Six on Saturday: Closeups

 

This is not how we normally look at these flowers, stems and vegetables (fruits). They might look strange out of context. That was sort of intended. ‘Six on Saturday’ allows more freedom of creativity than the simple illustrations that I use for the gardening column. The last two are closeups of the same two gladiolas that were featured last week. Perhaps they show color better.

I should try this again for next week.

1. Lily of the Nile is the ‘Fourth of July Flower’. It blooms for the Fourth of July, and the florets radiate from the center of their floral truss like fireworks. I will write more about this at noon.P00704-1

2. Epiphyllum stems, like the stems of other cacti, do all the work of foliage. Because they are flat, they actually look like big and weirdly arching leaves. New tip growth is still rather blushed.P00704-2

3. Zucchini is too productive. I neglected to go down to harvest it for two days or so, and then found that some fruits had gotten as big as bowling pins. They are fortunately not too tough yet.P00704-3

4. Red willow is a weedy tree that I should not be growing intentionally. This is special though. I brought its cuttings from Reno. It will be coppiced, and not allowed to grow as a real tree.P00704-4

5. Gladiola got enough attention last week that I got closer pictures of them this week. This one seemed to be more purple or less blue last week, with just a bit of white, like elderly Grimace.P00704-5

6. Gladiola are more fun when someone else selects bold colors that I would not consider. This flashy orange and yellow bloom is exquisite, and looks like Grimace’s friend, Ronald McDonald.P00704-6

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/

Six on Saturday: Housebound

 

This is not a good week for my Six on Saturday. The first three are of pansies; and the last two are of gladiolus. That is not much variety. Posting six pictures of different cultivars of roses or rhododendrons is somehow different and more interesting.

I did not get out enough to get many good pictures this week. I work inside for part of the week, and needed to stay in for Thursday as well. I got outside only on Wednesday and Friday.

1. Pansies are slowly succumbing to the warmth of spring and early summer. They can continue to perform as long as they like, we will not be replacing them with any warm season annuals.00627-1

2. Pansies are even prettier up close. Foliage was unusually sparse among this group, even prior to spring. Pansies had never stayed so late before. I would not have guessed that they could.00627-2

3. Pansy is one of the favorite flowers of my colleague down south. Although he does not use many at work, or even in his home garden, he always grows one pot full of them through winter.00627-3

4. Alstroemeria, which are also known as Peruvian lilies, do very well here. I do not remember if this is pink or ‘peachy’. I believe it is ‘peachy’. There are also yellow alstroemeria here.00627-4

5. Gladiola is one of my favorite summer bulbs, but I have not planted any in many years. They are not reliably perennial here. However, this orange gladiola has bloomed for several years.00627-5

6. Gladiola, now that I think about it, is actually my favorite summer bulb, rather than just one of my favorites. This purple gladiola has bloomed as long as the other, only in a different area.00627-6

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/

Six on Saturday: Bark

 

Rhody said, “Cornus florida bark is rough.” He likely intended to say, “Dog would bark, ‘ruff!’.”

This is not about Rhody though. It is about these six pictures of bark of some of the more significant trees that I work with. All are native here. Only the sycamore was installed intentionally into a landscape. All of the others grew wild. There are so many interesting trees here that it was not easy to limit these pictures to just six. I actually took more pictures that were omitted.

Furthermore, a picture of Rhody is not included.

1. Platanus racemosa – California sycamore is bigger and bolder than other American sycamore. Trunks of mature trees are massive and gnarled, with this distinctively blotchy gray bark.P00613-1

2. Pinus ponderosa – Ponderosa pine is the grandest of pines. The massive trunks seem to be comparable to those of Douglas fir. Bark often flakes in bits that resemble jigsaw puzzle pieces.P00613-2

3. Quercus agrifolia – Coast live oak is second only to valley oak in regard to grandeur. Unlike valley oak, it is evergreen. Smooth gray young bark eventually becomes darker and furrowed.P00613-3

4. Pseudotsuga menziesii – Douglas fir is the majestic State Tree of Oregon, and a main timber crop there. Locally, it mixes with various ecosystems. Corky bark is rather finely furrowed.P00613-4

5. Acer macrophyllum – Bigleaf maple is the most imposing maple of the West. As the name implies, the leaves are bigger than those of any other maple. Bark gets sort of checked with age.P00613-5

6. Sequoia sempervirens – Coastal redwood is the grandest of all, and it happens to be the tallest tree in the World. Also, it is the state tree of California. The ruddy bark is distinctly fibrous.P00613-6

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/

Post Script: For the first time, I am violating the recommended limit of six pictures to include this extra (but unnumbered) picture of Rhody for those who would be otherwise disappointed.P00613-7

Six on Saturday: Leftovers

 

It is not easy to discard seedlings and cuttings that have potential. We are supposed to sow several seed for vegetable plants where we ultimately want only a few, which typically produces a few extra. Feral seedlings for other types of plants commonly appear in the garden. I happened to grow a few seed that were marginally old, but that I did not want to discard. Nor do I want to discard deteriorating but lingering cool season annuals from last winter.

1. Since no new warm season bedding plants are going into the landscapes, cool season bedding plants are lingering until they succumb to the warmth. This pansy is not ready to give up yet.P00606-1

2. ‘Roma’ tomato seedlings that got plucked to favor stronger seedlings got plugged in cells for later. They got sown very late, and plugged even later, but might become a nice second phase.P00606-2

3. Extra summer squash seedling were also too good to discard. The main plants are producing now. This one should find a home quick. Since it can produce all season, no phasing is needed.P00606-3

4. Ponderosa pines make extras too. This seedling got plucked along with other weeds, but was too exemplary to discard. (For the record, someone else salvaged it; so I can not be blamed.)P00606-4

5. This is too blurry and dinky to look like much, but is a seedling of California fan palm. The seed was so old that I doubted its viability. I am very pleased with it, even if is the only survivor.P00606-5

6. White California poppies are rare in nature. This one was left in the landscape while many of the orange poppies were removed along with weeds. There is another only a few yards away.P00606-6

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/

Six on Saturday: Rhody’s Rhodies II

 

As mentioned last week, the first five of these pictures are now two weeks old. They are too pretty to discard for lack of punctuality. However, it was necessary to delete one so that the most important, although less horticultural, sixth picture could be included. Not much of the bloom remains now.

1. Color seems odd for this one. It did not seem so greenish to me when I got the picture. In fact, it seemed more pale, and almost white. I know the camera sees it more accurately than I do.P00523-1

2. #1 from last week, which may have been ‘Mrs. G. W. Leak’, looks like this. I did not notice earlier. I would have otherwise deleted this instead of what I deleted to leave room for #6 below.P00523-2

3. If #4 from last week did not look like ‘Anah Kruschke’, it is because this one is. I knew I got a picture of it, but somehow switched the two. This is the only one that I can identify this week.P00523-3

4. Color is something that I am not proficient with. I do happen to prefer this color to other purple rhododendrons. I do not know if it is purple or lavender, or if lavender is just pastel purple.P00523-4

5. Of all the rhododendrons here, only a few are as richly red as this one. Of those few, this one is the second largest specimen, and most prolific in bloom. It is usually one of the last to bloom.P00523-5

6. Rhody! It is not much, but it proves that I at least tried to get a picture of what we all came here for. I deleted a good picture of another rhododendron to do it! Rhody would not cooperate.P00523-6

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/

Six on Saturday: Rhody’s Rhodies I

 

Rhody actually had nothing to do with the rhododendrons. They have been her for decades. The youngest were added in the late 1990s. We know none of their identities. It does not matter. Bloom is spectacular. These pictures are from last Friday, so are a week old already. Six more will be two weeks old for next week. I just can not miss sharing them here for Six on Saturday.

1. Mrs. G. W. Leak – The spots are not pronounced enough. The foliage is not a good match either. Otherwise, the floral color and form are about right. Branch structure seems to match too.P00516-1

2. Trude Webster – This is just a guess. The leaves are not big enough. Bloom is a bit too brightly colored, and its spots are a bit too pronounced, although floral form seems to be about right.P00516-2

3. Lem’s Monarch – This one is questionable. Flowers are usually more white with reddish pink edge. However, they do not look quite like the real thing. Foliage happens to be a good match.P00516-3

4. Anah Kruschke – Like the others, the color is off for this one this year. It is normally a bit richer purple. I am fairly certain about its identity. The foliage and branch structure conform too.P00516-4

5. Rhododendron catawbiense – I am rather certain about the identity of this one. Everything about it is as it should be, even the foliage. This is probably my favorite of these particular six.P00516-5

6. Taurus – Of all of these six, this one is the least likely to be what I refer to it as. Only the floral color is correct. Floral form, foliage and branch structure are not. I do like the name though.P00516-6

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/

Six on Saturday: (First) Rose Parade 2020

 

The landscapes are in surprisingly good condition after more than a month of neglect. Weeds are horrendous, but no more so than expected. They and the lawns are the priorities. Significant progress was made just in the last three days that we have been able to work. As busy as we are, I managed to get some nice floral pictures. Rhododendrons are still blooming, but will be the topic for next week.

1. Of the mere four cultivars here, this is my least favorite. The color and profusion of bloom are excellent. I just dislike how the floral form resembles those of the trendy David Austin roses.P00509-1

2. This cultivar is the only one that is in shrub form. All the others are tree roses (or standards). The profuse bloom resembled ‘Double Delight’ last year, but is completely different this year.P00509-2

3. Close up, it is more rich bright pink than distinctly reddish pink with white. It is fragrant like ‘Double Delight’ should be, although it does not seem to be as fragrant now as it was last year.P00509-3

4. The first (#1 above) is also different from how it bloomed last year. Its petals are not so densely packed. There are plenty of buds behind the maturing flowers. Performance is exemplary.P00509-4

5. Is this purple? Not only is its color odd, but it is grafted onto the same rose trees as the white roses (#6 below). It is too weird for my taste. Everyone else likes it. That is more important.P00509-5

6. As mentioned above, this cultivar is grafted onto the same rose trees as the purple roses (#5 above). To me, it seems to be the common ‘Iceberg’. I do like white, even if it is just ‘Iceberg’.P00509-6

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/

Six on Saturday: Self Isolation

 

Self isolation was not exactly why I avoided the landscapes. Since there are very few people here, I can get all the pictures I want without getting too close to anyone. Nor did I intentionally avoid the landscapes because, as I mentioned earlier, it is too saddening to see them looking so good without anyone here to enjoy them. I was just too busy to get out. These six pictures are instead from the recovery nursery. These are items that should eventually be out in the landscapes. Some should have bee there a long time ago.

1. Jasminum humile, Italian jasmine was grown from pruning scraps from a big shrubby specimen in Monterey. It does not look like much so far, but is extremely fragrant, like pink jasmine.P00502-1

2. Solanum jasminoides, potato vine was left by someone who moved away, but has not yet been planted into a landscape. It is overgrown now, so will need to be pruned back when planted.P00502-2

3. Mimulus aurantiacus, sticky monkey flower got removed from where it was in the way of something else, got canned, and now waits to be recycled elsewhere. I should have composted it.P00502-3

4. Cistus x argenteus, rockrose was actually purchased rather than recycled or grown here. It was for a small new landscape that can not be completed right now. This might be ‘Silver Pink’.P00502-4

5. Pelargonium peltatum, ivy geranium provided cuttings when pruned a month ago. It might be ‘Royal Candy Cane’. They should have been planted intact, but there is not enough of them.P00502-5

6. Leucanthemum × superbum, Shasta daisy, like sticky monkey flower, was removed from an area that was outfitted with a new landscape, but not yet recycled. I really should just plant it.P00502-6

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/

Six on Saturday: Blank Slate (& Asphalt)

 

While unable to work at my second most time consuming job, I developed a bit of unused space into a vegetable garden. I would not have done so if I had known how much work it would be, or how much of what seemed to be usable space was just trash, brambles and a shallow bit of soil on top of pavement. Alternatively, I should have had the main unpaved area bulldozed first.

Now that it is halfway through spring, this new vegetable garden is finally started!

1. Four decades of junk mixed with wicked brambles was removed to expose less than four hundred square feet of cruddy slope. Rain draining from the deck eroded a gully in the middle.P00425-1

2. To the right, disfigured juniper should be temporarily obscured by cucumber vines expected to grow from seed sown just above a ditch. Indeterminate tomato vines will be added soon.P00425-2

3. Across the road, more junk, weeds and brambles were removed from between a curb and fence, only to find that the area is paved to the fence! Pole beans will be pleased with the fence.P00425-3

4. Posts supporting the deck had too much potential to ignore. Dragon fruit plants can climb them to the top and cascade downward. The posts are pressure treated, so will be painted first.P00425-4

5. ‘Kadota’ fig can grow as a hedge where the outer surface gets sunlight under the downhill edge of the deck. The area behind it is too shaded to be useful. The area in front is for vegetables.P00425-5

6. There are plenty of radish greens growing wild outside of the garden; but a few radish roots would be nice too. These are developing splendidly, and should be ready before anything else.P00425-6

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/

Six on Saturday: Moving Day

A neighbor family relocated to a new home a short distance away. The former home needs such major repair that it may instead be demolished and replaced. For now, it remains abandoned. I collected a few plants from the abandoned garden so that some could be relocated to the new home. So far, only two Philodendron selloum and one Mexican fan palm went. The rest remain here, and may actually go to other homes.

1. In all my career, I have never seen a trunk of a palm shrivel from desiccation like this. All of the now absent roots were desiccated also. I seriously doubt that this queen palm will survive.P00418-1

2. It got canned anyway. Without significant roots, it certainly did not need all this medium. It only got a #15 can so that the shriveled trunk could be buried, sort of like a weird palm cutting.P00418-2

3. This lemon tree was almost left behind because it is so mutilated. It looks a bit suspicious too, sort of like shaddock understock of a formerly grafted tree. Actually, it is ‘Ponderosa’ lemon.P00418-3

4. The smaller of two Mexican fan palms got canned into a #5 can until it starts to produce new roots and foliage. Actually, only the queen palm and the big Mexican fan palm got larger cans.P00418-4

5. This bigger Mexican fan palm got a squat #20 can because the trunk is wider than a #5 can. There are not very many roots in there yet. It got left here to divert traffic around the garden.P00418-5

6. These three Philodendron selloum were all I originally wanted to salvage. One lacks foliage for now. The other can that seems to be empty contains bare tubers of an unidentified heliconia.P00418-6

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/