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California Gardening: California Peony growers....Help Me!

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drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 8, 2005
6:29 PM

Post #1391520

I, in my zone pushing delerium, decided to try Tree Peonies last year. I was only able to afford three. They didn't do much last year and I thought I had lost them. Yet they've reappeared and seem to have responded nicely to our very wet year this winter. I really need some assistance with successful cultivators of this plant. These are my challenges.

Location:

Afternoon shade from a Southern Magnolia in a bed where mulching occurs often. Soil is in great shape, drains well, is loaded with organic matter, and is very 'alive'.

My Issues...(Well my issues with Paeonia...the rest could take years..lol)

Irrigation- domestic water is heavily chlorinated
Super hot summer heat
No humidity

Oh yeah, and I don't use synthetics

Please help!

Don
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 8, 2005
6:38 PM

Post #1391538

Here's a look at them as of five minutes ago. The plants were prohibitively expensive, and although that shouldn't be/ isn't my reason for concern. I'd really like to be successful with these plants.

The Choysia ternata in the left of the picture is evidence of how finicky plants feel about our water here.

Thumbnail by drdon
Click the image for an enlarged view.

drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 8, 2005
6:39 PM

Post #1391540

Another view of the three Peonies

Thumbnail by drdon
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Happenstance
Northern California, CA


April 8, 2005
6:50 PM

Post #1391559

I've had little success with the 3 Peonies I've tried. It's just too hot here. I've moved them a couple of times and they are still hanging on 5 years later, but bear little or no resemblance to the Peonies I saw growing up in Europe and the midwest. I get a couple of beautiful blooms per season from each plant, but really not enough to continue with them. They are still in the garden because I just don't have the heart to toss them.

I'm obviously not the one to help you, because my success has been minimal to say the least. :-)
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 8, 2005
7:02 PM

Post #1391577

Thank you Happenstance,

I thought that the bloody heat might be a limiting factor, but I'm a confirmed zone pusher, and couldn't resist the chance at these flowers.
sharvis
Klamath Falls, OR
(Zone 6a)

April 8, 2005
7:42 PM

Post #1391663

Pssttt drdon, don't tell the rest of the forum frequenters that I'm not really a California gardener. We live only 15 miles from the border, so I occasionally sneak over. (Hopefully, noone will pelt me with ripe citrus fruit. 8={) In fact, we probably have more in common with the climate of Northern California than we do with most of the rest of Oregon...cold snowy winters, hot summers, short growing season, etc. etc. etc. Anyhoo, I do grow peonies so I decided to stick in my two cents.

Firstly, I don't think your summer heat is an issue. Although I grow herbaceous peonies rather than the tree kind, we have very hot summers here as well and they don't seem to mind the heat at all. Nor do I think the afternoon shade is a problem, so long as they get plenty of sun in the morning. I'm not certain about the water, which would depend on how strong the chlorination is. Peonies are really very tough little critters and are not very finicky about very much at all. They take a long time to get going very well. It sometimes takes several years before you have much/any bloom. And they despise being moved. Having said all that, you may have an issue with insufficient winter chill. I don't know how cold it gets in Temecula during the wintertime, but peonies seem to do best in climates that have cold winters. It may be (though I can't guarantee it) the problem Happenstance is having in the Bay Area.

That's not to say that you won't be successful with yours. I think peonies are so beautiful that they are worth the extra effort, if there is a chance you can grow them, and since you enjoy pushing the envelope (or zone), I say "Go, for it!" Yours look to be leafing out very nicely and only time will tell. Don't be discouraged if they don't bloom this first year. It won't be at all unusual and doesn't mean that they are not going to eventually.

Mine are just now beginning to show shoots above ground. You lucky Californian, you!
Happenstance
Northern California, CA


April 8, 2005
7:51 PM

Post #1391672

Welcome to California sharvis...love to have the neighbors drop in.

I'd agree with you about the winter chill, 38 is the lowest it's gone for a couple of hours in the early AM in the last 7 years. They literally fry here if they aren't in complete afternoon shade and they do want a lot of water which I give them. The other issue here is that we have tremendous winds and I think it just saps all the strength in the plant trying to stay ahead of the heat and desicating wind.

Come back and visit often!
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 8, 2005
8:01 PM

Post #1391689

rotf@at being pelted by citrus...hahahaha

We get quite a bit colder, for longer periods of time. I documented four weeks straight with night time temps below freezing this year. And that's a rainy year which is usually milder than a drier winter. Cold shouldn't be a problem in that it was the reason I went ahead and tried them. When we lived on the coast, it rarely got below 40F, so I knew I'd never get them to fully rest. I'm glad to hear that the heat isn't quite the issue I thought it might be. Now I'm down to poison tap water...lol. That I can't do anything about without purchasing a giant reverse osmosis system...hmmm. No money for that. It would be cheaper to water them by hand with bloody Evian...lol.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 9, 2005
4:40 PM

Post #1393032

Don - welcome to zone pushers anonymous.

Sharvis - I'm glad you joined us. As to Peonys though you have it all over most of us. Peonys are really a max zone 8 plant (well the site below says 9). So your zone 6 weather is great for them. I have one that I put in the ground last year. It's in the shade half the day. I find that with lower zone plants like this it's better to have them get afternoon shade, and it's coming up. We'll see if it blooms again. :-)

Here's a site for peonies that explains care including natural fertilizers. I'm surprised at compost though because it's high in nitrogen which can sometimes affect bloom. Some rose growers are using Alfalfa meal

http://www.goldenport.com/peony/tpcare.htm

It says at least 5 hours of sun a day. Mine isn't a tree peony, but I wish it was.

If your water is really so bad, I believe that there are water filters you can use for this purpose while still retaining the minerals etc.

And check the ph. it could be the phroblem. You might even get complete a complete soil test kit including trace minerals. Oh I've just got a lot of ideas to use up your time.

sharvis
Klamath Falls, OR
(Zone 6a)

April 9, 2005
8:04 PM

Post #1393212

"Zone Pushers Anonymous" LOL I love it!

Speaking of which, when I lived in Long Beach I was so anxious to grow lilacs that I actually piled ice cubes around the bases of the plants to give them enough winter chill to bloom. I swear I read that somewhere. Of course, it didn't work. They grew but they never bloomed. Does that qualify me for membership? Hehehe.

BTW, thank you all for the warm welcome. GO CALIFORNIA!!!
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 9, 2005
8:11 PM

Post #1393220

hiya doss,

The link you suggested is the place where I bought them. I purchased Black Jade Paragon, Red Lotus, and Blue Butterfly. I was encouraged back then by the information on the website, so I decided to try a few. The plants did okay last year in their first season but were planted in spring...So they pooped out from the heat quickly and went kind of dormant only to pop back up in the middle of fall. This year's emergence of all of them was a very exciting thing and I was hoping for some pearls of wisdom from my fellow Californians regarding their experiences. The zone-pushing is strictly ego...lol. I figure if it can be grown, well heck, I can grow it...big mistake...lol.

Pam and I had enormous, wonderful Champacas (Michelia champaca) trees down at the coast. Summer evenings out on the back garden terrace was like having Joy perfume sprayed on the ocean breezes. So, as a confirmed zone-pusher I endeavored to grow them here. First year was a slam dunk, they grew all the way past new year and stopped only for a moment. Last summer they were fabulous albeit still only 6' tall. But they began to branch and bloom, it was great. Then that nasty dry frost hit in November and just kicked their butts. They are returning from the crowns, but it will take years for them to get back to size. Ego is a real bugger sometimes..lol.

But the Peonies have a place where their exposure is correct. I've got more soil analysis equipment than most county extensions. My soil pH is stable at 6.8, but my water is a mess. I've priced some reverse osmosis systems big enough to handle the job and would have to take out a second mortgage to accommodate the gpm burden of our sprinkler systems. I mulch with worm castings and feed only organics like cottonseed meal...etc...

I guess it's time to just be patient with these rascals and see how they behave once the heat kicks in down here.

Don-in need of a good twelve-step program for zone denial..
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 9, 2005
8:24 PM

Post #1393232

I'm a major codependent in that area Don, Just lost a zone 10a red passion flower in my zone 9b garden. One cool night was all it took. Hang on though. I have a friend who has a really wonderful peony - although it's a bush type and not a tree type. I've had bulbs that have croaked their first year here and functioned fine-sometimes after three or four years. Alliums have been difficult. But then there is that onion smell anyway. The other thing, if your really serious about having a peony that functions, is to call the vendor and ask if there are any that are more adaptable to heat. My french late tulips are very happy here. Great for California. Although if you're water is the problem...How do you feel about going into debt? I wonder if there is a site for chlorine tolerant plants?

I'm rooting for you.

These sure are to dream over.
Zuzu
Sebastopol, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 10, 2005
8:48 AM

Post #1394112

Don, the Chinese have a saying that tree peonies are more beautiful in their second century, so be patient. They sometimes don't bloom for the first few years. They do require a certain amount of frost to bloom. All of that rain this winter probably warmed up the air too much and cut out a lot of the natural frost days. You may have had more rain than I did. I grow them in zone 9A, in full sun, and all of them are blooming right now.

Sharvis, you had the right idea in Long Beach with the ice cubes. They really do work. I used to use them in Piedmont, where we never had frost. You probably felt silly doing it and didn't persist. A couple of times isn't enough. Peony blooms need many, many frosty mornings in winter. Otherwise, they just produce a lot of pretty greenery.

Talk about zone pushers. This year I'm growing alpine plants and tropicals in the same garden. It's going to involve lots of ice cubes in summer for one and portable cloches in winter for the other. As if simple gardening weren't enough work!
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 10, 2005
3:00 PM

Post #1394392

Well, your asking made me go out and look at my Peony. Not a tree Peony of course, but here it is with one little bud at the top righthand corner. It must be spring. Someone down the block has lilacs in bloom. Must be a mutant cultivar.

Thumbnail by doss
Click the image for an enlarged view.

sharvis
Klamath Falls, OR
(Zone 6a)

April 10, 2005
3:43 PM

Post #1394443

Well doss, that's just disgusting that you already have a bud on your plant! ;-} Those California growers who are afflicted with 'peony envy' should take a lesson from your book. It can be done. Be sure to post a picture when it the bloom appears.

And zuzu (cute name, btw) you are absolutely right. I did feel silly, and I didn't persist. Do you think I could grow tropicals here if I wore a grass skirt while I serenaded them with Hawaiian love songs?
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 10, 2005
5:56 PM

Post #1394554

hiya ZuZu,

If nothing I'm a patient gardener. Spring just hits so hard here and summer, with it's appurtenance of ungodly heat and dryness. If I have to wait another century or so...no biggie..lol. They look so good right now and have been putting on new foliage without tip burn, so I'm encouraged by that little bonus.

I do apologize for my perceived sense of urgency..(I'm sure the exclamation point after help did nothing to dispel that perception..lol). These plants are precious members of the garden, and with time will hopefully deport themselves with the flair that it so often associated with peonies.

doss, Great color on the foliage of your herbaceous peony, I'm also a big fan of Sluggo, and detected its presence there to keep the molluscs at bay.

In regard to the ice-cube usage. It's a Great idea. There's an icemaker at the bar not ten feet from where the peonies live. I will certainly keep that in mind if next winter proves to be milder than usual again.

rotf @ peonie envy...good one!
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 10, 2005
6:34 PM

Post #1394620

Yep, I grow Hostas and Dahlias and just about everything that slugs and snails like. I think that I'm supporting the snail bait industry. Sometimes I miss the ground though. If I could use deadline, I might, but I have little dogs and kids in the yard. I hope you're getting your Sluggo generic and not paying for the brand. That helps some. Diligence for the past two years has paid off. It's better this spring.

I bought my Peony in a local nursery. That might be part of it's success. Its a white double and has to be staked. But then I have a lot of things that have to be staked. It's been a very wet rainy temperate spring.

Sometimes urgency is just what is needed in the garden. Plants just won't wait sometimes.!!!!!
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 10, 2005
6:55 PM

Post #1394634

lol doss, spring is certainly a bit of an urgent time down here. I've been getting the generic from Peaceful Valley since they began with it. I actually thought I figured out how to make the stuff (it's just iron phosphate), but I couldn't figure out how to pelletize so it didn't last very long. But I had great flowers and no iron chlorosis..lol.

We also have doggies, no kids, but lots of family kids visit. The gardens are all tended without the use of synthetics of any kind. We also grow a rather wide selection of Dahlias including D. imperialis which is a real wonder of a plant. No hostas, waay to hot and dry...zone envy again. But I've been able to get some interesting Magnolias to grow here when I couldn't get them to perform at all in our gardens at the coast. We had philodendrons as ground covers in our old place with great tropical gardens. Here, all of my precious orchids and tropical fruits have been relegated to the greenhouse with brief trips outside during milder days.

As one of the many zone-pushing individuals, living in garden denial I'm constantly looking for mini climates on the property to re-construct some tropical bliss. I had to part with a cycad and palm collection that was over 250 individual species from over 100 genera. I parted with my Cymbidiums and am now trying peonies. Hmmm, I wonder about the trade off for a horse ranch often..lol. We looked at land in Los Gatos, but just couldn't swing it on our retirement income.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 10, 2005
8:36 PM

Post #1394752

You are an adventurer! I'm surprised that Dahlias do well in the hot weather there. Some of mine even wilt in the middle of the day. What do you have that is happy in the heat, and what organics do you feed them?

I'm sorry about your collections. :-( I don't have any really fancy Hostas, and here they really grow like weeds once you get them started, and keep the snails away from them.

What paradise local did you move from?

You do mean Tree Dahlia?

Thumbnail by doss
Click the image for an enlarged view.

drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 10, 2005
10:00 PM

Post #1394856

Pam and I moved from the township Cardiff by the Sea, just north of San Diego. We lived on top of the westernmost bluff of an old sandstone formation. Our soil was sandy, drained like a sieve, so we learned a great deal about different types of mulch. The weather was an incredible mixing of direct marine influence at the west side of the house and an inland influence down the eastern slope of our little 2.5 acre plot. So we were able to grow subtropicals and some heat-loving subtropicals. I had a shade house/greenhouse that was a nice size 20'x60' there where most of my collections lived. They are now the property of the Los Angeles Arboretum.

Our ranch here in Temecula also has very sandy soil (half of the ranch is actually an alluvial fan of sorts. This was perfect for the horses (population is now up to 27 with #28 due any day) and for our building site requirements. There were several very nice California Live Oaks on the property which were all kept.

We grow lots of Salvias here, and the collection is slowly getting a little interesting. Magnolias, roses-species, modern, and historic. We also grow a few perennials and I'm a bit of a Proteaceae nut case. Our Dahlias, are all heavily mulched with home made earthworm/vermicompost. We recycle about a half ton of horse manure and bedding each day and feed the lot to a vigorously hungry population of earthworms. During the warm months, the worms actually finish the compost in less than eight weeks. The soils in all of our gardens are covered with the stuff three times per year. During the spring we mulch right after feeding with a medium N materials blend of Alfalfa Meal, Soybean Meal, Cottonseed Meal and Corn Gluten Meal. We get about 14 weeks of feeding from this blend without harming blooms with too much N. Summer feeding is mostly a mix of Fish Meal, Feather Meal, Blood Meal, and Hoof and Horn Meal. This feeding gets us through the fall with ample N to promote good growth and help the soil to digest the thick layer of mulch prior to our fall mulching. In the fall we replenish minerals after a soils test with materials like Greensand, Sul-Po-Mag, Bone Meal, and some Humates derived from Rutile Sands.

It sounds real time consuming and all, but in fact it's really rather efficient. We mix the fertilizers in a cement mixer a couple of weeks ahead of time, and then just harvest as much compost/ mulch as we need to cover the feedings. We supplement for heavy feeders with fish emulsion from Peaceful Valley or Neptune's Harvest and fight some evapotranspiration problems (Dahlias mostly) with frequent dilute foliar applications of seaweed extracts (Maxicrop or DynaGro's silica liquid). I figure I spend less time feeding gardens that are spread out over an 1.5 acres than most people with city lots spend using water solubles or other synthetics.

The secret, if there is one, seems to be in the mucus left by earthworms as they till through the soils. This acts as a wetting agent, helps soil aggregates stick together and is loaded with pathogen-fighting enzymes and hygenic compounds.

We have two small patches of turfgrass (Marathon 1), approx 3500sqft total that is fed twice during the warm season with blood meal and once in the fall with minerals. No thatch, no diseases, and the blood meal provides enough available iron to keep the turf an emerald green.

I've been growing organically since the 70's and can't really imagine any other way.

Best,
Don

doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 10, 2005
10:54 PM

Post #1394912

Don,

You are a collector of everything. It's a good thing that you found a way to use that manure.

I will certainly try your spray on the Dahlias. It has been frustrating to say the least, but only a few cultivars seem to have the problem. Maybe they'll be better this year when they're more established.

I love your idea, and I don't think that it sounds like a lot of work. I don't have room for compost and I don't use the community compost because I don't know what's in it. Get diseases and you have to fight. I had a bad case of Iris leaf Spot this spring because of the bad weather.

I have been wondering about all of the natural fertilizers and the amount of Nitrogen in them. You've learned a lot over the years. I am writing as fast as I can. Now, what can I substitute for the manure?

I didn't realize that there were a lot of Proteaceae. My neighbor has one, but it's the only one I've really seen in a garden here. What got you started on that?

And tell me about your magnolias. Do you have any photos?
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 11, 2005
1:56 AM

Post #1395065

hiya doss,

Yep, we had to find a use for all that poop, so what we don't use we sell cheap to neighbors and friends. Our soils love the stuff.

We don't really collect that many different genera, but we are new to this type of cold/hot climate and in the past three years have learned where we can focus our penchant for collecting plants that interest us. It's the curse of horticulture..lol.

Greenwaste, community composting operations are a wonderful aspect of our society attempting to reuse organic matter resources. The problem is that these composts are, just as you said, variable in source, cleanliness, disease and pathogen content. Super hot thermophyllic composting operations are out there, they are great, but some pathogens get back into the heaps by contaminated equipment used for handling. The only problem is, like with all things, some facilities do a better job than others.

As far as a replacement for the manures you use, I can't see any reason why unless you're experiencing buildups of insoluble salts or soluble salts in your soil. Manures are still the best soil food there is. For using organic fertilizers, well there are certainly a bunch of them out there these days with fancy packaging, big promises, and lots of silly talk about how they are single-handedly saving your and my environment...lol.

Alfalfa meal; about 4%N and possibly one of the most complete plant foods.
Cottonseed meal; about 6%N and really great for acid-lovers
Blood meal; about 13%N and a good source of iron.
Soybean meal; about 8%N very good source of minerals
Bone meal; about 10-14%P good source of calcium as well
Fish meal; about 10%N with a great balance of other nutrients
Feather meal; about 12%N with some other micros

these are just a few of the N source type organic granulars. Many are available at local animal feed stores. When one learns a bit about the unique macro and micro nutrients inherent to these materials it is an easy step to begin blending to a particular need, soil, plant.

I hope this info is useful to you and all of my Magnolia collection are currently fairly small plants. Some of them like Magnolia campbellii aren't expected to give me any blossom for two to three more years. Magnolia denudata was attacked by our dogs, so it's in recovery. Magnolia liliflora, M. stellata, M. soulangeana and others are a little young for flowers. So not unlike my little Tree Peony experiment is not a new endeavor...lol.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 11, 2005
2:22 AM

Post #1395105

Thanks so much,

You called for help and now you're helping me. It must be pretty amazing to step into a whole different plant culture from the one that you're used to. Are you building a greenhouse where you are? My mom goes to the LA Arboretum all of the time, so your donations are greatly appreciated.

You will live in a paradise of Magnolias. I would certainly grow more if I had the space. I have a 'Galaxy' that is just out of this world, and a 'Butterfly' that has never bloomed for me. I moved it two years ago from a pretty shady place, so maybe it'll take off. Breaking another one of those sacred rules, Magnolias don't like their roots fussed with.

I don't know though, Soulangeana just might beat them all. But maybe it's because all the really big Magnolias out here are Soulangeanas.

Poor denutata. :-( I hope the dogs had a good time at least.

I did put Alfalfa pellets down this spring for the first time. My husband saw them and wondered what herd of animals had pooped all over our yard. Things seem to be responding well. My Dahlias are peeking their little leaves over the soil now. Except some of the really big ones and those are already six inches high. Even my new ones are showing signs of growth. I have some daylilies coming and I don't know where I'll put them, but I just can't resist. Well, the weeds don't have much of an opportunity to grow.

Are fish emulsion and fish meal the same? Guess I'll go out and buy some worms to go with the lacewings I just bought to eat the spidermites in my redwood trees. Spidermites I can do without but my neighbor has 20 redwoods right next to my three ( some silly Sunset magazine idea that they made a great fence screening if you planted them 10 feet apart. They should be shot.)

Well, I'll be looking for you. You are great to help me this way.

Zuzu
Sebastopol, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 11, 2005
3:50 AM

Post #1395266

Sharvis, the grass skirt most certainly will work, but only if you invite all of the neighbors to watch you sing and dance.

Doss, what is the name of that fabulous lavender beauty and how tall is it?
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 11, 2005
6:12 AM

Post #1395408

It's a tree Dahlia or in Don speak 'D. imperialis'. It's behind an eight foot fence so I'd guess it's a good 10 feet tall - maybe a little more. It's great to peek over a fence. The general literature says that it's grown mostly for it's foliage. But this is really late in the year. It was November 24.

I love how it comes out of the ground as thick as a mallet handle.

It came from a huge tuber a friend gave me, but it was it's first year in the ground. It does come in a double, but I don't know how that one grows. Here's a close up.

Thumbnail by doss
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Zuzu
Sebastopol, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 11, 2005
8:13 AM

Post #1395491

It's just beautiful. I love something that grows that tall and doesn't form a dense thicket. It really looks graceful. I just looked it up on the Annie's Annuals site. She has a pink one, but it's not as nice. I like the lavender.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 11, 2005
3:07 PM

Post #1395881

Do you grow Princess Flower? I find that it's another one that others might call leggy but I find is lovely grown with other plants at it's feet. And not lavender but in the same family. If you grow it you know it blooms the entire growing season.

I should mention that the photo was taken at Thanksgiving time because it doesn't bloom for more than two weeks max. I'm sure that's why it's noted as a foliage plant. Lower zones may never get bloom. On the other hand, it's the first year in the ground. Maybe it will bloom earlier this year.

Maybe you have some information Don?

This message was edited Apr 11, 2005 8:10 AM
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 11, 2005
3:31 PM

Post #1395939

Our Dahlia imperialis/ Mexican Tree Dahlia bloomed like mad in starting in Mid October, we had a bit of a freak snowfall in the second week of November that was the first time snow had stuck to the ground since 1967, this snowfall broke the poor things (5 specimens) from the weight of snow.

Our experience with these plants is that a 3-6 week bloom cycle is usually experienced. Colors are somewhate variable from speciment to specimen ranging from light pink, to a mauvie pink, to a light lavender color. Color variations actually have occurred on single plants for us in the past.

Thumbnail by drdon
Click the image for an enlarged view.

doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 11, 2005
7:06 PM

Post #1396364

Those poor sad babies. I have mine growing between a fence and the olive tree for support which works fine. The wind here would be hard on them. It will be great to see them blooming for longer this year.
Zuzu
Sebastopol, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 11, 2005
8:51 PM

Post #1396550

I do grow Princess Flower, but I'm in 9a, so I have to grow them in pots and bring them inside the day before Thanksgiving, and they never get that big. I loved growing them in Piedmont. They got enormous! My neighbor up the street has a big Tibouchina growing outside, but it's in a sheltered spot, and all of my sheltered spots are already crammed full of Clivia and such.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 11, 2005
9:01 PM

Post #1396573

Don - we've stolen your thread. Is that OK?

I saw a yellow clivia the other day. Yum.
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 11, 2005
10:10 PM

Post #1396687

Free association is welcome on any thread I might start, and what's life without a hijacked conversation every now and then? Keep going, I'm fascinated and I think we've thoroughly beaten the peony thing into the ground, all puns intended, even bad ones.

The recent yellow and white Clivia miniata hybrids are really quite lovely.
Chuck1260
Arroyo Grande, CA

April 12, 2005
12:52 AM

Post #1397018

Princess flowers can be wacked back to the main stem to get rid of the legginess. I just leave the tall main stem and let the side shoots resprout. Both the big flowered one and the small flowered one react the same. The ones I have in pots respond very well to a balanced fertilizer. The ones in the ground do not seem to need it. I usually do it in the winter when they are looking ratty, but if you wait till spring they resprout right away.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 12, 2005
1:24 AM

Post #1397089

I'm all for Whacking Princess Flowers! What a fun thing. The only time I don't whack them is when they are growing through other things and the legginess is actually attractive. It's interesting that those long stems don't break. I actually cut the whole thing back and it works just fine.

Is there a reason you cut out all the side growth?
Chuck1260
Arroyo Grande, CA

April 12, 2005
2:55 AM

Post #1397299

I wanted the plant to be tall and thin. It spreads out during the year. It probably should be upsized this year. It is in about a seven gallon pot. I mix plastic nursery pots in with the others. They all grow together as the year goes by and you do not even notice the 3s,5s,7s, and 15s. I pruned back a bunch of stuff over the weekend so it is looking pretty bare, begonias, ferns, and a bunch o' other stuff. Everyone got fed too. I hope I do not have to upsize the banana again. It is in a 4 potting soil bag chinese pot, from a 15 gal. I don't think I could do it by myself next time
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 12, 2005
3:13 AM

Post #1397335

What zone are you in Chuck? I can see why you want them tall if you're gardening in pots. That makes total sense. My tuberous begonias are just coming up. You must be a zone 10 person.
Chuck1260
Arroyo Grande, CA

April 12, 2005
3:27 AM

Post #1397354

I suspect zone 10. We are close enough to the ocean and on a steep hillside, so there is no frost. Not enough heat for some of the tropicals but others do just fine. I pretty much try everything, if it is tender or needs lots of water I put it in a pot and on the deck, if not goes in the yard.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 12, 2005
3:31 AM

Post #1397359

If you go to your personal information you can find out there and then put it in "what I want people to know about me". It'll show up under your city so we can all ohh and ahh at how lucky you are.
Chuck1260
Arroyo Grande, CA

April 12, 2005
3:34 AM

Post #1397363

Thanks for the tip. We have lived here four years, I am still learning a lot. We only moved 15 miles from San Luis Obispo, but the weather is quite different. The weather is quite different two miles away as you go further inland or get on the flats.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 12, 2005
3:50 AM

Post #1397393

Ah, California weather. Don knows a lot about that. I have lived in the same place for 30 years but the climate changes in different places in my garden. And I only have half an acre! But on the coast and a few miles from the coast are two different worlds.

Don, if you're still here, what kind of horses do you have? And why so many?

Chuck1260
Arroyo Grande, CA

April 12, 2005
4:03 AM

Post #1397408

I went to Stanford and we lived in Mountain View, then went to Hastings Law School and lived in South San Francisco. SSF had great gardening weather, but there were many days we did not see the sun. After spending a year in NYC we moved back to San Luis Obispo for thirty years and then recently to Arroyo Grande. The Stanford campus has great gardening weather, a little warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter and less fog. I looked at a lot of your pictures and your yard is wonderful. I started with a barren hillside, about half fill. There are oak trees on the surrounding lots but there were none on ours. Other than the front deck and a sidewalk around the house there is not a square foot of flat ground except at the very bottom.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 12, 2005
4:14 AM

Post #1397422

Have you put your photos anywhere? I'd love to see them. Did you retire to Arroyo Grande?

DH is an emeritus professor at Stanford. He's a cryptographer. I was in the audit department at a big eight firm. I left there to work in the peace movement for awhile. Now I have health problems, but other than that my life is pretty perfect. We lived in Peekskill NY for one year and then Boston for two. 35 years here. The Luis Obispo area is sure beautiful. I'll bet that you are enjoying it.

Both you and Don moving into new environments.
Chuck1260
Arroyo Grande, CA

April 12, 2005
4:21 AM

Post #1397434

I still manage some real estate, but with the cell phone it is flexible. I can work as much in the yard as I want. Since it is a young garden there is a lot to do. It doesn't matter where I stop, there is something to do at that spot.

I do not have any pictures posted. I have been meaning to get a new camera, but haven't gotten around to it. Maybe this week.

Both my wife and I grew up in San Luis Obispo. It was quite a change for us to move to the South County. I make the trip into San Luis most days of the week, so it isn't like we have really left, though
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 12, 2005
4:26 AM

Post #1397448

Well you get that camera (you'll find I'm a problem here :-) Bossy)

I can't wait to see the raw materials you're working with.
Chuck1260
Arroyo Grande, CA

April 12, 2005
4:36 AM

Post #1397462

The Heteromeles arbutifolia, acacia redolens, ceanothus griseus horizontalis all took off right after being planted and I spend a great deal of time keeping them in check so all the other things will have room to grow. But they provide a nice backbone for the yard. It means I do not have to be very consistent with the rest of the stuff, which I am not. Mostly it is stuff that looks wild. I started out getting bigger things but lately I am settling in on small shrubs and herbacious perennials from Mediterranean climates. I like gray foliage and yellow flowers with red and purple accents and enough white flowers to brighten things up. Leucospermums do fantastic here so there are more and more of those. But almost anything seems to grow and if it doesn't, I get something else to replace it.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 12, 2005
5:00 AM

Post #1397490

OK, I know everything there but Heteromeles arbutifolia. Does it have a common name? Get that camera! lol

As you know, I like everything. And gardening is always letting mother nature have it's way. Are you growing Dusty Miller? Lamb's ears? I love those gray plants. I plop intermediate Iris right into the middle of the Lamb's ears. It works really well.
Chuck1260
Arroyo Grande, CA

April 12, 2005
5:08 AM

Post #1397499

H. arbutifolia--common name is toyon. Medium green leaves with serated edges, red berries in the winter, large shrub small tree.

Yes, I have several dusty millers, lambs ears, lotus, salvias, lavenders, proteas, artemesias, buddleias, melianthus, ozothamnus, dudleyas, arctostaphyllus, chrysothamnus, malactothamnus and so on. The native artemesia, californica was one of the few plants here and a wonderful colony has established itself.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 12, 2005
5:16 AM

Post #1397510

I do love artemesia. I've put dusty miller in a place that it's too big for so I'll have to take it out and put artemesia in instead. That should work. Artemesia doesn't seem to be winter hardy here though. Any suggestions? It shouldn't get more than a foot high.
Chuck1260
Arroyo Grande, CA

April 12, 2005
5:32 AM

Post #1397530

It has gotten rather out of hand. I need to spend about a month planting everything I have sitting in the driveway, on the empty lot next door and on the side of the house, assess what it looks like and then go from there. Everything is very young, so it seems like there is a lot of room. But even if you allow for a natural growing together, like it is out in the wild, I will approach maximum density in a few areas this summer. But I particularly like large herbaceous perennials--the big knifopha, anigozanthos, salvias, leonotus, and the big grasses instead of liking little rock garden type plants ( I like those too, just not as much). So there they all are, living happily so far, alongside and on top of each other.

I have gotten into the seed propagation thing, which is a lot of fun, but you can easily obtain way more seeds than you can possibly propagate in a reasonable period of time. Another challenge.
I got started on Dave's because of the propagation, never having done that before.

The weeds are big right now and need to be pulled. More drip needs to be added for the new plants, existing plants need to be tended to...

But it is great fun and I have learned an enormous amount in the last couple years, and I have been gardening most of my life.

doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 12, 2005
5:47 AM

Post #1397542

You're in chaos. Lovely! Only possibility ahead. Except for nasturciums, I don't think that I've ever been able to get seed to grow. I've had some success with cuttings. And there are always the easy things like Dahlias and Iris. I've pretty much given up on seeds. But I have to put my energy where it's best used since it's limited. I'd love to hybridize Iris. Maybe in some other life.

This one, I've got my hands full and enjoying every minute of it right now.
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 12, 2005
12:18 PM

Post #1397738

hiya doss,

Fascinating reading!

We grow Warmblood sport horses, jumpers and dressage bred. Trakheners, Hanoverians, Oldenburgs, Selle Francais, Dutch Warmbloods, and American Warmbloods. On the sign outside the ranch are the wacky brands they torture the animals with. We don't brand. Berkeley grad here, Stanford wouldn't have me...lol.
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 12, 2005
12:19 PM

Post #1397741

oops, here's the brands.

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Chuck1260
Arroyo Grande, CA

April 12, 2005
2:03 PM

Post #1397977

The only nasturtiums that grew were on the edge of the pile from the chipper. Everywhere else they just croaked. I have not tried any iris, though I have grown them before. The gray-green leaf color would be good. I do dahlias in pots, and have a lot of seeds coming of the more wild looking ones. I do have a tree dahlia that put out one small shoot last year. It hasn't come up this year. But that is pretty typical of plants in this yard, it usually takes them a while to get established. The Carpenteria californica has great buds this year after just sitting there for a year. Along the edges of the walks and stairs I grow all kinds of little things.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 13, 2005
7:56 PM

Post #1401014

Any horse photos Don? You have quite a collection. When did you get into the horse business?

I didn't even consider Stanford and my grandmother said that Berkeley was a "commie" place and she would disown me if I went there. I do believe that it was the only thing she ever said that about. This is the same grandmother who was totally in love with Liberace. Nobody ever burst her bubble though.

Iris would probably be very happy in Arroyo Grande, Chuck. They like their feet dry in the summer season after they're established.

I know how that is about plants. Allium never bloom until their third year here. I generally have good luck if I bypass the seed stage. Here are the nasturciums just waiting to wander through the Iris.

Thumbnail by doss
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Chuck1260
Arroyo Grande, CA

April 13, 2005
8:16 PM

Post #1401053

My older brother and uncle went there. I never really considered any other place. It was much easier to get in and it was a lot cheaper. All three of my children went to UC schools.

Just haven't gotten around to the iris. I have been trying to get more of the basic plants in. I see iris as fillers, things to make it all work after the groundwork has been laid. To edit the view more or less. Much like the smaller plants, their time will come. If this seed thing works out, most of the small stuff will be seed generated. I have a hard time paying a lot for a plant that is never gunna get very big.
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 13, 2005
8:26 PM

Post #1401069

rotf @ commie place.

That cracks me up.

Pam is the one in the horse business, I'm just a horse feeder and admirer of her breeding skills. I mostly build and repair fences or other things that need repairing from horse shenanigans.

As for Cal as opposed to Stanford, both are world class schools. I was/ am a science nerd and Stanford had a rather limited post-grad curriculum and I was lucky to have three Nobel laureates as advisors on my thesis committee. Commies or not, Cal grads are people too...rotf. I'll stay clear of your mom unless it's halloween and I dress as Liberace...lol.

drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 13, 2005
8:34 PM

Post #1401092

Have posted a ton of pics of horses at Farm Life forum. Yet here is a pic of our newest addition. Her name is Damiana and she'll be three weeks old on Saturday. She is a Trakehner (her warmblood breed), her mom, the white one is the daughter of a PanAm games medalist. Her dad's name is Hohenstein, he's a very famous horse in Europe. The swimmers came frozen from Germany...lol.

Pam is very proud of this one, as she should be.

Thumbnail by drdon
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drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 13, 2005
8:35 PM

Post #1401097

Play is important, even to the horse's owned by "The Friends of Fidel"...lol.

Thumbnail by drdon
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doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 14, 2005
4:47 PM

Post #1402889

Now, remember it was my grandmother who was a red-hater, not me. I could never figure it out. And when I was older and did figure it out, boy, I sure knew what side the propaganda foot was on - and it wasn't just on one side. The old spin has been with us forever. (00Ps) We are getting close to politics here, bad, bad doss.

Your new filly is just so full of glee - or oats. What a delightful thing to watch. Thanks for the photo. Have you run into laurief? She does horses and Iris.

http://www.geocities.com/lfandjg/index.html

As to Berkeley, DH had a lot of wonderful colleagues there. He was lucky enough to be a research fellow so we had a whole $3,000 to live on for the year when we were both in school. Ah, those were the days. My favorite nerd story about him is that in the third grade he wanted to be an explorer but he knew that he couldn't. He had to be a scientist. So he became an explorer and scientist at the same time. It has been a rollercoaster all the way. His field is crazy.

So you fix fences and feed horses. How lovely that the two of you can work together. What a huge job. It seems as if you're having fun though. That's the best.




This message was edited Apr 14, 2005 2:59 PM
sharvis
Klamath Falls, OR
(Zone 6a)

April 15, 2005
10:01 PM

Post #1405182

I guess my sympathies are pretty evenly divided between Berkeley and Stanford. My son used to be a law professor at Boalt, and my ex daughter in law taught geology at Stanford. So, I had to like both, or at least keep very quiet about any preferences I might otherwise have had. Hehehe.

LOL at doss. "Have you run into laurief? She does horses and iris" Seriously tho, I have no idea how much she knows about horses, but she sure does know her iris. AND she is generous about helping those of us who need her expertise.

Don, any sign of a little one yet?
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 15, 2005
11:29 PM

Post #1405367

hiya Sharvis,

Nope, I think she's holding on for a Taurus or something...lol. We aren't sleeping much and she's having a ball keeping us guessing. I'm considering sending her back to Germany...lol.
nancysaltsman
Livermore, CA

April 26, 2005
12:57 AM

Post #1427331

I've been working on some tree peonies for a few years and finally got some lovely blooms this year. Under a pine and a deciduous magnolia, but not complete shade. They are planted in a mound, so good drainage seems to be helping.
Near the waterfall from the pond, so the humidity is probably a plus.
3 or maybe 4 years and not a tremendous amount of height. (maximum 2 feet so far, but two glorious flowers this year).
I planted another from the same supplier in a different location. A bit more sun, less drainage, but equal humidity and it has yet to reproduce a flower. Still living is as good as it gets.
ns
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 26, 2005
3:03 AM

Post #1427661

hiya nancysaltsman,

nice to meet you!

thanks for your post. We've been on this subject for a while with little actual advise other than patience, which is no problem. Mine are still growing (2nd year in the garden) and they do have afternoon shade here. Livermore's climate is not much different than it is down here. Hot summers, cold winters. But we have the worst domestic water in the known universe...lol. So I'm a little worried about chlorine sclerosis and eventual mineral death. I've got so much mulch/ compost around them the humidity is actually around 60% all day at 24" above ground level. So from a perspective of humidity I think I'm okay. My real issue is getting advise from gardeners that are also dealing with crappy irrigation water, and how they cultivate tree peonies with such challenges. I would love to see pics of your plants here on this thread.

Thanks for your post,
Be well,
Don
Chuck1260
Arroyo Grande, CA

April 26, 2005
3:11 AM

Post #1427685

Zone9/10 not a good place for peonies. I guess you can't grow everything, though it is tempting to try. It did freeze here in 1989/90, but that is about the last time. One of my brothers lives in New Jersey, they grow like weeds there.
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 26, 2005
3:39 AM

Post #1427772

lol Chuck,

You haven't been to Temecula wine country in February. It gets down to the low 20's every night. We can grow bloody cherries here!..lol. The heat, however, as you say, could be a problem in that there is little humidity at all. But these are placed in an area of afternoon shade and humidity is pretty stable because of the compost/ mulch. I did my undergrad at Poly so I know Arroyo Grande pretty well. You guys have a fabulous climate for so many things. We, on the other hand, have a hostile environment and to compound the problem our water just plain sucks. Oh yeah, did I mention I'm in zone denial?..lol.

Best,
Don
Chuck1260
Arroyo Grande, CA

April 26, 2005
3:53 AM

Post #1427795

I lived in South San Francisco for three years. I do not think we ever had a day where the sun was out from sun up to sun down. Fabulous growing weather for certain things though. Not quite as bad as Pacifica, though.
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 26, 2005
3:59 AM

Post #1427804

Lol, I love the bay area. What did Twain say? "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in SF?" not sure it was Twain, but I think I got it right. Pacifica is a little more marine influenced than I'm used to any more. Out here we get no marine layer, no moisture, no relief from what could only be described as 'hostile' heat in the summer.
Chuck1260
Arroyo Grande, CA

April 26, 2005
4:02 AM

Post #1427810

After three days without the fog, I start getting antsy, have to water the pots too much. Driving along the ocean today it was a deep blue with whitecaps and a very hard horizon. A little fog hanging way out there.
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 26, 2005
1:17 PM

Post #1428209

Down here, the horizon is a lovely shade of brown and dodging medical waste is the favorite pastime of beach-goers...lol. Not to mention the novelty of creeks flowing with cigarette butts and foam cups...It's a sight for waxing romantic about the Cuyahoga River burning and rafts made of discarded tires on the Anacostia River...lol. Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn would be jealous of all the other stuff floating downstream..

A toast to the aesthetics of storm drain runoff.
Chuck1260
Arroyo Grande, CA

April 26, 2005
1:26 PM

Post #1428224

Come on Don, it is not that bad, despite what the LAT says. Sometimes when the traffic is real bad we go out and take I15 to San Diego. The rugged, sage covered hillsides are beautiful. The ocean water in the southland is warm, may be polluted, but warm. Our ocean water is a good 5 degrees cooler. Takes about five minutes to get numb and then it is OK.
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 26, 2005
3:22 PM

Post #1428416

How fun is describing a threatened environment if one cannot take a bit of artistic license (aka; gross exaggeration)? I'm a 4th generation native southern Californian. We actually love it down here up until the point we get stuck in traffic behind some FU...V that has a bumper sticker declaring their automobile's love for foreign oil...lol. Aw heck, I'm sure folks don't like it much behind our diesel when we have horses in tow. A career can be made from being a pot and calling the kettle black...lol.

Be well,
Don
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 26, 2005
5:03 PM

Post #1428569

drdon, I'm a fourth generation southern Californian too. Transplanted north now. And my Peony has 6 big buds on it. I'm wondering what I'm thinking fighting with Peonies with all of the Bearded Iris blooming right now - and Dahlias and Clematis and Watsonia, Hydrangeas etc. that are so happy here. It's funny how you want to grow what you don't have.

But I do miss the big old flouncy fuschias that my grandmother grew in her garden. I can't grow those here anymore without systemics for Fuschia Mite so I grow the resistant cultivars.

drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 26, 2005
9:40 PM

Post #1429036

hiya doss,

We had an 8ft Voodoo planted in the ground at our old place. It was fabulous. Too dry here for them, and that's one plant I'm not going to try. Love em, but those and tuberous begonias are just out of the question here. I'm sure there's someone out there that will try, but I'm gonna stick with the challenges I've got already (gardening...my other issues are for another thread...lol.).

Got to get back to work.

take care,
Don
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 27, 2005
12:05 AM

Post #1429340

Tuberous Begonias grow like weeds here. As long as the snails don't get them that is. It's probably too dry where you live -- and I don't know that they love toxic water. But you could sure grow a lot of louisiana Iris in that fountain (pool, pond?)! Now an 8 foot Voodoo plant I never considered. Where have I been (LOL)?

I am fighting the snails over Hosta though. I'm winning too. There's enough Iron in my soil that I'm surprised it doesn't rust. :-)

I'm fighting some Lorapetulum. Funny, they are such nice plants but their leaves get very sticky when they fall, kind of like velcro. My fluffly little dogs are always dragging them in. That and Redwood droppings. Those are more like fishhooks. Don't know how I got on this subject - just random, I guess.



drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 27, 2005
12:38 AM

Post #1429430

Voodoo was my favorite fuschia, today we have one. Fuschia thymifolia collected some seed a couple of years ago down in Mexico and sprouted six. Of those six plants, one survived the summer in the shade. Just too bloody hot.

We used to grow so many tuberous begonias. Weidner's gardens (a begonia Mecca) was just down the road about three miles, Stubb's fuschia nursery was even closer. I sometimes miss that old Voodoo plant. But now I am growing Peonies, so there's a trade off.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 27, 2005
12:51 AM

Post #1429468

I think that I do know that fuschia. I went looking for it. I think that there's a clinker in the plantfiles. Only one photo is wrong. I also found a lot of references to it dying and a lot of "voodoodreads" in fuschia. :-)

You have no fuschia mites in Southern California? I'm dying of jealousy. I lost some pretty big ones to it in the early invasion and then gave up.

You'll love it - I bought some 'organic' planting mix because it was on sale. It took my car an entire week to air out. I thought of you. I'll enjoy every minute playing in it.

Chuck1260
Arroyo Grande, CA

April 27, 2005
12:56 AM

Post #1429479

Sometimes cutting off the infected stems and continuing to cut and keeping your equipment clean will get rid of them. But most of the time they are goners and you need to get rid of them before your other ones get them. I like the big honking fuschias which mostly are not bothered by the mite. Key is to examine any fuchsia you are going to buy and stay away from the infected ones.
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 27, 2005
12:58 AM

Post #1429487

lol, yep, that's me. I love the smell of compost in the morning! Smells like...naw not gonna go there...lol.

No fuschia mites to speak of, but incredible problems with red spider and rust mites.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 27, 2005
1:07 AM

Post #1429524

Oh, yes. The spider mites love my Redwood trees. And my Hardenbergia. Weird that it's so prone to collect them. I'm thinking about ripping the Hardenbergia out. The redwood trees have lived with them for years, but the Hardenbergia always looks pretty bad except when it's blooming. No rust mites. That's good. I have Iris leaf spot this year because of the rain though. This is not a good thing.
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 27, 2005
1:13 AM

Post #1429539

We get red spider really bad here in late August on our plums, I just let them live...by then we've already eaten the plums...lol.

Our biggest pest problems have four legs and bark, and sleep at the foot of our bed. Kuki hates roses, Dahlia eats my water lilies and lotus, Toby tears apart the Tecoma stans, and Scamp, well he just pees on everything...lol.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 27, 2005
1:45 AM

Post #1429696

Hee Hee. I used to have sighthounds who ran everything down. This last time I put Mondo Grass in and bought two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. The 1 year old tears around the yard like a crazy dog but she runs around everything. They do like to rip leaves off the lorapetulum and spit them out (don't ask me) and grazing for acorns is a great past time. Luckily they don't like the few poisonous plants I have in the yard like Hydrangeas. Oh, they do love Japanese Forest Grass. Another weird sticky plant. And they can roll in the giant Mondo Grass to their hearts delight. Nothing touches that stuff. My parents, who have raised dogs for years, now have their entire back yard full of Mondo.. And it comes in such lovely sizes. The black is too puny though.
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 27, 2005
1:53 AM

Post #1429713

We grow both Black and Japanese mondos and the doggies seem to leave that alone. They do, however, like to run through the Salvias and Dahlias. I'm guessing they know that it'll tee me off and they love running from me when I catch them doing it. The running part is proof to them that dogs are superior to humans...lol.

Speaking of Dahlias. D. imperialis is going strong (all five of them). Whew, what a relief from last year's snow and frost debacles.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 27, 2005
2:18 AM

Post #1429777

Ah, the Salvias and the Dahlias. That could cause a lot of damage. OUCH. How about mesh netting that your Dahlia's can grow through? It wouldn't help the Salvias, but Dahlia's have to be staked anyway.

The part about peeing made me laugh. A good reason to have female dogs if you don't have a beautiful lawn. A friend brought over her male Cavalier the other day. My ruby Cavalier is quite assertive with any other breed that comes to our house - like growling and snapping and staring them down. It's pretty funny. I swear that male dog tried to pee about 10 times in one hour. He was a busy boy.
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 27, 2005
2:25 AM

Post #1429796

Meet Toby,

He's a Temecula winehound. He showed up one day and never left. He thinks he's a Jack Russell

Thumbnail by drdon
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drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 27, 2005
2:26 AM

Post #1429802

Toby's full name is Tobiwankenobe, Meet Kuki or Kukulkhan, she's got a face for radio

Thumbnail by drdon
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drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 27, 2005
2:28 AM

Post #1429809

This is Dahlia, she's a PeeBeeGeeBee or Petite Basset Griffon Vendeen. Mostly she's dirty.

Thumbnail by drdon
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drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 27, 2005
2:28 AM

Post #1429811

This is Scamp or Mr. Bleep you. He thinks he's Toby's size.
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 27, 2005
2:30 AM

Post #1429816

oops,

Thumbnail by drdon
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doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 27, 2005
4:42 AM

Post #1430358

Toby is a pretty generous Jack Russell. No wonder you have no Dahlias.
I don't know how you ever tell Kuki 'No'. That sweet face. I'm not sure what you mean about her face being a radio though. I'm not reading you. Maybe we need Kuki. :-)
And Dahlia - well, a PBGB. That's a dog almost anyone can hug - that is in her case, if you've got your overalls on. Don't want mud on your best clothes. Actually she's remarkably clean given that patch of dirt she's sitting next to. That looks good for a dirt bath for sure.
Is Mr. Bleep You a Jack Russell? I think that in that case, toby is aiming pretty high. I'll bet you don't have to deal with vermin.

Four critters with two coats is a lot to deal with. I'm not surprised that your garden is at risk. They look worth it.

This is Zora with ball. She actually does pick it up and carry the thing around.

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doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 27, 2005
4:54 AM

Post #1430380

Here's Penny with Zora at about four months. Honestly, I didn't name this red dog Penny. She came with the name at 18 months old. Penny's panting because she had just been chasing Zora. The way the play game goes is that Penny waits and Zora zooms and then runs close enough to Penny so that Penny can pounce on her and growl. Funny pups.

Penny has a rare Cavalier disease called Episodic Falling and I've been working on a website for it for about the last three months. It's almost done. Hurray! That's the biggest news in my life right now. Oh, and I ordered some Louisiana Iris today. Always have to have something new to grow. :-)

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drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 27, 2005
11:41 AM

Post #1430548

Now there's a couple of sweet faces!

Congrats on the new Iris.

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