Posts Tagged ‘Shopping’

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Getting my Fix

May 6, 2014

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Last weekend, I spent most of my time gardening. First, I strolled around the beds, as I always do, to see what needed to be done. When I came upon Love in a Mist, I was delighted to see what the blossoms look like. It was a free plant and I had no idea what to expect when I planted it two mouths ago. (I purposely avoided looking up images on line.) I am fascinated with the flower structure, the soft, delicate web-like foliage, and pleased to have this annual.

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Walking on, I noticed the volunteer snapdragons were still blooming so I took a photo. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, I’m sure you’ve guessed that my camera goes to the garden with me, along with gloves, hat, and kneeling pad.

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After casing the greens, I wrapped my camera in an old towel and placed it on a bench in the shade. Then I trimmed, deadheaded, raked and bagged, among other tasks, before potting up the hens and chicks as planned. I don’t always accomplish what I intend, but last weekend I actually did more than anticipated. It was a good feeling. I’m sure some people feel the same about fly fishing, hiking, or shopping . . . whatever revives the spirit. What works for you? I’d love to hear about it.

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No-Fuss Shrub

October 26, 2013

heavenly bambooHeavenly bamboo reminds me of Simon Cowell’s unpopular comment made in past years to some of the hopeful American Idol contestants, “You’re just not memorable.”

Although heavenly bamboos are commonplace in commercial and residential landscapes, most people don’t give these shrubs a second glance. They are overlooked or quickly forgotten. Yet, they do have benefits, the greatest being a no-fuss shrub.

If planted where there is ample space there is no need to prune. Mature size is six-feet high and five-foot wide. Heavenly bamboos require little or no water once established, depending on the zone and soil. This multiple trunk shrub is evergreen. In full sun the foliage brings color and interest to landscapes with red leaves and orange berries which turn red in winter.

But, like all plants there is a downside to heavenly bamboo.

As a member of the barberry family (not bamboo), heavenly bamboo is host to wheat rust which can cause large-scale grain crops to fail. Most of us aren’t growing grain and neither are our neighbors. That being the case, this would not be a consideration when selecting heavenly bamboo. However, the berries are toxic to animals, but this can be solved. Usually, when planted alone  instead of grouped together, berries will not develop. Bud clusters can easily be cut off when they begin to develop. Heavenly bamboo is a host for powdery mildew which can spread to nearby plants, especially those prone to mildew.

My personal experience:  Knock-on-wood, mildew has not been a problem. I trim my heavenly bamboos once or twice yearly only because I want to maintain a certain height. I haven’t watered them in years and other than rain they do not receive moisture from nearby sprinklers. Now, that is drought-tolerate.

In addition to being extremely low maintenance and bringing beautiful hues to autumn and winter landscapes, when paired with commentary plants, as seen in the photo, heavenly bamboos are memorable year round. So next time, give them a second glance.

Note:  Cultivars include Harbor Dwarf (2-3 feet high) and Alba (6-feet high) with white berries.

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Alden Lane Nursery

October 17, 2011

Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore, California, owned by Jacquie Williams-Courtright, is a popular crowd pleaser where novice and experienced gardeners shop for an umbrella of plants and garden accessories. There are so many garden choices and events at Alden Lane Nursery it’s hard to say who benefits most, home gardeners, professional landscapers, or children.

Crowd-pleasing facets include a two-story French country-style breezeway and gift shop. Ancient, heritage valley oaks throughout a grand circular area displaying hundreds of ornamental plants, fruit trees, vegetables, water-garden plants, decorative art, demonstration gardens, pottery, patio furniture, and more.

Throughout the year, Alden Lane Nursery is host to many community events and fun, educational clinics geared toward all ages. Folks like Quilter and Author Margaret J. Miller from Bremerton, Washington, display beautiful handiwork at the nursery’s ‘Quilting in the Garden’ affair. Other events include a Daffodil Show, Open Heart Kitchen, Orchids under the Oaks, Art under the Oaks, summertime Kids Club, County Fair Amateur Gardening Competition, Pumpkin Carving Fun, Beekeeping classes, plant and landscape workshops, seminars and much more.

Before winter sets in, and while fall colors are at their peak, visit Alden Land Nursery. For current workshops and events go to http://www.aldenlane.com.

Alden Lane Nursery is located at 981 Alden Lane, Livermore, CA. Phone:  925- 447-0280

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