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/

Six on Saturday: el Catedral de Santa Clara de Los Gatos

To everyone else, it is merely the Memorial Chapel. I prefer to think of it as el Catedral de Santa Clara de Los Gatos. It is a long story. Not only is it my favorite building that I work around, but it is outfitted with one of my favorite landscapes. Floral color is limited to white! My favorite color! There is not much to the landscape yet, but there will be later, particularly as the removal of adjacent trees improves sun exposure. Relocation of lily of the Nile is untimely, but necessary.

1. White lily of the Nile are a perfect fit here. They will function like a low hedge between the sidewalk and the roadway, without getting high enough to obscure the façade of the small Chapel.

2. Since the roadway is more than five feet below the sidewalk, the dense border of lily of the Nile will make the retaining wall seem less precipitous. The shading Douglas fir will get removed.

3. Double white angel’s trumpet was also a perfect fit when it was relocated here from the same garden that the lily of the Nile came from, but got majorly distressed by spider mite infestation.

4. It is recovering splendidly now, and is even developing floral buds again. Its future is uncertain though, since mites may continue to be a recurring problem. It lives next door to the Chapel.

5. Zonal geraniums presently provide the most white bloom here, although I can not take credit for them. Someone else put them here. I merely pruned them back when they were overgrown.

6. This is not what it looks like. This gentleman may seem to be expressing his opinion of the exclusivity of the white garden, or perhaps my predilection for white, but he is merely being silly.

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: Revenge of Halston Junior

The saga continues. This time, descendants of Halston have invaded a bed that was outfitted with a layer of gopher wire that was intended to prevent such invasion. This apparently ineffective gopher wire now provides a layer of defense for the invaders. Attempts to cut through the wire in order to set traps causes tunnels to collapse, so that there are no intact tunnels in which to set the traps. These pictures are several days old. Not many nasturtiums remain. Some of the adjacent scarlet sage are missing also.

1. Nasturtiums grow like weeds. Perhaps they are. Nonetheless, they are among my favorites. These were supposed to be a mix of colors, but are mostly this vivid orange. I could not complain.

2. Is this very pale yellow or creamy white? Of the many nasturtiums that grew here from seed of mixed colors, this was one of only a few that were not the richly reddish orange shown above.

3. Bright yellow was about as scarce, with only two plants of this color. Another bloomed with rich red flowers; but I neglected to get a picture of it. I never met a nasturtium that I did not like.

4. This was a problem. The entire top of the stone wall had been occupied by healthy nasturtiums earlier. The small plant with yellow flowers to the right of this gap was just beginning to wilt.

5. This was below the gap. The main stem, which is now to the lower left, was chewed through. There was no attempt to hide the evidence, although other plants had been pulled underground.

6. Just in case there was any doubt about who the culprit was, this new volcano appeared nearby. Unfortunately, the gopher wire that was installed below this bed now impedes with trapping.

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: Oops!





These Six for this Saturday are a minor collection of embarrassing but otherwise useless images that are perhaps too amusing to merely delete. Some had been accumulating for quite a while. The first may not seem like the worst, but is associated with a more embarrassing picture from another ‘Six on Saturday’ of last April. That entire procedure was just too dysfunctional to write about. The fifth picture was actually planned, and should actually work, regardless of how silly it looks here now.

1. Black cherry is so rare here that I met only one in my entire career; and sadly, it needed to be removed. What I did not show at the time was how close this bit got to an adjacent parked car.

2. Arborists who cut down bigger trees for us are remarkably proficient. However, after removing this canyon live oak without any damage, they piled the firewood onto one of my hydrangeas.

3. It made sense at the time. There are two rows of canned plants on top of this retaining wall. Roses are in the sunnier outer row. Now, they need to be deadheaded; but I can not reach them.

4. Land is famously expensive here. Nonetheless, we get it delivered for free whenever we want it. The quality is good, and on rare occasion, it comes with surprises such as callas or narcissus.

5. This ungrafted flowering cherry tree would not stop suckering. Now that it is succumbing to scald, one of its own suckers is groomed and staked to replace it. This stake is nailed to the tree.

6. While unused during the past year, the buildings at work were neglected more than the landscapes were. No one was here to tell us what this Boston ivy was doing on this exterior stairwell.

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: Some Like It Hot!

The climate here is mild. Winter chill is insufficient for some peonies and apples. Summer warmth is generally tolerable, particularly since humidity is generally low. Nonetheless, the weather occasionally gets quite warm. Fortunately, when this happens, it does not last for too long. It started to get unpleasantly warm on Wednesday, then remarkably hot on Thursday, but was then comfortably warm for Friday. I know that it is not much to complain about; but even brief warmth can damage the landscapes here.

1. Astilbe is something that I have wanted to grow since about 1987. I just never found a good excuse to do so. This is not mine, but was added to two of the landscapes at work on Wednesday.

2. On Thursday, a few of the fresh new astilbe looked like this. The weather got too warm, too fast. Gads! This is my first experience with astilbe. Fortunately, they are green and viable within.

3. Shade is certainly not a rare commodity here. Redwoods are the tallest trees in the World, and many live in and around the landscapes. It would have been even warmer here without them.

4. When I say that redwoods are tall, I mean that they are ‘tall’. This one is known as the woodpecker tree because woodpeckers store acorns in the perforated bark. Its shadow reaches Utah.

5. Anyway, this is how hot it almost got. The actual temperature was likely slightly less than this, but enhanced by the metallic roof above. What difference does it make? It was hot regardless!

6. Rhody knew what he wanted to do while it was so unbearably hot. He went out and laid in a sunny spot on the hot asphalt. He rolled around a bit too. He went for a swim in the creek later.

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: Lily Rose and Flowering Pear

Lily Rose Depp was just a little tyke when her father, Johnny Depp, graciously financed the installation of a herd of flowering pear trees as street trees in the neighborhood where she attended school with my niece. Lily Rose is such a delightful and horticultural name. I happen to be very fond of lilies. I also happen to be very fond of roses. I just do not like them together in the same garden.

1. Before it began to deteriorate, this lily looked like Patrick Star, the next door neighbor and best friend of Spongebob Squarepants, or perhaps Carl Junior in drag. It lives in the rose garden.

2. ‘Apricot Candy’ is a rose that I am not familiar with, but it lives here now. It is a hybrid tea rose, which I prefer. I also like the name. Apricots were a primary crop for the Santa Clara Valley.

3. This and #1 above continue to bloom within the rose garden, many years after almost all of the other perennials were removed from the site so that it could be redeveloped as a rose garden.

4. ‘Iceberg’, although white, is not my favorite rose for this week. As reliable and prolific as it is, I still find it to be mundane and cliché. Regardless, it is one of the best within our rose garden.

5. This is my favorite lily this week, not because of the color, but because it is ‘not’ within the rose garden. It is across the road, in a small garden of mostly perennials, where good lilies belong.

6. ‘Proud Land’, although not white like ‘Iceberg’ above, is my favorite rose this week. The rich red is exemplary of the color that red roses should be. This is one of three that I planted in 1984!

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: Plebian

Refined gardens are interesting. They are pretty also. Many are impressively colorful. It is easy to understand why refined gardens are as popular as they are. However, they innately lack quite a bit. Furthermore, they demand more attention that what would naturally grow wild. We are very fortunate here, that the refined components of our landscapes are rather minimal, and must conform to the unrefined components of the surrounding forests. We occasionally add a few new plants, including annuals. Much of what grows here now was once refined, but has gone wild. They are the plebian of horticulture.

1. Zinnia were just recently planted for summer. They are some of the most refined flowers now. There are not many annual bedding plants here, and none live in big beds. These are in a row.

2. Alyssum were planted as summer annuals sometime in the past. These were likely planted about a year ago, and survived through winter. They would likely be white if they grew from seed.

3. Alstroemeria are too aggressively perennial. They were planted intentionally, but overwhelmed the mixed perennial bed they were in. We tried to remove them, but a few continue to bloom.

4. Geranium, or zonal geranium, which is just a rather mundane Pelargonium, was plugged as cuttings and left to go wild. It happens to be one of my favorites because I have always grown it.

5. Calla must have been planted intentionally somewhere and sometime in the distant past, but was dug up and dumped with what became fill dirt here. It now blooms on the side of the road.

6. Poppy, or more specifically, California poppy, which is the Official State flower of California, grows wild, of course. They are some of the least refined flowers now, but also, among the best!

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: Jive Turkey

Every once in a while, I accumulate a few random but perhaps interesting pictures that do not conform to a common theme. ‘Six on Saturday’ is an ideal venue to avoid wasting such pictures. I could have gotten six more pictures of rhododendrons like I did last week, but that would have been mundane. I happen to both like and dislike the miniature rose in picture #3, and wanted to show it off. The conjoined roses are just wrong. The removal of the exemplary California lilac was wrong too, but could not be avoided.

1. Rhododendron are mostly finished with bloom. This pinkish watermelon red bloom was still quite garish when I got this picture about a week and a half ago. A few are still blooming today!

2. Rhododendron are abundant, which is why I share too many pictures of them. I will not do it this season. After the Six last week, and the one above, this yellow blushed white one is the last.

3. Rose blooms on the edge of the most prominent of our landscapes, but we did not plant it. No one know where it came from. We can not remove it because it is likely important to someone. 

4. Rose aberration that I mentioned two weeks ago blooms just across the road. I believe that these are Iceberg and Burgundy Iceberg grafted together on the same rose standard (tree). Gads!

5. California lilac might be a common Ceanothus thyrsiflorus. This is an exemplary specimen, but grew where it overwhelmed an important star magnolia. It finished bloom, and is gone now.

6. Turkey chicks are just a few of a big herd of a dozen or so! It is a long story. Momma Turkey ran off after a random jogger, and left them staring at me for answers. She fortunately returned.

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 Approved

This is more than Rhody Approved. These are SIX rhodies that I approve of. (I do not know what Rhody thinks because I did not ask.) These pictures were taken early last week. All this bloom is deteriorating now, with only the latest bloom lingering. Most of the rhododendrons here are quite mature. Their identities are unknown. Does it really matter?

1. Trude Webster looks something like this, but should stay lower. The specimen that produced this bloom is more than twenty feet high! It is a lanky tree that bends from the weight of bloom.

2. I have no idea what this is. I am not certain about the identities of any of the rhododendrons here; but this one is different. I really do not know what it even resembles! It certainly is pretty.

3. Rhododendron ponticum is a simple species of Rhododendron, rather than an extensively bred cultivar. Unlike its progeny, it is somewhat uncommon in cultivation. This just might be one.

4. Anah Kruschke is what I thought this resembled last year. It looks nothing like it now. I suppose that it could be another specimen. Anah Kruschke is common, so must be here somewhere.

5. Taurus is what I designated this one as, although I doubt that it really is. It is a big and sprawling specimen, with the simplest and brightest red bloom. It happens to be one of my favorites.

6. Lord Roberts blooms with rich burgundy red like the velour upholstery of the 1978 Electra I learned to parallel park with. If you can parallel park an Electra, you can parallel park anything. Anyway, I do not know what cultivar this is, but I know it is not actually Lord Roberts. Its foliage is not right. Nonetheless, without a good white rhododendron, this is my favorite of these six.

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/