Saturday, September 22, 2012

Curly Leaved Willow Revisited

We had our annual visit to the LA County Fair today and did have a lot of fun.  Last year I saw that they had removed one of the 2 Curly leaved Willow trees on the Fairplex property. Today I went to go see the one left by the First Aid building to find a new building there and NO TREE!  See my 2011 post about this tree here: Willow   I am so mad at them for this.  I couldn't even find the name of this tree searching the internet!  Didn't they know what rare trees these were!!!!!!!  I guess NOT!

THANK GOODNESS I was able to root cuttings and have 2 of them growing, one I just planted in the ground 2 weeks ago, the other is still in a pot.  I know it was a little early to plant(since it's still freakin' HOT here). But I moved the pot disturbing the roots.  It then pouted and dropped a BUNCH of leaves. I cut it back and thought I better get it in the ground before I lose it!

LA County Fairgrounds has been around since 1922.  Who knows how old those trees were.  It is such a shame to see them gone :-(   But I am so happy to have mine :-)

Monday, September 17, 2012

New Pruner Blade!

Anyone who grows roses will tell you that high quality pruners are a must! And any professional gardener better have the best as they're used every day! I am loyal to the FELCO brand because they work easily, they have replaceable blades and I've used the #2 pruner for about 25 years(I think I'm on my 3rd pair). I tend to be brand loyal on a LOT of things :-)

So, this morning I got to my first job, pulled out my pruners and noticed the tip of the blade had broken off! They still worked on my 2 jobs. But I knew I had one extra replacement blade at home. So just now I took my Felcos apart(just need a screwdriver), cleaned the pieces up with 409 and a green scouring pad. I put them back together with the new blade. Yay, it's almost like having new pruners! Add a little WD40 and they're good to go!

So if you garden, invest ($55 or so) in good pruners. It'll make gardening easier!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bulb Time!

Just a reminder that now is the time to plant bulbs in SoCal for Spring bloom! I planted in the ground last week a bunch of Daffodils, Leucojem, Sparaxis and Homeria I had in pots from last year. Here is my Leucojum post from last year .  Leucojum  And my Sparaxis post Sparaxis.  Better nurseries will have a good selection. Or you could mail order them.  If you have endless $$$, you could plant a bunch of Tulips. But they only are a one-shot deal here. I like the easy bulbs that return every year like those listed above. Go buy some. Don't miss out!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sweet Peas!

Just wanted to let you all know that it's time to plant Sweet Peas! I planted mine today and you should do so soon. I only say this because I don't want you to miss out. Sweet Peas are the only flowering annual I know that you have to wait 6 or 7 months from seed to flower. I bought these special peachy seeds at a nursery back in May or so because if I hadn't they'd be gone when I returned. You know how that goes. I'd never seen Sweet Peas in the orange realm of colors before. Sweet Peas want half to full sun and a trellis or fence strings to climb. Go plant some and you'll have bouquets of fragrant flowers next Spring!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Crazy Fern

I have grown this one Asparagus retrofractus for about 12 years.  It started out for me in a one gallon can as I most often try to buy smaller plants that are cheaper.  It then got potted up into a 5 gallon can, then a 15 gal. and now is in a very large 24 inch pot.  It is called an Asparagus "fern" and there are other varieties.  But Asparagus ferns are not really ferns because they do not make spores.   Some make little white flowers like the Asp. sprengeri (the cascading type that is SO obnoxious in the ground).  Some make no flowers like this one.  Asparagus ferns are propagated by division.  Most have water holding pods on their roots. That's what makes them so drought tolerant.   My big Asparagus fern sends out new shoots right from the ground that come up like bamboo maybe once a year.  They're almost as quick too!   And they do look like the edible Asparagus when the new sprouts emerge.  

My good friend and garden guru Alice G. once told me not to cut off dead stems because they will sprout new leaves along the branches.  I thought she was CRAZY!  I had NEVER seen them do that!  A branch dies, you cut it off!!   So, last week my A. retrofractus started to drop lots of those needly leaves.  Before I knew it, new sprouts were coming along the branches!   Crazy, I know :-)  But it's just like Alice said.  It was really difficult to capture this in photos.  

See the tighter needles in this photo.  That's new leaves coming along with older leaves!  

 Asparagus retrofractus is a wonderful plant.  It will grow upright to about 6 feet when at it's happiest.  It likes some shade but will tolerate some sun.  It is a great filler for cut flower arrangements and can be used short or long.