Sunday, March 30, 2014

Roses Begin!

Just wanted to share this pic of the fabulous rose Pinnacle in full bloom in my garden! Pinnacle is a single stemmed Floribunda rose that's a bit difficult to find.  I had to mail order mine about 6 years ago.  It's super happy to have been in the ground for 2 years.  It's usually the first rose to bloom in my garden. Granted it's in the first or second batch to get pruned. And I didn't even begin my own pruning until the first week of February this year. And what a bright spot of light the Bearded Iris Frequent Flyer is in the foreground!

Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Last Autumn, just a few months ago I was at a nursery buying some other plants and thought I'd try a Borage plant. All I knew was it had beautiful BLUE flowers, was an herb and was good for bees. Research says it's used as an oilseed, a tea in other countries and is a good companion plant for legumes. The leaves contain some toxins though.

So what a surprise when it first flowered last week in WHITE!!! Ugh! I am not happy and am considering yanking the plant! It's already grown taller than my artichoke plant next to it. But it's an annual so maybe I should just wait until it dies. What would you do?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

First Poppy

Happy first day of SPRING! 

I just wanted to share my first Poppy bloom. Papaver somniferum is the opium poppy. I am of course growing them for ornamental purposes because they're pretty. I got seed from a friend two years ago and this is my second year growing them. One plants the seeds in about November here and they bloom in Spring. Once it gets hot, they're done. I have a mixture, some are single and some are double. I prefer the double ones and actually yanked two single variety plants today and chucked them(because they do reseed). They grow to about 3-4 feet tall.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Tecoma & Rose Pruning Total

I have this beautiful plant blooming right now. It's called Tecoma stans. The common variety is yellow (I want one of those too). But this orange one is gorgeous! It is sun loving and native to the southern US, Mexico, Central and South America. The yellow variety is said to grow to 25' and is invasive in Florida and French Polynesia. But research says that this orange variety only grows 3-4'.

In other news, I finally finished my rose pruning jobs!!! This is the first year it's spilled into March. That's too late really.  
 My grand total of rose bushes pruned is 2267! 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Chinese Ground Orchid

Blooming today in my garden is this Chinese Ground Orchid or Bletilla striata. I got it from a former client and split it into three. So I planted it in my garden in three spots. All are blooming now. Bletilla blooms in the Spring and keeps it's foliage through summer into fall. Mine didn't start to look crappy enough to cut back until about Dec. Does best under trees with filtered light. Called an orchid but more like a bulb or corm that dies back in winter. Research says it's very frost tender and must be protected. We had frost in early Dec here for 3 nights and mine had no protection. Happy almost Spring!

Rose pruning update.  I only pruned 22 climbers this week(they were huge) to add to my total.  I don't think I've pruned into March before but I had a few new clients called.  I have ONE more job on Thursday.
My total so far is 2250.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Redbud Tree

My Redbud tree started blooming this week.  I adore the little pea flowers.  Redbud or Cercis occidentalis is a deciduous California native tree that grows to about 30 feet. It is well behaved and has heart shaped leaves that come after the flowers.  

A little Latin lesson: occidentalis means western, canadensis means eastern.  There are several Cercis varieties, C. occidentalis and C. canadensis are but two.  To be honest I can't tell the difference and research didn't help.  I think mine is western.  

I got this tree about 15 years ago as a 1' seedling gift from a client in Glendora who had the biggest 
Redbud tree I'd ever seen.  First I had it in a 1 gallon pot.  It grew taller and got moved up to a 5 gallon then a 15 gallon pot. When we bought this house 3, 1/2 years ago I planted it in the ground. It is still scrawny but is now 7' tall.   It makes me happy to see it bloom.  Enjoy!