Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Wedding Garden at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

Both Disneyland and DisneyWorld are popular venues for weddings. Of course I had to spend some time on our first day exploring the Wedding Garden at the Grand Californian Hotel, where we stayed.

From across the garden, I was pretty sure those red trunks were one of my favorite trees -- Arbutus menziesii

The flowers certainly greatly resemble the ones on my relative, Arbutus unedo compacta

The fruit as well

The Heuchera and Cordyline make a perfect match to the red trunk

Could this be a Hebe?

Impressive tree ferns

Tree ferns and Restios




There were a couple of beds full of roses that looked like they had been cut back once already and were just starting a second flush of bloom.

Audio-animatronic snail. Hehe, not really.

We walked back and forth through this garden several times on our way to the parks, and it was such a peaceful, lovely oasis in the middle of the busy hotel. I was always so surprised to see so few people in it. Instead they were all madly rushing hither and yon. Can you imagine having your wedding at Disneyland in this garden? I think it would be fabulous fun!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Plants at Disneyland

Nigel and I returned recently from a week-long vacation in Southern California. Some of you may know -- but I'm sure many do not -- that Nigel works for The Walt Disney Company. They have an office in Seattle. Fortunately for us, the job (employees are all called cast members) comes with a few nice perks, such as discounts on rooms at their hotels, and on admission, merchandise and meals at the parks. We had never been to Disneyland, although when our son was young and we lived on the East Coast, we used to visit DisneyWorld in Florida quite often.

While in California, we stayed at Disneyland, at the Grand Californian Hotel, and went into the park three or four days. I remember many of the plantings at DisneyWorld, having once done their garden tour while visiting, and was curious to see how different things would be. That was in the days long before digital cameras, so I'm going to have to rely on my memories. What I remember best about DisneyWorld is lots and lots of bedding annuals. Disneyland is smaller and there is more dependence on tropical and drought-tolerant perennials, although they do have drip irrigation, and there were roses and other flowers that require it.

We didn't go on a lot of rides. I had fun wandering with my camera taking pictures of the plants. In fact, I nearly walked into people and lamp-posts and tripped over curbs and strollers full of screaming toddlers, looking probably a lot like a zombie hungry for PLAAAANNNTTSSS (instead of BRAAAIIINNNSS).

So, I'll more or less shut up now and show you some of those photos.

They had a surprising number of large Agaves

Agave attenuata

Pretty sure those are Furcraeas behind the Agapanthus

Yellow daylily trying to escape

Intellectually I knew I was in USDA zone 10, but still -- Strelitzia reginae/Bird of Paradise. In. The. Ground.

Probably a Mexican fan palm

Pelargoniums that I'm sure stay out in that window box year-round

A beautiful Bougainvillea

Magnolia flower

We smelled this Brugmansia long before we actually saw it

Nigel asked me what the red-leafed plant was


Nope. No idea.

I know that's a Hibiscus

Hey look! It's a Bromeliad tree, dripping with Spanish moss.

They had huge Bromeliads in the ground too.

Begonias, including one with enormous leaves

Enormous Philodendron

Bamboo, palms and possibly giant Bird of paradise/Strelitzia nicolai

In Bug's Land, all the enormous plantings were designed to make both adults and children feel small

Not plants, but an excellent sentiment

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Foliage Followup -- May, 2015

The day after Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is Foliage Followup, when many garden bloggers celebrate the role of foliage as the backbone of the garden. It's hosted by Pam Penick of the blog Digging, and you can find her post here. Check out the comments, with links to posts from other bloggers.

This month, I've just wandered the garden looking for whatever strikes my fancy, and I've come up with quite a lot. My fancy has been struck so hard, it's hurting!

Eucomis 'Sparkling Burgundy' rising like a crown from a patch of Sedum 'Angelina'

Musa sikkimensis


An Opuntia pad that broke off a recent purchase has rooted and started to produce a second pad, so I'm going to let it spend the growing season in the ground

Achillea 'Moonshine' and Cardoon

The same from a little further back, with the swordlike foliage of a patch of Crocosmia

Water droplets on Magnolia macrophylla

Golden Carex and Heuchera 'Palace Purple'

New pin oak foliage


Spirea 'Magic Carpet' and Eryngium

The rosettes of Sempervivum look like flowers, but they're leaves

A quartet of foliage (from bottom right): Diphylleia cymosa, Hosta 'Sum and Substance,' Schefflera delavayi, and Rheum palmatum

A profusion of gold and purple

Sickle-keeled Lupine (Lupinus albicaulis) and Cardoon

Long shot of the back garden, looking distinctly primordial

Ain't leaves grand?