A Garden Grows in California


Jack Holloway
Passionate Gardener
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SEQUOIA FARM Haenertsburg South Africa

Ponds etc.

22 Aug '07 11:29 pm
Firstly, Mark - congratulations on the completed pond. You've done a great job, and I love the combination of clearly artificial roundness with very beautifully laid natural stone. I have always loved the 'shape' of water, and remember confusing my poor logical father when, at 13, I marveled at the way in which the water followed the shape of our newly built swimming pool! I might have beautiful water in my garden, but I don't have shape as an element: the one water feature where it should - well: feature - is cracked and thus dry and has needed fixing for four years :( And even my birdbath is skewer than the Leaning Tower of Pisa, so the water in it is an eccentric oval, not following the shape of the bowl. Oh dear - maintenance!

Now note I don't refer to my pond. I've detected a bit of crabbiness on the subject on a few occasions of late, and I hope you find it reassuring that to me YOURS is a pond and mine is a DAM - even without the N a much less lovely word. And a puddle yours sure aint! :D

I loved your vasrious posts on the Garden Tours and you have taken some lovely shots of the garden you refer to above. Then I've taken a good look at your latest pics and must admit to a worrying influence... you are making me more and more aware of the beauty if reds and oranges, colours I have neglected in my own garden. Soon I will surely plant something in honour of Mark...

Rose "The Prince": it is my darkest red rose and I love it for that and its scent. It is relatively shy flowering, and hides away in the Rondel Garden with an equally dark Prunus nigra (or P. cerasifera - I've just reopened that debate with myself as they all start to blossom.) However it usually surprises me with at least one perfect bloom, carried in the shade of the Prunus and thus protected from the fading sun.

Sometimes one (unexpectedly?) captures wonderful textures in a photo: in your Bird of Paradise shot the leaves and shadows against the blue background add a patterned dimension which is lovely.I'm really taken with that one.

Oh yes ... and then we finally have a view of the man himself... which I nearly missed: thank you Nora in the Huntington!

Mark
Home gardener & plant fetishist
User avatar
Berkeley, California, USA

I'm honored, Jack

23 Aug '07 4:54 pm
Something red or orange, hey? Sounds good to me. I think my favorite combination now is orange with burgandy. I like the planting infront of the greenhouse for the Prince roses and the Flasher daylillies (orange with burgandy throat) and the yellow bird of paradise bush above with its obscenely long stamens. It just makes me think of festive Mexican courtyards. In the past, and still to a degree, I've used a lot of black with yellow. Think of black bamboo and yellow twig dog wood before the leaves emerge. Hardly soothing, but quite striking. Now I've got to think about what a fitting tribute to Jack would be. Bare white limbs in winter, but I'm already blessed with many deciduous trees in the park beyond my backyard, which I don't have to rake up or take care of. I've got a mini pond but not really large enough to support a nicely arching bridge on the far side. Ah, perhaps a long pergola with montana clematis - if only I can find some chameleons!

I'm glad you mentioned the contrast between the nearly geometrical outline of my new pond with the naturalistic, coarsely textured plants behind it. It was anticipated and I thought I wanted that contrast, but I've got to tell you it looks so much like a spa that I've had misgivings after finishing it. Maybe I'll feel better about it with time and its reassuring that you have a favorable impression about it.

I like 'The Prince' for exactly the features you mention, scent and number of blooms. What I like least about it is its growth habit which for me is spindly, awkward and irregular. I don't prune it as a hard as I do hybrid teas but maybe I should. I wish it was more rounded. How do you prune yours and how do they grow for you? I have mine where you give yours some tree cover, but then I don't get as much sun anyway nor as much heat I suspect.

I hope my crabbiness about the size difference of the pond hasn't been to grating. I actually intended that to be tongue in cheek. I suppose I should really learn to use the emoticoms. I just never think of it.

Well school is gearing up to start a week from today so I'm off to bed to try to regain my early morning rising habit. Oh, the photo you mentioned is of the plant I am always drawn to photograph but never seem to capture all it does for me in person. I like that one too. There is just something about the way the stamens contrast with the petals and both just glow when backlit.
Mark in California

Q: "Do you ever sit down?"
A: "All the time until the urge to 'play' some more becomes too strong."

Jack Holloway
Passionate Gardener
User avatar
SEQUOIA FARM Haenertsburg South Africa

Of Princes and Crabbiness

23 Aug '07 6:23 pm
I realised, Mark, that you were tongue in cheek, and I meant it that way too! I was amused at your spa image - I guess in Ca that could be, but in my frame of reference: well, the only spa I've ever seen was in a book/magazine. Well not quite, but still. Anyway - remember a spa that looks like that is trying to look like a pond that looks like that.

Like most of the David Austin roses, and despite what he might say (or, to be kinder, find in his cool UK climate) The Prince's growth can best be described as below average, even by HT/Floribunda standards. Admittedly mine gets too little sun, although it gets enough light, but it is weak and spindly. However it is also tenacious, and survives neglect with good grace. Remember that it is planted in a garden that from mid November to the July fix-up is visited only sporadically.

Most of the David Austins are not graceful shrubs for me - they tend to legginess or semi-creeper status. Graham Stuart Thomas in the anniversary garden has in fact now been trained as a creeper - and I was astounded how creepery he was once the job was done. Only Molineux is really a good shrub for me. Others are too spindly, too creepery or too tall. However their gorgeous flowers make them favourites. And now that (to the best of my knowledge) they are no longer available in SA, they are collector's items to boot!

The start of the new school year. I am always depressed and negative until the kids are back at school. But I so enjoy them that I cheer up immediately. Right now I'm going through a growly patch about my job, but luckily there are such wonderful moments in the classroom and my hectic extra-mural program (school play and Interact = Junior Rotary)that other factors are balanced out. Anyway: good luck with getting back into the routines!

moosey
head gardener
User avatar

Princes

24 Aug '07 6:05 pm
Ha! My Prince is dreadfully spindly, a real weakling. I do mean the rose, and not my NGP who's been getting a fair bit of stick lately. Each year I try a different pruning regime, I give him chopped up banana peel and seaweed and allsorts of goodies in the spring. I'm thinking it's my fault. Well, it jolly well isn't! Cheers Mark and Jack, you two robust princes of the real garden!
Head Gardener
mooseyscountrygarden.com
http://www.mooseyscountrygarden.com

Faith S
Perpetually learning gardener
User avatar
Alabama, USA

David Austin Roses

26 Aug '07 2:25 am
You all don't know how reassuring your comments about DA roses have been for me. I often wondered if it was me, because I have never had a DA rose that flourished. They are always rather spindley and disease prone for me. Admittedly, the flowers are wonderful, but the shrubs (if they can be called that)leave something to be desired. I would read all the wonderful praise heaped on by so-called rose experts and get an inferiority complex. No more, because the only experts who count in my opinion seem to concur with my findings.
Faith at Bide-a-Wee Farm, Alabama, USA

Come abide with me a wee while.

Liza
gardening consultant
User avatar
Waterloo, Belgium

David Austin Roses!

26 Aug '07 6:32 am
I totally agree, that the only one that behaves as a beautiful plant globally in my garden is Molineaux. A healthy folliage and beautiful upright stems, not being affected by the heavy blooms , especially during rain. But ALL, have magnificent blooms!! Let's admit that...That is why, I feel so lucky, that the most of my Roses are healthy, upright-stemmed Floriboundas.
"..So,perhaps, it is easiest, through awareness of flowers in particular, of their radiant beauty and purity, their vibrant colour, to come to the excellence of the One and be uplifted beyond thought to our divine selves".Dorothy Maclean

Mark
Home gardener & plant fetishist
User avatar
Berkeley, California, USA

Oops, I accidently made a new post instead of a reply.

3 Sep '07 10:57 am
I thought I could create a new heading within my forum diary but apparently not. The next report from my garden can be found here:
http://forums.mooseyscountrygarden.com/ ... 0812#10812

- Mark
Mark in California

Q: "Do you ever sit down?"
A: "All the time until the urge to 'play' some more becomes too strong."

Mark
Home gardener & plant fetishist
User avatar
Berkeley, California, USA

Saturday, September 8, 2008

9 Sep '07 5:26 pm
Great day. I went to the San Francisco Botanical Garden for their monthly plant sale and found a couple more begonias that needed a home along with a Depea splendans (a cloud forrest plant I've been wanting), a Puya mirabilis, an Agapetes and a shrub for shade with variagated folliage and flowers. When I got back I took some photos of my favorite Knifophia, 'Christmas Cheer'. I'm not really sure why it's called that though it has set bloom three times with deadheading, long into fall - but Christmas? Don't think so.

Has anyone else been having trouble with the forums here slowing down. It doesn't seem to be happening at other sites so I don't think it is my computer. Eggy, is there anything the matter?
aaaleftsideofarch.JPG
Here is that same area as last week but look how much these gold colored knifophia flowers have grown!
aaahybridbachelorsbutton.JPG
Here again is that cheerful bit player, Bidens, this time backing up a fancy hybrid bachelor's button.
aaaornamentalginger.JPG
Here are some more ginger flowers. Yeah, they are invasive but they smell great and look pretty good too.
aaacharlesgrimaldi.JPG
These are the first flowers for this Charles Grimaldi Brugmansia since it was killed to the ground this past winter. Yah!
aaaCGrimaldidetail.JPG
Closer view of these Brugmansia flowers.
aaaSalviaandtreeinpot.JPG
This two-tone salvia flower and small tree with the very fine folliage are in a pot behind the fountain.
aaapond.JPG
Here is the pond and the dry island bed.
aaadrybedbesidepond.JPG
Here are the dry island bed plants which front the pond.
aaaMrsOakleyFisher.JPG
Here is one flower from Mrs. Oakley Fisher which was sticking out over the path.
Mark in California

Q: "Do you ever sit down?"
A: "All the time until the urge to 'play' some more becomes too strong."

gordonf
Happy Collector
User avatar
Lillooet, BC, Canada

New Pics

9 Sep '07 5:55 pm
Hi, Mark!

Loved the new pictures, especially those of the dry bed, the kniphofias and the salvia. What are the things that resemble grey tree trunks in the third picture? Are they dormant trees, or are the leaves above the top edge of the picture? And what a beautiful brugmansia! Always such a pleasure to see views of your garden, which is SO different from mine!!

I discovered today that, 1, my white cyclamens are blooming (picture to come tomorrow), and, 2, the podophyllum seeds that I planted in pots outside last autumn have just begun to sprout!! Now I'll have to check up on how to deal with them over the winter. Should I bring them inside under lights to speed up the growth or leave them outside to go dormant even before they develop true leaves? I also discovered that the Tellima grandiflora "rubra" (Fringecups) seedlings that I had given up on and left in the shade in their little 4" pot have grown dramatically and are now healthy little seedlings that need to be potted on into larger pots! So far there seem to be no red-leaved ones, but perhaps they develop later in life or occur if the plants are grown in higher light levels. But at least they have survived and flourished!

I also checked on my rather large collection of primula seedlings and discovered that I have quite a batch of Hose-in-Hose seedlings! Since they are usually not very vigorous, I feel very lucky to have so many! They also will need repotting in separate pots very soon to get them ready for winter. So far, I have only one Hose-in-Hose that has bloomed, and it's a red one that I bought at the N. American Primula Show a couple of years ago. I'm hoping that some of these seedlings will be different colours.

I'm beginning to wish that I had a larger garden!

Anyway, cheers to you, and good luck with the kniphofias! May they bloom 'till Christmas!! By the way, my new penstemon is called, "Jungle Bells"! :D

-gordonf

Liza
gardening consultant
User avatar
Waterloo, Belgium

Hello, gardener!

9 Sep '07 9:42 pm
Hi, Mark!! Lovely news! AND captures!! For me, that capture with Bidens and the blue delight is adorable! Have you noticed the bee on the Bidens bloom? The colour harmony is stunning! But that blue delight called... "bachelor's button"??? What an imagination of ...the name giver !! Because, it seems to me that it is the perennial Centaurea Dealbata, which I like enough, but not as much as its annual cousin, Centaurea Cyanus of the prairies..
"..So,perhaps, it is easiest, through awareness of flowers in particular, of their radiant beauty and purity, their vibrant colour, to come to the excellence of the One and be uplifted beyond thought to our divine selves".Dorothy Maclean

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