Friday, December 23, 2011
This orange one is growing in one of my client's garden in South Pasadena. And the color is really that bright! Research tells that the flowers are bird pollinated. So enjoy those hummingbirds!
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Poinsettias are native to Mexico so they sometimes do well planted in the ground here in SoCal. It always seem that the fancy varieties do not. I have seen them grown in gardens and they get about 7 feet tall! I was taught by a friend to prune them on St. Patrick's Day and Independence Day to manage them well.
Enjoy the holiday colors!
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The purple is Hypoestes aristata. Most know the other Hypoestes, the Pink Polka Dot plant which is H. phyllostachya. This purple flowered variety grows to about 3 feet and always flowers for me in Nov. I pinch it a bit all summer so it will have more flowers. After the blooms are spent I cut it down to the new growth coming out of the bottom. It's a fabulous perennial. I look forward to seeing how it grows in the ground.
Friday, November 25, 2011
I layed them all out with tags first. I think the rule in planting bulbs is to dig the hole 1 1/2 or 2 1/2 times the size of the bulb. Always plant bulbs point up, that is the growing point.
Most of the bulbs will naturalize for us here in SoCal. Hawera is iffy but I love it so! So go out and plant some Daffodil bulbs and we'll all have beautiful flowers in late Winter early Spring. Let's hope we don't get that hot spell in Feb that we usually get.
Monday, November 21, 2011
So today I planted my Black Peppermint Willow Tree- Agonis flexuosa 'After Dark'. I bought it in a 5 gallon can about 3 years ago and potted it up to a 15 gal can(because the 15 gals are $$!). It is supposed to get only about 15 ft. I love the burgandy black foliage! And it smells deliciously like peppermint, hence the common name.
Also I've got 200 something roses, about 10 Salvia, 3 Camellia sasanqua, 3 Euphorbia cotinifolia(burgandy leaves), 3 Brugmansia(Angel's Trumpet), Chrysanthemums, Pelargoniums(Geraniums), variegated Agapanthus, Tulbaghia violacea variegated(Society Garlic) and T. fragrans(sweet smelling) 4 Osmanthus fragrans(Sweet Olive), 3 Dodonea viscoca purpurea(Purple Hopseed Bush), 16 lbs of Daffodil bulbs and many other shrubs and perennials to plant. So, that garden is coming! Yay!
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
I bought it today at a great bookstore called Hennessey & Ingalls in Santa Monica. They have books on art, architecture, gardening, photography, design and more. Rick and I make the pilgrimage maybe once a year. But I think I paid too much for it($45). Barnes & Noble and Amazon have it for about $30. If you love trees and their beautiful bark, you should check it out.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
What is great about Euryops is that if it gets too big, just whack it back! It takes to cutting down to bare stems. Try that on a Marguerite and you'll be sorry, it'll be dead(I know from experience). Sometimes the young plants can get rangy. Just cut each stem and 2 stems will come out making the plant bushier.
Enjoy the sunny daisy flowers of Euryops!
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
I took a few cuttings. I understand that September is not that good a time to try to root cuttings of a plant that is going to lose it's leaves soon. But that is the only time I was at Fairplex! They did not root :-( I had even emailed them in the Spring to see if I could go and take cuttings then with no reply. I don't think they care. 2 years ago I took more cuttings when I was at the fair volunteering. They rooted!
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
A few nights ago(back before this blowtorch weather) I was washing dinner dishes with the kitchen window open and the wonderful wafting scent of Stephanotis did waft itself inside to me. It smelled so good! I mentioned to Rick how I love being able to open the kitchen window.
I should explain. When we bought this house a year ago, there was one of those pop out garden windows in the kitchen. What a waste of space! It was so impractical! You can't put plants in it or they'll fry like an ant under a magnifying glass! I'm not the best cook and when I seared pork loin roast it made the kitchen smokey! But I couldn't open a window!!! So, about 6 months ago I had a friend rip out that garden window and replace it with a regular double hung window, that opens! So now I can let the smoke out and the flower fragrance in!
Friday, September 2, 2011
And since you're here, I'd thought I'd share my most favorite tool. It's called a "planter" and is not often found in garden centers or nurseries. I take it to every job. It has a round pointed end like an inverted shovel on one side and a pointed end like a pick on the other. It is much easier to use this in the overhand direction like a hammer than it is to use a trowel(which I DO NOT own!) in the underhand awkward direction. I use it for planting bedding plants, bulbs, weeding and more. And the pick side is good for digging around bulbs that you don't want to slice. The metal does wear down. Where does it go? And the wooden handle may break. But it's super useful if kept with care. Happy September!
Monday, August 29, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
There are 2 things that occur here in August besides the icky heat; Naked Lady bulbs bloom and fig beetles are around. Both are beautiful. One is super annoying. Naked Lady is the Amaryllis belladonna flowering bulb. It looks like a regular (Christmas or Spring blooming)Amaryllis but puts out it's leaves in the cool weather, sheds them when the weather warms and then blooms without foliage in August. Hence the "Naked" part of its name.
The Fig beetle or fruit beetle is not really that bad because it doesn't do damage to flowers like the smaller Japanese beetle of the midwest and east. The huge and disgusting grubs that are it's larval state do eat things underground but not terribly that you'd notice damage above ground. This beetle is about an inch long when it's wings are closed and about 3 inches long when it's wings are out. It flies rather awkwardly like it's too heavy to be airborne. It bumps and bonks into things and makes a sort of electrical sound sometimes. And to bare all here, I have an irrational fear of them. I can hear them coming and my instinct is to hide behind whoever is nearest. I think it stems from a long ago trauma that no man can understand(and they will taunt me with them if they can). Once while driving along the 605 freeway near Norwalk about 20 years ago in my old VW Bug with no air conditioning and the windows down, one flew into my car. I freaked out and had to exit the freeway and open the doors and get out as fast as possible. I can't even remember how I got the beetle out of my car. It was horrible and I hate to relive it even while typing.
4 houses ago when I lived in a little rented house in Monrovia, I had no dryer. The back yard had a fig tree, a persimmon tree and a black walnut tree. The beetles would circle the walnut tree all day. I would do laundry as early as I could and hang my clothes on the line. Then I had to wait until dusk or dark to take down my clothes because the beetle was not flying then. Needless to say, all my clothes were faded. That backyard also had oodles of Naked Lady bulbs that flowered every year at the SAME TIME AS THE BEETLES WERE OUT! So, I can't really like Naked Lady flowers because it's all tied together in the trauma that is in my head.
You'd think after all this time working outdoors that I would not be afraid of this stupid beetle any longer. That is not the case :-( And I anxiously look forward to September every time August rolls around. But on a positive note, every day I get through August is one less August day I must endure :-) Come ON September!
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
This tree grows to about 25' which is small for a tree compared to the Eucalyptus citriodora(Lemon Gum) which grows to about 70'! I have seen E. ficifolia grown as street trees in Glendale, parts of LA, Pasadena and Altadena. I would LOVE to have one for my yard. But I NEVER see them in nurseries. They are said to only flower after about 7 years. So you won't know what color flower you'll get! Ugh! :-( I guess I will just have to enjoy them when I see them while driving.