Empress Tree

It is the time of the year that our resident female monarch (Paulownia tomentosa) is showing off her collection of fancy gowns and fine jewelry. If you head back a young specimen to ground (stooling) every winter, you will never get the jewelry(flowers), but you will be rewarded with gigantic tropical-looking leaves about two feet […]

Dragon again and New Summerwinds

For a cool $645k, you can become the new master of this magnificent dragon, plus a free small house behind. According to the friendly agent, Thailand is the birth place of this bronze sea serpent, and his name is “Ralph”, who enjoys water play on important occasions.

Schefflera taiwaniana and its cousins

Schefflera taiwaniana (台湾鹅掌柴) is a new evergreen shrub from high mountains of Taiwan. The unique thing about this elegant beauty is that it is much hardier than your typical house plant Scheffleras (S. arboricola and S. actinophylla ). Now Monrovia Nursery may have been too optimistic to give it a cold tolerance rating of USDA […]

Big Magnolia X alba in San Jose

My koi-keeping hobby has taken me to Cherry Hill Koi near the famously creepy Winchester Mystery House and the trendy Santana Row shopping area. And the most exciting discovery is a big specimen of Magnolia X alba, which I called the king of all fragrant plants in a previous blog entry. For a long time, […]

More Spring Flowers

Yesterday (April 11) I attended a board meeting of my local district of Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) in Palo Alto. With a little free time before the meeting, I went by Elizabeth Gamble Garden for a quick tour. Gamble Garden is a local oasis of horticulture with two and a half acres of […]

Succulent Sale

The Cactus and Succulent Society of San Jose had its annual sale last Saturday (April 2). Last time I attended this show was in 2006, and I remember the big crowd in a buying frenzy and all the fascinating show plants. Now I am happy to report that the show has kept its tradition very […]

From China With Love

A little over a week ago, one of my most treasured plants started to bloom for the first time. It is a compact cultivar of Clivia miniata from China. This plant started as a gift seed from my mother back in the fall of 2007. A few more seeds came in the same batch but […]

New Plants from the 2011 SF Garden Show

One of my favorite features of the SF Garden Show is the Hot Plant Picks display. Every year various nurseries send their new introductions to this debutante party. Here are this year’s show benches full of goodies:

Spring Flowers

In the San Francisco Bay Area, our winter usually ends around Valentine’s Day, or Februrary 14th. This is one of my favorite times of the year since the days are getting longer, yet the air is still cool and moist. Best of all, many trees are putting up extravagant flower shows while the chores and […]

In Memory of My Old Garden

It has been terribly busy in the last few months since we are moving to a bigger home. We have put up our old home for sale and it is almost certain that it will be sold in the next month or so. When we first bought it in 1999, the backyard was 1000 square […]