Friday, June 22, 2012

New plant hardiness zone

No, the garden has not moved but apparently the powers that be over at the USDA have reclassified our area. We are now rated a 10b on the USDA plant hardiness zone. If you are in the US, you can find your own zone via this interactive chart. All you need to do is type in your zip.

We had been at 11a, which I thought was a bit too warm. 10b sounds right.

And have no fear about these changes. The USDA has thoughtfully provided the following information :

If your hardiness zone has changed in this edition of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map (PHZM), it does not mean you should start pulling plants out of your garden or change what you are growing. What is thriving in your yard will most likely continue to thrive.
More info on how they derived these new zones.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Native California plants in bloom

I would say these photos fall in the better late than never category.

These are from April of this year, the peak for these blooms. I have a corner of my plot devoted to drought resistant plants, fancy word for the plants I don't water.

The Douglas iris and yellow-eyed grass were from the Theodore Payne Foundation. For those in the southern california region who are eager to buy California native plants, this is the place to go. To get a feel for what they offer, here is a list of their nursery inventory. What is helpful is that, on their grounds, the plants are divided into habitats. If you are interested in plants who grow well in shade and drought-tolerant, they do have plants set aside that will do well in that habitat.

Douglas iris, Family Iridaceae, Iris douglasiana The Douglas iris is considered ok for shade and are drought tolerant. Absolutely gorgeous.

Douglas Iris

Hiking, I've encountered Blue-eyed grass more often. From the Theodore Payne Foundation, here is Yellow-eyed grass, Family , Sisyrinchium californicumThe yellow-eyed grass grows well in shade but needs more water.

Yellow-eyed grass

California poppy, Family Papaveraceae, Escholtzia californicum. This variant is cream colored, and I have been collecting seeds for this one. This is not from the Theodore Payne Foundation. I don't know the name of the variant.

California poppy

Here is their wiki on native plants, accessible in three different ways, via common name, family name or Latin name.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Boysenberries peaking already

Sadly, we are on the downhill slope. The trick to picking them is to wait until the calyx is brown and the fruit looks shiny. At this point, they should just fall off. Any later, then they are moldy, which is not good.


I find I am eating the ripest berry right away off the vine. If any are left, those are taken home to eat with vanilla ice cream.


When perfectly ripe, the berries fall off the vine readily. I find boysenberries to be fragile. I could not imagine mine would tolerate being sold; they would fall apart.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

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