Monday, April 28, 2014

April Heats Up

Things are getting busy at Wildwood.  Close to twenty people attended Saturday's dogwood class.  With the kousa dogwoods beginning to bloom and the florida dogwoods still going strong we didn't need to relly on slides to illustrate everything.  The slides are fall color are always fun to see, especially in the middle of spring!

Shortly, we'll have quite a few more AWESOME photos of Wildwood's plants.  Actually, as of a few hours ago, we already do.  Check back in a few days!

Friday, April 25, 2014

East Coast Dogwoods on the West Coast

The native habitat of dogwood species spans continents.  Heading west from the eastern seaboard of the U.S. to Asia the forests are filled with wild dogwoods.  They all 'flower' at different times.  They all like growing in California... Confused yet?

If so, the easiest thing to do is view them when they're blooming.  It is a dazzling display that is truly a riot of color.  Right now, the east coast dogwoods are at their peak.  There are many different varieties - plant people couldn't resist tinkering with such a showy tree!

A great example of the range of varieties is the contrast between Little Princess and Venus.  Little Princess is a dwarf dogwood with big white blooms.  It's great for a small patio garden.  Venus is a large fast growing tree with .... big white blooms!

Attend Wildwood's Dogwood Class tomorrow and learn much more.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

To Prune Or Not To Prune

This quandary perplexes many gardeners this time of year.  New growth looks so fresh and bountiful, especially on deciduous trees.  Too much new growth can also obscure the structure of a tree.  Suddenly, folks are just looking at a blob not a handsome tree.

So, how much new growth should one prune?  Should one make larger cuts?  The solution is not instantaneous; spring pruning should be minimally invasive.  Limiting cuts to smaller outer branches is probably wise.  Quite a bit can be accomplished with small hand held shears.  Save the big cuts for next winter. 

Hint: take pictures now so it is easier to remember how dense a tree can be with all its foliage!  And  enter the picture in Wildwood's Spring Photo Contest.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring Color in Sausalito, CA

Every so often it is nice to visit an old Wildwood installation and see how the plants look.  Recently, we stopped at a garden in Sausalito, CA.  The property sits at a fairly high elevation [for Marin] on a street called Cloud View.

Our curiosity was high before the visit because many of the plants went in at a very young age last summer.  And the bulbs were totally dormant so it was anyone's guess what they would look like [well, we had an inkling].

The view to the left shows a species Rhododendron [davidsonianum] in bloom and daffodils at their peak.  An interesting pairing.  The deep bronze Asian Lilies are about 18" tall now.  They should bloom after the sage [just beginning] and before the Matilija Poppies. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Gardening on Shasta

Gardening on Shasta is a challenging and rewarding experience.  Fog rolls in at a moments notice, temperatures swing five degrees in a matter of hours, and the soil has been compressed by thousand of boots and hoofs.
We're talking about Shasta Drive, Mill Valley, CA not Mt. Shasta.  The climate is actually very mild.  Perhaps, that is why the deer are so fat and slow.  With all the construction commotion at the project, they made frequent visits to check out plants.
Nevertheless, the studio preserved many of the plants on the property by moving them and screening them from construction traffic.  This, combined with reconfiguring decomposed granite and flagstone pathways, provided the appearance of a very mature garden!