Garden Blog – Page 2 – Sherman Library and Gardens

Garden Blog

Home / Category "Garden Blog" (Page 2)

Carnivorous Plants

Carnivorous plants have long fascinated plant enthusiasts, well before Charles Darwin published the first truly popular and widespread book ‘Insectivorous Plants’ discussing the known carnivorous species and their adaptations to… Read More »

Japanese American Farming in California: A Personal History

To mark Asian American and Pacific Islander Month, our Education Coordinator, Kiyoko Nakatsui, shares her family history and their multi-generational association with agriculture.

By the time I was born the farm was just a memory. Like many other Japanese American families mine started their American dream tilling the land. All of my grandparents’ families were farmers at some point. Prior to World War II Japanese Americans farmed up and down the west coast and some eventually returned to the land. On my mom’s side my grandma’s family farmed in Montana and my grandpa’s family in Orange County. On my dad’s side my grandma’s family farmed in Arcadia and my grandpa’s family in Stockton. Since my maternal grandmother’s family didn’t live on the coast they were able to stay on their farm even during the war. However, everyone else was forced to abandon their farms to be placed in internment camps.

The Broms

Bromeliads are one of the most spectacular groups in the new world tropics, occupying many of the harshest habitats across the Americas. With around 3,500 species currently accepted, the Bromeliaceae… Read More »

Edmond Albius and the Story of Vanilla

Ice cream, cake, frosting, candy, pudding, the list goes on! Vanilla is one of the quintessential flavors for desserts, and a scent that you can find perfuming homes around the world. It’s a classic flavor you can find everywhere, but did you know that it was once coveted for its rarity and supposed medicinal properties? The vanilla orchid has only one known pollinator, the Melipona bee. Both are native to Mexico, so when the vanilla orchid was first exported in the late 1700’s around the world, none of the plants produced vanilla pods.

Mandalas in Nature

The word ‘Mandala’ is a Sanskrit word for a circle contained within a square, often with sections radiating out from the center point. The process of making mandalas helps to manifest stability in our inner life. I first began drawing and creating flower mandalas when I received a copy of Carl Jung’s “Red Book” which I bring to the mandala classes that I instruct for your inspiration. Throughout his career Jung encouraged his patients to make art, and especially mandalas, as a way to gain insight and heal. Although mandalas are each uniquely beautiful, it is the mindful meditative process of creating them which is most important.

The Hardiest Houseplant You’ve Never Heard Of

Pull up a chair, roll up your sleeve, and put on a brave face because it’s time for your daily dose of trivia! Ready? Let’s begin: What plant is hand pollinated using cat whiskers? Need a hint? This plant shares its name with the mascot of Georgetown University. If you answered Hoya, then treat yourself to a lollipop on the way out. Well played!