Gardening 101: Coleus via Gardenista

Coleus: Plectranthus scutellarioides
 
Is coleus a plant you have to learn to love? Garden trends ebb and flow—and bright, dramatically colored foliage can be an acquired taste. I used to dismiss these tropical plants because I thought their brightly tinged leaves screamed gaudiness and were unbelievably hard to mix with other flowers. No longer. Now I think of them as plant gems that can add a burst of dramatic color; whenever I spot them I snap them up for my clients’ container plantings.
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An interesting link found among my daily reading

Dazzling Dahlias – 2 in a series – Dahlia ‘Contraste’ via Gardenia.net

Dahlia 'Contraste' via Gardenia.net
 
Dahlia ‘Contraste’ produces profuse and spectacular dark red flowers adorned with contrasting pure white tips. The fully double flowers, up to 8-9 in. wide (20-22 cm), are borne atop strong stems from summer to frost and provide an amazing focal point in the garden or in a vase. Bred in France as a cut flower, this dahlia grows up to 36 in. tall (90 cm) and is an excellent choice to create a lovely garden display or for showing.

Read Dahlia ‘Contraste’ via Gardenia.net



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An interesting link found among my daily reading

How To Use A Bulb Auger (And Plant Bulbs In Minutes) via The Impatient Gardener

I wish I had had one of these when I was planting my own bulbs. It is slow going with a trowel in hard soil but this could have made all the difference. — Douglas
 

Last spring Mr. Much More Patient looked out the window at our still-gray landscape and asked why we didn’t have more daffodils. They are a good bulb to grow here because no critters will touch them. Still, I don’t want to add too many more to the gardens, as keeping them healthy requires leaving the foliage standing to die back naturally, and I don’t love that look in my garden. (In fact I often cut off the leaves before I should, knowing full well this will affect their life span.) But we do have a lot of wooded areas that are quite bright in spring and would look lovely with some color. And I’d never have to worry about the foliage looking tatty. 

So I told Mr. Much More Patient we could have mass quantities of daffodils if he didn’t balk at the cost and would agree to help plant them.

And that’s how we ended up planting 400 daffodils this week.

Read How To Use A Bulb Auger (And Plant Bulbs In Minutes) Via The Impatient Gardener



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An interesting link found among my daily reading

Historical Garden Books: Detail des nouveaux jardins à la mode by Georges-Louis Le Rouge, Sir William Chambers (1776) – 45 in a series

Archive.org has a host of old gardening books (from mid-19th to mid-20th Century) available in many formats and on a host of topics. I happened across a few in my Pinterest feed and gone completely down the rabbit hole in this treasure trove of information. Sure some ideas might be out of date, but you never know what you might find when you explore these catalogs. I’ll be sharing more catalogs as I find them in the coming weeks. –Douglas

Historical Garden Books: Detail des nouveaux jardins à la mode by Georges-Louis Le Rouge, Sir William Chambers (1776) – 45 in a series

Historical Garden Books: Detail des nouveaux jardins à la mode by Georges-Louis Le Rouge,  Sir William Chambers (1776) - 45 in a series

Historical Garden Books: Detail des nouveaux jardins à la mode by Georges-Louis Le Rouge,  Sir William Chambers (1776) - 45 in a series

Download in Text, PDF, Single Page JPG, TORRENT from Archive.org



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Leuchtenbergia principis / Agave cactus via CactGuy

Click through to see 2 additional pictures

Read Leuchtenbergia principis / Agave cactus via CactGuy



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An interesting link found among my daily reading

Elements of a Japanese Garden via FineGardening

The art and craft of the Japanese garden continues to thrive today after well over 1,300 years in Japan and for the last 150 years in various points west and east. It is difficult to define one reason for the almost instant endearment of these beautiful spaces, but for me, it has always been the Japanese garden’s ability to capture the essence of the greater natural world as well as its ability to adapt to almost any type of site and topography. Most of us are only familiar with the Japanese garden in public-park settings, and while beautiful, these gardens would likely be far out of our range in terms of cost—and perhaps scale—to even be given a second thought as an option for our own homes. There are, however, elements of design within nearly all Japanese gardens that can be integrated into a non-Japanese garden with great success. The key is not to paint a Japanese face on your garden in an effort to make it look or feel authentically Japanese. Take cues, instead, from Japanese-gardening techniques to evoke the peace and tranquility that these gardens inspire. To do this, we will need to look closely at some of the elements of traditional Japanese-garden design.
Read Elements of a Japanese Garden via FineGardening



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An interesting link found among my daily reading

Your First Garden: What You Need to Know Before You Plant Bulbs via Gardenista

I love garden bulbs and have planted over 150 here in my own garden. They bring me joy each Spring when I am rewarded with lovely flowers for little to no effort (after the initial planting). I have snowflakes, paperwhites, daffodils, and a few amaryllis that return year after year. Bulbs are a great idea for nearly any garden! Just make sure to find those that best fit your climate.  — Douglas
 
I’ve always known in theory that if you plant spring-flowering bulbs (such as tulips, daffodils, crocuses, and alliums) you can fill your garden with successive waves of color for three months while you wait for summer. But in my garden, after the spring flowers on the azaleas and rhododendrons fade? Nothing—until June. I eye my neighbors’ more colorful gardens with envy and initiate late-night talks with my husband about why this is the year we should hire a landscape designer.

This fall I plan to be proactive and plant bulbs—which I know is a thing you do in autumn because one year I went to our local nursery and asked for alliums. (I’m particularly enamored with the extraterrestrial look of alliums, with their large pompom heads and tall, slender stalks.) But it was during the height of summer, and the nice lady who worked at the nursery had to break it to me that I’d have to wait until September or later for the bulbs to be available for purchase. Like many other bulbs, they are planted in the fall and bloom in the spring, she told me, with not the slightest bit of disdain.

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An interesting link found among my daily reading

Historical Seed Catalogs: Wilson’s 15th annual price list and catalogue of fresh and reliable garden, field, and flower seeds (1891) – 34 in a series

Historical Seed Catalogs: Wilson’s 15th annual price list and catalogue of fresh and reliable garden, field, and flower seeds (1891) – 34 in a series

Historical Seed Catalogs: Wilson's 15th annual price list and catalogue of fresh and reliable garden, field, and flower seeds (1891) - 34 in a seriesHistorical Seed Catalogs: Wilson's 15th annual price list and catalogue of fresh and reliable garden, field, and flower seeds (1891) - 34 in a series

Historical Seed Catalogs: Wilson's 15th annual price list and catalogue of fresh and reliable garden, field, and flower seeds (1891) - 34 in a seriesHistorical Seed Catalogs: Wilson's 15th annual price list and catalogue of fresh and reliable garden, field, and flower seeds (1891) - 34 in a series

Download in Text, PDF, Single Page JPG, TORRENT from Archive.org

THE OREGON EVERBEARING STRAWBERRY.

This new and valuable Strawberry is a chance seedling, and originated with Remillard & Normandin, Mt. Tabor, Oregon. It is certainly the most remarkable strawberry ever introduced, and well deserves the name of Everbearing , as the plants will produce and continue to bear the most luscious berries the whole season through. It is a perfect, or bi-sexual variety, strong, healthy, vigorous and upright grower, commencing to bear early in the season, and continues to blossom and bear fine, large berries until frost. The berries are large, fine form, a deep red cherry color, firm, solid and excellent quality. They are immensely productive. One grower claims to have picked nearly half a bushel from 3 plants during the season. This new berry comes with the highest recommendation from its native home, and many responsible persons, ministers, editors, etc., have endorsed it as the most valuable strawberry ever grown.


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What I’m Reading: The Garden Book of California (1906) – 7 in a series – “Unhealthy house plants are a vexation to the spirit.”

What I'm Reading: The Garden Book of California (1906) - 7 in a series - “Unhealthy house plants are a vexation to the spirit.

Photo: Shelby Miller

“Unhealthy house plants are a vexation to the spirit. Often I am asked to prescribe for a sick fern, a diseased palm, a ragged, unhappy-looking begonia, or an unkempt geranium. As a rule, the poor things have been grievously maltreated by their too loving friends. Too much water, too much heat.”

What I'm Reading: The Garden Book of California (1906) - 1 in a series

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The Garden Book of California
Belle Sumner Angler



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Historical Seed Catalogs: Dahlia guide. Nineteen-twenty / J.J. Broomall (1920) – 33 in a series

Archive.org has a host of old seed catalogs (from mid-19th to mid-20th Century) available in many formats and on a host of topics. I happened across a few in my Pinterest feed and gone completely down the rabbit hole in this treasure trove of information. Sure some ideas might be out of date, but you never know what you might find when you explore these catalogs. I’ll be sharing more catalogs as I find them in the coming weeks. –Douglas

Historical Seed Catalogs: Dahlia guide. Nineteen-twenty / J.J. Broomall (1920) – 33 in a series

Historical Seed Catalogs: Dahlia guide. Nineteen-twenty / J.J. Broomall (1920) - 33 in a series

Historical Seed Catalogs: Dahlia guide. Nineteen-twenty / J.J. Broomall (1920) - 33 in a series

Download in Text, PDF, Single Page JPG, TORRENT from Archive.org

The Dahlia as a Cut Flower

Twenty years ago when I began growing the Dahlia in a commercial way, it was not much in favor as a cut flower. Few florists cared to handle them. The old “Show” Dahlia was too stiff and formal to suit the tastes of their patrons, and the most of the “Cactus” Dahlias being introduced at that time were not good for cutting. There were a few exceptions, for instance the “Countess of Lonsdale” was one that met the requirements as far as stems and keeping qualities were concerned, but it was an “off” color, and was too small to ever become in much demand.

For years I have been trying to improve the Dahlia as a cut flower, and at the risk of being accused of egotism, I will say that I have succeeded beyond my expectations. During the season of 1919 the Dahlia was in greater demand by florists than ever before, and certainly appeared to be the most popular flower in the cut flower market.

For seven years the Cactus Dahlia, Golden West, has outsold all other Dahlias on the market, the supply being utterly inadequate to meet the demand.


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