Friday, December 2, 2016
C.H. Shinn wrote of early horticulture starting from the mission period.
Continues Early Horticulture in California, by Charles Howard Shinn, Overland Monthly, Volume 6, Issue 32, Aug 1885; pp. 117-128
Also of interest is Gardens of the California Missions.
Saturday, November 26, 2016
|Santa Barbara Botanic Garden|
- Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Japanese Garden, "A tea garden in the canyon"
- Nichi-Bei "How to make your Japanese Garden Drought-Resistent"
- Where to gain inspiration Pacific Horitculture "California Japanese Style Gardens"
- The Dry Landscapes of Zen Temples Meet California's Drought
- Evoking Native Landscape Using Japanese Garden Principles
Friday, November 25, 2016
- History of Alameda County, California, including its geology, topography, soil, and productions; 1883; by Munro-Fraser, J. P.; Wood, Myron W.
- Illustrated album of Alameda County, California; its early history and progress--agriculture, viticulture and horticulture--educational, manufacturing and railroad advantages--Oakland and environs--interior townships--statistics, etc., etc; 1893
- History of Washington Township, Alameda County, California, Country Club of Washington Township, 1904
- Past and Present of Alameda County California, 1914, vol. I and II
- History of Alameda County California, vol 1 and 2 Past and present of Alameda County, Frank C. Merritt, 1928
Sunday, November 20, 2016
|What Would Deer Do?|
The California Bay Tree is well suited to sheering,
if you believe what the deer do.
- Las Pilitas - "How to Prune Native Plants (without killing them)"
- Yerba Buena - "Basic Pruning & Deadheading Techniques For Common California Native Plants"
- Take a class from your local native pruning expert at Merritt College
- Care & Maintenance of Southern California Native Plant Gardens (Cuidado y Mantenimiento de Jardines de Plantas Nativas del Sur de California)
- California Native Gardening: A Month-by-Month Guide
Sunday, October 16, 2016
|Looking very Smaug-like|
Poncirus trifoliata (aka trifoliate orange) is from Northern China and Korea. The original plan by Mai Arbegast specified a "solid hedge of plant such as Poncirus trifoliata to enclose garden...." to discourage dogs and trespassing. This unusual pointy feature of the garden really does encourage the use of the three gates into the garden. You only get stuck in it, or by it, once and then you avoid it.
The flying dragon fruit can apparently be eaten (or it might be poisonous according to one source), but the recipes given make it sound fairly unpalatable. My favorite recipe for a flying dragon citrus drink is "One fruit, five barrels of sugar, and five barrels of water". A "barrel" is a somewhat loose measurement and can be somewhere between 26 and 53 gallons. But you get the idea. Needs dilution.
A good review of its uses are here. (Always double check your sources when trying something new!)
Big Sigh...Poncirus trifoliata is now Citrus trifoliata.
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Friday, August 12, 2016
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Sunday, July 17, 2016
Which way do tendrils twine? To decide this, look at the vine from ground to tip. Check as if you were looking up the vine.
- Clockwise? Chinese (Wisteria sinensis) or American (Wisteria frutescens)
- Counter-clockwise? Japanese (Wisteria floribunda)
Friday, July 15, 2016
Saturday, June 18, 2016
|The News, August 11, 1917|
Monday, June 6, 2016
The flowers are pink and tropical looking. The leaves green and glossy. I googled "pink flower tree" and many other combinations. Nothing looked right. I even used google image and came up short.
I posted a question on a forum asking if anyone knew what it was and stumped two experts. (However, eventually one person had a Southern California friend who knew.)
I tried out the Urban Tree Key and to my surprise I found out what this tree is. If you want to cover up the answer and try this yourself, you can discover it, too.
|B.S. Fox's nursery in San Jose, 1873|
Monday, April 4, 2016
|From San Jose News, January 27, 1942|
This article says his property is now Live Oak Park. Lots of live oaks. Where was this park?
There is a picture of his home that was "bounded by Guadalupe River, a line just north of San Carlos street, and what is now Spencer Avenue and West William Street." Definitely confusing directions! There is a Prevost Street near Spencer. Need old map!
What I found was a 1956 map pre-freeway map. It looks like it is exactly where the Children's Discovery Museum is located!
He died in 1869, according to the photo.
|Marked up Brainard map from the |
1880 Santa Clara County Brainard Agricultural Atlas.
Individual maps are accessed on right hand side.
This is the Berryessa & Milpitas districts map.
The green outline is a golf course!
See next map.
John Rock's nursery in the 1880's was near Wayne Station. This map overlay (onto Google Earth) shows where his property lies, outline in blue. His future partner R.D. Fox (& his wife) has two nursery properties, outlined in red.
An excellent lead is that Chilean wine palms are in these areas.
Saturday, April 2, 2016
|Canary Island palms at entrance|
to California Nursery Historical Park
Most of us grumble when the fronds drop. The fronds can't be put in the green bin, because they are too hard to shred. The fruit is mostly pit. There must have been some redeeming quality that us modern folks don't know.
Lots of theories...
- In a landscape with few trees, they can help you find the mission from a distance. But it takes years and years for them to get tall.
- The sturdy frond petioles could be used for something, surely?
- Fronds could be used as thatch?
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Aesculus × carnea
It is a hybrid of the American Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia) and the European horse-chestnut (A. hippocastanum). According to the Missouri Botanical Garden it was discovered in 1812. There's a story there.
The Red-Flowering Horsechestnut was introduced to California very early on. John Rock's Nursery in San Jose sold it in 1888. The California Nursery Company in Niles had it in the 1893 catalog..
Three baby chestnut seedlings this year. I am assured by an unknown (to me) expert on Facebook that the seedlings should look like the parent. Has one of them crossed with the California Buckeye (Aesculus californica) in the parking lot at the park? I will check if the bloom period is the same. Right now the buckeye has leaves again. I've seen flowers on other buckeyes (3/8/2016), but haven't noticed on ours. Will report back! If blooming periods do not overlap, then we can expect a red-flowering horsechestnut.
Monday, February 29, 2016
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
|From the History of Alameda County, 1878|
The Smithsonian reported on "California Megaflood: Lessons from a Forgotten Catastrophe".
Saturday, January 30, 2016
Just ran into this really lovely illustration on the cover of California Horticulture by George C. Roeding.
Starting a page to collect all of these early horticultural books and booklets.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
So why do some trees look like they belong here and some don't? Why does a deodar cedar look okay on our streets when it is from the Himalayas? Why do camphor trees look ok when they are from China? Why do liquidambars look good here even though they are from the rainy summer East coast and usually living in a forest?
Monday, January 18, 2016
|The Garden Magazine, September 1921|
I ran into a reference about the gardens of San Quentin in a history of George C. Roeding who died in 1928.
In 1921, "The Garden Beautiful was the idea of a prisoner Pat Tyrone as he was nicknamed who is now free to enjoy the flowers outside. His name has been adopted for every head gardener Roman numerals being added so Pat Tyrone III is now directing this unique garden. Every plant grown has been donated by flower lovers. The members of the Dahlia Society of California each year send a gift box of their best and newest and last spring an appeal was made to the American Dahlia Society members who responded liberally." (p. 197)