Saturday, October 17, 2009

Creating Heaven on Earth

In the mid-1960's, the pastor at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church gave a sermon where he described heaven to a congregation which included a very impressionable adolescent girl. Me. He promised in heaven is a garden filled with fruit and flower. Everyone has work.

That sermon planted a seed of believing there is no higher calling than to create heaven on earth with a garden.

I was introduced to Giant Squill (Urginea maritima) when writing the text for Gene Sasse's electronic newsletter. A quick inquiry to author Nan Sterman about the gargantuan bulb got her enthusiastic endorsement, "Urginea maritima is one of my all time favorite bulbs. All year long, it has nice, strappy leaves. Come June or July, the leaves turn gold, and the most amazingly tall, mahogany colored spear rises from the center. The spear is topped in a snow white, pointed column of buds that open from the bottom to the top in sequence. A mature bulb can be big as a basketball and the flowering spear reach six feet tall or taller. A field of them in bloom looks like a wonderland! "

Not needing irrigation, hated by rodents, as soon as the story was filed, the perfect spot for my 9.1 pound bulb was found way out back where its presence will clothe the naked land with elegant garb about the start of football season.

Speaking of football....

The sun and moon for the NFL Stadium to be built in neighboring City of Industry are lining up. When the landscaping goes in, it would be heavenly if Majestic Real Estate included a stand of the Giant Squill to light up the landscape at the start of the season.

The giant squill, as well as other premium bulbs for our warm weather climate can be purchased by clicking onto


This simple statement arrangement in my living room was created by Xavier's Florist of Diamond Bar.

California Gardener's Guide Volume II by Nan Sterman- "The ONLY book about low water plants and Mediterranean climate gardening written specifically for California" can be purchased at better book purveyors or at her website at //

HOT TIP- Call Nan for free advice on how to save water in your garden courtesy of The Water Smart Pipeline, (866) 962-7021 Tuesday mornings (8:30 am to noon PST) and Thursday afternoons (1:00 pm to 4:30 pm PST).

The Water Smart Pipeline is a project of the Water Conservation Garden and funded by the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust.

Images of giant squill are by photographer Gene Sasse. with permission.

1 comment:

  1. That certainly sends out a GORGEOUS Stalk with such pretty flowers. I have a plant in my garden that when it flowers does kind of the same thing though not in any way like this one except it is a HUGE Stalk and it opens from the bottom up!


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