Six on Saturday: Unidentified Colors

Girls can see more colors. Furthermore, they know all their fancy names. Sometimes, I suspect that they just make up names as necessary. There are four African daisies at work that are odd colors that I can not identify, and another flower that I know is not lavender.

1. Blue is the easiest of these colors. Others might say it is pale, soft or sky blue. Even I can see that it is most definitely not lavender, as some might insist. Is this species so easy to identify?P00314-1

2. Blue is the only color for rosemary. It is more obvious up close in the previous picture. It is easier to mistake it for lavender if that is the color that is expected from the particular species.P00314-2

3. Lavender is how I would describe this color. Perhaps it is pale lavender. I have been told that this is lilac or pale lilac. That makes sense, since common lilac blooms with lavender flowers.P00314-3

4. Purple or light purple works for this one. Heck, if the previous is pale lavender, this could be lavender . . . that is not pale. Alternatively, it could be lilac, . . . but probably not the pale sort.P00314-4

5. Yellow or pale yellow should be good enough. I do not know what buff is, but I do not believe that this is it. Nor does it strike me as lemon or butter yellow. I know what colors lemons are.P00314-5

6. Red should be good enough, although I would believe if this is rust or rusty red. I am open to suggestion on this one. It is quite a distinctive color. I like it, even though I can not identify it.P00314-6

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

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/

Horridculture – When Life Gives You Lemons, USE THEM!

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“Hello – my name is LEMON.”

Almost all of the fruit trees that I encounter are or were neglected to some degree.

Many were planted a long time ago by someone who was able to maintain them at the time, and perhaps for many years, but then relocated, passed away, or just got too elderly as the trees grew and required more work.

Many were planted by those who simply enjoy gardening around their homes, and wanted to grow some fresh fruit, but were not aware of how intensive the maintenance of most of the fruit trees is, or how to execute such maintenance properly.

Many were planted by so-called ‘gardeners’ or so-called ‘landscapers’ who had no intention of actually ‘maintaining’ them, or believed that they could ‘maintain’ them with motorized hedge shears and a blower . . . just like they ‘maintain’ everything else.

There is a young but nicely productive ‘Eureka’ lemon tree at work. I would not say that it is neglected. Someone has been maintaining it well since it was installed. However, I remind others at work to take some of the lemons because the tree gets overloaded with otherwise unappreciated and unused fruit.

The tree is strategically located right outside of one of the big cafeteria kitchens, so that those who work in the kitchen could use the fruit. The kitchen probably uses more lemons that the still young tree could produce, but does not seem to use any from the tree.

While dumping greenwaste from the kitchen onto the big compost piles, I noticed this labeled but unused lemon. I can not help but wonder why lemons from my tree aren’t good enough, and why this particular lemon wasn’t good enough either. How many of us nowadays would even recognize a lemon tree, or appreciate the fruit that it produces?

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This lemon tree right outside of one of the kitchens is loaded with fruit.

Daylight Saving Time

Apologies for the lapse of posting articles as typically scheduled at midnight here for this morning and yesterday morning. The article that had been scheduled for yesterday morning posted an hour earlier, at 11:00 p.m. on Sunday night. The article that had been scheduled for this morning posted an hour earlier, at 11:00 p.m. last night. I neglected to adjust the schedule on Sunday for Daylight Saving Time.

Alien

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It really looks like something erupted from within!

That was a scary movie back when horror movies really were scary! The first appearance of the baby alien was the creepiest part and one of the scariest scenes! It is too disturbing and gory to describe here. Those who have seen it may have noticed how it might seem to be weirdly relevant to the cavity that opened in the rotting trunk of this deteriorating flowering cherry tree.

With a bit more distance, the rotting trunk looks sort of like an associate of ‘H. R. Pufnstuf’ after an interaction with a baby alien. If you can remember who H. R. Pufnstuf was, you probably shouldn’t. He starred in his own television show for children on Saturday morning in the 1970s. It was disturbingly weird and perhaps even inappropriate for the children it was intended for.

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So, it is both rotten and unsightly.

With even more distance, it is obvious that this is nothing to joke about. This is one of two flowering cherry trees that I have been so protective of, and put so much work into temporarily salvaging. Both should have been removed and replaced years ago. This project was scheduled for after bloom in 2018, postponed until after bloom in 2019, and has yet to be done even now.

The problem is that these trees are so popular and so appreciated by the Community. They have been here in the most prominent spot in the neighborhood for several decades. There are not many who remember when the trees were young. No one seems to remember before the trees were here. They are as historical as the older buildings. I can not bear to cut them down.

As you can see, there is no choice now, at least for this particular tree. It is already so decayed that it can barely support its own weight.

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As pretty as the bloom is, the disfigured branch structure and trunk are no longer appealing.

Mild Seasons

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These daisies are rarely without some degree of bloom.

There is not as much difference between the seasons here like there is in other climates. It might seem like we get only summer, with a briefly cooler and slightly rainy time of ‘not summer’. I can recognize the changing of the seasons because I am familiar with them. Those acquainted with more normal climate mind find our subdued seasons to be rather boring, and restrictive.

People from climates with more extreme weather and more pronounced seasons might not expect mild weather and mild climate to be restrictive or limiting. They tend to notice what grows here that would not survive out in gardens through colder winters, such as bougainvilleas, tropical hibiscus and so many of the popular succulents. Even more tropicals survive farther south.

What they do not notice are what does not do so well here. Although stone fruit does remarkably well here, and many apples and pears are more than adequately productive, there are many cultivars of apple and pear that prefer more chill than they could get here. Lilac gets sufficient chill to bloom well here, but not enough to bloom as splendidly as it does in the Upper Midwest.

For example, some might be impressed by the perennial daisies that bloom sporadically whenever they want to throughout the year here. These daisies take no time off for winter, and are rarely damaged by frost every few years or so. They are so rarely without bloom that it is not often possible to shear off deteriorating bloom without removing some of the unbloomed buds.

What goes unnoticed is the potentially subdued bloom of the forsythias, which are so reliably prolific where winters are cooler. Some are real duds this year, and all are blooming notably late. This is one of the consequences of a mild climate.

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Forsythia, with twigs that are still bare in the background, is not much to brag about.

Six on Saturday: Housebound

 

It is a long story. I did not get out to get any pictures until Friday. By that time, I was none too selective. I just got pictures of what happened to be convenient. It really is coincidence that all happen to be white. The first three are from work. The other three are on roadsides in town. 1, 3 and 6 have potential to be colors besides white. However, 1 and 6 are typically white in their feral state as shown here; and only one cultivar of 3 is only slightly blushed.

1. Alyssum – can not decide if it is a warm or cool season annual. A new generation starts to bloom before predecessors finish, regardless of season. All are feral, so none are pink or lavender.P00307-1

2. Candytuft – is mistaken, by some, for alyssum. It blooms almost as continuously. It really should get cut back about now. Although, no one wants to cut it back while it continues to bloom.P00307-2

3. Clematis – is evergreen, but was defoliated by harsh winter pruning. It lacks sufficient space to grow wild. Earlier bloom is fading already. The ‘Apple Blossom’ cultivar has blushed bloom.P00307-3

4. Plum – of unknown origin blooms spectacularly at a gas station in town. Bloom is not quite as delicate as that of other feral American plum that naturalized from old stone fruit understock.P00307-4

5. Snowflake – grows wild along roadside drainage ditches, but does not seem to be aggressively invasive. Mine bloomed earlier just like this. This is what I grow instead of trendy snowdrop.P00307-5

6. Calla – is in the same ditch with the snowflake. It is even less aggressive. Weird colorful hybrids do not naturalize at all, probably because they are weaker, and do not produce viable seed.P00307-6

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

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/

Horridculture – ?!

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This is how appreciated camellias bloom.

I seriously can not think of a title for this one. All that comes to mind is too objectionable. Writing about it will not be much easier.

It began with a few mature camellias that were in need of grooming a few months ago. They were sufficiently shabby that I did not mind pruning them at the wrong time. Ultimately, almost all of what was groomed out was necrotic anyway, so did not compromise bloom significantly. I was pleased that the eventual bloom would be better presented against a neater background.

Then, I was informed that several of the same camellias would need to be removed to facilitate the installation of a new sidewalk. That would have been useful information before I put such meticulous effort into grooming them. It was briefly annoying; but I did not fret long. I planned to recycle the camellias, and realized that I would have groomed them in the process anyway.

At the time, there was no rush. I thought that the camellias would get to bloom prior to relocation. In the meantime, someone else removed a rotting madrone stump nearby. I thinned and groomed a sloppy filbert into an impressively tailored specimen. Immediate relocation of the camellias was not yet a priority. We had not even identified the precise location of the sidewalk.

Then, there was another disappointment. The project was unexpectedly scheduled immediately after another nearby project that would be completed in only a few days. It would have been more expensive for the crew to leave after finishing the primary project, and then return for the secondary project. I might salvage the camellias, but I knew I could not salvage their bloom.

That is not the worst of it. After planning to relocate the five or so offending camellias on Wednesday or Thursday, I was informed on Tuesday morning that three had already been removed by the backhoe operator who had removed old concrete pavement from the other nearby project. By removed, I mean they got torn mercilessly from the ground and completely destroyed.

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One of two relocated camellias demonstrates how mature the three that were needlessly destroyed were, although they were not so broad. That is a shovel handle in front.

No other excavation was done. Asphalt pavement and a curb that need to be removed remain intact. The unwanted ivy is just as unwanted and intact as it was before this weird incident, as if nothing happened. The craters where the camellias got gouged out are barely visible. The only other damage was the mutilation of my well groomed filbert, which was not even in the way.

It was as if the camellias were targeted. Two survived only because someone arrived on site to stop the backhoe operator from destroying them also. There was no regard for any associated subterranean infrastructure, such as an irrigation system and electrical landscape lighting. I suspect that the filbert was mangled just because it was too close to one of the targeted camellias.

I tried to conceal my anger as I frantically relocated the two surviving camellias, while the backhoe operator who so needlessly and blatantly destroyed the other three worked with the crew at the other project just a few yards away. I tried to convince myself that the incident was merely an honest mistake. I doubt that the backhoe operator intentionally targeted the camellias.

As I finished, and was calmly leaving the site, something happened that made me realize that perhaps some of my anger was not completely unfounded. I still do not believe that the backhoe operator was intentionally malicious. I realized instead that the backhoe operator, regardless of his intentions, should most certainly not be operating such potentially dangerous machinery.

From where the crew was taking a break, and the backhoe operator seemed to be enjoying a cigarette, a voluminous and aromatic cloud of marijuana smoke drifted to where I could smell it.

What these guys do prior to or after work is none of my business, as long as it does not compromise their safety or rationality. If someone wants to go off and use their so-called medication in private during the day, he should do so discretely and moderately. Someone who can generate such a voluminous cloud of smoke with no regard to what others think about it has a problem.

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Someone took the initiative to destroy my formerly well tailored filbert, but not to remove the carcass. I could have left it to regenerate, but I do not want to look at it anymore.

Feral Plum

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Feral plum naturalized from understock cultivars.

Springtime in the Santa Clara Valley was famously spectacular decades ago, when vast orchards occupied what is now only urban sprawl. Tourists came to see it like some still go to see foliar color of autumn in New England. Most of the orchards were for stone fruits. Only a few in cooler spots were for apples and pears. Only orchards of English walnuts did not bloom colorfully.

Cherry and almond trees typically bloomed first. Prune trees bloomed immediately afterward. Apricot trees were only a few days later. Of course, the schedule of bloom was variable. Prune trees often bloomed just after apricot trees. Various cultivars of cherry started to bloom at slightly different times, even though those that needed to pollinate each other managed to do so.

After the main bloom of all the stone fruits, and after the tourists were gone, the few apple and pear orchards in cooler spots and surrounding hillsides continued the process. Mulberry trees that grew sporadically on roadsides around the orchards bloomed no more colorfully than English walnuts, but somehow produced enough fruit to distract birds from developing stone fruits.

Feral plum trees are a group that was not easy to categorize even before the demise of the orchards. They were not intentionally grown in orchards, or even in home gardens. They just sort of grew wild along creeks or from the roots of grafted stone fruit trees that had been cut down. They were originally grown as understock cultivars, but had naturalized to become truly feral.

Because their fruit was not used for much, they did not get much consideration. We tend to forget that some types bloomed before any of the other stone fruits. To those who do not expect fruit, feral plum trees are as spectacular as productive stone fruit trees.

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Feral plum bloom is now finishing. Foliage will replace blossoms.

Not So Annual

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These primrose look as good as they did last year.

Among cattle, a cow is a female who has calved. Prior to that, she was a heifer. A bull is an adult male. A bullock is a juvenile male or castrated bull. Most cattle are males who were castrated while young, and are known as steers. Yet, cattle are commonly known collectively as ‘cows’.

Similarly, bedding plants are commonly known collectively as ‘annuals’. Many really are annuals. However, some are biennials; an even more are, to some degree, perennials.

Replacing annuals annually make sense. They grow, bloom and die within one year. Some sow seed to regenerate if and when they get the chance. In the prominent spots of our gardens, not many are likely to get such a chance before they are replaced by other annuals for more immediate gratification within the next season.

The same applies to bedding plants that have potential to perform as perennials. They too get replaced during their off season. Since most are inexpensive, their untimely collective demise is not considered to be too terribly wasteful.

There are a few that are not so easy to part with. Cyclamen will be a topic for next week because it is a cool season perennial that is too expensive to be deprived of its potential to regenerate and bloom next autumn and winter.

These English primrose from last winter were afforded an opportunity to stay in their landscape while they were somewhat dormant through the warmth of last summer, so that they could regenerate last autumn and bloom through this winter. A few from around the edges were moved inward to replace a few that did not survive. Impatiens were planted in front for summer.

The results are not exemplary only because of the shade, but are worth the effort of not putting effort into replacement.

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Two seasons for the price of one.

Six on Saturday: More Gopher Problems

 

Even underground, gophers must know what time of day or night it is. Otherwise, they would not know when to “lie awake at night, thinking up evil plans” (Micah 2:1). Why do they bother being so sneaky with their exploits? They know that there is not much I can do to stop them. Why are they so creative with their damage? Is it just to flaunt their ability to get away with it? Gophers enjoy this too much.

1. Only the Heavenly bamboo to the right in the background is standing upright to show off its red new foliage. The other four (with two in the background) are suspiciously flopped forward.P00229-1

2. It was as if they were just set on the surface, with no roots to hold them down. Removing their carcasses was like picking up litter. They flopped forward because of wind a few hours prior.P00229-2

3. This is all that remained of the roots. It is amazing that the foliage was as fresh as it was. This much damage did not happen just recently. Foliage should have started to desiccate already.P00229-3

4. The worst of the four demonstrates how thorough the damage was. It was like a mean prank. It seemed as if someone pulled them up, whittled the roots away, and plugged them back in.P00229-4

5. Yarrow gets partially eaten by gophers too, but somehow survives. Supposedly, only the thick tap roots get eaten, while lateral roots are ignored. Gophers do not seem to be so discerning.P00229-5

6. Daffodil is how I should end this mostly unpleasant six. No one eats them. Many are still blooming. I probably should have posted pictures of flowers, instead of what gophers are killing.P00229-6

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

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/