Category Archives: trees

Palo Verde – Desert Museum

It is almost hard to tell in the image above, but we have a tree in the front yard! I chose a desert tree that I won’t have to water once it is established. It is a Palo Verde, they grow naturally in Arizona and I think parts of Texas. It has delicate fern like leaves and pretty and plentiful yellow flowers. When I visited Palm Springs I saws lot of them and since our house has a bit of Palm Springs modern vibe I thought it would work nicely.

The desert museum variety is nice because it blossom most of the year and does not have thorns like other varieties. It was difficult to locate the tree in a San Diego nursery. I predict that 10 years down the line this won’t be so.


Here are two examples of mature Palo Verde trees. I took these last fall and there are no flowers, but you get an idea of how nicely they fill out.



Here is my friend Nancy as we wait for our table at cheeky’s for brunch. This is actually the patio bar for the Alcazar hotel.

Natural beauty of the Sequoias


We spent five days camping in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at Sequoia National Forest. We stayed just between Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park. Now I have discovered that camping as an adult is a lot of work. It feels good to be in nature. The park offered some beautiful scenery.

We stayed at Stoney Creek Campground and for anyone that cares my favorite sites there are sites 36, 37, 38, and 167. The whole are is shaded with big trees, mostly White Fir trees. The campgrounds were pretty dusty but just outside there were plants under the trees. Ferns and shrubs nod low grasses. There was a small creek on either side of the campgrounds. It made the dry creek bed that I created almost look like a joke. With water surrounding the campgrounds, surprisingly bugs were not an issue. We never broke out the bug spray that we made a special trip for. While the campground was lovely, the main attraction are the giant sequoias that you need to drive to.

20130927-140315.jpgA sign to help identify the trees of the area.

Are these threes not stunningly beautiful? They actually sell seedlings in the stores there and while i was tempted i cant imagine that this tree would thrive in San Diego County. When you think of right plant/tree right place it also seems a little silly to plant a tree that can get so large by a residence. Granted the giant Sequoias are thousands of years old but still.

Going on this trip has fueled a desire to garden with natives. I know only the basics but it seems to make sense. I wonder if where I live was once a place of beauty. It is very developed but perhaps I might be able to bring a little natural (but nice looking) space back.


Jacaranda Trees

Jacaranda Trees in bloom at Balboa parkJacaranda Trees in bloom at Balboa Park


In our plan for our new front yard one important element that we will add is a tree. Trees add a lot to a space. They can frame a house, provide shade, reduce energy bills in the summer, and up resale values. At our last house we waited three years to plant trees. I wish that we had done it the day we moved in. Unlike other plants that can be easily swapped out, trees take time to grow and develop and the extra years make a big difference. But I digress.

There are a few trees that I have my eye on for the front yard one that remains at the top of the list is the Jacaranda Tree( Jacaranda mimosifolia). We are at the end of its spectacular blooming season. Typically you start seeing blooms at the end of April but May is really when they are in full bloom. I know many people who hate this tree because when the blooms drop they can be messy. They stain concrete (but only temporarily). I think that the beauty or their purple/blue delicate flowers surpasses any inconvenience.


Paper Lanterns

Two weekends ago we hosted a big bash. At this point our backyard leaves much to be desired. It seems that if you look at the micro it can be beautiful. It was a great time and a good reminder that our homes to not need to be perfect to let others in. We hung paper lanterns in the large pepper tree that we have in the backyard. This photo is in the day, but it was truly stunning at night when the lights came on.