Showing posts from February, 2023

More rocks, more plants: update on geologist Kyle's garden

I haven’t known my friend Kyle all that long, but I’ve already blogged twice about his garden in Sacramento: “ A geologist’s garden: succulents and rocks ” (July 2022) and “ Collecting rocks and succulents: Kyle’s garden in Sacramento ” (December 2022). Three months on, it’s time for another update. As you’ll see, Kyle hasn’t been sitting still. In fact, he’s gotten more done than most people would in a year. And what he’s accomplished is seriously inspiring. In late November 2022, his front yard looked like this: Kyle’s front yard on November 25, 2022 Now it looks like this: Kyle’s front yard on February 18, 2023 Kyle removed the existing plants and built up the area with extra soil and lava fines. He then added rocks sourced from the Gold Country , primarily slate, to add visual interest and to create pockets for smaller plants. The result is spectacular. Take a closer look at the vignettes below. Each one is a standout in its own way. Small cacti and others succulents that might oth

Size matters: Rancho Soledad Nursery in San Diego County

The second nursery stop on my San Diego trip earlier this month was Rancho Soledad Nursery . As their tagline “Always Growing, Since 1954” suggests, they’ve been around for a long time, and they’re still the go-to source for landscapers and homeowners who want large specimens for instant impact—not just succulents, but also palms, cycads and tropicals, many of them from Rancho Soledad’s Hawaiian growing grounds. The smallest plants for sale are in 6" pots; 3 and 10 gallon are typical, and sizes go all the way to 48" boxes. The nursery is open to the public, but most of their business is from landscape professionals. As a result, don’t expect much handholding when you visit. The upside is that you can walk around the expansive grounds (25 acres!) undisturbed; nobody will ask you what you’re doing poking around. Which is exactly what I did, snapping photos along the way. You think these tree aloes ( Aloidendron barberae ) were in the ground. Wrong, they’re in large boxes and c