Autumn and winter are busy seasons here. They do not last long enough for all the work that must be done while particular plants are dormant. That is why pruning began early every autumn within the orchards that formerly occupied the Santa Clara Valley. Within the landscapes, scheduling in compliance with the seasons is complicated by factors that are not so seasonal, such as gophers, who eat whenever they want to. Major weeding of a new landscape is planned to begin next Wednesday because the weeds are so overgrown. Unfortunately, this does not coincide with the dormancy of plants that I would prefer to relocate from the same site. Furthermore, the achira is being uncooperative.

1. Hedychium gardnerianum, kahili ginger should not be disturbed so late in its season. Gophers do not care. I salvaged this cane with three buds and a root. It seems to survive.

2. Ceanothus papillosus, wartleaf ceanothus grew from seed within a new landscape that will get weeded next Wednesday. I pulled and canned them early to avoid wasting them.

3. Betula pendula, European white birch grew in the same landscape. Big seedlings were tagged and left until defoliation. These tiny seedlings in the front row were canned early.

4. Sambucus caerulea, blue elderberry was, as one might guess, in the same landscape. I could not bear to simply let it go with all of the other weeds. I pulled and canned it early.

5. Canna edulis, achira, like kahili ginger, should not be disturbed so close to dormancy. However, its busted can could not hold water. Although early, it moved into a larger can.

6. Canna edulis, achira really wanted out! If it did this to escape its can, do I really want to release it into the garden? Its new can will only contain it until dormancy this winter.

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


16 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Bad Timing

    1. Some things go to waste by not surviving. Some things survive, but then go to neighbor’s gardens. That Canna actually started out in the neighborhood here, then went into town, and is now back here. The neighbor who gave it to me is not impressed with the bloom, but I am impressed with the rhizomes. I gave here ‘Australia’, with prettier foliage and bloom.


    1. This particular canna is grown for its distended rhizomes, as a vegetable plant. It was what I wanted when I acquired most of the other prettier cannas. It will not be planted at work, since there are so many prettier sorts.


    1. We do want to grow more birch to eventually replace some aging specimens, and to add more elsewhere. They were popular decades ago but are scarcely available now. They happen to work well in our landscapes, and I do like their old fashioned style. However, there are more seedlings than we can accommodate, including many that are not shown here. I will later can a sycamore, with no plan for its future, merely because it grew within the new landscape. The ceanothus are practical for some of the less refined landscapes, but would need irrigation for the first season after relocation. (If allowed to stay where they grew, they would not need any assistance; but they need irrigation to get established after relocation.) That little Iris fernaldii can get plugged into an unlandscaped area either this winter or next. The elderberry will likely end up in my garden. They grow wild here, but not necessarily where they are assets to the landscapes. If I can a few seedlings, I can install them where I want them. Seedlings supposedly pollinate each other better than cutting grown clones, although I know that individual specimens produce plenty of fruit without a pollinator nearby.

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      1. I remember those Birches from working in the Midwest in the 80s! Seems everything is a cultivar Red Maple now,ugh. I am not familiar with Ceonanthus, probably not a humidity lover? We have Elderberry here and my father grew and made dreadful wine from the fruit. I have a friend who makes pancakes with the flowers.

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      2. Ceanothus are native to most parts of America, but are known by various names. The elderberry that is native here is a variety of black elderberry, although I consider it to be its own species. Eastern black elderberries could not be imported until recently. Now, they will be available during bare root season. However, I doubt that I will procure any, since I am satisfied with the native blue elderberry. European white birch was one of the few fads that I sort of liked, but was ruined when so-called ‘landscape professionals’ started to add Jacquemontii birch into established groves because they either did not know the difference, or because they somehow thought they were better (like adding London plane into groves of California sycamore). Jacquemontii birch is a nice tree also, but really looks bad with European white birch.

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      3. New Jersey Tea is the only one I have vaguely heard of unless there is ornamental buckthorn that is used in Ohio. I think it is not common in the south…London Plane trees are some LAs dream, why I do not know..maybe an English gardening thing.

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      4. I have asked so-called ‘landscape’ designers about it. I can understand why they think that crape myrtle is so great, because it sort of is, but they use it for ‘everything’. No one seems to know what is so great about London plane though. It is one of only a few trees that they are familiar with. If I ask about maples, they know only Japanese maples. If I specify maples that actually grow as trees, they tell me that maples ruin pavement, as if London plane trees do not. They are all such idiots, which is likely why those who are educated and experienced with horticulture have left the industry. Anyway, New Jersey tea is one of the eastern Ceanothus that I know of, although I am aware that there are others. Perhaps they are unpopular because they are not very appealing for landscape application.


  1. It’s great that you can rescue so many seedlings. I have spotted a decemt sized buddleia and a couple of oak seedlings in my garden beds but I will wait until winter before trying to remove/move them. The ginger does seem to want to spread… I would be cautious!

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    1. The colony of ginger has not spread much yet because of the gophers. It came from an abandoned landscape, so started with several nice rhizomes. It is next to pavement, so can not spread too far in that direction. Nor can it spread into the forest without irrigation. I sort of hope that it spreads within its limited space eventually, so I can relocate some of it to other landscapes. It is not too aggressive for me to contain.

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  2. I have a dead Jacquemintii that I left standing this year because a lot of little birds use it as landing spots while flying about the garden. Not far away is a Birch seedling that grew about a metre this year…I imagine it will also be Jaquemontii?

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    1. Well, that depends on who the parent is. I have never seen a Betula jacquemontii grow from seed, but I have not worked with many mature specimens either. If no Betula pendula or other species of birch live nearby, than it is most likely what is nearby, such as the Betula jacquemontii.

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