Six on Saturday: Bloom!

Bloom has been conspicuously absent from my Six on Saturday posts for the past several weeks. Severe weather had prevented me from performing my horticultural obligations, and then prevented me from processing pictures after resuming my obligations. As I was able to post last week, I merely posted six pictures of why I neglected to share pictures of horticultural relevance for previous weeks. Finally, I can share a few pictures of some of the bloom that I have neglected. I am impressed that some of it survived so much severe weather. Incidentally, the weather has been totally awesome since the storms stopped as suddenly as they started. Zayante Creek flows as it typically does for this time of year, as if nothing happened. The water seems to be unusually clear.

1. Camellia japonica cultivars are sufficiently numerous here for a month or so of Six on Saturday. Some bloom profusely but briefly. Some bloom sporadically for a long season.

2. Camellia sasanqua cultivars are less numerous, but might be sufficient for two weeks of exclusive Six on Saturday presence. This one is ‘Christmas Cheer’ blooming a bit late.

3. Narcissus is too botanically complicated for species designation. This is possibly ‘King Alfred’. Experts might be able to identify its species or hybrid. I know it only as daffodil.

4. Iris X germanica is also botanically complicated. This unidentified cultivar wastes no time recovering from seemingly early division last September. I am very pleased with it!

5. Scilla peruviana, squill was still canned when we noticed it blooming! We neglected it while busy with the weather. The best is now planted. The rest awaits gopher mitigation.

6. Rhody is very pleased that his crew has been able to resume their normal duties, such as providing treats and petting, without all the stress associated with the severe weather.

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Six on Saturday: Excuses

It had not rained so much here since 1982. Consequences of such excessive rain were the priorities at work. I neglected to procure pictures of horticultural topics while the first of the problems associated with the weather began to develop two weeks ago. I was unable to transmit new pictures last week because of disruption of telephone service. Now that I am able to share new pictures, I find that a few are redundant to some that I posted two weeks ago, and none are any more horticulturally oriented than a few unidentifiable logs and an unseen redwood tree. Well, at least they demonstrate why I was too busy to share horticultural pictures on Six on Saturday.

1. Mudslides blocked a few portions of the main road into town at various times. None of them stayed for long, but they took turns. Shortly after one got cleared, another one slid.

2. Sinkholes were mudslides from below rather than from above, and ruined portions of roads that were not under mud. I nearly dropped the camera here to hastily grab Rhody.

3. Floods got deeper than since 1982, and took trees that were big enough to leave twigs two thirds of the way up the right and upstream side of the pillars nearest to the middle.

4. Logjams collected some of those trees that would otherwise be on beaches near Santa Cruz by now. Ironically, that is a municipal water pumping station across Zayante creek.

5. Fallen trees are particularly dangerous within forests of the tallest trees in the World. This one took out about twenty feet of the trail. I will share two more pictures of it later.

6. Rhody was exhausted from exemplary service to his similarly exhausted crew through many days of the rainiest weather here since 1982. He is enjoying sunnier weather now.

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Six on Saturday: Service Interruption (I have nothing to share here this week.)

Unusually rainy weather here has been quite a problem. Flooding, mudslides and falling trees have kept us all very busy at work. They have also interfered with the utilities, such as electricity, cable and internet service. A message on my telephone informed me of the service interruption that prevented me from sending pictures to myself to share here on Six on Saturday. I intended to simply share pictures that were illustrations for my other blog, but as I was writing about them, I realized that I already shared them on Christmas Eve. I therefore have no more than these recycled pictures. More pictures from here are in the news.

1. The Steven Michael Ralls Memorial Tree was planted two and a half years ago, so it is the oldest Monterey cypress within this Memorial Grove, and is now almost six feet tall.

2. The David Noel Riddell Memorial Tree was installed with #3 below, only about a year ago. It is the smallest of the three cypress trees, and is only slightly taller than three feet.

3. The David Fritiof Lindberg Memorial Tree was installed a few days after David Fritiof Lindberg passed away on November 13, 2021, with #2 above. It is only four feet tall now.

4. The Memorial Tree in Felton Covered Bridge Park is actually one of several Memorial Trees within its landscape. It is doing well, but needed a bit more pruning for clearance.

5. It looks scrawny after pruning, but will fluff out splendidly through spring. It may not need pruning for clearance again for quite a while. By that time, it will be too big for me.

6. Sunny weather is finally in the forecast. Rain is normally appreciated in our chaparral climate, but has been excessive for too long. It has not rained this much in four decades.

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Six on Saturday: 2022 Ends II

2022 ended with what might have been the worst series of storms since 1982. More rain is in the forecast, so the situation has potential to get worse. As I was composing my ‘Six on Saturday’ for last week, Zayante Creek behind the shop buildings at work was coming up higher than it has been in many years. An adjacent neighborhood was evacuated later in the day. Evacuated neighbors parked their vehicles in a big parking lot across Zayante Creek, and partied in the rain until 2023! By then, they could go home on muddy roads. It was a unique way to celebrate the New Year. Picture #1 was yesterday. #2 and #3 were Wednesday. #4, #5 and #6 were last Saturday, 2022.

1. Mudslides caused a few road closures and other damage elsewhere in the region. This was the worst for us. It was mitigated yesterday. Vegetation did not control this erosion.

2. Fallen trees were another major problem elsewhere in the region. A big coast live oak squashed a car nearby. This Italian buckthorn was the worst for us. It damaged nothing.

3. Widowmakers are terrifyingly dangerous during windy weather. All too many free fall silently for more than a hundred feet from the exteriors of canopies of coastal redwoods.

4. David Fritiof Lindberg Memorial Tree is barely visible to the right of the center of the lower edge of this picture. It is immobile, but has never been this close to Zayante Creek.

5. Steven Michael Ralls Memorial Tree resides in the same Memorial Grove as the David Fritiof Lindberg Memorial Tree, so is also now closer to Zayante Creek than it should be.

6. Conference Drive Bridge over Zayante Creek is a short distance north and upstream of the Memorial Grove. At the time, most vegetation was obscured from view under water.

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Six on Saturday: 2022 Ends

The year ends with the day, but bad habits continue. I make no resolutions. I continue to collect too much seed, plug too many cuttings and divide too many perennials. Common weeds are not off limits. Canna were already too abundant before more were canned last week. More will be divided later! Cymbidium is not proliferating yet, but has potential to do so after bloom. For now, there is no need to irrigate any of this surplus, since the rain will not stop.

1. Lunaria annua, money plant or honesty, is not quite naturalized within unrefined but damp zones of our landscapes. We collect seed to toss where we think it should perform well. It has become a tradition. The name implies that it is native to the Moon, and that, like 2022, lasts only one year. These seed in key envelopes are for whomever takes them.

2. Canna ‘Australia’ are bloomed canes that I groomed from the downtown planter box, as seen last week. There are a dozen #5 cans of four canes, and six #1 cans of two canes! More pups must be thinned later! Also, I will soon dig even more cannas for a neighbor!

3. Bellis perennis, English daisy is naturalized in the vast lawn at Felton Covered Bridge Park. I have no use for it, but plugged a dozen solitary rosettes in with the Canna canes.

4. Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’, black elderberry should generate a bit of fruit without a pollinator, but is merely pretty here. I plugged a few cuttings because its darkly bronzed foliage works so well for our landscapes. Native blue elderberry produces plenty of fruit.

5. Cymbidium orchid is extending quite a few floral spikes. I have not counted them yet.

6. Morgan was reminded why no one craves his parking space. Rain is splendid though!

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Six on Saturday: Memorial Trees +

Goodness! Not only did I not get good pictures of these Memorial Trees, but I needed to add two unrelated pictures for a total of Six on Saturday. Perhaps fewer Memorial Trees are better than more. Sadly, another must be added as space becomes vacated. Anyway, the first picture is something I am quite pleased with. The sixth complies with tradition. Links have more information about the Memorial Trees at my other blog, Felton League.

1. Australian tree fern, Cyathea cooperi, was relocated from my former neighborhood in town. It may not look like much, but the trunk, which is not visible here. is nine feet tall!

2. Steven Michael Ralls Memorial Tree was the first Tree of the Memorial Grove when it was installed on May 2, 2020, the third anniversary of his death. It is now about six feet tall, and inhabits a site that was formerly inhabited by Mr. Ralls while he was unhoused.

3. David Noel Riddell Memorial Tree was installed quite a while after Mr. Riddell passed away, so it is only about three feet tall. Incidentally, Mr. Riddell is a direct descendant of some of the first Spanish people to arrive in Monterey where Monterey cypress is native.

4. David Fritiof Lindberg Memorial Tree was installed shortly after Mr. Lindberg passed away on November 13, 2021, and in conjunction with The David Noel Riddell Memorial Tree. It is only about four feet tall. All three of those Memorialized were mutual friends.

5. Jeffrey Dale Scofield Memorial Tree became The Memorial Tree after a few friends of the Memorialized passed away within only a few years afterwards. It is maturing nicely!

6. Canna ‘Australia’ in the downtown planter box remain lush after harsh grooming, and after those at work were frosted. Of course, this picture is not actually about this Canna.

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Six on Saturday: Sale

We do not spend much on plant material here. Actually, I purchase nothing. Removal of excessive vegetation is more of a priority than adding more. We purchased quite a bit of plant material this last week only because it was so very inexpensive from a supplier that is closing for business. All of it is new to our landscape. New Zealand tea tree is common locally, but was somehow never installed here. We got a single #15 specimen, although I did not add a picture of it here. We would prefer to install all of the new material early in the rainy season. By local standards, the weather is too cool to do so comfortably.

1. Frost happens here also. Fortunately, it is not too severe. This is the coolest spot in the region. Rhody should not mix randomly capitalized letters like this. ‘E’ should match ‘e’.

2. Canna ‘Red King Humbert’ melts when the weather gets this cool, even without frost. It is already trying to replace this foliage, so might melt again, but will be fine by spring.

3. Dicksonia antarctica, Tasmanian tree fern could perform better than the rather pekid Australian tree ferns in a cool and riparian landscape. We got only a single #5 specimen.

4. Physocarpus opulifolius, ninebark is the first that I have ever met! It is bronzed, but I do not remember its cultivar. It is too cool to go look now. We got twelve #15 specimens.

5. Pinus mugo, mugo pine looks like a smaller and greener version of mature specimens of dwarf white pine of last week. They eventually get bigger. We got thirty #5 specimens.

6. Picea abies ‘Nidiformis’, bird’s nest spruce will not be combined with mugo pine here. I was warned about their redundancy of form last week. We got forty-two #5 specimens!

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Six on Saturday: Before Winter

Autumn is the season for planting. For portions of the landscapes that lack irrigation, we must wait until the beginning of the rainy season. By the time the rainy season ends next spring, new plants should be outfitted with irrigation, or sufficiently established to need none. Now that the weather got rainy, as well as windy and messy, planting is facilitated by a sale at one of our suppliers. We normally do not purchase much, but the prices were too good to ignore. I did not get enough pictures, so added random pictures, such as the shabby bearded iris foliage. The important details of #5 are difficult to distinguish.

1. Scout at least tried to cooperate for a picture, which is more than Rhody does. He just does not know how to cooperate. He was too wiggly to get a picture that was not blurred.

2. Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’, weeping blue Atlas cedar is an oddly limber trophy tree that my colleague here had wanted for a while, but could not justify procurement of.

3. Pinus strobus ‘Nana’, dwarf Eastern white pine was not planned, but like the weeping blue Atlas cedar, was unusually affordable. There are eight in a row. Mugo pine are next.

4. Iris X germanica, bearded iris start growing prior to shedding old foliage of last year, so now look shabby. This is the pallid white and potentially feral iris in the new iris bed.

5. Wind is messy! Those two diagonal trunks just above and to the right of the middle of this picture were not diagonal earlier. Those headlights to the lower left are on a bridge.

6. Rain is messy also! This is a spillway of a drainage pond at work. While the sycamores and other deciduous trees continue to defoliate, it can get partially clogged and flooded.

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These four pictures below are not affiliated with the Six on Saturday above, but at the request of one of his most enthusiastic fans, were added to compensate for the lack of a picture of Rhody, the star of my blog. I had assumed that he was being uncooperative with my attempts to get a good picture, but he reminded me of what his fans really want to see. Can you guess what the last picture shows?

Six on Saturday: Bad Timing

The preponderance of white amongst these ‘Six on Saturday’ is merely coincidental, and might not be obvious anyway. Only #2 and #4 are actually white. Contrary to its cultivar name, #3 is really very pale yellow. As stylish as he might be, #6 is quite obviously gray. #1 bloomed with tiny white flowers earlier, but its berries are now as red as #5. Anyway, with the exception of #1, their timing is less than ideal. #2 and #3 are performing better than they have all year, but will not last for long now that the weather is cooling. #4 and #5, although slightly confused, should still bloom splendidly in season. #6 was not there in the morning.

1. Ilex aquifolium, English holly is doing nothing that it should not be doing at this time of year, but is rarely so prolific with its berries here. It might be more invasive if it were.

2. Brugmansia X candida ‘Double White’, double white Angel’s trumpet is likewise a bit more enthusiastic than it typically is, but at the wrong time, as autumn becomes winter.

3. Helianthus debilis ‘Italian White’, Italian white sunflower is blooming like the angel’s trumpet, at the wrong time. It grew slowly through summer to begin blooming this late.

4. Rhododendron, azalea of an unidentified cultivar is either very late or very early. This unseasonal bloom deducts from the bloom for the following season, but is rather minor.

5. Rhododendron, azalea of another unidentified cultivar bloomed even earlier, or not so late, as this is an older picture. The minor consequences are the same. This white is rad!

6. Kenny II waddled out to meet me as I went out to close the gates for the night, but did not seem to do so intentionally. He stopped waddling when he encountered me, so I left.

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Six on Saturday: New Photinia

Renovation of an old photinia hedge on the main road at work has been more work than it should have been. It was too overgrown for simple shearing. I pruned it up as a row of small trees, with the intention of eliminating their upper canopies as basal watersprouts grew upward from the newly exposed trunks below. Well, water sprouts did not grow as readily as I hoped for. The trees were cut down while the hedge below was still scrawny. As planned, I layered a tall water sprout as a replacement for one of two missing shrubs, but needed to replace the other with the naturally layered specimen from another hedge. (Layers develop roots where they touch soil, while attached to their original specimens.)

1. Rain! The first storm of the season came and went about two weeks ago. The drainage pond flooded about two feet over its spillway! This duckweed was left on a nearby fence.

2. Controlled burns resume now that the beginning of the rainy season is also the end of the fire season. There has been no more rain since the first storm, but forests are damp.

3. Damp ground and cooler weather facilitate planting within areas that lack automated irrigation. This layered photinia stem got relocated from one old hedge to patch another.

4. It was not enough though. To compensate for lack of another, I simply made a second layer by bending over and mostly burying a vigorous water sprout of an adjacent stump.

5. A new photinia can now grow where the tip of the mostly buried water sprout emerges from the soil. I am very pleased with the very uniform spacing of all specimens involved.

6. Meanwhile, I plugged a rooted sucker of an ungrafted historic flowering cherry within the decayed center of the stump of the now deceased original tree. It could replace itself!

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