Sunday, November 14, 2010
NightsWorking nights is not as bad as I thought it might be, at least in terms of the job. Emergency work is always stressful, and I hate stress. But the support staff is pretty good and so far I haven't had too many super challenging cases, and nothing that's gone really south (yet- it will happen eventually). Walking to and from work is very nice, though I almost wished I lived farther so the walk would be even more excercise (only takes me 25 minutes of leisure pace to get there, which means less than 1 hour walk per day). Will be different when it starts raining and/or gets intot he 30s. I can tough it out (or drive if I feel like a wimp).
But sleeping is still the tough part. My body says to stay up and work in the garden when it's light out, not to sleep (my wife can somehow sleep the entire day if she gets it off, and she says she even sleeps better in the day than the night- lucky!... ).. Not supposed to be asleep all the time at work, but when nothing is going on, the bed is inviting and I do nap a bit... but last few nights I HAD to sleep some or I would wobble. Getting sleep here and there sometimes adds up to almost a normal total time of sleep, but the short periods do not work for me... I still feel too tired. Too old for this. HAVE to learn to sleep in day!
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Quail GardensQuail Gardens... nice place to visit just about any time of year... the climate in Encinitas one of the best in all of California- rarely if ever freezes, and not too hot. Overlooks the ocean and lots of land. Some really great and rare plants there, including one of the best bamboo collections in all the world. Why weren't my grandparents buying land like this when they came out here??
This is shot of the waterfall area with a great Pandanus utilis near the top.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Bike Ride about PasadenaSometimes, when there's no surgery at lunch, I have time to exercise (which I am supposed to be doing EVERYDAY)... took a one hour ride today and this time remembered the camera. Didn't see much, but got some photos anyway. This is an avenue of Washingtonia filiferi... even these stout trees manage a hint of a curve towards the ocean (not nearly so much as their skinny cousins, the Mexican Fan Palms do). These trees have to be at least 60+ years old. Wish I had 60 more years to see my plants do this.
Thursday, May 12, 2005THis is a Phoenix canariensis with a markedly pinched trunk. Most of the old ones in Pasadena have a pinch about the same time in their growth. I wonder what happend about 20-30 years ago that caused this to happen to so many trees... severe cold snap? Unscrupulous tree trimmers trimming off WAY too many leaves? Drought? Surprisingly I haven't seen any trees broken off at this point- been pretty windy here at times.
Thursday, May 12, 2005Washingtonia robusta clump, single and row of Washingtonia filiferi... and shorter palm is Brahea edulis- these three species often mistaken for each other- I can sort of see why, but to me they are clearly very different looking.. but I remember back just 12 years ago when I thought there were only two kinds of palm in California. Now I know there are over 400 species...
Thursday, May 12, 2005These common palms, Trachycarpus fortunei, are pretty tall here.. .say the tallest about 30'... look pretty good, too. That's what you get when you water them well. Lost some of the fuzz on lower trunks... Most people underwater theirs, and then they look bad. Nice looking palm for southern California,.... but too common for me.
Thursday, May 12, 2005Fake Phoenix canariensis cell tower... note the real palm in the background. These must have cost a fortune to make, since they dont bother anymore... too bad. Theu sure look good , especially compared to the standard white poles with 'lights' on them. This one is about 50'
tall (took photo from nearby bridge).
Saturday, May 7, 2005
Huntington revisitedActually, I go there almost every other week... but this was a particularly good day as was mostly cloudy, which makes for much better photographing... in fact, used up two Kodak memory cards (took the used, dropped, dinky camera being held together with duct tape... good camera at home and I keep forgetting to bring it to work).
This is group of palms I'm always photographing- some of the largest Caryota gigas in california... just amazed at the size of their trunks and trying to monitor their progress... these palms get almost 100' tall in the wilds of Thailand... probably won't get anywhere near that tall here... and will probably blow over long before, too... wimpy root systems for such huge crowns.
Saturday, May 7, 2005Unidentified cactus (of which there are so many, in most botanical gardens around here... guess identification not a huge priority with some).
Wednesday, May 4, 2005
One of the better nurseries: CAlifornia Cactus CenterRun by sisters who are pretty knowledgable (though most plants labeled with synonym names- rare to find something actually labeled with a current name) and have an excellent ability to organize and have an incredibly attractive collection of plants available- tons of stuff you simply can't find most other places... sort of pricey, but worth it. I visit this nursery monthly just because it's such a beautiful place to go... and or course, always end up buying something I don't need
Wednesday, May 4, 2005another shot of some large specimens... all way out of my price range. Sad.. wish I was rich.. and had tons of acreage to plant this stuff in, too.
Monday, May 2, 2005
Eaton CanyonHere's a shot of this place not far from where I work in Pasadena, California... has a gazillion rocks, many of which are loaded with mica and other glittery stones... nice for landscaping, though most sort of round and boring shaped... but a good sorce for cactus garden rocks if you don't mind hauling them up out of the canyon.
Monday, May 2, 2005Here's another shot of the canyon up the other direction... great source for rocks, but also lizards and just a good hike.
Monday, April 25, 2005
Green Scene dayToday, at last minutes notice, went to Green Scene on the Fullerton campus botanical gardens...a big two day event where incredible deals on all sorts of incredible tropical plants can be had... and I went crazy as usual. Got tons of cacti and succulents, though don't really have too much room for those plants anymore... but the deals were amazing... cacti that had to be 20+ years old for hardly anything... could barely pick these plants up, yet were cheap! Got a huge barrel (Ferocactus hereri?) that has to weigh about 80lbs for a steal. And that was just one of many. Jeep was so loaded down with plants almost had to leave girlfriend behind just to fit them all in. Saw lots of old cycad and palm friends there. Relatively empty day for sale since rained earlier. Perfect weather!
Started on second planter box in back yard now that first is done and so crammed with cacti and Euphorbias that there's no room to walk in it or add any more plants of size. Looks great, though, and just tall enough dogs can't jump into it -the whole point of the planter boxes are to keep dogs out... though they also add a nice structure to the garden, and bring the plants up higher so they can be seen better. But costly and require a lot of soil... keep forgetting to order soil, but will next week I hope (would cost thousands to buy it by the bag at Home Depot, so will have to have some trucked in from Camarillo).
Last week went to Tropic World in Escondido to get larger plants, and for cheaper... not too many good deals or selection much closer to home, unfortunately. Too bad. REallly hate to drive off so far to get plants... but pretty much gotten what we can that are worth collecting at Target and Osh/Home depot. Get a few things now and then at the Cactus and succulent meetings (next one is next week), but nothing of any size... SOMEDay will be larger, but I'll be dead by then. Always a trade off- buying small to save, but not having anything but a dinky plant for many years (and I don't have many years left in me, perhaps)... or buying a few really nice ones now and then and having something that looks great today... but having a smaller repertoire. Am gradually drifting to the latter philosophy as I age. And now that I have only a dinky garden space to work with, really have to watch the reckless collecting practices of the past.
Here's a photo of a large Naked Coral tree with a vender below selling all sorts of cool tropicals (most too $$ for me... but tempting).
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
zoo visitWent to the LA zoo this day (April 13)... was surprised by their plant collection... not that they had nice stuff, but that it was labeled, and most correctly... even most botanical gardens can't brag that. Here's some Jubaeas (one of my favorite palms), or Chilean Wine Palms growing in their grounds. These are many years old and worth a fortune.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
nursery right near my homeFound this nursery near where I live in San Fernando Valley, southern CAlifornia... pretty huge. ONly open on weekends, and prices are so-so... pretty much have to know spanish to shop there, unless you happen to run into someone who speaks english.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
more on the neighborhood nurseryHere's a shot of one of the hallways showing a long greenhouse that has to cover at least 1/2 an acre I think (at least in lenght)... soo much stuff. I was disappointed that prices weren't lower. Oh well. Good selection... but nothing super rare.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005if you need to get a thousand, or more, of any one kind of succulent, though, this is the place. Probably used mostly by local landscapers who can afford to buy things in bulk.
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Unknown aloeMy biggest complaint with Huntington is not everything is labeled. Of course, it is nice they label anything, as I guess they don't really have to. But I get spoiled learning what everything is, and then get upset when something great looking, like this aloe, is NOT labeled, and no one seems to know what it is.
Friday, March 25, 2005
amazing plastic flowersNew at this diary thing... so I guess I can put anything in this... saw some amazing flowers locall this year (and last)... happen every March and April arising out of the most messy and plain looking thorny mass of plants I had seen- at the Huntington Gardens, where I go frequently, they have planted these Puyas in large masses- 20-40' across in some areas... seeminly taking up an inordinate amount of limited space in their cactus gardens... until these flowers shoot up in the spring. THen you realize why so much areas is devoted to these species... flowers don't even look real... each panicle must weigh about 20lbs! Covered with birds and bees, who just don't seem to appreciate that the colors are those of a fake, plastic flower. This one is Puya alpestris
Friday, March 25, 2005
another Puya shotAnd these are Puya chilensis... amazing chartreuse color!
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
HuntingtonBeen going to the Huntington a lot... always head to the succulents- have so many seasonally flowering plants that are striking, and very different from what you see in the local gardens. Not sure I like succulents for what they are, or just because they are rare and unique. I think if I saw them in every one's yard, I wouldn't be as enamored with them.
Here's an unknown species of Agave flowering in march... great looking flowers. Wish they had this plant labeled (maybe the label is hidden amid the mass of plants).
Tuesday, March 15, 2005Aloes are great plants- seems there are always a few species flowering every month. The winter is the best time of year, but spring has it's flowerers, too. Here's a nice Aloe excelsa flowering in March
Friday, January 28, 2005
coral treesNot sure why, but gotten interested in coral trees... great looking trees part of the year... sort of so-so the rest. Not really a tree person. THese have destructive roots, too... but are great plants to see in other gardens. This is one of those hybrid species in winter at the Huntington.
Friday, January 28, 2005Huntington has a nice japanese garden- not my favorite place, but some of the twisted, bonsai-like trees are interesting... and of course all Japanese gardens out here have cycads (all common C revolutas, but some nice huge specimens)
Friday, January 28, 2005but then some gardens, like Huntington, have nice rare species of cycads- this is Dioon merolae, a large female... sort of gets walked by by most visiters, but this plant is worth a small fortune.
Friday, January 28, 2005this is a famous scene from Huntington with a row of my favorite type of plant- palms... these are Australian palms called Livistona australis... make a great landscape palm if you have the room.
Friday, January 28, 2005This is something I've been really excited about (done now.. and photo I think was from 3 years ago)... a conservatory at the Huntington... huge greenhouse. My complaint is it's too low a ceiling to have any great tropical palms survive more than a few years, before they will have to be hacked down.. Oh well. Still ,can't wait to see it finished and full of plants.
Friday, January 28, 2005AGathis robusta- a great tree for any yard... and doesn't take up much room. Pretty darn tall, though. That's my friend Chris in the photo- another garden nut and cycad/aloe officianado. This still at the Huntington
Friday, January 28, 2005This is why I like succulents- look at the variety and shapes... and this is winter!
Saturday, January 8, 2005Here it is, finished... the Huntington conservatory (I dont think it's open, yet, though)
Tuesday, November 2, 2004
Orange county college garden visitWent to this place with the local cactus and succulent club... pretty nice little garden they have there. Grow a ton of Poinsettias every fall and make a little money on them.. have it down to a true science, too. Great climate they have... jealous. never freezes, like it does here where I live.
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Virginia Robinson GardensThis is a shot of the king palms growing at this incredible estate garden in the middle of Beverly Hills, California. Belonged to Ms Virginia Robinson, of Robinson/May. Huge place, and great plants. They have tours of the place all the time.
Thursday, June 24, 2004Here's another shot of the palms in the garden. I personally think Brahea armatas (the small blue palm in front) are way underutilized in So California gardens amonst the more lush palms.. they make an outstanding contrast in such situations. They also look great by themselves in open sunny places, but that is so 'cliche' now... this is a great look!
Thursday, June 24, 2004This lawn shot shows a pretty old Encephalartos altensteinii at the far end... great plant!
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
Pasadena palmsHERe in Pasadena California where I now work, there are a lot of nice palms. THis is a great town for palms, though not the best climate in So Cal for them.... but a good attitude in the community towards them... most other places everyone's putting in pines and sycamores- a travesty if you ask me... why not more tropicals? they look great, and do well here. HEre's a realy tall Phoenix canarensis in Monrovia (nearby town).
Saturday, January 24, 2004
Gaylord PalmsThis is a huge hotel complex where part of the last veterinary conference I attended was held (though these photos are from a visit a year earlier). This entire garden, hotel and all is under glass- one of the must humongous greenhouses I have ever seen.. keeping the whole thing at a constant 65-70F... can grow a LOT of stuff in that climate, though, disappointingly, had a relatively small number of species, most common, from the vast list of potential candidates. I talked to the head honcho in charge of plants there, but sure all I said fell on deaf ears... just the last thing someone like that wants to hear is someone ELSE's opinion of what he should REALLY be growing there.
These are mature royal palms... that are dwarfed by the size of the ceiling!
Saturday, January 24, 2004why they wasted precious space on common, cold hardy stuff, that could grow even better outdoors, like Washingtonias and Butias, I will never understand. But here's also a coconut palm, a much more tender palm that is a rare sight outdoors in Orlando (though you can grow them there during years there are no severe frosts).
Saturday, January 24, 2004This is a fun looking slide they had outside the greenhouse area.
Saturday, January 24, 2004Another shot showing the height of the place... and more common palms that would do just as well outdoors as in this wonderful greenhouse.
Friday, January 2, 2004
Animal Kingdom, FloridaHad a vet meeting in Florida, so visited the Animal Kingdom- had a nice garden there, though turns out these realistic Baobab trees were really concrete... ha!
Tuesday, September 2, 2003
Private palm gardenVisited a great palm garden in Vista California, that surely will be one of the priemere palm gardens in all over California very soon, if not already... guy has the $$ and really did it up nice. Has about 2 acres and a gazillion dollars worth of rare and exotic plants.... wow!
Sunday, August 24, 2003
Canon Beach, OregonHad a family reunion there... second reunion we have had, with all sorts of members of the side of the family I didn't even know existed until the first reunion 4 years earlier. Canon Beach was a pleasant surprise- great plants! Had some incredible Hydrangeas, Gunneras and Araucaria aracana.
Also had some nice geologic formations. This is the famous haystack rock... a wonderful bird-crap-encrusted monolith that you can walk up to and touch at low tide.
Sunday, August 24, 2003Here's what the forest looks like up the road a bit... nice fresh stream and great conifers. Too cold for palms, though- I could never live there
Sunday, August 24, 2003Here's one of the incredible hydrangeas they had outside the hotel near the beach
Sunday, August 24, 2003Here's a Monkey Puzzle Tree I saw just outside of Canon Beach.. it was in the lawn of a private home, but Iguess so many people have asked what that tree is, the people living there had labeled it.
Monday, April 28, 2003
Palomar college gardenVisited the college palm garden in San Diego county at Palomar college... nice collection and great climate. Never heard of it before this visit.
Monday, November 4, 2002
Visit to ThailandThis is the second time i have visited Thailand... first time was 4 years ago as part of the Palm Society trip... was an incredible experience, but didnt' have a digital camera back then. This trip I was a bit more prepared, but lost a lot of photos by leaving them on the old computer after the separation. Bummer. Still have a lot, and will post some here.
This trip was with the cycad people, who, for the most part, are similar to palm people... but there are some quite different individuals who are interested in cycads than palms... palms are not worth a lot of money once you stuff them in the ground (few exceptions) but cycads are like investments... and the rare ones are like rare platinum buried treasures... and some unscrupulous types will do all they can to get some. There were a few of those types on this trip, so security was pretty tight in the gardens (thank goodness). But most folks were my friends and pretty nice people.
Thailand is a great place to visit... first time I felt like I was going to the Amazon... thought it was going to be all grass huts and malaria... hardly saw a mosquito, and the cities look a lot like cities anywhere. Lots and lots of people, though. and lots of great plants (perfect climate, being right near the equator). Not much you can't grow there (that I would care about at least).
This is shot out hotel window in Pattaya, Thailand, looking at the typical touristy beach scene... nice, but not why I was in Thailand.
Monday, November 4, 2002another view out of the hotel in Pattaya, overlooking the touristy parts of the bay.... nice place... 5 star hotel for a 2 star price.
Sunday, November 3, 2002
Nong noochThis is a shot of the silver garden as we drove up to be let off at Nong Nooch tropical gardens (probably one of the best, if not the best, tropical garden set ups in the world)... This garden section is enormous and full of only silvery, bluish or blue-green palms, cycads, succulents and other plants. Wow... just to have even one of those spectacular palms in my yard... sigh..
Sunday, November 3, 2002HEre's another shot of it, with a Copernicia hospita, and Bismarckias and Livistonas and Butias in the background.
Sunday, November 3, 2002for those who like succulents, this is a shot of the Euphorbia millii display area... there are plants as far as the eye can see... and these are only the display plants... there are acres of greenhouses devoted to wierd and rare cultivars of E millii... amazing. Too bad I didn't get more photos.. not sure why I didn't.
Sunday, November 3, 2002This is a garden Kampon named Stonehenge, for obvious reasons... large stone is not that common in this area, so this is pretty amazing to see stones like these. it is sort of a miniature of the 'real thing'.
Sunday, November 3, 2002Love this sign... they speak a lot of English in Thailand.. but their spellling is a bit off sometimes.
Saturday, November 2, 2002
BangkokWent to Thailand this year (second time) and got a tour of the city. Took many digital photos, but not nearly enough, and don't have most of them anymore (divorce complication). One of first tours we took was along the canals of Bangkok, so see some palms and view the temples along the banks. But here's some of the 'typical housing along the canals, that reminds us there are very poor people here in Thailand, as well as the ones doing very well.
Saturday, November 2, 2002Here's one of the many many temples you can see along the river/canal... there are seemingly and infinite number of these in the city
Saturday, November 2, 2002Here's someone's little 'garden' on their canal doorstep.. notice the orchids.. the weather is so warm and humid here, many orchids just hang in pots- no soil, no nothing... roots just hanging in air getting all the moisture they need.
Saturday, November 2, 2002This is a shot of the main temple (Temple of the golden Buddah)... a huge area with a LOT of gold leaf all over the buildings (that's real gold on that temple!). Security is tight. You have to take your shoes off to go in most of the buildings, and no photography is allowed inside. Pretty impressive place.
Monday, April 29, 2002
Mardy Darian's GardenVisited this incredible palm garden in Rancho Santa Fe, Southern California about this year... what a place... acres of rare and huge tropical plants. this palm is probably the only one of its kind outside of Madagascar... pretty amazing. It is called Dypsis mealybug for now, but not sure what the actual species name is (some say D mananjarensis, but it looks like no other)
Monday, April 29, 2002This palm is called Dypsis 'big Curly'- also an unknown species from Madagascar... there are several of these in cultivation, but they are RARE! Supposedly the adults are enormous.
Monday, April 29, 2002Here's a 'common' Majesty palm in Darian's garden... about 20' tall or more... These are now a dime a dozen, but when Darian was collecting them from Madagascar, they were pretty rare. Garden is a Eucalypt/pine forest which serves as a great canopy for his more tropical things.
Monday, April 29, 2002Here's a beauty of a Triangle palm, also collected bacy when they were rare... best head on a triangle I have ever seen.
Monday, April 29, 2002This prize is Dypsis 'White Stem' (another unknown) and probably one of only several left in the world, including Madagascar... huge palm with a unique leaflet pattern... This one tucked away in his greenhouse where other prizes and treasures can be found.
Monday, April 29, 2002Best Green colored bismarckia I have ever seen in California... and surrounded by large and rare cycads as well.. what a collection in Darian's garden! Too bad most don't get a chance to see any of it.
Monday, April 29, 2002Here's the man himself admiring his struggling Borassus madagascariensis... a very rare palm for So Cal...
Monday, April 29, 2002last but not least, Mardy's Marjojya darianii.. a palm named after him, and one of the nicest growing in southern California. Becomes a huge palm with leaves that are unsplit, also from Madagascar.
Monday, April 29, 2002Here's a general view of his garden as you drive up... what a sight!
Wednesday, May 2, 2001
UCLA Mildred Mathias gardenHad a palm meeting at this place and discovered it had a pretty nice cactus/succulent garden. Talk about a perfect climate: warm and relatively dry, but never freezes.
Wednesday, May 2, 2001Here's a shot of the more lush part of the garden... the medical center is right on the other side of this garden
Friday, April 28, 2000
Date festivalWent to the date festival... guessing it was this year, but could have been the year before.. hard to work on a diary 5-7 years later. Ohwell... just thought I'd put in a few photos/thoughts while I still had some. This is a shot of the dates growing in Palm Desert, California, where the date festival is every year. Thought it would be a good place to get a date palm, but saw none for sale. Too bad. guess more demand for the actual dates themselves... oh well.
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