Six on Saturday: Recycling

It can become a bad habit in the garden, and migrate into neighboring gardens and landscapes, and even farther. My ‘Australia’ canna was acquired only a few years ago, so has not gotten too far, yet. The African iris (Morea iridioides) seems voluminous, but took nearly three decades to get like that. Montbretia and white violet really should not be recycled any more than they have been already though. They are just too invasive. Agapanthus and Amaryllis have potential to become habitual, but fortunately for me, have been manageable. Amaryllis are not overwhelming. Agapanthus have been useful since I started recycling them.

1. Canna indica ‘Australia’ is one of the very few plants that I actually purchased. A neighbor of my downtown planter box requested bronzed foliage. After a few years, it needed to be thinned.

2. Morea iridioides was another purchase, back in the 1990s. It was in a #1 (1 gallon) can back then. It got so overgrown than it needed to be removed, so will now get divided into many more.

3. Crocosmia masoniorum is probably the same common montbretia that grows as a weed here, but seems to have much bigger leaves. I found it growing wild at my Pa’s home in about 1980.

4. Agapanthus orientalis has been with me since 1978, when a neighbor had me remove it from her garden. These copies of that original were planted nearby years ago, and recently removed.

5. Viola sororia ‘Albiflora’ came from my Grandmother’s garden in the late 1970s. I still have copies of them, but might discretely allow them to go extinct. They are just too invasive to recycle.

6. Amaryllis belladonna is mundane and naturalized. However, these came from the garden of my great Grandmother in about 1980. I need no more here, but recycle these in my own garden.

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

Six on Saturday: Ghost Town

As a result of prioritizing our efforts within the landscapes at facilities that have been in use through summer, landscapes at unused facilities have been neglected. It would be embarrassing if anyone else were here to see the results. Those who maintain the other infrastructure have mentioned that these neglected areas resemble ghost towns. Flowers continue to bloom without any assistance. Also though, weeds continue to grow and toss seed for the next generation. There is so much to catch up on. What is worse is that I will not be working here much until November, and will be gone again in February.

1. While no one is looking, lily of the Nile continues to bloom into the middle of September. I was not here to see it, but I suspect that this particular colony was not blooming on time for July.

2. Kahili ginger is blooming too, but right on schedule. This is obviously a substandard bloom. I am impressed nonetheless. It was not expected to bloom at all. It was just planted over winter.

3. Otherwise, most of the bloom here is that of weeds. Strangely, I do not remember anyone pulling weeds from the pavement before. Could the formerly constant traffic have inhibited them?

4. Should this say “PLEASE LET US GROW ON WALKWAYS” or maybe “PLEASE LET US STAY ON WALKWAYS”? Regardless, I am impressed by the ability of weeds to compose a sentence.

5. Grapes would certainly be easier to reach if they grew on neglected, hanging vines like these. Unfortunately, if left long enough to produce fruit, these vines would become a tangled thicket.

6. Goodness! This is what happens when a ponderosa pine seedling grows under a deck, and no one is here to pull it out before it grows right through! The weed problem here is now serious!!!

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

Six on Saturday: Naked Ladies And Neighbors

Naked lady, Amaryllis belladonna, is common beyond the landscapes here. Most live on roadsides, likely because that is where we relocate superfluous bulbs, and toss seed after deadheading. All the flowers of a big colony outside the gates at our industrial yard got harvested as they came into bloom this year! Another colony at the historic depot blooms most spectacularly, and was just deadheaded after I got these pictures. Since they were finished with bloom, and still lack foliage, there was not much to get six pictures of. That is why I got two pictures of their neighbors with a third picture of where former neighbors had been.

1. Sarcococca ruscifolia, which does not do well elsewhere, became an exemplary foundation hedge here on the historic depot. Why is it all gone now? A sewer to a septic system was replaced.

2. Echinacea purpurea continues to bloom on the front of the same historic depot. It is prettier than that recently exposed mud between the foundation and the driveway on the opposite side.

3. Amaryllis belladonna continues to bloom, sort of. The majority finished bloom a while ago. Their many bare stems are visible in the background. A few small colonies bloom distinctly later.

4. Amaryllis belladonna otherwise looks like this now. The stems that finished blooming are slightly taller than those that continue to bloom slightly later. Seed will get tossed on the roadside.

5. Amaryllis belladonna that bloom later have pale brownish stems. The five pale brownish stems in the foreground here continue to bloom. The greener stems in the background are finished.

6. Hydrangea macrophylla is unusually happy in front of the historic depot. This floral truss is about a foot wide. There would be more like this, but deer ate them and the roses before bloom.

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

Six on Saturday: Late Summer Flowers

Spring is the favorite season among the majority of those who enjoy gardening. I do not really have a favorite season though. Dormant pruning is perhaps my favorite chore, which happens in winter. Stone fruits, which are perhaps my favorite, ripen in summer. I so enjoy the foliar color of autumn. Well, it is still too early for autumn foliar color. In the meantime, the flowers of late summer are blooming. Compositae is the ruling family for a while. It is not too late for the last few roses. Japanese anemones, although locally rare, bloom also.

1. Sunflower should be the grand finale; but I could not get a sufficiently good picture, without the utility cables above and the sun in the background. Nonetheless, it exemplifies late summer.

2. Rose is the one flower of these six that has been blooming all summer, so is not actually limited to late summer. It is a cheap carpet rose, which I loathe, but happens to provide pretty color.

3. Chrysanthemum landed in the landscapes after getting left behind from an event. It was formerly a fancy ‘potted mum’. Now, it is unrefined and rustic, but blooms reliably for late summer.

4. Marigold is one of many annual bedding plants that I can not figure out. Is it a warm season annual that really could bloom all summer, or is it actually limited to late summer and autumn?

5. Marigold exhibits a limited color range of yellow, orange, rusty red, almost brown and very pale yellow that is described as white. We got only yellow, as seen above, and this simple orange.

6. Anemone, or more specifically, Japanese anemone, is a rather mundane pale pink. I would prefer it to be either clear white or a more blatant pink. I like it though, because it is what we got.

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

Six on Saturday: Eucalyptus

Blue gum earned a bad reputation for all species of the genus decades ago. It really is as massive, messy, combustible, unstable and structurally deficient as reputed. Some find its foliar aroma to be objectionable. Fortunately, it is not as invasive as formerly alleged. It is common only because it was planted so extensively a long time ago, and is somewhat naturalized in some regions.

Other eucalypti are more appropriate to landscape situations than blue gum, which is #6 below. #3 and many others are now classified as Corymbia, rather than Eucalyptus. Genus is omitted for these Six.

1. pulverulenta or cinerea is the only eucalyptus that was here when I arrived. I learned this species as ‘cinerea’. However, the correct designation seems to be ‘pulverulenta’. #2 should match.

2. cinerea or pulverulenta, as mentioned above, was supposed to match #1. It was labeled as cinerea. I thought that #1 is cinerea. I still do not know which is cinerea and which is pulverulenta.

3. sideroxylon is the first tree I planted in 2021. For such a dinky tree, it already has quite a history. I gave it to my colleague who appreciates the distinctively dark and coarsely textured bark.

4. citriodora is as goofy as it looks. It is about fifteen feet tall, with just a few leaves at the very top. Its smooth white bark contrasts with that of #3, which it will be planted close to this winter.

5. globulus ‘Compacta’ gets coppiced to produce aromatic juvenile foliage, but is less aromatic than the straight species, #6. It might be my least favorite eucalyptus, although I am fond of #6.

6. globulus gets pollarded to produce aromatic juvenile foliage, like #5, but on a trunk. It is the eucalyptus that gives all other eucalyptus a bad reputation. Nonetheless, I like its grand stature.

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: Gladiolus papilio

Gladiolus papilio was the topic of my Six on Saturday post for the tenth of November in 2018, when the author of Tangly Cottage Gardening Journal sent me bulbs from one of her landscapes. Embarrassingly, that was almost three years ago. They were properly installed into a landscape here, and grew well for their first season. However, they needed to be relocated as their bed got renovated. They had been in no mood to bloom during recovery. Then, while I was away, a colleague staked a single unfamiliar bloom.

1. Here it is! This is the first bloom of the RAD Gladiolus papilio since it was planted here almost three years ago! I know it looks silly staked like this, but it would not stand upright otherwise.

2. Bloom is exemplary. Well, I believe that it is. I am unfamiliar with this species, so studied it and pictures of it online. It would have been nice to get a picture before the first floret shriveled.

3. The exteriors of the florets seems to be almost light gray blushed with pale purple. Upon closer inspection, they seem to be pale purple with pale white. I am certainly not an expert on color.

4. The interiors exhibit a slightly more distinct pattern with the same colors, as well as a pair of yellow blotches in front where pollinators can see them. I do not know who the pollinators are.

5. A few bulbs got canned so that they can eventually get planted directly into my garden, without getting dug from where the rest of them live. They were staked like this only for this picture.

6. Rhody does not understand what all this fuss is about. He would be more interested to read about the many other dogs, kitties and, of course, Skooter of Tangly Cottage Gardening Journal.

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: How It Should Be





Well, I can not argue that ‘everything is as it should be’. Turkeys serve more of a purpose than food, although I can not figure out what their other purpose is. Coleus are so delightfully colorful that those with more discerning taste than mine enjoy new and ‘improved’ cultivars. Many of those same people with discerning taste also enjoy Japanese maple too much to consider options. Both my blue and white lily of the Nile are still the best! Yes, but . . .

1. Turkey belongs in an oven, or perhaps in a freezer. She should not be doing this at the shops as I write. At least she is not somewhere else shredding flowers or pulling up irrigation emitters.

2. Coleus reminds me why I dislike most modern cultivars. I would find this to be more appealing if I did not know what this is, or if I did not know the potential of good old fashioned coleus.

3. Coleus should look like this, which is more similar to how it looked when it was popular as a houseplant decades ago. My kindergarten teacher grew one like this in our classroom back then.

4. Vine maple should be more popular than Japanese maple is. I realize that Japanese maple is much more interesting and diverse. However, now that it is very popular, it is almost mundane.

5. Lily of the Nile should also bloom red, for a red white and blue bloom on Independence Day. There are plenty that bloom blue here. The first that will bloom white were added a month ago.

6. Rhody should cooperate when I need his help with an illustration. I needed a picture of mulch. I had visions of a stylish model in a Halston dress, leaning on a fender of a new 1972 Electra.

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: Folly

There is a certain degree of silliness to horticulture. Some of us indulge in it whenever there is an opportunity to do so. I prefer to conform to most rules when I can, but even I rarely engage in irresponsible gardening tactics. My predilection for white, and associated lack of appreciation for more interesting color, might be the most obvious example. Another example is my desire to grow too many useless plants simply because propagation stock happens to be available, or because I happen to enjoy the particular plants. Hey, it keeps me happy.

1. Agave attenuata – fox tail agave needed to be removed from one site, so should have been relocated neatly to another. It instead got cut down (with a chain saw!). It is now a shabby cutting.

2. Calandrinia grandiflora – rock purslane was more fortunate as it remained intact for removal and relocation, but will now get dismantled into a bunch of cuttings. Look at its silly little pot!

3. Phoenix dactylifera – date palm grew from seed in a neighbor’s compost pile. It would be nice if one is female and the other is male, but they could not produce fruit for many years anyway.

4. Lathyrus latifolius – perennial pea is common, but only a few bloom white. I tagged two to dig and can this winter. Well, I did not wait. They were already dormant. Now they are sprouting.

5. Petunia X hybrida – petunia is something that I do not get involved with at work. I lack proficiency with color. My colleague found this ‘Night Sky’ petunia, and despite reviews, is trialing it.

6. Rhody would not allow me to get a good picture of him, so I got this bad one instead. Everyone loves Rhody. He really is exemplary. Even his bad pictures are the best of all Six on Saturday.

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: Friends

Brent, my colleague down south, plants street trees. He has been doing so for decades. Some of the older trees are quite mature now. Brent telephones me to tell me whenever the first trees on opposite sides of a street meet in the middle. It is like a graduation for that particular colony of trees. The various species mature at different rates, so they ‘meet’ over their particular street on their own distinct schedule. Brent watches them all, and attends all of their ‘graduations’. Anyway, that is what the first picture reminded me of.

1. Redwoods meeting friends over a road is not uncommon here. For compact street trees that got planted at the same time on opposite sides of an urban street, it is an indication of maturity.

2. Shasta daisies are not exactly friends. They are just two of many separate flowers on the same mature plant. They are composite flowers, so each one contains many tiny but distinct flowers.

3. Lily of the Nile, while piled with many friends, waiting to get groomed and moved to another garden, looks like Sigmund the Sea Monster should stay away from the Pacific Coast Highway.

4. Deodar cedar seedlings that grew where they could not live in an industrial yard were relocated to be with friends in a landscape a few years ago. Some, although not all, are now doing well.

5. Beau, the 1967 C10, has a friend also, named Bo, and he is a 1967 C20. Beau helped me bring so much of my old plant material from the Santa Clara Valley. Bo does not get around so much.

6. Rhody is man’s best friend. Like all of his colleagues, he is very committed to his career, which is, of course, his commitment to his colleagues. In this picture, he happily awaits their arrival.

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: Integration





Brent, my colleague down south, scoffs at my predilection for white, as well as the exclusivity of the white garden from which I got pictures for Six on Saturday for last week. I suppose that he is entitled to that since he is a renowned landscape designer and I am not. White is my favorite color regardless; although I lack a white garden of my own, and have no intention of developing one. Exclusivity is no simple task. Some flowers that are not white are too appealing to easily dismiss. Some move in without invitation. Some are not what they should be.

1. Cestrum nocturnum – night blooming jasmine blooms pale white. After installing it, I learned that it might bloom pale yellow! Fortunately, it is next door, just barely beyond the landscape.

2. Bergenia crassifolia – pigsqueak has inhabited the space behind el Catedral de Santa Clara de Los Gatos longer than anyone can remember. It blooms pink, but is not visible from out front.

3. Bergenia crassifolia – pigsqueak should be groomed of old desiccated leaves. Incidentally, leaves blackened by frost are used as tea. I am unimpressed. These leaves are not frosted, just old.

4. Lychnis coronaria – rose campion is naturalized here, but is too pretty to pull while the landscape is still so sparse. It can bloom white, as well as red or pink, but I have not seen it do so yet.

5. Agapanthus orientalis – lily of the Nile was likely here about as long as the pigsqueak out back. Now that the first white lily of the Nile here was added at the road, the blue will be dismissed.

6. Hydrangea macrophylla – hydrangea got relocated to here from another landscape specifically because it was white. Now it is doing this. I do not know what color this is, but it is not white.

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/