Echiums - aka Pride of Madeira - are in bloom now and the other morning I stopped to look and admire this clump that grows a few blocks from my house. The light lavender color is unusual. The close-ups of the flowers are beautiful, aren’t they? Echiums can be considered invasive because they are not native, get very large, and reseed pretty easily. They are pretty plants, but do need a lot of space to grow into. I had one in my front yard for a couple of years, but I finally removed it because it was a monster, and it made me itch every time I rubbed into it. Fortunately, I can enjoy it in other yards, and down by the waterfront where they grow prolifically.
Last weekend I had an adventure day to Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. I had never been before, but having heard great things, I was excited to get the opportunity.
I went down with a group of women for the day as part of a new program offered by Rancho La Puerta on Saturdays. We were picked up by a bus at 7:30am and reached the border about 8:45am. We walked across the border and got in two vans which transported us to the ranch. The next six hours involved yoga, water aerobics, healthy, delicious food and beautiful scenery. I walked around the grounds after lunch taking pictures, even after it started raining. The landscaping was beautiful. Spectacular, really. And the smells were heavenly. Sage, lavender, rosemary, rain, earth – a feast for the senses!
At 3:30pm we loaded up into the vans and were driven to La Cocina que Canta aka The Kitchen That Sings, the farm where most of the ranch’s food is grown. It was pouring rain, so our farm tour was washed out. BUMMER! I was REALLY looking forward to that part of our trip, but all was not lost. Under the direction of Executive Chef Denise Roa and her kitchen staff, we cooked a Mexican feast in the state-of-the-art kitchen/great dining room using ingredients from the garden. All of us prepped food at different stations around the kitchen which included making tortillas and preparing tamales.
The rain let up for a short period of time so I ran outside to look at the garden surrounding the kitchen. The farm is organic and produces about 70% of the food for the ranch, but they are hoping to be fully sustainable in a year or so. I was so impressed with the health of all the plants, and I couldn’t see any evidence of pest damage on anything. It was a real pleasure to wander for a few minutes before the skies opened up again.
We ate our feast, headed for the border and were back home by 9:00pm. It was a wonderful day and a real treat for me. Thanks Danell and Terry for organizing a great event!
Here’s a gallery of pictures from my day at Rancho La Puerta and the gardens. Click on each picture for more information about the image.
If you’ve ever lived where spring is truly a celebration, you will enjoy these beautiful memories. For those of us who grew up in Southern California, here’s a delightful trip to the warming of colder climes.
I grew up on Coronado, but I lived in Southern Germany for three years. I remember my first real spring experience in Stuttgart very clearly. The trees with vivid green new leaves first sprouting out, the crocus and daffodils popping out of the ground, and the forests coming alive. I have springtime yearnings still, after 22 years of being gone! Happy First Day of Spring!!!
The Big Day is almost here, but since my invitation to the wedding got lost in the mail, I’ve downgraded my excitement to “maybe I’ll DVR the event.” But not one to hold a grudge, I wish Kate and William a happy life and lots of luck.If you want to get in the spirit of the royal wedding, you can create an organic bouquet to clutch while you sit on the edge of your seat watching the royal nuptials halfway around the world.
While I was back east last week, I had the opportunity to visit Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. People kept asking me if I was going so I had a sneaking suspicion that it was going to be good, but turns out that would be an understatement!
Since it is still winter, most of the outside gardens weren’t really much to look at, but you can see the potential. Inside the sprawling conservatories was another story. The theme was orchids which were spectacular, but all the other plantings were impressive, too.
Hopefully this gallery will give you a enjoyable overview of my visit. Click on the little italic ‘i’ in the upper right hand corner of the picture for more information about each picture. Click it again when you are ready to move on to the next one. Enjoy! I know I did!!!
Longwood Gardens in Delaware. I'm going back to visit there again!!! Wow!
I have spent the last three days at San Diego Botanic Gardens (nee Quail Gardens) taking Part 4 of my Flower Show Judge School course. I used the class breaks to wander around with my camera to capture vignettes of the succulent gardens. Most of the aloes probably peaked in their blooming a week or [...]
I was in Balboa Park yesterday and stopped by the Camellia Show and Sale. I don’t grow camellias, but gosh, they are beautiful and I saw the best of the best today. Camellias are indigenous to Asia, commonly found growing in Japan, China, and Vietnam. There are over two hundred different species of camellias known [...]