Six on Saturday: Rhody’s Rhodies 2022 – Pretty In Pink

There are too many rhododendrons here. Working with them in a landscape situation is very different from growing them on the farm. The farm generates hundreds of primary cultivars, with hundreds of others to potentially introduce. Thousands of plants grow in cans on much of forty acres. Ideally, most develop an abundance of floral buds, but then leave the farm prior to bloom. Here, only a few hundred rhododendrons bloom well and mature within their landscapes with no intentions of ever leaving. These are mostly pink with one that blooms pinkish red.

1. Mothers’ Day Rhododendron blooms reliably for Mothers’ Day annually, regardless of how early or late other neighboring rhododendrons bloom. No one knows its real name.

2. Now that I see this one in this picture, I do not remember if it was more rosy in color. It seems to be a simpler but bright pink now. I am not so proficient with analyzing color.

3. This one also seems to be a bit different from how I remember it. I thought that it was more like watermelon red, rather than reddish pink. This is why I will not choose colors.

4. Oh, I should remember the name of this one. My colleague grew it! I delivered it years ago. It looks like ‘Rocket’ but I do not believe that it is. I should have saved the old label.

5. Of these Six, this is the only rhododendron that I know the name of, and is one of only a few that I may identify here. It is one of the most common cultivars; ‘Mrs. G. W. Leak’.

6. Most of our rhododendrons here are pink or purple. Only a few are red. This might be the darkest red here. I refer to it as ‘Taurus’, but it is not. Individual flowers open widely.

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Six on Saturday: Politely Naturalized Exotics +1

Exotic plant species that appreciate endemic climates and soils seem like they should be the next best options to native plant species. A few unfortunately naturalize aggressively enough to displace native plants species, and interfere with the natural ecosystem. A few can not naturalize without their preferred pollinators that did not come with them from their origin. Some have potential to naturalize, but either refrain, or are civil about doing so. Some that are invasive within landscapes are not as invasive in the wild, particularly if they need more water than they get from local weather. I occasionally find exotic plant species, including a few that I am surprised to find.

1. Sticky monkey flower is the ‘+1’. It is the only one of these six that is native rather than exotic. Its odd name leaves one pondering how a monkey is involved and why it is sticky.

2. Mock orange seems to be naturalized, but contrary to common belief, may actually be native. A single flowered variety and a double flowered variety may be different species.

3. Jupiter’s beard is most certainly exotic and naturalized, but does not seem to be polite about it. It can get quite invasive. However, it does not get far from irrigated landscapes.

4. Iris remains a mystery to me. I grew this same seemingly simple species while in high school, but have never identified it. It naturalizes, but only where it gets sufficient water.

5. Spanish lavender is obviously not native since it is from, well, Spain. It can naturalize, but is not aggressive about it. The honeybee is much more aggressively naturalized here.

6. Crinum, like the Iris, is unidentified. I am not even sure if it is a Crinum. It grows wild with sticky monkey flower, in sandy soil that gets dusty, dry and warm through summer.

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Six on Saturday: Best For Last

Seed are germinating; and cuttings are rooting. I try to finish my propagation before the end of winter. Some seed appreciate the last bit of chill to maintain their schedule. Some cuttings prefer to start their rooting process while still dormant, so that they are ready to grow by spring. The last and most important of these six pictures is irrelevant to cuttings and seed though. Only the names of those involved are relevant to horticulture; and half of that relevance is merely, although amusingly, coincidental. It will be interesting to see how many can answer the question presented with the last picture. It was difficult to get a reasonably clear picture, and after all the effort, the clarity may not help much.

1. Esperanza seed from Crazy Green Thumbs is finally germinating! Poinciana seed that came with them are still inactive. My rush to sow them prior to spring seems unfounded.

2. Poinciana seed of another kind and from another source is germinating though. Brent thought that I got royal poinciana seed. Rather than disappoint, I procured a few online.

3. Canna seed germination is a surprise. These seed were discarded runts from pods that were still green when deadheaded. I saw them growing from the trash and canned them.

4. Red passion flower vine was a runt also. None of a few other cuttings that got plugged properly took root. This one was too dinky, so was left in its jar of water, where it rooted.

5. Angel’s trumpet cuttings are growing like the red passion flower cuttings should have. They were scraps from pruned out frost damage. Many appeared dead prior to plugging.

6. Lily and Rhody are nearly indistinguishable as they frolic. Their genders are opposite, and their faces are distinct, but they scamper too fast to discern. Can you identify them?

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Six on Saturday: Brent’s Pointless Pictures V – Hawaii

Brent left for vacation in Hawaii at about the same time that I returned from vacation in Oregon and Washington. Since I told him to stop sending me so many pointless pictures prior to my vacation, he is now sending even more. I might have gotten more pictures of his vacation than I got of mine. Although I would like to see Hawaii for the horticultural aspects, I am not otherwise impressed by what little I know about it. Perhaps I would get a better impression of it without so many of Brent’s pointless pictures. These are a few of the lesser pointless pictures, without the selfies.

1. Accommodations were quite comfortable. Brent enjoyed the forests around this guest house, which was only a few miles from the Penthouse in Waikiki that he also stayed at.
2. Palms of all sort are common in Hawaii. I have no idea what the palms to the left are. Nor can I know if this is a picture of those palms, a rainbow, or a utility pole with cables.
3. What is this? It must be in the Araceae Family. It looks like some sort of Philodendron that does not develop a vining stem. Some familiar species are not so familiar in Hawaii.
4. Doum palm is a weird palm that branches. There are actually a few species within the same genus. No one seems to know why it was never popularized in Southern California.
5. Is this Kentia palm? There are so many unfamiliar palms in Hawaii that identification is baffling. This group certainly is pretty. The palms to the left looks a bit more familiar.
6. Brent labeled these as windmill palms. If they are, why are their trunks bald? Perhaps they are one of those few shedding species of Trachycarpus that is not yet available here.

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Six on Saturday: Rhody’s Roady IV (not Hedera) – Carson

Carson is Rhody’s Roady. Like most of the vehicles here, he is named after a place. Beau is named after ‘Beau’lder Creek (Boulder Creek) (although his name was actually derived from Hobo). Lee the Chrysler was named after Bever’Lee’ Hills (Beverly Hills). Roy was named after Gil’Roy’ (Gilroy). So, Carson is named after Carson City in Nevada. He took Rhody and I to the Pacific Northwest on vacation. We returned two and a half weeks ago with only a few pictures. These six are some of the last, which were taken during the last two days, as we drove back. The drive was totally excellent!

1. Douglas fir grows wild everywhere we went. Red maple is not native, but is very happy in a neighbor’s yard. This could have been a good picture if not photobombed by Carson.

2. Oregon white oak is likewise native to almost all the regions that we traveled through. However, we did not see many. Although uncertain, I think that these are some of them.

3. Mount McLoughlin is visible from only several miles of Highway 5. It seems to be too visible though. Scenery is obscured by dense forests elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

4. Mount Shasta is even more visible for many miles of Highway 5, not only because of a lack of dense forest, but also because highway 5 gets nearer to it. This was at a rest stop.

5. Apple trees were still being pruned where we stopped for the night on the return trip. The trees to the left are finished. The vigorous trees to the right are about to get pruned.

6. Orchard House was our lodging for the night. It was as grand as Cedar Lodge! Rhody, of course, is near the lower center of this picture. Carson, Rhody’s Roady, is to the right.

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Six on Saturday: Rhody’s Roady III – Oregon

Oregon, which is one of the most excellent states in America, was merely a drive through state with this trip. We spent our first night just south of the Southern Border of Oregon, and then spent our second night on the North Shore of the Columbia River, which is the Northern Border of Oregon. I really should have planned to spend more time in Oregon, particularly between Portland and Astoria. Well, I also should have stayed longer within the regions of Ilwaco. Anyway, our return trip was just as efficient, within only two days. We stopped at many of the rest stops on Highway 5 though.

1. What is this? I saw it at various places north of California. I do not remember where I first encountered it. It may have been just across the border, in the Siskiyou Mountains.

2. Oregon grape is nothing special at home. It gets shabby and only blooms sporadically. I wondered why that grumpy wannabe nandina is the Oregon State Flower. This is why.

3. Western red cedar grew on top of a tree stump and dispersed its roots mostly between the decaying wood and bark, so now stands on its roots above decayed bits of the stump.

4. Grove of the States; what a splendid idea! However, a few State Trees do not live here, so required substitution. Furthermore, many were replaced with random or wrong trees.

5. Douglas fir, which is the Oregon State Tree, grows wild locally, so the specimen within the Grove of the States is exemplary. It is not visible in this picture of its plaque though.

6. Rocks are still a ‘thing’. This one was at the base of a tree that I believe to be a mature Oregon white oak. Goodness; we stopped so much that I do not remember where this is.

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Six on Saturday: Rhody’s Roady II – Washington (the State)

Our vacation continued from Ilwaco, where I took both pictures #1 and #2, to Silverdale and Poulsbo, all within Washington. The Tomeo Residence, where I got pictures #5 and #6, is in Silverdale. The farm, where I got pictures #3 and #4, is near Poulsbo. For most of my vacation, I did exactly what I wanted to do. I pruned a few apple trees that were in need of major structure pruning. I wanted to do more, but got distracted. (That is a long story.) Apples were about to bloom.

1. White grape hyacinth could be my favorite of the many goodies I received from Tangly Cottage Gardening. I try not to choose favorites, but I wanted this for a long time, and it came directly from the planter beds at the Port of Ilwaco! They are approved by Skooter!

2. ‘Golden Fragrance’ grape hyacinth was blooming in the same bed with the white grape hyacinth. I thought I got a picture. This could be Muscari paradoxum, but I do not know. 

3. Pluot was still in early bloom when we arrived in Kitsap County. I dislike pluots, but it might substitute for apricot, which is unreliable in the local climate. Peach is absent too.

4. Apple trees were barely beginning to bloom. It was technically too late to prune them, but I did anyway. They have been neglected for too long. I finished less than half though.

5. Heather was blooming quite colorfully. It seems to be about as popular there as lily of the Nile is here, likely because it performs so reliably. It was strange to see so much of it.

6. Hyacinth and many other early spring flowers were still blooming splendidly. I should have gotten a better picture of a colony of hyacinth, but wanted to get a close up picture.

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Six on Saturday: Rhody’s Roady

Rhody’s Roady is a topic that I wanted to brag about a while ago, but postponed because of Brent’s pointless pictures. Now, there are other more interesting subjects. Well, it was not exactly a horticultural topic anyway. Rhody’s Roady is merely his Buick Roadmaster. It is not actually described within the context of this Six on Saturday, and is only slightly visible in the first picture. However, it did take us on a road trip to the Pacific Northwest where we finally got to Tangly Cottage Gardening. I was supposed to deliver some canna there months ago! Half of these pictures show gifts that I received while there, including two very important items taken directly from their landscapes in town!

1. Cedar Lodge, surrounded by various cedars, pines, firs and oaks, is where Rhody and I stayed initially. Rhody is to the lower left of this picture. His Roady is to the lower right.

2. Western white pine and incense cedar seedlings were too compelling to ignore. These eventually would have needed to be grubbed out from a roadside berm, so came with us.

3. Ilwaco, in Washington, was our next destination. Tangly Cottage Gardening presented me with this potted ‘Coral and Hardy’ Watsonia, and the bagged red and orange cultivar.

4. Allium christophii and schubertii, which were grown for plant sales, were gifts as well! These are my first Alliums! I had postponed trying any for too long, so this is fortuitous!

5. White grape hyacinth may look like the dinkiest component of these gifts from Tangly Cottage Gardening, but happen to be something that I had been wanting for a long time!

6. Nickel the kitty reminded me that I should have taken more pictures. I met both Fairy and Skooter but somehow neglected to get pictures! More can be seen at Tangly Cottage.

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Six on Saturday: Totally Missed It

Goodness! For the first time in a very long time, I neglected to collect six pictures for Six on Saturday. Furthermore, after frantically assembling these random pictures that I had no use for otherwise, I posted them later than typical. I have a good excuse though. I am on vacation. Actually, I happen to be in Ilwaco in Washington. I will be meeting with the blogger of Tangly Cottage Garden later in the morning, so should have more interesting pictures for next week. I realize that I said that last week in regard to Rhody’s Roady, but as I mentioned, I presently have other very important priorities. By the way, I do intend to explain Rhody’s Roady!

1. After clearing away thickets of Himalayan blackberry and cattail, this drainage pond is allowed to fill for the first time in years. We might add lily pads and other aquatic plants.
2. Conical conifers that were available for live Christmas trees from nurseries go on sale after Christmas. This happy blue spruce, although expensive, was discounted by a third.
3. Flowering cherry continue to bloom. This picture was taken quite a while ago, but the particular tree and others like it were still in bloom on Wednesday. One was still in bud.
4. Camellia continue to bloom as well. Of course, many or perhaps most finished a while ago. Nonetheless, several often bloom rather late, or at different times from year to year.
5. Cymbidium orchid bloomed right on schedule, but its flowers last for such a long time that it seems to be right in the middle of the process. There are four spikes on this plant.
6. Collective bloom is spectacular, and individual flowers are compelling. It is pleased to bloom like this for minimal attention. I merely water it, then display it proudly in bloom.

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Six on Saturday: Brent’s Pointless Pictures IV (‘4’, not Hedera)

It was a mistake to tell Brent to not send so many pointless pictures to my telephone. He now sends more than ever. My telephone gets too clogged with them to take ‘important’ messages, as if any are important. Brent gets annoyed if my telephone us unable to take more, or if I delete messages without opening them. Really though, I do not have time to see all of his pointless pictures and videos, and I should be able to accept messages from others also. If and when Brent actually sends something important, it is typically of such inferior quality that is is useless to me. #5 is an example of that. I should get some of my own pictures to share next week. I want to show off Rhody’s Roadie. Also, we ‘should’ be leaving for Washington on Wednesday.

1. This is nothing new, although it is a more recent picture of Brent’s back garden. Brent does like to show it off. It looks like a garage sale with a tiny kangaroo in the middle of it.

2. Less clutter in this direction reveals the office with the roof deck above. That is where I camp out when I go to Southern California. That is some lush scenery to wake up with.

3. Three of seven queen palms live across the garden from my campsite on the roof. The famous ‘Hollywood’ sign is in the distance behind them. Four more queens are out front.

4. This is not the four queens out front. It is four canopies on two trees, elsewhere in the neighborhood. Branched palms are very rare. (Doum palm is not evident in the region.)

5. Goodness! This is the most significant of these Six, but is of such bad quality. Brent is an idiot! It is one of only a few surviving Olympic Oaks of the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. It was awarded to Cornelius Johnson, in conjunction with a Gold Medal, by Adolph Hitler, who would not acknowledge victory by anyone of African Descent. Brent was protecting the tree from developers who want it removed, but now wants to designate it as historic.

6. See if you can make sense of this one. It is no music video. The original was even a bit weirder. The Mexican fan palm is a Memorial Tree of Brent’s older brother Brian Green.

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