Monday, August 1, 2011

Root your own roses

This is the first bloom from one of the thornless roses rooted from a friend's annual prunings this year. It's a hybrid tea, name unknown. We used regular potting soil, scored the end of the cutting intended for rooting, used DipN'Grow & got 50 to 60 percent strike. I didn't really count the successful cuttings so the success rate is a guestimate.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bev, the apple cake was great

This is off-topic, but I forgot to tell my aunt that the apple cake she brought to the family reunion was AMAZING.
Peripherally, this is garden-ish as we talked about the apple trees we each recently planted.

Jupiter's Beard/centranthus? Yeah, not quite dead yet.

I got busy, it started blooming, it looked pretty, the bees loved it, the passers-by asked about it and the next thing I knew I hadn't ripped out the Jupiter's beard. Anyone know of a centranthus birth control? Contraceptive bees, perhaps?
A nice substitute in a part-shade area of the garden is a carmine-colored spirea and it is more dignified and well-behaved. However, it doesn't carry the same stately garden drama as centranthus.
Yesterday I planted a nice buckwheat, and today I'm putting in mirabilis multiflora and a taller perennial linaria. These are all experiments.
I've got the summer to sit back and let things figure themselves out.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


TOP TO BOTTOM: (1) Photo taken from the vantage point of one of the curbstrip beds with two of the dry borders visible in the background; (2) "Red Rocks" penstemon & upright rosemary; (3) "Midnight" penstemon & more rosemary; (4) "Sally Holmes" rose; (5) "Sally Holmes" and "Betty Pryor" roses; (6) "Foothills" penstemon blooms nearly year-round in my Napa garden; (7) "Fama Blue" scabiosa; (8) "Tequila" rose, nearly thornless on new growth; (9) See number 5; (10) Mediterranean foxgloves, cultivar unknown because I lost the plant tag; (11) Section of a dry border with festuca, dianthus, nepeta, and yellow groundcover helianthemum; (12) "Lyda," which is my favorite musk rose. It has a beautiful open habit, excellent disease resistance, bright berry-like hips in the fall and it blooms in shade.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

There's a time to be ruthless

Jupiter's Beard, centranthus ruber. It's pretty, the bees love it, it's drought-tolerant, wet-tolerant, loves any kind of soil, is easy to grow and it must go. It reseeds prolifically and it's a thug, I tell you. There are hundreds of new baby plants all over the garden crowding out the things I love like dianthus, penstemon and clarkia. I've enjoyed all the centranthus I can stand and now it shall die. Gotta get it out before it seduces me by blooming.
It has rained (and rained & rained) and the soil is soft so I'll be out digging up large, stinky centranthus tubers. Walk a wide berth. See ya when it's over.

(It might get to live in the back yard where it can't get loose on the neighborhood.)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Upcoming excitement

Are the rest of you excited about the upcoming May Garden Bloggers Bloom Day? The gardens in Napa are crazy right now and a few more folks in my neighborhood are taking out their lawns. Generally speaking, on this side of town lawns still tend to rule, but change is on the wind. I've been walking the neighborhood snapping photos with my cell phone of gardens that are moving more toward native & drought-tolerant. Some people are even planting edible landscapes. I've started giving away plants I've propagated to people who stop to chat while I'm gardening.
It's time for me get a real camera.
Folks, I'm lovin' this.
(all photos are of my streetside garden)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

GBBD - April 15, 2009

Too lazy to label plants right now. Later.

Introducing Bloom Day Super Gardener Ginger Harness

This is not fake, exactly. I saw these calla lilies with my own eyes and took these photos today. The gardener, Ginger Harness, was on hand to talk about her annual Easter tradition of painting the hundreds of calla lilies that grow outside the door of her apartment at Rolff's Manor in Napa. Rolff's is a senior residence facility which is better described as a village. Many of the residents have small gardens outside their doors. Part of Ginger's garden happens to extend the length of one of the facility's entry driveways. You can read about Ginger's calla lilies here in the Napa Register. By the way, more than five dozen of the painted blooms were stolen over several nights before Easter. Ginger wouldn't want me to tell you that because she'd rather have the more honest folks enjoy viewing the flowers without knowing about the thefts. She's a love, so kudos to Ginger.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Garden Blogger Bloom Day

This photo is especially blurry, but this is the first bloom on one of my Pacific Coast hybrid irises. This is a naturally occuring hybrid. The photo doesn't do the colors justice.
Tulips and daffodils from neighbors Paul & Terry's garden

These violas are from my neighbor Irene's garden. Irene bakes me cookies.

A California native wallflower; very fragrant

I don't know what this is, but my best guess is Bridal Veil viburnum and a bird-sown wild cherry.

Linaria 'Flamenco' forrest, self-sowers from last year's garden

An opportunistic golden feverfew


Narcissus (unknown cultivar) & linaria 'Flamenco'

Narcissus, Thalia (white) and Barrett Browning

This is one of the many wallflowers native to California.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mary Ann, I'm posting this one for you

This is what agastache (hummingbird mint) looks like in the curbstrip garden. The agastache is the tall, airy plant with peachy-pink flowers.
You can click on the photo to see a larger image.