Garden Alphabet: Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

Garden Alphabet: Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

A tasty addition for any herb garden that grows so easily. These plants are starting to flower, so I will make sure to capture the seed and put it back into the container in order to grow an entire new set for future meals.

Garden Alphabet: Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) | A Gardener's Notebook with Douglas E. Welch


Chives is the common name of Allium schoenoprasum, the smallest species of the edible onions.[1] A perennial plant, it is native to EuropeAsia and North America.[2] A. schoenoprasum is the only species of Allium native to both the New and the Old Worlds.

The name of the species derives from the Greek skhoínos (sedge) and práson (leek).[3] Its English name, chives, derives from the French word cive, from cepa, the Latin word for onion.[4]

Chives are a commonly used herb and can be found in grocery stores or grown in home gardens. In culinary use, the scapes and the unopened, immature flower buds are diced and used as an ingredient for fishpotatoessoups, and other dishes. Chives have insect-repelling properties that can be used in gardens to control pests.[5] Wikipedia

More information on Chives:

Previously in Garden Alphabet:

Charming garden drawing from 1896 — The British Library on Flickr



The British Library has joined the Flickr Commons, a huge collection of historical photos and drawings from around the world. Even better these photos are drawing are free to use in your online and offline projects.

After a quick search, I came across this charming graphic from A Child’s Garden of Verses … Second edition by Robert Louis Stevenson. You can find artwork like this by visiting the The British Library on Flickr or the overall Flickr Commons. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find there.

Interesting Plant: Brugmansia Sanguinea

Interesting Plant: Brugmansia Sanguinea

I have always loved Brugmansia — with its almost alien looks and exuberant blooms. I typical see the standard, yellow variety here in Southern California, but I love both the shape of these flowers and their orange color — almost as if each blossom had been dipped in paint — or blood, as the name references (Sanguinea in Latin translates to blood)

Looking over the number of times I have posted Brugmansia pictures to my web site, I guess I really do have an affinity for them. You can find my photos a little further down in this post.

Datura sanguinea

Discovered via PInterest User, Elizabeth Gomez-Boffil

Brugmansia sanguinea, the red Angel’s Trumpet, is a South American species of flowering plants that grow as shrubs or small trees.

Brugmansia sanguinea is a small tree reaching up to 10 m (33 ft) in height. The nodding, tube-shaped flowers come in colors of brilliant red, yellow, orange, or green.[1]Wikipedia

More on Brugmansia…

Brugmansia is a genus of seven species of flowering plants in the family Solanaceae. Their large, fragrant flowers give them their common name of angel’s trumpets, a name sometimes used for the closely related genus DaturaBrugmansia are woody trees or shrubs, with pendulous, not erect, flowers, that have no spines on their fruit. Datura species are herbaceous bushes with erect (not pendulous) flowers, and most have spines on their fruit.[2] — Wikipedia

More information on Brugmansia Sanguinea:


Some of my own Brugmansia photos:

Brugmansia seen on my walkBrugmansia blooms

On our walk...Brugmansia

‘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

Photos: In the neighborhood…An impromptu photo walk in Studio City, CA and some help identifying 2 plants

 While my wife was working on a project with a friend, I decided to walk around their neighborhood to see what I could see. Here are the photos that resulted. I have a couple of unidentified items that I could use your help with, though. Here are those photos and a link to a slide show of the complete collection of photos from the walk.

Can you identify either of these two plants? Please leave a comment!

 Unknown - Please help idenitify

Unknown - Please help idenitify

Lovely Apple Blossoms on the walk

Apple Blossom


Garden Alphabet: Fungi

Garden Alphabet: Fungi

Fungi make up a huge part of the plant kingdom, but often we don’t even notice them. These fungi popped up in my garden a few years ago, probably digesting old tree roots or something similar.

Garden Alphabet: Fungi | A Gardner's Notebook with Douglas E. Welch


fungus (/ˈfʌŋɡəs/plural: fungi[3] or funguses[4]) is a member of a large group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds (British English: moulds), as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as a kingdomFungi, which is separate from plantsanimalsprotists and bacteria. One major difference is that fungal cells have cell walls that contain chitin, unlike the cell walls of plants and some protists, which contain cellulose, and unlike the cell walls of bacteria. These and other differences show that the fungi form a single group of related organisms, named the Eumycota (true fungi or Eumycetes), that share a common ancestor (is amonophyletic group). This fungal group is distinct from the structurally similar myxomycetes (slime molds) and oomycetes (water molds). The discipline of biology devoted to the study of fungi is known as mycology (from the Greekμύκης, mukēs, meaning “fungus”). Mycology has often been regarded as a branch of botany, even though it is a separate kingdom in biological taxonomy. Genetic studies have shown that fungi are more closely related to animals than to plants.

Abundant worldwide, most fungi are inconspicuous because of the small size of their structures, and their cryptic lifestyles in soil, on dead matter, and as symbionts of plants, animals, or other fungi. They may become noticeable whenfruiting, either as mushrooms or molds. Fungi perform an essential role in the decomposition of organic matter and have fundamental roles in nutrient cycling and exchange. They have long been used as a direct source of food, such as mushrooms and truffles, as a leavening agent for bread, and in fermentation of various food products, such as winebeer, and soy sauce. Since the 1940s, fungi have been used for the production of antibiotics, and, more recently, various enzymes produced by fungi are used industrially and in detergents. Fungi are also used as biological pesticides to control weeds, plant diseases and insect pests. Many species produce bioactive compounds called mycotoxins, such as alkaloids and polyketides, that are toxic to animals including humans. The fruiting structures of a few species contain psychotropic compounds and are consumed recreationally or in traditional spiritual ceremonies. Fungi can break down manufactured materials and buildings, and become significant pathogens of humans and other animals. Losses of crops due to fungal diseases (e.g. rice blast disease) or food spoilage can have a large impact on human food supplies and local economies. — Wikipedia

More information on Fungi:

More books on Fungi from

Previously in Garden Alphabet:

Local 2014 Tomatomania coming March 21-23, 2014

Our local Tomatomania 2014 event has been scheduled for March 21-23, 2014 at Tapia Bros in the Sepulveda Basin, 5251 Hayvenhurst, Encino, CA.


More info on the web site as well as additional locations

Garden Decor: Over-the-top Garden Shed

Over-the-top Garden Shed

Anything worth doing is worth over-doing and this garden shed certainly proves that. I could live in this garden shed along with the shovels, rakes and hoes, I think.

Ott gardenshed

Discovered via Pinterest User Phoebe Caitlin

More garden shed ideas from 

Previously in Garden Decor:

Interesting Plant: Calico Monkeyflower (Mimulus pictus)

Interesting Plant: Calico Monkeyflower (Mimulus pictus)

I am quite familiar with our local native mimulus, but this is quite, quite different. The striking coloration and deep, dark center are quite amazing. 

Mimulus pictus

Discovered via Tumblr User, flowersgardenlove

Mimulus pictus is a species of monkeyflower known by the common name calico monkeyflower. It is endemic to central California, where it is known only from the southernmost Sierra Nevada and adjacent Tehachapi Mountains in Tulare and Kern Counties. It grows in forest and woodland habitat, in open, bare, rocky, and often disturbed areas. This is an annual herb growing in a small patch at ground level or erect to a maximum height of about 38 centimeters. The stem is hairy and rectangular in cross-section. The oppositely arranged leaves are somewhat oval in shape and up to 4.5 centimeters long. The tubular base of the flower is encapsulated in a dark reddish calyx of sepals with uneven lobes. The five-lobed flower has a maroon throat and the circular face is white with stark maroon veining. –

More on Mimulus…

Most of the species are annuals or herbaceous perennials, but a few species are subshrubs with woody stems; these are treated in the section Diplacus. Diplacus is clearly derived from within Mimulus s.l. and was not usually considered to be generically distinct. Hence, it would not be treated as a genus separate from Mimulus now, though it might become a section of a yet-to-be defined split from Mimulus s.str.. A large number of the species grow in moist to wet soils with some growing even in shallow water. Some species produce copious amounts of aromatic compounds, giving them a musky odor (hence “musk-flowers”).

Mimulus are called monkey-flowers because some species have flowers shaped like a monkey’s face.[3] The generic nameLatin mimus meaning “mimic actor”, from the Greek mimos meaning “imitator” also references this. The stem of a few species of Mimulus can be either smooth or hairy, and this trait is determined by a simple allelic difference.[verification needed] At least M. lewisii is known to possess “flypaper-type” traps and is apparently protocarnivorous, supplementing itsnutrients with small insects. — Wikipedia

More information on Monkeyflower (Mimulus pictus):

Plants and seeds from

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

Video: In the garden…February 1, 2014: Cleaning up the potting bench, checking on daffodils and more

Agn artwork

I take a few moments to clean up and show off my “potting bench”, check out the daffodils and more.

Itg 20140201 thumb



Check out what was happening in the garden a year ago: “Container Garden Update 14 – Strawberries and more!”

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:


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

Music: “The One” by the Woodshedders (

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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. 

23 of My Favorite Garden Things for January 2014 – Douglas E. Welch

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

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