Showing posts from October, 2023

Hello and goodbye from Germany

I’m in Germany to help move my mother into a care home. Just as she’s been house-bound for many months, I’ve been house-bound, too, taking care of her while we’re waiting for her move-in date. In a very real sense, I’ve been living in her ever shrinking world, literally seeing only what there is to see within a few hundred meters of her house – the distance she can cover on her walker. I don’t intend for this to be a sad post – more an exploration of what there is right in front of us when that’s all we get to see. The village church is visible from the front stoop of my mother’s house: On a sunny day On a cloudy, misty day This is the sight I’ve photographed more than any other: the neighbor’s 18th century farm house across the street. It’s the one constant in my mother’s life because she can see it from her living room and kitchen windows. Late-blooming cosmos (left) and Jerusalem artichokes going to seed (right) White cosmos After dusk Early evening, with sunflowers Sunny day, with

Cactus seedlings and a lot more: catching up with Justin Thiel

A couple of weeks ago, fellow plant nerd Kyle and I visited our friend Justin in the East Bay. Needless to say I took a few photos of Justin’s garden. I mean, how could I not? He has an amazing selection of succulents, many of them growing in miniature rock landscapes he created himself. Click here to see my other posts about Justin’s garden. Above and below are prime examples of Justin’s rockscapes. The plants are tucked into small pockets between the rocks, which results in superb drainage. And it looks great, too. Agave utahensis var. eborispina Above and below: cross between Mangave ‘Bloodspot’ and Agave titanota , created by Nick Deinhart. These two plants are from the same seed batch, but they look very different. This often happens with hybrids. Mangave ‘Bloodspot’ × Agave titanota Justin’s front yard is home to some exceptional agaves: Agave montana . Agaves don’t get better than this! Agave montana Agave montana Agave horrida Agave applanata , the standard form (the varieg