West Coast Sunday Morning Garden Chat (Part Three)

hbm geraniums-and-pansies

From commentors MaryG and Higgs Bosun’s Mate:

HBM found this wrought iron plant hanger lost behind a camellia bush. My mom got it at the thrift shop in the 60s for peanuts and it always lived on her fence right outside her dining room table. She loved to be able to switch in her three best flowering pots into it to impress the ladies who came over to play bridge. HBM cleaned it up and planted geranium slips from around the yard in it last summer. They are getting ready to bust out.

We also planted two hanging baskets with one four-inch pansy in each one, you can see the yellow one in the background; the blue one has completely filled up its basket, but it’s between blooming cycles at the moment. They should last until it gets hot in June or July.

hbm iceland-poppies

This is half of a six-pack of Iceland poppies we got at Roger’s Gardens, an expensive but amazing nursery in Newport Beach, CA.

We didn’t have enough pots, so rather than buying more we planted some things in baskets that had been kicking around in the garage waiting to go to the thrift shop. We thought it was such an original idea until we got to Rogers and they had tons of them, selling for a lot more money.

hbm blooming-succulents

Lots of succulents are blooming, some with flowers prettier than others.

hbm spectacular-succulent-bloom

This one is the showy exception; I don’t know the variety name, as it’s one of the big-box-of-cuttings I got on eBay.

I think it might be one of the ones that dies after blooming, so when the show is over I’m going to try to plant some of the offshoots or stem. I am learning to buy the smallest pot of anything I want; I’ve been able to divide even a $1.98 two-inch pot of succulents into three more plants of some varieties for a really low cost per plant. Some asshole stole a Coke box out of the driveway with a big crop of leaves becoming puppies in it, so disappointing. They probably killed all my little babies. HBM has put up motion lights outside. When he first came to stay with me, he was hyperalert and barely slept. Now he gets so much exercise from walking Leland on the beach trail and doing all my projects that he sleeps very soundly and didn’t hear a thing. That is a blessing.

hbm lemon-tree-very-pretty

The little lemon tree has lots of little green fruit starting…

To be continued, next week!

17 replies
  1. 1

    Heads up everyone I just discovered a new TV show on BBC America “In the Flesh”. It is about zombies but it isn’t if you know what I mean and it is brilliant. Check it out.

    MaryG and HBM are doing an epic job with that garden. It is looking absolutely beautiful.

  2. 2
    Mnemosyne says:

    I talked to a nice lady from the National Wildlife Federation at our company’s Earth Month event last week, and she gave me her email address so I can get information from her about what plants to get to attract hummingbirds and butterflies when we move into our new apartment.

  3. 3
    kc says:


    Great idea for the baskets. Do you line them with something first?

  4. 4
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:


    I paint the baskets with Thompson’s Water Seal. I then line them with cocoa mat. The water seal makes them last and the cocoa mat keeps the soil moist between waterings.

  5. 5
    kc says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Thanks! I have several baskets taking up clost space. Can’t wait to try this.

  6. 6
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    Awesome garden, HGM and Mary G! Thanks for showing us, AL. Don’t overlook eBay as a source of inexpensive cuttings. I got an amazing mixed set of dayliliy fans for $4, shipped. There were at least a dozen.

  7. 7
    🌷 Martin says:

    I’ll be driving past Rogers Gardens in about 20 minutes. Love that nursery. I think it’s more than safe to say they are the nursery for the 1%, but if you are after an unusual plant, they’ll usually have it, and if you’re after something nicer than the generic stuff you find at Lowes (tools, pots, planters, anything decorative), they’ll have that too, in spades. You can spend an absurd amount of money there, but if you’re judicious, you can find some really nice, unique stuff and not spend too much.

    I would get my geraniums and native plants, fruit trees, and the like down at Green Thumb – they’re also pretty nice, and have a lot, but are more reasonably priced. I’d put them midway between a Lowes and Rogers. Not that much further down the road, and right by the 5, so it’s a pretty easy in/out. And Tommy’s is practically across the street, so grab a proper gardener’s lunch.

  8. 8
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: The Thompsons is a great idea, I never thought of that. I gave up on the baskets because they wouldn’t last, but I think I’ll take a another go at them now. Well, I also had a problem with what appeared to be carpenter bees taking up residence in them. That was a bit odd.

  9. 9
    nellcote says:

    I’ve been able to divide even a $1.98 two-inch pot of succulents into three more plants

    I’ve been getting mini roses and azaleas at the supermarket in 4 inch pots. They usually stick 4 or 5 starts in to make it appear fuller. You can carefully seperate the plants and they’ll each grow into a full size plant or in the case of the azaleas into instant bonzai. Super money saving!

  10. 10
    Betty Cracker says:

    Great job on the garden, you guys! I hope the bastard who stole the Coke crate tripped and fell on it and got splinters in his nut sack!

  11. 11
    sempronia says:

    Last October, I planted tulip bulbs outside my apartment building. The management is too cheap to landscape, so it’s like my own little personal protest. Just yesterday I found two tulip shoots poking through! Maybe this interminable East Coast winter is nearly over!

    I’m enjoying these garden dispatches from Southern California…makes me homesick.

    – native Angeleno

  12. 12
    satby says:

    Mary, any advice about propagating Peruvian Lillies? I just bought the most beautiful one, “Indian Summer” and I want to try to grow more. I know they’re tubers, but everything I read implies that they have to grow several years in the ground before splitting.

  13. 13
    imonlylurking says:

    HBM has put up motion lights outside. When he first came to stay with me, he was hyperalert and barely slept. Now he gets so much exercise from walking Leland on the beach trail and doing all my projects that he sleeps very soundly and didn’t hear a thing. That is a blessing.

    You are a good egg, MaryG.

  14. 14
    Mary G says:

    @satby: I’ve never had much luck with Alstroemeria/Peruvian lilies, but here is a link as to how to grow them from seed pods of your best flowers.

    This site says not to divide them as it will take 2-3 seasons for them to recover.

  15. 15
    satby says:

    Thanks MaryG!

  16. 16
    Phoning It In says:

    @Mnemosyne:I’m in Oregon, and I have a hummingbird-yard.

    Crocosima ‘Lucifer’ is a guaranteed magnet, and as a bulb, it does OK in a pot with little care. July blooming. The birds monitor the blooms for ‘readiness’ and will do battle for the patch. Other varieties, not so well, at least where I’m at, but we have spoiled hummingbirds!

    Salvia ‘Wendy’–it’s 3′ tall, hot pink, and beats fuchsia hands down when I have them both out. Salvias in general draw hummingbirds. Blooms mid- to late summer, sometimes longer.

    Butterfly bush (Buddliea)–dark purple varieties get visitors.

    Penstemon ‘Cathedral Rose,’ if you can get it, but any purple or pink penstemon seems to work.

    Dahlias are supposed to be a draw, but I haven’t seen success in several years.

    And, of course, the feeders are reliable. I save money making the sugarwater myself.

    Good luck with it!

  17. 17
    Jane2 says:

    What a riot of lushness, HBM and Mary G! You give me hope that I too will see a green growing thing or two soonish.

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