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I consider myself fortunate to have grown up in California in the sixties! In high-school I spent as much time as possible in the mountains, camping and hiking or at the beach. San Diego is so close to so much natural beauty. It was an exciting time full of big change and pre-internet. Men landed on the moon and the Beatles came to America. I was younger than the hippies but I enjoyed the culture that they brought to California. I read things like the Lord of the Rings, Siddhartha, The Prophet and Zorba the Greek. I read a lot. I loved the movie Harold and Maude. I loved school and didn’t drink or do drugs. Did I fit in? No! I was much quieter then. I think I thought too much : ) I was not able to process things like war halfway around the world, that we had the technology to film but not stop. I had friends who lost their brothers there. As I turn sixty this month it is interesting to reflect back and see how little I have changed. Older, wiser, with more perspective and I still don’t understand war. I still go to nature or surround myself with it to sort myself out.  I am still an introvert and an environmentalist. Picture of me age 14 (1969) out in the back country of San Diego. Laurri at 14What I want to share with you is a page from a book that I bought at this cool bookstore in 1970, Living on the Earth by Alicia Bay Laurel.  It is still in print. It is about how to live on the land and came out of the “Back to the Land” movement.  They would like what we now call sustainable living. Here is my favorite page.Poem by Stephen Gaskin, How to Slow DownHow to Slow Down, find a little bit of land somewhere and plant a carrot seed. Now sit down and watch it grow. When it is fully grown pull it up and eat it.  – Stephen Gaskin

I have this picture on the wall next to my desk. I have thought of these words throughout my life, especially when I let things get so busy I forget to breathe. Spring is a busy time here with the phone ringing and new clients to meet. Deadlines for designs and installs to complete. This spring I am trying to take time to enjoy our garden. One plant that has been a daily reminder to stop and just enjoy, is our Philippine Orchid, Medinilla magnifica.  Wayne from Zone 9 Tropicals <(click for post) told us he had some coming when the Heights Garden Club went for a tour last fall. I Google it and decided it would be a fun plant to add to our collection on the porch. Most of the tropical plants come inside for the winter and it found a place on the island and hasn’t left. About 6 weeks ago it started to form buds.Philippine Orchid, Medinilla magnificaWe were so curious to see what would happen that we kept it right in the kitchen where we could enjoy the show.Philippine Orchid, Medinilla magnificaIt happened ever so slowly. Each week opening more. Philippine Orchid, Medinilla magnificaReminded me of a little ballerina dress…Philippine Orchid, Medinilla magnificaThe contrast of the lovely pink with the dark green leaves. And the structure of the plant is so amazing and elegant. Philippine Orchid, Medinilla magnificaNow it is starting to drop seeds that I am collecting.  I think the veins in the flowers and leaves are so interesting. Philippine Orchid, Medinilla magnificaIt is curious why the petals open so wide. Now it reminds me of a chandelier. Philippine Orchid, Medinilla magnificaThe color is so vivid!Philippine Orchid, Medinilla magnificaThis is it today! The show continues. I do highly recommend this as a house plant. It has been fine even with the heater and A/C. I do have skylights in the kitchen so it gets nice bright light. I have been misting it everyday or so because it actually like the humidity. Zone 9 Tropicals does mail order if you’d like one. I found that this Medinilla magnifica has its own website : )

I hope you are enjoying observing the plants in your gardens too!

Happy Gardening!