Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

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