got back to the garden and couldn't decide where to plant them, so instead I planted up the new front bed with the following:

2 Lavenders
6 Agapanthus (moved from adjacent bed)
12 Artemisias
9 orange daisies from Matt's dad.

We have a couple dozen more orange daisies - not sure what they are but they look great. I also put 5 variegated agave pups around the place, and got some props from a guy called Kenny who lives around the corner and likes what's happening. Yay!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Grounds on the ground

I heard that coffee grounds can be added to the garden to improve the soil, and investigated further. Apparently they:

a) repel slugs
b) are loved by worms
c) make great mulch
d) amend clay
e) make great compost
f) are available free from Starbucks!

So this morning I trotted down to the Starbucks next to my work, and asked for their leftovers. They're saving them in a bag for me as I type, and can provide unlimited grounds for P. Garden. Sweet - I don't think we can have too much of that free product!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

There she blows!

Today's post will rely heavily on quotes from Moby Dick, after which book we have named the Agave americana variegata that was recently beached at P. Garden (thanks to John!)

"Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November (March) in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea (the garden) as soon as I can."

And so we went across the street to plant the mighty plant, in the rain. But how could we move it? It's heavy, and prickly, and recalcitrant... "I rejoice in my spine, as in the firm audacious staff of that flag which I fling half out to the world."

First, we dug a hole for it, moving several plants out of harm's way first. We used the dug out mulch and dirt to make a ramp up the side of the bed.

We rolled the massive beast onto a tarp, and roped it together. "Panting and snorting like a mad battle steed that has lost its rider" we dragged it up the hill, and up our clever ramp. "Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under torrents’ beds, unerringly I rush! Naught’s an obstacle, naught’s an angle to the iron way!"

We finally got the plant upright in the hole, and shored up.
"There she blows!--there she blows! A hump like a snow-hill! It is Moby Dick!"

And then, we went inside "...because truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast."

""Grub, ho!" now cried the landlord, flinging open a door, and in we went to breakfast." Well, lunch actually.


I am all Herman Melville'd out, thanks goodness, due to loads more digging. We dropped by Sloat Garden Center on the way home from the barn, and they had all sorts of Echiums. This is one of Matt's favorite plants ever, and he went on an Echium bender. Bought four different kinds! Echium gentianoides "Tajinaste", E. pininana var. alba "Snow tower", E. wildpretii (?) and E. "Mr. Happy" (hybrid of Echium wildprettii & E. pininana) if I recall correctly.

I got a Salvia argentea (it's furry!) and a Tanacetum ptarmiciflorum “Silver Lace Bush”, as well as 20 Amaryllis belladonna bulbs... Phew!
page counter
Free Hit Counter