Monday, May 30, 2016

Botanical Wonders Made Easy

I had never heard about the American Horticultural Society (AHS), but when it came to my attention, I quickly signed up.

An AHS membership entitles one (or more, depending on the level of membership) to free entry to an amazing number of botanical gardens, arboretums, public and private(ish) gardens throughout the country. In the west, the variety of gardens is astonishing, as is the dedication of the staff and volunteers who keep these organizations and their collections alive.

Over the past months, I've been burning up that membership card. Often I've dragged along some poor soul who I hope has a slight interest in the botanical. So far, no one has complained, or at least not loudly. But I know better than to press my luck and ask if they want to go birdwatching too.

Day of the Dead
Desert Botanical Garden
Phoenix, AZ

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Oh, Go Ahead and Vote

Photo Courtesy of Sari Kulberg

As seen on the walkway on my block. Question is: which less-than-responsible person is still not cleaning up after his/her pet? And, if I may comment, we all know that poop is a natural function. May we say the same about Mr. Trump?

This does remind me of a series of incidents in Germany in 2005 or so, where little flags were left behind in the left behinds of the local pet population. Each flag sported the image of George W. Bush. Apparently, there were thousands of them. Local police were baffled; I was shocked that all those reputedly neat and tidy Germans failed to perform their civic duty and clean up after their pets.

So if you live in California, remember your civic duty and go vote on June 7th. Actually, you don't even have to go - request a vote-by-mail ballot online by May 31st, and you can vote at home in your jammies.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Plant Splurge #3: Brugmansia 'Little Angel'

This one my mom talked me into. But she didn't have to talk very hard - years ago, when I first saw a Brugmansia (common name: angel's trumpet), it was love at first sight. And sniff.

They are powerfully fragrant at night, and beautiful at any hour. But the plant is big, think small tree, which my little yard cannot easily accommodate.

New hybrids have become available, including this dwarf, Little Angel. It's supposed to stay under five feet in all directions, but we shall see... I hear that brugmansias take pruning well.

It does like regular water, and yes, I know the drought is still on-going. But this is one of those bread and roses things, so for now, I'm OK with the water bucket in the shower.