Leucadendron

There are many (more than 15) varieties of Leucadendron. Leucadendron are also part of the large family of Protea. The family tree is quite extensive so if you are interested in either, check each link which will take you directly to the Wikipedia page.

When I worked in a floral boutique in Houston, we commonly received various Protea product (grown in California). Incidentally Protea is native to Australia and South Africa, and grows extremely well in California’s accommodating climate. I once spoke with a man whose family owns a Protea farm in California. As you might imagine, they like Protea quite a bit.

Here a few shots of the restaurant installations last week. The photos were shot with my camera phone so please understand why they are a little fuzzy. My camera phone isn’t one of the best, but it’s what I had at the time.

Both arrangements are in the back corners of the dining room.

Safari Sunshine with Pussy Willow

The vibrancy of the red colors of the Safari Sunshine, looked beautiful with the long stems of Pussy Willow.

Below is a better picture of what Safari Sunshine looks like.

photo of Safari Sunshine Leucadendron

from Upland Nursery

 

In the middle section of the restaurant (separating the bar and the main dining room) are two white boat-shaped pods. Somehow they acquired the nickname ‘Avatar arrangements’. I generally execute one of the large arrangements in the dining area, but last week I was asked to do the Avatar pods.

I really enjoyed doing both. The detail work that goes into these pod arrangements is entertaining to me.

Elements include in both pod arrangements are:

Inca Gold Leucadendron, Seeded Eucalyptus, Magnolia leaves, Banksia and thin stems of Pussy Willow.

It is hard to tell where the Banksia is in this picture. Banksia is also in the extended family of Protea. The variety used this time is brown and dried in appearance. It resembles that of an elongated pine cone (see below image corner right).

I can’t help but share this gorgeous illustration of Banksia from

Ferdinand Bauer’s Illustrationes Florae Novae Hollandiae.

I’m a huge fan of vinatge floral illustrations.

Hiking in Tennessee Valley

It is spring time in Marin county and I have frequently been hiking in the Marin Headlands which is about a 10 minute drive from where I live. I take the Tennessee Valley trail that leads you straight to a little beach also called Tennessee that is  very secluded and very peaceful during the week. The hike to the beach takes about 30 minutes and it is a great trail to run on because of the uphill elevation.

Everything is bloom, and lush and green from all the recent rain we’ve had. I encountered a huge bush of golden pussy willow (above picture). These trees can reach over 10 ft. tall and the stems dry quite nicely.

Orange poppies sprouting up everywhere. I love the way the bud shape looks before the flower has opened. Reminds me of a tightly wound orange acorn teetering on a stem..

The flower on the right is purple but reminds me very much of a Texas blue bonnet. I am missing all the Texas wildflowers that are blooming alongside the highways at the moment…But in Texas calla lilies(above right) don’t grow wild like they do in California. I used to pay 7 dollars a stem for white calla lilies, and here they are commonly growing wild. I don’t mind that one bit.

The red flower on the left is growing alongside the trail and I have no idea what it is called. I’m thinking I may need to get a book about the local flora and fauna here in Marin…just a thought, I have many.

Needless to say Nature is incredibly inspiring. I am charmed by the random order in which plants and flowers grow in the wild. Organic landscape design that happens with ease in nature is very fascinating.