Esperanza and poinciana (pride of Barbados) seed that Crazy Green Thumbs sent to me earlier have not yet been sown, as I said they would be last week. Therefore, there are no pictures for them yet. Instead, I shared six of the countless pointless pictures that Brent, my colleague down south, sends to me as if I have nothing better to do than to download his countless pointless pictures and pretend to be impressed by them. They are different shapes and sizes, and some are quite small, but that is how I get them. Some are months old. Try to be impressed.

1. This California pepper tree is the only important subject of Brent’s otherwise pointless pictures. He planted it in this median when his daughter was born twenty-one years ago.

2. Poinsettia, cyclamen and a wreath on the gate at Brent’s front porch indicate that this picture was taken prior to Christmas, and that Brent’s garden is in need of a weed eater.

3. This is a better example of the overgrown vegetation. This flame vine spreads out over the roof and sometimes reaches the opposite side. I cut it back to bare cane a few times.

4. Brent’s older brother’s best friend grew up in this home in Leimert Park, and still lives here. He believes that this ‘saucer’ magnolia is a ‘Japanese’ magnolia. He is an idiot also.

5. This might be a red ginger, and it might be right outside of the dining room at Brent’s home. It is difficult to identify a location with all the overgrown and crowded vegetation.

6. Blue ginger is neither related to real gingers, nor fragrant like real gingers, but sure is pretty. This could have been right outside of the front porch gate, prior to the picture #2.

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


17 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Brent’s Pointless Pictures

    1. Blue ginger is not related to the various gingers. It is Dichorisandra thyrsiflora, and is related to spiderwort and spider plant. It lacks fragrance. Brent has been wanting to grow it since he saw it in Hawaii when he was a kid, but could not find it in the Los Angeles region. When he did find it, he got two, so that I could bring one back here.

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      1. I am not so convinced, but will grow it if Brent does not plant both in his garden before I get there. Even if he does, I can get a shovel. For some plants, Brent wants to determine if they will tolerate the mild frost here. I have brought back a few species that are more common in Southern California than they are here, and some have done reasonably well. I sort of doubt that this one will perform well here, but could with shelter.

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    1. Oh, these are not all of them. There are plenty more, and enough for two more ‘Six on Saturday’ posts. It is annoying that he sends me so many pictures on my old flip phone. It makes me want to go back to my land line only.


    1. There is actually a point, or a few, to Brent’s overindulgence. I just can not imagine what it is. I know that he must trial many plants, and that he likes to grow some as examples for his clients. There is more diversity within Brent’s small garden on a small urban parcel than there was on my ten acres!

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      1. When I am there (and I should be there about now), I enjoy seeing some odds and ends that I would not bother with in my own garden, or that do not perform well here. I already know that the blue ginger will want special attention here, but I am intent on trying it. It has been one of those mythically elusive species that Brent wanted to smuggle back from Hawaii when he was a kid, and that I have yet to meet.

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    1. Oh my, so others know it as Japanese magnolia also! That sort of makes me wonder. I believe that they are from China, so would suspect that they are about as Japanese as species of Hebe from New Zealand are African. However, I do not know.
      After what happened to the seed that you sent to me, I am hesitant to put these next seed out. The weather has been excellent, but more wintry weather is expected prior to spring. I do not want seedlings to get frosted, or to languish in the cool weather until something eats them. I may keep the esperanza seedlings inside for a while. I am rarely concerned about frost, and I am not overly worried about the esperanza seedlings with the minor frost here, but I do want to be careful.


      1. Yes..I have seen them in Japan. It made my parents year if the tree flowered an didn’t get hit by frost..I am thinking there must be a trick to growing the many seeds have fallen here and I see no new plants??

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      2. Saucer magnolia is popular in many regions beyond its natural range. They grow here also, but are definitely not endemic here.
        All plants make more seed than get to germinate. Big redwood trees make millions of seed annually, and repeat the process for thousands of years, but may only replace themselves on a one to one ratio. (Some generate more seedlings than others, but most may never generate a seedling.) Otherwise, redwoods would get very crowded within a very short time. However, seed that is sown and protected is very likely to germinate and grow into a seedling. Esperanza seed should work the same way. Even if some is not viable, most should be. Even if some do not germinate, some should. Even if some seedlings rot, a few should mature, and so on.

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  1. How lovely to have seen that Californian pepper tree grow over the years. It has a great shape. Brent’s crammed tropical garden is a very popular style here. Gardener’s pushing the boundaries with tender plants, some of course have to be fleeced over winter.

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    1. Yes, that tree is rad! We have planted MANY trees in the median of San Vicente Boulevard since we were in school in the late 1980s. This particular tree is in the median between the left turn lane and the through lanes of westbound San Vicente Boulevard at Carillo Drive, just a very short distance into the Los Angeles City Limits. Although there are trees within the medians to the west, this might be the westernmost tree of those that Brent planted there. (There were a few trees there prior to Brent’s projects, and some were added by the Department of Public Works since then. Brent’s projects on San Vicente Boulevard were limited to Los Angeles.) The tree leans severely, but that is normal for the species, and part of the appeal. It will develop into a sculptural tree with softly pendulous foliage.
      Brent and I enjoy gardening VERY differently. He has more diversity on his small urban parcel than I had in my several acres. I can not imagine why that style is so appealing any more than he can not understand why I do not add more to my garden. He still wants me to buy the home next door so that he has more space for entertaining in back. I do not want to purchase a home that I could not live in, hundreds of miles from here.

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