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Showing posts from 2022

Filling vacancies, or at least thinking about it

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My previous post documented the removal of a massive clump of timber bamboo ( Bambusa oldhamii ) along the sidewalk. It was a strenuous job, even for a tree service employee equipped with a stump grinder. But it opened up a large blank canvas of almost 100 sq.ft. For a small garden like ours, that’s a significant amount of new planting space. ➦  Vacancy 1 About 100 sq.ft. previously occupied by Bambusa oldhamii But that’s just one of several “vacancies” that currently exist in the front yard. There are three more. ➦  Vacancy 2 Vacancy 2 is where I removed a blooming × Mangave ‘Spotty Dotty’. I was going to wait until it was done flowering to see if there might be any seeds, but the ratty leaves drove me nuts. ×Mangave ‘Spotty Dotty’ The resulting opening is actually larger than you might have expected: I’m toying with the idea of removing the Aloe marlothii , too. This particular specimen is just a bit too plain for me. I have another Aloe marlothii with bluer leaves and far more pr

Massive bamboo removal in front yard

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Once upon a time, in February 2010, we planted this clumping timber bamboo ( Bambusa oldhamii ) in the front yard to replace a Bradford pear tree the City of Davis had just removed: Bambusa oldhamii planted in February 2010 from a 5-gallon can We wanted a fast-growing plant that would provide shade and privacy far more quickly than a tree would. Bambusa oldhamii did everything we expected, and more. We knew we’d eventually reach a point where removal would become necessary—even a clumping bamboo spreads outward, albeit it in a far more predictable and controlled fashion than a running bamboo. That point was finally reached now . I’m not good at estimating heights, but based on the height of the house, I’d say the tallest culms were 35 to 40 ft. Here’s a photo of Bambusa oldhamii taken on September 15, 2022: Bambusa oldhamii there And a photo taken in the same spot exactly two weeks later: Bambusa oldhamii gone The difference is mind-blowing! The bamboo inside the fence is a differen

UC Davis Arboretum plant sale October 1, 2022

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The University of California Arboretum will have its first plant sale of the season this Saturday, October 1, 2022, at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery on Garrod Drive . This sale is for Arboretum members only . The other two fall sales—on Saturday, October 22 and Saturday, November 5—will be open to the public. The availability list for the first sale is now online , both in Excel and Acrobat format. Going through the list takes a while—there are 797 entries on 69 pages—but for me, it’s one of the most fun things to do. As a volunteer, I was able to attend the VIP Early-Bird Sale yesterday and took some photos. The nursery is packed to the gills with plants, many of them blooming (I know many shoppers prefer to buy plants that are in flower). Salvia is the genus with the most individual taxa. There are 73 unique salvias for sale, both species and hybrids, ranging from Salvia ‘African Sky’ to Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’. This includes a few rosemarys, too, now that the former genus Rosmarin

A few things I'm grateful for

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Since we see our own garden every day, it’s only natural to focus on the things that need attention— an area that isn’t quite what you had envisioned, a plant that doesn’t fit in the way you were hoping, or a general feeling of discontent. I’m not immune to this. But I try not to dwell on the negatives and instead refocus on the things that are working, that make me happy. On that note, here are a few things in the garden I’m grateful for. Call it Mindfulness 101, September 2022 edition. The tree in the middle of the front yard is a palo blanco (originally Acacia willardiana , then Mariosousa willardiana , now Mariosousa heterophylla ) I may not love every detail, but overall I continue to be excited about how the front yard has turned out (above and below): This too: I love many types of plants, like this one: Nolina texana , aka Texas bear grass, one of the plants I brought back from the 2018 Garden Bloggers Fling in Austin, TX Nolina texana ...but my heart belongs to spikes and ros