Sunday, April 23, 2006


Not sure which one this is.

Gate Iguana

We think this same Spiny Tail Iguana has been living in our tubular steel gate for 4-5 years. We only see him/her when the weather is warm.


This is the view we mostly see. They also live in rotted tree cavities.

Gate Iguana

Sunday, April 16, 2006


I love to prowl around the garden early in the morning, camera in hand. I don't want to miss anything!

Mesquites are Blooming

Even the mesquites that are not so lucky to live in my garden and get some extra water, are leafing out and blooming. The bees are in heaven.

Kalanchoe marmorata

Unwelcome Visitor

We were not pleased to see and hear the European Starling couple return to our cardon cactus to nest. Last year they raised a couple of nestlings inside the cavity of the cactus. Looks like they want to do it again.


This volunteer native Proboscidea is making itself at home among the Kalanchoe. I took some cuttings recently and they look promising. It has groundcover potential.

Canna Leaf

Native Mammillaria

Easter Lily Cactus

This obedient Easter Lily cactus had its first bloom of the season on Easter. It is an Echinopsis Schick hybrid from the Huntington Desert Garden. There are many, many flower buds sprouting on this and other plants. No water from Nov.-Feb. and Blossom Booster fertilizer seems to make them happy.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Gila Woodpecker

He likes fruit too.

More Weeds

This is Nicotiana trigonophylla, an annual which volunteered in this location. I'm growing more fond of it all the time.

Hooded Oriole

Recently, we started putting out fruit for the birds. These are oranges rinds that were juiced. The birds also like papaya, tomatoes and bananas. We stick the orange rinds on screws that are permanently attached to the cactus skeleton wood.

Euphorbia pseudocactus


Aloe buhrii


Aloe buhrii

This is the first time this plant has bloomed for me. There aren't many Aloes blooming right now, so it is extra special.

Plant Prospecting

On my last trip to San Jose del Cabo I spied this wonderful native shrub loaded with flowers. It was in a garbage-strewn arroyo not far from a dead car. I immediately pulled over, jumped out and found some seedlings. Luckily I had my trowel handy so it was easy to dig them up and put them in a plastic bag. When I got home I potted them and it looks like all are surviving. I keyed them out using the Flora of Baja, as Sphaeracea axillaris var. violacea. This plant was about five feet tall! I'm thrilled to add them to my native plant collection. I also collected some seed.

Cardinal on Approach

This cardinal is coming toward the seed feeder and moved through this dry thicket. The natural vegetation is quite dry since we only got around 1.5 inches of rain last summer. It's been almost two years since we had a good rain. Poor plants! (and animals).


I tried to photograph the pelicans right as they dive-bombed into the sea, but the timing is pretty tricky business.

The Sea

It's only a 2 minute walk to the beach, but it's rare that visit it. Somehow the garden seems more compelling most of the time.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Natives: Salvia similis on the right and Brittlebush, Encelia farinosa in left foreground.

Carpenter Bees

Coming in for landing.


This flower tower from Agave desmettiana has been such a treat. The carpenter bees are crazy about it, in addition to the hummingbirds and orioles.

Palo Verde

This is peak Palo Verde blooming time and many of the trees are solid yellow and humming with bees. The hummingbirds like them too.

Dried Flowers

I am still liking these brownish dried Kalanchoe flowers and am not yet tempted to trim them.


Sometimes the life of a transplant is tough, so I made these ceramic collars to put around recent transplants to give them a little shade and wind protection. You could use tin cans with both ends removed, but these are heavier and won't blow away.

Sticks of Fire

Great name. I'm always on the lookout for colorful plants. This is Euphorbia tirucalii and it can grow into a tree. It seems to be more colorful in Winter.

Clumping Mammillaria

I'm crazy about these whitish clumping Mammillarias. I have three different kinds. When I bought them, I had no idea what they would become since they had no labels and were only a single head. I used to buy almost every cactus I could find. Some survived, some didn't. Each Spring, the top head sprouts side heads and the clump expands. I think I've had this one around four years.

Butterfly Resting

Can you see the yellow butterfly--probably a Sulfur--in the center of the photo? I'm wondering whether it chose to rest here for a half hour or so, because the "camophlaging" yellow leaf was nearby.


I'm really liking Gibbaeum fissoides for a groundcover. It can take full sun and seems to bloom most of the time.


Hooded Oriole, Yellow-breasted Chat and male House Finch. All of the birds love the birdbaths.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Flower of the Day

Thelocactus setispinus

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I sometimes hang out on Dave's Garden in the Cactus and Succulent Forum and I came across a link to magnificent photos of Lotusland--a fabulous garden in Santa Barbara. Check them out--I recommend viewing them as a slideshow and definitely try and visit this garden sometime. I was there about five years ago and can see that I need to schedule another visit.