A Gardener’s Notebook Videos for February 2013

Here is a playlist of all the A Gardener’s Notebook videos I produced in February 2013.

You can find all my past videos on my YouTube Channel. If you enjoy a video, please click the Like button or Subscribe to the YouTube Channel. Doing that directly effects how many other people see my videos.

Point at each video thumbnail for more information and scroll through the available videos using the < > arrows in the lower right corner.
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Garden History: John & Lizzie Wilson from Boston in Bradenton, Florida, 1951

A garden can grow wherever you wish.

This scene of “Snowbirds” over-wintering in Florida shows just that. Humans have an innate sense of gardening and growing, even if it isn’t required for our survival any longer. Perhaps it harkens back to those days when raising your own food was critical to life itself, Maybe gardening triggers some long buried instinct within us — a prehistoric touchstone in our mind that subtlety reminds us of its importance.

Sure, today we may grow beautiful flowers instead of food, but beauty feeds the heart and mind as much as any potato or carrot, these days.

John & Lizzie Wilson from Boston in Bradenton, Florida 

John & Lizzie Wilson from Boston in Bradenton, Florida

Local call number: JJS1975

Title: John & Lizzie Wilson from Boston in Bradenton, Florida

Date: 1951

Physical descrip: 1 photonegative – b&w – 5 x 4 in.

Series Title: Joseph Janney Steinmetz Collection

Repository: State Library and Archives of Florida, 500 S. Bronough St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250 USA. Contact: 850.245.6700. Archives@dos.myflorida.com

Persistent URL: www.floridamemory.com/items/show/252819

Previously in Garden History:

Video: In the garden…Potatoes, sweet potatoes and blog series update – February 27, 2013

“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.

Reviewing potato growth and planting sweet potatoes from the pantry.

Watch all the past “In the garden…” videos in this YouTube playlist.

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Garden Vocabulary: Deadhead/Deadheading

Garden Vocabulary Logo

This Garden Vocabulary series seeks to introduce and explain to you — and in many cases, myself — words and terms associated with gardening. Please let me know if  there are any terms you would like me to explore. You can leave your ideas in the comments section and we can learn together!


To Deadhead or te deadheading of plants is the act of removing spent flower blossoms in order to stimulate new growth and new blooms in plants. If spent flowers are left on plants — and they were fertilized — the plant will put all its energy into creating fruit and seeds in order to propagate more plants. This energy is then not available for the production of more blooms.

Since we humans usually grow plants for their beautiful blooms, it makes sense to deadhead these plants — especially roses — in order to encourage more blooms rather than the production of rose hips.

Roses from my garden

More information on deadhead/deadheading:


Previously on Garden Vocabulary:

Video: In the garden…Bees

“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.

Some industrious bees in the garden.

Watch all the past “In the garden…” videos in this YouTube playlist.

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.

Interesting Plant: Parisian Carrots

Interesting Plant: Parisian Carrots


Source: sustainableseedco.com via Douglas on Pinterest


Without perfect soil, traditional carrots can be difficult to grow. They split, they twist, the come to stunted if they meet with the slightest rock or obstacle in the soil. I have been looking at these Parisian-style carrots as a possible alternative. I think they might also work in a container since they are smaller and rounder and simply take up less space.

Have you ever planed carrots like this? What was your experience? I’d love to know.

From Sustainable Seed web site…

“A great little round carrot that is a nineteenth-century French heirloom. Parisian is an early orange-red carrot that grows almost more like the shape of a large radish. Excels in clay or rocky soil where other carrots have problems developing properly. Its flavor is legendary and is highly sought after by gourmet restaurants. Fantastic market seller and very popular with the kids because of its size. Makes a great bunched presentation.”

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More information on Parisian Carrots:


Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Video: Container Garden Update 016 – Strawberries ripening

Strawberries are starting to ripen while other pots idle along.


Can’t see the video above? Watch “Container Vegetable Garden Update 016” on YouTube

Watch the “Container Vegetable Garden” Playlist for all related videos

More info on growing strawberries:


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Music: “Whiskey on the MIssissippi” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  – Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Garden Inventory: Ficus benjamina

Garden Inventory is a series where I begin an inventory of all the plants and trees in my garden. Along with some of my own pictures, I will link to various sources of information about each plant and tree so we can learn a little more together.

I would also like to highlight your special plants and tress. Pass along your favorite plants in the comments and I will use them for future Garden Inventory posts. — Douglas

Garden Inventory: Ficus benjamina

“Ficus benjamina, commonly known as the weeping fig, Benjamin’s fig, or ficus tree and often sold in stores as just ficus, is a species of flowering plant in the family Moraceae, native to south and southeast Asia and Australia. It is the official tree of Bangkok. It is a tree reaching 30 metres (98 ft) tall in natural conditions, with gracefully drooping branchlets and glossy leaves 6–13 cm (2–5 in), oval with an acuminate tip. In its native range, its small fruit are favored by some birds, such as the Superb Fruit Dove, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Ornate Fruit Dove, orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Torresian Imperial Pigeon, Purple-tailed Imperial Pigeon (Frith et al. 1976).” — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ficus_benjamina

Most people are familiar with Ficus as the ubiquitous houseplant and small tree that graces office buildings around the globe. Here in Los Angeles, though, they were also used a street trees for a number of years, but recently that decision has “come home to roost” in the form of destroyed sidewalks, curbs and streets. Ficus roots are quite strong and aggressive and will readily turn over any construction put in their path. You need to choose their location quite well to insure you aren’t regretting your decision to plant them down the road.

I have 3 large ficus in my garden and, to be honest, I have never really liked them that much. Their foliage is very dense and creates some spots of deep shade under their canopy. This canopy can be quite beneficial in the host summer months here in the San Fernando Valley. Ficus also drop quite a load of leaves, although being evergreen, they never drop all their leaves at once.

On the plus side, they don’t need much pruning and, except for a small amount of frost damage on occasion, they don’t seem to have any issues with disease or pests. They do provide a small green fruit, although I have never noticed any of my birds or wildlife eating them. You can see these fruits in the some of the pictures below.

 Garden Inventory: Ficus benjamina - 3

Garden Inventory: Ficus benjamina - 9Garden Inventory: Ficus benjamina - 8Garden Inventory: Ficus benjamina - 7Garden Inventory: Ficus benjamina - 6

Garden Inventory: Ficus benjamina - 5Garden Inventory: Ficus benjamina - 4Garden Inventory: Ficus benjamina - 2Garden Inventory: Ficus benjamina - 1

Photos of Ficus benjamina closeups of leaves, fruit, growing habit, trunk and bark

More information on Ficus Bejamina:


Previously on Garden Inventory:

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Garden Alphabet: Daffodil (Narcissus)

Daffodil (Narcissus)

I have been planting daffodils over the last 3-4 years here in my garden, adding to the small group that was here when we first purchased this house. I love their shining yellow faces at this time of year. They provide such a show during this time when most of the trees are still without leaves. I find myself taking way to many pictures of these flowers, but they attract my attention every time I go into the garden or pull my car out of the driveway. They also provide the longest bloom time of any of the bulbs in the garden, Depending on the soil, water and sun, some daffodil beds appear long after others and extend the overall bloom.

Garden Alphabet: Daffodil

Narcissus (pron.: /nɑrˈsɪsəs/) is a genus of mainly hardy, mostly spring-flowering, bulbous perennials in the Amaryllis family, subfamily Amaryllidoideae.[1] Various common names including daffodil, narcissus, and jonquil are used to describe all or some of the genus. They are native to meadows and woods in Europe, North Africa and West Asia, with a center of distribution in the Western Mediterranean.[2] The number of distinct species varies widely depending on how they are classified, with the disparity due to similarity between species and hybridization between species. The number of defined species ranges from 26 to more than 60, depending on the authority.[3] Species and hybrids are widely used in gardens and landscapes. — Wikipedia.org

More information on the Saucer Magnolia:
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Previously in Garden Alphabet: