Banquet Piece, Pieter Claez

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Turkey-tangle fog-fruit, what's in a name?

Ran across a little flower today in Sunol park. Found it in the Sunol plant pictures, named lemon verbena. Really? That's something else in my garden that really smells like lemon. Let's try again on that name. Its Latin name is Phyla nodiflora var. nodiflora, that much we agree. And it's in the Verbena family, Verbenaceae.

Piggiwiggia Pyramidalis
Calflora has it listed as Lippia, Common Lippia, Garden Lippia, and my favorite, Turkey-tangle fogfruit. I think we are getting closer to a name here! CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names adds capeweed, daisy lawn, knotted-flower phyla, and frog fruit.

Generally, in our household, if we don't know the name of something we will give it a temporary name like "Fuzzy yellow-top" or "Knock-your-socks-off". But Turkey-tangle fogfruit? I'm intrigued. That sounds like something Edward Lear made up in his Nonsense Book or should have made up. Like these pictures here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Big Yellow Zucchini Goes on a Voyage

The Challenge: use local summer produce to create a floral design.

At our second Slow Flower meeting this summer, in a charming old Hayward backyard, we met our challenge with green baby California Concord grapes, giant rainbow carrots, and a huge yellow squash.

My choice was the big yellow zucchini squash.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The plant genus with the angel and the devil

Angel flower versus Devil flower
Vinegar weed (Trichostema lanceolatum) is a really pretty little plant in the mint family (Lamiaceae). What a cute lavender flower. But boy oh boy if you rub your fingers on the leaves then smell it, it will curl your toes, knock your socks off, wake you right up, and then put X's over your eyes! I compare it to that ammonia capsule that someone waves under your nose to wake you up from a dead faint.

I like vinegar and that's no vinegar. Other names for this little plant are turpentine weed and camphor weed. I think it's even worse than that. Maybe it is all of the above and more stuff thrown in.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sunol Park, Wild and Rugged Scenes

Remember in a previous post on Rock Gardening that I mentioned that F.W. Meyer looked at Nature to inspire his rock gardens? His words reminded me of one of my favorite places, Sunol Regional Wilderness.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

F. W. Meyer, author of "The Rock Garden" column... Who was he?

F.W. Meyer wrote many articles in the journal The Garden in the early 1900's. I wrote about "The Rock Garden" column in a previous blog. But, who was he? Where did he create these rock gardens? Can I go see one?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Rock Gardens, one of the Branches of Gardening

Sometimes old horticulture journals and books in Google Books turn up in my searches. A favorite is William Robinson's The Garden, An Illustrated Weekly Journal of Gardening in all its Branches. William Robinson is credited with popularizing the wild garden in response to the more controlled Victorian gardens in England.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Why your dry creek garden look funny, and so does mine!

Not quite dry creek bed in Sunol Park.
When I was re-working our dry creek bed to make it look more natural, I googled and found the Town Mouse Country Mouse's blog page "Creating a Dry Creek Bed  - with Tips for a Natural Look". I pinned that helpful page and to my surprise it is one of the most re-pinned topics (right after log storage). That is why I titled this post in a somewhat cruel manner. I haven't actually seen your dry creek garden, but I know you are trying to make it look more natural!