Flora Grubb Gardens

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If you have not yet read about, or heard about, or seen Flora Grubb and the work that comes out of her nursery, then you have certainly missed a garden design superstar and an undeniable inspiration for many of us. Undoubtedly, you must have seen her work somewhere since published examples and articles highlighting her design work have been around now for several years. After seeing the headquarters at the nursery, I came away feeling like I’d had a relaxing afternoon at a garden spa. It was amazing and I bought some really special garden items but I will post those later.

Lehua. Metrosideros collina ‘Springfire’. Hardy in zones 9-11.
Isopogon anethifolius ‘Cura Moors’. This is an Australian Protea that’s a shrub. Hardy to 20-25°F.
Strelitzia nicolai.
Grevillea lavandulacea ‘Penola’.
Willow Cone Bush. Leucadendron salignum ‘Blush’.  Zone 9b-11.
Fernleaf Banksia. Banksia blechnifolia. Hardy to the mid-20sF.
Kohuhu. Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Gold Star’. Hardy to 20sF.
I feel bad that I missed so many other fine details and plants but I was on such a tight schedule to get up to Santa Rosa to meet my husband after he finished a weekend course on wine chemistry. I tried to stop at some other shops on my way but the traffic and parking in San Fran is so bad I grew impatient and headed north.
From there, we drove for over an hour up to his dad’s house and to the vineyard in Lake County. I was so sad to see all of the rain, but then I realized that this would be the end of tailing my husband in his California car and that seemed much worse. After a night in Kelseyville, I was on my own, but many adventures were ahead of me and I looked forward to hunting for native plants, collecting rocks for the garden, and stuffing large pieces of driftwood into the car. (I will go back to Lake County next time in search of a rare endemic native plant.)

Houseplants

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Houseplants have not always been my forté. Throughout my childhood, though, I always had one cactus in my room. No wait, scratch that, let me restate that, I had a very long procession of look-alike cacti much like Snowball the cat on the Simpsons. In reality, every cacti I ever owned was an Old Man Cactus, but I should say I always had Old MEN Cacti. After one died, I always replaced it with another. I think when I discovered boys and sports though, the cactus in my room just disappeared altogether.

When I was 25 or 26 I assembled a cactus for the dining table in my condo. Since the table was surrounded by windows on two sides, the plants did very well. Then I met the man I married, and we moved out into what is now our old rental house. The cacti grew, and moved out of their terra cotta planter into other planters. Some struggled and died, others were simply forgotten and neglected, and one, a large Opuntia, is still with me today.

That cactus is in the back of this large plant pile that I have assembled in our old sun room. With the folding plant stands, I purchased the light, and I have to say that the addition of artificial light has saved so many plants from seeing that final compost heap in the sky.

So the moral of this story? Just make sure that your houseplants always have the light that they need in order to succeed in life.