The light bulb went off for me the other day. I was doing a little pruning and wishing I could remember the names of some of my plants (among other things!!!). For one of them, I realized the only recourse would be to photograph it and email the photo to purveyer Jo O’Connell, owner of the wonderful Australian Native Plant Nursery (www.australianplants.com). The other plant, coreopsis rosea, was identified after a lot of research. This is one reason why I don’t want to be a garden designer…can’t remember all those latin names! I had known the names at one time — why not use garden markers as a permanent reminder? I bought these shown in the photos from Berkeley Horticultural in Berkeley, California. It’s a fantastic destination nursery and worth a trip any time you are in the Bay area. Most upscale nurseries will have a choice of garden markers, though you might want to call ahead.
This information is taken from the San Marcos Growers (www.smgrowers.com) website: The grevilleas are a remarkable and beautiful group of plants. The variability between species is incredible but characteristic to the Protea family (Proteaceae) of which they belong; the namesake of the family, the god Proteus was noted for his ability to change his appearance and form at will. Among the 270 or more species, almost entirely from Australia, the habit can be that of a large forest tree or a diminutive crevice plant. The color and structure of the flowers and leaf size and shape are so different in the many species that their relationship is often lost to the casual observer. Shared attributes that might be noted as common to the genus are that they are woody evergreen plants that usually have interestingly intricate and beautiful flowers. Grevilleas are planted their floral and foliage display as well as ability to attract nectar-feeding birds to the garden.
As the plants are a diverse group, there are a wide range of conditions that they will grow under. The following generalized statements regarding the cultivation of grevilleas would apply to a majority of the plants in cultivation. Grevilleas flower best in sunny, dry locations although they will also grow in light shade. Plant in well-draining soil and be very careful of any fertilizers applied to these plants; many Grevillea, especially Western Australian species, are highly sensitive to phosphorus and the use of fertilizers high in this element can be fatal to these plants. They also do not like excessive watering and garden water tolerance or ability to grow near lawns will be exceptions rather than the rule. Regular pruning after flowering is recommended to enhance and rejuvenate flowering and plant growth. Most varieties are drought tolerant, as well as frost hardy down to 20 º F.
The Coreopsis ‘Pink’, Coreopsis rosea, with a yellow center, is a flowering variety of the Coreopsis family. In the Tickseed family, the daisylike blooms flower from June through October with a plant height of 10−12” and a minimum spread of 14 – 18”(mine has happily spread to about 5′). The dark green fernlike foliage makes a great contrast with the flower color. ‘Pink’ Coreopsis should be planted in full sun. Pink Coreopsis is drought-tolerant and tough but does need well-drained soil. It should be cut back early and late summer to extend the bloom period. ‘Pink’ Coreopsis looks great with any type of grass, in borders or mass plantings in sunny gardens. This plant likes to volunteer all over the place and blooms all year where I live (near Santa Monica).
My motto is: Get out of your area! Recently my friend Donna and I had about the most fun 2 people can have in Manhattan Beach, an upscale enclave just south of Los Angeles International Airport here in SoCal. This beautiful community has retained it’s identity in spite of being surrounded by a huge city. The highlights of our day included shopping in charming boutiques, seeing a movie (Love and Other Drugs-GO), and dinner at RocknFish (www.rocknfishmb.com), a happening restaurant with a wild bar scene! As usual, I was on the alert for ideas for my website, and found something pretty special: the best camouflage job on a junction box I have ever seen. It looked like something printed (as opposed to hand painted) had been applied to the surface. Part of a small rectangular side planting composed of succulents and other drought tolerant plants, this juicy little morsel of a garden was low maintenance and beautiful to boot! (Garden designed by Garden Magic Co. @ 310−218−6875)
On the web:
There are a lot of wonderful events upcoming at the Los Angeles Arboretum including:
Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11 –12/10am — 4:30 pm — A Clay Festival displaying and selling the work of over 40 artists.
Sunday Dec. 12/10am — 3 pm — An old fashioned holiday at the Queen Anne Cottage: Docent tours of the decorated for Christmas Victorian-era cottage seen in the Fantasy Island TV show.
Both are included in admission. www.arboretum.org
I have been fighting a morning glory vine invasion in my garden for about 10 years now. Can’t say I wasn’t warned…it took about 3 years for my morning glory to take hold. I had almost forgotten about it. Then whoosh.….I had a monster on my hands. I’ve been cutting back and battling this beast for so long, I’ve lost faith. Then I noticed the hybrid leucadendron/morning glory in my garden today and I’m thinking, why not? Am I so wrong?
On another front, everyone who knows me can see I’m not an obsessive gardener. I’m a low — no maintenance type and my gardener of 19 years is a mow-go-blow kind of guy (although he’s capable of greatness — all I have to do is ask.) One of my new favorites is white lantana. I have a black hole in my garden that has gobbled up plant after plant. It’s an indecipherable area, a little bit of everything: dry, wet, dark, light. That’s where the garden workhorse, white lantana, has rescued me. It“s great in dark corners — day and night it attracts the eye. Problematic in the wrong place (what isn’t ?), lantana is bombproof in the right situation. Not hard to find in SoCal nurseries, once established it can be very drought tolerant. And hummingbirds and butterflies find it delicious.
- Lantana saves the day!
- Oct 23 & 24, 9 am-4 pm, Harvest Festival and Plant Sale, Descanso Gardens, La Canada Flintridge
See Botanical gardens, foundations and nonprofits for more information on the above organization
More websites worth clicking on, continued from the previous post…
- www.daylilyhill.com: a section showcasing “real gardens”, book reviews, recipes
- www.Cedrosgardens.com: They offer a variety of classes, notes from past classes, offer a sharpening service.
- www.Laspilitas.com: Chock full of planting, design and maintenance information for native plants; California climate info.
- www.Missionhillsnursery.com: Really nice blog
- www.Simpsonsnursery.com: If you like to combine gardening with vintage cars, this is your website!
- www.walteranderson.com: classes, events, newsletter
- www.MBnursery.com: A fun website to experience and see what is possible.
- www.Australianplants.com: in depth information on Australian plants, photos of design projects using Australian plants, resources for Australian plants, custom plant lists
- www.nopalitonursery.com: classes offered on California native and drought tolerant plants
- www.ottoandsons.com: for all things rose!
On the Web: Thursday, Sept. 16, 9:30am — noon: Great plants for fall planting with Matthew Roberts. Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia, call (626) 821‑4623.