Six on Saturday: Godzilla vs. Kong!

There are plenty of pictures, but not six to conform to a single topic. Only half here are horticulturally oriented. The other half are merely relevant to dysfunctional wildlife of the landscapes. Lily of the Nile was not such a major project as the removal of the carpet roses that occupied the site previously. We wanted to relocate them prior to spring, but that did not go as planned.

1. Lily of the Nile is rad! I have been digging and splitting it since the seventh grade. I do not care if it is cheap and common. This replaces carpet roses that should not have been at the walk.

2. Angel’s trumpet needed to be removed from another landscape, so was relocated here. It is now in the process of replacing the foliage that it shed in the process. It is happier than it looks.

3. Angel’s trumpet wastes no time getting ready to bloom as quickly as it generates new foliage. The flowers are double white, and very fragrant. This particular specimen has a lot of history.

4. Godzilla hitched a ride in the work pickup on Friday afternoon. Well actually, it merely tried to, but got nowhere with me. I do not know how it got in, but I do know how it ‘safely’ got out.

5. King Kong was here earlier in the week. He (or she) fled long before Godzilla arrived. He also got a bit of help on his way, since I do not want him in the garden, or the trash, or anywhere!

6. King Kong does not look so scary in this coon trap. He did not get relocated so far away that he cannot return if he wants to; but if he does, will likely avoid the area where he was trapped.

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/

Six on Saturday: Festival des Fleurs de Cerise

Beau prefers French. I do not know why. He was born in Missouri. His name is derived from ‘Hobo’ (‘HoBeau’). Since vehicles here are traditionally named after places, he may believe that his name was derived from ‘Boulder Creek’ (‘Beaulder Creek’) or Bonny Doon (‘Beaunny Doon’). Nonetheless, there is nothing French about Beau. I do not argue. Nor do I argue with Rhody if he insists that Beau is a Pontiac rather than a Chevrolet. If he believes that we ride in that kind of style, it is just fine with me. Anyway, after last Saturday, some wanted to see Beau.

1. Two years after we intended to remove this pair of historic flowering cherry tree, they get to bloom one last time. Sadly, their demise can be delayed no longer. Their trunks are too rotten.

2. Three similar flowering cherry trees down the road have been recovering from foliar disease during the same two years. They are neither as pretty nor as distinguished, but have potential.

3. Adjacent to #2, this most garish flowering cherry tree is the most prominent. Unfortunately, like #1, it is deteriorating, so will also be removed after bloom. Half of the canopy is necrotic.

4. This one should succumb instead. To me, weeping flowering cherries look weird. This one was in bad condition when I met it. Unfortunately, my efforts to renovate it have been effective.

5. Oh, my favorite. The flowers are double, but not as fluffy as those of #3. It really is as white as it looks, without any blush. The tree is disfigured and shaded by redwoods, but blooms well.

6. Beau was the unseen star of my previous Six on Saturday. He is neither French nor related to ‘the’ Beau of the Frustrated Gardener, but is pretty cool anyway, and drives on the right side.

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/

Six on Saturday: Mostly White

(Apologies for the delay posting this. From my perspective, it posted not long after midnight this morning. Only now I notice that it did not really appear.)

Rhody is the color of ‘maple cream’. That is Valspar color 3003-4B. It is lighter that the color of a maple bar, but certainly not white. Nonetheless, some people think that Rhody is white. For these Six, it would have been sufficient. Actually, it is mere coincidence that four subjects are white, and that the two that are not are such pale pink that they are more white than Rhody is.

Incidentally, Rhody is absent for this Saturday.

1. Camellias should not be trees. The flowers of this one are too high, and the growth is too sparse. It is pretty nonetheless. It was actually taller before getting pruned down a bit last season.

2. Pink jasmine does not cooperate. It got pruned back after bloom last year, in an attempt to stimulate growth across the top of the arbor. Instead, it just gets bunched up in the top corners.

3. Trilliums are uncommon wildflowers of shady redwood forests. White trilliums are so rare that, if I could figure out how to do so, I would like to move these to a more prominent situation.

4. Star magnolia has never bloomed so well. It was originally in an uncomfortable situation, and then needed to be relocated during the middle of summer. It is recovering slowly but steadily.

5. White birches partly in a white pickup did not go far like this. A nearby neighbor wanted them removed. The two unloaded above the wall here live in front of the building to the right now.

6. Snow is extremely rare here, but sometimes happens up at Bonny Doon, where this car came from. It looks like winter! Bonny Doon is not far away, but at a significantly higher elevation.

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/

Six on Saturday: More Late Bloomers

Redundancy was not apparent to me as I collected these pictures of flowers that are blooming somewhat later than typical. Not only is the topic the same as last week, but daffodil is featured again, and comprises half of these six! A major (but not redundant) difference this week, which will most certainly compromise the popularity of my blog, is the absence of a picture of Rhody.

Incidentally, my Six on Saturday for next week will be redundant to #1 below, and will again lack a picture of Rhody, but it is a popular topic that I never discuss.

1. Hellebore is something that I am none too keen on. Bloom just happens to be remarkable this year. This one blooms most profusely. There will be more redundancy with these next week.

2. Sweetbox is also blooming unusually well this year, even if they are still not much to look at. Fragrance is their priority. Their sneaky bloom is usually more obscured by the glossy foliage.

3. Camellia bloom is not as late as it seems to be. Others bloom sporadically even a bit later. I think that this one would be prettier if it were lower than the roof, and visible from the carport.

4. Daffodil is technically very different from those of last week. This and the two others are all feral in unlandscaped areas near our industrial shop buildings. This one looks like ‘King Alfred’.

5. Daffodil, whether truly feral or not, can be quite variable. I suspect that they came into the site with soil or debris that was removed from landscapes, and dumped here through the years.

6. Daffodil, in my opinion (which, in my opinion, is the most important opinion), should look like ‘King Alfred’! The next best option is like ‘King Alfred’, but white! Could this be ‘Mount Hood’?

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/

Six on Saturday: Late Bloomers

Winter is brief here. There is no snow, and only occasional mild frost. Chill is insufficient for many plants that need it. Rain can be copious during storms; but storms are not as frequent as in other climates. Many flowers typically bloom slightly earlier than they do in other regions. Of course, every season is unique.

1. English holly may have bloomed on time last year, but the berries are lingering late this year. The birds who eat them must have found something else to be more appealing. This is an odd cultivar that is neither as prickly nor as dense as common English holly elsewhere in its garden. Incidentally, it resides in the Santa Clara Valley, not here. I have no idea who the pollinator is.

2. Winter daphne should bloom in . . . well, winter. What I mean is that is should have bloomed a bit earlier in winter. Surprisingly, the foliage lacks variegation. All daphne here is variegated!

3. Calla should bloom in summer. This one is so late that that it is early. I mean that it is closer to next summer than it is to last summer. Really though, it blooms whenever it wants to here.

4. Daffodil continues to bloom in some locations. There are actually a few varieties blooming in this same area, with at least one colony that is only beginning to bloom. This late bloom is nice.

5. Narcissus continue to bloom late also! I believe that this is the only colony of paperwhite narcissus here. It is my favorite though, both because it is white, and also because it is so fragrant.

6. Rhody is always the most popular topic of my Six on Saturday. I do not know why he took a momentary interest in the camera. I just quickly exploited the opportunity to take his picture.

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/

Six on Saturday: Do you know the way to San Jose?

Rhody and I needed to go to San Jose for the past three days, and will be going there again at least until April. We had not been there or even into the Santa Clara Valley for a very long time. I did not realize how long we had been gone until I collected my accumulation of mail on the way through town, and found Christmas cards!

1. Tecoma stans is the second most important topic of my Six for this week! The Shrub Queen sent me these seed from wild plants that are native to Southern Florida! It is so rare here that I had seen it only a few times prior. A compact cultivar became available only a few years ago. I wanted the straight species. Embarrassingly, these seed were in my mailbox since December.

2. Camellia japonica is still blooming, with buds that will continue even longer. Technically, it is not late. Some bloom as late as March. I do not remember the name of this particular cultivar.

3. Ribes sanguineum is native to the forests only a few miles from here. This one and another like it were planted here a few years ago. Two others that bloomed white did not last very long.

4. Narcissus pseudonarcissus, or simply ‘daffodil’, bloom sporadically in the oddest of situations. Their bulbs remained where they got planted years ago, as the landscape changed over them.

5. Spirea prunifolia ‘Plena’ is sparsely branched, but perhaps delightfully so. I am surely no expert in regard to aesthetics, but it seems to me that more profuse bloom would be less delicate.

6. Rhody is the most important topic of my Six for this week. This was the moment immediately prior to his realization that I was aiming the camera at him, and his spry reaction to avoid it.

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/

Six on Saturday: After (And Before) The Storm

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:

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

Six on Saturday: Old, New, Borrowed, Blue

No matrimony is involved. These are merely six random pictures that could not conform to a sensible topic. I realize that I should feature more flowery pictures, but some of these were just too cool to omit. Well, perhaps #3 could have been omitted and replaced with something flowery, and less objectionable. #2 actually happens to be flowery, but is the only one. #6 is the best!

Seriously!

Winter seems to be going so fast. It is naturally brief here anyway. There is so much to do before spring, and none of it involved flowers. Besides, flowers are merely a byproduct of our work.

1. Old and rotten ponderosa pine trunk has been popular with woodpeckers. Some of the holes seem to be carved out neatly enough for nesting; although grubbing was probably the priority.

2. New camellia flower blooms among many unopened buds. There are many camellias of unknown cultivars here. They bloom when they want, and maybe in different chronology annually.

3. Borrowed bamboo was removed from where it grew from seed in one of the landscapes, but has no permanent home yet. Most was already discarded. This is golden bamboo, a ‘bad’ type.

4. Blue heron sometimes visits the lawns during rainy weather. It sometimes catches gophers! I do not know why it came by without rain. Maybe Big Bird needs directions to Sesame Street.

5. Rock on! This is no more relevant to horticulture than Big Bird or a rotten pine trunk. I just happen to like finding this familiar rock again. It moves around somewhat, but does not get far.

6. Rhody does not cooperate for pictures. Nonetheless, everyone loves Rhody, and wants to see his pictures. It was not easy, but I managed to get this one before he realized I had a camera.

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/

Six on Saturday: No Flowers – Again

These pictures seemed to be interesting when I took them. Only now I notice that there are no flowers here. Actually, there are not many flowers in the landscape where these pictures were taken anyway. Until last year, the facility associated with the landscape was used mostly during summer; so most flowers were selected to bloom during summer. Winter can be quite bland.

Also, for such a mild climate, winter can be surprisingly cool in some cooler exposed locales. Mild frost is normal. On rare occasion, if the weather is just so, puddles can get a thin layer of ice.

1. Lemon ripens this time of year. This pale greenish yellow color will become brighter yellow soon. I suspect that these are ‘Eureka’ lemon, but they crop very heavily in season, like ‘Lisbon’.

2. Flowering cherry will be spectacular in spring, but looks horrid now. This particular tree does not defoliate completely until just prior to bloom. It does this annually. This tree is ‘Kwanzan’.

3. Silver wattle is an an aggressively invasive exotic species locally. Fortunately, there is not much within the landscapes here. Now there is even less. I know it will regenerate from its roots.

4. Argyle apple is a silly name for this Eucalyptus cinerea. It grew from the lignotuber of an overgrown tree that was discarded from a retail nursery in Los Osos. The silver foliage is striking.

5. Lawson cypress also has strikingly silvery foliage. It is not as silvery as that of Argyle apple, but is slightly more bluish. The color of both species seems to be more striking through winter.

6. Ice is rare here, but possible. Of course, it is not as bad as it looks. It is very thin. Winter weather is innately mild here, which limits cultivation of apples and pears than require more chill.

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/

Six on Saturday: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2021 was already a popular year before it got started. Many wanted 2020 to end, as if all the unpleasantries of last year would end with it. To me, the first day of this year seemed to be just like any of the few last days of last year. That is not necessarily bad. There was quite a bit of good last year, even with all of the unpleasantries. Many of us see examples of it in our gardens.

Well, these pictures happen to be from yesterday, the first day of January and 2021.

1. Eucalyptus sideroxylon, red ironbark, is the first tree I planted in 2021, on New Year’s Day. It died back last spring, and regenerated with shrubby growth, so got pruned to a single trunk.

2. It should be glad to be out of its can, and into a new home. It originated as a root sucker of a tree that had been cut down. It came up with roots when I pulled it, so could not be discarded.

3. Agave attenuata, foxtail agave, got run over on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz. It was not crossing the road, but just minding its own business in a median. I could not leave it there like that.

4. It should be happy here. Adventitious roots are already developing on the trunk. A small section of the base of the trunk was cut off and canned so that new pups could mature separately.

5. Hedychium gardnerianum, Kahili ginger, originated from a neglected landscape near where the red ironbark eucalyptus originated from. Foliage from last year will shrivel through winter.

6. Quercus lobata, valley oak, is the Memorial Tree, and is the first tree that I pruned in 2021. It is developing well. I will return to stabilize the lodgepole stake, and adjust the binding stake.

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/