At the northwest corner of Nicholson Avenue and North Santa Cruz Avenue, in front of Mike’s Bikes, is my little downtown planter box. ( https://tonytomeo.wordpress.com/2017/11/04/my-tiny-downtown-garden/ ) That little brass plaque in front has my name on it. Everything is starting to recover from summer, and will look even better when the nasturtiums come back later in winter.


Most of the main plants were grown from cuttings taken from the home of a friend’s mother as we were emptying it out after she passed away. She lived in Monterey, and was a direct descendant of the first Spanish people to arrive in Monterey! Of the plants pictured here, only the dusty miller in the last picture is not from those cuttings. There are two of these big common housleeks, and a few of their babies.


This bronze houseleek is as old as the two big green ones but always gets broken off and stolen whenever it tries to grow big enough to get noticed. I really should grow more cuttings of it when I can, just in case the entire plant gets stolen.


I refer to this one as an aeonium (or houseleek) as well; but it is really something else. I just do not know what it is.


I do not know what this aloe is either. The foliage is pretty cool, but I think that the bloom will be even better!


This dusty miller was added to contrast with so much pale green foliage. I love the housleeks and the nasturtiums that will grow later, but so much foliage of the same color looks rather bland. I also planted ‘Australia’ canna with dark bronze foliage.

This is my first ‘Six on Saturday’. I do not intend to make a habit of it, and would not get enough pictures anyway, but I might try it again once in a while.

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:


31 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: My Downtown Planter Box – again and up close this time.

    1. Common names are so regional. I just stick with the names I know, even if outsiders do not know what I am talking about. Most of the people who get pieces of mine do not care what the names are anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I like the name “Dusty Miller” Much better sounding than “Cineraria” and often sold here as “Silver Leaf” (which is also, unfortunately, the name of a fungal disease of plants). I grow it as an annual as, in our climate, it tends to get very leggy into its second year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mine gets leggy if I do not cut the flowers off. However, if I cut the flowers off, it looks like it just had the flowers cut off. It is probably best to cut it back and let come back.


    1. Thank you. It did not look so great before the rain. It is not cool to look too good through summer. It means we are using too much water. (We need to bring our own water in to supplement what the automated system provides.)


    1. The funny thing is that these were not my choices. Much of the plant material was there when I got there. The succulents got put there because I did not want them in my own garden. The cannas and nasturtiums and only a few others were my choices.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the planters — but in Southern California benches like the one next to your planter become magnets for the homeless, and thus destructive for downtown businesses — how does the city prevent that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our homeless are reasonably accommodated here, even if they are still homeless. We have a Homeless Ambassador who does what he can in that regard. Those who do not conform are unable to stay. I do similar work, but not in Los Gatos.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, my dentist gets on me about that. The aeoniums were not planned. I just had them with me, and did not know what to do with them, so they went into the planter box. their babies are all over town. Succulents are trendy right now because people believe that they need less water. Aeoniums actually want quite a bit of water through summer.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you again. I do not like to put too much work into the planter box right in front of a business. I prefer to work there early in the morning on a weekday, and avoid busy shopping days. Mike’s Bikes moves bicycles and accessories out onto the sidewalk on the weekends to show them off and make the inside more spacious. I am gone by that time. Those running for public office like to be seen working on their planter boxes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is embarrassing. They occupy two parking spaces and put out orange cones and wear orange safety vests. They bring their dogs out and tie them to the rail so that everyone has to slow down to walk around them. They plant flashy flowers, only to replace them two months later so that they can be seen doing so. All this while I try to be discrete and stay out of everyone’s way.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sometimes they have minions. Did you see how small my planter box is? Most are smaller. Yet, they bring out one or two minions. Last month, they were wearing those obnoxious and degrading Santa’s elf hats. Oh my!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. My article just posted. Although it is not well written, and has nothing to do with gardening, you might find this one to be amusing. I am getting to sleep now. Your today just got here half an hour ago.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I did not like them when they were rebuilt in the 1990s, but since they are there, I wanted one. They used to be made of beat up redwood planks. I always thought that Santa Cruz Avenue should look more like an Avenue than the Mall.


    1. Well, I would say that they are related to yucca by family, but other horticulturists would say that they are only related if of the same genus. They are only about as closely related as cordyline. Yucca is related to agave, and agave is related to aloe, so it works for me. Aloes are much softer. Yuccas are all from North and Central America. Aloes are from Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and a few other places out in the Indian Ocean.


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