Garden Alphabet: Currant (Ribes)

Garden Alphabet: Currant (Ribes)

During our last trip to Ohio, I was surprised to see so many wild currant bushes in the fence rows, parks and yards. I don’t remember currants from my childhood at all and I am not sure how I missed their existence, as we spent many long days wandering about the wood lots and farms of my small town. I saw many varieties of currents on this trip. This is an orange variety, but I also saw red, purple and almost blue varieties, too.

Garden Alphabet: Currant (Ribes) | A Gardener's Notebook with Douglas E. Welch

Ribes

Ribes /ˈrbz/ is a genus of about 150 species of flowering plants native throughout the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It is usually treated as the only genus in the family Grossulariaceae. Seven subgenera are recognized.

Sometimes Ribes is instead included in the family Saxifragaceae. A few taxonomists place the gooseberry species in a separate genus of Grossularia.

The genus Ribes includes the edible currants (blackcurrantredcurrantwhitecurrant), gooseberry, and several hybrid varieties. It should not be confused with the dried currant used in cakes and puddings, which is a cultivar of small grape (Zante currant). It gives its name to the popular blackcurrant cordial Ribena.

The genus also includes the group of ornamental plants collectively known as the flowering currants, for instance R. sanguineum.

There are restrictions on growing some Ribes species in some U.S. states, as they are a host for White Pine Blister Rust.” – Wikipedia.org

More information on Tomato:
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Previously in Garden Alphabet:

Garden Decor: Moss Buddha via Tumblr

Moss Buddha

I could imagine this cool, moss -covered Buddha presiding over some quiet corner of my garden. Too dry here for moss, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate both the idea and the photo.

Discovered via Tumblr User SpiritsWildAndFree

 Previously in Garden Decor:

Photo: New onions rising in the garden

Our latest batch of onion sets are rising in the garden!

New onions rising in the garden

New onions rising in the garden

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

Agn artwork

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

Agn 20140109 short onions thumb

 

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

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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. 

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

Agn artwork

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.

Itg 20140107 thumb

 

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:

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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:
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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)

Squirrel hawk 2014 thumb

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:

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  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
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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