Friday, October 28, 2016

Yippee! Rain!!!

Well we've had some rain and things are starting to grow. Including weeds.

The to-do list at the garden is pretty long, but some have dependencies: task A needs to be done before we can do task B. And even task C.

An example of this was that there has been that the Agave americana by the front archway is too big to stay there. Chris started removing pups and lower leaves in prep for moving it down to the back fence as a fence-jumping deterrent.

But that fence has a hole in it that needs to be fixed by a yet-to-be-determined agency. Before that can be fixed, the Monterey pine tree above it needed to have a couple branches lopped off as they were dangling perilously.

Happily this week DPW took care of the tree, lopping off a few bad branches so it's good to go for a while.

Now we need to figure out who fixes the fence, so we can move the Agave.

In the meantime, here are some photos I took in San Diego last week of an awesome Dracaena draco (Dragon Tree). Hope ours gets this amazing one day!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Plant profile: Salvia leucantha (Mexican Sage)

Salvia leucantha
Latin name: Salvia leucantha (pronounced "SAL-vee-ah LOO-can-thah)
Common name: Mexican Sage
Originally from: Tropical and subtropical pine forests in central and eastern Mexico.
Blooms: Purple, purple and white, white, or white and pink.
Light: Full sun!
Water: Drought repellent
Drainage: Excellent
Height x width: 3' x 6'
USDA Zones: 8-10
Where to find in P. Garden: In the left bed, the brights bed, and the very top bed.

Salvia leucantha
"Danielle's Dream"
Salvia leucantha is a surefire winner in the San Francisco garden, producing flowers for almost 12 months of the year that hummingbirds love, staying evergreen in our climate, and only needing one satisfying and easy chop back to 6" in the winter for them to spring back up looking fabulous. And hey - if you forget to do that they don't look bad.

They even have a lovely round shape and grow nicely in between other plants too, creating a lovely purple accent in any garden. No wonder they're so popular!

Salvia leucantha
"Santa Barbara"
Oh, and did I mention they don't care about drought? You cannot kill them. In fact, they're even super easy to root from cuttings or layers on the ground.

We have three different types. The regular species has bi-colored, velvety-textured flowers consisting of white corollas and longer-lasting funnel-form purple calyxes that arch all over the plant nonstop.  You'll see these all over the Bay area.

Salvia leucantha
"Santa Barbara"
Then there's the slightly more compact all-violet colored "Santa Barbara" and a new one for us called "Danielle's Dream" that has which calyxes and pink flowers.

I have heard of an all white one called "White Mischief" and a deeper purple one called "Midnight" and if I see them for sale I'll be picking them up for sure.

Salvia "Anthony Parker"
Growers crossed Salvia leucantha with Salvia elegans to make another excellent plant we have: Salvia "Anthony Parker". This one has a shorter flower season but the color is a stunning deep purple and again the plant is super tough, so worth the wait. Can someone please breed a few more Salvia leucantha hybrids?

Monday, October 3, 2016

A getting ready for rain workday

Many thanks to Annie, Matt and Chris, who came to the October volunteer workday! You'll see from the first photo, of Chris holding a Leucadendron, that we are anticipating the winter rains. Chris is getting ready to plant it in the brights bed. As you probably already know, this is the best time of year to put in new plants, or move old ones to a new spot. We have been working hard to remodel the brights bed, filling it back out with lovely plants after loosing some of our taller, fuller, plants to the drought.

Per usual, our workday also included the cleaning up the garden by removing trash and weeding. We were visited by some doggie neighbors and their owners, and it was great to hear how much they enjoy the garden!
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