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By Francesca Filanc, for Let's Talk Plants! December 2021.

Cassia splendida.

As this year draws to a close I am reminded once again of our great fortune to have the passion, the hobby, the business of growing plants. We design beautiful environments that help with climate change in our small individual ways. This is something to celebrate in these turbulent, uncertain times.

Many of us gathered for Thanksgiving this year when we had not seen our families for quite a while due to the pandemic. I traveled to be with part of my family for the first time in two years. Being an intrepid traveler all of my adult life I was feeling concerned about traveling beforehand, but as it turned out, I had the most amazing time and experiences. The garden and nature gave me a calm feeling to be able to put away my fears and worries and enjoy an amazing vacation with family.

We live in a Mediterranean climate in San Diego and developing a garden with plants and trees found in Mediterranean climates will save water and give color year-round in the garden. However, my garden has exceptions to that rule. One of those exceptions is a plant and tree that is very popular in SD, Golden Senna aka Cassia splendida.

This plant is grown as a shrub and a tree. I bought them small and they have grown enormous in just three years. They are native to tropical Africa so definitely not a Mediterranean plant. Cassias have beautiful yellow flowers and they have been blooming in my garden since October and are still going strong.

In July of 2020, a Cassia grew right across a large brick walkway. In fact, I was outside in that area all the time and could not believe how fast it grew. It seemed like one week went by and it had crossed the wide path. I spent several hours one day cutting it back.

Read more about this plant here: For this and other fine-art inspired from life and nature by Francesca Filanc visit here website.

Arriving home to Cassia, blooming still in the garden, after having spent a marvelous Thanksgiving week with family, there is a love glow in my heart; a feeling of joy and happiness that the garden and its occupants impart. A frog is croaking his magic song. Enjoy December holidays In your gardens with family and friends.

Happy Gardening!

- Francesca


Francesca Filanc with her granddaughter's pet bearded dragon.

Artist, author, photographer, fly-fisher woman, Francesca Filanc grew up in old Del Mar and these days lives, paints and gardens in historic Olivenhain with two French poodles.

Find her art and writings here:


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