Rhody and something flowery are lacking from my Six on Saturday again. We got some good rain though, after the horrid wind that I wrote about earlier. That is worth bragging about. Prior to rain, I try to plant what needs to be planted, so that it can get soaked in by the rain. This technique is particularly important where there is no irrigation.

1. Banana slug, mascot of the University of California at Santa Cruz, magically appear as the annual rainy season begins. I do not know where they go for summer, but they do not go quickly.

2. Mud also arrives with rain. This mud was formerly a baseball field. It is now where we dump storm debris. Others of our crew thought it was fun to do donuts, . . . which is why I got stuck.

3. Sweeping storm debris from so much pavement here takes ingenuity. The bare tractor bucket damages old asphalt. This mattress was surprisingly effective, but difficult to sleep on later.

4. Coast live oak seedling grew where a squirrel buried an acorn with a potted epiphyllum. I pulled the seedling out, and plugged it by the roadside, where a new coast live oak would be nice.

5. Deodar cedar seedlings are abundant under a few mature trees here. Several have been plugged into landscapes. This one got plugged by the roadside with the coast live oak and cypress.

6. Arizona cypress seedlings are finally installed as an informal hedge on the roadside, with the coast live oak at one end, and two deodar cedars and the Steven Michael Ralls Memorial Tree at the other end. These five cypress had been canned for too long, so will be much happier in the ground where they can now disperse their roots. I am pleased with this new informal hedge.

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



36 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: After (And Before) The Storm

  1. After the storm and the fires there is certainly a huge amount of clean-up – which, of course, never reaches our tv news screens. Good to see you taking the time to transplant seedlings where they will grow and give pleasure for many years to come – making a future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The area the burned and the area below were evacuated again because of the concern for debris flows with the rain. This time though, the wind was what made the weather so messy. Redwoods are huge trees that make huge messes, and the falling debris is very dangerous and very destructive.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They are so tall that they are visible from afar. Arborists joke about them. If you need firewood delivered, we can aim a redwood tree in your direction as we cut it down (although the are not really used for firewood). If you look in this direction, you can see how tall they are. Some trees catch kites. Redwoods catch asteroids.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A slug does not make up for no Rhody pictures! It is a strange mascot for a university. They would do better to have Rhody as a mascot. I wonder how many trees you have planted in your lifetime, so far? We need more tree planters like you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rhody the Ram is the mascot of the University of Rhode Island, but is not even remotely related to the real Rhody. Rhody is supposedly the mascot of the Crew here, but the crew knows that we really do not need a mascot. Such designation seems rather demeaning.
      I do not plant many trees. For most of my career, I just grew trees and other horticultural commodities. I grew the first groups of trees that my colleague planted as street trees in Los Angeles for his annual street tree planting event, and also planted about half of them back then. I just planted these hedging trees because I noticed that a hedge would be nice here, and the trees happened to be available. The Arizona cypress comprise almost all of the hedge on the street side. I may continue to add deodar cedars on another side along Zayante Creek, because there is another road on the other side. There are more deodar cedars than I know what to do with. We will plant a few more at work. I intend to can many of them to plant on the embankment of the Santa Monica Freeway in Los Angeles, again, for one of the annual street tree planting events.


    1. Banana slugs are celebrities here. Tourists hope to encounter one on nature hikes, to take selfies with it. Kids at camp here earn a special badge for kissing one. Their slime is very thick, and difficult to wash off though. Banana slugs are very slow, and are not afraid of much. No one bothers them, supposedly because they taste bad. Ducks do not eat them. Skunks tend to prefer other slugs and grubs. Supposedly, banana slugs retire for the evening before skunks come out; and the skunks do not put much effort into digging for them. I have lived with them all my life, but have never tasted one. They and their slime are supposed to be an excellent source of vitamin C, but people like them too much to eat them, or even lick the slime from their undersides. Banana slugs do no damage in the garden, since they eat only decaying forest litter. They are supposedly what keeps the redwood forest from burying itself in foliar debris.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How interesting that people actually like them! And kids are encouraged kiss them!!!! From what you write they really are friends to the environment. If only my slugs would only eat decaying litter!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Technically, they all have their purpose in the environment. The problem with those that damage the gardens is that they compete with us for the same vegetation. They would not be a problem if they preferred to eat weeds.


  3. I’m sure I’ve told you about my friend who has the UC Santa Cruz tee shirt with the banana slug adorning it. Loved your photo of it! The color’s the same as on her shirt. I wasn’t sure it really would be that vibrant, but so it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Several of the deodar cedar seedlings that I relocated two years ago got cut down by weed whackers. Actually only a few survived. I hope that the ribbons get the attention of whomever operates the weed whackers. I used bright pink because the 1980s are not over yet. The storms are no more numerous than they should be, but one was unusually windy, and one was unusually generous with the rain. The generous rain was a problem because so many roofs had been perforated by falling debris that was blown about by the prior wind. The potential for debris flows within and downhill from the CZU Fire of last summer was also a major concern, and necessitated evacuations.


    1. Actually, the rain was rather grand. If we were not so concerned with the earlier damage to so many roofs (from the wind), and the potential for debris flows with the burn zone, it would have been more fun. My home region is only a few miles away, but within the rain shadow of the Santa Cruz Mountain. The average annual rainfall is about a foot there. It is about three times as much here. I do enjoy a good heavy rain.


    1. That is an unusual favorite. Some arborists dislike working with it. It is quite messy within refined landscapes. For this particular situation, it will work well though. I am not concerned about mess in the ditch on the roadside. I am pleased that the tree needs no irrigation. We are always so busy making arrangements for the removal of dangerous or problematic trees, but rarely get to plant any.
      There is nothing wrong with saying that the banana slug is beautiful. They are celebrities here. Some believe that the forest would bury itself in its own foliar debris if the banana slugs did not eat so much of it. They do not eat viable plant parts, so do no damage to the landscapes.


      1. Ew! That snail looks like it could do some major damage. Do they make good escargot? The most destructive snail here is the brown snail that was imported for escargot. Ducks and skunks dig it! Hey, Pepe LePew is Parisian!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello Tony,

    As always, an interesting blog. You must be at least four people to do so much. I liked your blog written when you were a child. It seems the die was cast! Thank you for your lifetime commitment to the world of plants.

    Have you read Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake? It takes on the third kingdom, the fungi kingdom. Just in case you run out of things to write about in the plant kingdom.

    Thank you. Barbara Riverwoman


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you; but even after two decades of writing my garden column, I do not expect to exhaust topics. There are many topics that I write about annually, but only because they become a concern annually. Otherwise, there is more to say than I have time for.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s