GRAPEVINE: Sniffing Plants, Green City, Torch Lily, Indoor Shrubbery, Micropropagation, Wild Senna, Sweet Salvia, Lawn v. Garden, Thuja v. Leyland, Lion’s Tail, Pruning Box, Portland 2013, Hidden Family

"Evening: The Red Tree" by Piet Mondrian, 1908. Click image for more about this painting at Cargo Collective.

“Evening: The Red Tree” by Piet Mondrian, 1908. Click image for more about this painting at Cargo Collective.

Axel Erlandson (1884-1964), was a Santa Cruz farmer turned experimental grafter. Here is a picture of his Two Leg tree at Bonfante Gardens in Gilroy, California. Click image to see the "10 Most Magnificent Trees in the World" at Neatorama. Photo Vladi22  Wikipedia.

Axel Erlandson (1884-1964), was a Santa Cruz farmer turned experimental grafter. Here is a picture of his Two Leg tree at Bonfante Gardens in Gilroy, California. Click image to see the “10 Most Magnificent Trees in the World” at Neatorama. Photo Vladi22 Wikipedia.

Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.” – Mark Twain

Plant sniffs out danger to prepare defenses against pesky insect
“It’s become increasingly clear in recent years that plants are responsive to odors,” said Mark Mescher, assistant professor of entomology. “But previous examples of this are all plant-to-plant. …What’s new about this is that it seems that plants may sometimes be able to smell the insects themselves.”   PhysOrg

The greenest city?
It seems appropriate that Singapore is the only country in the world with a hybrid as its national flower, the orchid Vanda ‘Miss Joaquim.’ This is such a manicured, efficient, tightly-managed country, that somehow a natural species wouldn’t seem quite right as its symbol.     Landscape Lover

Cool Knip torch lily
The foliage is very similar to that of daylilies, in density of the clump, the color of green, and the narrow but flexible sword-like shape of the leaves.  Out of bloom, then, this perennial is unremarkable.     Louis the Plant Geek

An Indoor Shrubbery
…On the last day of January, when a crazy warm front switched our temperatures from 10 degrees F to the high 50s overnight, I went outside to gather branches for forcing.     My Weeds Are Very Sorry

Micropropagation
Occasionally when a plant species is difficult to propagate with traditional methods or in danger of extinction, and in many cases very often both, we must place our faith in science and the lab-coated coves initiated in such sorcery!     What Ho Kew!

Wild Senna
Populations in the wild are probably declining as a result of modern development. Habitats include moist meadows near rivers, savannas, fens, pastures, and roadsides. Some disturbance is beneficial when it reduces competition from shrubs and trees. Occasionally, Wild Senna is found in flower gardens because of the showy flowers.    Illinois Wildflowers

Salvia verticillata
Always being worked by honeybees, the 3 foot tall spikes of dense flower whorls are, well, sort of lilac lavender, no bluish smokey purple, no . . . And that is exactly the charm of these hardy, ultra-rewarding perennials.    Flowers by the Sea

Lawns Into Gardens
…Several times a year we hear of a situation like the one in Orlando, where the mayor claims to be striving to make his city green while his city harasses homeowners like Jason and Jennifer Helvenston for planting vegetables in their front yard, threatening to fine them $500 a day — for gardening.     Mark Bittman, Opinionator; NY Times

Thuja vs. Leyland Cypress
Thinking of planting a row of evergreens for screening? See how Arborvitae (Thuja) stacks up against the very popular Leyland Cypress. These are photos of trees here at the nursery. We actually introduced Leylands to the Charlottesville Area!      Lazy S’S Farm Nursery

Lion’s Tail
Are they space aliens??  Something from a Dr. Seuss book?  No, it’s the very unusual Lion’s Tail flower!  Lion’s Tail (Leonotis nepetifolia) is a dramatic, easy-to-grow plant that’s sure to grab peoples’ attention in your garden!     Strange, Wonderful Things

Boxwood Pruning
How does boxwood want to be pruned so that it can reach its genetic potential and live in the site we have chosen?  Arguably, pruning a plant incorrectly is not the worst thing we can do.
The Pruning School

The 2013 Yard, Garden & Patio Show…
Another Portland YG&P Show is history. As you all know I look forward to this event for weeks…planning which seminars to attend, wondering if this is the year a show garden finally knocks my socks off, and dreaming about new plants I’ll discover. This year will stand out for me but not for any of those reasons. The night before the show opened, at a private party with plant explorer Dan Hinkley, my husband passed out cold, twice…it was terrifying.     Danger Garden

For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II
“Lacking guns and even bows, they could hunt only by digging traps or pursuing prey across the mountains until the animals collapsed from exhaustion. Dmitry built up astonishing endurance, and could hunt barefoot in winter, sometimes returning to the hut after several days, having slept in the open in 40 degrees of frost, a young elk across his shoulders.”     Mike Dash, Smithsonian

"Goldfinch and Chicory," a watercolor sketch from Isaac Sprague's "Natural History," published in the 1840s. Click image to link to more Sprague illustrations at BibliOdyssey.

“Goldfinch and Chicory,” a watercolor sketch from Isaac Sprague’s “Natural History,” published in the 1840s. Click image to link to more Sprague illustrations at BibliOdyssey.

Viburnum cassinoides, Witherod, by Isaac Sprague.

Viburnum cassinoides, Witherod, by Isaac Sprague.

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