Saturday, August 28, 2010
Lilium longiflorum, we see them more often in pots around Easter, but as long as they stay virus-free they're great garden plants
Posted by ChrisU at 8:28 AM
This patch has been growing in the older section of the Asian Collections at least since the early 90's and has grown in so thickly that the relatively lax stems are able to support each other hence making a pleasant planting that flowers wonderfully in filtered sunlight. Still, it's not much most of the year so maybe is better used in larger gardens. I put it into a number of designs when I first met it, but never really integrated it particularly well. Still....it's worth trying.
Posted by ChrisU at 8:11 AM
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Abelia chinensis.....when I get old, older, and less mobile I'm going to want to have some good nectar plants to attract butterflies
Posted by ChrisU at 3:10 PM
Posted by ChrisU at 3:06 PM
Plumbago europea....Stefan collected this in Azerbaijan. We're growing it just below the cut through path from China Valley from the Central Valley
Neal and Amanda found these odd stinkhorns yesterday in the Hamamelis collection. They smell much worse than the more common Dog Stinkhorn.
Posted by ChrisU at 2:59 PM
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
We started talking and he told stories of trees so full of ripe fruit that their branches sagged dangerously. And apparently some of the Kousas were even reblooming. I had to see it so I stopped by after work. It was as George had described. I ate a couple dozen fruit....good flavor, juicier than usual, but still with a distinctly mealy texture. On balance they were tasty. And Cornus kousa 'Gold Spot' was flowering as advertised; not just a flower here and there, but heavy with blooms. George says it has done this three years in a row and still retained enough buds to flower nicely in the spring.
Posted by ChrisU at 2:53 PM
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Last summer was a little cool and this summer is, was until yesterday anyway, a lot hot. Every insect stage seems to be accelerated. Last year I photographed these guys in the same place (near the Fern Valley Wet Meadow bridge) on September 28. These guys may be pupated and metamorphosed by September 28. Wow.
Posted by ChrisU at 4:37 PM
Posted by ChrisU at 4:23 PM
Posted by ChrisU at 4:14 PM
Monday, August 23, 2010
Full of enthusiasm and ideas they came to the Nursery. After a few hours they leave with 30,40,50 plants, soil amendments, mulch, maybe new gloves......I picture them pulling up to their house, eating lunch, unloading the car. They pick up the long-handled spade that worked fine in Minnesota, or Iowa, or Oregon and put foot to shovel. Clang and nothing. Possibly a cloud of apprehension passes over their brow and they try again with a bit more effort.......the shovel doesn't dent the baked clay/subsoil that is to be their garden. I picture them looking apprehensively around at the plants that had seemed cheered them so a few hours ago.
I don't think builders really scrape topsoil off of new lots and sell it anymore......if they ever did. I do know though, that many houses in the DC Metropolitan Area are surrounded by either subsoil or solid clay. It would have been a good thing for the salespeople at the IGC to have recommended the purchase of a "cutter mattock" and a "digging bar". The Nursry I worked at, and that I still love, didn't ever carry either. There are maybe 10 box stores in the immediate vicinity and maybe each has 6 mattocks and 6 digging bars.
The IGC's want to maintain the illusion that "gardening" doesn't involve manual labor. That it's a "refined" pursuit and gardeners are "special people". Well we are, but we have to do hard work sometimes and to do that we need good tools.
The tools are the worst part of most garden centers. They carry cheap, gaudy, flimsy, completely impractical tools by the hundreds. To deal with the soils we are dealt, we need the digging bar and the mattock. We also need the traditional long-handled spade, hard rake, and leaf rake. As far as small tools are concerned, they ought to carrry the good Union trowel and a Japanese weeding knife. All the cheap trowels are worthless.
I guess what I'm trying to sy is that I wish the IGC's would carry the tools that we need to do what we need to do.
Posted by ChrisU at 2:28 PM
Sunday, August 22, 2010
It was raining when I arrived; maybe I wouldn't need to water much? Well, the rain stopped after about half an hour so I did rounds. I was able to not water a number of things but I didnt get off Scott free. Actually that's a joke because Scott watered Saturday; he didn't leave anything dry but I checked everything and watered a handful of plants.
Posted by ChrisU at 10:52 AM