Friday, May 14, 2010
Clumping Bamboos are getting a lot of interest because....well....because they won't eat whole neighborhoods. Just in the past year and a half, we've added a number of different new clumpers, but they haven't been in the ground long enough for us to draw any conclusions. Three small plants of a Borinda came through last winter unscathed in the middle of China Valley. We had a legitimate Zone 7 winter though not a particularly stressful one. Still, it's encouraging bcause descriptions suggested it was likely a Zone 8 plant. We will continue to assess and I will continue to report.
Posted by ChrisU at 6:50 PM
Rhododendron cumberlandense, R. minus, and Kalmia latifolia cv.: some spectacular shrubs in Fern Valley this weekend
Posted by ChrisU at 6:25 PM
Posted by ChrisU at 4:38 PM
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Posted by ChrisU at 6:28 PM
So far I have been free to plant whatever I choose so, of course there are a goodly number of root-hardy tropicals that won't make much of a show for a month or six weeks. For example, Cestrum auranticum, Jacobinia carnea, Hedychium coronarium, H. coccineum, Musa basjoo, and no doubt some I've forgotten.
There are quite a few natives including Monarda spp, Phlox spp., Celastrus scandens, Morella, Fothergilla, Rhapidophyllum hystrix (near native), Lonicera sempervirens, Campsis radicans, ... .
Posted by ChrisU at 6:22 PM
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
A few older plants went and some turf disappeared to make room for this planting. As much as I love the Crape Myrtle 'Natchez', I think we may have enough of them already on the grounds so I wasn't sad to see one disappear. I was a bit sad to see a nice Magnolia go, but sometimes you have to make way for new things. Plus, any planting with variegated Yuccas in it works for me.
Posted by ChrisU at 2:11 PM
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Stefan tells me it is related to Rosa moschata, the Musk Rose. That's easy to believe; it has a wonderful fragrance, as well as similar flowers and habit. It's flowering earlier than my Musk Rose. Stefan, and the literature, tell me further, that it can clamber to a height of 6M. It won't bowl you over, either flowers or fragrance, but it's a very nice rose.
Posted by ChrisU at 5:36 PM
Monday, May 10, 2010
Posted by ChrisU at 3:30 PM
I know I've alluded to my fascination with the curves of tropical rain forest plants, and it'd be hard to beat this one for grace of sinuosity. Usuallly Vanilla appears as a confused mass of foliage concealing its curvaceous elegance inside a tangled confusion of green. This one shoot has been growing against the stucco texture of the wall seemed particularly attractive yesterday.
I learn from Wikipedia that vanilla is the second most costly spice. Only saffron, which is, essentially, the processed stigmas and styles of the flowers of the Autumn Crocus, Crocus sativus, is more expensive. Go figure. Of course the functional unit of "vanilla" is the vanilla bean, the dried seedpod of the Vanilla orchid. Pollination is required as only fertilized flowers produce seeds and thus the pod which is what we really want. It almost begins to look like one of the flowers is going to produce fruit so I'll have a good excuse to continue monitoring the plant.
Posted by ChrisU at 2:50 PM
Posted by ChrisU at 3:01 AM