santa cruz – Rogers Garden Gate http://www.rogersgardengate.com/ Fri, 18 Feb 2022 04:25:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-3-120x120.png santa cruz – Rogers Garden Gate http://www.rogersgardengate.com/ 32 32 Tom Karwin, on gardening | Spring Flowering Plants of Chile – Monterey Herald https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-spring-flowering-plants-of-chile-monterey-herald/ Thu, 17 Feb 2022 23:50:43 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-spring-flowering-plants-of-chile-monterey-herald/ Take care of your garden Recent chronicles have provided brief glimpses of plants native to many of the world’s dry summer (Mediterranean) climates. These climatic regions include California, so all summer dry plants are compatible with the Monterey Bay region. Today’s column focuses on the plants of Chile. Chile’s borders are reflected in its long, […]]]>

Take care of your garden

Recent chronicles have provided brief glimpses of plants native to many of the world’s dry summer (Mediterranean) climates. These climatic regions include California, so all summer dry plants are compatible with the Monterey Bay region. Today’s column focuses on the plants of Chile.

Chile’s borders are reflected in its long, thin shape: 61 miles wide and 4,000 miles long. By comparison, California is 250 miles wide and 770 miles long. Chile has the very long Andes mountain range to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

The flora of Chile includes fewer species than in other regions of South America, but there are many attractive varieties and a high percentage of plants native (endemic) to this county. Several plants that grow across the Andes in Peru also grow in Chile.

Chile’s geographic length means that its plant life spans different growing conditions. These can be divided into three roughly equal areas: the northern deserts, central Chile, and the humid southern regions.

While plants in all three zones thrive in a dry summer climate, plants in the 1,250-mile-long central region are most compatible with gardens along the California coast. The deserts of California have plants like those in the desert region of northern Chile, but California does not have the humidity of the southern region of Chile.

This unusual soil may look very exotic from a gardening perspective, but many of its native plants are familiar to California gardens. Examples include the following:

Mountain angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia sanguinea). This 8 to 10 foot tall shrub typically has trumpet-shaped orange-red flowers with yellow veins or orange blooms; other varieties have orange, yellow or even pink flowers.

Rock purslane (Cistanthe grandiflora. This succulent (formerly called Calandrina) grows 1 foot tall and 3 feet wide and from spring to fall produces brilliant purple flowers on stems 2 to 3 feet tall.

Peruvian lily (Alstromeria). Despite its common name, many species of this plant are native to Chile or other parts of South America and naturalized in many parts of the world. Many cultivars of this plant can be found in home gardens. An evergreen variety, A. aurantiaca, grows about 3 feet tall and produces numerous yellow, orange, or orange-red flowers. This plant spreads vigorously through fleshy roots and can become invasive. By the way, he really isn’t a member of the Lily family.

Rain Lily (Zephyranthes candida). This plant produces grass-like leaves and, in response to occasional rains, produces 1-2 inch white flowers on 6-10 inch stems from late summer to early fall. . A lovely little plant that should be watered during our increasingly dry periods of summer. Also, not a member of the Lily family.

Wonder of Peru/Four O’clock (Mirabilis jalapa). The generic name means “wonderful”, referring to its extraordinary production of flowers of different colors and patterns on the same plant. The common name indicates the flowering time of each day, although my plants often flower later in the day, continue through the night, and fade in the morning. This plant creates many seeds that grow easily and develop substantial tuberous roots.

Chile’s native plants include many other attractive plants that are less common in Caliornia gardens. Here are some selected examples from my garden.

Chilean jasmine (Mandevilla laxa). An evergreen vine, this plant grows 15 to 20 feet tall on a custom-made copper trellis and produces fragrant 2-inch-wide flowers during the summer. I had to cut this vine to the ground in preparation for painting the house, and it had grown back wonderfully. My aspiration is to accompany it with a Chilean bellflower (Lapageria rosea), the national flower of this country, and another high-growing vine with red trumpet-shaped flowers.

Sacred Flower of the Andes (Cantua buxifolia ‘Hot Pants’). This erect shrub grows six feet tall and produces a profusion of orange to magenta pink flowers. This plant thrives in full sun and is a magnet for hummingbirds. It has a messy, sprawling shape, so it’s best managed by planting several branches together and cutting off the longest stems. This should be done after flowering, as it blooms on old wood.

Hardy Fuchsia (F. magellanica ‘Aurea’). This plant native to Chile and Argentina, notable for its resistance to Fuchsia Gall (Aculops fuchsiae) mites, has been widely hybridized to provide attractive cultivars for the garden. It should be pruned severely in early spring after new growth has appeared, then tapered to encourage the bush.

Advance your knowledge

An online source of information about these plants Chileflora (www.chileflora.com/), which includes articles, a gallery of Chilean landscapes and a database of plants native to the country. The Chileflora website also offers seeds for many Chilean plants that could be welcome additions to your garden.

Upcoming garden webinars:

The Cactus & Succulent Society of America will present the webinar, “Euphorbia II: Spiny Shrubs and Mound Formers,” at 10 a.m. Saturday. Presenter Bob Webb will describe several species of Euphorbias, native to Yemen, East Africa, South Africa and Namibia. If you already have euphorbias in your garden, this webinar will provide you with useful information on the horticulture and propagation of these plants. To register for this free event, go to cactusandsuculentsociety.org/.

The Ruth Bancroft Garen & Nursery will present the “Dry Garden Botany 101” webinar, at 10 a.m. on March 19. “With a focus on dry garden plants, this course will give you the basics to understand how plants are scientifically classified into different families and an overview of plant parts. This is a paid event. To register, go to ruthbancroftgarden.org and scroll through “Featured Events” (where later events are also listed).

Enrich your gardening days

Chilean plants could be interesting to explore when you are developing your garden for spring blooms. You can find these plants by searching the internet for their botanical names. While many of these plants are included on mail order nursery websites, some sites include listings by country of origin.

***

Tom Karwin is past president of the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Succulent Society, and the Monterey Bay Iris Society, and UC Lifetime Master Gardener (certified 1999-2009 ). He is now a board member and garden coach for the Santa Cruz Hostel Society. To see daily photos of her garden, https://www.facebook.com/ongardingcom-566511763375123/. For information on gardening coaching and an archive of previous On Gardening columns, visit http://ongarding.com. Contact him with comments or questions at tom@karwin.com.

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Tom Karwin, on gardening | Landscaping with Salvias – Santa Cruz Sentinel https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-landscaping-with-salvias-santa-cruz-sentinel/ Thu, 27 Jan 2022 20:05:23 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-landscaping-with-salvias-santa-cruz-sentinel/ Take care of your garden I recently wrote about pruning salvias because we are in the season when most varieties of thisgenus can be – and should be – subjected to a rejuvenation pruning, i.e. cut to the ground forstimulate and create space for new growth in the spring. In this column I have mentioned […]]]>

Take care of your garden

I recently wrote about pruning salvias because we are in the season when most varieties of this
genus can be – and should be – subjected to a rejuvenation pruning, i.e. cut to the ground for
stimulate and create space for new growth in the spring.

In this column I have mentioned the variation between plants of this genus, and recommended
visit Flowers by the Sea Nursery (www.fbts.com/) to explore its online database of
Salvias, organized by flower color, bloom season, preferred exposure and other categories.

The diversity of species within this genus leads to various pruning priorities, as shown in this
recent column, but it also has important implications for landscaping decisions. Salvias can be
used in many different garden situations.

Hummingbird Sage, a herbaceous perennial, forms a 24-inch tall and wide rosette with pinkish-red flowers and bracts appearing from late winter through spring, and even longer. (Tom Karwin — Contributor)
Wagner’s pink and white sage, another woody evergreen, blooms from November through March and reaches 60 inches tall and wide. (Tom Karwin — Contributor)

This is not to suggest loading your garden with salvias, but to consider them appropriate
choice of locations you want to expand or improve. Let’s review some examples that could be used
specific design priorities. These examples are taken from the Flowers by the Sea database,
which includes several additional choices in each landscaping category.

Exposure

The vast majority of salvias grow best in full sun or full sun and with limited humidity, but
some species prefer full shade. These include tree sage (S. arborescens), blue vine sage (S. cacaliifolia), and Balkan sage (S. forsskaoli). I grew all these species in partial shade,
where they did well so they seem adaptable but I might move them to full shade to see if
they would be even more efficient.

Another category of exposure is that of “cloud forest” species, which have evolved under the combination of
semi-shade and relatively high humidity. These include Chiapas sage (S. chiapensis), Peruvian sage (S. discolor), and giant Bolivian sage (S. dombeyi).

Cut

Most salvias are shrubs of what I would consider moderate size, ranging from 3 to 5 feet tall
and wide, and fits easily into most garden situations.

The most extreme sizes include taller and lower growing species. The largest Salvias can reach 10 feet in height. They include the Salvia tree (S. arborescens, already mentioned), Karwinski’s sage (S. Karwinski, which I grow, just because), and Mexican scarlet sage (S. gensneriiflora, which I removed because it spreads freely).

Ground cover salvias, listed primarily because they discourage weeds, include some cultivars
that are less than 2 feet tall. They include the popular Hummingbird Sage (S. spathacea), Bee’s
Bliss Sage (S. x ‘Bee’s Bliss’, which is a spreader), and Salmon Autumn Sage (S. greggi
‘Salmon’)

Flowering season

Again, most salvias flower in summer or fall, but some species will flower earlier or
later to support a year-round color plan.

Spring flowers include Friendship Sage (S. Armistad), Sacred White Sage (S. apiana) and
Mountain sage (S. microphylla, several cultivars).

Winter flowers include red velvet sage (S. confertiflora), Mexican winter sage (S. holwayi),
and Wagner’s sage (S. wagneriana ‘White Bracts’ is one of my favorites.)

Thematic groups

Grouping related plants in the landscape into preferred categories adds design consistency and guides plant selection. The diversity of salvias invites at least two thematic grouping options.

Several native habitat themes could include salvias, which grow in many parts of the
world. Many salvias are native to Central and South America, and the southern United States,
but other species come from Asia (China or Japan), Africa or Europe. See these groups on the
Flowers by the Sea by clicking on “Salvias by Origin”.

Most flower color themes can also include Salvias, which come with blue, purple, red
orange, pink, yellow or even white flowers, as well as flowers in pastel tones and leaves of
gray or silver color. On the same website, click on “Salvias by Color”.

Advance your knowledge

Now that we’ve passed the holiday season, garden-related webinars are once again becoming active.
This method of sharing information could become an integral part of the gardening landscape.
Digital media are booming as an alternative to print media (books, magazines, catalogs, flyers, etc.)
Many webinars are free, while some require moderate fees, mainly to offset speaker fees.

Wave Hill Botanical Garden, in the Bronx, NY, announced in addition to its 2022 horticultural program
Lecture Series: “The View from Federal Twist: A New Way of Thinking About Gardens, Nature,
and Ourselves,” which premieres at 3 p.m. on Feb. 16. The speaker will be James Golden, creator of the garden, Federal Twist. Go to wavehill.org, then click Discover and scroll down to Virtual Wave Hill. This webpage lists video recordings of several previous webinars.

The Garden Conservancy will present the webinar, The Northwest Gardens of Lord & Schryver, at 11 a.m. on February 10. The presenter will be Valencia Libby, author of the book of the same title, on the work of the first women who, in 1929, entered the field of landscape architecture. To register, go to www.gardenconservancy.org/education. This is a paid event.

The Ruth Bancroft Garden will present the webinar, Agaves, Species, Hybrids and Cultivars,” at
10 a.m. Feb. 5. The presenter will be Jeff Moore, owner of Solana Succulents, and co-author with Jeremy Spath of an impressive new book with the same title. Visit ruthbancroftgarden.org/events/ for more information and to register for this paid live event. All registrants will have one week access to a recording of the webinar.

Enrich your gardening days

With over 1,000 species in the Salvia genus, plus countless hybrids, garden planners
have a rich palette of options to choose from. After including ease of cultivation and
compatibility with the climate of the Monterey Bay area, these plants invite examination
whenever gardeners plan to expand or expand their gardens.

Tom Karwin is Past President of Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, Monterey Bay Area
Cactus & Succulent Society and Monterey Bay Iris Society, and a Lifetime UC Master Gardener (certified 1999–2009). He is now a board member and garden coach for the Santa Cruz Hostel Society. To see daily photos of her garden, facebook.com/ongardingcom-566511763375123/. For information on gardening coaching and an archive of previous On Gardening columns, visit http://ongarding.com. Contact him with comments or questions at tom@karwin.com.

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On gardening: South African geophytes https://www.rogersgardengate.com/on-gardening-south-african-geophytes/ Wed, 19 Jan 2022 14:35:39 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/on-gardening-south-african-geophytes/ Today’s column, following our recent round-up of South African succulents, features South African geophytes, another large category of plants from this botanical hotspot. As a reminder, geophytes are perennial plants with an underground food storage organ, for example a bulb, a tuber, a corm or a rhizome. Succulent plant scholars do not consider geophytes to […]]]>

Today’s column, following our recent round-up of South African succulents, features South African geophytes, another large category of plants from this botanical hotspot.

As a reminder, geophytes are perennial plants with an underground food storage organ, for example a bulb, a tuber, a corm or a rhizome. Succulent plant scholars do not consider geophytes to be succulents because succulents store moisture while geophytes store food.

An exceptional work, “The Color Encyclopedia of Cape Bulbs” (Timber Press, 2002) lists 83 genera of these plants, which include some 1,200 species, three quarters of which are endemic to South Africa.

This column presents a small sample of those plants that grow in my garden, as examples of the large and diverse South African geophytes.

We include two arbitrary groupings of these plants: my sense of more and less familiar varieties. You can group them differently.

As a guide, several of these plants include “Lily” in their common names but are actually not members of the Lily plant family (Liliaceae). Such misnames could be based on their resemblance to the familiar flower shape of true lilies.

Familiar South African geophytes

African lily (Agapanthus praecox ssp orientalis Getty White’). This South African plant is part of the Amaryllis plant family. Its common names include Lily of the Nile, although it is not native to the Nile region. The genus includes seven species, including the familiar A. africanus with purple-red flowers, and the less common A. praecox, which is shown here. Foliage grows from rhizomes up to 2 feet tall by 4 feet wide; the flower stalks rise in summer to 4 feet high. These plants are easy to grow in sun or shade and are often seen in private gardens and community spaces.

Montbretia (Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’). This plant is a widely grown plant among more than 400 hybrid cultivars. They grow from small bulbs and in summer produce clusters of fiery red flowers. Its small bulbs are easily separated, making them easy to propagate and potentially invasive, although they look attractive. They are part of the Iris plant family.

Fortnight Lily (Dietes iridioides). Another member of the Iris plant family, this plant grows from rhizomes to develop 2-4 foot tall clumps of narrow, sword-shaped, stiff evergreen leaves and numerous white flowers marked with yellow and purple. The flowers appear over a long season at two-week intervals (hence the common name), but last only one day.

Flowering herb (Freesia laxa var. alba). Known for its powerful sweet fragrance, this hybrid with creamy white flowers is very popular in the garden. Other cultivars are available in a range of colors, with mixed and single-colored varieties. They grow easily from bulbs, develop stems up to 18 inches tall, and in spring produce tubular flowers 2 inches long.

Red-hot Poker (Kniphofia ‘Pineapple Popsicle’). Although there are over 73 species in this genus, almost all plants grown in residential gardens are hybrids of two or more species. They grow from rhizomes and develop clumps of narrow, grass-like leaves ranging from 18-inch dwarfs to 6 feet. giants. They produce tall spikes of upright, brightly colored flowers in shades of red, orange or yellow, often bi-colored. Members of the Lily plant family, they have a long blooming season, beginning mostly in summer. They grow in full sun or partial shade, depending on the variety, but all require moderate humidity.

Calla (Zantedeschia aethiopica). Sometimes called “Calla Lily”, this plant is part of the Arum plant family (Araceae). They grow from rhizomes, can reach 3 feet tall, and need year-round moisture to produce their attractive white bracts (or spathes) that surround a spike (or spadix) of tiny true flowers. Hybrid cultivars are available in a wide range of spathe colors.

Lesser known South African geophytes

Blue Scepter (Aristea capitata). This plant, a member of the Iris plant family, grows from rhizomes to form linear leaves in 3-foot clumps. tall and broad, with taller stems of true blue flowers with yellow stamens. The most common variety, A. ecklonii ‘Blue Stars’, is very similar.

Snake Flower (Bulbine Frutescens). This plant has bulbous tubers (not really bulbs), from which grow a 2-ft. clumps of succulent leaves and, in the spring, 2 to 3 foot spikes of small yellow flowers. They are part of the Asphodelaceae plant family and are related to Haworthias and Aloes. They grow easily and can be propagated easily from stem cuttings. I acquired a handful of cuttings from a recent garden swap, and I need to plant them.

Bush lily (Clivia miniata). Yet another member of the Amaryllis family. They have been very popular plants in California since soon after they arrived in England from South Africa. The commonly grown C. miniata has orange-red or yellow flowers and (rarely) almost white flowers which are natural mutations. They have pretty dark green, strap-like leaves. Several hybrid cultivars have been produced through various combinations of the four species of the genus.

Natal lily (Crinum moorei). Another member of the Amaryllis plant family, the Natal Lily develops bulbs up to 8 inches in diameter, a flowering stem up to 4 feet tall, and clusters of five to 10 large, open, white to pale pink flowers. In the wild it grows in wet, swampy areas, but it thrives with minimal irrigation in my garden. A recent online interview with Jenks Farmer, author of “Crinum: Unearthing the History and Cultivation of the World’s Biggest Bulb,” described this plant as a garden favorite in the southeastern United States, but it also grows well in the Monterey Bay area. .

Blood lily/brush lily (Haemanthus coccineus). There are 22 species in this genus, a member of the Amaryllis plant family. H. coccineus, among the earliest identified species, has blood-red flowers, hence the common name; several other species have white flowers. The plant has brush-shaped flowers, which appear in late summer, followed by surprisingly attractive broad leaves.

Guernsey lily (Nerine sarniensis). Another member of the Amaryllis plant family, the Guernsey lily is a summer-dormant winter species that develops clusters of funnel-shaped flowers with recurving petals, in colors ranging from crimson to scarlet and pink pale to dark pink. There is also a nice pure white form. The plant has clusters of linear strap-like leaves that follow the flowers.

Advance your knowledge

The Wave Hill Public Garden & Cultural Center, located in the Bronx, New York, announced a new series of webinars, starting with “New Aesthetics for Public Spaces,” at 3 p.m. on January 19. The presenter will be garden designer and landscape architect Ching-Fang Chen, described as “passionate about deepening the connection between people and the environment”. In her presentation, she “will share how she merges cultural and ecological values ​​in design to deliver a more essential expression of beauty.” For more information and to register for this paid event, go to https://www.wavehill.org/calendar and scroll down to the webinar title.

Enrich your gardening days

Explore South Africa’s botanical riches, especially the succulents featured in a recent column and the geophytes sampled in today’s column. As noted earlier, some South African geophytes are widely grown in California gardens, but other less common varieties offer unusual attractive shapes and a welcome change of pace from the everyday offerings of garden nurseries. They are well adapted to the growing conditions of the Monterey Bay area, so they won’t require exceptional growing skills.

Enjoy your garden and include some exploration!

Tom Karwin is Past President of the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Succulent Society, and the Monterey Bay Iris Society, and UC Lifetime Master Gardener.

]]>
Tom Karwin, on gardening | South African geophytes – Santa Cruz Sentinel https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-south-african-geophytes-santa-cruz-sentinel/ Thu, 13 Jan 2022 20:00:52 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-south-african-geophytes-santa-cruz-sentinel/ Take care of your garden Today’s column, following our recent overview of South African succulents, features South African geophytes, another large category of plants in this botanical hotspot. As a reminder, geophytes are perennial plants with an underground food storage organ, for example a bulb, a tuber, a corm or a rhizome. Succulent plant scholars […]]]>

Take care of your garden

Today’s column, following our recent overview of South African succulents, features South African geophytes, another large category of plants in this botanical hotspot.

As a reminder, geophytes are perennial plants with an underground food storage organ, for example a bulb, a tuber, a corm or a rhizome. Succulent plant scholars do not consider geophytes to be succulents because succulents store moisture while geophytes store food.

An exceptional work, “The Color Encyclopedia of Cape Bulbs” (Timber Press, 2002) lists 83 genera of these plants, which include some 1,200 species, three quarters of which are endemic to South Africa.

This column presents a small sample of those plants that grow in my garden, as examples of the large and diverse South African geophytes.

We include two arbitrary groupings of these plants: my sense of more and less familiar varieties. You can group them differently.

As a guide, several of these plants include “Lily” in their common names but are actually not members of the Lily plant family (Liliaceae). Such misnames could be based on their resemblance to the familiar flower shape of true lilies.

Familiar South African geophytes

African lily (Agapanthus praecox ssp orientalis Getty White’). This South African plant is part of the Amaryllis plant family. Its common names include Lily of the Nile, although it is not native to the Nile region. The genus includes seven species, including the familiar A. africanus with purple-red flowers, and the less common A. praecox, which is shown here. Foliage grows from rhizomes up to 2 feet tall by 4 feet wide; the flower stalks rise in summer to 4 feet high. These plants are easy to grow in sun or shade and are often seen in private gardens and community spaces.

Montbretia (Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’). This plant is a widely grown plant among more than 400 hybrid cultivars. They grow from small bulbs and in summer produce clusters of fiery red flowers. Its small bulbs are easily separated, making them easy to propagate and potentially invasive, although they look attractive. They are part of the Iris plant family.

Fortnight Lily (Dietes iridioides). Another member of the Iris plant family, this plant grows from rhizomes to develop 2-4 foot tall clumps of narrow, sword-shaped, stiff evergreen leaves and numerous white flowers marked with yellow and purple. The flowers appear over a long season at two-week intervals (hence the common name), but last only one day.

Flowering herb (Freesia laxa var. alba). Known for its powerful sweet fragrance, this hybrid with creamy white flowers is very popular in the garden. Other cultivars are available in a range of colors, with mixed and single-colored varieties. They grow easily from bulbs, develop stems up to 18 inches tall, and in spring produce tubular flowers 2 inches long.

Red-hot Poker (Kniphofia ‘Pineapple Popsicle’). Although there are over 73 species in this genus, almost all plants grown in residential gardens are hybrids of two or more species. They grow from rhizomes and develop clumps of narrow, grass-like leaves ranging from 18-inch dwarfs to 6 feet. giants. They produce tall spikes of upright, brightly colored flowers in shades of red, orange or yellow, often bi-colored. Members of the Lily plant family, they have a long blooming season, beginning mostly in summer. They grow in full sun or partial shade, depending on the variety, but all require moderate humidity.

Calla (Zantedeschia aethiopica). Sometimes called “Calla Lily”, this plant is part of the Arum plant family (Araceae). They grow from rhizomes, can reach 3 feet tall, and need year-round moisture to produce their attractive white bracts (or spathes) that surround a spike (or spadix) of tiny true flowers. Hybrid cultivars are available in a wide range of spathe colors.

Lesser known South African geophytes

Blue Scepter (Aristea capitata). This plant, a member of the Iris plant family, grows from rhizomes to form linear leaves in 3-foot clumps. tall and broad, with taller stems of true blue flowers with yellow stamens. The most common variety, A. ecklonii ‘Blue Stars’, is very similar.

Snake Flower (Bulbine Frutescens). This plant has bulbous tubers (not really bulbs), from which grow a 2-ft. clumps of succulent leaves and, in the spring, 2 to 3 foot spikes of small yellow flowers. They are part of the Asphodelaceae plant family and are related to Haworthias and Aloes. They grow easily and can be propagated easily from stem cuttings. I acquired a handful of cuttings from a recent garden swap, and I need to plant them.

Bush lily (Clivia miniata). Yet another member of the Amaryllis family. They have been very popular plants in California since soon after they arrived in England from South Africa. The commonly grown C. miniata has orange-red or yellow flowers and (rarely) almost white flowers which are natural mutations. They have pretty dark green, strap-like leaves. Several hybrid cultivars have been produced through various combinations of the four species of the genus.

Natal lily (Crinum moorei). Another member of the Amaryllis plant family, the Natal Lily develops bulbs up to 8 inches in diameter, a flowering stem up to 4 feet tall, and clusters of five to 10 large, open, white to pale pink flowers. In the wild it grows in wet, swampy areas, but it thrives with minimal irrigation in my garden. A recent online interview with Jenks Farmer, author of “Crinum: Unearthing the History and Cultivation of the World’s Biggest Bulb,” described this plant as a garden favorite in the southeastern United States, but it also grows well in the Monterey Bay area. .

Blood lily/brush lily (Haemanthus coccineus). There are 22 species in this genus, a member of the Amaryllis plant family. H. coccineus, among the earliest identified species, has blood-red flowers, hence the common name; several other species have white flowers. The plant has brush-shaped flowers, which appear in late summer, followed by surprisingly attractive broad leaves.

Guernsey lily (Nerine sarniensis). Another member of the Amaryllis plant family, the Guernsey lily is a summer-dormant winter species that develops clusters of funnel-shaped flowers with recurving petals, in colors ranging from crimson to scarlet and pink pale to dark pink. There is also a nice pure white form. The plant has clusters of linear strap-like leaves that follow the flowers.

Advance your knowledge

The Wave Hill Public Garden & Cultural Center, located in the Bronx, New York, announced a new series of webinars, beginning with “New Aesthetics for Public Spaces,” at 3:00 p.m. PST on January 19. The presenter will be garden designer and landscape architect Ching-Fang Chen, described as “passionate about deepening the connection between people and the environment”. In her presentation, she “will share how she merges cultural and ecological values ​​in design to deliver a more essential expression of beauty.” For more information and to register for this paid event, go to https://www.wavehill.org/calendar and scroll down to the webinar title.

Enrich your gardening days

Explore South Africa’s botanical riches, especially the succulents featured in a recent column and the geophytes sampled in today’s column. As noted earlier, some South African geophytes are widely grown in California gardens, but other less common varieties offer unusual attractive shapes and a welcome change of pace from the everyday offerings of garden nurseries. They are well adapted to the growing conditions of the Monterey Bay area, so they won’t require exceptional growing skills.

Enjoy your garden and include some exploration!

Tom Karwin is past president of the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Succulent Society, and the Monterey Bay Iris Society, and UC Lifetime Master Gardener (certified 1999-2009 ). He is now a board member and garden coach for the Santa Cruz Hostel Society. To see daily photos of her garden, https://www.facebook.com/ongardingcom-566511763375123/. For information on gardening coaching and an archive of previous On Gardening columns, visit http://ongarding.com. Contact him with comments or questions at tom@karwin.com.

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The diversity of South African succulents https://www.rogersgardengate.com/the-diversity-of-south-african-succulents/ Wed, 12 Jan 2022 14:35:20 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/the-diversity-of-south-african-succulents/ With today’s column, we return to our focus on selecting summer-dry plants for seasonal additions to the garden. Recent columns featured plants native to California, Australia, the Mediterranean Basin, South Africa (perennials), Mexico (perennials), Chile and Mexico (succulents). We are now focusing on succulents native to South Africa. Succulents can be found on most continents, […]]]>

With today’s column, we return to our focus on selecting summer-dry plants for seasonal additions to the garden.

Recent columns featured plants native to California, Australia, the Mediterranean Basin, South Africa (perennials), Mexico (perennials), Chile and Mexico (succulents). We are now focusing on succulents native to South Africa.

Succulents can be found on most continents, with the exception of Antarctica (not yet!). While some of these plants survive in very harsh dry areas, they more generally thrive in more normal environments that experience seasonal or cyclical droughts. Succulents have adapted to such an environment by storing moisture in their leaves, stems or roots and easily surviving until the eventual return of the rains.

California gardeners may be most familiar with succulents from neighboring Mexico, but far more succulents come from Africa, with more native succulents than any other continent. The nation of South Africa contains the smallest of the world’s six recognized floral kingdoms, home to 23,420 species of vascular plants, including a huge number of succulents.

In the following paragraphs we describe several of the South African succulents in my garden, selected to suggest the diversity of shapes and sizes of their plants. This series begins with a sampling of various aloes, a genus characterized by its rosette shape.

Torch Aloe (Aloe arborescens). This familiar plant grows easily in this zone, reaching 9 feet by 9 feet. Its common name refers to its unbranched inflorescences of coral-red flowers, rising during the winter months two feet above the foliage.

Short-leaved Aloe (Aloe brevifolia). A much smaller plant, this aloe develops clumps of three-inch wide rosettes, with spikes of orange tubular flowers in late spring. It serves as a “filler” plant in the garden.

Soap Aloe (Aloe maculata). This plant was known as A. saponaria, in reference to the soapy foam made from its sap. Its current species name means “speckled”, in reference to the coloring of its leaves. This plant spreads easily through underground suckers.

Spotted Aloe (Aloe ‘Wrasse’). An example of Fantasy Aloe, a colorful miniature plant in Larry Weisel’s Hybrid Fish series. Fantastical aloes, prized by succulent collectors, often have a complex parentage from multiple crosses in search of attractive foliage.

Finger Aloe (orbiculated cotyledon). Despite its common name, this plant is not an Aloe but a Cotyledon, a member of another plant family. It grows 2 feet tall and 4 feet wide, and in spring produces intriguing clusters of pale orange, bell-shaped flowers that hang 12 to 18 inches tall.

Red Carpet (Crassula pubescens ssp. radicans). This member of the Crassula plant family is a mat-forming plant only a few centimeters tall, with slender stems that start upright and over time spread out laterally and form new shoots emerging from the nodes. Its tiny white flowers look like crowns. This plant is used as a ground cover.

Corncob cactus (Euphorbia mammillaris). This plant does not belong to the Cactus family, but like some other Euphorbias, it resembles a cactus. It grows about 1 foot tall and sprouts new columnar stems from its base.

Hottentot bread (Fockea edulis). An example of a caudiciform plant, it stores moisture in its root (caudex), which can grow up to 2 feet wide and support slender branches up to 12 feet long. The plant can be kept at a small size when containerized. The common name, which refers to the edible root, is considered pejorative when applied to people. The Afrikaans common name “Bergbaroe” might be preferred.

Cow’s Tongue Pactus (Gasteria ‘Little Warty’). This charming succulent, five inches tall and wide, is a hybrid of G. batesiana and G. ‘Old Man Silver’. Its cultivar name refers to the small bumps on the thick green leaves.

Paddle plant (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora ‘Flapjacks’). This member of the Stonecrop plant family stands 18 inches tall, with a 30 inch spike of fragrant yellow flowers in spring. With sufficient sun exposure, the margins of the leaves turn a showy red.

Pink ice plant (Oscularia deltoides). This plant spreads to a 10 inch tall and 3 foot wide mat with numerous 1 inch lavender pink daisy flowers. It works well as a ground cover and cascades well from a container or other elevated spot.

Elephant food (Portulacaria afra). This plant can be pruned to keep it at a preferred size, but in the wild it can grow up to twelve feet tall, earning its common name. It has pretty reddish-brown stems, half-inch-long emerald green leaves, and tiny pale lavender flowers in summer.

Advance your knowledge

The Cactus and Succulent Society of America resumes its biweekly webinar series with “Succulent Trees – Culture,” at 10 a.m. Saturday. The presenter, Dan Mahr, will follow his previous webinar on succulent trees. To register for this free event, go to cactusandsuculentsociety.org/.

The UC Botanical Garden has announced webinars for January. For more information and to register, go to botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu/Programs, click on “Programs & Workshops”, then on “Calendar”. This involves more clicks than expected, but you can do it.

“Opening Reception – Plants Illustrated 2022 The Beauty of Leaves,” 6 p.m. Jan. 14. This virtual gathering celebrates the opening of the 13th Annual Botanical Art Exhibition 2022, “The Beauty of Leaves”.

“Florilegia: From Historical Journeys to Current Renewal,” 10:00 a.m. Jan. 24. This is a paid event.

“Inside the Artist’s Studio: Amber Turner and Maria Cecilia Freeman,” 10 a.m. Jan. 28. This ticketed event features two botanical artists from the Northern California Society of Botanical Artists.

Enjoy your garden!

Tom Karwin is Past President of the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Succulent Society, and the Monterey Bay Iris Society, and UC Master Gardener.

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Tom Karwin, on gardening | The diversity of South African succulents – Santa Cruz Sentinel https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-the-diversity-of-south-african-succulents-santa-cruz-sentinel/ Thu, 06 Jan 2022 22:02:02 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-the-diversity-of-south-african-succulents-santa-cruz-sentinel/ Take care of your garden With today’s column, after last week’s seasonal pruning preview, we return to our focus on selecting dry plants in the summer for seasonal additions to the garden. Recent columns featured plants native to California, Australia, the Mediterranean Basin, South Africa (perennials), Mexico (perennials), Chile and Mexico (succulents). To view these […]]]>


Take care of your garden

With today’s column, after last week’s seasonal pruning preview, we return to our focus on selecting dry plants in the summer for seasonal additions to the garden. Recent columns featured plants native to California, Australia, the Mediterranean Basin, South Africa (perennials), Mexico (perennials), Chile and Mexico (succulents). To view these columns, go to www.santacruzsentinel.com/ and search for “Karwin”.

We are now focusing on succulents native to South Africa.

Succulents can be found on most continents except Antarctica (not yet!). While some of these plants survive in very harsh dry areas, they more generally thrive in more normal environments that experience seasonal or cyclical droughts. Succulents have adapted to such an environment by storing moisture in their leaves, stems or roots and easily surviving until the rains return.

California gardeners may be more familiar with succulents from neighboring Mexico, but many more succulents come from Africa, with more native succulents than any other continent. The nation of South Africa contains the smallest of the world’s six recognized flower kingdoms, home to 23,420 species of vascular plants, including a huge number of succulents.

In the following paragraphs, we describe several of the South African succulents in my garden, selected to suggest the diversity in shapes and sizes of their plants. This series begins with a sampling of various Aloes, a genus characterized by its rosette shape.

Torch Aloe (Aloe arborescens). This familiar plant grows easily in the Monterey Bay area, reaching 9 feet by 9 feet. Its common name refers to its unbranched inflorescences of coral-red flowers, rising during the winter months to two feet above the foliage.

Short-leaved aloe (Aloe brevifolia). A much smaller plant, this aloe develops clumps of three-inch-wide rosettes, with spikes of tubular orange flowers in late spring. It serves as a “filler” plant in the garden.

Aloe Soap (Aloe maculata). This plant was known as A. saponaria, in reference to the soapy foam produced from its sap. Its current species name means “speckled”, in reference to the coloring of its leaves. This plant is easily spread by underground suckers.

Spotted Aloe (Aloe ‘Wrasse’). An example of a Fantasy Aloe, a colorful miniature plant in Larry Weisel’s Fish Hybrid series. Fantastic aloes, popular with succulent collectors, often have a complex parentage resulting from multiple crosses in search of attractive foliage.

Finger Aloe (Orbiculate Cotyledon). Despite its common name, this plant is not an aloe but a cotyledon, a member of another family of plants. It grows 2 feet tall and 4 feet wide, and in spring produces intriguing clusters of pale orange, bell-shaped flowers that hang from stems 12 to 18 inches tall.

Red carpet (Crassula pubescens ssp. Radicans). This member of the Crassula plant family is a carpet-forming plant only a few inches in height, with slender stems that start upright and spread sideways over time and form new shoots emerging from nodes. Its small white flowers look like wreaths. This plant serves as a ground cover.

Corn ear cactus (Euphorbia mammillaris). This plant is not part of the Cactus family, but like some other Euphorbias, it looks like a cactus. It grows about 1 foot tall and grows new columnar stems from its base.

Hottentot bread (Fockea edulis). An example of a caudiciform plant, it stores moisture in its root (caudex), which can grow to 2 feet wide and support thin branches up to 12 feet long. The plant can be kept small when containerized. The common name, which refers to the edible root, is considered derogatory when applied to people. The Afrikaans common name “Bergbaroe” might be preferred.

Cow Tongue Pactus (Gasteria ‘Little Warty’). This charming five inch tall and wide succulent plant is a hybrid of G. batesiana and G. ‘Old Man Silver’. Its cultivar name refers to the small bumps on the thick green leaves.

Paddle plant (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora ‘Flapjacks’). This member of the Stonecrop plant family stands 18 inches tall, with a 30 inch spike of fragrant yellow flowers in spring. With sufficient exposure to the sun, the edges of the leaves turn bright red.

Pink ice plant (Oscularia deltoides). This plant spans a carpet 10 inches high and 3 feet wide, with numerous 1 inch lavender pink flowers resembling daisies. It works well as a ground cover and will cascade from a container or other raised location.

Food for elephants (Portulacaria afra). This plant can be pruned to keep it at a preferred size, but in the wild it can grow to twelve feet tall, deserving of its common name. It has pretty reddish-brown stems, half-inch-long emerald green leaves, and tiny pale lavender flowers in summer.

Advance your knowledge

The Cactus and Succulent Society of America resumes its bi-weekly webinar series with “Succulent Trees — Cultivation,” at 10 am Saturday. Presenter Dan Mahr will follow his previous succulent tree webinar. To register for this free event, go to cactusandsucculentsociety.org/.

The University of California Botanical Garden has announced webinars for January. For more information and to register, visit Botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu/Programs, click on “Programs & Workshops”, then “Calendar”. It involves more clicks than it should, but you can do it.

“Opening reception – Plantes illustrated 2022 The beauty of leaves”, 6:00 pm. January 14. This virtual gathering celebrates the opening of the 13th annual botanical art exhibition 2022, “The Beauty of the Leaves”.

“Florilegia: From Historic Voyages to the Present-day Revival”, 10:00 am January 24th. This is a paid event.

“Inside the Artist’s Studio: Amber Turner and Maria Cecilia Freeman” at 10 am on January 28. This paid event features two botanical artists from the Northern California Society of Botanical Artists.

Enjoy your garden!

Tom Karwin is the past president of the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Succulent Society, and the Monterey Bay Iris Society, and UC Lifetime Master Gardener (Certified 1999- 2009). He is now a board member and garden trainer for the Santa Cruz Hostel Society. To view photos of his garden daily, https://www.facebook.com/ongardeningcom-566511763375123/. For gardening coaching information and an archive of previous gardening columns, visit http://ongardening.com. Contact him with comments or questions at tom@karwin.com.


]]>
Seasonal pruning in the new year https://www.rogersgardengate.com/seasonal-pruning-in-the-new-year/ Wed, 05 Jan 2022 14:35:35 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/seasonal-pruning-in-the-new-year/ Many people enjoy the annual ceremony of changing the schedule, looking back on the previous year, anticipating the new year, and resolving to pursue new, personally productive directions. While I have a lot of ideas in this direction for myself, I was impressed with Melody Rose’s ideas for revolutions for gardeners. Here are the highlights […]]]>


Many people enjoy the annual ceremony of changing the schedule, looking back on the previous year, anticipating the new year, and resolving to pursue new, personally productive directions.

While I have a lot of ideas in this direction for myself, I was impressed with Melody Rose’s ideas for revolutions for gardeners. Here are the highlights from his article on the Dave’s Garden website (to read it all, visit davesgarden.com and search for “resolutions”):

  • Leave things a little messy.
  • Don’t waste water.
  • Share with others.
  • Identify your insects.

Our gardens follow nature’s annual cycles, ignoring specific dates, crossing the seasons, and responding to climatic and other influences of their unique circumstances. As gardeners, we draw inspiration from these natural processes.

Take care of your garden

At this time of year, the gardener should plan to prune his shrubs.

Pruning schedules can seem difficult, but two basic rules are useful: prune summer flowers in late winter or early spring, and prune spring flowers soon after flowering.

These rules reflect the flowering cycles of these groups. The summer flowering shrubs bloom on the current year’s growth; spring-flowering shrubs bloom on the shoot from the previous year.

The gardener must create an inventory of the shrubs in his landscape, listing them as summer or winter blooms. The gardener knowing the flowering period of each shrub could accomplish this task by working from memory. Others might search for each shrub in a plant directory or on the Internet, using either the plant’s botanical name (ideally) or its common name.

Useful print resources include the “Western Garden Book” by Sunset and “AZ Encyclopedia of Garden Plants” or “Pruning & Training” from the American Horticultural Society. Search Amazon.com, your public library, or your local bookstore for other books on pruning garden plants. Print or online resources could also provide detailed pruning recommendations.

Once prepared with information about your flowering shrubs, you can plan your pruning activities with confidence.

Next, consider different methods of pruning. Be aware that only gardeners, not plants, need to be pruned. Gardeners choose to prune plants for specific purposes: controlling size and shape, promoting more flowers, removing broken or dead branches, and more. Plan to prune your shrubs to achieve these goals, while respecting the natural shape of the plant. If such goals are not a priority, you can choose to ignore the size altogether.

Many shrubs can be improved in size or shape by selectively cutting off branches that reach into alleys or encroach on adjacent plants. However, with older or overgrown shrubs, rejuvenation or renewal techniques might be appropriate.

Rejuvenation pruning involves cutting all the stems of the plant to the ground. Many deciduous shrubs respond well to this approach: new stems grow in one season from well-established roots.

Renewal pruning is more systematic and suitable for multi-stem shrubs. Cut off about a third of the oldest stems on the ground to open up the shrub’s structure and encourage new growth from the base.

Here are examples of seasonal pruning in my garden at this time of year.

Roses include many varieties, most of which are popular in many gardens and should be pruned in late winter or early spring to maintain an attractive shape and promote flowering. Specific advice on pruning roses is available on the American Rose Society website. Go to (www.rose.org/) and search for “pruning”.

Most gardens have spring blooming roses primarily, but a few varieties of roses should be pruned in summer rather than winter. Rambler roses, for example, should be pruned in the summer after flowering. My garden has a vigorous climbing plant, Rosa mulligani, which needs to be contained in the summer after its flowers have wilted.

Marguerite (Montanoa grandiflora). A large, upright evergreen shrub native to Mexico that produces lots of white daisy-like flowers with an attractive scent that suggests chocolate or vanilla. Each year it can be greatly reduced to stimulate new growth from the ground up.

Bolivian Fuchsia (Fuchsia boliviana ‘Alba’). It is a fast-growing evergreen shrub that can exceed twelve feet in height, growing wild in its native regions of southern Peru, Bolivia, and northern Argentina. In the garden, its size can be controlled with annual rejuvenation pruning, after which it produces abundant new growth and charming flower clusters.

Flowering Current or Gooseberry (Ribes spp.), Native to California, can grow up to 12 feet tall and wide, making it large enough for many gardens (including mine). It can be cut any time after the flowers have faded in the summer until March or even April, after which it will produce new growth and flowers the following season. My garden features white, pink and red flowering streams (R. sanguineum) and a fuchsia flowering gooseberry (R. speciosum) with interesting flowers and thorns. All can be trimmed the same way.

Lewis’s Mock Orange (Philadelphus lewisii). This deciduous shrub, native to northern California and western North America, grows up to nine feet tall, with an abundance of white flowers that smell like orange blossom. This plant does not need to be pruned, but the renewal pruning (described above) will make it a good garden companion and promote flowering.

Salvia spp. These plants are widespread members of the large sage family. According to Wikipedia, salvias grow in Central and South America (around 600 species); Central Asia and the Mediterranean (250 species); and East Asia (90 species). Among the many species of this genus, some bloom in winter, spring, summer or fall. They stand out well in rejuvenating pruning, preferably at a time related to the specific plant’s flowering cycle. For sizing recommendations, visit the excellent Flowers by the Sea website (ftbs.com) and search for “Salvias by Season” or by botanical name.

Mexican Marigold (Tagates Lemonii). This popular plant can be seen in many gardens as it grows easily in sun or partial shade and produces an abundance of golden blooms with a scent that many gardeners shy away from. After its flowers fade away in the fall (varying depending on exposure), rejuvenating pruning controls its size and results in new growth and another flowering season.

Cotoneaster spp. This is another large genus with several species within the rose family, ranging from ground covers to tall, upright shrubs. Typically, pruning should be done in late winter and designed to maintain the shrub’s naturally graceful shape. For recommendations, go to the Gardening Know How website (www.gardeningknowhow.com/) and search for “cotoneaster size”. If you know the species of your cotoneaster, search for it on the Internet, using Google.

Enrich your gardening days

A fundamental strategy for the comfort, enjoyment, and ultimate success of gardening is to advance your knowledge and skills in pruning plants. This task, linked to plant growth cycles, has seasonal priorities like those described in today’s column, and involves year-round awareness of the benefits of selective pinching, mowing and pruning. A New Years resolution to consider would be to add a good book on pruning to your reading list.

Enjoy your garden!

Tom Karwin is the past president of Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Succulent Society, and the Monterey Bay Iris Society, and a UC Master Gardener. He is now a board member and garden trainer for the Santa Cruz Hostel Society.


]]>
Tom Karwin, on gardening | Seasonal pruning in the New Year – Santa Cruz Sentinel https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-seasonal-pruning-in-the-new-year-santa-cruz-sentinel/ Thu, 30 Dec 2021 22:02:50 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-seasonal-pruning-in-the-new-year-santa-cruz-sentinel/ The gardening and astronomical years Many people enjoy the annual ceremony of changing the schedule, looking back on the previous year, anticipating the new year, and resolving to pursue new, personally productive directions. While I have a lot of ideas in this direction for myself, I was impressed with Melody Rose’s ideas for revolutions for […]]]>


The gardening and astronomical years

Many people enjoy the annual ceremony of changing the schedule, looking back on the previous year, anticipating the new year, and resolving to pursue new, personally productive directions. While I have a lot of ideas in this direction for myself, I was impressed with Melody Rose’s ideas for revolutions for gardeners. Here are the highlights from his article on the Dave’s Garden website (to read it all, visit davesgarden.com and search for “resolutions”):

• Leave things a bit messy.
• Don’t waste water.
• Share with others.
• Identify your insects.

Our gardens follow nature’s annual cycles, ignoring specific dates, crossing the seasons, and responding to climatic and other influences of their unique circumstances. As gardeners, we draw inspiration from these natural processes.

Take care of your garden

At this time of year, the gardener should plan to prune his shrubs.

Pruning schedules can seem tricky, but two basic rules are useful: prune summer flowers in late winter or early spring, and prune spring flowers soon after blooming.

These rules reflect the flowering cycles of these groups. The summer flowering shrubs bloom on the current year’s growth; spring-flowering shrubs bloom on the shoot from the previous year.

The gardener must create an inventory of the shrubs in his landscape, listing them as summer or winter blooms. The gardener knowing the flowering period of each shrub could accomplish this task by working from memory. Others might search for each shrub in a plant directory or on the Internet, using either the plant’s botanical name (ideally) or its common name.

Useful print resources include the “Western Garden Book” by Sunset and “AZ Encyclopedia of Garden Plants” or “Pruning & Training” from the American Horticultural Society. Search Amazon.com, your public library, or your local bookstore for other books on pruning garden plants. Print or online resources could also provide detailed pruning recommendations.

Once prepared with information about your flowering shrubs, you can plan your pruning activities with confidence.

Next, consider different methods of pruning. Be aware that only gardeners, not plants, need to be pruned. Gardeners choose to prune plants for specific purposes: controlling size and shape, promoting more flowers, removing broken or dead branches, and more. Plan to prune your shrubs to achieve these goals, while respecting the natural shape of the plant. If such goals are not a priority, you can choose to ignore the size altogether.

Many shrubs can be improved in size or shape by selectively cutting off branches that reach into alleys or encroach on adjacent plants. However, with older or overgrown shrubs, rejuvenation or renewal techniques might be appropriate.

Rejuvenation pruning involves cutting all the stems of the plant to the ground. Many deciduous shrubs respond well to this approach: new stems grow in one season from well-established roots.

Renewal pruning is more systematic and suitable for multi-stem shrubs. Cut about a third of the older stems down to the ground to open up the shrub’s structure and encourage new growth from the base.

Here are examples of seasonal pruning in my garden at this time of year.

Roses include many varieties, most of which are popular in many gardens and should be pruned in late winter or early spring to maintain an attractive shape and promote flowering. Specific advice on pruning roses is available on the American Rose Society website. Go to (www.rose.org/) and search for “pruning”.

Most gardens have spring blooming roses primarily, but a few varieties of roses should be pruned in summer rather than winter. Rambler roses, for example, should be pruned in the summer after flowering. My garden has a vigorous climbing plant, Rosa mulligani, which needs to be contained in the summer after its flowers have wilted.

Marguerite (Montanoa grandiflora). A large, upright evergreen shrub native to Mexico that produces lots of white daisy-like flowers with an attractive scent that suggests chocolate or vanilla. Each year it can be greatly reduced to stimulate new growth from the ground up.

Bolivian Fuchsia (Fuchsia boliviana ‘Alba’). It is a fast-growing evergreen shrub that can exceed twelve feet in height, growing wild in its native regions of southern Peru, Bolivia, and northern Argentina. In the garden, its size can be controlled with annual rejuvenation pruning, after which it produces abundant new growth and charming flower clusters.

Flowering Current or Gooseberry (Ribes spp.), Native to California, can grow up to 12 feet tall and wide, making it large enough for many gardens (including mine). It can be cut any time after the flowers have faded in the summer until March or even April, after which it will produce new growth and flowers the following season. My garden features white, pink and red flowering streams (R. sanguineum) and a fuchsia flowering gooseberry (R. speciosum) with interesting flowers and thorns. Everything can be cut the same way.

Lewis’s Mock Orange (Philadelphus lewisii). This deciduous shrub, native to northern California and western North America, grows up to nine feet tall, with an abundance of white flowers that smell like orange blossom. This plant does not need to be pruned, but the renewal pruning (described above) will make it a good garden companion and promote flowering.

Salvia spp. These plants are widespread members of the large sage family. According to Wikipedia, salvias grow in Central and South America (around 600 species); Central Asia and the Mediterranean (250 species); and East Asia (90 species). Among the many species of this genus, some bloom in winter, spring, summer or fall. They stand out well in rejuvenating pruning, preferably at a time related to the specific plant’s flowering cycle. For sizing recommendations, visit the excellent Flowers by the Sea website (ftbs.com) and search for “Salvias by Season” or by botanical name.

Mexican Marigold (Tagates Lemonii). This popular plant can be seen in many gardens as it grows easily in sun or partial shade and produces an abundance of golden blooms with a scent that many gardeners shy away from. After its flowers fade away in the fall (varying depending on exposure), rejuvenating pruning controls its size and results in new growth and another flowering season.

Cotoneaster spp. This is another large genus with several species within the rose family, ranging from ground covers to tall, upright shrubs. Typically, pruning should be done in late winter and designed to maintain the shrub’s naturally graceful shape. For recommendations, go to the Gardening Know How website (www.gardeningknowhow.com/) and search for “cotoneaster size”. If you know the species of your cotoneaster, search for it on the Internet, using Google.

Enrich your gardening days

A fundamental strategy for the comfort, enjoyment, and ultimate success of gardening is to advance your knowledge and skills in pruning plants. This task, linked to plant growth cycles, has seasonal priorities like those described in today’s column, and involves year-round awareness of the benefits of selective pinching, mowing, and pruning. A New Years resolution to consider would be to add a good book on pruning to your reading list.

Enjoy your garden!

Tom Karwin is the past president of the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Succulent Society, and the Monterey Bay Iris Society, and UC Lifetime Master Gardener (Certified 1999- 2009). He is now a board member and garden trainer for the Santa Cruz Hostel Society. To view photos of his garden daily, https://www.facebook.com/ongardeningcom-566511763375123/. For gardening coaching information and an archive of previous gardening columns, visit http://ongardening.com. Contact him with comments or questions at tom@karwin.com.


]]>
Tom Karwin, on gardening | Mexican Succulents – Santa Cruz Sentinel https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-mexican-succulents-santa-cruz-sentinel/ Thu, 23 Dec 2021 20:06:31 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-mexican-succulents-santa-cruz-sentinel/ Take care of your garden Today’s column appears on Christmas Eve, a joyous occasion for the people of the Monterey Bay area who observe the birth of Christ or share goodwill for all the people of the world, and both. Our next column will appear on New Years Eve, another important event for anyone who […]]]>


Take care of your garden

Today’s column appears on Christmas Eve, a joyous occasion for the people of the Monterey Bay area who observe the birth of Christ or share goodwill for all the people of the world, and both.

Our next column will appear on New Years Eve, another important event for anyone who has celebrated or tolerated the 2021 experiences and who are optimistically looking forward to 2022.

The transition to a new year resonates with every gardener’s attention to the future: looking to the year ahead is integral to enjoying the continuous cycle of the seasons.

With that thinking, we return to our series of relevant seasonal insights into garden plants from dry summer (or Mediterranean) climatic regions.

Today we are focusing on succulents from Mexico. Which is home to many succulents worthy of a garden. We hasten to reaffirm that plants associate with favorable growing conditions, rather than political boundaries, so that “succulents of Mexico” could include plants from the southernmost regions of the states. United, as well as Central America, the northernmost regions of South America and the islands of the Caribbean Sea.

While these regions total a fairly large area, they are not home to all succulents, which thrive in other regions of the world that have periods of limited humidity. In addition to the wider Mexico region, South Africa is home to many succulents. We will focus on this succulent region in a future column.

Succulents have evolved to store moisture in their leaves, stems, or roots in order to survive during seasonal dry spells. They have developed within several different genera. The cactus family (Cactaceae) includes many succulents, and knowledgeable gardeners understand that while all cacti are succulents, not all succulents are cacti.

This past weekend, the Monterey Bay Area Cactus and Succulent Society hosted its annual succulent plant auction, as part of its festivities. Members provided high quality plants for the auction and received a share of the auction price or forfeited a share and donated all profits for the benefit of the host company.

The auction featured plants from Mexico and South Africa, too many to summarize here. I was drawn to two interesting Mexican agaves in particular. Learn more about these plants by searching the Internet for their botanical names.

Lucky Crown Century Plant (Agave Potatorum ‘Kissho Kan’). I already have an A. Potatorum, with a slightly variegated rosette leaf structure, but the auctioned cultivar had more prominent variegated leaves, from silvery blue to greenish blue, edged in creamy white. Superb, but I was overbid.

White-haired Agave (Agave albopilosa). This very rare Agave was discovered on an almost vertical cliff in the Mexican state of Muevo Leon. Small plant, it develops small white tufts of hair-like fibers at the end of narrow, green leaves turned upside down. It tends not to produce suckers, so its slow propagation by seed considerably limits its availability, compared to other agaves. This charming plant had a reserve value of $ 100. I did not participate in the auction.

The third auction plant of note was a South African Conophytum (specific name unknown). This genus includes more than 100 species and has several common names related to the form: Button Plant, Cone Plant, Waterblasies (Water Blisters), Dumplings, Living Pebbles, etc. They are dwarf plants forming clusters in great demand by collectors, many in Asia. They are threatened with extinction due to mining and poaching in the wild for the black market. At the local auction, this very small plant drew a final bid of $ 585.

Collectors and growers of special succulents made this annual auction a huge success for the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Succulent Society.

Here are some of the plants from my modest collection, selected to suggest the range of plant forms of Mexican succulents. These plants are valued for their leaf shapes and colors, their varying sizes, and the range of overall shapes in the landscape. They also flower, some seasonally and others only after several years of development. Agaves are usually monocarpic, which means that they flower once and then die, while spreading by lag.

Cream Spike Agave (Agave applanata ‘Cream Spike’). A small plant with olive green leaves with cream colored edges and dark brown thorns. This plant easily produces suckers and eventually forms a colony of plants of varying sizes.

Blue Lechuguilla (Agave funkiana ‘Fatal Attraction’). This plant has long variegated leaves, resembling the popular A. lopantha ‘Quadricolor’, which has a more pronounced variegation. It grows two feet tall and three feet wide and produces a lot of offsets to share.

Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii). This plant, endangered in the wild, is one of the most popular cacti in cultivation. It is valued as an architectural accent plant for the design of contemporary gardens. It has a wonderful array of very decorative gold colored thorns. I have moved five of these plants twice in my garden. It was an easy task as the plants have a small root mass and can be wrapped in an old towel for safe handling.

Echeveria ‘Perle von Nurnberg’. This attractive plant forms a rosette of pale greyish brown leaves with pink highlights and a white powder called “pruinose”. A hybrid of E. gibbiflora ‘Metallica’ × E. elegans, it grows to only 1 foot by 1 foot.

Our Lord’s Candle (Hesperoyucca whipplei). A dense rosette-forming plant with long, silvery leaves, reaching 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide. When it reaches maturity in about 10 years, it quickly sends out a spike up to 12 feet in height, with white to purplish flowers. The wait is worth it!

Mangave x ‘Bloodstain’. Managaves are popular and newly introduced hybrid plant series created by combining agaves with their botanical parents, Manfredas. They usually have mottled leaves. This cultivar grows a foot tall and up to two feet wide.

Improve your gardening knowledge

The School Garden Organization Support Network announced its recorded webinar series on how to make a school garden a success. Check out these free resources by visiting www.sgsonetwork.org/ and clicking on “webinars”.

The American Horticultural Society has launched a new series of virtual speakers, featuring the winners of the AHS Great American Gardeners Awards. The next webinar will be presented at 7 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 27, 2022, with Michael Balick. Dr Balick, vice president of botanical sciences at the New York Botanical Garden, works with indigenous cultures to document plant diversity, preserve knowledge about traditional uses of plants, and help communities manage their resources sustainably. His most recent project focuses on the tropical Pacific islands of Micronesia and Melanesia. For more information and to register for this paid event, go to ahsgardening.org/ and search for “webinars”.

Enrich your gardening days

The great variety of succulents from Mexico and their easy cultivation attract a specialized collection of selected genera. They are also easy to share with friends, which makes adding plants to the garden enjoyable and inexpensive and building a collection.

Enjoy your garden!

Tom Karwin is the past president of the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Suclent Society, and the Monterey Bay Iris Society, and UC Lifetime Master Gardener (certified 1999-2009). He is now a board member and garden trainer for the Santa Cruz Hostel Society. To view photos of his garden daily, https://www.facebook.com/ongardeningcom-566511763375123/. To find an archive of previous gardening columns and gardening coaching information, visit http://ongardening.com. Contact him with comments or questions at tom@karwin.com.


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Tom Karwin, on gardening | Mexican Perennials – Santa Cruz Sentinel https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-mexican-perennials-santa-cruz-sentinel/ Thu, 09 Dec 2021 23:03:36 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-mexican-perennials-santa-cruz-sentinel/ Take care of your garden We continue our introductions to garden plants from selected areas which, like the Monterey Bay area, thrive in a Mediterranean or dry climate in the summer. This series of themed columns is timely in regards to the fall planting season, which gives newly established plants time during the winter months […]]]>


Take care of your garden

We continue our introductions to garden plants from selected areas which, like the Monterey Bay area, thrive in a Mediterranean or dry climate in the summer. This series of themed columns is timely in regards to the fall planting season, which gives newly established plants time during the winter months to establish roots and prepare to decorate gardens and delight them. gardeners in spring.

A gardener friend reminded me that the current season is also a great time to move dormant plants that are already in the garden. They too are taking advantage of having time to relocate to a new location and prepare for spring.

As it happens, with skilled help, I moved several plants around my garden today as I prepared to write this week’s column. They were all succulents, which will be the subject of a future column.

For this week we are focusing on perennials native to Mexico. Our neighbor to the south has various environments for garden-worthy plants, from sea level to mountains, dry to tropical, and calm to windy. While these environments are not considered typical of dry climates in summer, many plants native to Mexico do well in coastal gardens in California.

The following paragraphs briefly describe a sample of the Mexican perennials in my garden. There are several other specimens to share, but still a fraction of Mexico’s botanical treasures. In a future column, we’ll describe Mexican succulents, but for today we’re focusing on perennials.

Pink Cigar Plant (Cuphea ‘Starfire Pink’). This plant, a hybrid of C. ignea and C. angustifolia, is a fast-growing evergreen subshrub that grows to 3 to 4 feet tall by 5 to 6 feet wide with lanceolate blue-green leaves. Over a long flowering period, it produces numerous fuchsia pink and lavender tubular flowers that are hummingbird magnets. There are over 260 species of Cuphea native to North and South America, mainly Central America and Mexico; there are also many hybrids, including the very similar C. ‘Kirstens Delight’.

Marguerite (Montanoa grandiflora). When I first saw this plant on a garden visit to Big Sur years ago, I decided to add it to my garden. It has since worked reliably, spawning delicious daisy-like flowers on stems 8 to 12 feet tall, having been cut to the ground each year after blooming. The flowers have a scent reminiscent of chocolate or vanilla. Another plant native to Mexico in my garden with a similar growth cycle, the Tree Dahlia (Dahlia imperialis) produces spectacular flowers on hollow stems about twenty feet high.

Hardy Fuchsia (Fucshia genii ‘Aurea’). This Fuchsia cultivar is distinguished by its yellow-green foliage and fine red and purple flowers. The Royal Horticultural Society awarded this plant the Garden Merit Award, recognizing its easy cultivation and attractive appearance. It thrives in full sun to partial shade and grows on a small side, but its arching stems can reach 4 × 4 feet.

Mexican Pitcher Sage / False Salvia (Lepechinia hastata). This semi-evergreen shrub, 4 to 6 feet tall and wide, produces sage-like magenta flowers on flower spikes one foot long. Its generic name pays homage to Russian scientist and plant explorer Ivan Lepechin. Its specific name, hastata, refers to the triangular shape of its leaves, suggesting the spearhead of a halberd.

Four o’clock (Mirabilis jalapa). The generic name, Mirabilis, refers to this plant’s “miraculous” production of different colored flowers on one plant. Colors range from pink, pink, red, magenta, yellow, and white, in patterns that include solid colors, sectors, flakes, and spots. Additionally, the flowers may change color as they mature. The flowers appear late in the day (four hours or more), attract long-tongue moths (nocturnal pollinators) with a sweet scent, and close in the morning. This plant grows up to 3 × 3 feet and self-seeds vigorously. Each season’s seedling burst can be easily thinned out before they develop tuberous roots.

Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans). This popular Salvia has an attractive and distinctly pineapple scent from the crushed foliage and elegant, long-lasting scarlet red flowers on 8-inch terminal tips. It will spread by underground runners to form colonies in the garden. Like most salvias, it can be cut to the ground during the winter, then grow to 4 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide in a single growing season.

Mexican marigold (Tagetes lemoniid). This evergreen bushy shrub grows 4 to 6 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide and produces copious amounts of orange-yellow flowers. With enough space, it will be a good foundation plant. When rubbed, the foliage releases a pungent scent like marigolds, along with lemon and mint. Some gardeners don’t like the scent, which also makes deer refuse to munch on the leaves. Management tip: “Prune heavily in late spring (after flowering) and / or fall (before cool season growth) to stimulate growth and flowering.

Mexico is the home territory for many other desirable garden plants, including dahlias (Mexico’s national flower, widely hybridized), bougainvillea, and Mexican sunflowers (Tithonia). The list goes on, making plants from this country beautiful additions to gardens in the Monterey Bay area.

Improve your gardening knowledge

For images of popular Mexican flowers, visit www.proflowers.com/blog/mexican-flowers.

Upcoming webinar:

The Cactus and Succulent Society of America will present a webinar, “Brazil, Bahia to Minas Gerais,” Saturday at 10 a.m., with tales of plant explorations in two states, Bahia and Minas Gerais, both located in the south. is from Brazil. The presentation will focus on several genera of cacti and other succulents. Presenter Woody Minnich has been involved in the world of cacti and succulents for over 52 years, as a grower, field explorer, club and organization leader, writer, photographer, speaker and presenter. For more information and to register for this free event, visit cactusandsucculentsociety.org/.

Enrich your gardening days

Consider a thematic approach to developing your landscape. Today’s column suggests a Mexican theme as one idea among the range of options that appeal to the individual gardener.

Enjoy your garden!

Tom Karwin is the past president of the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Suclent Society, and the Monterey Bay Iris Society, and UC Lifetime Master Gardener (certified 1999-2009). He is now a board member and garden trainer for the Santa Cruz Hostel Society. To view photos of his garden daily, https://www.facebook.com/ongardeningcom-566511763375123/. To find an archive of previous gardening columns and gardening coaching information, visit http://ongardening.com. Contact him with comments or questions at tom@karwin.com.


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