The blog year began the year in the Coachella Valley desert town of Palm Springs, California. We visited the Coachella Valley Preserve, Tahquitz Canyon, and Palm Canyon.

Coachella Valley Preserve

Coachella Valley Preserve Coachella Valley Preserve
Tahquitz Canyon Tahquitz Canyon
Palm Canyon Palm Canyon

Back at home, we entertained the usual visitors.


I rhapsodized longingly about the California meadow garden at the Woodside Library.

Woodside Library

Bernal Hill remained as lovely as ever,

Bernal Hill

While nearby Glen Canyon Park was resplendent with yellow mustard.

Glen Canyon Park; San Francisco

We explored the new Pennsylvania Garden on public land rounded by a freeway exit here in the City after I read about it in Pacific Horticulture. I meant to go back later in the year, but I never got around to it.


I thought my garden looked lovely in late February

That's a lot of fine texture. Do I care? Nope.

But it was nothing compared to the monocotyledonous glory of the Cazadero Garden we visited in March.

Cazadero Garden

Cazadero Garden Cazadero Garden
Cazadero Garden Cazadero Garden

Cazadero Garden

While we were up there, we spent some time on the Sonoma Coast.

Sonoma Coast SP

I admired the springtime bloom of the rosemary among the restios at the Blake Garden

Rosemary and Restios

and John Greenlee gave a rousing talk on meadow gardens at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show.

We went to Kauai at the end of the March. The Moir Garden's massed aloes and lava walls reminded me of Lotusland.

Moir Garden

We buzzed through Kauai Nursery & Landscaping and took in the hardwood plantation and lovely ornamental landscaping at Na'Δ€ina Kai Botanical Garden.


I snapped this picture of a baby albatross there.

Albatross baby

I wouldn't mind being in Kauai right now.

Mokolea, Kauai

Meanwhile back home in April, I detected a tropical vibe creeping in to certain corners of my garden.


The winter-growing crimson-flowered favas were fun and memorable. I'm sorry I didn't grow them again this year, but I dedicated those containers to Southern highbush blueberries and there is no room for them now.


We dropped by the Sunnyside Conservatory to appreciate its recently renovated gardens:


Then I buzzed up to Sacramento to spend a great weekend with Carri from Read Between the Limes. We stalked the Old City Cemetery,

You have to visit the Deep South to find a cemetery as beautiful, and even then...

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and visited the incomparable, inspiring potager at UC Davis' Mondavi Institute.

Good Life Garden; UC Davis

Good Life Garden; UC Davis

Good Life Garden; UC Davis

UC Davis, the western United States' premier center for agriculture and horticulture research, is home to many fine gardens. When you're there, don't forget to visit the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden too.

I had a May reverie about beauty vs. interestingness in the garden of my guru


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and Rosa 'Veilchenblau' bloomed for the first time in mine.


Chaos prevailed:

The general feeling right now.

And I enjoyed a few of the many juxtapositions that began to occur spontaneously in my small space.

Aquilegia and HOY-ker-a, a happy accident.

We continued to visit other people's gardens, including the Mad Englishwoman's


and that of my Flickr friend Mark Delepine who invited us to a party across the bay in Berkeley.


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I think we agreed that Berkeley in general is a bit of a horticulture head-trip.

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San Francisco was no slouch in that department. We finished off May with a stairway walk in Corona Heights.

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IMG_0365 Noe St.

Guy and I kicked off June with a quiet weekend at Nick's Cove in Tomales Bay,


where, among other things, we walked out to the ocean through Abbott's Lagoon.

Abbotts Lagoon (Point Reyes) Abbotts Lagoon (Point Reyes)
Abbotts Lagoon (Point Reyes) Abbotts Lagoon (Point Reyes)

June highlights included a visit to UC Berkeley Botanical Garden


Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland


And an art sale benefit for the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek.

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My garden was full sun and I marveled at the endless numbers of anise swallowtail larvae eating fennel I planted out precisely for them. Note that I still haven't seen a single anise swallowtail butterfly!

I've started to move these guys on to other plants.

We spent two nights at Safari West in Santa Rosa,

Cape Buffalo

That was fun and different for us.

We drove by ostriches today.

I got the idea to grow dahlias and summer squash on the front steps. It was a success and I will do it again in 2011


I was tremendously thrilled to visit the Melissa Garden designed by Kate Frey with Annie Hayes and her gang from Annie's Annuals and Perennials.


I'd be happy to have a little cot in the garden tool shack here.

@anniesannuals I took a good picture of you!!

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In August my buddy Kirsten and I continued our annual late summer tradition of visiting the San Francisco Botanical Garden just as the gates close. The Garden is breathtaking in the summer light of late afternoon / early evening. This year it was overcast and downright foggy, but still lovely as ever.

Papaver commutatum 'Ladybird', I presume? IMG_0001
Fremontodendron californicum IMG_0041

I had better light on my own at the Blake Garden a couple weeks later.


The blog records a severe heat wave in August. I vaguely remember it.

IMG_0120 'Honey Bouquet'
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Starting in September, I made a concerted effort to get out of Bernal Heights and visit more of the City where I live.

Even more unusual, I was in the mood to take pictures of people.

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That was downtown. I did it again a couple days later in the Mission.

Meanwhile the first tawny colors of Californian fall began to reveal themselves in the coastal sage scrub at Crissy Field.


Between summer school and the start of fall quarter I found time to do three very long (for me) hikes at two of the large open-space preserves off Skyline Road.

There were no tawny summer colors in the fogbelt of El Corte de Madera Creek.


I could have been in Washington State for all the moss and lichen everywhere.

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That's also where we saw the tafoni sandstone formation. I came back later to see the old growth redwood (singluar), but I'm not sure if any of you came with me. That blog post got no comments (my only comment-free blog post of 2010).


One week later, I was pretty sure Purisima Creek a few miles north was haunted.

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Guy and I went to the beach and I had a lot to say about the fountains at Sun Studios in Half Moon Bay. Arlie Middlebrook talked about Edible California Natives at September's CalHort meeting and I dutifully wrote up my notes.

October was a fine time to visit John Greenlee's meadow garden at Cornerstone in Sonoma.


In fact, it was a fine time to visit all the gardens there.

We went back to Palm Springs in October and stayed at the fabulous Parker.


While we were down there this time, I finally got to see the Moorten Botanical Garden and I took 352 pictures of it.


Joshua Tree was sublime but the unseasonal heat discouraged us from seeing more than a little bit of it.

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I was happy we got to visit the cholla garden again.


The next weekend Carri and her husband came down from Sacramento to visit us and we went to the pumpkin patch. Then a week later Guy and I were off to Big Sur.

Big Sur Big Sur
Point Sur Point Sur

We drove along the coast and visited the Light Station at Point Sur.

My buddy Claire escorted me to the Albany Bulb in November finally allowing me to cross that off my to-do list.


What passes for "winter" in our part of California seemed to arrive in the garden all at once on November 8. We got our first cold rain of the season that dropped temperatures into the 50s, which is pretty much where they've stayed since then, and where they will continue to stay until April (excepting the annual heatwave in January when everyone wears shorts for a week and marvels about our great fortune to live here, imminent economic catastrophe and constant, horrible traffic non-withstanding).


Regardless, the Montanoas bloomed and I was happy.

Montanoa grandiflora

I gave the blog my last big hurrah for 2010 in December when I had to go to the DMV for an extension on my driver's license. I took the opportunity to walk all the way home, starting with a visit to the Golden Gate Panhandle.


That led to a somewhat nostalgic walk down Haight Street,


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and proceeded through the Lower Haight and the all-bread Christmas tree on Church Street


and concluding with our third cemetery of the year (a record on this blog), at old Mission Dolores.

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I do hope you enjoy your travels here. I want you to know that I am grateful to have your company whenever you can join me.

Right now the garden is quiet, but spring will be here soon enough, and as I type these last words 2011 is less than one day away.


Happy New Year! May it bring good things to you and your garden.