Highlights from Texas

A few the highlights from my trip to central Texas in mid December:

Cylindropuntia imbricata in front of the Bauer farmstead in Guadalupe River State Park.

An impossibly large Opuntia growing out of an impossibly small disc in San Antonio. Perhaps the roots have grown through the pipe?

Yucca rostrata at Barton Springs Nursery in Austin, TX. The Yucca is now living on my brother's patio in Austin, hopefully to be transported to Seattle when my family visits next.

I also purchased an Agave geminiflora 'Spaghetti Strap' at Shades of Green in San Antonio.  I fell in love with a large specimen of Agave ornithobroma, a close relative, at Cistus Nursery.  Unfortunately, neither are reliably hardy in zone 8b.  Other purchases included a Nolina nelsonii & Chamaerops humilis var. cerifera (Barton Springs), Agave bracteosa (East Austin Succulents) and a Sansevieria bacularis/sulcata (Great Outdoors).  Sadly, the last purchase is yet another houseplant, but I have a weakness for Sansevierias.

San Antonio Botanical Garden

In mid December, I visited the San Antonio Botanical Garden on a very blustery day. My previous visit was over ten years ago.

Beautiful combination of Artemisia and Agaves

 Blechnum gibbum inside a conservatory, I have thought about trying one of these as a houseplant.
 Cycads (Dioon I believe)
 Zombia antillarum, a palm with the most amazing texture on its trunk
Overall a great visit, but the garden could use withn adding more ID labels, particularly of Yuccas, Dasylirion, and other hardy drought tolerant plants.

Houseplant update

Sophronitis cernua from Seattle Orchid, a gift from my parents last year, blooming for the first time with a second bud on the way:
The orchid is easy to care for, just water when dry.

Plant shopping in Portland

After hearing wonderful reports about Portland area nurseries, I made a quick trip down to see for myself. As you can see, it was a successful trip!
Cistus Nursery's fall sale had just started, and I came home with a Crinodendron hookeranium, Fascicularia bicolor ssp. bicolor (later returned for 'Spinner's form'), Metapanax delavayi, Chamaedorea microspadix, as well as a few others. After leaving Cistus, I went to Pomariua where I found a Schefflera delavayi beginning to show beautiful leaf serration, fingers crossed the lobes become even more dramatic with age.

View at a traffic light between Cistus and Pomarius

At Pomarius, I found this beautiful Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Nanjing Gold,' which was way too big to fit in the car. After showing a photo to Paul, we decided to rent a minivan and drive back to Portland the next weekend to buy it.
Topiary bear cub at Pomarius
Portland nurseries lived up to the hype; I look forward to my next trip.


Some of my Sansevierias, from right to left S. suffruticosa, S. 'Boncel,' offset of S. trifasciata 'Bantel's Sensation,' and S. NOID cutting from a resort my family frequents. Recently, I have been drawn to Sansevierias with distichous leaves.
Happy Halloween!

Carkeek in fall

I walked Sandy in Carkeek Park to enjoy the fall color. The weather has been so warm and dry, many of the leaves were still green.

 Sandy reluctantly demonstrating the size of our native bigleaf maple leaves.

Indoor plant pole

I recently made a tacky purchase of a vintage plant pole, otherwise referred to as the stripper pole.
Neomarica longifolia / Trimezia maticensis
The pole is supporting a yellow walking iris, recently propagated from cuttings, and a Davallia NOID in a faux kokedama planter.

Kona lounging by another recent online purchase, Aloe marlothii.
And here's a photo of the Aloe just after it arrived in June, looking less impressive than pictured on Etsy.
I am please with how much progress the Aloe has made. Notably, the leaves have switched from the juvenile distichous growth pattern to a mature rosette.

Seattle Speres

Paul and I toured the Seattle Spheres today, followed by a late lunch at Kati Vegan Thai. Both were wonderful.

Outside of the spheres, which we saw being constructed when we move to Seattle in 2015.

 An endless multistory green wall. The variety of plants included was impressive.
 Beautiful palm with white leaf backs, I wish this were hardy.
Kerriodoxa elegans
Tree ferns
 We accidentally timed our visit with a titan arum blooming.
Amazon's botanical collection was impressive. Unfortunately, I failed to take pictures of the landscaping outside, which was also exceptional. I recommend that Amazon begin stocking the plant collection and residential-sized sphere kits on its site.

European Central Bank

While in Frankfurt, I also had the opportunity to tour the European Central Bank's new headquarters, which had some beautiful indoor planting. Of course, I only took a picture of these not-so-happy looking vines.
 Frankfurt in the distance


I recently had the opportunity to visit Palmengarten on a business trip to Frankfurt. By chance, the garden was not charging admission, which was nice because some of the glass houses were being renovated and not open.

 Cork oak
I wish this were my potting bench...

Houseplant update

Grammatophyllum scriptum in bloom. The orchid was sold as the citrinum variety, but clearly the flowers are not uniformly yellow/green.

In the neighborhood

An impressive collection of basalt columns outside of a house in my neighborhood, I would happily take a few of these.

Blooming now

Roses from a bush inherited from my house's former owners. All the blooms are connected to a single stem at the base.
 Chicky appreciating catmint, another inherited plant that is in bloom.

She certainly loves her plants, not so much the dogs.

Houseplant update

While waiting in the Cancun airport, I purchased this Oaxacan planter. It is currently housing a Schefflera arboricola cutting.

View from the hammock

Stipa gigantea catching the sunlight beautifully, as seen from our hammock.

Allan Gardens Conservatory

I made a quick trip to Toronto for a friend's wedding and of course tried to squeeze in a little botanical interest. This is a view out the top of Allan Gardens Conservatory.

Old Goat Farm

Old Goat Farm near Mount Rainier was open today for Northwest Perennial Alliance members. I love this fern table with a gabion base.

And a few planters caught my eye.