Friday, January 23, 2015

Cassia

It is wonderful to see cheery yellow flowers blooming in winter here in SoCal. This plant is Cassia artemisioides, meaning that the leaves look like Artemisia. But that's a different blog post. Actually they changed the name from Cassia to Senna. I hate when they do that. I'll still call it Cassia.



It's native to Australia, drought tolerant and does really well here since we have a similar Mediterranean climate. It has gray needle like foliage and bright yellow flowers. Mine just began blooming and will bloom winter into Spring. It is said to grow up to 6'. I have only seen it get about 4' tall. Mine is about 2, 1/2' now and a few years old. You can see the whole plant in this photo along with weeds that I have yet to get to because of so much work.  




My rose pruning totals so far:
This week I pruned 342 rose bushes. 
My total is 1294 bushes pruned this season.
I'm so tired. But it's good to have lots of work.
Happy pruning!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Pomegranate Tree Relocated

A month ago I decided the we needed to move our Pomegranate tree. It came with the house, bears lots of fruit, but was in a really bad spot RIGHT next to the street and fence. It scraped cars. I had to whack it a lot. And I had to pick the fruit early before the neighbor kids got them.



I waited until it dropped most of its leaves. 2 weeks ago I cut it way back from about 12' to 7' tall. Rick helped use a chainsaw to cut the thick branches low. I filled up 2 large trash cans of ours and 2 of our neighbors cans. As I attempted to dig around it I realized that it was too big a job for me. So I called my gardener friend Nelson. He said he'd help. I then dug a 5' hole in the backyard. With our sandy soil it was easy. Then I waited almost 2 weeks. Thursday when I came home exhausted from rose pruning jobs, I found the tree transplanted to the backyard! Thank you Nelson & Jose!



I've been watering it daily to try and prevent transplant shock. It's so big that it probably only has about a 50% change of survival. But it IS dormant and that's the best time to transplant. Wish me luck! I love this tree!



In its old spot I planted a dwarf Bottlebrush- Callistemon, a White Sage and a groundcover Rose Incendio. It's a happier corner now.  Have you ever moved or had a big tree moved before?  



Friday, January 16, 2015

Comparing White Roses

So, I pruned this job yesterday as I have for about 5 years.  It is only 12 white roses. You might think they are all Iceberg as I did at first.  But as I began pruning I noticed that some of them were different. There are White Simplicity roses mixed in with Iceberg roses.  



Here's how I could tell.  The White Simpilicity had way less bud eyes from which to choose to cut above!  That means the leaves had been spaced farther apart than the Icebergs. See on the left there is only about 4 bud eyes(where a leaf was-may just be a little line or a nub-where you cut to encourage new growth). On the right on the Iceberg there was about 8 bud eyes.  



One good thing about the White Simpilicity(top of the photo) was the substance of the leaves was WAY better than Icebergs.  The leaves were so leathery and thick.  Good substance usually means disease resistance.  The Iceberg leaves in comparison were very thin and much smaller.  



The White Simpilicity DOES have bigger flowers(left on pic).  But it doesn't bloom nearly as much as Iceberg does. And the WS stay a bit shorter too.  


And I am EXHAUSTED today from pruning too many roses, 150 today in 6 hours.  
I pruned 436 rose bushes this week.  That makes my total 952 so far!  
And I'm not even halfway!!!  
Happy pruning to you!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Cotton Cushion Scale

Here is a bug to be on the look out for. It's called Cotton Cushion Scale or Icerya purchasi(never would have guessed that name!). It's a sucking insect that damages plants, most often Citrus, Pittosporum and sometimes Roses. I have seen them on many different kinds of plants.  I found these today while pruning a client's roses. Now they're in the trash! The other scale that is most often seen is like a brown barnacle and is difficult to eradicate. This one is pretty easy to just wipe off, hose off or just cut off the branch. I never even see real damage from them.   But they are gross and you want to get rid of them. The info of it's life cycle on Wikipedia is so disgusting that I'll let you go read it there.   wikipedia     Did you read it?   EW! SO GROSS!



























My rose pruning total this week is 260. 
Added to last week is 516 total so far! 
Happy Pruning!

Friday, January 2, 2015

ⓗⓐⓟⓟⓨ ⓝⓔⓦ ⓨⓔⓐⓡ

Happy New Year to everybody! It's a fresh start and we get to begin again.

One of the first things I planted here in our 4 year "new" house is this Orange Flame Vine, Pyrostegia venusta. I adore orange and not many of my clients do. It was difficult to find but I needed it. I love the color and the fact that it blooms in winter through spring. We have this 4' high chain link fence between us and our neighbors to the west. I think they get to enjoy more flowers on their side than we do




In other news this is my first week of rose pruning for the season.  
I pruned 256 roses this week!

 I'll post my weekly totals every Friday until I finish. I hope you'll follow along.

Happy gardening!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Rose Pruning Begins

 Today I began my rose pruning jobs.  If you've been following along, you know that this is my busiest time of year(yay!).   Every year I prune about 2500 rose bushes between the last week of Dec(a few of my clients want it early) and the end of Feb. Last year I was still pruning in March!  And these are not just whack whack jobs!  I prune correctly above a bud eye facing outward on every plant!

For those who don't know, we prune roses to:
1.  Get rid of diseases
2.  To make the plant a manageable size.  
3.  To encourage new growth because roses bloom on new growth. 


Thought I'd share today's before & after photos at a job in Arcadia.  Granted that these are scrawny because of too much shade. But this bed holds 93 plants. 



Watch my progress this season as I post my weekly pruning numbers. 

Happy gardening! 

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Plant


In my experience I've found that you should buy the unusual plant when you see it. If I don't, I'll end up pining for it and then it won't be available next time




I was at San Gabriel Nursery today and found this unusual Heather, Erica speciosa. It is from South Africa, wanting mostly sun and well-drained soil. Yay! Hopefully it will like my super sandy soil. I love that red with the green edge! I bet the hummingbirds will love it too!