Two Weddings, a Dutchman’s Pipe and a Thesis!

Where in the world have we been these past few weeks? Good question.

What we thought would be a one-week-or-so-break ended up stretching for a month, and we’re sorry to leave you hanging! Ryan and I have been traveling (to Kona, Hilo and Seattle; not bad gigs), building and studying. And trying to figure out life a bit. Are we experiencing some of that infamous “blogger burnout“? We’re not sure. But we’ve really missed you, and want to share some of the big botanical moments of September and October.

Lava rocks in Kona! Driving along Highway 11 is interesting: When you stop for photos and/or to walk down to the beach, one moment you’re in a goth moonscape, and the next you’re in an emerald/sapphire oasis…

…ah, like here, Kekaha Kai State Park.

The same Kekaha Kai State Park where our friends Kelli and Jay were married on a perfect September day. Kelli’s bouquet had incredible protea.

One pair of friends got married in Hawaii one weekend, and then a second pair of friends wedded in the Pacific Northwest the following weekend. The former had a ceremony on the beach where the turquoise water and palm trees were from a postcard and the lava rocks were from the moon, plus mega monstera leaves roared along the borders of the dancefloor. And then in Seattle, roses, orchids and the season’s floral superstar — DALIAS, DAHLING — filled and almost overflowed our hearts.

As always, you’ll find more up-to-the-moment plant shots on Instagram. For example, inside our L-shaped garden, I’m chipping away at my thesis for my MFA in fiction and Ryan just put in some incredible new succulents into the community table he designed for the award-winning Bird Rock Coffee Roasters. By the gate, our Dutchman’s pipe vine has unfurled a velvety, crackle-pattered, Pinot-colored bloom that is flat-out wonderful. The bud must be seen to be believed.

P.S. did we mention Ryan’s talented, beautiful, magnetic cousin has recently become famous? Hint: She’s a Run(a)way success.

Get a sneak peek at all of the above…below!


A week later, we saw Jackie and Rob walk down the aisle at the Golf Club at Newcastle, near Seattle.

The flowers were autumnal and breathtaking. Roses, orchids and yes, deep red dahlias.

Ryan takes his fresh Jack Erwin loafers for a spin.

Floral print gridlock!

Before Jackie and Rob’s nuptials we did a Heritage Tree Tour of Seattle. Ryan’s hugging one of his favorites, a durmast oak (Quercus petraea). Stay tuned…

Durmast oak (Quercus petraea) in Seattle

Gotta love it when your favorite cut flower is in bloom on your birthday! #yaymoredahlias

When it came time to replant the cacti, euphorbia and other succulents in the living table he designed for Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, Ryan outdid himself. We hope to share some more shots soon! Here, he finalizes the planter before he places it back into the table (still on site).

You can almost hear the succulents breathe a sigh of relief. (Re…leaf?) From left to right: the very tips of an Adromischus triflorus, Haworthia coarctata, Euphorbia lactea ‘Gracia,’ Gasteria, Chamaelobivia ‘Rose Quartz,’ Mammillaria hahniana (old lady cactus), Echinopsis ‘Dominos,’ and Agave victoriae-reginae.

It’s our first season growing Dutchman’s pipe, a vine we’re been obsessing over/searching for/asking nursery managers about for years. This is the flower bud, which resembles something Van Gogh might have smoked.

The Dutchman’s pipe flower in full glory! The blossom grows by our gate, and it stops you in your tracks.

Ladies and gents, Ms. Kelly Dempsey! She’s currently competing on Project Runway, where this talented, beautiful, magnetic mega-babe is both sewing and SLAYING.

Trap queen?

Master plantsman Ryan Benoit brings home the garden’s newest staghorn fern! Check out those handsome fronds…

The yard right now.

Hot off the presses, the first-ever Horticult iPhone case.

I’ve started sticking bits of rosemary under my ring to help with studying. Aromatherapy, ya know.

In the foreground, our Aloe rauhii (snowflake aloe) clamors for attention with its bell-shaped blooms. You might remember the candelabra-like euphorbia (Euphorbia avasmontana) from our trip to the LACSS drought-tolerant plant festival.