Flowers and Flowering Shrubs of Southern California
As we’ve been taking walks through the parks and beaches of Southern California, different garden centers and nurseries such as Roger’s and Armstrong’s, I’ve been trying to catalog numerous flowers and plants that I might want to remember for future reference. Sometimes, this means taking pictures of bushes next to gas stations, on hiking trails, or on random residential streets. It probably looks strange to people who have grown accustomed to this beauty but it hasn’t even begun to get old, yet. If anything, I’m astonished by the variety. For example, recently, the sheer number of daisy flower varieties shocked me. I had no idea there were so many; that you could essentially paint with whatever color palette you wanted in your landscaping and that there were daisies with colorful petals on one side and white interiors on the other.
At this point, I feel like maybe our ultimate estate plan should include some large botanical garden structured as a non-profit; something like the 207 acres at the Huntington Library up in Pasadena. I can see a 70 or 80 year old version of myself planning out different sections, writing large checks (or donating highly appreciated stock), and building the infrastructure necessary to keep it going for a century or longer. I would especially love to combine it with sculpture; maybe commission various great works, placing them throughout the grounds and gifting them to various other gardens around the world. I don’t know – it’s only a nascent whisper of an idea at this point but there is promise there. This excites enough passion in me, and seems like a worthwhile investment in the community, that I can see gifting meaningful amounts of money along with some of my other hobbies, such as supporting classical chamber music and/or helping libraries augment their operating budgets.
I really just want a world filled with beautiful gardens, nice books that are free for anyone to access and read, and wonderful music. Statistically speaking, I’m still too early in my career to really be thinking about what our family’s ultimate charitable legacy will be but making the world more beautiful, I expect, will certainly be a major theme.
Those of you who are gardeners may recognize the last plant as the Cherry Parfait rose. If you’ve been around awhile, you might recall that six years ago, Aaron and I began growing this variety in Missouri but they became extremely difficult to maintain due to a combination of brutal winters and pests that fed on the leaves. It should be far easier to make them thrive out here though, at present, we don’t have an area with sufficient sunlight given how much they require. I expect to see these return in the future. It’s interesting how radically different the coloring on these Cherry Parfait roses is from the plant we had back in the Midwest. (There is also another variety I’d like to try called the Coretta Scott King rose.)