Tuesday, October 11, 2011
magical nature

Oh My Lordy....Look at this! Isn't it Amazing! This is a plant that grows in my garden.....Look at the complexity of it's structure.....see those protective long thin round thingies that surround the centers? There are 18 of these around each center....Eighteen! Even numbers....Hmmm. Wonder what that means? I don't know, but I'm sure somone does---And I know this----Nature does not make a lot of mistakes....... This is a Mammillaria---there are so many varieties that I'm not sure of the correct rest-of-the-name of this one, although I believe it is Mammillaria Elongata....Whatever the right name is---It is really Beautiful. This particular one sits on my front Patio, in a pot. It has done very very well there, so....if it ain't broke......! I know these plants, Cactus and Succulents are often an acquired taste....But it seems to me that all it takes is really really looking at a plant like this....Looking at the amazing beauty of nature--the "complexity", as I said before....You still may not like it, but you cannot deny how beautiful the complexity is, if you really truly look at it....At least I don't think you can deny it. You tell me. I have another variety of this plant out in front, right on the edge of the sidewalk.....The arms are smaller and the whole plant is more compact as well as being a slightly different color......And actually there are two, one right next to the other...... The one on the left is an Elongata.....I'm not sure which species the one on the right is. Of course, these plants looks very different in full sun and in the ground......(The picture above was taken in 2007.......while the plants were flowering......) Below, a closer look at both these flowering plants........... The Flowers are really tiny, as you can tell, hopefully.....a half-inch in diameter and less than an inch high...... This picture above was taken in April of 2008.....You can see that the color of the Mammillaria on the right is quite different than the one on the left.....Below, a better look at that one on the right...... I love the colors of this particular plant.....Usually these hearty plants do better in the ground than in pots---But, in fact, that is not always true. When something is planted in the ground and gets sun 12 hours out of the day, it just grows differently.....The Elongata's on the Patio are protected from Wind, Sun, and Rain.....Here is another one in a pot on the Patio, below.... This Elongata above was grown from a piece off of the very first one I showed at the top of this post....It is very happy, too, I'm thrilled to say....And those two tall plants that are the 'feature' of this beautiful pot-----which sits on a small table on the patio----were given to me by Betty......Betty had them in her Greenhouse for quite a long time---someone had given them to her, originally. When I first saw them they were about 5 and 6 inches high---she always said she thought they represented us and our friendship.....She gave them to me about ten years ago or so. They have grown quite a bit considering they are in a pot where plants like these do tend to grow much much slower......And these two dear plants have some wind marks on them now, on that one side that I photographed. I'll have to get a picture from the more protected side......Here is an interesting story. Now, just to the right of that little table, sitting on the floor of the patio---along with lots of other pots---is a very interesting plant. A good friend who was born in Holland brought it to me recently. Many years ago when he was visiting his mother in Holland, before her death, he took a cutting of this very old plant, and he somehow snuck the cutting into his suitcase, bringing it back here to Los Angeles.....It has grown and grown and grown....And it has beautiful White flowers which bloom at night only. A few months ago, he gave me some pieces of the plant! And that is what you are looking at in these pictures.....We just left them as he had given them to me, not wanting to disturb them a second time---And, I got very excited the other day because there is new growth, which means it has rooted in the pot now.....Hooray! You can see there are three new shoots---the light green pieces.....And, as you can also see......there is something else growing.That little red Radish-looking thing, in the not so great photo I took....Well, that is the beginnings of a flower, we think....! Exciting, isn't it? This is an Epiphyllum---and there are thousands of different species of this plant....It will get very big, almost like a vine...So we will have to move it eventually.....But for now, I am really thrilled that I have some of a plant that started in Holland and then moved to Los Angeles, and now lives with me, too.....It is over 100 years old....! In fact, I believe it is the oldest plant in my garden..........

More To Come.........

Links to this post:


had this to say:

Just think. Before macro digital photography, none of us could really appreciate the intricate beauty of flowers and plants--unless we had a microscope handy.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 4:31:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

That first picture is just spectacular. A bit mesmerising.
You have some amazing plants and I love the story of the Holland traveler plant. May it live long and prosper.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 5:01:00 AM PDT 

Blogger Pat
had this to say:

The first photos remind me of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the plants we saw there. They could almost be under water. The little ones on the path must keep you from pattering barefoot round the garden:)
I love that beautiful pot and isn't it great to have plants that remind you of loves ones?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 8:16:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

greetings, dear lady - love this post, just let me say! i'm a cactus/succulent lover of many many years - having come by it naturally as i love the southwest usa with a fervor - and the plants have such a magnificent architectural quality about them - undeniably beautiful to me - they are also very soothing i think - calming - a couple of years ago, i had thought that i was going to build a "subterranean loft" space in my daughter's house - that means i planned to convert the basement into a loft style space - one of the things i put in the floor plans was a zen garden under the open stairway - a river rock bed filled with succulents - your plants here are all so beautiful - and the stories that go with them equally so - especially the 100 year old plant - how wonderful for you to have! thanks so much for sharing these beautiful plants and their stories! have a great day there in the hills, lady!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 11:30:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Okay, so that last plant looks like a succulent, like a cactus without the spikes, but I always associated succulents with hot, dry climates. So what was it doing in Holland. Or am I totally wrong about succulents? I'm really not well-informed about plants, so feel free to educate me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 12:42:00 PM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Dear Lady--What a lovely variety of cacti/succulents you have shown us. They are beautiful! I don't much care for the needles in the fingers and toes, but the plants are wondrous. The plant from Holland looks like a "Christmas cactus". Are they the same thing? In the same family? Completely different? Thanks for sharing your lovelies.
Cop Car

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 4:25:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

So many of them and yes it a joy just to look at them. I would love to see them if ever I visit USA again ;D

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 5:10:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I love spikey things
and I love unusual plants
they're the rock stars of nature

that top shot is amazing

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 9:14:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Wonderful photos :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 9:35:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

These are some beautiful and interesting plants, Naomi! I love that Betty gave you the tall ones that represent your friendship. How sweet of her and something tells me they will grow much taller in the coming years.

PS - It was wonderful chatting with you earlier. It always is, and please, call me again anytime! Hugs to you and much love, Ileana xo

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 5:30:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

PS - I just tried to add you to my blogroll and got the same message:

"could not detect a feed for this url. Blog posts and update times will not be shown. Add URL anyway?"

I will add it and see what happens.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 5:35:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

those are all just wonderful

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 6:05:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow! No wonder you are still a legend at California Cactus in Pasadena!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 8:53:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

One of my favourite things about our home in Phoenix is the cactus. It's just something you never see in the UK. I love all the different kinds. Very close to our house is a small Cactus park where you can go and stroll and learn more about all the different kinds. We haven't done that yet, but when I do I'll take my camera and you'll hear all about it!

I love all your plants Naomi and the lovely stories that go with them. :)

...as for nature making mistakes... I dunno, it kind of made a big one with me. ;)

Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 2:26:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Over 100yrs old? Wow, how amazing is that? I never appreceitaed cacti (is that the correct term?) until I visited the London Chelsea Flower Show one year. A huge display of these enormous plants, in every variety imaginable were on display - and they were utterly AWESOME!

Respect, dear lady, you have a great eye!

Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 4:25:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

as always..great photography Naomi!! I do so love the one that Betty gave you saying it represented to two of you and your friendship.. wow.. it doesn't get any better

Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 7:44:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

so beautiful my friend. I loved your comments on tv shows...many of my thoughts exactly. over here we watch alot of bbc america. loved The Hour. love
Doc Martin on PBS. don’t watch alot of “regular tv.”

Thanks for your kind comments during this difficult time. xxc

Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 9:59:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi Naomi,

Some really great close up shots, shows you every detail of these all too often forgotten plants.

People tend to think that cacti are boring plants, but I think that they are among some of the most beautiful plants for both their complexity and, if you pick the correct variety, the lovely flowers they can produce.

And of course, on the whole, they tend to be so undemanding and easy to care for, they certainly last longer in our house than any other plant.

Interesting post as always


Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 12:54:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, I love the geometry of the cacti and the spines on them. It just points to a higher Power to me.

Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 5:59:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

The patterns in nature are mathematical and very cool! I love the macro shots. Thanks, Naomi.

Friday, October 14, 2011 at 8:45:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

just dropping by to wish you a fab friday and great weekend!

Friday, October 14, 2011 at 12:02:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Very fascinating Naomi, all your beautiful plants and the stories to go with them! How wonderful to have one so old from Holland! That is amazing! I hope it lives on and on and thrives well in your garden!

Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 7:53:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

The first Photo is the best illustration I've ever seen for how World Wide Web is constructed.

Your Garden is nothing else but unique and fantastic.

Monday, October 17, 2011 at 9:13:00 AM PDT 

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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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