Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Delicate Blooms on Tough & Hardy Plants

I have many miniature roses planted at the gardens, they are great to tuck in between early Spring blooming perennials. By the time the perennials are finished the miniature roses start putting out their first buds. Nice and compact, and full of buds. Unfortunately I do not have any names on the ones pictured above. The top photograph is a variety that is a climber, it is at a height of about 5 1/2 feet. I love the flower size on these plants, nice little boutonniere style.

Miniature roses are true roses on their own root stock, bred to stay small in size and come in a wide variety of types and colors. There are climbers, trailers, micro-minis (6" to 12" tall), and mini-floras. Despite their small size, miniature roses are extremely hardy. In fact they are more winter hardy than most tea roses. Miniatures also tend to be profuse repeat bloomers. Plant and treat miniature roses the same as you would full size roses, but remember they are hardier than your hybrid teas.

USDA hardiness zone 4 to zone 10

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Morning Little Friend


An exciting morning to see this little creature on the side of the house. I was in the shower, Will came in the bathroom and said there is a surprise on the back of the house for me. Well what it is, I still have to get dressed for work......No you have to go see and take your camera, you will want to take a picture. This is the third praying mantis I have seen in the gardens since we moved in. I'm sure we have them every year, I just do not see them every year.

A beautiful insect with a voracious appetite. Being strictly carnivorous, they will eat almost any insect of a size it can overcome. Waiting in quiet ambush for hours at a time, then when an insect comes wandering by they suddenly jump out and attack. They do make wonderful backyard pets and constantly entertain while they eat insects all Summer long.

You can buy egg cases from your local garden store in the Spring, but it takes 2-8 weeks of warm weather for them to hatch. Egg cases hatch about 100-200 mantids, which continue to grow throughout Summer and reach 3" to 5" long by Fall. Next Spring think about purchasing nature's pest controls and let nature take care of your bug problems.

Say goodbye to applying sprays and dust.
Hired bugs control pests easier, safer, and better!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Climbing Fuchsia??????


No it does not climb, not this variety anyway. It is called a Climbing Fuchsia, but, while it does need support, it doesn't twine or climb by tendrils, but rather insinuates itself among the branches of its neighbors. It can get quite large, my plant has grown about 4 1/2' high. Flowers are also large for a species Fuchsia which is a native Brazilian wildflower, but not so large as many hybrids. They are long and narrow, and have red sepals and purple corollas. The summer flowers persist long into autumn, with even an odd occasional bloom in early winter. Not suitable for hanging baskets because it will become leggy in search of places to cling. But it does exceedingly well as a hardy garden plant trained to a fence or trellis. I planted mine in with a Clematis that is growing up a trellis at the corner of the garage in the side garden. What I did was weave the fuchsia stems in and out of the trellis. Mine died all the way back to the ground the last two winters. I never trim any of my hardy Fuchsias till late Spring when they start putting out new growth.

USDA hardiness zone 7 to zone 10

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Humboldt County Fuchsia


I have this plant out in the front garden next to the street, it has just started to put on it's show. As you can see I have it planted next to Dragon Blood Sedum, nice contrast. Beautiful red-orange flowers, I'm not sure if the hummingbirds get to this plant since it grows so low to the ground. This variety is 6" to 12" in height and spreading 12" to 18" wide that stays a handsome gray green all year long (evergreen). They put on their bright show in the late summer or fall with their trumpet-type flowers that may be scarlet, orange, and occasionally white or pink. I have never had a pest or disease problem with it either (bless the native plants). This California native is drought-tolerant but appreciates a deep soaking every now and then. They prefer excellent drainage, however they adapt very nicely to heavy clay soils which is what I have at the gardens. California fuchsias look lovely in an informal border and is excellent for stabilizing hillsides or banks. They are wonderful as a groundcover. Another variety called Zauschneria californica is an upright and may get 6-8 feet high with a spread of 3-4 feet. Local nurseries will sell different varieties of Z. californica ranging from different colored flowers, as well leaves of varying shades of greensand grays.

USDA hardiness zone 5 to zone 7