Video: In the garden…short!: January 9, 2014: Onion sets pushing out of the ground

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Our onion sets are pushing out of the ground for the beginning of another growing season..

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Check out what was happening in the garden a year ago: “Container Garden Update 10

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: ‘Hustle” by Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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.

 

“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. 

Video: In the garden…January 7, 2014: Pruning the wisteria

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Time to prune the wisteria on the backyard pergola while it is still dormant. It is probably a but late, but better late than never.

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Check out what was happening in the garden a year ago: “Container Garden Update 10

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: ‘Hustle” by Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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.

 

“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: Linderniaceae (formerly Torenia) Kuaui Deep Blue

Interesting Plant: Linderniaceae (formerly Torenia) Kuaui Deep Blue

The purplish-blue of these flowers caught my eye as I scrolled through Pinterest the other day. The ability to browse visually through all the pins is one things that makes me like Pinterest so much. It is part social media and part serendipity as you stumble across something you have never heard of before — much like these flowers. This reinforces one of the many reasons I do this Interesting Plant series. I figure that if something strikes my fancy you might find it interest, too.

From Spring HIll Nurseries…

“Torenia is known as the Wishbone Flower because of the connected anthers in the center shaped just like a tiny wishbone. The new Kauai™ Torenias have large, vividly colored flowers on compact plants, and they take heat and humidity in their stride! They like moist, fertile, well drained soil, but will tolerate some lapses in watering. A great way to bring easy-care color to your shady spots!”

Kauai deep blue

Discovered via Pinterest User, Bountiful Plants

Torenia is a genus of plants now classified in the Linderniaceae. Often called Wishbone flowers, some species are grown as gardenplants. Many F1 and F2 Torenia hybrids have been hybridizied in the last 30 years. Colors can range from white with yellow throats to violet, blue, cobalt, lavender and purple.– Wikipedia.org 

More information on Stenocarpus sinuatus:

From Amazon.com:
 
 
Plants and seeds from Amazon.com:
 
 

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

Garden Alphabet: Matilija Poppy (Romneya)

Garden Alphabet: Matilija Poppy (Romneya)

It is a big surprise that these huge plants and flowers are actually California natives. Typical natives here are small in stature to preserve the rare moisture we receive here. These are huge show-offs though. They make quite a statement in anyone’s garden. The original photo for this entry was taken way back in 2003 at the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants gardens and it was the first time I had ever seen them. The bees were also very obliging for my photos, showing up and posing in nearly every one.

Garden Alphabet: Matilija Poppy (Romneya) | A Gardener's Notebook with Douglas E. Welch #flower #garden

Romneya

Romneya /ˈrɒmnə/[1] is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the poppy family (Papaveraceae). There are two species in genusRomneya, which was named for Irish astronomer John Thomas Romney Robinson.[2] They are known commonly as Matilija poppies(/məˈtɪlɨhɑː/ mə-til-i-hah) or tree poppies and are native to southern California and northern Mexico.

They are perennial subshrubs with woody stems. They may grow to a height of 2.5 meters (8 ft) and a width of 1 m (35 in), with the flowers up to 13 cm (5 in) across. The silvery green leaves are deeply cut, with a small fringe of hairs at the margins.

They are notable for their large white flowers with intense yellow centers, blooming in summer. Romneya produce the largest flowers of any members of the poppy family.[3] These flowers prefer a warm, sunny spot and fertile soil with good water drainage. They are not easily grown but once established are difficult to remove. In the wild, they are known as “fire followers” as they can be frequently, but not exclusively, found in burned areas.[4] It is also known as the “fried egg flower” or “fried egg plant”.[5] – Wikipedia.org

More information on Tomato:
Books:
 
 

Previously in Garden Alphabet:

Video: Interesting interaction between Cooper’s Hawk and Fox Squirrel (Accipter cooperii and Sciurus niger)

Interesting interaction between Cooper’s Hawk and Fox Squirrel (Accipter cooperii and Sciurus niger)

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I recorded this interesting interaction between a Cooper’s Hawk and Fox Squirrel (Accipter cooperii and Sciurus niger) in the garden yesterday. The landed with a fresh kill and the squirrel seemed to be pressuring the hawk to move along.

See more of my wildlife videos in this playlist

Check out what was happening in the garden a year ago: “In the garden…Onions Sprouting !

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

This video recorded using Canon VIXIA HF R400 HD

13 of My Favorite Garden Things for December 2013

My Favorite Things 

As always, let me know what types of interesting items you would like to see and I will keep an eye out for them especially. — Douglas

Get new shared links as I find them via my social media feeds:

Twitter Google plus Pinterest Facebook Linkedin 

  1. Garden / 14 Eco-Friendly Christmas Tree Alternatives to Green Your Holidays
  2. Garden / Get a knack for black in the garden
  3. Garden / 5 Great Plants for Borders and Screens
  4. Garden / Free Seed Packet Template (Basic)
  5. Garden / 10 Native Wildflowers to Beautify Your Winter Garden (12 photos)
  6. Garden / A Mini Garden at The Base of the Tree
  7. Garden / 30 Gifts for the Gardener
  8. Garden / Explore Your Garden Personality: The Traveler (9 photos)
  9. Garden / Great Design Plant: Brittlebush Brightens Rocky, Dry Spots (7 photos)
  10. Garden / Forgotten Fruits: The stories behind Britain’s traditional fruit and vegetables
  11. Garden / Feed the Birds: 6 Plants for Abundant Winter Berries (6 photos)
  12. Garden / New Year, New Landscape — What to Do in Your January Garden
  13. Garden / 9 Ideas for Thoughtful Gardening in 2014 (9 photos)

What I’m Reading…: What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses by Daniel Chamovitz

What a plant knows cover

 

What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses

Daniel Chamovitz 

This is certainly on the geekier side of my reading list, but when I am came across this book it intrigued me immediately. The combination of plants, science and, by extension, gardening seemed like an interesting combination. I have not been disappointed either.

The book is divided into sections including what a plant sees, hears, smells and feels, how a plant knows where it is and finally, what a plant remembers. All these sections are quite informative and deeply interesting for anyone with an interest in gardening, plants, and/or science. This might even be a good introductory book for those interested in studying botany in high school or college.

Can plants see, feel, hear and smell like we do? Certainly not, but they can do all those things in their own unique ways. Because of their inability to move from where they are planted, plants must be very sensitive to their environment and react quickly to any changes that might threaten them. If they are being attracted by insect, animals or disease they can output smells that warn other parts of the plant — and even other plants in huge area — to the attack.

Lacking a nervous system, plants sense and respond using chemical indicators for the most part. They can sense light and dark and react to subtle changes in the ration between. They can grow towards the sun or seek out support from structures and other plants to support their vines and leaves.

Plants like the Venus Flytrap and mimosa can react to touch and use it for protection or to supplement their diet with extra nutrients they might not be able to glean from the poor soil where they grow.

What a plant knows just might have you thinking differently about the plants in your garden and might even lead you act a bit differently in your own garden, both for your benefit and that of the plants that grow there.

What a plant knows is an easy read and contains lots of great footnotes linking to further information available on the Internet. That said, the method of providing links to web-based material shows a conflict between the different media (online and offline) and how it might be best used. Instead of short, meaningful link names, the author uses standard (and long) URLs which aren’t really meant to be typed in and offer many opportunities for typos and other mistakes. They would have been better to utilize one of the many link shortening services or even created their own, easier to use, system for providing interactive links on the book.

This minor quibble aside, I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in understanding their plants just a little bit better. 

Listen to an interview with author, Daniel Chamovtiz on Minnesota Public Radio

Paperback | Kindle

 

 

Top 20 Blog Posts for 2013 from A Gardener’s Notebook

 

Looking back over my stats, like a lot of folks today, I see that these were the Top 20 blog posts A Gardner’s Notebook for 2013

  1. DIY: PVC Pipe Strawberry Planter
  2. Project: Steel pipe garden edging
  3. Propagating pittosporum
  4. Elsewhere: Cooper’s Hawk in the birdbath – my video and photos from Animalbytes.net
  5. Elsewhere: Recycled Garden Tool Organization
  6. Garden Decor: DIY Log Birdfeeder
  7. Elsewhere: Farm Tiller stood upright and made into a fountain
  8. DIY Recycle: Coffee Can bird feeder
  9. Photo: Wine bottle edging in the garden
  10. Photos: Cherry Blossoms at Lake Balboa, Los Angeles, CA
  11. Elsewhere: Teapot Garden Fountain/Waterfall
  12. Recycle: Pallet trellis for vegetable garden climbers
  13. Interesting Plant: Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra)
  14. Interesting Plant: Oxalis versicolor
  15. Casting concrete leaves from/for the garden
  16. Interesting Plant: Dianthus Barbathus “Green Ball” or “Green Trick”
  17. Couldn’t you use garden tool storage close to your work?
  18. Project: Bottle Garden Bed Edging
  19. Video: Repairing a damaged drip irrigation line
  20. Garden Decor: Amazing river stone mosaic path

Interesting Plant: Saintpaulia ‘Rebel’s Splatter Kake’

Interesting Plant: Saintpaulia ‘Rebel’s Splatter Kake’

I never knew the Latin name for African Violets, even though my grandmother grew them religiously when I was growing up in Ohio. She had a 3-tier indoor planter covered with them. This particular Saintpaulia caught my eye in my travels though Pinterest and gave me and easy excuse and another entry for this Interesting Plant series. 

Saintpaulia

Discovered via Pinterest user Ammar Aue

Saintpaulias, commonly known as African violets, are a genus of 6–20 species of herbaceous perennial flowering plants in the family Gesneriaceae, native toTanzania and adjacent southeastern Kenya in eastern tropical Africa. Typically the African violet is a common household indoor plant but can also be an outdoor plant. Several of the species and subspecies are endangered, and many more are threatened, due to their native cloud forest habitats being cleared for agriculture.

Saintpaulias grow from 6–15 cm tall and can be anywhere from 6–30 cm wide. The leaves are rounded to oval, 2.5–8.5 cm long with a 2–10 cm petiole, finely hairy, and have a fleshy texture. The flowers are 2–3 cm in diameter, with a five-lobed velvety corolla (“petals”), and grow in clusters of 3–10 or more on slender stalks called peduncles. Wild species can have violet, purple, pale blue, or white flowers. — Wikipedia.org 

More information on Stenocarpus sinuatus:

From Amazon.com:
 

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

Photo: Sweet potato harvest and Snowflakes rising

Yesterday we harvested the bowl full of sweet potatoes you see here. While I was outside taking these photos I noticed that our Snowflakes (Leucojum) were rising out of the beds, too.

You can scroll down to see the video of our harvest or click over to the blog post, “Video: In the garden…December 28, 2013: Planting onion sets and harvesting some sweet potatoes.”

Sweet Potato Harvest

Sweet Potato Harvest

Snowflakes rising