Saturday, December 31, 2016

Arizona 2016: Day 5: Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden, Cavalliere Park, Pinnacle Peak, and Taliesin West

Last night it rained on and off, and this morning I woke up to leaden skies. Quite a change from the past few days! Fortunately, by the time I was done with breakfast and had checked out, the sun made an effort to break through. It only succeeded for minutes at a time, but I didn't let the weather deter me. The fact that it wasn't exactly cold (high fifties initially, later warming to the high sixties) made things easier.

My first stop was the Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden. I first became aware of it in this blog post by Austin garden writer Pam Penick. She visited this demonstration garden in April when the palo verde trees and many shrubs and perennials were in bloom. Not so at the end of December, but the backbone of the garden--the hardscape, the desert trees (palo verde and mesquite) and the cactus and succulents--provide visual interest year round. Designed by Christine Ten Eyck, the Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden is cleverly built around the City of Scottsdale's water treatment plant. Unless you read the signs, you'd never know what the massive gabion-adorned structure is. Speaking of gabions, this is the motherlode: gabion walls, gabion pillars, even triangular gabion retaining fins. Add to that a liberal dose of Corten steel and gigantic shade sails, and you have a contemporary garden that is a wonder to behold. Here's just a teaser of what I will show in a dedicated post in a few weeks:

Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden

Friday, December 30, 2016

Arizona 2016: Day 4: Krutch Cactus Garden and Civano (Tucson); ASU Polytechnic Campus (Mesa)

Today I was once again reminded of how fast time flies when you’re having fun. It seemed like I just got to Tucson, and yet it was already time to head back to Phoenix. But before I left town, I checked out the Krutch Cactus Garden on the campus of the University of Arizona. It was originally started in 1891 and moved and expanded in 1929. Based on this description, it must have been a lovely spot. Between the 1950s and 1970s much of the original garden was removed and/or replaced with turf (the horror), and the small patch left today is but a shade of the garden’s former glory. I’m glad I finally took the time to check it out, but it’s not a must-see.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Arizona 2016: Day 3: Agave-hunting in the Waterman Mountains and visiting Greg Starr’s nursery

I had the most amazing day today hiking and exploring in the Waterman Mountains with friend and agave expert Greg Starr, and Ron Parker, the mastermind behind Agaveville and a seasoned agave hunter with a lot of field experience. It was long day full of unforgettable sights of cactus, agaves, and breathtaking scenery. I took enough photos for two or three longer posts, to be served up later in January.

Our first stop was a patch of desert near Saguaro National Park. Across the road was a gas station, and all around were the kinds of rural properties that are typical for this part of Arizona—modest houses or mobile homes on an acre or two. This empty lot is one of the few localities in Arizona for Mammillaria thornberi. I found this small, cluster-forming cactus remarkably hard to spot at first because it tends to grow under bushes. After a while, though, even I could spot it. Maybe my desert eyes are finally coming in. Even more remarkable to me were the many fishhook barrel cactus (Ferocactus wislizeni) growing here. They’re particularly beautiful right now, adorned with this year’s fruit.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Arizona 2016: Day 2: Tucson Botanical Garden, DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, and Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

I had a busy day today trying to make the most of the daylight hours. My first stop was the Tucson Botanical Garden. It turned out it’s less than 10 minutes from the Lodge on the Desert, where I’m staying. The parking lot was almost empty when I arrived at 8:45 a.m. but by the time I left at 11:45 a.m. it was completely full. I was happy to see that the people of Tucson (and visitors) are supporting this fantastic resource. There have been many changes since my last visit in 2013, including a major installation titled “Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life.” I’ll have more details (and photos) in a dedicated post or two. For now, some teasers:

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Arizona 2016: Day 1: Desert Botanical Garden and more

It’s the end of December, and I’m back in Arizona. This is my fourth December trip to Arizona in a row (2013 | 2014 | 2015) so I suppose it’s OK to call it a tradition now. This time I flew because I could only carve out five days. Instead of buying what I want and tossing it in the car, like on the previous two trips, anything I buy has to fit in my suitcase. We’ll see how that goes.

I arrived in Phoenix last evening—late because a gas cap was missing on our plane and a mechanic had to check it out before leaving Sacramento. That wouldn’t have been so bad, but when I got to the Hertz counter at Phoenix Sky Harbor (“The Friendliest Airport in America”) to pick up my rental car, it turned out that they had run out of cars. And yes, they blamed it on Christmas, as if Christmas had somehow snuck up on them. At least a dozen disgruntled customers were in the same boat. In essence, we had to wait until cars were dropped off and could be cleaned. In my case it took “only” 30 minutes (some people apparently had to wait longer), but I’m still pissed at Hertz. Instead of apologizing to us, the sentiment among the Hertz employees was that we should be more sympathetic to their situation. Not cool. I’m done with Hertz and will rent elsewhere from now on.

One a much more positive note, my visit to the Desert Botanical Garden (DBG) this morning was fantastic. Just like it always is. It truly is one of my favorite plant places to visit. And since I don’t come here that often, it never gets old. I do recognize individual plants now (“hey, old friend”) but they’re constantly improving and refining. Unlike so many other botanical gardens, the DBG appears to be well funded, which warms my heart.

I took fewer pictures at the DBG than in recent years—a conscious attempt not to photograph the same things over and over—but I still ended up with over 200 new images. I’ll have several dedicated posts in January and February. To whet your appetite, here are a few collages:

Saturday, December 24, 2016

No need to dream of a White Christmas, we've got one!

No need to dream of a White Christmas this year. We have one! 

Originally, we had planned to drive to my mother-in-law's house in Mount Shasta, in the mountains of far northern California, on Friday afternoon. However, because of a winter storm that make freeway driving iffy, especially for cars without snow tires, we decided to delay our departure until Saturday morning. It ended up being a good decision because we were able to experience winter wonderland in all its glory once we got to Castella, about 15 miles south of Mount Shasta.

This photo of Castle Crags epitomizes what I mean: 

Castle Crags

Friday, December 23, 2016

Happy Holidays from Succulents and More!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, or whatever else you might be celebrating at this special time of year!

Relax with friends and family, and forget about the turmoil in the real world for a little while.


This year I fell hard for holiday light laser projectors. After I saw our neighbor’s, I had to have my own. So instead of agaves decorated with glass balls, I give you bamboo with pulsating twinkles.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

After the freeze

On Saturday, Sunday and Monday night our temperatures dropped below the dreaded 32°F mark. Readers in chillier climes, go ahead and mock us all you want. It doesn’t change the fact that freezing temperatures are anxiety-inducing for gardeners in zone 9 and above—especially if you’re like me and stretch the hardiness envelope a bit.

On Saturday we covered most of our sensitive plants. On Sunday, we also draped frost cloth and old sheets over many of the aloes with emerging flowers because those flowers are more prone to frost damage that the plant itself. With several aloe species blooming for the first time ever, I didn’t want to risk losing the flowers.

This is what the neighborhood looked like on Monday morning:



Saturday, December 17, 2016

Freeze ahead—time to dig out the frost blankets

The inevitable is about to happen. Temperatures will drop down to freezing or even below tonight and again on Sunday and Monday. Although the weather folks can’t seem to agree on how cold it will actually get. This is what Accuweather says:



Thursday, December 15, 2016

The storm door is wide open

Whatever you think of the weather people on local TV (I get my weather online, so that tells you something right there), they're often quite entertaining. One phrase I vividly remember from years past, long before the current drought, was "the storm door is wide open." This would invariably be accompanied by a weatherman or -woman in photogenic rain gear frantically holding on to an umbrella about to fly away.

Well, that good old storm door has finally swung open after a very long absence. It's blustery outside this afternoon, with temps in mid 50s, and the rain is coming down in buckets. This is an old-fashioned Pineapple Express storm, the kind we used to have quite frequently in decades past. Yes, I sound like an old geezer, but my teenage daughters have a hard time remembering wet winters--the kind California is supposed to have.

It's too early in the season to know whether this will finally end the long drought we've been living with, but I'm cautiously optimistic.

Instead of photos, I decided to post several short video clips I took on my cellphone. The quality isn't the greatest, but at least you get an idea of what a wonderful experience this rain is to us parched Californians.

Succulent bed next to the front door

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Aloes in our front yard getting ready to bloom

It’s that time of year when the days are short and the heat of summer nothing but a hazy memory. Some people love winter, others would rather skip it (me!), but many of the aloes in our front yard are in a festive mood. I must admit, as much as I dislike this season, I do love the annual flower show put on by our aloes.

We still have a few weeks to go before things really get bloomy, but anticipation is half the fun. On that note, let’s take a look at what’s developing.


This smaller Aloe capitata var. quartziticola next to the garage is getting ready to bloom for the first time


This Aloe cryptopoda starts blooming earlier than the rest. The flower stalk is almost six feet tall now.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Before and after: what a crew of professionals can do in 5 hours

Today the tree service came and removed two bamboos and an Artistocrat pear tree. Now I can continue with the overhaul of one of the side yards in the backyard and finally do some planting outside the backyard fence along the street. The planting window is still open, so time to get going. Just as soon as the rain lets up (yes, we’re finally having some decent rain).

But let’s back up a little.

The bamboo you see closest to the fence in the photo below is Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse Karr’. It’s reasonably attractive and grows very well in our area, even with water restrictions in place. The problem is that there are three bamboos in this spot, and things are getting crowded. After much back and forth, we decided the ‘Alphonse Karr’ had to go.

This is what it looked like a couple of days ago:


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Garden visit: succulents—and rare fruit trees

I’m happy to report that I have a new gardening friend. Her name is Marta, and she lives not even ten minutes away. Marta contacted me after reading my post about ×Mangave ‘Macho Mocha’. Last week, I went over to her house to bring her one of the ‘Macho Mocha’ pups. I expected to see succulents, and I wasn’t disappointed. But there was so much more to discover.

Marta began to transform the front and back yard right after she and her husband bought their house in 2001. They got rid of the lawn long before it was fashionable and instead planted palm trees and succulents. Over the years, Marta added more and more aloes (she loves the flowers in the winter) as well as fruit trees. If you’re like me, you think, hmmm, fruit trees take up quite a bit of space. How many can you possibly plant in a small suburban lot? Way more than you think. Read on to find out.


Marta’s property is on a corner, just like ours, so she has a long planting strip along the side of the house. This is where she has planted a number of agaves, including Agave vilmoriniana and Agave americana ‘Marginata’. The Agave vilmoriniana currently in the ground are actually the offspring of the original plant, which flowered (and died) years ago. I wasn’t able to take good photos of the planting strip along the side of the house, but I will try again the next time I visit Marta.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Sunday stroll through UC Davis Arboretum (part 3)

Time to wrap up last Sunday’s stroll through the UC Davis Arboretum before it’s Sunday again. The Australian Collection at the downtown end of the Arboretum is the section most people see when they visit, and it happens to be my favorite. Something is in bloom there whenever you go, even in the dead of winter.

Someday I’ll do a post on the gum (eucalyptus) trees growing on either side of Putah Creek, but today let’s focus on flowering shrubs.

The regular crimson bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus) is a common sight all over in Davis and Sacramento. It grows easily in our hot-summer climate and is tough as nails. Much rarer—and much nicer, in my opinion—is weeping bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis). Check out this old specimen at the Arboretum:


Weeping bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis), with my friend Ursula for scale

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sunday stroll through UC Davis Arboretum (part 2)

Let’s continue our stroll through the UC Davis Arboretum, which began here.

Unlike other botanical gardens affiliated with a university, the UC Davis Arboretum is not in a separate location but fully integrated into the main campus. In fact, it starts right at the edge of downtown so it gets used both by students and the public at large. As I mentioned before, the Arboretum is open 24/7; there are no gates or fences to keep people out. In our small university town, it’s a treasured institution.


Ginkgo biloba ‘Autumn Gold’

One of the most popular spots on campus right now has got to be this lawn area on the edge of Lake Spafford. The two ‘Autumn Gold’ ginkgo trees are in their full fall glory.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sunday stroll through UC Davis Arboretum (part 1)

One of my resolutions for 2016 was to visit the UC Davis Arboretum more often. I did spend more time there but still not enough, considering all there is to explore (17 gardens/collections on 100 acres) and how close it is to my house.

To make up for lost time, I went for a walk in the Arboretum on two of the four Sundays in November. I ended up taking so many photos that I will split this post into three parts. This part is a little bit of everything; part 2 has photos from the East Asian Collection, the Desert Collection, and the Southwest USA and Mexican Collection; part 3 is all about the Australian Collection.

Here is a handy interactive map to the Arboretum. Some collections have better labeling than others, but in general, most plants aren’t labeled. That’s why the Living Plant Collection Database is invaluable for identifying plants. 

The Arboretum is open 24/7. I usually go on the weekends because parking is free then; during the week it’s $9.00 whether you park for one minute or all day. This downloadable map shows all the parking lots. Depending on which part of the Arboretum you’re most interested in, I suggest you park at the new Putah Creek Lodge lot off Garrod Drive off La Rue Road (look for the A on the downloadable map) or at the Davis Commons in downtown off 1st Street. (Davis Commons is the shopping center where Whole Foods is located; parking is free there.) Or, if you’re local, ride your bike there!


Pearl acacia (Acacia podalyriifolia)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Superior California mountain magic

Superior California is the northernmost part of California. Its fiercely proud residents claim they’re superior in many ways to their fellow Californians further south. I won’t get involved in that particular dogfight. But as far as scenic beauty is concerned, a good argument could be made about this region’s superiority.


Spending Thanksgiving at my mother-in-law’s in Mount Shasta, I was reminded again how magical this region is. We didn’t have the white Thanksgiving the weather people had forecast but I found snow at the higher elevations. And the day we left, it did start to snow but we had to hurry to get out of the mountains before the roads got too treacherous for our minivan, which is ill-equipped for winter driving conditions.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Listen to the trees

“Listen to the trees as they sway in the wind.
Their leaves are telling secrets. Their bark sings songs of olden days as it grows around the trunks. And their roots give names to all things.
Their language has been lost.
But not the gestures.”

Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Rainy Saturday trip to Annie’s Annuals

Last Saturday started out gray and drizzly but I felt so stir-crazy I simply had to get away for a few hours. A trip to Annie’s Annuals was just what I needed. The forecast for Richmond, a little under an hour away, called for “only” a 20% chance of rain of rain so I decided to take the gamble. As it turned out, it was drizzling in Richmond, too.


When I first arrived at Annie’s, I only saw two other customers. A few more showed up later as the rain let up. What a difference from the hordes of shoppers you see on a spring weekend!

Note: I did bring my “real” camera but since it was raining I opted to use my cell phone camera instead. It’s much easier to tuck a cell phone away between shots than a bulky DSLR.

Monday, November 21, 2016

What is this agave up to?

Take a look at this dwarf cowhorn agave (Agave cupreata) near the front door. I’ve had it for just a little over a year, which isn’t much in the life of an agave. But something curious is happening. It’s getting flatter. You can’t really see it looking down at it…


…but it’s quite visible from the side:

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A little grevillea action to brighten your pre-Thanksgiving weekend

I love fall in Davis. The days are still warm, and many plants come into their own again after slowing down in the summer. Case in point: grevilleas. These Australian shrubs, members of the Proteaceae family, are right at home in California’s Mediterranean climate. As is the case with so many plants (and people!), they’re at their happiest on the coast, but we can grow quite a few of them here in the Sacramento Valley, about 60 miles inland from San Francisco Bay. In fact, the UC Davis Arboretum has a nice collection of Australian natives that thrive here.

Today I want to show you two grevilleas in our own garden that are flowering right now.


Grevillea ‘Superb’

Grevillea ‘Superb’ has been with us for 4 1/2 years. I bought it in February 2012 at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and first planted it in the backyard. Unfortunately it didn’t receive enough sun there so I moved it into the front yard circa 2014. I’m sure it lost a good chunk of its roots in the process—grevilleas don’t like to be transplanted anyway—and it’s taken a long time to get going again. But this year it’s finally turned the corner. And now it’s blooming.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

More R&R in the front yard

Not rest & relaxation. The other R&R: removal & replacement.

Before, there were two sprawling salvias: Salvia mexicana ‘Limelight’ and Salvia canariensis. I love both of them, and I wouldn’t have taken them out if they’d been half as big and half as vigorous. But they were clearly in the wrong place here so I finally made the hard decision to say goodbye.


Sorry, hummingbirds, I know the ‘Limelight’ was a popular hangout.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

×Mangave ‘Macho Mocha’ living the single life again

Two years ago I planted a ×Mangave ‘Macho Mocha’ I had gotten from a friend. It was solitary (and beautiful) until this spring when it bloomed. I had expected the mother to die, like most agaves do, but it didn’t. Instead, it multiplied. And while I don’t mind more plants, I didn’t think this clump was all that attractive:


Monday, November 14, 2016

Ruth Bancroft Garden in early November (2 of 2)

Moving right along, here is part two about my recent Sunday outing to the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek. If you missed part 1, click here to start at the beginning.


Another favorite garden vista


More fall color

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Ruth Bancroft Garden in early November (1 of 2)

In a typical year, I make it to the Ruth Bancroft Garden (RBG) three or four times if I’m lucky. This year has been anything but typical. Just since July, I’ve been to the RBG six times already!

A couple of times I met up with friends from out of town, including Hoover Boo of Piece of Eden. And last Sunday I went with my friend Ursula from Davis. In fact, she was the one who suggested it since I’ve talked so much about the RBG over the years.


Agave parrasana and Senna artemisioides

Ursula and I spent almost three hours wandering around the garden. Fellow succulent aficionado Stephen Lysaght, the RBG’s garden host, gave us a tour of the shade house where smaller, more sensitive succulents live. You’ll see some of them below.Thanks to a thin cloud layer, the light was nicely diffused, which made for softer photographs than I’m usually able to take at the RBG.

Let me share with you the wonderful sights I saw on Sunday. As many times as I’ve been to the RBG, I still find new plants to photograph—or new ways to photograph familiar ones. That makes me happy,


Trees planted on the outside of the wall along Bancroft Road provide a beautiful wall of color at this time of year

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wednesday Vignette: Life will go on

Shock. Disbelief. Anger. Frustration.

There’s no panacea, but one thing I do know: Life will go on. Always has, always will.

Right now, I’m choosing to focus on things that make me feel better. Like this vignette I photographed last Saturday at the Ruth Bancroft Garden.

Succulents and fall color, not something I see often.



The Wednesday Vignette meme is hosted by Anna Kullgren over at Flutter and Hum. You can read her current Wednesday Vignette post here. Be sure to check out the links to other blogs that are also participating.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Starting on backyard makeover

In the last few years we’ve focused on the front yard, largely ignoring the backyard. This is about to change. The first project is underway: removal of the bamboos outside the dining room. I didn’t take a current “before” photo because I thought I had one in my photo library. Unfortunately, the “newest” one is from April 2014:


Since then, the chocolate bamboo (Borinda fungosa) had outgrown its space and needed frequent whacking back just to be able to walk to the sliding door. The Borinda angustissima to the right of it (which you never really saw) had flopped over so much that the compost tumbler was inaccessible. As much as I liked these bamboos—and they did remarkably well with what little water they got—the situation couldn’t go on. With very mixed feelings I took them out last weekend. Look how much space has been freed up:


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Succulents and more outside the front yard fence

In my last post I showed you the progress and recent changes happening in the front yard inside the fence. Now let’s venture outside the fence. The planting strip that runs along the sidewalk bakes in the sun. I’ve had some failures here over the years (remember this beautiful Leucospermum ‘Scarlet Ribbon’?) but they’ve taught me to rely more heavily on heat-loving—or at least heat-tolerant—succulents as well as perennials from other Mediterranean climates.

I feel good heading into winter (and, beyond that, into the next summer) but there are always unexpected surprises. But that’s what makes gardening so fascinating. Let’s face it, we need at least some plants to die here and there to justify our ongoing plant purchases!


Agave weberi ‘Arizona Star’ and Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition’. Both will be much bigger a year from now.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Meanwhile, on the homefront…

From my recent posts, sparse as they have been, you might have gotten the impression that I haven’t been home much. Actually, I have been, but work has been unexpectedly busy, exacerbated by the forced absence of my business partner who has had to take PTO to be with an ailing parent overseas.

Gardening has been sporadic, but I have been taking photos. I’ve even started on a couple of projects in the backyard, relegated to also-ran status in recent years. All that is about to change, as you will see in a separate post later this week.

For now, let’s take a look at the front yard, specifically what used to be the front lawn. This is what you see as you approach from the driveway (literally steps behind the spot from which I took this photo). I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of this view. It’s everything I had hoped for.


Friday, October 28, 2016

Nothing but California natives: Josh Williams’s garden

The third and final private garden we visited as part of Pacific Horticulture Society’s Summit 2016 belongs to Josh Williams, the manager of California Flora Nursery. According to the description in the Summit 2016 driving tour:

[he ] converted the flat lawns and bare soils of his urban garden into a landscape dedicated to the striking diversity of plants native to California, particularly those of Sonoma County. You’ll find the half-acre parcel divided into ecological zones displaying distinct plant communities as they’re found in nature.

I’m not an expert on California natives, and even after reading The Drought-Defying Garden: 230 Native Plants for a Lush, Low-Water Landscape by Greg Rubin and Lucy Warren I wouldn’t know how to begin creating an all-native garden. In addition, I’ve seen some insipid examples over the years that have left me anything but inspired. All this was going through my head as we we were driving from Mary and Lew Reid’s hilltop Eden in rural Sonoma County to Josh William’s garden in Sebastopol. But all my concerns fell away when I saw this:


Josh Williams’s front yard in Sebastopol

I wasn’t able to identify many of the plants (which bothered the analytical nerd in me), and Josh Williams was too busy talking to other visitors to approach with him a list of ID requests, so I let it go. Instead, I focused purely on how the garden looks. And as you can see from the photos below, it’s a stunner. The contrasting textures and colors create a tapestry I found truly beautiful. But beyond that, I finally felt the inspiration I’d found lacking in the other California-native gardens I’d seen previously.

Now I have proof that you can create truly special spaces with nothing but plants endemic to the Golden State. More than that even: with plants native to one county in California—although Sonoma County is not your average county but a true biodiversity hotspot.

161016_JoshWilliamsSebastopol_009  161016_JoshWilliamsSebastopol_005

Front yard


Arctostaphylos ‘Austin Griffiths’



This is a hybrid between Arctostaphylos densiflora 'Sentinel' and Arctostaphylos manzanita 'Dr. Hurd'


Arctostaphylos ‘Austin Griffiths’

As you can see in these photos, the Williams garden has many different species of manzanita (Arctostaphylos). I don’t know how many, but my guess is several dozen. Josh is clearly a manzanita collector. I’m just an admirer, i.e. I love manzanitas but I couldn’t tell you which is which. The only positive ID I can give you is Arctostaphylos ‘Austin Griffiths’ above—and I only know that because the California Flora Nursery web site has a photo of the same specimen.



Now we’re walking around the side of the house (to the left of the garage you saw above). The side yard is fully landscaped with more manzanitas and other shrubs, perennials and even trees.






I had never seen different groundcover manzanitas planted side by side like that. The result is very pleasing.



Indian rhubarb (Darmera peltata)


Indian rhubarb (Darmera peltata)

The backyard is large and open, almost like a park. The plantings are dominated by groundcover manzanitas and other low-growing shrubs and perennials. The expanse of green is broken by a circular seating area that allows you to enjoy the beauty all around you.





I need to figure out which manzanitas do well in pots. This is a vignette I’d love to recreate.


My eyes kept going back to what I think is manzanita perfection


I didn’t know what selection this was, but fortunately…


…reader Tracey from Sonoma County contacted Josh Williams, and he says it’s Arctostaphylos manzanita ‘Monica’, originally found growing along Guerneville Road right in Sonoma County


Beach strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis)


Sonoma Coast yarrow (Achillea millefolium ‘Sonoma Coast’) and California coffeeberry (Rhamnus californica)


California coffeeberry (Rhamnus californica)





Prostrate coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), possibly ‘Kelly’s Prostrate’ (see here)


I wonder if this guy knows that he’s in Sonoma County, not in Australia?


Josh Williams talking about his garden

I hope I will get another chance to tour Josh’s garden to get more insight on the plants he chose. From the brief snippets of conversation I overheard, he’s not only extremely knowledgeable but also infectiously passionate.