Plants

Right Tree, Right Place

This is a handy tree guide made up for PGE by California Polytechnic State University for the Bay Area, Northern and Central California. If you’re working on a site with power line issues this tool can be quite useful.

This page has some handy guides for selecting the right tree for the right place based on some other guidelines like allergy and toxicity or fire safety.

You can order a Right Tree, Right Place poster from PGE here.

And download a cute poster for Palm trees appropriate for use near power lines.

The people who planted redwoods right next to the power lines at a recent client’s property could have used this guide 15 years ago…

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Neighborhood Walks – Moss Edition

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Fun at Tilden Botanic Garden

I really love Tilden Botanic Garden. For one thing there are about one million little bridges. And there is just a pleasing variety of microclimates and fab plants.

The one on the end is a nudibranch or maybe a paramecium.

I realize a botanic garden probably isn’t the right venue for this but I did it anyway and it was pleasing. I will stick to using nature to make ephemeral art in urban places.

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Lagurus ovatus

Laguras ovatus
Lagurus ovatus, or bunnytail, in my yard last Spring.

Lagurus ovatus is highly adorable. I had it planted in a couple of containers this summer, including this old colander. Most the kids who visited my yard made a beeline for it and spent some time petting it.

I like this in containers and used as a border. It self sows though, so if you don’t want to see it in the next year you can trim the seed heads before they dry and blow all over the place. If you do want to see them next year let the seeds dry and then collect them.

How do you store seeds?
I often use old pharmacy medicine bottles.

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Painting with plants

I am focusing in on plant color and texture right now.

I have had the opportunity to visit the personal garden of the owners of Potomac Waterworks twice, once in the Fall and once in Spring. I mean, what a lovely garden! My inner 8 year old wants to live there with the fairies and unicorns and so does my outer 40 yr old. :)

Not only is it a technically marvelous construction project but it is the most thoughtful and beautiful landscape painting I have ever stepped into.

This is a watercolor painting I did based on a photo I took:
waterworks-watercolor

While there are many “rules” you can learn and follow around color and texture in the garden you really have to be an artist to accomplish this.

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Plant combo – planter addition

planter combo

Lysimachia nummularia and a Coleus hybrid with a deep burgundy and chartreuse foliage. This is a nice container combo for partial shade. I would like to see it in a larger pot so that we get more of the Lysimachia spilling over and the bushiness of the Coleus balances out.

Remember to pinch off the tops of your Coleus plant as it is growing to get a nice bushy shape.

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Plant combo

plant comb
Cotinus coggygria, Pityrogramma triangularis, Hedera helix – variegated variety

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A hike down the street

Plectranthus ciliates

Cute little Plectranthus ciliatus.
This Plectranthus is a South African plant often used as a ground cover around here. It likes shade but wants a bit of sun to keep the awesome red/purple underside. It is more shrubby right here, is in part sun, part shade and seems to be thriving with little water and on a steep grade.

This is our little road cut hike near our house. Actually, I can see the entrance to the path from my room RIGHT NOW. Mr. Who and I go there to inspect the state of things fairly often.

Snacks can be the best part of a hike when you are 5. Especially if you have carried them in your very own backpack.
"hiking" like 100 ft from our house on an embankment on the side of the road...

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Basil in the Garden

basil in the garden

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Let’s talk about plants! Nicotiana & Dymondia

Early in the spring I bought a tiny four inch Nicotania alta ‘Lime Green’ from Annie’s Annuals. I love chartreuse flowers, look how adorable these are:

i forgot what sort of bean plants i planted.

I have this in a pot and it grew quite quickly, is blooming prolifically, the flowers are big, and it is nicely bushy. I really love this plant and I want a couple more. The Annie’s site says it reseeds itself easily so I’m going to wait to see how that goes and I’ll do some seed collecting as well.

This is a good plant for a kids garden, its got interesting big flowers and since it’s a prolific bloomer who cares if kids pick some to make fairy dresses or potions or whatever.

Dymondia margaretae – Silver Carpet

I bought a four inch Dymondia thinking it would be good as a ground cover for a kid trampled, high traffic area near the hill slide. The soil here isn’t sandy at all and it might be too shady a spot. This is an easy plant to propagate and I turned the 4 inch plant into like… 6 teeny plants. Once you shake off the soil it’s super obvious how to gently separate it.

Read up on Dymondia margaretae at the Stepables web site.

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