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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!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pretty & Pink Geranium

Pretty & Pink, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

This has to be one of the easiest plants to care for on Earth.

One of the most memorable flower articles I ever read was on geraniums, by the Martha Stewart Living Magazine. You can find the article here.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fall in Southern California

The Color Purple, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

Southern California suffers from overcrowding, and here's the reason. Fall in California comes shades of purple...

Fall in California

...fading pink hydrangeas...
Yen and Yang
...and seashells lying about in your cottage garden...

But before you move here, ask yourself, can you handle the traffic, the multi-cultural diversity, and the expense. I moved away once, briefly, and I don't think I'll do that again. Yes, I'll stop my whining, and stay right where I am. Southern California is a gardener's paradise.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Brandy Hybrid Tea Rose

Good Morning, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

You simply cannot find a shapelier, healthier rose for your garden than the Brandy Hybrid Tea Rose. I can't imagine walking in my garden and not seeing it there. Don't tell my other roses, but I think this is the prettiest rose in my garden, and it has an appealing soft scent. When it's in bloom, it's so perfect you almost think it's fake. If you don't have this in your garden, quick, go get it, you will be thrilled.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Peggy's Garden

My friend Marilyn, introduced me to her sister Peggy, an avid gardener, a few years ago. Peggy is incredibly creative, and her garden is so inspiring to visit. I had the good fortune of being invited over for lunch in Peggy's magnificent cottage garden, and she allowed me the privilege to photograph and share it with you.

Peggy's Garden, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

Peggy raised boys which left little time, or space, for gardening. She kept her backyard pretty barren, so they could play basketball.

After they graduated, a family member asked if they could have a wedding at her house. This sparked a new beginning for Peggy, and her passion for gardening soon blossomed. Here's a sprinkling of photographs from her lovely cottage garden. If you click the title above, I've attached a link to my Flickr page, with more photographs of her lovely garden. Enjoy!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Descanso Gardens

I've been Schmap'd. Is that a word? Yes, Schmap is an online a mapping service for your computer or iPhone. Click the "Descanso Gardens" title above, and you can learn more about their service!

Lots of Easter bunnies, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

This photo was taken at Easter time in Descanso Gardens. Descanso Gardens, located in La Canada / Flintridge, California, is my absolute favorite garden in Southern California.

It's sprawling 150 acre garden once belonged to E. Manchester Boddy, a wealthy newspaper publisher. He built a lovely home, which has recently been renovated and is open to the public, and the most peaceful garden you can find. Descanso means "rest."

Descanso Gardens
They have many types of gardens within Descanso Gardens, including a Children's Garden, a duck pond, a rose garden, and a lovely Japanese Garden (pictured above.)
For more information about Descanso Gardens, visit their website at:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pierre de Ronsard Rose

The first time I saw the Pierre de Ronsard climbing rose, it instantly became my favorite rose of all time. It's a stunning rose, that's beautiful to photograph, and see in your garden.

Pierre de Ronsard Rose, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

Stephanie, a friend and fellow gardener, had this growing up and over her pergola, in her cozy cottage garden. A real beauty, this old-fashioned looking rose also goes by the name Eden Rose.

Pierre de Ronsard Rose
Hybridized in 1987, it's disease resistant, a vigorous grower, and low maintenance.

This rose is a nearly continual bloomer, with year round health and vitality.
Pierre de Ronsard Rose
If you live in California, and want to use this for your garden, you'll be thrilled if you purchase it from Roger's Garden. Here's their web address, and I've linked their to the title above, and here's the website:

(The roses in this post, belong to Frank. More of Frank's flowers are featured below. Frank mentioned that this rose is lovely on the vine, but droops when you try to use it as a cutting rose in a vase.)

Monday, October 13, 2008

The South Coast Botanic Garden Foundation

If you're an avid gardener, or just a person who wants a relaxing day in the garden, take a trip to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. There, you'll find the South Coast Botanic Garden, with 87 acres of beauty to experience and enjoy. This botanic garden holds beautiful garden gems.. like the lovely Children's Garden, complete with a child's size house...
In the Children's Garden

...a Dahlia Garden...
Heart Dahlia

...a Japanese Garden...
A Japanese Lantern

...a Rose Garden...
In the Rose Garden

...and more...
Smell Me

You must visit the South Coast Botanic Garden. They offer gardening classes, Girl Scout Badge programs, tours, and they have a garden shop with plants and gardening items. For more information visit their website at:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Yellow Marguerite

Yellow Marguerite, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

This yellow marguerite is a shrubby perennial plant. It's cultivation history goes all the way back to 1699 in England. I had this flower in my garden for sometime. I recommend you replace it once it becomes to thick and woody. I found it easy to maintain, and a vigorous bloomer.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pink Dahlia - for the cure!

Pink Dahlia - for the cure!, originally uploaded by Abby Lanes.

Here's my contribution to "Pink for the Cure." It's a wildly edited dahlia, creating a fun floral abstract for a good cause.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Roadside Garden

A Zinnia in a Wildflower Graden
While driving, and following my navigator to a Chinese restaurant one day, I stumbled upon this gorgeous roadside garden.   I suspect it was started when someone sprinkled seeds there in the springtime.  It was filled with zinnias, daisies, cosmos and more.   

I think I'll try this seed sprinkling garden experiment next year. I have the perfect patch of soil, right beside my driveway. Hopefully I'll get the same stunning results.

Black Eyed Susans

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This pink collage is for the cure!