Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Hot, the Loud and the Proud #11


Show us your tropicals and exotics, your hot Mediterranean colors and wild combinations, amazing discoveries and unusual variations. Or how about something exciting you just saw, a crazy garden,  amazing garden art or design, an inspiring visit or hike?
This meme is open to all (you do not have to live in an exotic location to participate)  and will be on the last day of each month…so mark your calendars and lets do something fun on the hot, the loud and the proud meme. I’ll have the link available early, east coast time (USA) to catch you early birds and even earlier for those of you in other countries.

As I walk around my garden today, the morning clouds are still here and a light drizzle is coming down. That's okay with me so I do not have to water today and the mosquitos don't attack me when its wet outside for some reason. Taking a look at whats blooming today and I see alot of favorites that are greeting me this morning in the garden.

My leucospermum is putting out a beautiful bloom today, its still a very young plant so these blooms are very rare.

This is also a relatively young leucadendron plant that gives me a few blooms, and do last a few weeks.

I've made quite a few cuttings of these impatiens and they are also doing very well and giving me beautiful blooms.

One of my favorite anthuriums, this one is over 10 inches long, these obake hybrids are a showy bunch and can last for over a month.

Another favorite impatiens, I love the variegated foliage just as much as the flower which is always blooming on these wonderful plants.

I only have one shrub of these cats whiskers and it is huge, its such a carefree and easy plant to have in the garden - no fussing necessary for these beautiful blooms.

A beautiful scented vireya is coming out in the side yard and giving out a spectacular display, the scent is litely perfumed like a ginger.

One of the wild orchids in the back jungle area of the garden is putting on quite a show for me also. Isn't it a treat to see wild orchids like this blooming!

Hope you enjoyed the walk around the garden with me this morning, come and visit again anytime.

To view other gardens today go and visit

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Beautiful Art Garden

Everytime I travel to a new location, I always make it a habit to visit a local art center or coop. It really gives me a great impression of what local artists feel about their area and their interpretations of what makes their town or city unique.

Sometimes its a treat when you find a special place that combines art, sculpture and a beautiful garden to encompass all of the wonderful elements in discovering a new area.

This is how I feel when I find something worthwhile or accidentally walk into a place like the Mendocino Art Center - an amazing place that combines art, music, theather and other creative endeavors into a beautiful center. While I was viewing the wonderful artwork in the galleries, I saw their calendar of amazing performances and classes being offered in the spring, and I was really tempted to come back and spend more time in this area and take a ceramics or watercolor class. (Wished we had something like this in East Hawaii) I can just be a spunge and feel all the creative juices flowing while I'm in an inspiring place like Mendocino which really is a special place for art.

Big picture windows with views to the gardens were luring me out after tiring from all the visual stimuli. I couldn't wait to see some fantastic interplay of art with flora.

I just had to rush out and take a picture of these giant sunflowers, I would love to tuck these into my suitcase to take back home to Hawaii.... I'm sure they would look amazing when the blue echiums in this section start to bloom.

I've always dreamed about doing a driftwood sculpture, this piece just takes it to another level - isn't it just the most creative piece - made with found objects!

Mosaics like this are perfect in this environment and can weather this cool and moist area - I love the colorful display even when the garden is asleep in winter.

Strangely, the giant aeoniums, match this little head so well in the garden and the spent blooms of the lavendar add more texture to this assemblage.

 This sleeping bust, fits in so well to this rose shrub, some thoughful care has been spent to sighting the sculptures well to the garden.

Another mosaic piece with some robust succulents that do very well in this area. I love this vignette.

Garden critters are abundant in this garden also, and you can take them all home for a souvenir.

 This amazing bench really make a statement, it just commands this area, don't you just love it?

  - another critter lurking in the shady areas of this garden, I think its a little shy of visitors.

Isn't this a sweet place, I could hang out in this garden for a bit and think about making some beautiful art in my garden also. Hope you enjoyed the tours of Mendocino -its time to head back into the city.

This is my contribution to fertilizer friday to view more gardens go to

Monday, January 17, 2011

What a Sweet Place


This is always what I say when I visit the town of Mendocino, about three hours north of San Francisco, a beautiful community on sheer cliffsides, fronting the blue Pacific ocean. I visited during New Year with some friends to enjoy a different New Years celebration and it was a treat to be here during non-peak season and enjoy the town without the hordes of tourists.

What I didn’t expect to see during this cold, damp winter season was some actual gardens still presenting some beautiful blooms especially considering the cold artic front that has been approaching from the last few days in the New Year.

I happened across many beautiful homes and gardens hidden behind grand picket fences with Victorian facades. This one is a garden leading to a local bakery/eatery with an outside dining terrace.


A sweet gate welcomes you into the garden and up to the terraced area.


I spotted this still blooming abutilon by the stairway, it was such a nice greeting especially for such a cold and windy morning.


 -  isn’t this just the type of bench you would love to have in your garden, or at least sit on to enjoy the entire garden unfolding before you?


I’ve never seen these bright fushia colored gazanias before, really intense hot pinks and orange throats, very cheery on such a drab morning.


The last blooms of this hybrid rose before the eminent artic blast coming that night along with I’m guessing is some type of milkweed or viburnum shrub in the background.


Can’t avoid that sweet bench again in the corner….


This is a nice combination of borage and a pink flower I couldn’t identify, they look like sweet primroses.


The hebe in the border was flush with purple blooms and the last of the roses starting to bud were still putting on a show. To the right the last few blooms of these yellow alstroemerias, boy these are hardier than I thought.

One more garden I happened on in town while I was visiting and it was a favorite, I'll show it to you on the next post.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A San Francisco Treat

On a cold and brisk January morning visiting Golden Gate park, I found the perfect venue to while away a few hours and wait for the outside weather to warm up a bit.

Every Christmas until mid-January, the conservatory of flowers creates a spectacular display of a miniature San Francisco complete with model trains running through an entire wing of the conservatory. All the buildings are built thoughfully with used or recyled materials to mimic famous local landmarks and the landscapes complement the various sites with well chosen hardscaping, foliage plants and flowers to create a magical display for all to enjoy.


Miniature flowers on display including kalanchoes, petite roses and heather/ericas punctuate the landscape with hot bursts of colors.


This cable car traverses a canyon filled with ericas in full bloom, quite a specular combination that works so well with the diorama.

Miniature foliage plants and baby shrubs like this asparagus fern, lichens and topiaried evergreens add realistic green elements, here the scene shows a small replica model of Stowe lake in Golden Gate park.

Children just filled up the entire wing of the conservatory, completely mesmerized by all the frenetic action of the trains and the colorful models and landscape. I think this boy really wants to go for an adventure ride and is intent on finding the conductor inside the caboose.

Beautiful buildings made completely with recycled materials like the ferry building created with forks, spoons, a cheese grater and oven knob, there's always a use for recycled kitchen tools here. The main San Francisco Ferry sign is ingeniously made with scrabble squares sitting on top of the roof building.


The combinations of plant materials, textures and scale of plants is tastefully chosen to fit the correct scale of the trains and hidden areas like tunnels create a magical dissapearing and reappearing act.

Even famous landmarks in Golden Gate park are depicted like the De Young Museum and the Natural Science Museum below. Next to it is the one of the tall pagodas designating the Japanese Tea garden with some real bonsai trees.

Even the bison pens showcasing the herd of bisons in the park are on display.

I hope you enjoyed the miniature tour of San Francisco in January, it looks like everyone had a good time.

This is my contribution to garden bloggers bloom day for January 2011, to visit other exciting gardens go to

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

An Early Morning Walk in Mendocino

What am I doing at 6 o’clock in the morning walking around in freezing temperatures, let alone the harsh wind chill factor along the cliffs in Mendocino Town, about three hours drive north from San Francisco.

Tossing in bed all night, I couldn’t get to sleep and caught a glimpse of the purple and red skies starting to break. Automatically I grabbed the camera, my coat and a scarf and ran immediately to the cliffs. Knowing that winter skies are some of the purest skies to photograph in the morning, I knew I was in for something special. Opportunity only comes to those that sacrifice that warm bed especially on a very cold morning. And boy did I feel it immediately, with the wind whipping freezing artic blasts of air into any exposed skin not protected from the immediate rush of chill, I though again about heading back to my warm bed.

 The sun is coming and casting golden light to the village on the edge of these magnificent cliffs.

Despite all the crazy thoughts, I trudged on and blocked out all thoughts of the brutal cold. Giddy with the morning scene unfolding before me and only a few like souls, I spent the entire morning explore all the various nooks and vistas along the rugged coastline.

There are a few trails leading all the way down to little coves filled with roughed up timber. I decide to just follow the coastal path along the cliffs affording wonderful vistas of the town and the surrounding areas by the water

I explore many of the trails and try to take many pictures but the cold and harsh winds just burn my fingers, fighting for refuge in my thin rain coat, which I accidentally grabbed on the way out the door.

A beautiful throne chair lit up and inviting me to just sit and admire the new day rising to great everyone brave enough to walk in this trail.

 Finally morning has appeared and my stomach is grumbling, time to have a hearty breakfast. At least an inspiring morning walk deserves a big country breakfast. Don’t you think?

This was a pleasant hike and one I would not repeat again with an early morning trek so I’m glad I did this on a whim since these are the only pictures I took along the shoreline that day.

To view other water Wednesdays go visit
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