Noted: Great Design Plant: Encelia Californica via Houzz

Great Design Plant: Encelia Californica via Houzz

Landscape
 
California brittlebush (Encelia californica) is a must for low-water habitat gardens. This vigorous and dependable subshrub shows off its exuberant mass of large daisy-like flowers in spring and fall. Its long, bountiful bloom periods, combined with its food offerings of both pollen and nectar, make Encelia highly attractive to native bees and other pollinators. Pollinating insects are then food for birds and other critters.
 
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Video: In the neighborhood…Liquidambar stryaciflua in Fall Colors

A Gardener's Notebook Artwork

 

Check out my collection of gardening essays, “From A Gardener’s Notebook” now available as a Kindle eBook. (You don’t need a Kindle to read it, though. Read it on your PC, Link: http://j.mp/fagnbook

Watch all past episodes of “In the garden…” in this YouTube Playlist

Music: “Cattails” by Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com) under Creative Commons License


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“In the garden…” is a series for A Gardener’s Notebook highlighting what is happening in my garden, my friend’s gardens and California gardens throughout the seasons. 

Historical Book: The amateur gardener’s calendar by Mrs. Loudon, 1871

Amateur garden coverAmateur garden title page

I was introduced to this book via a post on Google+ by Eugbug’s DIY Den and immediately searched to see if it was available online. A quick Google search turned up this edition, in an amazing number of formats including web-based, Kindle, EPUB, and Plain Text. A quick download and copy put it on my Kindle for easy reading at home or on the go.

I love reading historical books like like this to gain a deeper understanding of the subject, such as gardening, but also an understanding of the historical period and the people who lived there. Who knows what great ideas might lie within, long forgotten.

You can download your own copy, or read the book online, at theInternet Archive. 

Noted: Fall Is Calling: What to Do in Your October Garden via Houzz

Fall Is Calling: What to Do in Your October Garden via Houzz

Traditional Landscape
 
I like having options — from which flavor of tea to drink after lunch to which route I’ll take to walk home. Gardening this month is no different. Whether you’re after garden chores or perhaps some seasonal puttering, it’s all about picking your own path. 
 
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Video: In the garden…Seeing Differently #1: Watering in Slow Motion

A Gardener's Notebook Artwork

My new iPhone 6 lets us “see differently” Watering our garden at 120 frames per second. 

 

Check out my collection of gardening essays, “From A Gardener’s Notebook” now available as a Kindle eBook. (You don’t need a Kindle to read it, though. Read it on your PC, Link: http://j.mp/fagnbook

Watch all past episodes of “In the garden…” in this YouTube Playlist

Music: “Numinous Shine” by Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com) under Creative Commons License


Please Like this video and/or subscribe to my channel on YouTube.

Your likes and subscriptions directly reflect how many other viewers are suggested this video.

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“In the garden…” is a series for A Gardener’s Notebook highlighting what is happening in my garden, my friend’s gardens and California gardens throughout the seasons. 

Interesting Plant: Carex flagellifera ‘Toffee Twist’

Carex flagellifera ‘Toffee Twist’

Interesting Plant: Carex flagellifera 'Toffee Twist'

Discovered via Pinterest User Betty Hawthorne

Valued for its dramatic foliage display of slender, iridescent bronze leaves with an elegant sweeping, trailing habit. A great filler to add cool-season interest to perennial borders or as a groundcover. Well suited for containers. — Monrovia

Carex flagellifera Toffee Twist is a zone 7 hardy ornamental grass for sunny areas. Actually a sedge, this carex is grown for its beautiful toasted coppery brown foliage which turns a rich mahogany color by fall. Clump forming Carex cascades and twists in the most pleasing of ways, making this ideal for container gardening. — Great Garden Plants

This plant of mine, Carex flagellifera “Toffee Twist”, has been in my garden for five years and has been through 80°F+ heat and through -10°F freezing cold and several freezing rain storms and came out of it looking excellent. It is a very easy plant and one I would recommend if you are looking for an ornamental grass for your garden. “Toffee Twist” is between 12 and 18 inches in height and will spread from 18 to 24 inches in width. It remains within its boundaries. Definitely not an invasive plant. I have it planted in front of a dwarf rhododendron because its leaf color in summer is very much like the grass color. I have several grasses in my graden but this one always looks the best, there is little to do for it except feed and water. — Dave’s Garden Discussion 

More information on Carex:
Books and seeds from Amazon.com:

 
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** Some of the books may be available at your local library. Check it out!

 
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Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas

Noted: How to Give Your Garden More Soul via Houzz

How to Give Your Garden More Soul via Houzz

Traditional Landscape by Chicago Design-Build Firms Aquascape Inc.
 

don’t want to start an argument, but that’s inevitable when you talk about the subject of soul, especially in music. Marvin Gaye, of course, had soul. Robin Thicke doesn’t. What’s a soulful garden? It’s expressive of you and your family. It’s authentic, sincere, personal, deeply felt, of the moment — I’m happy with a definition that says you know soul when you see it.

In a garden, blooming chrysanthemums bought from Safeway in March aren’t soulful. But a tree planted to celebrate the birth of a child is. Why add soulful touches to your garden? Mainly because that will help you and your family feel much more at home there.

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Noted: How to Design a Calming Minimalist Garden via Houzz

How to Design a Calming Minimalist Garden via Houzz

Contemporary Landscape by Encinitas Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers debora carl landscape design
 
Minimalism in the garden should should start with boundaries. Because minimalist design is about restriction, especially in the use of color within the overall design, the choice of what is used — be it fencing, walls or hedges — is vital to creating a successful scheme. 
 
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Flowering Now: Silk Floss Tree (Ceiba speciosa)

Silk Floss Tree (Ceiba speciosa)

While their flowers are certainly beautiful, I have always found these trees to be quite alien and intimidating — especially with their thorny trunks. Silk floss trees are a relatively common street tree here in Los Angeles, blooming each Fall around this time.

Flowering Now: Silk Floss Tree (Ceiba speciosa)

Flowering Now: Silk Floss Tree (Ceiba speciosa)Flowering Now: Silk Floss Tree (Ceiba speciosa)

Photo: Douglas E. Welch, A Gardener’s Notebook

From Wikipedia…

The silk floss tree (Ceiba speciosa, formerly Chorisia speciosa), is a species of deciduous tree native to the tropical and subtropical forests of South America. It has a host of local common names, such as palo borracho (in Spanish literally “drunken stick”). It belongs to the same family as the baobab and the kapok. Another tree of the same genusCeiba chodatii, is often referred to by the same common names.

The natural habitat of the floss silk tree is the north-east of Argentina, east of BoliviaParaguayUruguay and southern Brazil. It is resistant to drought and moderate cold. It grows fast in spurts when water is abundant, and sometimes reaches more than 25 metres (82 ft) in height. Its trunk is bottle-shaped, generally bulging in its lower third, measuring up to 2 metres (7 ft) in girth. It is studded with thick conical prickles which serve to store water for dry times. In younger trees, the trunk is green due to its high chlorophyll content, which makes it capable of performing photosynthesis when leaves are absent; with age it turns to gray.[1] — Wikipedia

More information on Silk Floss Tree (Ceiba speciosa):

 
 

Previously in Flowering Now:

Noted: Free Online Gardening Lectures from the University of California via Root Simple

Free Online Gardening Lectures from the University of California via Root Simple

Free Online Gardening Lectures from the University of California via Root Simple

I just got back from a combined Master Gardener/Master Food Preserver conference put on by the University of California Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (I became a Master Food Preserver back in 2012 thanks to a truly awesome training program put on by our local Extension Service and taught by Ernest Miller, a guest on episode 14 of our podcast).

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