Sunday, September 27, 2015


Hakea, or sometimes referred to as needlewoods, corkwoods, pincushion, cricket ball or frog Hakea, is a member of the Proteaceae family and its close relatives include Grevillea, Banksia, Dryandra, Isopogon and Telopea. Hakea, a very diverse group of plants, is an endemic Australian genus and is found in many different habitats; the tropics, mountains, the coast and desert areas. There are over 150 named species in the genus. Some Hakeas have spidery flowers, like grevilleas, others have globe-shaped, inflorescences, while others look like a long spear at the end of the branches. Flowers can be white, yellow, greenish, red, orange, pink and purple hues.

Hakea Bucculenta

Hakea Cinerea

Hakea Cucullata

Hakea Victoriae

Hakea Laurina

Hakea Corymbosa

Hakea Archaeoides

Hakea Multilineata

Although there are many ornamental and colorful species in the genus, Hakea has not achieved the same popularity in cultivation as its closest relatives Grevilleas and Banksia. And, in some ways Hakea forms a link between those two genera having hard woody seed pods with Banksia-like seeds while the flowers occur in Grevillea-like clusters.

Hakea Pods

Hakea Bucculenta

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Muir Ranch Farm-To-Table Supper Experience

Saturday at Muir Ranch School Farm in Pasadena, we soaked up the blue skies and balmy temperatures at the 4th “Field to Vase” Farm-to-table Supper of the 2015 season – a celebration of all things locally grown and harvested! From garden strolls, to ‘flowers on your head’, the evening was filled with colorful floral gems and savory seasonal food prepared by talented local chiefs using produce from the school’s garden.

The Menu: 

Muir Ranch "Weed" Porridge made with Muir Ranch grown
Purslane & Amaranth Tempura topped with Tomato Confit 
North Carolina Style BBQ Free Range Pork Shoulder 
Chambord Glazed Brussel Sprouts with Cana de Cabra Cheese 
Spicy Korean Grilled Cauliflower 
Watermelon-Tomato Gazpacho with Strawberry Habanero

There were several Garden Writers in town celebrating the 67th GWA Annual Symposium who also joined in on the festivities. With a field full of flowers and vegetable, local chiefs and farmers, Muir Ranch students (the kids who grow and eat the veggies - our next generation of farmers) there's plenty of inspirational stories to tell.

If you missed the celebration at Muir Ranch, join them for another harvest supper in October!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

CPA Digs into Autumn at the Fall Home/Garden Show

There’s nothing we enjoy more than educating our friends, neighbors and fellow San Diegans about all the amazing protea farms in and around the county as well as teaching them how to grow and care for protea plants. To celebrate autumn, the 26th annual Fall Home/Garden Show was held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, featuring interior designs and garden displays, remodeling ideas, hands-on demonstrations and educational seminars. It’s a great place to meet local farmers and buy plants direct from the farms, so the California Protea Association (CPA) dug right in along with the San Diego Bromeliad Society, Cactus and Succulent Society, Horticulture Society, Master Gardeners and more.

To learn more about the California Protea Association, its members and activities go to

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

September: Time to Reset & Refresh

Although the New Year officially begins in January, here on the farm we can’t help but think that September deserves the tribute. There’s something about the month - perhaps it’s Labor Day, the notorious “last weekend of summer” or maybe it’s just the time when we begin another ‘flower season’ - that seems to usher in a new start. With that in mind, these ‘dog days of summer’ aren’t easy to shake off. Whether you’re planning for the holidays, catching up on the latest floral trends or simply tapping the “refresh” button on your 2015 perspective, we put together some colorful pictures and Post Labor Day inspirations to help jump start the transition.

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” - Ovid

“Without labor nothing prospers.” - Sophocles

“All wealth is the product of labor.” - John Lock

“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
- Thomas Jefferson

“Hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but it improves its chances.”
- B.J. Gupta

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
- Confucius