Saturday, February 16, 2013

Our hillside of winter jasmine has been flowering for more than a month... doesn't seem to be especially dependent on winter warmth to flower. It starts early and slowly, then, explodes sometime near the end of winter.This planting in the valley has been here a long time. I like the choice of location because, honestly, though I love and value the cheery yellow flowers in winter, it's a bit coarse and rowdy. It works well at a distance in a space where it has room to roam.

For years I tried, well actually more than tried, to include this in residential landscapes. It's a wonderful plant and great fun especially for those people who didn't know there were plants that flowered in the winter. Still, I suspect I didn't always give it the space that it deserved, and probably eventually took!

Friday, February 15, 2013

It was worth; waiting for....Pat finished the wall adjoining his rock

Pat set it correctly and integrated it into the wall perfectly, if slowly. I love it. Purists might object to the scrapes and dinged edges and I suppose they might have a point, but I prefer to take the long view. In a millennium or so, freezing and thawing and acid rain will have abraded those rough edges to the point where the harshest critic wouldn't see them. And hey, I'm not a harsh critic and I'm pretty sure neither are the vast majority of our visitors. Now we just have to do something about the odd grouping of rocks above it in the bed....

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Camellia lutchensis from Dr. Ackerman

This is a lovely little camellia, dainty almost with small leaves and small flowers. . Plus it's fragrant. The ultimate size is usually predicted to be 6-8 feet. bit who's had it long enough to know that? We rooted some cuttings last year so I'm going to plant this out this spring. USDA Zone 8, no problem! We'll site it carefully.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day (thank you Chris Carley for holding the....the...the...

whatever it is. I tried holding it at arms length but I couldn't get the camera far enough away!

I finally pruned the Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' at the end of the Asian Collections parking area. We pruned it hard once last year. "Once" is the operative term here. When you prune these plants hard, they take all the energy in their root system and expend it all on growing one shoot from every pruning point. Since they flower on new wood, you often get, as we did, relatively slender four foot shoots with huge flower trusses at the tip. The weight of the inflorescence pulls the shoot down and you end up with an odd looking shrub. Usually we go in after the first pruning before the new shoots can elongate too much and "tip them". If we didn't wait too late to do that we still get plenty of flowers the same year.

Anyway, I drove around with the pieces all afternoon until Mariya observed that they would make a nice dry arrangement. And they did. The scale is a little extreme though.