Archive for October, 2014


Capturing Summer and Autumn Blooms #4

October 31, 2014


New Guinea Impatiens

Plant note:


White, pink, lavender, purple, orange, red

Shade to half day of sun

12-18 inches tall

Zones 9 – 11


Capturing Summer and Autumn Blooms #3

October 29, 2014


Variegated Lacecap Hydrangea

(Not a summer or fall bloomer but the foliage is as pretty as any flower)

Plant Note:

Partial sun

4 to 6 ft. tall and wide

Spring lacecap blooms


zones:    5 – 9


Capturing Summer and Autumn Blooms #2

October 28, 2014




Annual Vinca:  My favorite annual because it blooms profusely

without deadheading.

Plant notes:

Full sun

1 – 3 feet high

Great as borders or in pots

Pink, blue, red, white

Zones 2 – 11



October 27, 2014

Get your camera out and photograph the last of the summer and autumn blooms in your landscape.

Don’t forget to capture textures too.

I’ll share a few of mine over the next few days!

First up is ‘Appleblossom’ Begonia (B sempervirens)




Plant notes:

Full sun to part shade

8 inches high

Annual in high, snow-country elevations. Will come back each spring in warmer regions.

Check out the LARGE number of begonia species at the American Begonia Society.



The Plantings of 10,000 Bulbs

October 15, 2014

DSC00573_edited-1DSC00569_edited-1DSC00571_edited-1A few days ago, I joined a group of volunteers to help plant 10,000 daffodil bulbs at the Vista Point Improvement Project in Jackson.

A 25-foot plot of ground had been rototilled, divided into 5×5 foot sections and marked with color-coded stakes to coordinate with hundreds of bagged bulbs also color coded.


















I teamed up with master gardener Tim Jelsch, and was I glad! The dirt was dry, dusty, and hard beneath  DSC00562_edited-1DSC00574_edited-1the shallow tilled layer. Tim dug out the sections we had chosen. I tossed in the bulbs, scattered them evenly, and made sure each one was upright. Then we backfilled over the bulbs and carefully raked the soil even. We planted eight sections (750 bulbs), enjoyed a free lunch, and called it a day. A new crew will complete the planting this coming weekend.



Note: Examine your bulbs and toss out those that are soft or decaying. Plant spring-blooming bulbs in the fall before the ground freezes. Daffodil bulbs should be planted six inches deep and six inches apart with the pointed end up.


The Great Pumpkin Debate

October 6, 2014

Fruit-Vegetable Gallery #5:

The name “pumpkin” originated from the Greek word “pepon (for large melon). The French changed pepon to “pompon” changed by the English to “pumpion,” changed to “pumpkin” by yours truly, the Americans.

According to Extension Specialist Tim Hartz, UC Davis Plant Science Department, pumpkins can be classified as a melon (fruit) or a squash (vegetable). Hartz says categorizing the pumpkin depends on who is defining the terms. “To a botanist, a pumpkin is a fruit because it is a ripened ovary containing seeds, just like a melon or tomato. To a chef, pumpkins and squash are usually thought of as vegetables because of how they are used in cooking.”

In other words, no one truly knows the proper category for pumpkins. So look at it this way, whether you call a pumpkin a melon or squash, fruit or vegetable, you will be correct every time!



Transplanting in Autumn

October 2, 2014

Autumn is the best time to divide and plant vegetation, and to transplant. There are several reasons for moving a plant from one location to another:

  1. The plant has outgrown the space (poor planning—been there!).
  2. The plant is “struggling” to grow in the wrong exposure (been there too—didn’t read the tag or I simply wanted it where “I” wanted it!)
  3. The soil drainage or soil type is all wrong for the plant’s root system.
  4. Sometimes the plant just doesn’t look good with its neighbors. (Hmm, that reminds me of decorating a room!)

Why transplant in autumn? Here are the benefits:

  1. Cooler weather reduces stress. Reduced stress helps the plant’s roots become well-established.
  2. The ground is still warm from the summer heat. Unlike the cool spring ground, warmer ground encourages more root growth and more time for plants to establish a sufficient root system.
  3. Planting in autumn is also about the gardener having more time. Spring is usually a mad rush for gardeners to get the grounds cleaned up, babysit seeds or seedlings, prepare the soil, and plant.

What did I transplant?

Below are six “Evergold” Carex in my front yard. One year ago, each Evergold was the same size when planted twelve inches apart as instructed on the plant tag. As you can see, the three on the right are not doing well. Since all six Evergolds are receiving the same Eastern exposure and water, I suspect it is something in the soil.



To save my three struggling Evergolds, I transplanted them under a covered area with southern exposure. Now, I just have to wait for spring to see how they are going to react.


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