Monday, May 16, 2016

Wow With Watsonias

Raise your hand if you like Gladiolas.  If you did, you'll like Watsonias too!

They're both in the Iris family so they're practically cousins.  Watsonias are native to South Africa where all they like is sun and occasional water.  That makes them perfect for California.  Since they are a bulb, they will slowly clump out and multiply.

They add an extra hit of color - bright pinks and oranges - in late Spring.  Here is a salmon Watsonia next to Japanese Maples, Oakleaf Hydrangeas, Peony, and Agapanthus.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Snap Pop Pom

May flowers are turning heads in this Sausalito Garden

A single California Poppy provides all the orange this tiny garden can handle!  The pink snap dragon seeded itself from last year's snaps.  The bright pink and the orange even compliment each other! Big pom poms of color from the hydrangea in the background round out the colorful trio.

Soon the pomegranate flowers will swell into fruits.  Then it will be a tasty and colorful garden!

Monday, May 2, 2016

May Pruning

Many Japanese Maple owners want to know if they can prune a little of this spring's bumper crop of new growth.  Of course!

Light pruning of pencil size branches rarely damages a tree.  If new growth is snipped so that it no longer bends under its own weight, a tree will look much more dignified.

Getting carried away can create serious problems though.  Foliage is the tree's sunscreen and protects the bark from burning.  It's preferable to have a tree with a bad hair day [or hair month] than a tree with scorched bark.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Rated G for Gardening

With a little movie magic, photos from pruning projects around the Bay Area are now more exciting than ever.

In the excitement of seeing new trees to prune, sometimes we forget to take before pictures.  Luckily, most of the trees are multiyear projects.  So the transformation will become clearer in the years ahead.

Grab some popcorn and enjoy.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Capturing Spring

Seiryu and Maiku jaku in Glen Ellen
Over the winter months lots of hardwork goes into a garden.  It's not that glamorous and it's definitely not that photogenic.  Until Spring.

All the plants reward us for the haircuts we gave them, the mulch we put on the soil, and the breathing room from weeds they have.

We're compiling photos of all the trees we pruned this past winter to chronicle the change.  Shortly, we'll be winnowing down the photos and compiling the best before and afters.  Stay tuned!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Weekend Workshop

Ten people participated in Wildwood Nursery's Sunday Tree Shaping Class!

They braved the wet weather to learn about the growth habits of different types of Japanese Maples, Dogwoods, and Natives.  They also helped prune several of the trees on the grounds of Wildwood.

They spent the second half of the class inside the barn working with container plants.  We covered both root pruning and canopy pruning.

Wildwood is always happy to schedule private workshops for gardening curious groups.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Swampy Weekend

Near Alpine Lake Mt Tam, CA
Everyone's yammering about the 'March Miracle' in California.  We're back to a Mediterranean climate after the Baja California dry spell.

So some spots in the forests resemble the Bayou and there's vernal pools everywhere!  As excited as we all are it's important to let the ground absorb the water.  Trying to move water from low points in a garden is a waste of water/energy if buildings are a safe distance away.  Working in and compacting soggy soil ruins soil structure.

Stay in the starting blocks a bit longer before jumping into Spring Cleaning!