Sunday, August 16, 2015

Making Trouble in California - We call it Highway Ice Plant

Don't we all just love those good old succulents? How about this rather pretty little plant,  Carpobrotus edulis, also known as Highway Iceplant? It's been planted generously round many parts of California  since the early 1900's, up until citizens in the 1970's finally spoke up and said it was a really bad idea

Unfortunately Carpobrotus edulis is a really bad neighbor, moving in from lands afar and then taking over. It's a coloniser, yah know how that is, right? Those folks come with beads (or in this case seeds!) in hand, and the next thing you know there's no room for the old folks to roam. You'll find large mats, like the one above at lovely local beach sites, along highways, and old railroad tracks - where it was planted to keep our soils from rolling down hill. It did do that, but it also spread, spread, spread. And it just keeps on spreading.

You can read more about highway ice plant invasion problems at this Invasive Plants of California Wildlands site.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Road to Half Moon Bay - Sanchez Farm (field trip)

Stock blooming at Sanchez Farm
Highway 92 cuts across one of the narrower sections of the Santa Cruz Mountains, past Skyline Boulevard and then on down to Half Moon Bay. Before reaching our destination we stopped off to buy peaches and admire the in-bloom stocks.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Inspiration for a garden -Japanese Tea Gardens, Golden Gate Park - San Francisco Field Trip

I'm quite interested in creating themed gardens at home these days - whether in a pot or larger gardening space. Recently my daughter and I went up to the Japanese Tea Gardens in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, and you can bet I was thinking the whole time about elements for the perfect mini tea garden at home!

Do you think I can manufacture something for a large pot garden, or a stretch of yard, as perfect as a drum bridge?

I've seen miniature bridges, but none as perfectly rounded as this. Kids love to climb over this - and I've had a lot of fun on it as a no-longer-a-kid myself.

Hummmm I think I'm going to need some green glass to give a watery look, something along the lines of this lantern and a lovely orange lily. I have a lot of chasmonti floribunda that's overgrown my yard. It has a lovely orange flower and similar lily foliage. 

I might not be able to squeeze in a temple in a pot, or in my yard for that matter, but these burnt reds contrasting with green are certainly something to think about when it comes to plants, and or a ceramic pot or tile.