Torrey Pines Landscape Company

Torrey Pines Landscape Company
As featured in Ranch & Coast Magazine ( design by )

Monday, December 17, 2012

A peek from the Festival of Trees

Mele Kalikimaka

Balboa Park December Nights is the largest 
free community festival in San Diego. 
 It attracted more than 300,000 visitors over 
two days.  The San Diego Floral Association 
hosted "Carols and Songs of the Season" - 
a room full of beautifully decorated Christmas
 trees. Bravo to Walter Anderson for donating
 the trees for this creative tradition.

 Shown here are trees decorated by the
Point Loma Garden Club, the Bonita 
Valley Garden Club, the San Diego 
Master Gardeners and
the Spanish Village Art Center.

Feliz Navidad

Winter Wonderland
Home for the Holidays

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Why do we capitalize the word Pointsettia?


Friends of Balboa Park is having a Holiday Celebration to celebrate:
     * 26th Annual Poinsettia Display
     * Botanical Garden Fountains Repair
     * Historical Sign Installation
When: Thursday, Dec 13th from 3:00 -5:00 PM
Where: The wooden lathe Botanical Building

For more info Email:

Who was the Poinsettia named after?

The botanical name ,Euphorbia pulcherrima meaning ‘very beautiful', had originally been assigned to the plant by the German t, Wilenow in 1833. In 1837,William Hickling Prescott, historian and gardener had been asked to rename it.  At that time Mr. Prescott had just published a book called the ‘Conquest of Mexico’ in which he detailed Joel Robert Poinsett’s discovery of the plant.  Poinsett, appointed by President John Quincy Adams, was the first ambassador to the new Republic of Mexico. While visiting the Taxco region, he discovered the ruby red-bloomed plant and was so fascinated with it that he sent clippings to his home in Charleston, South Carolina. Even though Poinsett had an outstanding career as a United States Congressman and as an ambassador he will always be remembered for introducing the poinsettia into the United States. And that is why the word Pointsettia is traditionally capitalized, because it is named after a person.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The 'Bloom Report' for the Holidays

Christmas Cactus, Schlumbergeras buckleyi, are abundant and blooming now. There is also a Thanksgiving Cactus, Schlumbergeras truncata which blooms earlier in the holiday season. There are two main differences between a Christmas and Thanksgiving cactus: the flowering season and the segments shape of the leaves. Christmas cacti have smooth, round edges while Thanksgiving cacti have pointy, jagged ones. There is also a third - the holiday Easter cactus, (not included here).

The directions for care for any of these 'tropical cacti' depend on the time of year. After blooming, February - March, they will need a 'rest period' which requires less water and no fertilizing. Let the soil dry out on the surface. If the stems begin to look shriveled, the plant needs a bit more water. Come spring (April - June), begin to increase the water to keep the soil lightly moist, but not wet. Fertilize with a blooming houseplant fertilizer. This is also the time to re pot once established (every 3-5 years) because the roots will need more room to grow and the soil will need 'refreshing'. Summer, (July - August) is the second resting period. Reduce the watering again while keeping in mind that the summer heat will dry out the plant quicker. Keep out of direct sunlight. They like indirect & bright light. That brings us to the holidays, their second active period when they bloom. The water requirements increase. Many liquid fertilize up until bloom. There are two factors which improve blooming: hours of darkness at night and cooler temperatures. In their native habitat, the rain forest of Brazil, night temperatures are around 50-65 and about 12 hours of darkness. That makes our climate well suited for these profuse beauties.

They are quite easy to propagate. Take cuttings of these plants once the flowers are spent. Leaf segments root easily making them easy to share.

from the office of Torrey Pines Landscape

Friday, November 30, 2012

Balboa Park's December Nights Celebration

Stop by to purchase the San Diego Floral Association's gingerbread cookies and admire the creatively decorated trees and holiday floral designs. This year's theme is "Carols and Songs of the Season". Don't forget to stop by to purchase bouquets of protea.
When: Friday, Dec 7th 5:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m., and Saturday, Dec 8th Noon–10:00 p.m.
Where: Room 101, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego

San Diego Horticultural Society Speaker at Surfside Race Place 

Debra Prinzing, author of 50 Mile Bouquet: Local, Seasonal and Sustainable Flowers, will be speaking at this holiday meeting where more locally grown protea will be for sale.
When: Monday, Dec 10th from 6:00pm - 8:30 pm
Where: Surfside Race Place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds 
More info:

(photos from & Dreamstime stock photography respectively)  


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Save the Date....for Kate! Celebrate the 'Mother of Balboa Park'

Eucalyptus Bench Carving at the Marston House
You're Invited! 
Kate Sessions Birthday Celebration  
Saturday Nov. 10
Join in celebrating the birthday of one of San Diego's first tree-huggers and the person most responsible for turning Balboa Park into an urban oasis. This year Kate Sessions would be 155 years old and that calls for a party! Join us at the Marston House on Saturday, November 10, 11am-2pm to enjoy the festivities:
Kate Sessions

  • Birthday cake and brief program celebrating Kate Sessions      
  • Discounted tours of the Marston House & Gardens
  • Geranium Sales
  • Walking tour of trees on west side by urban forester from Robin Rivet Center for Sustainable Energy
Three organizations with strong ties to Kate Sessions and Balboa Park have joined together to create a fun-filled day: Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO),the San Diego Floral Association and Friends of Balboa Park.

When - Saturday, November 10 · 11am - 2pm
Where - Marston House & Gardens, 3525 7th Ave. 
 Parking - Free parking along Balboa Drive, Sixth Avenue, Upas and Thorn Streets

Marston House
We attended this event last year and can let you know that even with the spotty rain conditions, it was well worth it. Katherine Olivia "Kate" Sessions was an American botanist, horticulturalist, and landscape architect known as the "Mother of Balboa Park."
In 1885, she purchased a nursery; within a few years she was the owner of a flower shop as well as growing fields and nurseries in Coronado, Pacific Beach and Mission Hills. She founded the Mission Hills Nursery in 1910 and sold it to her employees the Antonicelli brothers in 1926; and, it is still in operation today.  In 1892 Sessions struck a deal with the City of San Diego to lease 30 acres of land in Balboa Park (then called City Park) as her growing fields.  In return, she agreed to plant 100 trees a year in the mostly barren park, as well as 300 trees a year in other parts of San Diego.  This arrangement left the park with an array of cypress, pine, oak, pepper and eucalyptus which were grown in her gardens from seeds imported from around the world; virtually all of the older trees still seen in the park were planted by her. Among many other plant introductions, she is credited with importing and popularizing the jacaranda, now very familiar in the city. She also collected, propagated, and introduced many CA Natives to the horticulture trade and into gardens. In 1900, she took a trip to Baja CA to find a palm tree not native in San Diego to be planted at the park. She would also later take a seven-month trip through Europe where she collected multiple plant varieties that she eventually helped plant in the park.