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MONTEREY BAY MASTER GARDENERS Œ

April-May 2007

G ARDENING

ON

THE

E D G E

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Newsletter of the Monterey Bay Master Gardeners

Number 123 -- April/May 2007

Lily White

You might be unfamiliar with many of the twenty-one native lilies found on the Calflora database; ten are listed as rare and two are endangered, including Lilium pardalimum ssp. pitkiense and L. occidentale. However, you’re probably very familiar with an intoxicating Japanese import, Lilium longiflorum, or spring’s ubiquitous snowy-white Easter lily. Americans have been in love with Easter lilies for generations.

Christina Kriedt, MG06

Norte County, California where the climate and soil are uniquely suited to the fussy never-dormant lilies. It helps that the growers are willing to dedicate themselves to the demanding culture of their crop. It takes two to three years of intensive handling (each bulb is harvested three times, sorted three times, cleaned three times and replanted in a new field three times) to grow a bulb to Commercial Grade when it can finally be shipped to a com- mercial greenhouse, potted, tended and forced to bloom during a very specific period of time so that we can enjoy its loveliness on the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or after the vernal equinox, unless the full moon falls on a Sunday, which will push it to the following Sunday—aka:

Easter. That means a different week each year!

aka : Easter. That means a different week each year! In the 1880’s, almost all of

In the 1880’s, almost all of the L. longiflorum were grown in Bermuda where they bloom naturally in the spring. Mrs. T. Sargent is credited with bringing bulbs to Philadelphia and convincing a greenhouse grower to force them to bloom in springtime despite their penchant for blooming in summer at that latitude. At the turn of the century, after the Bermuda crop was destroyed by a virus, the Japanese cornered the market which they then dominated until World War II—no more exports to America. Not to worry! Luckily, way back in 1919 a WWI soldier, Louis Houghton, brought a suitcase full of bulbs home to Oregon and shared them with his friends, who shared them with their friends. Because of the abrupt deficiency of Japanese bulbs twenty-two years later, their Easter lilies became ‘White Gold,’ and many of those intrepid Oregon horticultural-hobbyists jumped into production; by 1945 there were about 1,200 growers from Vancouver, Canada to Long Beach, California.

Today 95% of all the bulbs are grown on nine or ten farms in a narrow coastal region from Curry County, Oregon to Del

There are some things to remember when you bring one of these beauties into your home. Most importantly, Lilium longiflorum is highly toxic to cats; it can cause kidney failure if ingested. If you find your cat nibbling on the leaves, call a vet immediately. As far as I can tell, you probably shouldn’t eat it either. That having been said, you can now remove the decorative foil wrapper to avoid drowning the lily in standing water. Cut off the yellow anthers before they begin to shed their pollen; not only does this prolong the life of the flower, but prevents the pollen staining clothing and surfaces. Remove spent flowers. Avoid over-watering, as in: wait until the soil surface feels dry and then water thoroughly, preferably in the sink. They prefer moderately cool temperatures: 60 o to 65 o F., slightly cooler at night. Avoid drafts and (continuednextpage)

Lily White Confessions: Spring Back A Morning at the Arboretum Book Review:

Sunset Western Garden Book

Arbor Day

Arboretum Book Review: Sunset Western Garden Book Arbor Day San Francisco Flower Show Beach Garden Project

San Francisco Flower Show Beach Garden Project La Mirada Project Al’s Corner: Container Soils What’s Blooming in Your Garden?

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April-May 2007 ΠMONTEREY BAY MASTER GARDENERS

exposure to heat or dry air. The good news is that your lily will be quite happy sitting in a window with bright, indirect sunlight. This is beginning to sound like the care and feeding of every houseplant I own.

But lilies will not thrive indoors for long and, unlike many of my tropical houseplants, you can actually plant your lily outside in a sunny location (roots in the shade under mulch or a groundcover such as violas or primroses) with very good drainage in soil rich with organic matter. Set the bulb 3 inches below the surface; mulch with another 3 inches of compost; water it immediately and thoroughly. Fertilize every month to six weeks. When it begins to turn brown later in the season, cut it back. New growth will emerge. It might bloom late this summer; otherwise, you’ll probably be rewarded with stunning white fabulously fragrant flowers next June or July.

Thanks to some national promotional efforts, Easter lilies are showing up at other times of the year: Rosie O'Donnell and Martha Stewart have used L. longifolium on the sets of their television shows. But, never fear, the growers in Oregon and California will produce at least another thirteen million bulbs this year and next, ad infinitum, so there will be no shortage of lovely bulbs for your house and your garden and your TV show. Œ

Lilies in their field
Lilies in their field

When buying a lily, look for a plant with flowers in various stages of bloom including unopened buds. The rich green foliage should be dense and extend all the way down the stem to the soil line indicating a healthy root system. A well-proportioned plant is about twice the height of the pot. You should also check the for signs of yellowing (improper culture), insects, or disease.

Confessions of a Reluctant Gardener:

Spring BackChristina Kriedt, MG06

What is it about spring? You wake up one morning in late February (spring comes early here) and you know your life has changed. You can smell it, feel it under your skin and see it under your fingernails. Brown pelicans are winging back from Mexico and defrosted monarchs are en route to Canada.

Buds swell, pale leaves unfurl. Spring is sprung. The grass is ris.

You don't quite

know what it is you DO want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” I wonder where the flowers is.

Right on cue, my own little piece of California awakens with forgotten bulbs, mysterious rosettes, donations from transient birds and assorted anonymous new growth stretching insistently through the mulch. I used to promise myself every fall that I’d install markers by the plants that I knew would retreat into the earth. And every single year I have failed to do so. I realize now that I ‘forgot’ to identify their hiding places because it is so wonderful to be surprised. (The effect is improved by a poor memory.)

Mark Twain said perfectly, “It's spring fever

I decided to forego any soil disturbance and just add water to whatever was trying to grow there, not so much out of any gardening know-how as gardening laziness.

To my amazement and satisfaction, a few weeks of watering encouraged unexpected vegetation to emerge, tentatively at first: Dahlias, Linaria purpurea, ginger, Dianthus, Achillea, more Alstroemerias, Coreopsis, sweet alyssum, Babiana…. They limped along for a time until I finally began to up the ante with compost and mulch and hack away at the weeds. I also began to add a goofy assortment of plants (gifts and rescues). No one could ever accuse me of being a landscape designer.

Those beds are a work in progress and I may never get them to the place where the words ‘flourishing’ and ‘Christina’s raised beds’ can be used in the same sentence. The soil was, and still is, far from perfect and it is my theory that the row of majestic redwoods that grace the back fence is interfering: the tenacious shallow roots of my beautiful giants are tapping water and nutrients from the ornamentals only a few meters away. Are the beds suffering from dreaded Redwood Root Intrusion?

Oh, who cares? I can’t worry about that now. It’s spring. My garden is celebrating it’s annual rebirth and I want to celebrate with it. As the renowned propagator of wit, Robin Williams, once proclaimed, “Spring is nature's way of saying, ‘Let's party!’ ” Œ

I moved into the house on Eastside Santa Cruz about three years ago in the ‘heat’ of summer. Two very irregularly shaped purple raised beds dominated the backyard, and I believed them to be barren, but for the most stunted Alstroemerias I’d ever seen (a miniature variety?) and a couple of severely drought-stressed strawberry plants. Even the few weeds, mostly the omnipresent Oxalis corniculata, were embarrassing.

MONTEREY BAY MASTER GARDENERS Œ

April-May 2007

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A Morning at the ArboretumChristina Kriedt, MG06

Tammy Tahara and Alicia Molina brought us to the UCSC Arboretum for our March Quarterly Meeting where Ron Arruda led us on a tour of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa under misty skies. (We reacquainted ourselves with California natives too.) There is no shortage of fascinating plants among the countless genera in their collection, including : Banksia, Protea, Leptospermum, Grevillea and Leucadendron, all members of the Proteaceae family.

It is a very satisfying setting for a restful stroll. Rabbits, quail and, if you’re lucky - or unlucky - cougars. Bring a camera.

if you’re lucky - or unlucky - cougars. Bring a camera. Look closely and prepare to

Look closely and prepare to be astonished. All photos by Christina Kriedt, except where noted.

Protea. Photo by Tom Karwin

Kriedt, except where noted. Protea. Photo by Tom Karwin Leucadendrons The rabbits are fairly comfortable around
Kriedt, except where noted. Protea. Photo by Tom Karwin Leucadendrons The rabbits are fairly comfortable around

Leucadendrons

where noted. Protea. Photo by Tom Karwin Leucadendrons The rabbits are fairly comfortable around human visitors.
where noted. Protea. Photo by Tom Karwin Leucadendrons The rabbits are fairly comfortable around human visitors.

The rabbits are fairly comfortable around human visitors.

The rabbits are fairly comfortable around human visitors. Banksia Bouquet of plants from down under. They

Banksia

are fairly comfortable around human visitors. Banksia Bouquet of plants from down under. They make excellent

Bouquet of plants from down under. They make excellent dried arrangements also. Photo by Cheri Callis

One of many lovely Arboretum plantings

under. They make excellent dried arrangements also. Photo by Cheri Callis One of many lovely Arboretum
under. They make excellent dried arrangements also. Photo by Cheri Callis One of many lovely Arboretum

buds

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April-May 2007 ΠMONTEREY BAY MASTER GARDENERS

Book Review: Sunset Garden Book

Updated Resource for Gardeners—Thomas Karwin, MG99

I have recommended the Sunset Western

Garden Book several times as an essential resource for home gardeners in the Monterey Bay area (and in several Western states). When a new edition of this well- worn reference book appears, as it did this past week, it's worth noticing.

This is the eighth edition of this publication,

the last version published in 2001. The first

edition appeared in 1954, replacing the Sunset Flower Garden Book (1947). (You guessed it: I have a historical collection of Sunset garden books, for reasons that are not entirely clear. I'm still missing the fifth

edition, which was published in the 1980s.)

Sunset describes the new book as "thoroughly updated and fresh-looking," with "a new easy-to-read design, more plant photography, larger illustrations" and 500 new plant descriptions.

I compared the seventh and eighth edition

entries for the dahlia and other popular

genera and found very little change in most

cases:

• Dahlia. This section is basically unchanged. I did spot the addition of a factoid: "Some forms have brownish purple leaves: a well-known example is 'Bishop of

Llandaff.'" That's good to know. The eighth edition also omits a useful summary of cultivation techniques and instead provides

a short list of dahlias for cutting.

• Iris. A few of the iris photos were

updated, but the text is unchanged. • Rhododendron. The cultivation information is unchanged, but the lengthy lists of hybrid "rhodies" and azaleas have

been updated with additions and deletions.

• Rose. The cultivation information has

been lightly edited and rewritten, with the same headings; the plant descriptions have been substantially updated and reorganized.

The section on "The West's Climate Zones" is unchanged (no effect yet from global warming, apparently), but includes new photos depicting the zones.

A scan of the "Plant Selection Guide"

revealed only a few additions and subtractions and some reorganization. This

continues to be one of the very useful sections of this reference book. The gardener uses this section to identify plants for specific uses and then learns about the plant in the following section, the Western Plant Encyclopedia, which is the core of the book.

The section "A Practical Guide to Gardening" has been substantially updated in the images and sidebars although many of the images are the same as in the seventh edition. The main text appears to have been only lightly edited and rewritten.

The back of the book also includes several useful sections: "Demystifying Scientific Plant Names," "Pronunciation Guide" and "Glossary of Gardening Terms." The seventh edition's section on "Public and Historic Gardens" is not included in the eighth edition.

I was taken aback initially by the omission

of the "Index of Scientific and Common Names," which is an essential tool for finding plants in the seventh edition's alphabetical listing of plants. Then I discovered that the eighth edition merges common names into the alphabetical listing.

I will have to get used to that approach, but it should work fine.

The eighth edition also has a new feature, "gardening tips from respected plant experts throughout the West," which seems more appropriate for a popular gardening magazine than a serious reference book.

The new book is a handsome product, and reasonably priced at $39.95 in hard cover and $34.95 for the paperback version. It is readily available at lower prices:

Amazon.com offers the hard cover version for $26.37, with free shipping, and the paperback version for $23.07. I'm told that it is available in paperback at Costco for $23.80, including sales tax.

The avid gardener will want to have the eighth edition of the Sunset Western Garden Book to be up to date, but certainly could manage quite well with the seventh edition. Œ

could manage quite well with the seventh edition. ΠFirst Edition--1954 Seventh Edition --2001 Eighth Edition

First Edition--1954

could manage quite well with the seventh edition. ΠFirst Edition--1954 Seventh Edition --2001 Eighth Edition

Seventh Edition --2001

could manage quite well with the seventh edition. ΠFirst Edition--1954 Seventh Edition --2001 Eighth Edition

Eighth Edition --2007

MONTEREY BAY MASTER GARDENERS Œ

April-May 2007

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Arbor DayChristina Kriedt, MG06

On my list of things to do before I die is ‘plant a grove of trees.’ I have never given much thought to what kind of tree, although I am quite fond of redwoods, Chinese evergreen elms, oak of any species, and big old banyans. I really love our naturalized Eucalyptus trees, something I cannot admit to my fellow graduates from the horticulture department of Merritt College, as the entire genus is considered by many of them to be comprised solely of weeds. But there are many lovely and useful trees, and if you join the Arbor Day Foundation you will receive ten of them, like flowering dogwoods or American redbuds, free of charge. 1

Arbor Day was founded in Nebraska by J. Sterling Morton who was originally from Michigan where trees were abundant. He and other transplanted people started the effort to make their new state greener to provide wood for building houses and for use as home-heating fuel. The first Arbor Day was proclaimed on Wednesday, the 10th day of April, 1872, offering rewards to the county that “shall plant properly in Nebraska the greatest number of trees." Over a million were planted! Arbor Day is now celebrated all over the world from Australia to Yugoslavia, as well as in every U.S. state.

Ed Perry, Stanislaus County Farm Advisor, wrote, “The Arbor Day idea quickly spread to neighboring states. Within the next twenty years practically all the states celebrated Arbor Day by planting trees with appropriate ceremonies. In California, Arbor Day is sometimes celebrated on March 7, which is also the birth date of the famous horticulturalist Luther Burbank. Many celebrations are also held on the last Friday in April each year, which is considered National Arbor Day.” 2 According to the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department, Santa Cruz “celebrates Arbor Day in September. Although National Arbor Day is celebrated in April [and this year California celebrated

March 7-14], Santa Cruz opts to celebrate in September since the fall is a better time of year to plant trees.” 3

The mission of the Arbor Day Foundation is simply to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. “Through mass- media communications, by providing low-cost trees for planting, and by producing high-quality, easy-to-use educational materials, we work to make tree planting and care something in which nearly everyone can be involved. We also create mechanisms through which the average individual can directly support positive tree conservation and education projects. It is our constant goal to expand a person's desire to plant a tree into a lifelong enthusiasm for tree planting and care, and for positive involvement in conservation issues relating to trees.” 1

Green Venture of Canada: “Greening our urban environment with native species trees can help reduce harmful emissions that create smog. In 50 years 1 tree can remove 60,000 pounds of air pollution . A single row of trees can reduce street dust by 25%. Two mature trees can produce enough oxygen for 4 people.” 4 So go out and plant a tree.

You can contact the Arbor Day Foundation online: http:// www.arborday.org/shopping/memberships/memberships.cfm or by calling 1-888-448-7337. Their spring shipments of 6-10 inch trees are made between February 1 and May 31. Fall shipments are made between October 15 and December 10. Membership costs $10.00 for six months or $15.00 for a year. Either way you will get your ten trees.

A world without trees is like – nothing. Œ

1 http://www.arborday.org

2 http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/filelibrary/2193/186.htm, with permission

3 http://www.santacruzpl.org/readyref/files/a-b/arbor.shtml 4 http://www.greenventure.ca/tp.asp?ID=114

A grove of scarce Santa Cruz cypresses, Cupressus abramsiana, lives at the UCSC Arboretum. In all only five groves totaling more than 5100 trees can be found within about 356 acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Bonny Doon population is the largest and supports over 3000 trees. Monterey cypress, Cupressus macrocarpa, has larger cones. In the wild the Monterey cypress is confined to only two small groves near Carmel and Monterey, including the Cypress Grove Trail at Point Lobos. Œ

including the Cypress Grove Trail at Point Lobos. ΠThe Sequoia sempervirens pictured left appeared as
including the Cypress Grove Trail at Point Lobos. ΠThe Sequoia sempervirens pictured left appeared as
including the Cypress Grove Trail at Point Lobos. ΠThe Sequoia sempervirens pictured left appeared as

The Sequoia sempervirens pictured left appeared as a seedling in a pot of tuberous begonias in 1993. The begonias died long ago, but the transplanted redwood lives on. The container is 14.5” tall and 16” wide. The soil has been changed only once since it was transplanted in 1997, but a rich mulch is added yearly. A redwood can grow 30 feet in the first 20 years, so I think it is safe to say that the growth of this 6-foot tree has been severely stunted by the confinement of its roots. Christina Kriedt MG06 Œ

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April-May 2007 ΠMONTEREY BAY MASTER GARDENERS

San Francisco Flower ShowKari Olsen, MG06, Author and Photographer

Flower Show — Kari Olsen, MG06, Author and Photographer The 2007 San Francisco Flower and Garden

The 2007 San Francisco Flower and Garden Show display garden pavilion with “Henry’s Garden” in the foreground (Redwood Landscape, Inc.) Crystal Award. Though the overall size of the show was trimmed down, the display gardens continued to be fresh and innovative.

the display gardens continued to be fresh and innovative. Unique among this year’s show, the “Balance

Unique among this year’s show, the “Balance on the Edge” garden illustrates the delicate balance on the water’s edge where people share the environment with the earth’s other living creatures. By incorporating concepts of sustainability and recognizing the need to protect the native ecosystem and water quality, people along the watershed can live as part of the web of life, while also conserving the resources and creating beautiful garden landscapes. (College of Marin Department of Environmental Landscaping) Crystal Award.

Department of Environmental Landscaping) Crystal Award. Noted ornamental grass guru John Greenlee’s “The

Noted ornamental grass guru John Greenlee’s “The Metropolitan Meadow: Driving Towards a Solution” garden is chock full of potential meadow grasses and companion plants. Proclaiming the arrival of the “meadow revolution,” this display garden educates lawn-lovers that natural lawns and meadows are beautiful environmentally-friendly alternatives to the conventional lawn. (Greenlee Nursery) American Horticultural Society Environmental Award, Garden Designers’ Award and Gold Award.

Award, Garden Designers’ Award and Gold Award. The “Martini Modern” display also includes a “sit down

The “Martini Modern” display also includes a “sit down and relax” garden but with a distinctly modern flair. A state-of-the- art martini bar, outdoor kitchen, spa, built-in furniture and outdoor fireplace complete the luxurious garden setting. Designed by Michele Swanson, MG ’96, of Cultivate Art Design. (Garden Design Magazine) California Landscape Contractors Award and Gold Award.

MONTEREY BAY MASTER GARDENERS Œ

April-May 2007

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MONTEREY BAY MASTER GARDENERS ΠApril-May 2007 7 For a complete list of display garden award

For a complete list of display garden award winners, visit the SFGS press area at http://www.gardenshow.com/sf/press/pressreleases.asp

at http://www.gardenshow.com/sf/press/pressreleases.asp “Wine Re-Defined: Beyond the Half Barrel in the Garden”

“Wine Re-Defined: Beyond the Half Barrel in the Garden” demonstrates the potential for creative reuse of materials from the California wine industry. The furniture, arbor, lanterns, even the stepping stones are made from recycled materials and the garden setting invites one to sit down and relax at the end of the day. What are the stepping stones made of? Hundreds of wine corks! Sounds strange but they were delightful to walk on and made a unique crunchy sound with every step. (UC Berkeley: Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning) Association of Professional Landscape Designers Award and Gold Award.

A large portion of the garden titled “The Day After Tomorrow” features a birch woodland and naturalistic meadow of Festuca rubra ‘Molate Blue’ sprinkled with perennials, ferns, and grasses. The plant list totals 11 plants, a striking contrast to the nearby Greenlee demonstration meadow whose plant list covers a full sheet of paper – on both sides! The simple, natural appearance of this garden stood out among the display gardens at this year’s show. (Kathleen Shaeffer Design and L. Livingston Landscaping) Crystal Award.

Design and L. Livingston Landscaping) Crystal Award. The fantastic “Under the Sea” garden draws its
Design and L. Livingston Landscaping) Crystal Award. The fantastic “Under the Sea” garden draws its
Design and L. Livingston Landscaping) Crystal Award. The fantastic “Under the Sea” garden draws its

The fantastic “Under the Sea” garden draws its inspiration from the similarity between plants in the landscape and plants and animals living in the underwater seascape. The otherworldly shapes and colors of cactus and succulents blend together to become the sea anemones, sea grasses, kelp, sea stars, and shells we see in Monterey Bay tide pools (no surprise there – Robin Stockwell’s Succulent Gardens provided the plants!) Sculpture and playful accessories contribute a touch of whimsy to this garden fantasy world. (Organic Mechanics) Golden Gate Cup (Best of Show) and Gold Award.

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April-May 2007 ΠMONTEREY BAY MASTER GARDENERS

The Beach Garden ProjectKathleen Sonntag, MG06

The Beach Garden Project is sponsored by the Monterey Bay Dunes Coalition (California Native Plant Society, Sierra Club- Ventana Chapter, Monterey Peninsula Audubon Society), the Monterey Bay Natural History Association and the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Its mission is to preserve the coastal dunes and beaches that stretch from Monterey to the north of the Salinas River.

Mary Wilson has been doing beach restoration with the Beach Garden Project since 1993. Al Derrick grew plants for this year's planting season and provided some valuable insight on ways to have better success germinating some of the trickier species. Diana Huang, Cathy Herbermann and Gigi Tacheny are other MBMGs who are currently working on this project. Mary says, “I was interested in native plants and, as a fairly new resident of Seaside, I was also interested in ways I could directly help to improve my local environment (Seaside State Beach was to be one of the project areas.) I immediately agreed to help.”

one of the project areas.) I immediately agreed to help.” She finds being a part of

She finds being a part of this project has been extremely satisfying. The volunteers are helping to restore the dunes to something more like their original, pre -ice plant monoculture state. “Thinking about environmental problems can be depressing, but being able to physically take direct action to help improve the situation feels good.”

The Beach Garden Project volunteers come from the community – adults, school groups, whole families turn out to help with planting. There are three components:

In the late summer seeds are collected. This involves going out into the dunes to responsibly collect seeds. Seeds are turned over to State Parks staff, who clean, sort and package them.

In the fall, there are propagation demonstrations. Volunteers take planting trays (which each hold 98 growing tubes), soil and seeds to grow the plants at home or school. Here is GiGi with a trunk full of plants ready to use for restoration.

with a trunk full of plants ready to use for restoration. In January and February, when

In January and February, when we're getting our rain the young plants are placed in the ground on the dunes.

The best part is coming back to see how the plants are growing and bringing the dunes back to life. Dunes are moving hills of sand, forever building (spring, summer) and being torn down (fall and winter- sand erodes and washes out to sea, forming sandbars just offshore). Native plants cooperate with the evolution of the dunes; ice plant and shoreline development interrupt this delicate balance. A three-year recovery period is needed in areas like Seaside Beach where the ice plant was sprayed and native plant seedlings were planted. With the native plants comes the wildlife - rabbits, mice, birds, insects, lizards and foxes. The endangered Smith’s blue butterfly and Snowy Plovers return once their habitat is restored. The threatened legless lizard returns once the healthy dune environment is restored

Pictures of Smith’s blue butterfly on buckwheat at http:// montereybay.com/creagrus/smithsblue.html

native to the dunes at http://

More about the plants that are

www.mtycounty.com/mbs_pgs/BchDune.html

Volunteers are welcome for any or all parts of the beach garden project: responsible native plant seed collecting, growing plants, and replanting the dunes. Master Gardeners hours can be counted as either advanced training hours or volunteer hours. If you would like to help with this project, contact Joey Dorrell-Canepa. She will put you on her mailing list to receive a brochure with the year's schedule and can also put you on her e-mail contact list. Her phone number is: (831) 623-9048 and her e-mail address is: scanepa@ix.netcom.com.

623-9048 and her e-mail address is: scanepa@ix.netcom.com . Thanks to Mary and Joey for their help

Thanks to Mary and Joey for their help in providing the photos and information for this article.

MONTEREY BAY MASTER GARDENERS Œ

April-May 2007

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La Mirada ProjectKathleen Sonntag, MG06

Master Gardeners, Gigi Tacheny and Carl Voss have been helping tend the La Mirada Monterey Museum of Art rose and rhododendron gardens since 2001. This is one of the oldest gardens in the Monterey area, located on approximately 1.5 acres surrounding the original adobe and house addition on Via Mirada opposite El Estero lake. In 1999, Master Gardener Jo Irmas of Carmel became involved in the garden because a faithful garden worker was moving out of state and Jo saw the need for the experience that the Master Gardeners could bring to help maintain this wonderful community asset. You will see Gigi and Carl there on Thursdays with three other volunteers (not MBMGs) between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. They maintain and improve the garden, enjoy lunch together while providing a beautiful garden for visitors to the museum to enjoy. If you have never been to La Mirada Museum of Art, it is worth a visit and the gardens are a “must see.” http://www.montereyart.org/ Photos , below and center right, by Carl Voss

“must see.” http://www.montereyart.org/ Photos , below and center right, by Carl Voss La Mirada Adobe in

La Mirada Adobe in the 1890s.

“must see.” http://www.montereyart.org/ Photos , below and center right, by Carl Voss La Mirada Adobe in
“must see.” http://www.montereyart.org/ Photos , below and center right, by Carl Voss La Mirada Adobe in
“must see.” http://www.montereyart.org/ Photos , below and center right, by Carl Voss La Mirada Adobe in
“must see.” http://www.montereyart.org/ Photos , below and center right, by Carl Voss La Mirada Adobe in

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April-May 2007 ΠMONTEREY BAY MASTER GARDENERS

Al’s Corner: Container Soils and Water MovementAl Derrick, MG95

Container gardening is growing in popularity and a look at soils designed for long-term container plantings, I think is appropriate. The organic structural element in containers begins breaking down from the moment it is included in the mix. This is the element, which will hold water, and nutrients that feeds the plants. Peat moss is often the major organic filling this role, and it is effective, but it does have some shortcomings. Perlite, lava rock, sand, pumice, vermiculite, baked clay (Turface) also play a minor role in the nutrient and water retention. Of these elements of container soil mixes peat moss has the shortest life expectancy. As organics break down the particle size is reduced, affecting the capillary attraction, increasing the amount of soil saturation.

Water movement through container soil is dependent on gravity and resisted by capillary attraction of the soil particles. The smaller the particle size the more surface area and the more capillary attraction. Every gardener understands that clay holds more water and drains slower than sand. The major reason is the difference in the particle size, and the resulting difference in capillary attraction. In containers there is always a bottom where the soil stops, unlike in the garden. With this in mind it is apparent there will be a level in all containers where the forces of gravity will be equaled by the resistance of capillary attraction. At this level drainage will stop and from here to bottom of the pot the soil will remain saturated. This water can only be evaporated or used by the plant. The roots of the plant need air to take up the water and do not want to grow into this saturated level.

the water and do not want to grow into this saturated level. It is apparent that

It is apparent that the size of the soil particles, controlling the capillary attraction is also controlling the level of soil saturation. The size of the container, diameter or height will make no difference. Lets pretend this saturated soil is six inches deep and the container is ten inches deep. It is easy to see we have only four inches of soil with good aeration for

our plants to use. If however the container was twenty inches deep, with the same soil our saturated soil remains six inches leaving fourteen inches for our plants roots to use. If we decide we do not want to use that much soil and fill the lower ten inches of the container with rocks or packing peanuts, we will be back to four inches of useable soil if we are using the same soil mix. Drainage will not be improved.

The amount of saturated soil can be reduced if we use a soil

mix made up of larger particle size with less capillary

attraction for the water. An additional benefit is longer container soil life or less frequent need to repot with new soil. Remember it is gradual reduction of particle size of the organic component, which we refer to as the “breaking down of the mix” that causes us to repot. As you can see the

breaking down is really increasing the amount of saturated,

unusable soil. If we replace the peat moss with ground fir or

pine bark the soil life can be extended and the amount of

saturated soil reduced

increased to compensate for the faster more complete water- air exchange of the soil, which we will usually refer to as improved drainage. Œ

The frequency of watering will be

Provide the right environment and these trees will grow well in containers:

Acer spp., maples, especially Acer Japonica, Japanese and Acer circinatum, vine Betula spp., birch Camellia sasanqua Citrus spp.: orange, lime, grapefruit, dwarf Meyer and Eureka lemons, dwarf kumquat, dwarf Cotinus coggygria, smoke tree Ginkgo Ilex spp., holly Juniperus spp., juniper Koelreuteria paniculata, goldenrain tree Lagerstroemia indica, crape myrtle Magnolias of all kinds Malus spp., dwarf apples Picea glauca 'Conica,'dwarf Alberta spruce Pinus aristata, bristlecone pine Pinus spp., pine Prunus spp., genetic dwarf nectarine or peach Prunus spp., spring-flowering cherries Psidium spp., guava: pineapple, Chilean or strawberry Robinia spp., locust Salix spp., willow Taxus baccata, common yew Trachycarpus fortunei, windmill palm, pictured

Robinia spp., locust Salix spp., willow Taxus baccata , common yew Trachycarpus fortunei, windmill palm, pictured

MONTEREY BAY MASTER GARDENERS Œ

April-May 2007

11

What’s Blooming in Your Garden in April and May?

The following is exerpted from the What’s Bloomin’ database which is based on observations made by Monterey Bay Master

Gardeners in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties. The entire database is online at http://www

gardeners.org. Please continue to send your data to Annette Longuevan at bloomingepoll@gmail.com. A form is on the website.

montereybaymaster

April Abutilon spp. Aechmea spp. & hybrids Alstroemeria hybrids Aquilegia spp. Camelia spp. & hybrids Ceanothus spp. & hybrids Centrantus ruber Chrysanthemum spp. Clematis spp. Clivia miniata Crocosmia crocosmiiflora Cuphea hyssopifolia Cyclamen spp. Daphne odora Dymondia margaretae Erigeron karvinskianus Eschscholzia californica Festuca californica Fremontadendron spp. & hybrids Fuchsia hybrida Geranium spp. Hebe spp. & hybrids Iris - bearded hybrids Iris X hollanica cultivars Iris - Pacific Coast hybrids Jasminumpolyanthum Lavatera assurgentiflora Lavendula spp. Leptospermum scoparium Lunaria annua

Malus spp. &hybrids Melaleuca alternifolia Muscari spp. Myosotis spp. Narcissus spp. &hybrids Oxalis spp. Passiflora spp. Pyrus communis Pelargonium spp. Pieris japonica Primula spp. Prunus, subgenus Cerasus Prunus domestica Prunus tomentosa Psoralea pinnata Ranunculus asiaticus Rhododendron spp. &hybrids Rhododendron spp. &hybrids Ribes spp. Rosa spp. and hybrids Rosemarinus officinalis Salvia leucantha Senecio hybridus Spiraea prunifolia Sutera cordata Tropaeolum majus Tulipa spp. & hybrids Vaccinium spp. Westringia fruticosa Wisteria spp. Zantedeschia aethiopica

May Abutilon spp. Aechmea spp. & hybrids Aloe vera Allium schoenoprasum Alstroemeria hybrids Aquilegia spp. Borago officinalis Brassica alboglabra Brugmansia spp. Calendula officinalis Callistemon spp. Camelia spp. and hybrids Centrantus ruber Choisya ternata Chrysanthemum spp. Citrus X limon Citrus spp. Clematis spp. Cuphea hyssopifolia Cyclamen spp. Cymbidium hybrids Dietes iridioides (D. vegeta) Digitalis spp. Dymondia margaretae Echium fastuosum (E. candicans) Erigeron karvinskianus Eschscholzia californica Fragaria chiloensis Freesia hybrids Fuchsia hybrida Geranium spp.

Heuchera spp. &hybrids Impatiens spp. & hybrids Iris - bearded hybrids Iris - Pacific Coast hybrids Jasminumpolyanthum Kniphofia uvaria Lamiummaculatum Lavatera assurgentiflora Lavendula spp. Limonium spp. Malus domestica Melaleuca alternifolia Mimulus spp. Myosotis spp. Paeonia suffruticosa Pyrus communis Pelargonium spp. Petunia hybrida Primula spp. Rhododendron spp. & hybrids Rosa spp. and hybrids Salvia leucantha Senecio hybridus Strelitzia reginae Sutera cordata Thysanotis spp. Tropaeolum majus Tulipa spp. & hybrids Vaccinium spp. Viola spp. Wisteria spp. Zantedeschia aethiopica

spp . Viola spp . Wisteria spp . Zantedeschia aethiopica This year I have some new

This year I have some new duds. The netting suit from Cabelas, which fits over even winter jackets, has given me great peace of mind after being bitten twice this year by ticks. The suit also covers the head.

The Harley helmet (my husband's) is to soften the blows of the red shouldered hawks - once they finish their nest, and until the chicks fledge, the parents will attack if we are within 200 feet of their tree. I was whacked twice last year - just think of where those talons have been.

Leora Worthington, MG03 http://www.cabelas.com/

Mark your calendar for the

- just think of where those talons have been. Leora Worthington, MG03 http://www.cabelas.com/ Mark your calendar

12

April-May 2007 ΠMONTEREY BAY MASTER GARDENERS

Etcetera: Relevant Internet MiscellanyChristina Kriedt, MG06

The White Flowering Cherry, Prunus yedoensis, aka Yoshino Cherry is extraordinarily beautiful in Spring when it’s covered with white blossoms that resemble cotton candy. It makes an excellent street tree eventually reaching 40 ft.

http://www.greenwoodnursery.com/page.cfm/7626 Œ

Most container gardens are going to require daily watering in hot weather. Even so, there will be times when your potted plants are going to be baking in the sun. Give your container a fighting chance by using drought-tolerant plants that can handle the intensified heat and dry soil of a container garden.

http://gardening.about.com/od/gardendesign/tp/ContainerGarden.htm Œ

The Easter lily cultivar most commonly grown for U.S. markets is the "Nellie White." It is named for a lily grower’s wife and has large, white, fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers. Œ

When a tick is found embedded in the skin, use a fine pointed tweezers at the point of attachment, and grasp the tick head firmly. Remember to wear latex gloves. Using slow, steady, firm traction, pull the tick straight out from the skin. It is critical NOT to squeeze the tick body at any time -- this can inject more potential pathogens in to you (or your pet). Cleanse the skin with mild soap and water. If a small part of the tick breaks off, you can try to remove it as you would a splinter, but it is probably best to leave it alone. The piece will 'eject' it in time. Place the tick in a jar of alcohol, noting the

date, in case of future illness. Tick identification and location of tick infestation will be important.

http://vetmedicine.about.com/c/ht/00/07/How_Remove

_Tick0962935143.htm Œ

You can buy the 1954 first edition of Sunset Western Garden Book on eBay for about $15.00; softcover, spiralbound. Œ

The sooner a tree can stand alone, the sooner it will become strong. Remove support and anchor stakes soon after the tree can stand on its own, usually by the end of the first growing season.

http://cetulare.ucdavis.edu/mg/Tree%20Planting%20Tips.pdf Œ

The Cow Palace was originally known as the California State Livestock Pavilion; it has been the home of the annual Grand National Rodeo, Horse & Stock Show since 1941 except for a break during WWII when it was used for processing soldiers for the Pacific Theater. It is officially the 1-A District Agricultural Association, a state agency of the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Division of Fairs and Expositions. Œ

The publisher of "Sunset" magazine offers self-guiding walking tours of its Menlo Park gardens which contain more than 300 varieties of trees, shrubs, vines, annuals and perennials. Open 9:00-4:30, M-F.

http://www.sunset.com/sunset/general/article/0,20633,784093,00.html

80 Willow Rd, Menlo Park, CA 94025, (650) 321-3600 Œ

80 Willow Rd, Menlo Park, CA 94025, (650) 321-3600 ΠLeucadendron, Australian native Protea, Australian native

Leucadendron, Australian native

CA 94025, (650) 321-3600 ΠLeucadendron, Australian native Protea, Australian native Fremontodendron , flannel bush,

Protea, Australian native

Leucadendron, Australian native Protea, Australian native Fremontodendron , flannel bush, California native Editor

Fremontodendron, flannel bush, California native

Editor Assistant Editors Design/Layout Circulation Kathleen Sonntag Sharon Ettinger and Christina Kriedt Christina
Editor
Assistant Editors
Design/Layout
Circulation
Kathleen Sonntag
Sharon Ettinger and Christina Kriedt
Christina Kriedt
Jan Olafsson
Contributors:
Al Derrick
Tom Karwin
Kathleen Sonntag
Christina Kriedt
Hotline: 831-763-8007
Kari
Olsen

MONTEREY BAY MASTER GARDENERS Œ

April-May 2007

13

MONTEREY BAY MASTER GARDENERS ΠApril-May 2007 13 Left: Ribes sanguineum , red-flowering currant. Right: Australian
MONTEREY BAY MASTER GARDENERS ΠApril-May 2007 13 Left: Ribes sanguineum , red-flowering currant. Right: Australian

Left: Ribes sanguineum, red-flowering currant. Right: Australian color in the UCSC Arboretum., Photos by Christina Kriedt, this page and previous

Sources Christina Kriedt, MG06

Our Sponsors Sierra Azul Nursery San Lorenzo Lumber Company The Garden Company FezQ Bokay Hidden Gardens The Potting Shed Wild Rose Landscape Design

Lily White Photo from the Easter Lily Research Foundation Lily, Flowers and Plants Association Easter Lily Research Foundation Easter Lilies - Selecting, Caring For and Re-Blooming Your Easter Lily Then and Now: Easter Lilies, The Agriculture Quarterly, State of Oregon Dept. of Agriculture

Why Do We Use Lilies at Easter Time?

Arbor Day Arbor Day Foundation online: http://www.arborday.org http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/filelibrary/2193/186.htm, with permission http://www.santacruzpl.org/readyref/files/a-b/arbor.shtml

http://www.greenventure.ca/tp.asp?ID=114

San Francisco Flower Show http://www.gardenshow.com/

http://www.sierraazul.com, 763-0939 http://www.sanlorenzolumber.com/santacruz.html, 423-0223 http://www.thegardenco.com/, 429-8424 Carmel Valley, 659-1268 Salinas, 659-1268 Aptos, 688-7011 Aptos, 685-1626 Aptos, 539-5841

http://www.flowers.org.uk/Flowers/facts/k-r/lily.htm

http://www.easterlily.org/index.htm

http://gardening.about.com/od/springinthegarden/a/EasterLily.htm

http://www.content.onlypunjab.com/Article/Why-Do-We-Use-

Lilies-At-Easter-Time-/4200320092003323585

Beach Garden Project http://montereybay.com/creagrus/smithsblue.html http://www.mtycounty.com/mbs_pgs/BchDune.html

La Mirada http://www.mon tereyart.org/

UCSC Arboretum

http://www2.ucsc.edu/arboretum/

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.

~Margaret Atwood~

Copyright © 2007 MBMG. All rights reserved