Had a wonderful trip recently and saw states I had never been to. Started in Fort Collins, Colorado with a visit to the community sponsored garden, Gardens On Spring Creek. It is a garden filled with great ideas, combining sculpture, vegetables, hardscapes and pergolas, play areas, xeriscapes with flowers in all these areas. My favorite was the Rock Garden with conifers of various sorts and all sorts of tiny treasures tucked among the rocks.
Onto South Dakota and Wind Cave National Park. Wind Cave is a sacred site for several American Indian tribes. A couple of white men were attracted to the cave by the whistling sound that came out of the only known natural entrance to the 143+ miles of cave. The wind either blows out of the 12 inch hole or into it depending on the atmospheric pressure differentce between the cave and outside. When we were there a strong cool wind was blowing outward from the cave.
Wind Cave Park is undisturbed prairie over the cave and in 1903, Theodore Roosevelt made a small area a National Park. In 1912 a Nation Game Preserve was created around the park because of the prairie land perfect to reintroduce some of the animals that had been hunted almost into extinction like the American Bison, fourteen were introduced from the New York Zoological Society. Twenty-0ne elk came from Wyoming and thirteen pronghorn antelope were inported from Alberta, Canada.
The park was enlarged as the animals multiplied and needed more room, it stands now at 33,851 acres. In 2007 another introduction was made, a predator of prairie dogs, the rare black-footed ferret. These ferrets can eat around 100 prairie dogs a year.
I did not go in the cave because of our late arrival but plan to go back and take the tour.
Wind Caves National Park adjoins Custer State Park of South Dakota which was our next destination. A topic for my next post.
Late summer and early fall before the rains are great times to collect seeds, and if you are like me, plant them. There are a couple of theories on planting seeds. One is you collect them, put them in tiny envelopes and try to mimic outside conditions such as storing them in the refridgerator for a couple of months as they get their cold hours. While this may be necessary if you are planting seeds that need “Chilling hours” in a region that doesn’t get the cold. If a plant is growing just fine in your yard you probably don’t need to do this or follow the little zone planting diagrams like you see on the back of seed packets. Those are mainly for plants that are grown as annuals.
The other seed theory and the one I ascribe to is: if nature plants her seeds now, you can do the same. Germination may not be as high the first year but Mother Nature has this whole seed bank thing going on, which fascinates me to no end. The seed bank is a natural storage of seed within the soil, some dormant, some ready to sprout this year. It is a process that allows a species to live on, if one bad year hits or even a series of bad years, there are still seeds waiting in the soil for the right time.
I first became aware of this when I planted tons of wildflower seeds a friend got me for my new home in the woods. I expected a glorious spring. I got some blooms but 11 years later I am still being surprised by some of the varieties popping up where I planted them.
So, I plant my seed right after I collect it. Much of my planting involves flinging seeds about in different areas but for some seeds I do get down and plant them the proper depth.
Pictures of common flowers and their seed pods and seeds:
Violas are the smaller perennial version of Pansies, they produce little rounded conical pods that break open to reveal many little sticky seeds
Lunaria (aka Money Plant, Honesty or Silver Dollar Plant. These have purple flowers in the spring and develop branches of beautiul pods. The pictures show how to free the seeds from the pods by rubbing the outer two layers gentle leaving the shimmery silvery inner membrane and collecting your seeds.
Obedient Plant or Physostegia virginiana, or False Dragonhead can become invasive but I got the “Manners” pink and white varieties which will help. To collect seed you need to get it before the seed falls. Look inside the pods and harvest the seeds just as they turn dark.
Catmint plants spread seed easily. Inside each little seed cup is a black seed. by the time I got to them many were empty but i got a couple black seeds.
Digitalis or Foxglove plants produces hundreds if not thousands of seeds per plant. The tiny seeds are easy to throw about and some will come up right away and others will wait. The seedlings are easy to transplant if you have too many in one area.
Many bushes and trees have seeds you can colllect at this time also:
The Japanese Maple has samaras:
The American Cranberrybush (Viburnum trilobum):
Fall colors of the bush:
There are many others that sre easy to collect. I will leave you with this today and will come back with some more next time.
Once you’ve collected seeds you can share and trade with friends. Happy Hunting!
I love roses, yes. I love many other flowers too. Iris are probably in my top three. As the nights start to cool down and all the Iris Sellers are selling out of many of their top Iris, it is time to stop cursing the deer and plant something they and the moles, voles, and gophers don’t touch. The Iris. They will eat some iris but they stay away from the most commonly planted Bearded Irises.
Planting Iris is an easy task compared to many other plants. They like full sun, but I grow many of mine in less than ideal conditions living in a forest and they still thrive. The Bearded Irises need well drained soil, but some like Siberian and Japanese like wet and even boggy soil. They like slightly acid soil (pH of 6.8 is ideal) but they will grow well in soils on either side of the perfect pH. Adding peat or compost to very sandy soil helps retain some moisture for the roots.
Plant the iris so the top of the rhizome is level with the soil or in very hot or cold situations up to an inch below. July, August and September are the best months for planting.
The selection at online stores is amazing. They often are also Iris Hybridizers and send good quality rhizomes. They want their iris to succeed in your garden. Avoid buying the dried up iris hanging on racks in bags at Big Box stores. So often these are dead. Good nurseries will often have boxes of fresh rhizomes direct from growers, the only problem here is sometimes people mix up the iris in the bins and you may get a surprise, I have!
Historic Iris are making a comeback, many are being sold on ebay. Check the provenance of the iris so you are sure you are getting what you think you are. Many iris are similiar.
Britain’s Princess Royal Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa, was the first born child of Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria), Queen of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from June 20, 1837 until her death January 22, 1901, and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
She was born November 21, 1840 and died the same year as her mother on August 5, 1901 of breast cancer. As a young girl she was provided with a very good education and showed great aptitude and interest in learning. She became engaged to Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm Nikolaus Karl. “Fritz” as he was called also received a good and liberal education. They married on January 25, 1858 at the Chapel Royal of St. James Palace in London. They had 8 children.
Fritz became Friedrich III, German Emperor and King of Prussia after the death of his Father, Emperor Wilhelm I on March 9, 1888. He ruled for only 99 days as he was in the late stages of Laryngeal cancer. During his rule he wrote notes as he could not speak. He died on June 15, 1888 and his son Wilhelm II became the last German Emperor and King of Prussia, ruling until November 9, 1918. The year 1888 became known as The Year of the Three Emperors.
After Friedrich III’s death, Victoria became know as Kaiserin Viktoria.
The Roses named after Victoria include “Kronprinzessin Viktoria’, a Bourbon Rose that is a sport of ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’. It was introduced in Germany in 1888 by Franz Späth at his family’s nursery of the same last name. It is moderately fragrant and blooms in flushes throughout the growing season.
The other rose that I have that is named after this Victoria is ‘Kaiserin Friedrich’, a tea rose that likes to climb. It was bred by Heinrich Drögemüller in Saxony, Germany in 1885. This beautiful yellow and pink tea is very full and has a strong fragrance. It also is remontant ‘Kaiserin Friedrich’ is one of my personal favorites.
There are several beautiful roses named after Victoria’s daughter-in-law, Auguste Viktoria and her grandaughter Viktoria Luise.
‘Summer Memories’ a sturdy beautiful white rose with pink and yellow undertones. Bred by Tim Hermann Kordes in 1992 but not released by Kordes until 2004 in Germany. Blooms are about 3″ and it blooms in flushes throughout the growing season.
‘Clothilde Soupert’ Polyantha rose. Sources say the average diameter of the blooms is about 1 1/2″ but this beauty is more like 2 1/2 inches. Generally, the first spring blooms are generally the largest. It also blooms in flushes throughout the season and is very fragrant. Bred by Soupert and Notting in Luxembourg, 1888. One of my new favorites.
‘Arrillaga’, a Hybrid Perpetual bred by Father George M. A. Schoener, Ph. D. in 1929. This produces large light pink blooms in a large flush in spring with occassional later blooms. I am really impressed with the quantity and quality of these roses.
Laguna™ Large-Flowered Climber Rose has old fashioned blooms of dark pink with a strong spicy fragrance. The foliage is very healthy. It was bred by Tim Hermann Kordes in 1994 and released in Germany in 2004 and the USA in 2008. I did an earlier post on Laguna during the winter
‘Grace Darling’ is an early Hybrid Tea named for the daughter of a lighthouse keeper. One night she and her father rescued the crew of of the shipwrecked Forfarshire in 1836. She became world famous overnight and was sent gifts and money from far and wide. People wrote to her asking for bits of hair or clothing. Her fame in the Victorian era overwhelmed and overtired her. She died at the early age of 26 in 1842.
This rose honoring her was bred in 1884 by William Bennett in the United Kingdom. The rose is a pure pink with a strong fragrance. It grows more bushlike than the modern Hybrid Teas and is on the small side. It blooms in flushes throughout the growing season.
I will leave you today with one of my new peonies this year, Lady Alexandra Duff bred by Kelway and Son in the United Kingdom, 1902.
I am finally getting some rose blooms in the garden
I’ve been spending all my time digging up the roses that gophers have eaten down to a nub and placing them in pots hoping they will root. So far out of about 30 I have only lost 2. The rest are in various stages of rooting.
Some of these shown are patented roses and I am not propagating them, merely saving the whole plants I bought at nurseries that were eaten by gophers. I strongly believe in the breeder of roses getting their just compensation. As you can see, I am rooting the whole plant with the patent tags still attached. I propagate other roses that are long past any patent infringement. You can find patents on Help Me Find by looking up the variety and also at the US Patent Office under plant patents. Plant patents currently last for 20 years. Just because a rose is over 20 years old does not mean it is out of patent. In the case of Jasmina ™, the rose was developed in 1996 in Germany, but the patent in the US was not applied for until July 21, 2006 and issued on June 17, 2008. From what I can gather the 20 years starts at the date of the patent’s application.
I’ve also been digging up roses that haven’t been eaten yet and putting them in buried 10-15 gallon squat pots. As my Dad always said, “Keeps me out of the pool halls”.
This rose has a very sweet, pure rose fragrance. Every grandmother should smell like this rose.
Heavy rains in Northern California. Annesylvania’s creek has been running high, up to the top of the banks in many places.
This is all good for California’s drought. The water from this creek flows into Lake Shasta which has been down to the lowest level since 1977, 889 feet above sea level in December 0f 2014. Full capacity is 1,067 feet above sea level. At full capacity the reservoir holds 4.5 million acre feet of water. Last December it was 29% full at 912.10 ft. above sea level.
Yesterday it had reached 77% full at 1031.92 feet above sea level and the island that has had an isthmus connecting it to the shore for too long, Beaver Island, is an island once again. We have had almost 10 inches of rain in March, as of the 13th. Between midnight on the 12th and midnight of the 13th Lake Shasta rose over 6 feet!
My soil is a silty sand with gravel in places. Sometimes pure sand. Very hard for water to stay in. Percolation tests are a joke here as the water disappears almost instantly. This series of storms has created little lakes and creeks in the sandy soil.
Such a pleasure to see all this water and know it is going downhill to where it is really needed. It is good to know there will be plenty of water available for farmers and the Chinook Salmon will not have to face a third year of a little warm water instead of the cold water they need for spawning.
Spring is just around the corner and with the melting snow comes some surprises, some good, like the Galanthus above and some like the discovery that during the winter gophers decided to eat many rosebushes,
In my little town a group of vigilantes, old men in camo gear, decided we no longer needed the coyotes. They dressed up and went out with their guns and killed the coyotes. A year later I see jackrabbits in the streets and gophers, where I never had gophers for ten years I have owned the property are eating all my roses and any other tasty plant.
I don’t do poison, knowing full well I may be poisoning owls, hawks, my neighbor’s cats and the ecosystem. Traps are iffy, messy and I don’t have time nor the body to lie on the ground with a .22 like my father did to rid the land of his gophers.
A war has started, a defensive war. After speaking to experienced rosarians I have decided to plant my roses in 15 gallon buried pots. First the pots are drilled with many holes (smaller than 1″ so gopher’s can’t sneak in). This is my new reality. Protected below from gophers, protected above from rabbits and deer. Can’t wait to see this David Austin ‘Princess Anne’ grow.
While looking up one rose on helpmefind.com and then looking who sold it, I discovered a rose nursery in Southern Oregon that I was unfamiliar with: Burns Miniature Rose Nursery. http://www.burnsminiatureroses.com/ As I like to do business with nurseries that are somewhat nearby (I’m in Northern California) I looked at what they have for sale and discovered a rose I just have to have!
This little rose cried ‘perfection’ to me. The simplicity yet complexity of its beauty is something I want in my garden.
I called the Nursery and got a prompt call back from Tom. I ordered three ‘Sweet Cassandras’, which I found out is named after Tom & June’s daughter. I want them delivered in May, they are happy to oblige.
Burns nursery is a newer one and they are busy building up stock. They have a nice selection of beautiful roses. I invite you to visit their site and fall in love.
I am looking for a rose to plant this Spring on my new arbor. It must be a small rose with superb fragrance, that blooms throughout the season. It has to be white, pink, light apricot or pale yellow. I got many good suggestions from people in a garden forum I like. They came up with climbing hybrid musks like ‘Bubble Bath’, a polyantha ‘Renae’, A Paul Barden creation: ‘Mel’s Heritage’, ‘Collete’ a climbing Romantica™, ‘Ghislaine de Féligonde’, a rose I have elsewhere and many other fine recommendations.
As I mentioned in my last post, I have tentatively decided on Céline Forestier for two reasons: I have two small plants in the garage which I ordered this winter and I have located the arbor next to my Pale Yellow Garden. My Pale Yellow Garden is a portion of my yard planted around a smallish Black Oak (Quercus kelloggii), a common oak in Northern California and in my mixed Ponderosa Pine forest. It started with an “Elizabeth’ magnolia.
From there I planted ‘Capistrano’ and ‘Mary Fleming’ Rhododendrons.
And on from there, Fothergilla, Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox), ‘Moonsprite” and ‘Charlotte’ roses, and other pale yellow flowering plants.
Why PALE yellow? I have an aversion to bright yellows, oranges and reds. When I flip through Rose books and come to the roses starting with ‘gold..’ I get physically ill. Pale yellow I can take. It blends well with the white and blushes and pinks I adore.
So then, on to Céline, a pale yellow, pinkish at times, fragrant (strong spice tea according to helpmefind.com), climbing noisette. I love my Noisettes. Ever since I became acquainted with ‘Champney’s Pink Cluster’ I have been in love with Noisettes and the Tea-Noisettes. I’m pushing my Zone 7a or b a little here (USDA agricultural zone) but so far, so good. AND I have 2 in the garage! What could be better? So that is the plan so far for the arbor this Spring.
I recently purchased (and read) a book, Noisette Roses, 19th Century Charleston’s Gift to the World, and fell even harder for these little fragrant puffs.