timberline gardens

Hello everyone; once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to bring you the latest news from our garden, though today we have something rather special, instead of the usual stuff about wind. You may remember me from such riveting posts as “Again, A Crisis” and “Fly Away Home”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. If I look happy, it’s because I am. The guy I live with came back home to see me. 10022201The guy I live with left me alone today, for a couple of hours (seemed like forever, though), because he insisted he needed more Cupressus montana for the Baja California Garden. I didn’t know we had one. He went to Timberline Gardens to get the cypresses.

Here they are. Some botanists want to call them Cupressus arizonica var. montana, which he says takes all the fun out of it. I’m checking the labels, here. 14022202He also took some pictures. He says greenhouses are very nice at this time of year. I wouldn’t know, because I had to stay home.




14022206 14022210 14022209 14022208 14022207Timberline is a nursery, where they propagate their own plants. They bring in some plants, too, but a lot are grown right here, in this greenhouse.




14022212 14022213Then he went into one of the greenhouses out in back. You might be able to see what caught his eye immediately, but he took another picture before he walked up to the cypresses, of things off to the right.14022215

14022216This, below, is what caught his eye. Cupressus arizonica ‘Fandango’, raised by Allan Taylor. The pictures don’t do justice to this beauty. The branches are flat, like an arbor vitae or something. But bluer. 14022218

14022217A manzanita in flower.14022219Off to another greenhouse. The guy I live with said all this area needed was some old cowboy boots hanging from one of the posts. And maybe a shovel. 14022220In this greenhouse, Juniperus communis ‘Motherlode’, with its winter color. Seriously. The guy I live with didn’t buy one, and he doesn’t know why.

14022221 14022223 14022222Now back to the propagation greenhouse, where Kelly, one of the owners, showed him some baby cactus. You probably know how the guy I live with feels about baby cactus.

Forms of the spineless Echinocereus triglochidiatus. These are mostly really spineless, not just “kind of spineless” like some. You can probably buy them at coldhardycactus.com. 14022224 14022226 14022225

Cylindropuntia ramosissima in the right corner of the flat.

Cylindropuntia ramosissima in the right corner of the flat.

maybe Maihueniopsis glomerata ssp. platyacantha

maybe Maihueniopsis glomerata ssp. platyacantha

a gymnocalycium, a little larger than a pea

a gymnocalycium, a little larger than a pea

another tiny one




extra blue form of Agave parryi var. neomexicana, maybe a hybrid, but hardy

extra blue form of Agave parryi var. neomexicana, maybe a hybrid, but hardy

clever method of propagation

clever method of propagation

Okay, well, that’s it. The guy I live with is home, home, home, and I’m very happy. I have an important matter to attend to, and I hope you enjoyed the pictures.


Until next time, then.

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26 Responses to timberline gardens

  1. Kim Bone says:

    Yea, Timberline Gardens!!! I was in the cactus house cleaning-up the mother plant table. I’m cover in glochids. I think I’ll go sit in my brothers hot-tub, only a crows-throw away, the hot water opens the pores and the bubbles help too! Ouch, Golchids!

    • paridevita says:

      So does duct tape. “The tape of many uses” according to the guy I live with. (I’m afraid he’ll try to clip my toenails and wrap them in duct tape if they start to bleed.)

    • Kim Bone says:

      Crows-flight…My brother always say’s that, “my sister is only a crows-flight away.” The hot-tub is only a crows-flight away and more fun than duct-tape. Mike keeps telling me to try rubber-cement. I haven’t confessed to him that I taking a glochid-dip.

  2. Linda Meyer says:

    Beautiful photos and so surprised that Timberline has so many plants out. Need to take a trip up there to check it out

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The plants weren’t actually out; they were in hoop houses or greenhouses. The conifers, etc., which are in the first hoop house, next to the parking lot, have been exposed to all but the coldest weather. The only other plants that were out are ones always left out; really big conifers and some gigantic yuccas.

  3. petabunn says:

    Happy Chess, you look absolutely ecstatic. You didn’t get to go with your guy but he took lots of photos for you to look at. Wow it must have been hard to hold himself back from buying a lot of plants. Amazing place. I do love bonsai and my mum has tried bonsaiing, is that right, herself. Some success but in the end she always loses them, wrong conditions she says. That “Fandango’ is a beauty. So much to see there, you’re lucky he wasn’t gone all day. At least you were rewarded with dinner when he returned. Such a smile!

    • paridevita says:

      It’s really great when the guy I live with comes back home. Fortunately, most of the plants he took pictures of weren’t for sale yet, but all the things in the first greenhouse pictures were, and the junipers in the hoop house, etc. It was a nice day, but nurseries here are wary of putting things out too early, which is completely sensible. Bonsai is cool. But it makes the guy I live with really sad. I’ll tell you why, but this is sad. On their very first Christmas, my mommy gave the guy I live with some bonsai trays, with a note that said something like, “I’m giving you these to show how confident I am in the years we’re going to have together”, and even though they did have twenty-seven years together, he wanted another twenty-seven. The trays are still here. Well, “bonsai” means “planted in a tray”. The other thing about bonsai is how intense a hobby it is. You get to buy bonsai soil, bonsai tools, bonsai books, bonsai plants, and all that fun stuff.

  4. Cliff Booker says:

    Brought another tear to the eye, Chess … and some smiles to these grizzled old lips with the latest reply and those images of such charming plants. Thanks and best wishes from quite far away.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. Now the guy I live with says he needs a greenhouse. He reads every word of the Ian Young’s weekly bulb log (of course), so maybe a “bulb house” or even an “alpine house” would do nicely. One good reason why we don’t live in the UK or on the west coast; the guy I live with wouldn’t have any money because of all the nursery visits and he’d make me have mice for breakfast.

  5. Diana says:

    Is Fandango ready for sale? I need that one. I like the picture of the agave with pups bursting out of the pot…Chess, you might like that, too, being a pup yourself.

    • paridevita says:

      Very clever way to propagate the pups, instead of having to rip apart the pot to get at them. I believe Fandango is going to be tested (push-ups, hundred-yard-dash, that sort of thing) before being allowed out into the marketplace.

  6. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    Thanks! I really, really needed that (a tour of a nursery). So, SO ready. There were lots of very nice blue pots in the background of one photo. And I have a brugmansia (Cassie’s Curls) on my dining room table (not layered). I think the itty bitty, teen tiny cactus at your place are more fetching than the toddler sized babies in these photos — except for that one. And maybe that other one.

    I have to go out and see if I can dig up a couple of plants in the hope of saving them — our brick mailbox was hit by a 16 yr. old driver on Valentine’s day (she wasn’t skilled at driving on ice), and the guy is coming to reset it, which will mean digging up all around it. There goes my lil’ microclimate. One of the plants is an asclepias (viridis, I think) I raised from seed & it’s the only one I have. Fingers crossed.

    Has the guy you lived with ever started edelweiss from seed? My sister-in-law brought me back 2 packages of seed from Switzerland. I sowed some yesterday. If they actually sprout, I guess I’ll plant them in my rock garden, even though they aren’t blue.

    • paridevita says:

      “Nothing like going to a nursery to lift one’s spirits”, he says, though you would like that life with a delightful purebred border collie would be enough…. Oh well. The trouble starts about now. He goes to nurseries, wanders around, sighing heavily. And then, of course, it snows again. There’s half an inch of snow on the ground right now. Spring, here, is full of the sound of heavy sighs, as it gets warmer and warmer, and then it snows. It finally stops at the end of May. (It didn’t used to snow in May, regularly anyway, he says, but it does now.) The guy I live with has grown Leontopodium nivale, I think, from seed, sown outdoors in pots.

  7. Yes, one sight that lifts the heart is sight of a smiling purebred Border Collie named Chess. We’re on our way back from Bishop, CA and the beautiful snow-capped peaks, including Mt. Whitney. Tomorrow we spring the Coronado Two from their spa kennel jail and we expect to see joyful faces, although when we watch the web cam Petey and Shredder seem not too bereaved. Before we do the jailbreak, we hit Las Pilitas, and, Chess, the photos you’ve shared have ratcheted up anticipation. We’ll pick up some plants to help the Monarch butterflies. Do you see them, Chess, where you live? Do you smile when you spot them?

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with has some milkweeds here, and sowed seed of more. Asclepias hallii and latifolia, and the Californian A. eriocarpa. We have the native A. speciosa here, and some others, but we rarely see monarchs here. Every now and then. We see lots of swallowtails, though. And really a lot of hawk moths. (Las Pilitas doesn’t have any A. eriocarpa at the Escondido nursery, according to the website, but maybe later. Or cordifolia, either. Both very desirable.) When the guy I live with hears of places like Bishop, he thinks of places like Lone Pine (sort of close), and “Mad Dog” Roy Earle, and the super-cute Ida Lupino.

      • Yes! California Garden and Landscape History Society did a Lone Pine conference showcasing five environments. We toured the movie museum, the movie shoot sites, and ate a fine meal in the booth in which John Wayne sat. Chess, you would love those flats and hills and mountains and streams.

      • paridevita says:

        Huh. The guy I live with googled “movies filmed in Lone Pine” and there were a lot. All he knew about was High Sierra. Of course most of them weren’t that famous. I don’t know about streams. I don’t have any interest in the canal north of us, though I’ve gotten pretty close to the water. I heard the story of my Uncle Pooka jumping in the same canal, not knowing that it had water in it, though he found out, and never liked getting into water after that. I like sprinklers, though. And the hose, in general. In fact, not that this has anything to do with Lone Pine, but even though I like winter better than summer, summer is the time when I can play in the sprinkler, water restrictions permitting, of course.

  8. Dear Chess…I hope the guy you live with has full appreciation for how splendid your blog is. You deserve some bacon treats. Tell him I said so.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I think the blog became much better the instant the guy I live with let me do the posting, partly because I can make fun of him when it becomes necessary. Which it often is.
      I get peanut butter treats, though. Oh, and chicken-flavored pill pockets twice a day.

  9. petabunn says:

    Hey Chess, I’m missing you…

  10. Wow, what a nursery. Gorgeous plants, thanks for taking us with you, figuratively speaking, guy-Chess-lives-with.

    • paridevita says:

      What a nursery indeed. And the main stock of plants isn’t even out yet. He says I should count myself lucky that I even get food to eat. (I get some prescription food, because I have issues with clostridium, and I&Love&You Poultry Palooza, in case people were wondering. I get their biscuits, sometimes, and One Earth Naturals and Avoderm Kookies. And Brie from time to time.) He should count himself lucky that he can buy plants.

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