Archive for April, 2013

Spring Renewal

Happy Earth Day!! It’s been some time since I wrote a post here and today feels like a good day to start again. I’ve been dealing with a serious health problem and it’s finally resolving such that I can start writing again, I hope. In the interim tho, I’ve been doing a lot of gardening and I want to show you some pictures of how things are beginning to look like spring is here. I’ve been doing a lot of weeding and mulching and putting bark on the paths and making the whole place look tip top before it all starts to take off and I just made it. Things look good and I’m happy with how they’re growing and developing. It’s very exciting to me.

Above are several of the plants that capture my attention right now. I hope you can see them well enough to tell what they are and what’s happening with them. In the upper left corner is an Aristolochia californica, or California Dutchman’s Pipe, an insectivorous plant which uses the insects only to pollinize the plants  and doesn’t eat them as do some insectivorous plants. It’s a rarity that grows in the swamps of central and northern California where I’ve been lucky enough to see it on occasion. It’s amazing with it’s “pipes” and is growing well.

Next to it is a small daphne named “Lawrence Crocker”. It’s from the Czech Republic and only gets about 12″ tall and wide but it sure does seem bigger with its smell. You have to get down on your knees to smell it but it’s worth it as it smells so sweet and like a daphne should.  It may not want to create a cloud of scent like my big “odora” out front but it’s lovely in its own right. Beside it is a variety of Ceaonothus called Pt. Reyes Ceanothus or California Lilac. It’s in almost full bloom now with its blue flowers which most of the genus have tho some are white and cream. But they’re known for blue flowers and this one is no exception. It trails down from the bed it’s in quite nicely.

The next row starts off with a small rhododendron called Ginny Gee which is a mass of white blossoms right now. It’s quite a sight. Next to it is a picture of the plants around the fountain from one side. There’s the Lawrence Crocker and the thrift I mention in a bit as well as the native bleeding heat and a dwarf Nana Lutea Hinoki Cypress for some evergreen color. It turns a nice yellow in the summer. Beside it is a new plant I just got recently -a  Japanese maple called Waterfall. I was tricked into thinking it wasn’t a dissectum when I bought it but I’m glad I was because it’s so lovely and will get to just the right size in its  place. It’s the earliest of my maples to leaf out tho others are on their way.

The next row begins with s Sorbaria sorbifolia “Sem” or Ural false spirea, which has a wonderful pinkish cast to its creamy green branch tips. It spreads by underground suckers and I have to dig them out but it’s ok because it’s so lovely. It has sprays of white flowers in the late spring. Next is a shot of the new fence we just put up. We bought rolls of bamboo fencing and attached it to the wire fence we had. It looks great and provides a wonderful background to the plants and encircles the yard to make it feel more cohesive and give it a sense of a garden rather than it floating off into the neighbors  lawn. On the left is a  Sequoiadendron Giganteum pendula and on the  right is a Scotch Pine called Inverleith which gets to a decent size in time but is dwarf for now at least.

Next is one of my favorite plants. It’s kind of hard to see it in the jumble of foliage but there’s a Metasequoia  “Miss Grace” in there in front with a Cryptomeria elegans in the back and a dwarf yew called Beanpole next to the Metsasequoia. It gets about 10 feet tall and only 1 or 2 feet wide they say. We’ll see, eh?

Next row  starts out with a bed of Pieris Mountain Flame putting on new growth with some tulips and a Blue Diamond Rhododendron next to it that is almost finished blooming but is still lovely. It’s a pretty bed. Next to that is a picture of the Thrift that does so well. It’s at the base of the fountain. It is so small but blooms so incredibly it’s a treasure to have. As you know I like little plants and this one is just too cool to believe. The last one is a shooting star, a member of the primrose family and a native to the west coast and beyond. This clump is 3 years old and is beginning to really flower nicely now.

There are so many other things I’d like to show you but this seems enough on my first post in awhile. There’s the Pieris Little Heath that is colored all pink with its new growth. And the two Andromedas that are both blooming with their light pink flowers that are so tiny and sweet. And the Daphne odora in the front that has been blooming for weeks now and scenting up the whole front yard with its blessings of spring. It’s amazing and I wish I could get a picture that shows it off as well as it does in person. It’s quite large and I’m thrilled because it’s usually so finicky. I’ll hope it grows a few more years at least. And of course there are the other Japanese maples that are starting to leaf out now.

So that’s the current tour. I hope you found some pretty things to delight you and I wish you all well in  your own gardening endeavors. I’ll try to post more often again now that I’m in better shape and keep this journal of a simple but unique garden and Nature Sanctuary growing for my next visit when things are a bit bigger and more fully leafed out. We’ll see how they do. Until then Happy Gardening to you all.peace,

Steve

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