Saturday, July 23, 2011

Southern California's Best Garden Blog reward!

Well, after I don't know how many months I finally got Denise from A Growing Obsession her reward for being voted Southern California's best garden blog!  As you recall there was a vote for the reward and the plant that won was Furcrea macdougalii.

Today I brought said succulent to Denise's beautiful garden.  Below are a few quick shots.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Handsome thug

Today driving through Laguna canyon I spotted a large clump of something I've been looking for.  It's an evil thug that is clogging up California's water ways. Arundo donax is a large reed from the Mediterranean, it's the reed that makes the wind instruments work. Growing 12 feet tall and taller, it's an impressive grass.  The variety I have been thinking about is the variegated form.  I have spotted it off of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu,  the 101 freeway near the Hollywood Bowl and now Laguna canyon.  This was my first chance to grab some divisions.

I know you're going to ask me why I would do such a thing?  Well, for one I love the way the plant looks. Secondly it's very tough and drought tolerant. Thirdly, The height will help to screen out my neighbors.  If I lived anywhere near anything that resembled nature I would not plant this grass.  And just to be safe, I will never allow it to bloom.  I potted up several plants.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Occasional wow

Driving around the other day I spotted this interesting landscape.  Monoculture or brilliant bold planting?
You decide. This landscape is 100% Calandrinia grandiflora.  I do love Calandrinia grandiflora, that's all I'm going to say.  

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Plant of the week: Bouteloua dactyloides 'UC Verde'

I've been testing the 'UC Verde' buffalo grass.  After planting a small patch along the driveway, I decided that I liked it enough to plant some more. This time I will see how it does with the difficult center area of the driveway where it will be subjected to all manner of abuses.

Bouteloua dactyloides or buffalo grass is a short prairie grass whose range spans much of the middle of the country and southwest.  It has the look of a softer, more polite cousin of Bermuda grass. I like the slight blueish hue that it has. It's also very nice under foot. This 'UC Verde' cultivar was developed here in California (though I can't find any info on where or how exactly it was developed) and is supposed to have a shorter dormancy than other varieties. Another benefit is that the grass has growth habit of 4-8" tall, so there isn't a lot of mowing needed.  I my experience so far, it doesn't need any mowing, in fact it's only about 3-4"tall. Oh and of course the big reason why it is gaining popularity is that it's very drought tolerant.

Since I planted it in the autumn, and being that it is a warm season grass, it basically sat doing zip for 6 months.  It didn't really go brown but just lots a bit of color as I recall. And then several weeks ago it turned on with the heat.  And that's when I thought it would be nice to plant some more.  A week and a half ago I dug up some of the plant to be divided and replanted in some 2" pots.  In a week they had roots poking out of the bottom of their little pots.

We shall see how hey do!

                                Original patch

                                Hair plug-esque planting

Friday, July 1, 2011

Thank Gawd!

OK. No photos just one gasp of relief.  Thank Gawd, the jacaranda tree has run out of blooms (hands pulling hair out)!

Jacarandas in bloom are a lovely thing to admire... from a far.  Do not under any circumstances live under them.