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francis_e-_lesterRambling roses are not the same as climbing roses, although both kinds of roses will climb. Rambling roses have small flowers and usually flower only once where as climbing roses have larger flowers and repeat. Rambling roses have more flexible canes than climbing roses so are easier to train. They are also considered more vigorous and can grow in places where climbing roses would struggle. [click to continue…]

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cynara-scolymus_flGlobe artichoke is a herbaceous perennial thistle in the aster family (Asteraceae) that also includes daisies, dandelions, and sunflowers. It is native to the Mediterranean coast and grown for its edible flowerbuds as well as for its ornamental value for the back of the border. The blue green leaves are deeply lobed with spines and up to thirty two inches long. The terminal buds are carried on the main stem and side branches and are three to four inches across. Each bud consists of a fleshy edible center holding a mass of small flowers surrounded by many leathery green bracts with fleshy edible bases. When the buds open in late summer they reveal a flowerhead six inches across of azure blue to purple flowers that are fragrant and attractive to bees. Plants do best in areas with cool foggy summer such as found in coastal California. The flowerheads can be dried for use in arrangements.

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img_0205Gardens of the World is located n Thousands Oaks, California five minutes from the 101 ,off Thousand Oaks Boulevard across from the Civic Arts Plaza. It is privately owned and operated by the Hogan Family Foundation, Inc, and offers free admission, free parking, and a venue for the fund raising activities of local charitable organizations. The garden occupies 4.5 acres and features gardens representing England, France, Italy, and Japan, plus a California Mission Courtyard. [click to continue…]

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Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Paris 19e (75), juillet 2012This deciduous shrub is native to China but has naturalized in southeastern US where it can form substantial thickets by means of stolons. It has cinnamon colored trunks and dark green shiny leaves that are ovate and up to 1.5 to 7.75 inches long. The small flowers are carried in slender, lax, terminal, one-sided panicles in mid to late summer and are lavender in bud turning purple when open. Each flower is curved and is covered on the outside by fine hairs that give it a velvety sheen. The panicle elongates as the flowers open and may reach two feet in length. They are butterfly and hummer magnets. Unlike other buddlejas, B.lindleyana should not be cut to ground.
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Book Review: The Flower Workshop

the-flower-workshopFlowers brighten a room and lift our moods whether they are used everyday or for grand occasions. Have you ever wondered what makes some flower arrangements sing to you while others leave you cold? Arielle Chezar’s book, The Flower Workshop, may give you incite into what makes a great arrangement. Chezar’s approach to flower arranging although not new is not part of the tradition that produces the arrangements you get from 1-800 FLOWERS. Her approach to flower arranging leads to the creation of dramatic and unforgettable designs and this book teaches you both her approach and the techniques needed to carry it out. [click to continue…]

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SG PolygonatumNative to Europe and Asia, variegated Solomon’s seal is an herbaceous perennial in the asparagus family (Asparagaceae) that also includes hosta, yucca, and hyacinths. The pendulous flowers are carried on arching branches in the axils of the leaves in spring. They are bell-shaped, white with green tips, and fragrant. The angular unbranched stems are eighteen inches long and carry eight to twelve lance-like leaves with white margins. They are medium green until fall when they turn brownish yellow. An excellent choice for a shade garden. [click to continue…]

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Plant Profile: Cyclamen coum

cyclamen-coum

This herbaceous perennial is a member of the primrose family (Primulaceae) and native to the mountains of Turkey, the Caucasus, and northern Iran where it grows in woodlands, scrublands and rocky areas. The flattened tubers are about 2.5” across, covered by fine hairs, and produce roots from their centers. The heart-shaped to round leaves appear before the flowers in autumn or winter and are   ¾” to 3” long. They may be solid green, solid silver, or mottled sometimes with a distinct arrow head patterning. After flowering the leaves go dormant. The flowers appear after the leaves in winter or spring and have rounded petals that are reflexed. The petals are magenta, pink or white and have a darker blotch at the base with a small white or pink “eye” below.
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Botanical Latin: Acacallis

acacallis
A ca CALL’ iss from the name of a nymph in Greek mythology. Acacaliss was the daughter of the Cretan King Minos and his wife Pasiphae, and the sister of Ariadne. She is probably significant because of her sons that founded famous cities: Cydon, fathered by Hermes or Apollo; and Miletus, and Oaxes both fathered by Apollo. [click to continue…]

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Plant Profile: Rose ‘Belle Portugaise’

rose-belle-portugaiseLong slender crimson buds up to four inches long open to large light pink flowers touched with salmon. The flowers are carried singly and are 4 to 6.5 inches across. The inner petals tend to hide the stamens in the center of the flower while the outer petals bend outward. The pale green foliage is dense and glossy and the leaflets droop gracefully. The plant is very vigorous, blooms only once in spring or summer when it is covered with flowers. An excellent choice for growing in trees and may cascade down from the tree to enhance the look. This was the first hybrid of Rosa gigantean bred in the West. [click to continue…]

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Book Review: I, Fly

i-flyMost people dislike flies, an attitude leaned from childhood. Bridget Heos’ book, I Fly, introduces the readers to the common housefly with a whole new point of view that might change change opinions. Written for children four to eight in preschool to grade here, the book tells the story of a fly in an entertaining way with plenty of factual information tucked in so that the reader can gain an appreciation of the role flies play in the world. [click to continue…]

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