Favorite posts of 2012

‘Tis the time of the year to look back at the previous twelve months. In addition to puttering around in our own garden, I did quite a bit of traveling and saw beautiful sights I won’t soon forget—not only farther afield but also closer to home.

Here are my favorite posts of the year, sorted in geographical order. Rereading them just now made me realize how much I actually did do in 2012!



120607_Rebutia-krainziana-yellow-flowered_14[3]Am I a plant hoarder?

Judging from the number of plants I have sitting around in pots, I may well be. Some people buy lots of clothes, I buy lots of plants.

First wave of cactus flowers 
Next wave of cactus blooms

Many cacti have stunning flowers. The fact that they are so short-lived makes them even more special. Take a look at the amazing flowers even small cacti can produce.

120630_Agave-bracteosa_016Agaves revisited

Agaves are my favorite succulents. Check out some of the new specimens I’ve added this year and revisit a few old favorites.

Clumping bamboos hitting their stride

Our clumping bamboos continue to put on height and girth. They truly form the backbone of our garden.

120917_Bambusa-oldhamii_04[9]Our bamboos after the rain

A look at the clumping bamboos in our front yard after our first major rain storm.

Kalanchoe luciae ‘Fantastic’

My favorite plant of the year. ‘Nuff said.



121027_UCSCArboretum_Protea-Pink-Ice[10]UC Santa Cruz Arboretum late winter update 
UC Santa Cruz Arboretum fall 2012: Australia 
UC Santa Cruz Arboretum fall 2012: South Africa

I can’t get enough of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum. These posts are for you if you’re into southern hemisphere flora, especially restios, proteas, leucadendrons, grevilleas, banksias, and eucalyptus.

120427_Hakone_bridge[2]San Francisco Flower & Garden Show: display gardens 
San Francisco Flower & Garden Show: Plant & Flower Market

My coverage of the 2012 San Francisco Flower & Garden show. Weird and wonderful sights galore.

The gardens of Alcatraz, part 1 
The gardens of Alcatraz, part 2

The restored gardens of Alcatraz are a succulent lover’s paradise.

120427_FoothillBG_Dendrocalamus-aspe[5]Visit to Hakone Estate and Gardens

Long on my bucket list, I finally got a chance to visit this majestic Japanese garden in the San Jose area. The bamboos are stunning.

Foothill College Bamboo Garden, part 1 
Foothill College Bamboo Garden, part 2

One of the top destination for bamboo lovers in Northern California. Walking through the bamboo groves is like paging through a bamboo encyclopedia.

Marin County Open Garden Day

Join me as I explore three unique private gardens in Marin County north of San Francisco.

120708_flying_108[10]Gerhard goes flying

The Sacramento Valley from the air, including rice fields, giant irrigation systems, Indian casinos and suburban subdivisions.

Mount Shasta Lavender Farm revisited

One of the best kept secrets in far Northern California. Jaw-dropping views of 14,179 ft. Mount Shasta.

120929_SucculentGardens_Agave-Blue-Glow- -Blue-Flame_08[10]2012 Succulent Extravaganza wrap-up 
Succulent porn

Lots of photos from the 2012 Succulent Extravaganza put on by Succulent Gardens in Castroville.

A stroll through the Ruth Bancroft Garden

Succulent paradise in suburban Walnut Creek.



120804_ToCortezCO_0132012 Southwest vacation index

This summer we spent almost three weeks traveling through Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. If you missed my daily missives from the road, this index contains links to all the posts.

Agaves at Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum 
120728_ArizonaSonoraDesertMuseum_Ferocactus-emoryi_05[9]Cacti at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum outside of Tucson is one my favorite places in the world. See why.

Visit to B&B Cactus Farm, Tucson, AZ (part 1) 
Visit to B&B Cactus Farm, Tucson, AZ (part 2)

Recommended by several garden bloggers, this large succulent nursery exceeded all my expectations.



120508_road rape-fieldLetter from Germany, part 1 
Letter from Germany, part 2 
Letter from Germany, part 3 
Letter from Germany, part 4

In May I spent a week in Germany. Come along as I explore the area where I was born and visit a national park on the Czech border that took my breath away.



  1. Cool, cool post and what a great idea! You were a busy man in 2012 Gerhard!

  2. So many great posts (and photos) from 2012!

    I'm sure it's just an oversight, but "meeting and dining with Alan" didn't make the list? ;-)

  3. Wow! Awesome summary of your 2012 Gerhard. I feel like have have traveled with you and that I have been in your garden. Love all your plant collections. Thanks so much for sharing. You are a great photographer and a journalist.

  4. Wow, so hard to choose which ones of your posts are our favourite but we have certainly enjoyed tagging along on your year 2012 plant journey :) It must have also given you a sense of nostalgia going through your own posts in the past twelve month. Looking forward to seeing what you have in store for your readers in the coming new year!


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