Six on Saturday: Maples

Maples are annoyingly misrepresented here. Japanese maples are so much more popular than they should be, and imposed by just about every so-called ‘landscaper’ with something to prove, although few of them know or care how to take proper care of them. However, maples that actually develop as shade trees are still uncommon or even rare. Only two species are native locally. Of these, box elder (#5) is rather unimpressive, and bigleaf maple (#6) is potentially too big and too messy for refined home gardens. Norway maple has a bad reputation, but ‘Schwedler’ was a good street tree.

1. Acer platanoides – Norway maple is invasive elsewhere. I do not trust it here. I grafted noninvasive ‘Schwedler’ Norway maple on five naturalized saplings. None took. Ugly saplings survive.

2. Acer platanoides – Norway maple should look like this. I do not remember the name of this cultivar. It supposedly has better bronzed color than ‘Schwedler’. I still prefer classic ‘Schwedler’.

3. Acer rubrum – red maple performs quite well in mild climates, and works well as a street tree with symmetrical and rather compact form. I do not remember the name of this cultivar either.

4. Acer circinatum – vine maple should be more popular here. It is a sculptural understory tree like the countless cultivars of Japanese maple, but is not a Japanese maple. That is why I like it.

5. Acer negundo – box elder should probably be less popular than it is. It is the most common maple of North America, and is native to every state except for Alaska and Hawaii. It is wild here.

6. Acer macrophyllum – bigleaf maple is also native, but only to the West Coast. It is the sugaring maple of the West. This specimen is exemplary, but drops a lot of leaves into a few backyards.

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

Six on Saturday: One Yucca

Of the fifty or so known species of Yucca, I formerly grew all but one. I still am not certain if the single species that I lacked, Yucca flexilis, is a real species or a synonym for another species. Of course, some species of Yucca might be considered to be subspecies of others. The genus is complicated. So is identification of its species. That is why I am not certain of the identity of the one Yucca that I got a picture of this week. Actually, only one of my Six, which live with the unidentified Yucca, are identified.

1. ‘Sedums, Dahlias and Hayfever’ might have something to say about this unappreciated mess. A neighbor left these for the gardens. I can identify only that ‘Angelina’ sedum. Oh, the shame!

2. Pups such as this could suggest that the associated primary rosette intends to bloom soon. If so, the pup will replace the original. I do not remember what species or cultivar of Agave this is.

3. This young pup appeared about six feet from its associated primary rosette, so is less likely to be an indication of impending bloom. I do not know the species or cultivar of this Agave either.

4. Agave attenuata is easier to identify. It has been here since December, but has not done much. I got a pup from it prior to planting. Later, another rosette was acquired from another source.

5. This might be Dasylirion wheeleri. I am rather certain of the genus, but not so certain of the species. Those little teeth on the foliar margins remind me that I do not want to weed around it.

6. Could this be Yucca whipplei? Its foliage certainly suggests that it is. However, the common sort should not develop such crowded rosettes. It could be a more densely clumping subspecies.

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

Six on Saturday: Williamsburg!

Williamsburg in Virginia is one of those magical places that I heard about when I was a tyke, but have never been to. My parents went there as newlyweds, as they were considering relocating to Vienna, which is also in Virginia, near Washington. Well, Woodland Gnome of Our Forest Garden happens to be there, and sent me some seedlings of the native American beautyberry that I have been wanting to grow for a very long time! They arrived on Thursday. I retrieved them yesterday. As I prefer, they are what grows wild there, rather than cultivars.

1. Packages in the mail are so much fun! This package came all the way across North America, from Williamsburg in Virginia! That is farther than Ilwaco! Heck, that is farther than Oklahoma!

2. Hand written notes attached to such packages demonstrate impeccable cultural refinement. Oh my, I do not write such notes because it seems to me that no one appreciates them anymore.

3. Beautyberry seedlings in a six pack are the first of the species that I ever met! They looked neater after I set the six pack within another for added integrity, and rinsed the potting media off.

4. There are cuttings also! I have not processed these yet, but should do so in the morning. The foliage remains firmly attached, so will stay with these cuttings until they defoliate for autumn.

5. Berries that are attached to the cuttings might contain viable seed. They will likely be sown in the same cans that the cuttings get plugged into. If there are many, they will get separate cans.

6. Butterfly ginger is a major bonus in the package. It is another species that I had been wanting, but had not yet procured. If its bloom is white enough, some of it may go live at the Cathedral.

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

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: Cat Burglar

Is a cat burglar a kitty who steals things, or someone who steals from kitties? There are a few kitties here, and, apparently, a burglar. I determined that two of the kitties are appropriate for Six on Saturday because they have horticultural names. The burglar is less appropriate, and is gone anyway. I am quite annoyed that someone came here, likely during the day, and stole from us. A small hesper palm that I grew from a seedling, two specimens of golden bamboo, and a larger Mexican fan palm got taken.

1. Cat – Black Jack, like the oak, Quercus marilandica, has a good horticultural or arboricultural name. He is a solid black Maine coon cat, and is no more cooperative for a picture than Rhody.

2. Burglar – Hesper palm, Brahea armata, lived here, in the blank spot on top of the wall. Golden bamboo, Phyllostachys aurea, lived right behind it and in the blank spot four cans to the right.

3. Cat – Pepper, like a species of Caspicum, has a good horticultural name too. She looks something like a penguin with a bit of brown, but is no more cooperative for a picture than Black Jack.

4. Burglar – I know I brought back more shoots of this unidentified species of Aloe from my downtown planter box. At least these four remain. They will get groomed and return to the planter.

5. Canna – This also came from the downtown planter box. It needed to be removed to facilitate the repair of a few broken tiles. It will eventually return with the Aloe. This bloom is a surprise.

6. Vine maple – Acer circinatum is still healthy and reasonably happy after getting yanked from its landscape by a backhoe during the warmth of summer. I did not expect it to survive so well.

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/