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Saturday 11 June 2011 - Filed under General

agave and golf carts on Catalina Island
Catalina Island hillside Agave

After a long unplanned blogging hiatus, it seems appropriate that I return with tales of where I’ve been. Mostly that would be in my desk chair – as my own boss, turns out I’m a slave driver. But that’s no fun. So let’s talk travel.

I took a real-deal two week long vacation for the first time in, good lord, 9 years. Southern California – I tell you. All the plants we empty our wallets for here in Portland, all the care we take shuttling plants in and out of the house during our extended wet winters? This killed me: in Southern California those plants are just everywhere, no biggie. In the good way, sure. But also in the liquor store parking lot way. Just wherever.

me at the ace
Shouting “There’s a ________ – pull over, pull over!” whenever I saw a good plant seemed to wear thin on my traveling companions, but can you blame me?

parking lot cactus at the Ace
What am I going to do, NOT go look at this?

But you guys understand. So I will show you the lonely roadside plants that deserved a little appreciation. Sadly, roadside plants are rarely accompanied by labels, so most are a mystery to me.

roadside bush with red seedpods
Pull over!

roadside bush with red seedpods
See? Worth it.

pachypodium
OMG – huge pachypodiums.

aloe vera
Aloe vera in bloom everywhere. We were never far from hummingbirds.

roadside callistemon
Cute little Bottlebrush.

roadside cactus
Is that some sort of Opuntia?

dasylirion?
My spiky plant friends will probably know for sure what this is, dasylirion perhaps?

fallen off a palm tree
Even the pieces of palm tree found lying in the road were fascinating.

moorten agave pots
And, may I remind you, this was just the stuff on the roadside, not to mention all the amazing real gardens. But this is what you get when you live somewhere you can find monsters like this at the nursery for $50.

moorten cactus pots
In Portland these would be, what, a million dollars?

fake palm tree cell tower
And what do you make of the fake palm tree cell towers?

2011-06-11  »  megan

Talkback x 5

  1. Janet, The Queen of Seaford
    11 June 2011 @ 12:37 pm

    Nice to see you again. Nothing better than a traveling companion who will stop on a dime for a good photo op!! That kind of plant material is out of my range of knowledge…though it is really cool looking.

  2. Loree / danger garden
    11 June 2011 @ 9:58 pm

    Yay! What great pictures…I swear the Opuntia close up looks like it was taken under water!

  3. Ryan Miller
    14 June 2011 @ 9:15 am

    Welcome back! Sounds like a real neat trip. Once you get beyond the zonal envy, it’s really neat to see all these plants thrive without fuss.

  4. ricki - sprig to twig
    15 June 2011 @ 12:54 pm

    AAAH…sunshine! I will take it, even if it is vicarious…and the plants are hot, too.

  5. Jane / MulchMaid
    16 June 2011 @ 3:00 pm

    Welcome back! I love this planty SoCal travelogue. That opuntia with the sail-like arm with the tiny paddles up one side like fins on a fish – perfect!