When I was just a youth of 11, my wise old grandmother forced me to work in the yard. Today it might be called child labor…. :). We had a big yard. In order to provide us privacy in a city subdivision, our yard was bordered by ligustrum in the back and oleanders in the front and on the sides. I was the one that kept the oleanders and ligustrum trim and neat, looking nice, but that might be the reason why I have never had ligustrum or oleanders around my homes…. :)
On the back patio and in the foundation planters she had poinsettias, crowns of thorns, nandinas, pansies, snapdragons, petunias, and morning glories, all with billions and billions and billions of beautiful flowers. Of course, I never got to help with the beautiful plants, just the ligustrum and those nasty oleanders. Note that all parts of the oleander are toxic, and the sticky sap can play havoc with your skin, causing a pretty good rash if you’re sensitive or allergic (like me!).
One day I asked my wise old grandmother if I could have a garden of my own. I never expected her to say yes, but she gave me a pretty good-sized plot of her yard for my garden. Unfortunately, it was the only spot in the yard where nothing would grow. It was sunny and hot, and the hot air from the air conditioner blew there.
Ha! I fooled her! A friend and I went down to Mexico (with his parents; we were too young to go by ourselves) and bought a bunch of cactus and succulents. We planted them in my garden, and just a few months later I had beautiful cactus and succulent flowers.
That’s where my dislike of ligustrum and oleanders came from, and where my love of cactus and succulents started. In fact, that’s where my love of plants started, and I’ve developed my gardening skills such that I have only failed at growing vegetables and herbs…………
How I love bonsai, but as many times as I have tried to grow and care for bonsai, I’m an abject failure there. Thus I always enjoy getting out & about and finding a beautiful bonsai collection. There is a permanent display at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in the Bonsai Pavilion, and there is a four-week display each summer at the San Diego County Fair.
Recently when I was up at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden, I found another display, albeit just a weekend display for a bonsai show they were having. Following are some pictures from the show. My favorites are the little forests and the wind-swept pines.
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Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572
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