Showing posts from June, 2018

Tropics of Santa Cruz

 The 2018 garden touring season has been robust starting in March and continuing well into June. The first weekend of the month was a garden conservancy open day in Santa Cruz . There were only three gardens open and this post shares my favorite. The GC directory did not name the owner, but he was a vivid presence rushing about answering questions and even digging up offsets and taking cuttings to give to his visitors. A serious plant collector with some really great plants. I have to believe he is a known presence in Santa Cruz horticultural circles-if there is such a thing .  This is what I saw as I approached the house from my parking spot a few door down. It looked promising .  I immediately noticed the mound-y grass between the flagstones and at the base of the palm. I'm pretty certain this is Zoysia, which grows agonizingly slow, so must have been here quite a long spell.  Once I turned in my ticket I headed down the path behind the check-in table

In a Vase on Monday-Mendocino Headlands Edition

 On Saturday (my traditional vase building day) I was not at home , but instead happily installed in a small inn adjacent to the headlands on our north coast. I decided to take my clippers (always a pair in my car) and create a small vase of the wildflowers and grasses that carpet  fields along the bluffs.  Sadly, the only things I can identify are the Briza maxima  and our native Achellia. I am going to try to find a guidebook to the grasses and wildflowers of this area -a place I visit at least twice a year- so that I am not so ignorant.  Here are a few photos of the vase ingredients in situ.     Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this weekly floral fest !

In a Vase on Monday -Umbellifers

 I thought it might be fun to limit the flower choices to the umbells this week. I wish I had a nice spot outside to do these arrangements , but instead I make a big mess on my diminutive kitchen counter . At least it's close to the coffee.  I like my result, but I can tell you that the Pulmonaria leaves lasted about an hour before they started to wilt.   I used Achellia 'Moonshine' , Trachelium 'Hamer Panodora' (not open all the way so I am interested to see if it develops in the vase) Orlaya, Cenolophium denudatum and Angelica strica purpurea.  The vase is Rumrill.  Be sure to stop by Rambling in the Garden to find links for more floral offerings !

Bloomday June 2018

 Blooms are abundant this month and I only captured a fraction of the floral action in my garden . I might have to do a Bloomday version 2.0 later in the month to share all the flowers that didn't make the cut for this post.  Allium sphaerocephalon is happily bobbing it's head in several locations . I'm going to do a bit of camouflage planting later this year , hopefully to hide the crappy foliage for next summer.  Clematis 'Arabella' , a bloomday regular til fall.  I dug up all my Digitalis 'Illumination Flame' a couple years ago and have re-instated it this year. You can't beat it for longevity of bloom and performance in awkward exposures. It seems to get by just fine with once a week watering.  Oh yes, it's Lobelia tupa. When I planted this a few years ago I had absolutely no expectations of how it would react to life in my garden. I never see it anywhere in my town, the only nurseries that that are even remotely local (Annie&