These six are not from my garden or landscapes, since I am away from home for now.

Before the evacuations, and before I was even aware of the local wildfires, I came to the Santa Clara Valley for unrelated obligations. Evacuations started in a neighboring town the following Wednesday morning. By Thursday morning, my region was evacuating. I have been here for several days and may be here longer than I need to be if I am unable to return home afterward.

1. Plumbago auriculata – looked pretty when I planted it here, and before I knew how rampant it can get. It really wants more space. The blue is almost too bland. The foliage is rather pale.P00822-1

2. Pelargonium peltatum – is the only one of these six that I did not plant here. I have no idea where it came from. I know this species is nothing special, but this color is too pretty to ignore.P00822-2

3. Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘nidiformis’ – is rare here, perhaps because it dislikes a chaparral climate. This specimen is not much bigger than it was when I installed it three decades ago.P00822-3

4. Juniperus chinensis ‘Shimpaku’ – sound as if it is related to Pikachu. Bonsai artists appreciate it more than I do. It is sculptural like a diminutive Hollywood juniper, but grows very slowly.P00822-4

5. Juniperus chinensis ‘Hetzii (Glauca)’ – is known by a few species or hybrid species names, including X media, X pfitzeriana and virginiana, rather than chinensis, most without ‘Glauca’.P00822-5

6. Acer saccharinum – is not one of the favorite maples within its native range; but it happens to be one of my favorites. I grew this one out front by layering a stem from its parent out back.P00822-6

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:

32 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Do You Know The Way To San Jose?

      1. We will deal with what happens when we get back. I tend to worry about what could happen, rather than what really is happening. I know the damage is very extensive, but it is not as bad as it could have been, or what I was told about, although it is infuriating that my place, which was not damaged by fires, was likely damaged by looters.

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      2. Looters have been apprehended in residential neighborhoods. My situation would be a more desirable target for those who are aware of it. Although there is nothing of value at my home, the adjacent buildings contain expensive machinery and tools.


    1. Plumbago works well where we have plenty of space for it at work, but not in this suburban garden. It is just too rampant. It stays because people like the bloom.
      I do not know what to think of the fires yet. It may be a while before I can get home, and many of my neighbors have no home to return to. Fires are a normal part of living here, but I do not remember any that were so bad.

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    1. The news today suggests that the advance of the fire slowed as suddenly as it accelerated, right on the edges of three towns, although Boulder Creek sustained significant damage. I doubt it will get much farther. Two of my properties are right on the edge of where the fire stopped, but there are only a few stock trees on one of them, with no buildings. My home garden will be ruined without getting watered, but that is trivial.

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    1. There was a bit of good news today. The advance of the fire decelerated suddenly, and seems to have stopped right on the edges of a few towns. The worst of the damage was in Boulder Creek. I do not know when I will be able to return.

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      1. That’s good, some towns spared. Be safe is what we’re all saying to each other about the virus; in your case, be safe from lots of things. I hope you find everything ok when you can return.

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      2. Many homes burned, but many were not. It could have been so much worse if the fire continued into the towns. Boulder Creek got the worst of it. Felton is mostly undamaged. I still want to go back though.

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      3. It is not described as contained. It is only about 33% contained (although variable). However, after rushing towards the towns in just one night, they sort of stagnated where they have been for the past few days, right on the outskirts of the towns! It is weird. They have not advanced, and are burning out where they are. I do not know when I can go back. It might be Saturday.

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      4. Fire suppression prioritizes homes and buildings. It is amazing to see how many homes survived, even though many did not. The towns are down at the bottom of the San Lorenzo Valley, where fires naturally burn slower.

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    1. Modern cultivars seem to bloom more consistently than those that were popular decades ago. It seems to me that the old sorts bloomed in phases, and took a break between each phase. Some of the modern types do not take much time off between phases. The next phase seems to start as soon as the former finishes.

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    1. Thank you. The neighborhood is not damaged, but the garden is desiccated with no one there to irrigate. I still do not know when I can return. It will be saddening to find what happened to homes and neighborhoods to the west.


  1. The pelargonium is a lovely colour and it’s a beautiful picture of it. I have not been around for a day or two, so will need to check out your latest posts to find out how you are doing. I hope your properties have not been looted.

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    1. I got back late yesterday afternoon, earlier than expected, and found no problems. The garden is not as bad as I expected it to be, and will continue to produce. My vacant properties burned, but there were only stock fig trees on them, and they will regenerate from the roots. The fire stopped there, and the neighbors’ homes are safe.


      1. The figs will recover. I was not so concerned about the home here, since it is on the other side of the San Lorenzo Valley. Homes to the west were much more of a concern.

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