Pleasant Surprise

March 11th, 2018

Several years ago I purchased a Solandra maxima from a fellow at the Saturday Farmers’ Market.


April 4, 2013 Bloom

It became a 12 foot long plant on a trellis. Numerous cuttings were taken to make more plants that are growing in a numerous locations in my gardens and gardens of friends.

Last year after the annual bloom, the plant lost all of its leaves. I meant to remove it, but just couldn’t find the time.

This evening I was photographing the Brugmansia growing in front of the Solandra maxima.


To my surprise I found that the Solandra maxima is leafing out.
Solandra maxima

Don’t know why it was without leaves for nearly a year, but I am glad I didn’t remove the plant. Maybe it will even bloom this year.

After the Rain

March 11th, 2018

Iron Bunny with New Aloe

Iron Bunny with New Aloe

New Cactus

New Cactus

Dead or Alive

Dead or Alive?

Memorial Code

Bunny Memorial Patina 5 February 2018

Memorial Code

Bunny Memorial Patina Today

New Plants for Succulent Gardens

March 10th, 2018

I have been looking at the little iron bunny in one of my succulent gardens. It seems to disappear into the soil. Had thought that laying a bed of flat grey rocks for it to sit on. Today when I was visiting the neighborhood nursery, I saw this plant.


I have a rule when purchasing plants. They must be planted the day they are purchased.

Today was unusual because it was and still is raining. Rainfall on the CA Central Coast is a bit of an odd occurrence.


I slipped on my seldom used raincoat, pulled the plants out of the pot…


Eight aloe and a cactus.

…and popped them in the garden.


Placed one directly in front of the little iron bunny with two more plants in an imperfect triangle.


Three aloe in a previously open space in the garden.


Two small aloe juxtaposed with some plantlets in the making, all near the memorial bunny.


The volunteer cactus could use a dusting.
Tomorrow when it is no longer raining, I will remove the soil from its spines.

Don’t Give Power to Charlatans

February 27th, 2018

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Nature at Its Best

February 25th, 2018

Frost Dane’s Car

Washington State University Alumni Magazine

February 6th, 2018

I received my MFA from Washington State University in Pullman, WA. While there, I was using cuttings from trees and plants in my mixed media work. I became a bit familiar with some of the folks in the Horticulture Department when I was looking for potential sources for art materials. Not only did I find great materials, I also found starts of numerous plants that I grew in my studio.

While I was traveling over the weekend I read the Washington State Magazine Summer 2017 issue. The magazine is full of interesting information about folks at WSU and alumni. Since I have been caring for Monarchs in my gardens, I specifically wanted to read the article about Monarchs.

After reading a number of interesting articles, I read an article on the Newsmedia page about Linda Chalker-Scott’s book, How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do (Science for Gardeners).

How Plants Work Book

I read the excerpt available on the amazon site and decided to purchase the kindle version of her text. Even though I love books, especially beautiful Timber Press books, I didn’t want to wait 2 days for delivery.

Linda Chalker-Scott also posts on the Garden Professors blog. After reading a couple of posts, decided to subscribe.

Patina Gone Crazy

February 5th, 2018




After a short time this occurred–




What was the patina used for? I strung together 3 kinds of shiny steel washers in code for a 3-bunny gravemarker.

Memorial Piece

This is what the washers looked like when they were removed from the solution.

Memorial Piece

And now as part of the grave marker–

Memorial Piece

Memorial Piece

Eventually the piece should become rustier, more aged, a bit more similar to the oxidized bunny marker.

This is another memorial for a bunny burial space.

Mr Smith Memorial Piece

Used the same washers to make the coded memorial piece. I suspect that they have oxidized because the area of the garden gets watered frequently and the little inlaid ceramic cup does not have a drainage hole.

How many bunnies do I have buried in my courtyard? Eight. That sounds like a lot of bunnies. Eight bunnies have lived with me during the past 25 years. My oldest bunny lived a long, but not long enough 13 years.

The simple rust promoter formula found online.

Patina Formula

Sweet Essence of the Magnolia and Brugmansia

February 1st, 2018

The small Magnolia in the back garden is in bloom. Last evening I noticed the fragrance of the Magnolia was combining nicely with the delicious fragrance of the Brugmansia.

Magnolia Bloom

Magnolia Bloom with Bee

Magnolia Bud with Pod

The tall tilting tree is actually a Brugmansia.

Brugmansia Tilt

The Wisteria covering the deck was quite heavy last year, casting shade. So the Brug is growing toward the light. When the flower cycle ends, I will cut it back.

I grew the Brug from seed several years ago. I have taken cuttings and harvested seed pods to make more plants.

Brug Pod

A recently harvested Brugmansia seed pod.

I remove Brugmansia and Datura pods to prevent anyone from snagging them to use inappropriately.

The Brug was grown from seed purchased from The site has seed for a variety of plants and a great place to find seed for unusual plants.

Time to Retire My Rabbit Mug?

February 1st, 2018

This has been an annoying allergy season. Had been taking loads of antihistamines, now on Sudafed and Aleve. Symptoms often wake me in the middle of the night. Sometimes I need to take addition doses of Sudafed.

Tuesday evening I left my rabbit mug half filled with water on the bathroom counter, the top covered with a kleenex. Wednesday night the mug was still waiting to be used. As I removed the kleenex I noticed the exterior of the mug looked odd, stained.

Rabbit Mug Exterior

When I looked inside the mug, the glaze looked stained.

<Rabbit Mug Interior

And what happened to the water?

<Rabbit Mug Interior

When I held the mug it felt cold. If water can be pulled through the small fractures in the glaze surface, what else might the mug contain? Was the glaze fired to maturity? Is it possible that some of the glaze ingredients are toxic? What have I been drinking with my orange juice?

Yep, time to retire the mug.

Datura Pod

January 29th, 2018

Datura Pod

Last Datura Pod of Volunteer Plant #2 in Succulent Garden