Autumn is the season for planting. For portions of the landscapes that lack irrigation, we must wait until the beginning of the rainy season. By the time the rainy season ends next spring, new plants should be outfitted with irrigation, or sufficiently established to need none. Now that the weather got rainy, as well as windy and messy, planting is facilitated by a sale at one of our suppliers. We normally do not purchase much, but the prices were too good to ignore. I did not get enough pictures, so added random pictures, such as the shabby bearded iris foliage. The important details of #5 are difficult to distinguish.

1. Scout at least tried to cooperate for a picture, which is more than Rhody does. He just does not know how to cooperate. He was too wiggly to get a picture that was not blurred.

2. Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’, weeping blue Atlas cedar is an oddly limber trophy tree that my colleague here had wanted for a while, but could not justify procurement of.

3. Pinus strobus ‘Nana’, dwarf Eastern white pine was not planned, but like the weeping blue Atlas cedar, was unusually affordable. There are eight in a row. Mugo pine are next.

4. Iris X germanica, bearded iris start growing prior to shedding old foliage of last year, so now look shabby. This is the pallid white and potentially feral iris in the new iris bed.

5. Wind is messy! Those two diagonal trunks just above and to the right of the middle of this picture were not diagonal earlier. Those headlights to the lower left are on a bridge.

6. Rain is messy also! This is a spillway of a drainage pond at work. While the sycamores and other deciduous trees continue to defoliate, it can get partially clogged and flooded.

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

These four pictures below are not affiliated with the Six on Saturday above, but at the request of one of his most enthusiastic fans, were added to compensate for the lack of a picture of Rhody, the star of my blog. I had assumed that he was being uncooperative with my attempts to get a good picture, but he reminded me of what his fans really want to see. Can you guess what the last picture shows?


30 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Before Winter

  1. I’ve not heard Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’ called a trophy tree before, but it does describe it pretty well. I always think they need training up more than they usually are, before being allowed to weep. I think I’ve only ever seen one that was truly stunning, in Italy.

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    1. My colleague and I invented much of our own horticultural slang to replace that which we found to be unsatisfactory. a trophy tree is more typically described as a specimen tree. I do not find that to be adequately descriptive, particularly since I describe trees that I inspect as specimens.
      The only weeping blue Atlas cedars that I thought had been trained to an adequate height were those that were quite old when I was quite young. They are mostly gone by now. They inhabited well designed and executed landscapes. Well, we know how that goes. Nowadays, they are only trained up as high as the stake goes, which is not high at all. From there, they could be allowed to arch over gracefully, but more typically kink back downward at the top of their stake. Ultimately, they become shabby shrubs that their landscapes would be better without. Seriously, most that I encounter now have been shorn and deprived of their form. I can not understand how those who shear them justify such technique, or actually believe that such trees are assets to their landscapes.Furthermore, they are all trained with those weird serpentine trunks. I can not remember the last one I encountered with a simple straight trunk. It does not matter, since they all become worthless shabby shrubs anyway. I intend for ours to be trained well, and since it has a serpentine trunk, I want the trunk to remain partially exposed. It will need pruning for clearance, but can now branch freely at the top of its stake, where the serpentine form ends. Keeping it up will be the difficult part.


    1. My colleague and I invent much of our horticultural slang. Otherwise, this would have been a mere specimen tree. It is displayed prominently, but is not expected to do much more than provide aesthetic interest, like a Rodin sculpture. I have never been one to use common but inadequately descriptive terminology. Actually, I sometimes joke about it. ‘Riot of color’ still sounds as silly and outdated as it was in 1986, but people still use it, often to describe peaceful and relaxing gardens, as if a riot is supposed to be relaxing.

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    1. Mugo pine sort of annoys me, but happens to suit the style of our landscapes quite well. It is amusing how that works out. Much of what I dislike professionally as well as for my own garden works well here.
      Rhody might be more cooperative for a picture if I inform him that you expect to see one soon.


      1. He changed his mind, as canine people often do, and had me update the Six on Saturday post accordingly. I am not impressed with the pictures, but he said that you would appreciate them.

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    1. No. They are so disrespected in modern landscapes. So-called ‘landscape designers’ incorporate them into cheap and common landscapes for so-called ‘gardeners’ to shear them into worthless globs. I know that they are naturally globular, but at least they were formerly respectable and allowed to assume natural form. Nowadays, they are as commonly abused as everything else. They happen to be very compatible to the style of the landscapes here, and there are no so-called ‘gardeners’ here to ruin them. They can grow wild and assume natural form. Hopefully, after several years, someone will groom them and maybe prune them to enhance their form.

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      1. Oh, that is a surprise. I felt guilty about expressing my opinion of them. I do not totally dislike them, and I intend to enjoy them at work. I just dislike what they have become within the so-called ‘landscape’ industry.

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      2. Why are they any worse in Chicago? I notice more in the San Jose region than anywhere, but I also notice that some of the best or most appreciated and properly tended are in Japantown within San Jose.


      3. Oh my! I am not sure which is worse. They both sound weird. Two of the same form, but different color and texture are like mixing London plane (sycamore) and California sycamore. People who see that try to figure out what is wrong with one or the other. Different shape with similar runty texture is like Big Bird and Mr. Snuffleupagus.

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