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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

Here's a little music to accompany this poinsettia. It's Elvis, who I think is the rockin King of Christmas music!

Merry' Christmas Baby ~ Elvis

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Indian Hawthorn

Indian Hawthorn, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Warmth for the Soul

Warmth for the Soul, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

“See how nature - trees, flowers, grass - grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...we need silence to be able to touch souls.” ~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Monday, December 15, 2008

Surrounded by Beauty

Surrounded by Beauty, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

Beauty before me, I walk with.
Beauty behind me, I walk with.
Beauty above me, I walk with.
Beauty below me, I walk with.
Beauty all around me, I walk with.
Navajo Night Chant

The day after a rainstorm in California is quite spectacular. These flowers seemed to enjoy sunning themselves, although the temperature is certainly cooler now.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Finding Beauty

Fading Beauty, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.

~Anne Frank

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Honoring Nature's Beauty

Honoring Nature's Beauty, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

It is good to realize that if love and peace can prevail on earth, and if we can teach our children to honor nature's gifts, the joys and beauties of the outdoors will be here forever. ~ Jimmy Carter

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Orchid

An Orchid for Angela, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

Orchids are known for their timeless beauty, but did you know they coexisted with dinosaurs? While researching bee pollen, from bees found trapped in amber 15 to 20 million years old, scientists discovered orchid taxon on their fossilized wings. Essentially, orchids truly are timeless.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Camelia, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

The Camellia is a wonderful plant, with Asian origins. I had quite the history lesson on these delicate beauties when I took the Tram tour at Descanso Garden in La Canada, Flintridge (California.) They have the largest Camellia Garden in Southern California. A must see if you're looking for a garden to visit.

Elizabeth, the Queen Mother grew Camellia in all of her gardens. As her body was taken from Royal Lodge, Windsor to lie in state at Westminster Hall of the Palace of Westminster, a Camellia from her gardens was placed on top of the flag-draped coffin. (from Wikipedia)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Friday I'm in Love, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

Everywhere I go in Southern California, I see cyclamen planted in beds and borders. Until I decided to take gardening more seriously, I used to kill every cyclamen I met. It was accidental of course, as I followed my idea that plants like lots of sun and water. WRONG!

This plant likes shade, and minimal water, as to avoid root rot. That's because they originate from dark, densely covered, dry forests. They come in various shades from white, fuschia, pink and ever variagated colors. I found these cyclamen in Roger's Garden. If you ever visit California, this is a gardening store you don't want to miss.
Roger's Gardens
2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd
Corona del Mar, California 92625
Toll Free @ 1.800.647.2356

Friday, November 28, 2008


Orchids , originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

I do believe Roger's Garden has the best orchid displays I have ever seen. It's a gardener / photographers paradise there. Click the title, and the link will take you to their website.

When I saw the distant orange wall behind these orchids, I couldn't believe my eyes. I knew that wall would be the perfect backdrop for these amazing flowers.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Perfectly Imperfect

Perfectly Imperfect, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

“They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they'd make up their minds.” ~ Winston Churchill (Happy Birthday - November 30, 1874)

Out for a walk along the horse trail, I found my favorite rose, "Pierre de Ronsard," having a restful Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Purple Orchids

Purple Orchid, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

I finally made my way to Roger's Garden, in Corona Del Mar, California. The flowers, plants and displays were even more breath-taking than my gardening friends had described. Imagine one entire room filled with purple orchids!!!

I'll be making numerous posts here with my finds.

Here's the website, if your want directions, hours, and more information.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Even nature is thinking of the upcoming holidays...

Berry-okeh, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

I spotted these gorgeous berries today, and couldn't resist taking their photos. I feel this is nature saying, the holidays are coming. Are you ready?

Monday, November 17, 2008

God gave us memories so we might have roses in December. ~ J.M. Barrie

My brandy hybrid tea rose is blooming again.


In January, I will trim all of my roses carefully, and leave them with no fertilizer for the month. This dormant spell lets them rest and prepare for spring.

Won't you come into my garden, I would like my roses to see you. ~ Richard B. Sheridan

I also plan to change out my less productive roses. I'm in the mood for showier roses this year. This rose will stay in my garden. I'll keep you updated on my rose choices.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"Gather the rose of love whilst yet is time." - Edmund Spenser

These roses came from my neighbor's garden. She's 95 and her family had to put her in an assisted living home. They gave me some of the roses from her garden, and these are my favorite. If I discover their name, I will let you know.
Once Upon a Wish

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pink Roses

Rose with Texture, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

Okay, I'll admit it. I can't stop taking photos of pretty pink roses. They are my all time favorite thing to photograph. I'm also in love with the color pink. I've been told that my signature color must be pink. If that's true, then the pink rose is my signature flower!

The Rose
According to this article (linked to the title above) their primary meaning is appreciation, gratitude and love.

I remember...

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, which is rapidly approaching, I do appreciate pink roses.

Pink for the Cure

I am grateful for my the gift of sight...

Fading Beauty

And I do love pretty pink roses! I hope you do too, enjoy! Happy almost Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Garden Bunnies Rock!

Garden Bunny, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

I wanted to share an absolutely adorable garden bunny with you. I found this is Frank's garden. (see entries for October 14 and 15 for more photos from his garden)

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Flowers are Red, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

This beautiful bougainvillea lives in my coastal Southern California neighborhood. It lines paths, fences, and driveways throughout. After researching this plants history, I found an article that is superbly written. Instead of giving you second hand information, click the title above, and you'll be taken to the article. Here is the web address if you prefer to cut and paste.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Plumbago, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

I've been paying lots of attention to the plumbago, lining the walking trails in my Southern California neighborhood lately. It has delicate blue flowers, and creates a stunning ground cover.

Need a delicate hedge in your shade garden? Look no further.

This South African native comes in shades of light blue and white. Butterflies flock to this delicate beauty. This perennial plant is just wonderful, blooming from spring through fall.


I found an article on Dave's Garden with ratings about this plant. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Getty Malibu Villa

A Good Day, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

If you enjoy visiting beautiful public gardens, Los Angeles has an array of garden hot spots. If you're looking for an activity, possibly, the word "garden" might not immediately come to mind when you think of "The Getty Malibu Villa," but it should.


Not only does the Getty have a wonderfully relaxing and beautiful garden, it has Greek, Italian and Etruscan antiquities. Even more wonderful, we learned a bit of history. A big lesson from my daughter, as she loudly pointed out, "Look, it's real live mummy mommy!" Quite frankly, that was the first time I saw a 2000+ year old mummy up close and personal, and I found it as thrilling as she did.

The Getty Malibu Villa Garden

The tickets are free. You simply make reservations online, or by phone, arrive on the date the tickets are reserved, and pay $10 for parking. It's a great way to spend your day. Enjoy.
The Getty Malibu Villa

For more information and tickets, visit:

Monday, November 10, 2008


Echinacea, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

Echinacea, or the Purple Coneflower, is a popular perennial amongst gardeners and photographers. I personally have this on my "add to my garden list." I've tried several times to start it from seed, and I tried scattering the seeds about my garden. I clearly didn't give it the care it needs, as I didn't have luck growing this flower.

If you want more information, this is a great Echinacea article.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Disneyland Floribunda Rose

Reflections of Disney
Sleeping Beauty's Castle holds the center stage spot at Disneyland. Look closely at the rose photos, and you'll see the castle's reflection delicately floating in the water. Surrounding the castle, and throughout the park, you will find the Disneyland Rose. Bred in the US in 2003, it has a soft fragrance, and a lovely pink and orange tones.

Once upon a time...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Disney Garden Accents

Thumper Love, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

Disneyland not only positions their flowers beautifully, they have wonderful garden statues throughout the park. Thumper, pictured here, lives on the rock wall surround Aurora's castle. He's admiring the beautifully blooming trees.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Sea of Beautiful Flowers

A Sea of Beautiful Flowers, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

As a California resident, I have an annual pass to Disneyland. Having the opportunity to go there often, sometimes several times in one week, I've come to appreciate the hard work the Disney Gardening Fairies do. I say that jokingly of course, as you never seen anyone working on the gardens during the day. I suspect they come out at night, and work their magic. Perhaps, Tinker Bell oversees her Pixie Patch friends.

Speaking of the Pixie Patch, I hear their new Pixie Patch is open to the public. They replaced the section where Ariel used to be located with a band of magical fairies, including Tinker Bell herself. I plan to visit soon, and will share the photos with you.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mexican Marigolds

Mexican Marigolds, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

Meet my favorite California fall flower, the Mexican Marigold. I first discovered this plant while visiting "The Living Desert" in Palm Springs. They sell their plants near the exit, and I wanted a plant that would thrive in a California Garden. They told me this plant was a wonderful, flowering plant, and that it was a California native.

Interestingly, a Mexican friend told me this flower is used in Mexican funerals, and he's not particularly fond of it because he associates it with death.

For me, I associate it will fall color, a wonderful fragrance, and a strong, sturdy, California plant. If you love this shade of harvest yellow, this plant may be an instant favorite for you.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pacific View

Pacific View, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

These roses live in front of a white picket fence, and they have an ocean view. In this garden, there are roses of every shade, and you can tell they are well loved. They bloom like roses who have a true gardener looking after them. I've passed them by many times, thinking I should bring my camera. Today, I did.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Maryam's Cottage Garden

Southern California has the perfect weather for year round gardening. It's not uncommon to find lovely cottage gardens scattered about town. My neighbor Maryam has a stunning cottage garden, complete with Shabby Chic accents, and a red vintage watering can.

Pink, Purple & Green, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

These are Maryam's window box flowers. She studied Art History at Loyola, and her garden looks like an artist lives there. She changes out her flowers seasonally, and I noticed yesterday, that she's popped in a few snapdragons. When I get a chance, I'll snap a few shots of them for you to view.

If you click the title above, it will take you to my Flickr set, which gives a little tour through Maryam's garden.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Grandpa's Garden

Cosmos Blowing in the Wind
There is no more spectacular garden in my neighborhood, in my opinion, than Grandpa's Garden.  Grandpa is not my grandpa, just an elderly gardener, with the prettiest cosmos I think I've ever seen.
He's incredibly friendly, and chit chats with anyone who walks by while he's gardening.

Start these plants from seed if you want to see prettier healthier flowers!
Pink, Purple and Green
And remember, mix it up a little with a few complimentary flowers to create texture and beauty in your garden!

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Stunning Two-Toned Dahlia

A Two-Toned Dahlia, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

Stop by the garden of a true gardener, and you never know what might sneak up and surprise you. I've passed a rose garden for months, telling myself to stop by and photograph those amazing roses. I finally did it today. While I was poking through the roses, I found, what appeared to be the last dahlia of this season. It was starting to droop, but I've personally never met such a gorgeous dahlia in person. Meet this two-toned beauty, and if I find the dahlia's name, I'll post it.

I think I'm in love with this Dahlia!