Six on Saturday: Lily Rose and Flowering Pear

Lily Rose Depp was just a little tyke when her father, Johnny Depp, graciously financed the installation of a herd of flowering pear trees as street trees in the neighborhood where she attended school with my niece. Lily Rose is such a delightful and horticultural name. I happen to be very fond of lilies. I also happen to be very fond of roses. I just do not like them together in the same garden.

1. Before it began to deteriorate, this lily looked like Patrick Star, the next door neighbor and best friend of Spongebob Squarepants, or perhaps Carl Junior in drag. It lives in the rose garden.

2. ‘Apricot Candy’ is a rose that I am not familiar with, but it lives here now. It is a hybrid tea rose, which I prefer. I also like the name. Apricots were a primary crop for the Santa Clara Valley.

3. This and #1 above continue to bloom within the rose garden, many years after almost all of the other perennials were removed from the site so that it could be redeveloped as a rose garden.

4. ‘Iceberg’, although white, is not my favorite rose for this week. As reliable and prolific as it is, I still find it to be mundane and cliché. Regardless, it is one of the best within our rose garden.

5. This is my favorite lily this week, not because of the color, but because it is ‘not’ within the rose garden. It is across the road, in a small garden of mostly perennials, where good lilies belong.

6. ‘Proud Land’, although not white like ‘Iceberg’ above, is my favorite rose this week. The rich red is exemplary of the color that red roses should be. This is one of three that I planted in 1984!

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

Six on Saturday: Plebian

Refined gardens are interesting. They are pretty also. Many are impressively colorful. It is easy to understand why refined gardens are as popular as they are. However, they innately lack quite a bit. Furthermore, they demand more attention that what would naturally grow wild. We are very fortunate here, that the refined components of our landscapes are rather minimal, and must conform to the unrefined components of the surrounding forests. We occasionally add a few new plants, including annuals. Much of what grows here now was once refined, but has gone wild. They are the plebian of horticulture.

1. Zinnia were just recently planted for summer. They are some of the most refined flowers now. There are not many annual bedding plants here, and none live in big beds. These are in a row.

2. Alyssum were planted as summer annuals sometime in the past. These were likely planted about a year ago, and survived through winter. They would likely be white if they grew from seed.

3. Alstroemeria are too aggressively perennial. They were planted intentionally, but overwhelmed the mixed perennial bed they were in. We tried to remove them, but a few continue to bloom.

4. Geranium, or zonal geranium, which is just a rather mundane Pelargonium, was plugged as cuttings and left to go wild. It happens to be one of my favorites because I have always grown it.

5. Calla must have been planted intentionally somewhere and sometime in the distant past, but was dug up and dumped with what became fill dirt here. It now blooms on the side of the road.

6. Poppy, or more specifically, California poppy, which is the Official State flower of California, grows wild, of course. They are some of the least refined flowers now, but also, among the best!

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

Six on Saturday: Jive Turkey

Every once in a while, I accumulate a few random but perhaps interesting pictures that do not conform to a common theme. ‘Six on Saturday’ is an ideal venue to avoid wasting such pictures. I could have gotten six more pictures of rhododendrons like I did last week, but that would have been mundane. I happen to both like and dislike the miniature rose in picture #3, and wanted to show it off. The conjoined roses are just wrong. The removal of the exemplary California lilac was wrong too, but could not be avoided.

1. Rhododendron are mostly finished with bloom. This pinkish watermelon red bloom was still quite garish when I got this picture about a week and a half ago. A few are still blooming today!

2. Rhododendron are abundant, which is why I share too many pictures of them. I will not do it this season. After the Six last week, and the one above, this yellow blushed white one is the last.

3. Rose blooms on the edge of the most prominent of our landscapes, but we did not plant it. No one know where it came from. We can not remove it because it is likely important to someone. 

4. Rose aberration that I mentioned two weeks ago blooms just across the road. I believe that these are Iceberg and Burgundy Iceberg grafted together on the same rose standard (tree). Gads!

5. California lilac might be a common Ceanothus thyrsiflorus. This is an exemplary specimen, but grew where it overwhelmed an important star magnolia. It finished bloom, and is gone now.

6. Turkey chicks are just a few of a big herd of a dozen or so! It is a long story. Momma Turkey ran off after a random jogger, and left them staring at me for answers. She fortunately returned.

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

Six on Saturday: Rhody Approved

This is more than Rhody Approved. These are SIX rhodies that I approve of. (I do not know what Rhody thinks because I did not ask.) These pictures were taken early last week. All this bloom is deteriorating now, with only the latest bloom lingering. Most of the rhododendrons here are quite mature. Their identities are unknown. Does it really matter?

1. Trude Webster looks something like this, but should stay lower. The specimen that produced this bloom is more than twenty feet high! It is a lanky tree that bends from the weight of bloom.

2. I have no idea what this is. I am not certain about the identities of any of the rhododendrons here; but this one is different. I really do not know what it even resembles! It certainly is pretty.

3. Rhododendron ponticum is a simple species of Rhododendron, rather than an extensively bred cultivar. Unlike its progeny, it is somewhat uncommon in cultivation. This just might be one.

4. Anah Kruschke is what I thought this resembled last year. It looks nothing like it now. I suppose that it could be another specimen. Anah Kruschke is common, so must be here somewhere.

5. Taurus is what I designated this one as, although I doubt that it really is. It is a big and sprawling specimen, with the simplest and brightest red bloom. It happens to be one of my favorites.

6. Lord Roberts blooms with rich burgundy red like the velour upholstery of the 1978 Electra I learned to parallel park with. If you can parallel park an Electra, you can parallel park anything. Anyway, I do not know what cultivar this is, but I know it is not actually Lord Roberts. Its foliage is not right. Nonetheless, without a good white rhododendron, this is my favorite of these six.

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

In A Vase On Monday: Bad Habit

The small bouquet of only four roses that I shared last week was my first for In A Vase On Monday, and should have been my last. I do not intend for this to become a habit. I just happened to encounter a few cheap and trashy flowers right outside that I thought I could assemble for a picture. If I had planned this better, I would have gotten some more interesting flowers from work, and perhaps a more appropriate vase.

Common florist cyclamen should be finishing bloom now that the weather is warming. I am none too keen on how florist cyclamen is used as an expensive cool season annual, so started planting ‘used’ plants into some of the landscapes where they can grow as cool season perennials. They go dormant through summer, and then regenerate during autumn. I do not know why the specimen that produced these few rich red flowers was not planted with the others. It got potted instead, and is now in the recovery nursery.

Mosquito shoo geranium is a bit perplexing also. I got a few cuttings of what I thought was a more appealing scented geranium several years ago. I thought that those cuttings desiccated while I was in Southern California for several days. A few months later, mosquito shoo geranium appeared where the cuttings had been, and grew like a weed. I do not know if it grew from a surviving cutting, or from seed that blew in on the wind and just happened to land there. The specimen that provided these few flowers grew as a second generation seedling.

Flowering maple, although not naturalized, grows from seed near specimens that were intentionally planted. They are remarkably variable. The specimen that provided this single flower, as well as several other small specimen, were taken from a neighbor’s garden that could not accommodate all of them. We intended to add them to our landscapes, but have not done so yet.

The tiny vase is a ‘shooter’ bottle that formerly contained an ounce of some sort of tequila. A few of the same were found in the ivy of one of the landscapes at work. I like them because they are glass rather than plastic like the more common vodka shooter bottles. Also, they are adorned with that distinctive blue agave motif, which sort of makes them more horticulturally oriented.

The dusty shelf and glare on the glossy white background are no accident. The vase was placed on the sill below a whiteboard in our meeting room at work, just inside from where the flowers were collected. It seemed like an appropriate venue at the time, although I can now see that I could have done better.

In A Vase On Monday, which is also known simply as IAVOM, is graciously hosted by Cathy of Rambling in the Garden. Anyone can participate. Simply arrange flowers or other material from the garden in a vase, and share pictures of it with commentary and a link back to Rambling in the Garden. Also, leave a comment at Rambling in the Garden with a link back to your post.

Six on Saturday: More White Trash

White is my favorite color. That is why I write about it a bit more than I should. It seems simple enough to me. However, Brent says that I am a white supremacist. Furthermore, he says that I am white to go with it! More specifically, he says that I am white trash. I doubt that a white supremacists would agree, but I really do not care. White just happens to be my favorite color. That is why I got six pictures of white flowers for this week, even if some of them seem to be rather trashy to the more discriminating sorts.

1. Zinnia is a warm season annual that will now be with us through summer. I am none too keen on annuals. Fortunately, I need not work with them. Incidentally, the zinnia colors are mixed.

2. Petunia is another warm season annual for summer. Like the zinnia, their colors are mixed. Extra white petunia were added to the mix because I like white. I was uninvolved with selection.


3. Rose should not be as trashy as annual bedding plants; but this one is Iceberg. As if that were not bad enough, it is grafted together with purplish Burgundy Iceberg as a standard ‘rose tree’.

4. Azalea should be less trashy than rose; but I believe that this one is Fielder’s White. I am not certain. It somehow looks differently this year. Regardless, I like it. Bloom is deteriorating now.

5. Geranium, which is more correctly known as zonal geranium because of its darker foliar halos or zones, is actually Pelargonium X hortorum rather than a geranium. These are new cuttings.

6. Angel’s trumpet is perhaps the least trashy of these Six, but looks shabby now because it is blooming so well with only skimpy foliage. It mostly defoliated after transplant three months ago.

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

In A Vase On Monday: Mothers’ Day

Yesterday was my first Mothers’ Day without my mother. I got her roses though. I mean I dug and canned the roses from her rose garden last winter. They live here now. Most were rather shabby and old, and probably should not have been salvaged. Nonetheless, they are all remarkably healthy now, even if only four bloomed so far. These are the same four that I got pictures of earlier, for Six On Saturday two days ago, so are somewhat faded now. Since these are the first blooms on elderly plants that, although healthy, are recovering from brutal transplant, the stems are quite puny. I gingerly set them in one of my mother’s Waterford vases, with nothing else. They would have disintegrated if I had tried to ‘arrange’ them. Instead, I simply left them facing away from each other in four different directions. Even if they had been in better condition, I really do not know much about arranging flowers. I only grow them.

‘Proud Land’ is my favorite of the entire rose garden, and the oldest of the original roses. I planted the first in about 1984, and added two more during the following winter.

‘Heaven on Earth’ is too billowy and pale pink for me, but I got it now anyway. The color was richer earlier.

‘Apricot Candy’ really was apricot colored not too long ago.

‘Julia Childs’ is surprisingly fragrant. It was likely a gift from Filoli, where my mother volunteered.

In A Vase On Monday, which is also known simply as IAVOM, is graciously hosted by Cathy of Rambling in the Garden. Anyone can participate. I did, at least this once. Simply arrange flowers or other material from the garden in a vase, and share pictures of it with commentary and a link back to Rambling in the Garden. Also, leave a comment at Rambling in the Garden with a link back to your post.

Six on Saturday: Roses for Momma

Actually, four of these ‘Six’ roses are ‘from’ rather than ‘for’ Momma. They came from my Mother’s rose garden. I never sent roses to my mother for Mothers’ Day, which is tomorrow, because she had more than I did. Besides, roses from a horticulturist would be rather mundane. Instead, I gave her rooted cuttings of all sorts of odds and ends, such as angels’ trumpet, pink jasmine, forsythia, flowering quince and a minute olive tree. Of course, only angels’ trumpet had yet to bloom. Red Souvine, ‘Roses for Momma’ composer, might have had something to say about that.

1. Double Delight is presently blooming quite abundantly at work. The yellow is normally more whitish. The pink is normally more reddish. We really have no idea what cultivar this is though.


2. Amber Queen is also unidentifiable, and is also blooming remarkably well in the same small rose garden as Double Delight. I am impressed by how well they perform here, in a bit of shade.

3. Julia Childs resembles Amber Queen up close like this. It was a gift from Filoli. My mother volunteered there after retirement. Actually, a few items in my mother’s garden came from Filoli.

4. Apricot Candy might have been another gift from Filoli. The name is so appropriate for a garden in the Santa Clara Valley. I rather like the simplicity, although the flowers should be fluffier.

5. Heaven on Earth is one that I would not have selected. Yuck. Yet, my mother gave it a prominent situation, but never allowed me to add a most elegant John F. Kennedy rose to the garden!

6. Proud Land was one rose that I agreed on! There are three! They are the only remnants of the original roses that I planted within a few years of 1985. The flowers are typically more billowy.

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

Six on Saturday: Weeds +

Working inside for most of the week has certain disadvantages, especially at this time of year. There is so much blooming that I do not go out to see. I did not get many pictures of camellias or flowering cherries while they bloomed, although some camellias continue to bloom sporadically. Some azaleas are also finished blooming. Rhododendrons are blooming nicely now, but I have not started getting pictures of them. Instead, I got pictures of a few weeds and their associates from just outside of where I work inside.

1. Broom! It is one of the most aggressively invasive exotic weeds of the Santa Cruz Mountains. No one knows if it is Scotch, Spanish or French. It is probably French, but we know it as Scotch.

2. Dandelion infests most lawns. It was probably imported for greens. I will not eat greens that grow in lawns where Rhody does what he goes outside to do. I should move some to the garden.

3. Periwinkle is a naturalized exotic species here, but is not so naturalized farther inland, or in urban areas where lacks space to migrate. I actually planted it where I lived while in high school.

4. Forget me not, as seen in the upper right corner of the previous picture, is naturalized in riparian situations, but is also too delightful to be perceived as a weed. How could anyone dislike it?

5. Pacific Coast iris is not actually a weed. It is not even exotic. This one is a hybrid of a few native species, and was planted intentionally. I would just prefer the ‘unimproved’ Iris douglasiana.

6. Rhody puts the ‘+’ in ‘Weeds +’, which is the title for this week. Perhaps this should have been the first of these six; but then no one would have bothered with the remaining five. Priorities.

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

Six on Saturday: What Is This?!

As I mentioned last week, these pictures were obtained a week and a day ago. The flowers were fresher then. I suspect that they are all finished or nearly so by now, although money plant is still colorful in some sheltered situations. The flower that might be California bluebell did not last long at all. I should have looked for seed, but could not find it again. This is an odd batch. I know more about what I work with here than almost anyone else, but some unfamiliar items are baffling.

1. Is this Dutch iris? It was planted years or perhaps decades ago, but only started blooming, along with freesia and ixia, after overgrowth above it was cleared. I have never grown Dutch iris.

2. Is this money plant or honesty? I honestly believe that it is money plant. Others might bet money that it is honesty. I know they are the same. I would nonetheless prefer the proper name.

3. This one I can identify as wild cucumber. It is also known as manroot. The annoyingly weedy vines are surprisingly easy to pull out. However, the massive and resilient tubers make more.

4. This is supposed to be false Solomon’s seal, but is real enough for us, since it is the only one we know. It is native, so lives in the surrounding forest and sometimes moves into landscapes.

5. What is this?! Seriously, I have no idea! It appeared on a dry roadside after the taller grassy vegetation got cut down. The foliage seems to be that of California bluebells. It is likely related.

6. I know what this is, but doubt that you do. It is from one of only two species of its genus that is native regionally. The other species is endemic to every state except for Alaska and Hawaii.

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