Monday, June 30, 2014

New Coreopsis

I used to dislike Coreopsis because they're a pain to deadhead. But you get so much color in a short perennial that I guess it's a small price to pay.

Say Core-E-OP-sis. Research says the common name is Tickseed but I've never heard that. It's native to the Americas and likes full sun. The common varieties are yellow and usually grow to about 2 feet tall which is unusual for a perennial. Most perennials grow taller. I'm always looking for something a bit taller than a border but not too tall. Herbaceous perennial as it is, it needs to be cut back almost completely in winter.

There are many new colored hybrids of Coreopsis. I should have bought that pink one I saw about a month ago but didn't. I AM a sucker for orange flowers and blooms that change color so I had to buy this one today even though I'm breaking my own rule about planting in the summer heat. This variety is called "Citrine" after the crystal rock it resembles. Do you grow Coreopsis?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Reasons NOT To Plant

There are reasons you don't see certain plants in people's yards. It might be susceptible to a disease or takes over or something.

This is a plant called Sweet Broom or Genista. It gets beautiful yellow pea flowers in Spring and is always in the nurseries then in full bloom. But you don't often see them in gardens. Why? Because they get a caterpillar that will defoliate the whole plant and kill it! Most folks don't notice the caterpillar until it's too late and wonder why the plant died. One could spray BT(Bacillus thuringensis) to kill the pests. Or one could resist even planting it and buy another plant. Just a suggestion.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


 I planted watermelon seeds in one of my raised beds in the backyard about 6 weeks ago. This is my first time growing watermelon. Last year I did Zucchini in this bed. The year before I had pumpkins grow all over only to have only 3 pumpkins rot :-(. The watermelon are now growing like crazy and have finally started making fruit! Today they are like half an egg sized. I'll post updates when they get bigger. What summer fruit and/or vegetables are you growing?

RIP Harry Lauder's Walking Stick

I finally lost my Harry Lauder's Walking StickCorylus avellana 'Contorta'.   I mail ordered it from Heronswood Nursery back in Oct 2001(still have the tag). I grew it in a container until we moved to this house. I think it's been in the ground for about 2 years. Last year it didn't put out it's leaves until May. This year it's dead :-(  I guess it really does prefer the Pacific Northwest with their rain and moist soil.   I haven't dug it out yet because the curly branches are so beautiful.  I will definitely save the branches after I yank it.   Sad.   

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Another Daylily

Just had to share this new Daylily I bought last week from John Schoustra at Greenwood Gardens. Find him at    It's called Derrick Cane. It's such a beautiful rich dark red color!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Kangaroo Paw

Here's another fabulous plant from Australia. It's Kangaroo Paw or Anigozanthos. Say Annie-go-ZAN-thus. It loves full sun, well-drained soil and but die from overwatering. This is one plant that is doing well in my super sandy soil. The leaves grow from 2-3' tall. The flowers rise up 3-4' tall. They come in yellow as you see plus orange, red, pink and green. Mine did take about a year to get going. But now it's blooming it's head off! There are new dwarf varieties but I love the big ones.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Most of my Daylilies are blooming now.  Daylily or Hemerocallis, say HEEM-air-oh-CAL-is is so named because each flower blooms for only one day.  But flower spikes usually have several buds that open in succession.  Daylilies are one of my favorite plants because they are so easy to clean. The brown leaves pull right out unlike some other plants that don't let go of their spent foliage.   In SoCal I have seen Daylilies bloom fall through winter but most in spring to summer.   Most are evergreen. But some have foliage that dies back in winter only to have new growth appear shortly afterwards.  In my experience it is the yellows, orange and reds that are easy to find in nurseries. It's the pinks and lavenders that are a bit more difficult to find.  They like full sun and will even take part shade. They grow well with roses and other perennials.  Most grow about 2' tall.  But there are some smaller ones and some bigger.  But all are under 3'.

They are a hardy plant and so easy to divide.  You just dig up a big plant, shake off the soil and rip apart the roots to have more than one piece of plant with roots.  They're tougher than you think :-)  I love making more plants out of what you've got! 

I got this white one last week.  It is probably really considered a very pale yellow.  It's funny how some flowers just don't come in a particular color; Yellow or Orange Camellias,  Blue Roses, Yellow Impatiens(they've sort of figured out).  

I even got a double flowered orange variety just yesterday and it bloomed today.  

If you like Daylilies you might visit the LA County Arboretum where they're having a Daylily Show this weekend June 7 & 8.  For some reason I didn't get to go last year and then saw beautiful photos afterwards and kicked myself for not going.  I'm definitely going to check it out on Saturday.