There is so much more to horticulture than plant material. There is a lot of hard work, which is hard to get in pictures. There are a lot of materials. There is a lot in infrastructure.

Well, I do not have pictures from the farm to show how our horticultural commodities are grown. That would not be very interesting anyway. These pictures are merely odds and ends of what we work with in regard to landscape maintenance.

1. Incarcerated stone. Yes, it is quite obvious that this prison is overcrowded. This is where they do ‘hard’ time. Incidentally, ‘Pet Rock’ was invented in Los Gatos.P80630
2. Half barrel. Back when there were more real wineries in the Santa Clara Valley, barrels such as this were cheap, and could sometimes be found left on the sides of roads for anyone who wanted to take them for kindling. At nurseries and lumber yards, they could be purchased already cut in half, perforated with a few drainage holes on the bottom, and painted with wax on the inside, for use as planters. They are more expensive now. This particular barrel came from France, so is not even made of local valley oak. See the fancy label at the top of the picture? The drainage hole on the left was not drilled through because the drill bit encountered something metallic in the wood. Check out the tips of my stylish boots at the bottom of the picture.P80630+
3. ErmitagE France. This metallic label on the wine barrel is so comically contradictory! The lack of an ‘H’ at the beginning, and the capitalized ‘E” at the end of ‘ErmitagE’ implies that the former contents of the barrel was something fancy, but is then followed by ‘France’.P80630++
4. NO DUMPING ALLOWED. This is a classic example of ‘Do as I say, not as I do’. We dump debris from landscape maintenance all the time. When we prune for road clearance, much of the debris gets thrown back out into the forest behind what was pruned. In some spots, it works like mulch to keep some of the weeds down. Larger bits must get taken away of course. This sign will be posted on a wide spot on one of the roadways where dumping had apparently been a problem. By the way, it is just coincidence that the two words ‘CHILD DUMPING’ lined up like that.P80630+++
5. White star magnolia. This was just moved to the new landscape of a newly renovated building. We would have preferred to wait for it to defoliate in autumn before relocating it, but it was in the way within another recently landscaped area, and we really wanted to install it here in the new landscape before other material gets installed around it. It does not seem to know that it has been moved. I happened to grow these along with many other magnolias back in the late 1990s, and really did not like working with them in the nursery. We just were not set up for them. However, I really like them in the landscape. This particular magnolia grows like a large shrub, so will not get big enough to drop flowers onto all that pavement. That would have been a concern with larger magnolia trees that bloom with larger flowers that can be a slipping hazard when they fall onto pavement.P80630++++
6. Epiphyllum. This just happens to be in bloom at the shop. It belongs to the horticulturist who maintains all the landscapes here, so has nothing do do with the landscapes. With all the pictures of inert items and only one white star magnolia, I thought I should include something a bit more colorful. It does not get much more colorful than this.P80630+++++
This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:

14 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Infrastructure

  1. The addition of “France” had to be put to give an authentic pattern, but it’s true that the word “hermitage” begins with a H in french (in English too I suppose?) ( I have a barrel in my living room (oak) to store my bottles of alcoholπŸ˜‚πŸ˜)

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    1. Gable walls are constructed as walls, with mess that lasts much longer. These stones ere merely wrapped for transport. That mess would not last long. There is a big gabble wall in Zayante. It is filled with gray granite stone that are all pressed together like the stone in my picture. There is a sign above that says ‘Zayaante Pet Rock Prison’.

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  2. Hehe yep Gable cage walls filled with rock seem to be the bees knees in WA at the moment. I like them 😊. But not as much as I love the sign placement of the no dumping sign πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.

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    1. These stone were merely wrapped for transport. The mess would not last long as a cable cage. Gable cages are more popular in Washington because the stone within is more readily available in some regions. They are probably filled with volcanic stone that gets in the way of other projects.

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  3. I like the use of the term “infrastructure”–I never quite thought of permenent plant companions as that, but it’s exactly what rocks, posts, fencing and the like, are.

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    1. Perhaps they should be ‘accessories’. I used the term ‘infrastructure’ because much of it is the unseen necessities, like unseen foundations that support building of appealing architecture. I tend to categories the stone and boulders as such because it something that we do just to make the landscape look landscaped. I would not miss it if it were not there.


  4. Tony, you’re always a delightful and educational read. On this blistering hot 5-days in Pennsylvania, you’re an especially refreshing reason to take an air conditioned break after watering my gardens. We’re watering twice a day now, and it occurs to me that I should add a second deep, cool shower to my days as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do not think of Pennsylvania as getting all that hot, although I am aware that it is much more humid there. It is well over a hundred degrees in Palm Springs today, but not even eighty degrees for us.


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