Sunday, March 29, 2009

What's going on this week.

First a look at the new plants I got at the SF Garden Show. These are all perenials from Digging Dog. I am now figuring out where to plant them. My plant selection processes are not altogether clear to me. The general characteristics I seek are plants that I think will grow in my rockpile and are not pink. Beyond that I don't have a plan and so when I return, it's always a problem figuring out where to plant them. Then there are the completely irrational selections - like a three pack of flowering ginger varieties. They are supposedly hardy but I know they are forbidden by the plant cops. The original plan was to grow them in pots but Iam seriously thinking about putting them with rosa mutabilis and the elephant ear (also forbidden). I am a sucker for tropicals. If it weren't for the plant cops my backyard would be as tropical as you can get in the foothills. Also, in spite of my poor record with cymbidiums here, I bought another and also a dendrobium that is supposed to be hardy in SF. I expect to bring it in next winter.

Next a progress shot of the roses (or one of them) that I planted last week. Looking good.

And finally a pink cymbidium. This one was one I got for helping a lady repot some overgrown cymbs that she got from her mother in SF. It's not bad although I avoid pink whenever possible. There is one more cymb with buds ready to open.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

SF Flower and Garden Show

Yesterday I drove to San Mateo - the new venue for the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. This was my second year and although it is a fantastic show, it's like they say, The first time is always the best.

I don't know what to say about the difference. Driving another 30-45 minutes didn't help get me in a positive mood but I didn't like the venue very much. it is a newer building than the Cow Palace but very bland. The Sacramento Bee commented on the display gardens being set in the middle oft he vendors. They described it as distracting. And it was. I remembered that last year the gardens were located in an arena away from all the commercial activity. I thought they were dark and strange but they were more effective in their splended isolation than the bustling space this year next to the Sham-wow's this year.

I don't get off much with the gardens. They seem unreal and not very appealing. Mostly I like finding plants that I want although I do get ideas. This year the walls of plants were appealing. The first picture is from the Smith and Hawkin display with succulents making a wall. This one is probably the most possible one for me in the scorching foothill summers but the others are very attractive.

I found lots of plants that I liked in the sales area- mostly practical selections although I was seriously tempted by the tree peonies. More on the plants I brought back later. Last year I found a vendor selling coconut hull bricks for potting orchids and was hoping to get some more but I was disappointed. I guess I will be web-surfing.

I think I read that the operator of the show has found a buyer so there will be another next year and I will most probably go. I can't resist the opportunity to browse thousands of wonderful plants and take them home immediately.

Monday, March 16, 2009

This week in the Garden

Still slim pickings. The daffodils are looking good. I just can't seem to get a good picture. The small bulbs (iris species, tulip species, crocus and muscari are all missing this year. I don't know if they are just laying off, whether they needed fertilizer or whether they just arn't dependable here. Gotta love the daffodils although I intend to give them one more boost of fertilizer before they go dormant.

I am waiting to see if my iris which had their first bloom year in 2008 will put on a good show. The leaves look good and so, for now, I am optimistic.

Still haven't planted the roses but I intend to get at least some of them into the ground today.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

What's in my garden?

First the new roses for this year. I am adding a second Graham Thomas to make a more robust presence and replacing some pittosporums which died when the drip system got stopped last year with shrub roses. I am hoping to get the same size planting with flowers to boot. I selected Fire Meidiland because I like it hot.

Last year I lost every rose I planted, something that has never happened to me before. I think I know why and I won't be using that product again. I will probably phase out all the products from the supplier over time also even though I think they are good products. I think that east coast techniques may not always work on the west coast.

At the bottom, I show you the flowers from my grevillea planst. They are showy up close but not so much from a distance. Still its nice to get some color on my hillside backyard.