Tuesday, April 18, 2017

What's in a Name?

Thornless Boysenberry - Berry White
This year looks to be an excellent year for most everything in the garden.  Thornless Boysenberries are no exception.  There are six plants that thrive in the garden to the point of being invasive.  Sprouts need to be plucked as soon as possible throughout the growing season to avoid a bramble jungle.  That ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.

Enameled Metal Name Plate (Pinterest)
I've postponed for years the idea of attaching name plates to each of the berry supports giving names to my Boysenbabies.  A Frenchy looking metal name plate with enamel coating is what I'm looking for.  White with black pin-striping and black script lettering is my goal.  A local sign shop just up the road from Floyd's Hardware (one of my favorite stores) might be able to set me up with what I need or point me in the right direction.  I'll task Farmer MacGregor with installing them on the support structures.  He's a picky guy.

Boysenberry Support Structures - 2015
Above is an image from 2015 to show the structures better.  Currently, the berries fill the trellis portion.  The name plates will be on the top rail.  Here are some of the names I'm considering:

  • Berry White - That's my biggest berry baby.
  • Berry Manilow - He's off to the side pretending he's a tomato and will try to surprise us all that he's actually a boysenberry.  (Berry, we know & it's no big deal.  No surprise here.)
  • Frankenberry - This guy has run away volunteers.  They're just monstrous.
  • Chuck Berry - He's located on the east end where I set up my music when I'm working in the garden.  Chuck rocks!
  • Chuck Berris - Right next to Chuck Berry is Chuck Berris.  Whenever a dud piece of music plays, it will get the gong.  (Note:  I need to install a gong next to Chuck Berris.)
  • Berry Williams - Since there are six plants, I thought Berry Williams would fit right in.
Some of these names may be obscure to some; but they make sense to me.  And it's my garden.  However, nothing is set in stone yet.  Other names I'm considering:
  • Berry Gibb
  • Berry Bonds
  • Berry Obama (Doubt it.  Making my garden great again!)
  • Madame du Berry
  • Marion Berry
  • Maryanne Trump Berry
  • Berry Fitzgerald
  • Berry Goldwater
  • Berry Williams
If you have a name to be considered, kindly leave your suggestion in the comment section.  Gracias.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Pincushion Flower

Scabiosa Columbaria (Pincushion Flower) - Butterfly Blue
A flowerbed in the front yard needs some umph.  It's adjacent to a hot sidewalk; so the plant material has to be tough.  Blue or purple is preferable and it can't get too large.  With those parameters, I grabbed my gardening hat and headed for the nursery.  I don't like shopping; but I like to browse and buy at a local nursery.  It seems most of Bakersfield had the same idea today.  Never before did I have to wait for a parking space.  Today I had to wait.  Perfectly cool, clear weather must have inspired gardeners of all types.

The pincushion flower was the winner after looking at the selections of pincushion flowers, reading the tag information, walking around a bit, and then returning to these plants. Here's the tag info:

Best Features:  Provides large, pincushion shaped flower heads all summer long.  Ideal choice for beds, borders, and cutting gardens.

Average Size:  Height:  12-18"  Space:  15"

Exposure:  Full Sun

Watering:  Allow soil to dry between thorough watering.

Feeding:  Not necessary.

Bloom Time:  Summer to autumn

Hardiness:  USDA Zones 3 - 8

Sweet Alyssum (white) planted right against the sidewalk will take the brunt of the heat.  A small boxwood hedge is being created between the Sweet Alyssum and Pincushions.  This should create a few layers of height and give some umph to the flowerbed.  Hope so.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

EVERYBODY is Busy in the Garden

Spanish Lavender

Spring has arrived along with garden tasks to get ready for summer.  Winter crops like broccoli have been cleared to make way for summer favorites like tomatoes and peppers.  The last of the beets and carrots are hanging in there; but Hades heat will force them to fade to make way for more tomatoes.
Weeds have been cleaned away to at least start summer without weeds.  When July gets here, I really don't give a flying floo hoo if there are weeds.  It will be too danged hot.   For now digging, raking, hoeing, planting, pruning, composting, repairing, fertilizing, irrigating, and tidying are generally pretty enjoyable.


My current quest is to find some durable purple blooming plants to accent the garden.  Lavender is always a strong choice.  Purple Prince Zinnias have been proven winners.  Monrovia has a compact salvia called Marcus Meadow Sage that I'm thinking of ordering through a local nursery.  Calibrachoa has worked great in the past and is now hanging in several baskets in the garden to entice pollinators throughout the summer.

Hope you're enjoying all of your garden chores.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Wet California Winter

Santa Rosa Plum Bud Break - February 12, 2017
It's been a beautifully wet winter in California.  Some moan and whine.  I delight in the rare, rich rain.  Dormant spraying failed this winter as opportunities conflicted with rain events.  Today, fruit buds are swelling with the leader of the pack, Santa Rosa, breaking today.  The buds are plentiful; so when the winds come - and they will come- there should still be enough strong fruit to develop and enjoy in June.

Cherry tomato from the 2016 season.
Cherry tomatoes from the 2016 season continue to produce.  Even though the quality isn't premium like in mid summer; there are still cherry tomatoes on the sheltered side of a plant.  They can be smashed up with some peppers that are still hanging on for some fresh salsa.  It's time to pull the thing out and make way for a bed of beets.

Waltham 29 Broccoli
Broccoli was planted in late summer from seed.  I simply threw the seeds out and walked away.  Remarkably, every single seed germinated providing an abundance of produce.  It's already starting to bolt.  The cauliflower started with such promise; but the rain spoiled it.  Only enjoyed one head of cauliflower.  Sad!

Iceberg Rose
Little to no maintenance has been preformed on the roses yet this year.  They should have been pruned and sprayed by now; but, again, weather has re-directed garden efforts to thumbing through seed catalogs indoors.  When the sun does shine, weeds grow to Jack and the Beanstalk size.  No lie.  This afternoon, Ajax and I tackled weeds.  Tomorrow morning may erase all our efforts.

Regardless of this wonderful bounty of winter rain, I must ask Californians to continue to conserve water.  Get used to it.  It's a way of life.  This bounty is going towards replacing the debt from the drought years.  Thanks for doing your part.